K…an We Talk About Text Etiquette?

Good Morning Friends! Happy Friday! (If you’re reading this from Facebook, for the love of all that is holy, just CLICK THE LINK. Thank you) 🙂

Now that the 30 day 60 day blog challenge is over, it’s time to talk about something else & today I want to talk about the alphabet. There are numerous languages, each having its own unique means of written communication, but for today we are going to focus on the English alphabet; just 26 letters is all it takes to create all the words you see here & many, many more. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We can say anything we want to say with the use of just 26 letters, & maybe the occasional emoji (or not so occasional if you’re like me & people don’t know you’re kidding unless you use a smiley at the end of everything). What happens when we have all these magnificent options at our disposal and we choose to use only one of them? You know which one. That’s right…the obnoxious “K.”

enhanced-29537-1452287411-1

We’re all probably guilty, but let’s examine this for a moment. Why do we do this? Are we just getting so many texts that all we can manage to muster is a single letter before we move on to the next text? Like celebrities: when you get their autograph they always write “best wishes” or something arbitrary followed by an “x” (or an “xo” if you’re really lucky) and a scribble that looks vaguely like it might contain at least one actual letter of their name. Then you get shoved down the line so the super important celebrity can lather, rinse & repeat with the hundreds of people behind you. Are we that important that we can’t wrangle up at least one extra letter? “OK,” perhaps? (Though, to be honest, that’s probably only marginally less annoying than “K.”)

What about the days when you were charged by the text, both incoming and outgoing? I can’t be the only one who got more than a little annoyed when someone cost me 10 cents just to say, “K.” For 10 cents you better have been sending me a full sentence complete with no unnecessary shorthand & proper punctuation.

54089435

I know the point I made above is now considered moot since the majority of us are fortunate enough to be on some sort of plan which allows for unlimited texting, so why is this “K” thing still so annoying? For me there are two reasons:

1.) “K” has too many possible interpretations.

K, what?

As in, “Ok, Cool,” “I’m looking forward to it,” or ‘K’ as in “whatever. I’m done talking to you, you chatty nerd.” Or, “I’m sorry, my hands were bitten off by a t-rex & I can only text with my nose. ‘K’ is the best I can do.” The most terrifying thing to go through my mind might be, “K. Because I’m going to feed you to a shark. Shark has K in it.”

giphy-1

135ee6abbb34c616b6b3144d97f77e65-jpgWhat do you mean?! There are no tonal clues with the letter K. There are no facial cues, no body language we can assess to determine if this letter is friendly or if this letter has nefarious, diabolical plans which include me ending up with a hole in my neck. Those of us with anxious brains prone to over-thinking need answers to these questions.

enhanced-9239-1452289298-1

2.) Time. I am busy. Maybe not I get 5000 texts in a day because I’m so important busy, but I do have a husband, 3 kids, a small business, a need to take time out to exercise, errands to run, a dog to walk, bills to pay, homework to help with, & endless amounts of laundry & dishes to do. I’m busy the way most of us are busy so while my time may not be any more or less important than yours, stopping what I’m doing to find my phone (which, at this point, is basically always on a charger which is not in the same room with me) just to read one lonely letter & nearly have a panic attack over the possible meanings of that letter & how to respond (or not), feels like a waste of time, energy, & internet data.

Bonus reason: while I know this is not always the intention, it can be rude.

Of course, we’re all going to do it every now and then, but if you frequently reply with a letter when I’m trying to have a conversation with you, please know that I’ve thought about cutting you.

Me: Hey, love! How are you?

Them: k

Me: K, good? or K, bad?

Them: just k

Me: There is no such thing as “just k.”

Them: k

Me: *screams*

enhanced-31976-1452290423-1

Can you relate? Does ‘K’ bother you? Why or why not? Do you have any fun reasons to add or creative responses to people who frequently do the ‘K’ thing? I’m planning a post on how to respond to ‘K’ and I’d love to see your best answers!

