Parental Musings | Teeny Manolo - Part 5

Archive for the 'Parental Musings' Category


Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
By Glinda


It seems that my kids have it a little too good.

In my quest to provide my children with a good life, I have inadvertently given my son a sense of entitlement.

Mama isn’t pleased.

We drive nice (but not outlandishly nice) cars, we have a comfortable home in a wonderful neighborhood.  Our city has good schools, abundant and well-maintained parks, and potholes exist for a short time, if at all.  There is no open homeless population, no graffiti, no run-down areas. 

In fact, I was trying to think of the grittiest thing my son has ever seen, and that probably would be graffiti scrawled on the walls of the freeway, far-removed from his surroundings.  If he has even seen it, since he is probably too busy watching movies.

And so unwittingly, I have caused my son to score a big zero in the empathy department for people who are less well-off than we are.  Also, a nature of such laziness and unwillingness to work that it trumps even mine, which is saying a LOT.

I have tried to inform him through various media of how good his life is, and how there are thousands of children who would trade with him in a heartbeat if it meant all they had to to was clean their room, do their school work, and weed the yards.  We’ve donated old toys and clothes together.   We’ve talked about his attitude at great length.

And yet, when I told him that I thought he was old enough to go out and perform some volunteer work, he actually started to cry.  TO CRY, I kid you not.  Granted, he is an emotional child, but I truly had to restrain myself from smacking him upside the head.  He said it was embarrassing.  I told him that there was nothing embarrassing about helping people less fortunate than you, and ordered him out of my sight before I did indeed smack him upside the head.

So, I’ve been scouting out sites for youth volunteerism, and to be honest, there isn’t a whole lot for kids his age.  I don’t want this to be a one-off experience, I want to commit to an organization and make this part of his routine. 

Any thoughts on some good volunteer jobs for nine year olds?  Or how to combat the whole entitlement things?

Maybe a smack upside the head?

Boys, Boys, Boys

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
By Glinda

As you may already know, last week Gallup published the results of this survey, which showed that if Americans were to only have one child, 40% would prefer a boy.  28% preferred a girl, and 26% stated that it didn’t matter.

So while not quite a majority, still quite a big differential going on there.

Is it the whole “girls can get pregnant” thing?  Would people rather be the parent of the impregnator rather than the impregnatee?

Is it a financial thing, where people seem to think boys are cheaper to raise? 

Perhaps they are concerned about passing on the family name.

Or is it a flat-out gender bias?

What do you think?

And just a side note, the two lads featured up there in the picture come courtesy of Marie Osmond. 

I think they will haunt my dreams.  And I didn’t want to be the only person having nightmares, so I had to share.

You’re welcome.

Things I WILL NOT Miss From the Toddler Years

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
By Glinda

Back when I was convinced that I was going to be the parent of only one child, it was easy to look back upon the toddler years with a certain wistfulness. 

Yeah, now that I’ve got another one, I promise I will never look back on the following with any sort of longing whatsoever:


-The screaming meltdowns.  Not that there aren’t tantrums later on, but at least they aren’t 100% screaming.

-Which leads to the next one, the lack of clear communication.  Because pointing and grunts ain’t cutting it.


-The whole “learn to feed yourself” ordeal and the ensuing havoc wreaked upon my walls and floors.

-Napping.  Not that I dislike napping per se, but it tends to break up the day into inconvenient chunks, especially with an older sibling in the mix.

-The whole process leading up to the napping, which is anything but restful.

–Teething.  My God, the teething.  The sleeping hours I have lost, with the youngest being the largest offender, have no doubt shaved years off my life.

Just Talk, Already!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
By Glinda

When my daughter was an infant, she was a constant babbler. All kinds of consonants, vowels, and syllables came out of her mouth, I even have videotaped proof!  I smugly congratulated myself on my obviously superior parenting skillz.

Everyone, including myself, was CERTAIN that my daughter would be an early talker. Family legend has it that my sister was speaking in sentences by the age of one, and I secretly harbored the belief that my daughter would be right there.

