Monthly Archives: May 2007

Overly Cautious Parenting.

I'm not an overly cautious parent.  I realize my kids are going to get bumps and bruises and cuts.  Right now, Ethan is sporting several leg bruises, a shin scrape, and a brand spankin' new blister on the pad of his middle finger where he figured it would be a good idea to touch the coffee pot burner. 

I suppose this attitude was passed down to me, because I distinctly remember my childhood fun consisting of standing in the middle of the front seat for rides in the car, playing with dried cow manure, and stepping barefoot in wet cow manure followed by hobbling to the nearest water hose to clean it off.  I remember climbing trees and jumping from a height of about 10 feet, flying in the face of my mother's warnings of broken necks.  I recall monkeying across barn rafters in order to fall into a big pile of hay below, and walking tightrope-style along narrow board fences with thorny barnyard weeds looming beneath my feet waiting eagerly for a misstep.  I swam in snake- and leech-infested creeks with snapping turtles sprinkled in just for fun.  Because cattle also used those creeks, I'm sure the water was teeming with E. coli.

These days, the media has done away with much of that fun. We're warned of predators, both of a sexual nature and those with brown skin.  We're told of the multitudinous dangers of bacteria, and steered away from spinach, of all things.  They don't place teeter-totters on playgrounds anymore due to liability.  We're taught to fear the sun as though we are all freckle-frightened Victorian women.  Mothers race to protect their kids from other kids rather than allowing them to work out problems on their own.  They slather antibacterial gel all over their child's hands.  They don't allow their kids to take tumbles, and if little Junior happens to stumble, Mummy is right there to pick him up and coo over him.

Where is the life in that?

Last night while Laurel was attending her guitar lesson I took Ethan to the park.  I allowed him to climb to the tallest twisty slide by himself while other mothers gave me the hairy eyeball.  Greg and I allowed him to do it the night before, so we knew he could handle it.  Another mother warned her daughter (likely age 4) away from that slide, then said — with complete disdain — "That little guy is going up there, isn't he?"  I turned around and gave her a smile.  She glared at me as though I were a Child Protective Services poster child.  "We were apprehensive at first," I told her.  "But he loves it.  He did it several times last night with no problems.  I'm not concerned."

"Well," she responded uncertainly, "I guess if he's not scared. . ."

Well, guess what?  He's not scared.  I haven't taught him to be scared of playgrounds.  Ethan's a kid, and I'm allowing him to figure out as many of his boundaries for himself as possible.  I've seen him back away from the edge of the porch because he fell once and skinned his nose.  That's how kids learn. 

He loves the twisty slide, and god knows the playground equipment these days is so safe a kid would have to seriously put out effort to get hurt on it.  I felt good last night about ignoring those parents giving me the stink-eye. 

I'm sick of overprotective parents who don't allow their child to stumble and recover in life and then wonder why, eighteen years down the road, they're having to clean up their adult child's messes. 

I just wish other parents would allow their kids to live.  Really live.  Only by living will children learn.

Laurel’s Leaning Lighthouse.

Here's a watercolor painting Laurel did yesterday.  Bear in mind that she gets this talent from my side of the family, but this must be a trait that skips a generation, because I'm not much of an artist.  Click the painting to see a larger version!

Last Day Photos, as promised!

Well, really her next-to-last day.

The BoneBlog has been on hiatus the past few days while switching back to XP and enjoying the Memorial Day weekend.  I finally found all the photos of her Maypole / Awards Ceremony, so I get to share them now.

Here are photos of the maypole, dedicated to Pappy, who always talked about how much he loved to watch a maypole dance:



Of course, no Maypole / Awards Ceremony is complete without the Electric Slide.  Here is a snapshot of Laurel's performance:

  Even the parents got in on this one, followed by the Cha-Cha Slide, which I find to be an abomination on good sense, dance, and sobriety.  However, I sure wish I could come up with some dunderheaded 'dance' that all the drunks would perform, thereby becoming an insta-millionaire.

But nothing compared to Laurel's greatest coup — Her Accelerated Reader all-4-quarter 200% trophy, proudly displayed here:

P.S.  As if Laurel weren't enough of a Harry Potter freakazoid, I started reading the series and discovered she and Harry Potter share the same birthday. 

Her Last.

Today is Laurel's last day of 2nd grade.