Sorry, I Got Nothin’

My challenge for today was to write about my ten favorite foods, but this is not a topic I care to write about, nor one I think people give a damn about. I’m feeling pretty cynical today. My girls brought home their report cards & well…the report wasn’t so good. It’s just got me down and honestly, feeling kinda throat-punchy. So for today, I have nothing to give you. No funnies, no sarcasm, no small chicken nuggets of death wisdom.

But in the (debatably) wise words of Dean Winchester…

Strike out GED, replace with High School Diploma, add something about pie and we’ll call this #ChallengeComplete.

It’s Okay To Be Emotional…Until It Isn’t

I’m going to be honest: I have no idea if Albert Einstein actually said that. I just thought it was appropriate for my blog today.


Surely you’ve heard people say, “it’s okay to cry” just as often as you’ve heard people – probably the same people – chastise their children for doing just that. So, when is it okay to display negative emotions? Because from where I’m standing, it seems as if it’s only okay to show them when you’re in a therapy session or at a funeral. Otherwise, suck it up, Buttercup! There’s nothing to be upset about.
 Actually…there’s nothing for you to be upset about. That person you’re talking to may feel entirely different, or maybe they’re experiencing some internal battle you know nothing about, which they can’t tell you about for fear of being judged, belittled, or embarrassed. It’s kind of an asshole move to tell someone when it’s okay for them to express how they feel or dictate how they should do so.

Someone asked me today why my youngest child is so emotional, and have I “gotten to the root cause of it?” The question threw me off a little. I actually said, “I’m not sure what you mean…” even though I did know exactly what she meant. It took me by surprise and I guess my brain just needed (more than) a moment to process, which I didn’t get and so I ended up giving a blundering, awkward response.

The more I think about it, the more I wish I had answered differently. I keep replaying my response (& the subsequent tears) over and over again in my head and the more I do, the more frustrated with myself I become. Why did I react that way and why did I give such a stupid reply?

 

It was an innocent question asked from a place of concern, but I felt oddly (& irrationally) attacked by it. I’ve never thought of The Cuteness as being “emotional” so much as she’s just intuitive and so very receptive to the world around her. She has such a pure, sweet, sensitive soul that I think even the smallest delights and cruelties in life affect her in the most profound – and sometimes puzzling – ways. I was told last year she had a high level of anxiety. Given our circumstances last year, I’m not surprised by that in the slightest, but then I thought about it a little more…

 

It wasn’t long before it struck me that my child is only 8 years old (and only 7 years old when I was told she rated very high for anxiety). Let that sink in a minute. She is only eight.
The Cuteness has the most vibrant, innocent, tender soul of anybody I’ve ever met. She expresses joy over the smallest things and it takes very little to make her happy. All she really needs is a lot of hugs, a puppy and some good music, and she’s the happiest girl you’ll ever meet. I call her my sunshine, because she really, really is. She radiates it like magic. 🙂 As generally happy as she is though, she’s the one that cries when she sees someone else crying, or a scene in a movie with someone hunting a deer, and especially when she sees a dead animal on the side of the road. She sheds quiet, melancholy tears every single time she hears the song “Burning House” on the radio…even as she’s singing along to it.

 

She has a mom who is overly-empathic & (I like to think) pretty intuitive myself, an authoritarian dad who is stern & rough (at least on the outside), and she lives in a world that forces children to grow up too quickly, to ‘know better’ too soon. She is a student in an educational system that is broken; too much is demanded of our kids (not to mention our teachers), much of which isn’t even developmentally appropriate. She tries so hard and she still struggles. On top of all that she’s supposed to somehow figure out how to appropriately navigate social situations, make friends, deal with bullies, which is another burden entirely when you consider that she’s being taught to defend herself at home & told not to at school. It would be overwhelming for anyone, but an 8 year old who already has a proclivity for being sensitive?

 

How could she NOT be emotional? How is an 8 year old equipped to handle all the millions of unique thoughts & incomprehensible feelings they have on a minute-to-minute basis? When you think of it this way, it sounds silly to even ask why one is ‘so emotional.’

