Saturday, March 3, 2012


I've been on the quiet side again this week.  I cannot say that I can provide even one good reason for the peace and quiet; however, I have instead compiled the following list of (not-so-good) excuses:

  1. I've searched, in vain, for the self-help book entitled "Blog Damage Control for Dummies- What To Do After You've Live-Blogged a Meltdown."  Never found the book and needed the stinking thing to strategize my next move.
  2. The German in me banished the remainder  to a week-long time out for the major infraction of talking about feelings in a public setting.  A good German knows that "feelings talks" are something that are simply not done in civilized company.
  3. Reacquainted myself with my inner German and my Type A+++++++ personality and began making lists of all sorts of things for me to accomplish.  Thanks to my undiagnosed but completely obvious OCD, I believe I even compiled a list of lists to write.  At this point, I've partially transcribed my Bucket List from memory to paper (I'll share) and even crossed an item off the list (Iowa Writer's Workshop, here I come!)
  4. Learned that Little M has a boyfriend at school who has "brownish hair" and "brownish eyes", loves dinosaurs,mud and making Play-Doh eels especially for her that he shoves in her ears.  She blushes when she talks about him.  I was hoping that we'd be able to postpone the boyfriends until kindergarten, but no dice.    
  5. Mentally reconciled the concept of my 3 year old daughter having a boyfriend. Initially, I'd decided that Little Romeo would need to be eliminated, but then I had my EUREKA! moment.  I can use this preschool relationship as leverage.  I may not be able to convince Little M to (a) comb that rats-nest of hair, (b) scrub the crud off her face, (c) wear two matching shoes AT THE SAME TIME, (d) not hog all of the Doritos and (e) sleep past 5:30 AM,  but Little Romeo can.  Starting a sentence with "I heard that Little Romeo really likes it when...." has enabled me to reclaim parental power in levels not seen since I invented the concept of security system satellites that feed to the North Pole.  What?  You didn't know that 3 year old boys love shiny combed hair/sleeping in and eschew Doritos?  C'mon now, people.  Little M might have youth, beauty, and IQ points on her side, but I have life experience and a diabolical mind.  Score!!!!  And please excuse me while I help myself to more Doritos.
  6. Survived bathing suit shopping- for me, and for the very picky peanut.  That experience alone is enough to render anyone speechless for a few days.  
My list of excuses leads me to today.  I was hoping to again leverage the existence of Little Romeo and his associated list of interests to arrange a trip to the Franklin Institute to see the Dinosaurs exhibit that I've wanted to check out.  


Her exact words were "boys like some really stupid things."  I can't really argue with that one.  Honey, you have no idea....

We decided on a trip to the movies to see "The Lorax" instead.  Turns out, seeing "The Lorax" was one of the best decisions I didn't initially want to make. 

The Lorax holds a special place in our mother-daughter lore.  It was the first book I'd ever read to her, when she was all of a few days old, in one of those moments that she'll never remember and I'll never forget.  Walking into the theater, I briefly worried that she'd hate the movie and somehow tarnish that memory.

I needn't have worried.  She loved it.  She was absolutely captivated-transfixed from start to finish.  It was awesome.

The best part was that she got it.  She really, really got it.

Throughout the movie, we'd periodically whisper with each other.  I loved hearing her little voice in my ear whispering "if he cuts down all the trees, the animals won't have anywhere to live" and "if he cuts down all the trees, the world will be really, really ugly."  

The way I see it, every parent has their something---the one strength that they most hope their child exhibits.  Sometimes, it's academic success; sometimes, it's athletic success; sometimes, it's success in creative arts.  All are wonderful and all are so personal.

For me, that something is social consciousness.  It's so important to me that Little M realizes that she is so fortunate and has a responsibility to those who aren't as fortunate...that she has a responsibility to respect the delicate interdependence of humanity....that her pursuit of success shouldn't undermine another's basic right to thrive...that her quest to "get biggerer" shouldn't leave the world in a worse condition than the one she found it in.

Imagine my joy at the end of the movie when I got to experience my lifetime parental high.  For me, it doesn't get much better than hearing a little voice passionately whisper "I care....I care a lot" in response to the famous line "Unless someone like you...cares a whole awful lot...nothing is going to get better. ..It's not."  

I believe her...and I believe in her.

More often than not, I think that I'm not making the grade at this parenting thing, but, I think I got it just right.

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