Yes, it is!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Girl is 10!

My baby girl turned 10 years old today.  It's so hard for me to believe that I almost have a preteen.  Words cannot begin to describe the love I have for my daughter.  Yes, she is very strong-willed and she can bring out the worst in us as her parents, but she has so many great qualities that far outweigh her strong will.  She is such a kind-hearted, compassionate child.  She is artistically inclined.  She is sensitive. She is beautiful, smart, and talented.  She loves music and has a most angelic singing voice.  She makes me proud.  

Today is a day that I'll never forget.  Not because it is a day of celebration (it is!) but because Jackie, once again, faced discrimination because of her disability.  My heart hurts for my girl.  However, I really hope that Jackie's strong will and determination will help her get through this latest situation.  And I especially hope that the main person involved learned that just because somebody has a physical impairment, it doesn't necessarily mean that person also has an intellectual deficit or is incapable of being talented.  Jackie is a very smart girl, a straight A student and she's becoming much more aware of others' responses toward her.  She does limp and her weak left hand is becoming more obvious to others as they get to know her.  She has cerebral palsy which was caused by a stroke.  Some children with the same type of brain damage are more (much more) disabled than Jackie and others are much less disabled.  Some children are intellectually impaired by their disability and yet others are left intellectually intact.  Still, disability or no, everyone has a talent of some sort.  Jackie's happens to be music.  She has a true talent for singing.  I'm not just saying that because I'm her mother.  She truly is talented in that area.

Recently, Jackie had an opportunity to use her talent.  She was so excited about this until today when her hopes and dreams were crushed and she was left out of this opportunity.  Events leading up to today left me with the suspicion that it was because the director had this preconceived idea that Jackie was not capable of doing this without my help because of her disability. I don't want to give too many details about the group or who the director is because I respect this director.  He really is a great guy. But after talking to the manager and accompanist, my fears were confirmed.  I will forever appreciate these friends for going to bat for Jackie.  They saw beyond her weaknesses and saw her true potential.  However, just like so many others, this director has the wrong perception of others who have differences.  It is my hope and prayer that after today's situation, Jackie was able to teach him to look beyond differences and to allow a chance in the future for children like Jackie to showcase their talents.

Unfortunately, Jackie being the smart girl that she is, has an idea of why she was treated differently from the other chorus members this morning.  My heart hurt for her.  I wanted to cry for her.  This day started out being a terrible day for her.  I felt awful that she went through all of that for naught.  Now that the director has since been "educated" by his manager and accompanist, I hope that he changes his tune.  Literally.  I understand that he now wants Jackie to come back but at this point, Jackie was so sad and hurt this morning, she does not want to go back.  It seems everyone else wants to see Jackie again but I think it's going to take some time for Jackie to recover before she will want to go back (if she ever wants to go back).  

Thankfully, Jackie's day finally ended on a good note.  Last weekend, her largest gift was a surprise trip to Great Wolf Lodge and waterpark.  She was very surprised! She loved the gifts that she received today, including a folding lawn chair that she asked for a few days ago.  Silly girl.  For her birthday meal, she was treated to Peel wood-fired pizza restaurant.  Then we came home and celebrated some more with ice-cream cake.  We ended the night with snuggles.  

Jackie is growing up so quickly and I want to cherish these sweet times like tonight.  She truly is a treasure to us and we love her so.  Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Spiderman Goes to School

Last night, the kids and I went to a fall festival.  Ben had his face painted as Spiderman.  When we got home, I told Ben that he would have to wash it off. He insisted on sleeping as Spiderman.  Fine. So I told him that he would have to wash his face in the morning before going to school.  Today was Tim's day off so I left the morning routine to him. I could hear Ben arguing with his dad about the face painting and I could tell that Tim was getting a little aggravated. The bus was expected to arrive soon so Tim gave up the battle and Ben (aka Spiderman) won.  I warned Ben that his teacher might make him wash his face after he arrived to school. Tim got the kids to the bus stop just in time. 