 

I know there are tons of kids who come in and out of school, church, and everywhere else who have some much bigger issues they’re facing which cause a lot of baffling emotional and behavioral responses; what if they’re being neglected or abused? I get the need to ask questions, to find the root cause & I understand this is the sad reality of the world.

 

However, sometimes a kid – an adult, even – is just emotional because they’re designed that way & the world is often a brutal, unforgiving place…I don’t think it’s terribly strange to see a child react to that in a mournful sort of way. It’s tough to know “the right way” to respond in any given situation. Especially when you’re a ridiculously perceptive eight year old and you have a limited number of tools in your belt to deal with those perceptions. People have so many absurd expectations! Why does there have to be a cut & dry reason/answer for everything? Sometimes, it just is what it is.

 

Sorry, today was a ranty day I guess. If you read this, many thanks to you. 🙂 If you would like to chip in your two cents, I would be happy to hear it in the comments below. ❤

Courtesy; It’s a Thing. Look It Up.

I’m here today to give you a random lesson in etiquette.

Generally speaking, I’m not a bitter or judgmental person. But, there are things…*sigh*….there are things that will make me stop & consider whether or not you were just never taught or if you are, in fact, an excretory opening at the end of the alimentary canal; or, in simpler terms: an asshole.

A few of these things land you closer to the ‘Full-On A-Hole’ end of the spectrum without much thought, but there are some less offensive infractions that, while annoying, don’t make you an “excretory opening.” One of those things involves etiquette in its written form.

Example:

If you are expecting someone to perform a service for you, a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. If I send you a friendly, respectfully worded message with complete sentences & full consideration of what is most conducive for you & your needs, then the least you could do is respond with a little friendliness of your own. Do not send me an email with one incomplete sentence or a short, one-word answer and ignore everything else I said. That’s just rude.

If I send this:

Hey Lucy!

I’m so glad you made it to Jane’s party. It was really great to meet you there! Thank you so much for requesting a party of your own. I’m excited to work out the details and get something set up for you! Have you given any thought to what your expectations are for your party? If you haven’t, no worries, we can figure it out together. Are you available on (day, time, etc.)? Please let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with!

Hope to hear from you soon,

Beth

And you respond with this:

Yea

?????!!!!????!!!!

23bed8ca-a615-4cca-8e2e-a1b5fea6a6af

I don’t know what to do with that. I don’t know if you’re having second thoughts about working with me, if something is going on in your life and you just didn’t have the energy to expend on responding to me…if you’re simply ignorant, just don’t like typing, or which of my questions you’re responding to. I don’t even know if that’s you to be honest because you didn’t even sign it. Should I go ahead and assume you’re responding to my question about when you’re available and try to set up a date for us to talk or what? WHAT THE FUNK do I do with ‘yea‘?! For someone who is obsessed with courtesy & grammar, you have to understand how frustrating this is!

13650

No. No, NO, no.

Lucy, let me ‘splain somethin’ to ya. You have to give me something to work with. Your response doesn’t have to be the epitome of thoughtful, cordial conversation, but it does have to answer my questions and be coherent enough that we can continue our correspondence without me having to bang my head against my keyboard for five minutes wondering how I can respond to you without seeming stupid, incompetent, or rude (which is completely unfair since you’re the one who couldn’t even take the time to place a period behind one effing word). *Deep breath.*

Ideally, your response would resemble this:

Hey Beth!

It was great to meet you at Jane’s party as well. It was a lot of fun! Thank you for taking the time to follow up with me. (I have or have not thought about my expectations for my party and they are as follows.) Yes, I am available (date time, etc.). Just let me know where you’d like to meet. See you soon!

Thanks again,

Lucy

The message above is short, complete, direct, and also thoughtful. It answers each section of the message that I sent you, and leaves me with no doubts or other questions that do not directly pertain to the service you need me to provide for you. As a bonus, it also leaves room for a real friendship to be born out of our business transaction because at this point I’m just thinking about how nice you are & I’m excited to get together with you.

 But even if it just looked like this, I’d be happy:

Hey Beth,

Yeah, I’m available that day. Where do you want to meet?

