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Parental Musings | Teeny Manolo - Part 20
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Monday Teeny Poll

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Last week I wanted to know how you were doing in these uncertain times, and a disheartening number of you are not doing as well as you would like. I’m truly sorry for that, and all we can hope for is that the economy turns around soon. Which, unfortunately, may or may not happen. The Glinda household is holding the line for now, which is as good as can be expected.

Today I want to find out what you would do if your (possibly hypothetical) fifteen year old daughter was caught in a compromising position.

Welcome to the Rest of My Life

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You know, I like to think I’m a cool mom. I’m fairly strict, but not totally overbearing. I’m not a card-carrying member of the food police, and I know how to have a good time. I like good music, I play the Wii like nobody’s business, and I dress normally and occasionally brush my hair. I thought I was good to go.

So when I took the Munchkin and his friend to the park the other day, I was simply looking forward to some time reading my book on a bench as they played their little hearts out on the playground.

There was a lot of that, but also a lot of Munchkin whispering stuff into his friend’s ear, all the while looking at me to see if I was looking. Then he started addressing me by some sort of made-up moniker. It wasn’t “Mom” it was “Mummer-machine” or some other six year old gobbledygook that sounded good to him at the time.

And even as I gave them the cookies I had brought, and then a special candy treat, I was still being regarded as this large, embarassing creature from Mars that the Munchkin had the misfortune of having to interact with. You know, so he could get home. I decided not to publicly berate him, as it annoyed the crap out of me, but I tried not to show it. It is a skill I have honed throughout the years that has proved invaluable.

Then in the car on the way home, more whispers, totally about me. And no, I wasn’t being paranoid because the Munchkin piped up from the backseat with, “We’re talking about you.” Yeah, uh, thanks for the honesty kid.

When the friend was safely dropped off at home, the Munchkin and I had a very long discussion about how I am to be treated while out in public with his friends.

All the same, it has struck me that even at the ripe old age of six, Mom is so not cool.

Compatibility- Is it All in the Stars?

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I have to admit a passing fascination with astrology. It’s certainly not something I schedule my life around, but my astrological sign definitely fits me, almost eerily so. Am I the only one who thinks that?

Anyhoo, I was specifically searching for it accidentally stumbled across this parent/child compatibility chart. According to the website, my relationship with my son goes like this:

“Problems are rare and can be resolved permanently and quickly. On the rare occasion they have conflicts, they can forgive and forget easily.”

Ha. They would have been very surprised to hear our argument last night, when after it had been over for a while and I figured all was good, my son called out from his room. “I’m drawing a castle mommy. And me and Daddy are in it, but not you. Because I’m mad at you and I don’t like you.”

Allrighty then. Nobody ever said motherhood was the path to popularity.

To see the site for yourself, because you know you secretly want to, go here. They even have extended family compatibility charts, including grandparents. Which may exlpain a lot of things about your mother in law.

Vent About a Kid Day!

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Because the “Brag About a Kid Day” was so successful, we are obligated to flip to the other side of the coin.

Now, venting about your kid doesn’t mean you don’t love them, it just means they aren’t perfect. Like everyone else on the planet. Don’t feel guilty about it, just make sure that they never, ever hear you do it. Then you can feel guilty.

We all vent about the people in our lives and their little foibles and possibly annoying ways. It’s human, it’s normal, and just because you wish your kid didn’t pick his nose all the time or whatever doesn’t make you a bad mommy.

We here at Teeny Manolo want to offer a supportive, caring environment for you to vent about that certain child in your life. It can even be the neighbor kid three houses down!

Feel free to vent away!

Brag About A Kid Day

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You know, it’s hard.

It’s hard when you have this fantastic kid in your life and yet for some reason, it’s considered unseemly to say anything positive about their accomplishments  without looking like, well, a braggart

Have you ever tried to say something nice about your kid and then the people you are talking to immediately try to one-up you with a story of how their kid is at the top of his class, or the best pitcher on the team, or blah blah blabbbity blah?  I know you have.

But we are the people who love our kids and know them the best! We’re their biggest cheerleaders, and rightly so. 

Today, though, I want us to leave behind the trappings of modesty and shout from the rooftops about something wonderful about the special children in your life.  And if you don’t have a child, it could be a niece or nephew or cousin or the neighbor kid two houses over. 

Do they have the prettiest eyes? The cutest dimples? Are their drawings worthy of an art gallery? Can they make you laugh harder than anyone you know?  There are a million different things that make our kids special.