Soon after the kids left for school, I began to worry about Ben getting in trouble for his painted face. I considered calling the school to let the secretary know what was going on. I needed to call anyway to let them know that Jackie was going to be picked up by her physical therapist.  When I called about the latter, I forgot to explain about Ben.  So, I emailed his teacher.  She emailed me back and admitted that she was taken aback by Ben's face but she didn't make a big deal about it and neither did anyone else.  Good, I thought. 

When I picked up Ben after school, I asked him if anyone said anything about his face. He exclaimed "a lot!" Then he was so excited as he told me that two people asked for his autograph and he gave them his autograph.  I asked if his teacher said anything. He shook his head and then said that Mrs. W told him that she likes his other face better and that she hopes to see that one tomorrow.  I couldn't help but laugh hysterically. He was so excited about his celebrity status.

When we arrived home, I took Ben's picture for memory's sake. Then Ben told me to put his funny story on Facebook so everybody can see it. So, I did put it on Facebook. And now I'm writing about it so he can share this funny story one day with his own children.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Difficult Questions

Lately, my 9-year old daughter has been asking some tough questions, many of them related to my background.  I'm not quite sure how to answer her.  She will be 10 years old in less than 2 months but I'm still not sure if she is ready to learn about some of the more difficult stuff from my past.  I've shared about my past but there are still a lot of secrets that I've been holding on to.  

Some of the questions Jackie has been asking has to do with the circumstances of my birth and my parents.  She has been very interested in the topic of adoption lately, probably because she has a friend who is preparing to be adopted by her new forever parents.  Jackie wants to know why kids are adopted and why they were taken from their birth families.  I'm sure she has overheard me talking about my heart for adoption, which is something that I've had for many years.  Just this morning, Jackie told me that she wouldn't mind if I adopted a sister for her, a sister who had no legs.  Where she got that idea from is beyond me.  But if God were to present that opportunity to me and Tim, I would be all for it.  

I don't recall talking to Jackie directly about my own adoption. Perhaps she overheard me talking to a friend or even Tim about it. It's not a secret that my dad is actually my step-father who adopted me when I was a toddler.  Jackie is now asking why Poppy adopted me and if my "real" dad left me and Mother when I was a baby.  This morning, she asked if I ever met him. I wish. She asked if Mother was married to my "real" dad?  How do I answer those questions?  Is it even appropriate for a near 10-year old to know.  I know I will eventually tell her everything I know about the circumstances about my birth but how much do I share now?  I'm not quite sure.  In some ways, Jackie is very wise beyond her years and in some ways, she is still very immature.  I'm really not sure what she is ready to know about my past.  She doesn't know that I have no clue who my biological father is. She doesn't know her Mimi wasn't married.  I don't even know the full truth about my conception and birth.  Mother has given me so many stories about how she became pregnant and by whom. I do know that Mother wasn't married and during that period of time, unwed mothers were not as easily accepted (or even celebrated) as they are today.  I still experience a profound sense of loss of not knowing anything at all about my paternal heritage.  I wish I knew.  I wish my story was not a messy one and one that would be a little easier for my daughter to comprehend when the time comes to share with her.  I don't even understand it all myself.  It's very upsetting to Mother whenever I bring it up to her.  It's also upsetting for me to not know where that missing link is. I can understand that being in a crisis pregnancy was very difficult, especially during that period of time but I really wish Mother would also understand my perspective. I wish she would understand how difficult it is for me to answer my daughter's questions.

Jackie has also been questioning me about my parents' son.  I don't talk about him because I have no relationship with him.  I have reasons for that.  I don't refer to him as brother.  Instead, he is my parents' son.  I don't know who told Jackie about my parents' son.  It certainly wasn't me.  And now she's asking about him. She throws it up in my face that I have a "brother" whenever I try to change the subject. She's very persistent.  I have not shared anything about him with Jackie, including the reasons why I choose to have no relationship with him.   I refuse to talk about him around my children.  I wish I had a good story for Jackie but I don't.  If Jackie chooses to look up her grandparents' son when she is an adult, I don't know how I would feel.  I'm all about family but I'm also all about protecting my own little family as best as I can.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Day My Kids Nearly Caused Me To Lose A Friend

Many of my friends know that my children have some behavioral issues. Although I am trying very hard to teach my children manners and respecting others' homes, they just don't seem to take me seriously.  There are just a couple of friends here and another couple back in my home state that I feel completely comfortable taking my children.  I'm so thankful for those friends who are supportive of me.