Because at least then I know exactly what question you’re responding to and you’ve given me a clear invitation to continue the conversation by asking me a question. Now neither one of us looks stupid, incompetent, rude, or like an A-hole. All it takes is being nice.

Common courtesy isn’t so common anymore. Let’s change that one interaction at a time.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by the Sheriff of The Nice Police. I implore you to stop being a lazy responder & get your shit together or the people who provide services for you are going to think you’re an asshole and never want to work with you again.

Or at the very least, they might be tempted to spit in your dinner.

Why You Should Be Scared Of Your Wife (Or At Least Pretend To Be Occasionally)

Ladies, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there some sort of undocumented rule somewhere stating that husbands (boyfriends/significant others) are wise to retain some level of fear deference to their spouses? The same applies to the ladies in regard to the men of course, but we’re just going to focus on the one right now for simplicity’s sake.

I get the whole thing about mutual love and respect. I feel that my husband and I have that in most cases. What I’m talking about is, admittedly, a bit more petty than that..at least on the surface. Let me give you a real-life example:

image My husband is not always playful and lighthearted, but when he is, he  is dramatically so. I love when he’s playful and lighthearted. I don’t care so much for the “dramatically so” part. He doesn’t always know when to cease fire. For instance, he may get in a playful mood and put ice down my shirt or something silly like that. I laugh, I jokingly tell him he’s in for it and I repay him with two cubes of ice down his shirt. I feel like at this point, he’s gotten me, I’ve gotten him…it should be over, right? But no. He cannot accept this. He then feels that he must retaliate by putting three cubes of ice down my pants. It’s still rather humorous so I go with it and respond in kind. We both laugh. Then I notice that he might be laughing, but the look in his eye is starting to get a little more impish than it was before. You see where this is headed, right? It’s not just going to be “you got me, I got you, that was funny, now it’s over.” Now it’s a war. He needs to get me again and for everything I do to him he has to get me back twice as bad. Suddenly, it’s not fun anymore. Suddenly it’s not playful and lighthearted; it’s about who wins. Suddenly, he has a few small, nearly-dry wet spots on his clothing from where ice has melted on him and I’m standing in the kitchen, mad as a wet cat, drenched from head to toe while our dinner burns & he’s feeling triumphant as he’s holding the sprayer from the sink. And trust me, he ALWAYS wins because I’m not willing to deal with The Wrath of James Dean if he doesn’t.

I don’t want to see how uncomfortable his retaliation can get and I don’t want to see him hurt or angry so I generally give up before I help get him to this point. He does not give up before he gets me to that point. I get so angry that

A.) There’s nothing I can do to him that won’t get me something worse in return and/or

B.) There’s nothing I can do to him that actually has any effect short of junk punching him and I feel that’s a little extreme as revenge for a harmless prank.

Not to mention the (very trivial) fact that I’m a little a lot annoyed that I never get to win.

^ All that up there, while true, was my attempt at being amusing and flippant, because really, it’s supposed to be all in fun. Underneath the surface, however, there is a lot more to be revealed. Allow me to get a tiny bit serious for a second.

I honestly feel like when my husband starts something with me and I repay him for it, at least sometimes he should respond with “well, I deserved that” and let it be done. I’ll tell you why. Nobody can really claim to be the winner in that scenario, but when you push too much and upset someone, everybody loses. I don’t need to win so badly that I belittle or upset my spouse to do it. It makes me feel weak and inferior when I can’t seem to get any edge over him or have any effect on him at all. He just laughs at me or does something worse to me than I could even think about doing to him. If I blithely punch my husband as retaliation for tickling me or something equally harmless, (even if it doesn’t hurt) I don’t feel like his response 100% of the time should be laughter. Sometimes? Yeah, laugh at me…it’s funny that I’m a kitten pretending to be a tiger, I get it. But choose your moments.