We here at Teeny Manolo would like to give you a supportive, caring environment in which you can feel free to tell us about the fabulous child in your life without fear of someone next to you claiming that their kid is thisclose to finding a cure for cancer.

So please, feel free to brag away! You have my permission!

We Be Illin’

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And not in a good, 80’s Run DMC kind of way.

It’s all my fault, actually.

I was talking to a friend and mentioned how we hadn’t gotten the flu yet. I wondered if it had made its way over to the West Coast, and if somehow we managed to avoid its scourge.

Nothing angers the Flu Gods and gets their attention like someone glibly stating that they have yet to be struck.

Sure enough, within a week, we were dealing with 103 degree temperatures and a miserable, glassy-eyed child who refused to eat. Even ice cream.

It’s been five days, and the Munchkin still isn’t much better. We took him to the doctor, concerned about the unbroken high fever, and were told to simply wait it out.

I’m waiting it out. I’ve been waiting it out. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME almighty Flu Gods? A shrine made up of used tissue boxes, thermometers, and children’s Tylenol bottles?

Because I could totally do that.

Rebel Without a Clue

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One of the things that makes me groan inwardly is when the Munchkin’s teacher stands with him after class, hands on his shoulders. That is her signal of “we need to talk.” And this year, I’m thinking I’ve had more than my fair share of talks.

The last one was about the Munchkin and the chain of events that occurred when he failed to properly write some words on his worksheet. Upon being instructed to redo the words correctly, he followed a time-honored tradition of children who are just a bit too smart lazy for their own good and had one of his obliging classmates do it for him. He claims that she offered to help him without being asked, but the true story is forever lost to the mists of time and the conveniently spotty memories of six year olds.

Now, the odd thing is that although that incident was bad enough, the exchange between himself and the teacher was the cause for concern. You see, all she wanted him to do was apologize and say he was sorry for having someone do his work for him.

The teacher, apparently, still does not know the Munchkin very well. To admit he did something wrong is anathema to him, and he will do anything to avoid responsibility. Hmmm, I wonder where he learned that?

Anyhoo, the conversation devolved to the point where the Munchkin was asked how he would feel if one of his toys were taken away?

Never one to be publicly intimidated, the Munchkin replied that it would be just fine, thank you. He wouldn’t care one bit.

The ante was upped. How about one of his favorite toys, such as the Wii?

His reply?

“Go for it!” accompanied by, I kid you not, a fist pump in the air.

I think I’d better reserve a seat in the principal’s office right now and just save everybody the trouble.

MATT-Mothers Against Thoughtless Texting

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“My name is Tiffany and I’m a recovering texter.”

“Hi Tiffany.”

It starts off with just a few, and then before they know it, they just can’t stop. Ever.

You can usually tell by the blank expression.

They can be sitting in a restaurant, at the library, or even lounging in a corner of your own home.

They’re everywhere.

They’re teens, and they’re texting.

Now I remember when I was a young tween/teen. I had to dial a rotary phone with the click, click, click, click uphill both ways and in the snow. But seriously, all I wanted to do was talk on the phone to my friends. It was the dark ages before call waiting, and any and all phone calls were subject to the whims of other family members. Not to mention the fear of having a parental unit or sibling pick up a phone in another part of the house and have themselves a nice little eavesdrop.

I think perhaps in my late teens my parents reluctantly paid extra for call waiting, but I was under strict instructions to ALWAYS answer the other line, and if they found out someone they knew was trying to call and I didn’t click over, I was in a world of trouble.

But this generation?

Their cellphones give them all access, all the time. There is nowhere that they cannot connect with their friends, and when it would be deemed otherwise rude to talk out loud to their friends, they simply text. Even while sitting right next to each other. Like I said, you can always tell by the blank expression. Then, just look down at their hands, and those thumbs will be going for all they are worth, poor little things. I worry that young people will have an epidemic of carpal tunnel syndrome, I really do.

Having friends is great, but is all this texting too much of a good thing?

Take this young teen, who in one month sent 14,528 text messages. Her father would have received a 440 page bill, but thank goodness the provider decided to save some trees. He also worked out that she would have been texting every two minutes a day to reach a number that high, although it does includes texts received as well as sent. Luckily, the family was signed up for unlimited texting.

But still, I fail to see any type of silver lining there.

I think the lesson here would be to not sign up for unlimted texting, and have them pay for any overages. This age group is not particularly known for their restraint and self-control, so let’s stop being enablers and cut off their access to the texting crack. Because dude, texting is whack.

Well, it doesn’t quite have the same ring, but you know what I mean.

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