In July, I traveled with the kids down to Florida after I found Mother's half-sister for whom we have been searching for many years.  (The story of that reunion will be coming soon).  Since Tim had to work, he was unable to travel with me.  That meant dragging the kids around with me to visit friends and family.

 One of those friends commented on Facebook that she also wanted to see me.  This is a friend that I valued because she was such an encouragement to me as I pursued my degree while I worked full-time.  We have kept in touch even after I moved away, got married, and had children.  I cherished our friendship.  The kids and I visited her home last year.  She was so loving toward the kids and seemed to deal with their antics just fine.  I didn't expect it to be any different when we visited her at her home again last month.  However, as soon as we walked into her house, I knew things were not going to go as smoothly by the way my children acted.  I must say that the way my children behaved caused me more embarrassment than I can ever remember.  As soon as Ben entered my friend's kitchen, he went right over to her pantry to see what she had in there. I redirected him and told him that we would be eating soon.  My friend had her table already set for lunch.  Of course, my children, being the very picky eaters they are, once they saw what was being served, immediately said stuff like "Eww" , "Yuck", and "I don't like that". I was appalled and immediately tried to correct my kids. Believe me, I have tried and tried to teach my kids otherwise.  Jackie is the worst.  So, my friend immediately corrected my kids and let them know how hard she worked on this lunch and that it hurt her feelings when they turned their nose up at the food.  Then she told me that perhaps next time, I should bring he kids something from McDonald's or the like.  I totally agreed and said that I should have done that that day.  I was so glad that my friend got onto my kids so that they could maybe finally understand what I've been trying to teach them about manners. My friend offered to make grilled cheese sandwiches for them but in full Jackie fashion, Jackie turned her nose up at that, too.  Ben ended up eating 2 grilled cheese sandwiches. My friend had set 2 crystal glasses and 2 plastic cups at the table, also.  Of course, the plastic was for the kids which was perfect because I don't allow my children to use glass at home.  Well, Jackie saw my glass and whined that she wanted one, too.  I immediately said no but my friend offered to let Jackie use one.  I really wish I would have put my foot down then.  I was already somewhat irritated not only because if Jackie's poor manners but also because she was so whiny when my friend's very sweet dog greeted Jackie. Jackie had complained twice that this sweet little dog scratched her and this caused my friend to put the dog away in another room.  By the way, the poor dog didn't even leave any marks on whiny Jackie. Jackie was just being a brat. Which continued into lunch.

After lunch, we all played in the pool. My friend brought her little dog back out, too.  My friend seemed to enjoy my kids in the pool, despite the bickering between my kids.  Gee, they were I top form that day.  After awhile, we got out of the pool and after changing our clothes, we moved to the living room where the kids watched TV while my friend and I visited and talked about her international trips.  The kids finally seemed to settle down. I didn't even notice that Jackie had taken the crystal class into the living room.  You know, the crystal glass that she insisted on using during lunch. In the living room where the floor is tile. Can you see the picture? If I had only known about the glass.  If only I had put my foot down even harder before my friend got the glass for her.  If only, I could have foreseen the future....

As I was looking through my friend's pictures and she was telling me about all the places she visited, all was good until the crash.  My friend and I immediately went into a tirade with Jackie. Jackie starts crying and yelling that it was an accident, that it just fell apart in her hand.  Really?!!!! (Lately, everything is an accident for her).  My friend's husband came downstairs to see what was going on and then starts to shoo us out. I grabbed all of our stuff while profusely apologizing to my friend for everything.  Jackie, hysterical, had essentially curled up in a ball next to our stuff when suddenly, my friend whipped  around, gasped, and said "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Jackie, I think I owe you an apology." At first, I was flabbergasted because I didn't think either of my kids were owed an apology. If anything, my kids owed her an apology.  My friend then explained that she thinks she accidentally  gave Jackie a glass that had already had a hairline crack in it.  I have to admit that I was quite shocked at the way my friend screamed and yelled at Jackie, deserving as she was, but it made me feel slightly better when she apologized to Jackie for possibly giving Jackie the cracked glass.