Sometimes, guys, you should just let your girl win and make her think that punch to the back really hurt you at least a little bit because otherwise, you’re just slowly (unknowingly & – I know – unintentionally) beating down her self-esteem. And don’t make it obvious by abruptly falling to the ground if she pokes you in the chest with her index finger…that’s just insulting. You have to make her believe it. You have to let her know that she has an effect on you, she’s important to you and that your love and respect for her far outweighs your desire to always reign victorious. 

We get it. You’re the big, strong, masculine guy. You’re stronger than us. You’re probably faster than us. And a lot more adept at pranks, sports, shooting, manual labor, video games, gambling, grilling, navigating & beer pong. WE GET IT. We know you CAN win everything; that doesn’t mean you always have to. You don’t have to be a prick about it. In a world where girls & women are constantly told & shown how inferior they are (both to men and when compared to one another) we don’t need another reason to feel like we don’t measure up.

While I’m at it, it wouldn’t hurt you to point out things that she’s better at than you every now and then as well. Don’t just say, “you are strong and important” after she tells you that she doesn’t feel so. That just seems contrived and insincere. Back it up with an example. Give her a reason to believe you mean what you say. “I think you’re strong because ___________.” Fill in the blank. Don’t just tell her she’s a great wife or a good mother. Back it up with some sort of proof. “You’re an awesome mom because _______________.” Maybe she’s more patient than you are. Maybe she’s a large part of the reason your children are so respectful and compassionate. Maybe it’s because of her that they love to read or pray or retain some other positive trait that the world seems to be lacking these days. Tell her that. It’s a lot like being in a courtroom; the judge and jury aren’t going to believe your client is innocent just because you told them they are. They need evidence.

Your wife needs to feel that you’re sincere when you give her compliments like that. Believe me, I realize that in a man’s mind, “you’re so beautiful” is a great compliment and that they are being sincere most of the time. It IS a nice compliment and we appreciate it. You should keep doing that. But every now and then mix it up by backing up your claim with some sort of proof. Just because you feel genuine in saying it doesn’t mean your wife hears that in your voice or feels it for herself. In my personal opinion, since she’s the one you want to make believe it, you should put some effort into making her feel your sincerity as well. Try pinpointing specific things about her that you find beautiful next time and see how she responds to that; compare it to how she responds to the generalization of being beautiful & I bet you’ll see a difference.

And obviously, ladies, the same goes for you. I’m not just beating up the men because that isn’t my thing. You can take this advice and apply it where necessary in your relationship, too. I apologize in advance if I sound completely self-righteous. I just got fired up this morning & had to find a way to vent my frustration. I hope maybe it helps someone. At the very least, I got it off my chest.  :p

Now it’s your turn. Agree or disagree? Why?

A Wise Word On A Wednesday

Why do people say, “word to the wise” when dispensing advice? Shouldn’t the advice-giver be the wise one? And in that case, shouldn’t the saying go, “word from the wise?” Unless the person giving you advice is not at all wise. In that case you would be the wise one for not listening to their dumb ass.

If You’re Not Sure, Shut Up & Wait For The Baby Shower Invitation

Recently my lovely sister told me that something I posted about weight/body issues helped her. This and this. I’m sure many of you know what a good feeling that was. Sorta felt like this:

tumblr_mbnyoblKsJ1qbexe6o1_500

Apparently, someone asked her if she was pregnant & well…she’s not.

awkward-unique

The good news is that she handled it Like-a-i-love-strong-hipster-frau-boss-mutter-T-Shirts. She told them that she has some thyroid issues that cause her to gain weight and it’s mostly out of her control. Then that person felt like a nincompoop and that was pretty neat.

However, the opportunity for education cannot be ignored. Don’t know how you should respond to such an awkward question? I’m happy to assist. These are in no particular order because, if I do say so myself, I think they’re all awesome.

1.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atwrJ0MBw4Q

2.) When they say, “excuse me, I’m not trying to be rude, but I was just wondering…are you pregnant?” You can kindly respond with, “excuse me, I’m not trying to be rude, but I was just wondering…are you always this intrusive or does jealousy just bring that out in you?”