It is her last day at Sherwood Elementary.

It is her last day to see many of the kids she has come to know and love over the last three years.

I know the sadness will hit her in about 45 minutes (if it hasn't already) when I go to pick her up from Sherwood.  For the last time.

But today is also the first day of a new adventure, and I think she's really excited about it. 

Yesterday I attended her maypole performance and award ceremony at school.  She was so proud of herself because she got two of her most coveted awards — perfect attendance and 200% of her Accelerated Reader goal for all four quarters.  The principal was there and announced that only 4 students had accomplished the 200% goal, and the other 3 were in 6th grade.  That's our girl!

I'd put up some photos, but I'll be damned if that Greg didn't hide them from me when we went back to XP, so I'll have to put them up later.


Back to XP, Might be slow for a bit..

Well, I finally got tired of Vista.  Its just not quite ready yet.  I'll check it out again when service pack 1 comes out and more software and hardware works correctly with it.

 So, the BoneBlog was down last night while I reloaded.  Back to XP for now, and since I'm a Dee Dee Dee , and unplugged the wrong hard drive during the "Upgrade", my disk array is now rebuilding..  Sigh.  So, things might be a little slow for a while.

Laurel the Enforcer.

Friends, we've got neighbor trouble.

It's not bad neighbor trouble.  Not the kind of neighbor trouble the Hatfields and McCoys had.  We just have some stupid, hoosier-ific neighbors.  The ones who swim in a stock tank in the back yard. 

The other day Greg glanced out the back window to see Neighbor Man (the only one of the couple we ever see) throwing the lid to a five-gallon bucket like a Frisbee so his dog could catch it.  We like Neighbor Dog, she's a sweetheart.  But Neighbor Man was tossing the lid well into our yard.  In fact, he tossed it so far that Laurel's newly-planted sunflower patch fell victim to Neighbor Dog's paws. 

But Greg and I wussed out and didn't say anything.

A couple of evenings later I was in a pretty rotten mood so Laurel and I went out on the deck to read.  Then we went down to set tomato cages over my plants in the garden.  Out came Neighbor Man and Neighbor Dog and the same Frisbee-esque game ensued.  In our yard.  Again.  Even though we were out there.  I was on the verge of saying something when Laurel ran out to her sunflower patch.

She stood before her sunflowers like a sentry guarding Fort Knox.  She crossed her arms and cocked her hip and gave Neighbor Man the stink-eye.  I can't imagine where she learned such a thing.

The next time Neighbor Dog came at Laurel's sunflowers, Laurel deflected the lid and then yelled in the most nasty-nice, syrupy-sweet voice imaginable, "I'm just trying to keep my sunflowers from getting run over!"  Neighbor Man mumbled something unintelligible, Laurel yelled, "Thanks," and ran back to me.

Awesome kid.

I asked her what he said and she reported he promised he would try not to hit the sunflowers.  But I'll be damned if that lid didn't come back over on our property again.  What brand of idiot is this guy?

This is not the first property issue we've had.  Neighbor Man keeps putting his lawn chairs over on us when he mows, which means I have to move them BACK to his side when it's time for ME to mow.

Greg came home that evening and I mentioned it to him.  He observed, "Our problem is that we don't know what it's like to operate with an average IQ.  And I'm pretty sure [Neighbor Man] is operating at about 10 points below average."


I'm just glad to know that if we have any problems, we can send Laurel over there.  She'll take care of our problems for us.

Mommy’s Mistakes.

Mistake #1:  Putting Ethan down for a nap in just a shirt and diaper.

Mistake #2:  Hoping that, as he awoke earlier than usual, he might go back to sleep if I left him to his own devices for a few minutes.

Here is what greeted me when I opened his door yesterday afternoon — and I assure you it is not how he was dressed when I put him down for his nap:

And a Big Shout-Out to Ethan.

I would like to take a moment to thank Ethan, who screamed like he was being abused for the duration of our first stroller aerobics class this morning.  It was a great way to make a first impression on the other moms.

Son, when you do something, you go all the way.   No half-assing it for you!

Way to overachieve!

(as an aside, Jessica must think my kids are the worst-behaved children ever, because it seems like they are on their worst behavior every time we get together — like that trip to the Art Museum with Laurel, or this morning's stroller aerobics…)