Even as we left my friend's home,  I kept apologizing for my kids' behavior and explaining this was one reason my children are not allowed to use glass at home.  And my friend suggested that next time I leave my kids win somebody and that she and I could meet at a restaurant.  I had to agree that my children are no longer welcomed at his friend's house. I have never felt so embarrassed and ashamed by my kids' behavior.   This entire incident left me shaken. I laid into my kids nearly the entire ride back to my mother-in-law's house, where we were staying.

Despite the apology from my friend toward Jackie about the possible cracked glass, I still felt terrible after she commented that those glasses were from her mother-in-law.  That evening, I submitted an order through my bank to have a check sent to my friend to purchase a replacement glass, if it's even possible.   I actually took the money out of Jackie's college account because I felt like she needed to learn a very difficult lesson.

Even after we returned home from Florida, I was still so shaken by that entire incident.  Jackie had already become more difficult in recent months and this incident just added fuel to that fire. I honestly find it very difficult to enjoy being around her.  Even though it has been a month since that incident, I still have not been able to fully shake it off.  I actually went to talk to a counselor recently about these recent incidents. I was thankful for that because she helped me to feel less shame and to help me realize that the entire incident involving the glass was not entirely my fault, especially considering that I initially told Jackie no to the glass.  She also helped me realize that my children are especially difficult children, particularly Jackie because she has so many issues going on, and that it's not a reflection of my parenting. Jackie makes parenting especially difficult, she has from the very beginning.

As for my near ruined friendship, only time will tell whatever the future holds for that one.  There are now just a few friends homes that I will ever feel comfortable taking my children.  And even then, if there is ever a meal involved, my kids will not partake. They will have to take their own meals.
I feel sad that it's come down to that but I just cannot trust my children any longer.  I've tried and tried to teach them respect and manners to no avail.  I have given permission to my closest friends to correct my children.  Somehow, I must get the message across to my children and perhaps correction from my friends is key to that.

I realize this is very personal but I'm desperate so I am asking for help from people who truly care about me.  Help me correct and discipline my children.  Help me teach them right from wrong.  Help me raise them to be respectful.  Perhaps when my kids hear correction and receive discipline from others, they will realize that it's not all a joke. Most of all,  encourage me and pray for me that I can get these children raised without too much emotional harm.  They really do bring out the worst in me, especially my daughter.  We are dealing with so many new issues with her.  Well, not exactly new but we're finally getting answers about what is going on with beside her cerebral palsy.   As "normal" as she looks my daughter is actually a very complex child.  I'll explain some of that in a future post. In the meantime, lots of prayer is appreciated.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bike Helmets Should Be Law

I should have written this a week ago but busy schedules got in the way.  A week ago today, on Father's day, Tim decided to take us all to a community about 45 minutes away to ride our bikes.  The kids were excited and it was a great day for a bike ride. 

Once we got to Carlyle, we took off on the bike trail.  One part of the trail was closed so we took another route that led to downtown.  It was really neat to ride through part of downtown and through some older neighborhoods.  As the day started to warm up, the kids started complaining of thirst.  That's when I realized that I didn't bring their water bottles.  So, we stopped at a grocery store to buy water.  We then headed back to where we started from and our plan was to go further down to another part of the trail.  As we rode down one of the residential streets of Carlyle, I moved toward the front to avoid a collision with one of the kids.  My kids have a tendency to cross their bikes right in front of mine so I often take the lead.  We were all enjoying our time together on our bikes until I suddenly heard Jackie scream and then a crash.  I looked behind me just in time to see Jackie take another hit on the concrete which, of course, caused me to whip my bike around to get back to her.  Right as I reached Jackie, a 9-month pregnant lady was already helping Jackie.  (I think running to help Jackie brought on contractions, seriously.  And the lady was hoping that was the case as she was ready.).  Jackie was screaming at the top of her lungs and yelling that her eye was coming out.  Then she started screaming that her tooth came out.  I saw blood around her mouth and panicked about the possible dental work ahead.  I held Jackie close to me and said a quick prayer for strength to look in Jackie's mouth and at her face.  Jackie hit the concrete curb at least twice.  I finally mustered the courage to take a good look at Jackie and immediately noticed the swelling around Jackie's left eye.  I then looked in her mouth and noticed that Jackie indeed lost a tooth.  Thankfully, it was a baby tooth but we had no idea that it might have been ready to come out.  We tried to find the tooth to no avail.  I had Tim ride his bike to the SUV and bring it back to us so I could take Jackie to the ER.  (Thankfully, we rode separately).  