3.) Or you could just tell them that it’s not appropriate to ask a woman if she’s pregnant even if she’s crowning.

4.) “Yes, it’s your husband’s!”

5.) “What a coincidence…I was going to ask you the same question!”

1316015718331_99991736.) “….with a food baby.”

7.)  *act confused and wildly offended* “Um…I’m a man.”

8.) “I’m 2 days pregnant with a half human, half vampire baby. Stephenie Meyer was right…these things grow at super speed!”

9.) “Oh no, that’s not a pregnant glow. I’m just super attractive. Thanks for noticing!”

10.) “As a matter of fact I am and I’m due the day before my husband gets out of jail!”

11.) “I’m not sure. I noticed I was gaining weight, but I thought it had something to do with that alien abduction…”

12.) *with your best ‘duh’ voice* “Didn’t you see my water break just now?”

13.) “Not yet, but I will be soon. I’m going to have my placenta encapsulated. Would you like some?”

14.) “No, the doctor says I have to get off the heroine first…”

15.) *be shocked and appalled* “Well! I NEVER! I am a virgin thank you very much!” *storm off*

16.) *cut eyes at them* “I like pasta. Don’t judge me.”

17.) *with tear-filled eyes* “It’s a terminal tumor…” If you’re a lover of theatrics and you can pull it off, I would suggest mentioning that it has teeth.

18.) “No, I had a wrestling match with a spoon and a quart of Nutella. The Nutella won.”

19.) “No. I just haven’t pooped in 5 days.”

20.) “Yes, but it’s not mine…”

are-you-pregnant-1

So, what do you think? How would/did you handle this awkward situation? Have any responses to add to my list?

 

Suck It Up, Buttercup; 1st Edition

I called this post the 1st Edition, but in actuality it’s the second. The first Suck It Up, Buttercup post can be found here. I didn’t realize these were going to be a series, but now I do so…there you are. In the second 1st edition of Suck It Up, I would like to talk about selfishness.

A certain degree of selfishness is required of most – if not all – of us in order to adequately and genuinely care for the needs & wellbeing of those around us. We have to take time for ourselves so that we feel well & balanced before we can give of ourselves to others without resentment. Sometimes, we just need to take care of ourselves, not so that anyone else can benefit from it, but just because WE NEED IT. The added bonus to that scenario is that others usually benefit from it anyway regardless of whether they were your motivation for caring for yourself or not. Win-win.

Selfishness becomes a problem when you are thinking ONLY of yourself and neglecting the needs of others; when you get so caught up in your own problems, needs, and wants that you forget about the hardships and desires of those you love. It’s an even bigger problem if you are totally aware that you’re neglecting these people and their needs and you don’t give a rat’s ass. That’s a nasty brand of narcissism if you ask me.

Your problems aren’t going to disappear just because you spend every waking moment thinking about how dysfunctional/terrible/depressing/strenuous etcetera, etcetera your life is. In fact, that kind of thinking will only make it worse. Suck it up, Buttercup. Ain’t nobody got time to be sittin’ around feeling sorry for themselves when there are babies to feed, bills to pay & all sorts of social, political and economic upsets in the world. You can only face one thing at a time so do what you can do today & then maybe you can do more tomorrow. All you have to do is try.

It’s really hard when you’re going through major life changes or you’re feeling like your world is falling apart around you and there’s nothing you can do about it, but the truth is that you’re in complete control of your present and your future. Even from up here on my soapbox, I need that reminder, too. I don’t post these things because I think I’m perfect and I’m not guilty of any of the things I talk about. I post it because I’m human & just as guilty of most of them as anyone is, but I’d rather check myself (& help someone else in the process) than to have someone else do it. Plus, I’m totally hoping my blog is still a thing when I die & that wordpress will create a feature that allows me to deliver posts to emails or cell phones in the future so that my children will think I’m haunting them with motherly advice and wisdom… 🙂

Want to hear another truth? (No? Suck it up or leave.)