After Tim arrived with the SUV, I immediately put Jackie in and took off for the closest ER.  All the way there, Jackie was still screaming in pain and fear. I couldn't help but cry myself because I felt like a terrible mom.  How dare I get ahead of the group for such a selfish reason?  I did everything I could to keep it together for Jackie. I had already put out a message on Facebook for my friends to pray for Jackie.  I believe all those prayers and positive thoughts helped.  We got to the ER and Jackie was immediately triaged and then we were given an ice pack for the swelling. As we waited to be seen by the doctor, I was able to take a better look at Jackie since she had calmed down somewhat by now.  Jackie's face really took a hit as she had cuts and scratches all over her face.  Her lip was also slightly swollen and she had a small goose-egg on the right side of her forehead. Jackie's glasses were also damaged.  She also had cuts, bruises, and abrasions on her hands and legs.  There was some concern about possible fractures.  

When we were finally seen by the ER doctor, Jackie had calmed down.  The doctor looked Jackie over and decided against a CT scan due to no displacement of bones.  The possibility of fracture is still there but there was no obvious displacement of broken bones.  Unless there is displacement, there really isn't anything to do for fractured noses and the bones around the eyes, except to limit activity and take care to avoid further trauma during the healing process.  Jackie (as well as I) was very thankful for that.  

The nurses and the ER doctor agreed that we were very lucky that day because, if not for the helmet, things could have been so much worse.  The helmet saved Jackie from further injury.  Judging by the damage to Jackie's glasses, it's clear that those also protected Jackie's eyes.  There was debris embedded in the lenses.  

Being a Florida native, I knew that for children under age 16, bike helmet use is required by law if operating a bike or scooter.  When we moved to Illinois, I just assumed that it was law here, too, and I required my children to wear their helmets while riding their bikes.  I learned that day of the accident that there is no such law in Illinois.  There really should be! I'm so thankful that Jackie was wearing her helmet.  I just shudder to think of how much worse it could have ended.  

I'm so thankful for the prayers and thoughts of my friends who care about Jackie.  I do believe in the power of prayer.  Jackie's face has healed beautifully.  Up until a couple of days ago, it was still quite obvious that something very serious happened to Jackie.  Now it's a week later and the only evidence left on Jackie's face is a very light bruise on her right forehead, a very tiny scab underneath her nostril, and a very small shiner under her left eye.  

Thank you to all my friends for caring so much for Jackie.  Thank you to Jackie's sweet friend, Heather, for the pretty new helmet.  I'm so thankful for good vision insurance that enabled us to provide Jackie with new glasses.  And most of all, I'm so thankful for God's protection over my precious baby girl.   

Illinois needs to make bike helmet use a law for minors.  Bike helmets save lives!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I Think Nerds Are Cool!

Yes, I really do think nerds are some of the coolest (and smartest) people I know.  There is nothing wrong with being a nerd.  And let me clarify that when I call my children or my friends nerds, there is no malicious intent whatsoever.   Coming from me, it's a sign of affection.

My son humors me with some of his choices in clothing.  Sometimes, he looks a like a nerd, sometimes he looks like a prep.  Other times, he chooses to dress like a superhero.  Just a few days ago, he was wearing just one sock and a pair of sandals and he was cool with it. And no, there was no rhyme or reason to it.  It was just something Ben chose to do.  I no longer choose to battle him or my daughter with clothing, other than to make suggestions.  

So today, my son put on some clothes and the way he initially put them on made him look like a nerd.  I posted a picture on Facebook to show off my little nerd.  All of my friends who commented thought it was cute and funny (in a good way).  It also received a lot of "likes".  

A couple of hours after I posted that photo, I received a private message from an older well-meaning friend who has known me since childhood, someone who knows a little bit of the unkindness I received during my childhood. She was very concerned that I called my son a nerd and even suggested that I stop calling him that.  At first, I felt shame and sadness because I did something wrong.   However, I quickly regained my composure and sent her another message to explain how there was no bullying going on and that my son actually does this kind of stuff because he is a confident little boy.  Plus, he enjoys making others laugh and bringing a smile to others' faces.  My son is very good at letting us know if we use words that hurt him.  I would never maliciously call my children names or refer to them in derogatory ways.  That's not to say that I'm an awesome mother, because I am not.  I'm probably the most inadequate mother around.  I have so many faults as a mother to 2 very challenging children who each have their own set of special needs.  I do my best to convey my love for them but I admit that I have used unkind words more times than I care to remember. However, I have not and hopefully never will call my children hurtful names.  I take pictures of my children in all different situations.  I want them to remember the fun times and be able to laugh at the silly pictures.  Since I tend to be a more serious person, I want my children to have vivid memories of the silly times.

Just last week, my son decided to humor us all by dressing as Spiderman all day, including at a mall in St. Louis.  At first, I balked because I didn't want attention drawn to us.  Ben insisted on being Spiderman and I brought along a change of clothes in case Ben decided to change his mind once we arrived at the mall.  My friend and her mother-in-law had no problem with Ben's clothing choice and in fact, they thought it was cute.  So, I went along with it.  As it turned out, Ben brought a smile to many of the shoppers' faces.  I'm sure if Ben was dressed as a nerd that day, he still would have brought a smile to peoples' faces.  That's just how he is.  I love Ben very much. I try to remind both of my children as often as possible of my love for them.  I love them as superheros, as princesses, as whiny and incorrigible children, and even as nerds.  I love them unconditionally.  Now I just need to find a non-prescription pair of glasses for Ben, something he's been begging for.  That makes me even more convinced that my son is a nerd at heart and I'm so cool with that.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Special Olympics

I tutor a young man, A, who has autism.  He is trying to obtain his GED.  He has a certificate of completion from high school but A is determined to receive a "real" diploma.  I have faith that Anthony will get that GED.  I feel blessed to tutor Anthony (free of charge) as I see how determined he is to finally get his diploma.  Unfortunately, A's family situation is not the most ideal and he doesn't receive much support from any of his family members.

A has been telling me for weeks about his upcoming competition at the Special Olympics.  Knowing that his family more than likely would not be there to cheer him on, I felt that I needed to be there for him.  I am so glad that I went.  None of A's church friends and, as predicted, none of A's family  showed up to cheer him on.  A's face lit up when he saw me and my children.  He was so happy that we came to cheer him on and take pictures.  He ended up placing 1st in both competitions that he participated in.  It was so sweet to see how happy A was to receive those medals. He did deserve those medals because he really was that good.  I was very happy for him.

However, I couldn't help but feel a little sadness that nobody in A's family seemed to care enough to see him compete.  And to top it off, A asked me if anybody else from church was there.  Unfortunately, the answer was no.  Despite my children nearly making me decide against going this morning, I'm so happy that I went with my gut instinct to be a blessing to A.  It turned out to be such a blessing to me, too.

In between A's competitions, as I looked around at all of the participants and events, I couldn't help but smile.  There were a lot of participants, in the hundreds.  And there were even more supporters, not just family but also community.  The "dis"abilities varied widely and most of them included decreased cognitive abilities.  But.. these precious souls were able to be free and to be themselves without judgmental looks, without others poking fun.   The support most of the participants received was just incredible.  To see the participants jump up and squeal when they received their medals... oh what joy they had.  It was so fun to watch them.  I enjoyed it so much that I may just look into volunteering at next year's event. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Grammar... Just A Basic Lesson

I'm going to get on my soapbox for a moment. It has always been a pet peeve of mine when I see such chronic misuse of grammar, especially by those who work as educators.  I wouldn't even hire a substitute teacher who had such poor grammar skills. And yes, I know some of those.  It makes me cringe whenever I see them use poor grammar on such public social sites, knowing that these people could potentially be my child's educator for a day.  So, here goes...