Helping others might actually help you. It’ll damn sure be better than sitting around moping for your own circumstances. Being there for others gives us a sense of satisfaction and purpose that pining, moping & selfishness, quite frankly, will NEVER BRING YOU. EVER. Take time for yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling or do whatever you need to do, but not too much time. Don’t wallow in self-pity for too long. Don’t like your circumstances? Change them. There is always a way. It’ll be difficult and it won’t happen over night, but you can do it & when you do, it will be worth it.

In the meantime, spread some good karma and be there for someone important to you. If we all took time out to consider the fact that the universe doesn’t revolve around us & that there is always someone in worse shape and more desperate need than ourselves, maybe we would feel more fortunate and grateful for the things we have. Even if what you have isn’t much, focus on those things & share them with someone; chances are they won’t think so little of it.

I’m sick of the constant stream of redundant ‘poor, pitiful me’ posts on social networks. I get it, sometimes we all have to let it out, but most of the people constantly complaining about their circumstances are all complaint & no positive action. Additionally, several of these people have loved ones in their lives far worse off than they are with far more right to complain; they could be more supportive of those people & the hardships they’re facing. Take care of your relationships. Spend time with people you love because one day, they won’t be here for you to spend time with. Get over yourself and

suck-it-up-buttercup

Dear Village, I Need Your Help With Princess Sticky-Fingers

I have a very difficult daughter. I love her more than anything in the universe, as I do all my children. I love her strong-willed personality and how she can also be the most compassionate child I’ve ever seen. I love her strength, smile & even her stubbornness at times. —> (Case in point: The other day, her dad told her to do something for him and she said, “you can ask me nicely.” Some people may have seen this as unruly, but I was proud of her. I want her to always demand respect from people – even if that person is her own father. Of course, I believe she needs to respect his authority as her parent, but the fact that she vocalized her need to be asked correctly & politely tells me that we’re doing something right. Her dad was even proud of her and he’s the one who got told. It gives me hope that, in the future when she’s faced with disrespect, she will be confident in how to handle herself.)

Minion #2 (AKA Princess Sassypants, or ‘Princess Sticky-Fingers’ until further notice) just loves to test me though. Sometimes I don’t know how to deal with her.

She’s much more sensitive than my other two children, yet also much more obstinate. It makes it difficult to discipline her because the things that are effective with The Cuteness & Mr. Thoughtful are generally too harsh for Princess Sassypants’ feelings, but not harsh enough to correct her behavior. Most of the time I’m unsure whether talking to her, grounding her, or spanking her is the correct approach. I don’t opt for spanking often, but sometimes she makes me wonder if I should. Don’t judge me.

It could even be that we’re too hard on her versus not being hard enough, but I can never tell because every time we loosen up on her, she falls right back into bad behavior patterns. It’s like she needs the discipline & structure, but she resents it and resists it at the same time.

The thing we’ve been dealing with lately is stealing. We thought we were over that particular childhood hurtle, but it turns out she has started taking things from home that don’t belong to her (versus taking things from other places) and doing it less often; but still doing it. Regardless of where the items she’s taking come from, I want her to learn not to put her hands on things that don’t belong to her & to ask permission before she does.

We used a reward system that spanned over nearly 3 months to break that behavior and it worked fairly well. Until now, that is. She got what she wanted from that (her cat) and now – 2 months later – it appears she’s taking things again. I dislike the idea of using a reward system this time because I don’t want to give her the impression that she is always going to be rewarded for good behavior or that we are going to give her some big, ultimate goal to motivate her to do better every time she screws up. She’ll be 9 soon and she needs to learn that actions have consequences and that all good deeds are not always recognized. I want her to understand the value of being a good, honest person without believing that she must always be recognized or rewarded for it. Righteousness is its own reward. However, the reward system did work decently well and if that’s the only tool I have at my disposal right now, I suppose I’ll have to use it.

Maybe some parents with ideas more innovative than mine could help me out here. In regard to the stealing, we have done everything we could think of to stop it: grounding, lecturing, making her do exercises or extra chores (which are our usual methods of punishment/discipline for all 3 kids), unfortunately we’ve even tried yelling and spanking, essays, having her take the items back to their rightful owner and admit to her wrong-doing, taking away purses and any other items she could hide things in, taking away ALL of her toys but allowing her to earn them back with good behavior, checking her book bag everyday after school, alerting her teachers to the problem and having them watch her at school, other family members have talked with her, we’ve tried hiding something that she loved & letting her see how it feels to have your things disappear around you, and we also tried the reward system (which seemed to work best when done consistently, but I don’t necessarily want to resort to that again for the reasons specified above.)

I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child, so I’m calling on a very large village to help me with mine, lol. What else could I possibly do?

Is That Your Bra I Smell Burning?

Most of you know that I am a self-proclaimed feminist. Most of you also have no clucking clue what a feminist is, so I thought I would educate you in the hopes that it will cut down on the accusations that I just hate men and think women are superior. The whole point of feminism is for social, political & economic equality. See…

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 10.37.22 AM

What Feminism Is NOT:

It is not grounds for one sex to claim superiority over the other. It does not mean I want to eradicate men from the planet. It does not mean I want to be a man. It does not mean I can’t be feminine. It does not mean I don’t know and accept that men are generally better than women at certain things. It does not mean that women do not naturally perform better at some tasks than men. It does not mean I think men and women must be considered 185,000% equal in all things at all times. It does not mean that I’m secretly a lesbian. It does not mean that I want to burn my bra. (I happen to like having perky breasts, thank you very much.) It does not mean that all feminists are women. It does not mean that I won’t cook, clean or do laundry or that I regard marriage as an outdated, sexist institution.hairy-legs1 It does not mean that I boycott shaving. I mean…in the winter I might skip a few leg-shaving sessions, but…don’t judge me.

6206884-woman-with-machete-isolated-on-whiteIf you hold a door open for me, pull out a chair or do anything else within the realm of gentlemanly behavior, contrary to popular belief I will respond with ‘thank you’ and a smile rather than a machete to the throat. Just because I CAN do it myself, doesn’t mean I should always have to. Feminism does not automatically qualify me as an advocate of abortion (but that, my loves, is a different blog post.)

What Feminism IS:

It is the advocacy of women being treated equal to men in ways such as being paid the same wage for doing the same job or not constantly being held to a more stringent standard of beauty, or being expected to bear children just because most of us have the ability to do so, etc. 6352_525290790835404_2103968774_n-1It is respecting and appreciating men and women for their different characteristics and talents. (For example: Men are typically stronger than women, but this does not mean that women are weak by any means.) Feminism is about not taking away one’s choices solely because of his or her gender; it’s about letting skills, experience, confidence and competence speak for themselves and not automatically disqualifying a person because they have a vagina. Feminism is respecting myself enough to require that other people respect me also if they intend to have any sort of healthy relationship with me. It is about not tolerating any language or behavior propagated specifically to make women feel as if they are less deserving of love, consideration & courtesy.

Respect, integrity, encouragement, acknowledgement, appreciation, affection, compassion, honesty, reverence, adoration, loyalty…none of these things should be gender-specific. 

We are people deserving of the same rights & deference as anyone else. We are not put here simply for sexual pleasure or for anyone to control or “manage.” We weren’t put on the Earth to have your babies & do what we’re told. Women are not the weaker sex. It is not a bad thing to do, say or feel something “like a girl.” WHY is that an insult? We are not just baby machines and personal maids, but likewise, if a woman wants children & has the option of staying home with them & being a “housewife” – there’s nothing wrong with that. CHOICES, people! Parenting is the hardest job there is and we’re already leaving our planet to a bunch of entitled, whiny people incapable of successfully and positively dealing with the realities of life; maybe if we had more stay at home moms (or dads) that we were lifting up, supporting and appreciating, we wouldn’t have a bunch miniature assholes running around. My point is…

Just as men do, women also contribute much to society and to the world. Realize that & respect it.

1357637461_14660437-illustration-depicting-a-roadsign-with-a-respect-concept-strong-sunlight-and-blue-sky-background1