There v. They're v. Their.  
There is an adverb which refers to a place or position.  It has nothing to do with a person. Put your folder over there in that bin.
Their is an adjective or a pronoun.  The students need to turn in their homework when they come to class.
They're = they are.  It's a contraction.  Enough said. If it makes sense to use they are, then use they're. They're preparing to be tested on their grammar skills.

Your v. You're
Ugh! For some reason, this one bothers me more than any other.  
Your is a possessive adjective, meaning that it describes something as belonging to "you":  What is your name?  Which one is your car?  Do your homework now!
You're = you are.  It's a contraction. Again, enough said.  If it makes sense to use you are, then use you're. You're not as dumb as you think you are.

To v. Too. 
 Every time I see somebody use the to in place of too, I can't help but think of  THIS
 To is a preposition: Go to school to learn proper grammar.  
Too means in excess.  The kids are going to school to learn proper grammar, too.  I ate too much.  She made too many mistakes on her test.

I seen.
 This one makes me cringe every time I see it.  It makes no sense whatsoever.  The correct form would be I see or I've seen.   I see the light.  I've seen that movie already.

Should of, would of, could of. 
 This one makes me laugh.  I can only assume that people are just writing what they hear instead of what actually makes sense.  Please note, should HAVE, would HAVE, could HAVE. You should have learned this in elementary school. 

I'm getting off my soapbox for now.  Next up; fun kid stories.  That is, if I don't throw this tablet out the window. I. Am. Fed. Up!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Never Ask A Six Year Boy For An Honest Opinion

Never ask a 6-year old boy for an honest opinion lest you want to hear the brutal truth.  One just never knows what's going to come out of the babe's mouth.

Ben has been home since yesterday due to illness.  Thankfully, he's fever-free today but he has the occasional head pain.  He feels well enough for me to run a couple of errands. 

I told Ben to get his coat and shoes ready while I went to put some make-up on.

Ben: Make-up?
Me: Yes.
Ben: Where is it?
Me: In the bathroom.  Should I go put it on?
Ben: Yeah.
Me: Do I really need to get pretty?
Ben: Yeah, where is it?  

Oh, the honesty! 

Having a six year boy in our home, there's never a dull moment here. He's just so full of it today.  His daddy called him earlier today to check on him.  Daddy must have asked him about his headache.  I could see Ben roll his eyes and then he said "Daddy, I don't have a headache, my head just hurts sometimes."  Huh.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Why Do We Have Hair?

Ben: Why do we have hair?

Me: It helps to keep us warm.

Ben:  Well, what about daddy?  (Daddy is bald)

Me: Hmm, well, he has chest hair.

Ben:  But what about the corners of his head? (pointing to the sides of his head).

It's never a dull moment around here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Conversation With Ben About Guinea Pig Reproduction

Recently, we acquired a guinea pig.  She's a sweet thing, too.  The kids and I are enjoying watching her and holding her.  She really is a cute and fun critter.

Today Ben (6 years) asked to hold her after he finished his homework.  Of course, I said.  I had him sit on the chair and I placed the guinea pig on a towel on Ben's lap. He was petting her and talking to her while I was warding off my dog, Dugan, who happens to be a serial bunny killer.  Of course Ben, being the inquisitive one of all things reproduction, had to start a conversation about just that, reproduction.  Again.  

Ben: How many days when she has the babies?
Me: Um, she isn't going to have any babies.
Ben:  Why?
Me: Well... because there isn't a daddy.
Ben:  Can we get a daddy?
Me: No, I don't want any baby guinea pigs.
Ben: Why does there have to be a daddy to have babies?
Me: Um... Hmm...

I was trying to think of a simple answer that a 6 year old boy would understand.  But thankfully, the day was saved by Jackie when she informed Ben that it's a sin to have babies without a daddy.  I don't know where my daughter is learning that.   But she's got the right idea of what I would prefer for her future, sin or not.  

And thankfully, Ben was satisfied with her answer.