You see, much angst was visited upon us as my son was a late talker.   He was our firstborn, we didn’t know any better. At eighteen months he said “Mama,” “Dada,” and “Uh-oh.” And that was it for quite a while.  I think he began truly stringing words together at around age two, and he completely bypassed the baby talk phase, with every word crisp and enunciated as could be.

So when my daughter’s first birthday passed with nary a word in her speaking arsenal, I didn’t think too much of it.

I mean, she was constantly being spoken to, if not by myself, then by her brother or her father.  Everything was described for her, every action explained, every object given a name.

So I figured the talking was just right around the corner.

Silent Bob, as I call her, had other plans.

Those plans include giving a bloodcurdling shriek when I don’t understand exactly what her grunting means, or what object she is pointing to.  She knows a phone is for talking, as she holds it up to her ear, but anyone foolish enough to try and converse with her is only rewarded with some heavy breathing a la Darth Vader.

So as of nineteen months my daughter has a vocabulary of absolutely zero words.

Not mama, or dada, or brother, or hi or bye or anything at all.

Sure she says things that could possiblby be words, but they are applied in a completely random way and I would be fooling myself if I thought she was really saying anything.

I’ve done some research and it seems that a tendency toward late talking can be genetically influenced, as my husband didn’t talk until he was almost three(!) and so my children apparently come by it honestly.

I know that years down the road I will be standing there, wishing she would stop talking for just a nanosecond so someone else can get a word in edgewise, but damn if it isn’t annoying.

Tuesday Teeny Poll

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
By Glinda

46% of you plan on staying with relatives for your summer vacation, and as long as you can stand each other at the end of the week, then all is good.  Unfortunately, 28% don’t know what vacation I’m referring to, and 7% are doing the staycation thang.  17% are going somewhere fantastic, aaaand we are all jealous of you.  Er, “we” meaning perhaps just me.

Yesterday at Barnes & Noble, I bought the Munchkin about fifty bucks worth of books.  I’m all for borrowing from the library, which we do a LOT, but for certain series which I know he likes, I tend to buy them for him so that he can maintain a nice personal library.  He’s a big re-reader, and I don’t ever consider buying books for him a waste of money.  His sister, on the other hand, is a gleeful destroyer of books, so right now she is dealing will all hand-me-downs and whichever books my family has been unwise enough to purchase for her.

Giving Wolves Everywhere a Bad Name

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
By Glinda

The Munchkin recently went out to dinner with his grandparents (my parents) and when they came back, it was remarked upon by my mother than my son resembled a hungry wolf while eating his spaghetti and meatballs.

And here I thought it was a problem confined just to our house. 

Er, at least I guess I was hoping that like many other fairly undesirable behaviors, when out with other people, kids tend to put on their best behavior.

So either my son’s table manners are horrendous, or I am immersed in some very deep waters of denial.

You see, it is true that for some reason, my son will lower his head down to his plate and not so much lift his fork to his mouth, but rather shovel in whatever food he has on there.  He is also a very sloppy eater, leaving a ring of detritus around his plate. He is also not what you would describe as a delicate chewer.

It isn’t very pleasant, really.

I have no idea where he gets this from.

Goodness knows I have called him out on his eating habits many a time.  I tell him to slow down, to lift his fork all the way up to his face, and to be careful with his food.

Glinda, meet brick wall. I have no doubt my admonishments sound exactly like the teacher’s voice in the Peanuts,  “Muwaaaah, wuaaaaah, wuaaaha, wua, muwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.”

Is this a typical 8 year old boy thing?  Or will my son be shunned from dining with people other than his family?  Have people secretly been pointing and laughing at him every time we go out to eat?

In his defense, though, there is NO graceful way to eat spaghetti.

Who Knows the Mysterious Ways of the 8 Year Old Mind?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
By Glinda

Why can my son remember dozens of complicated video game instructions/executions but cannot remember to hang up his towel?

Why does it take him a half hour to get dressed to go get a haircut, but 10 seconds when a friend is knocking on the door to play?

Speaking of getting dressed, why does he wear pants and a long sleeved shirt when it is hot and shorts, flip-flops, and a tee when it is freezing outside?

How is it that he still cannot understand the concept of play clothes vs. good clothes and adjust accordingly?

He is capable of sitting for long periods of time to watch television, but must be reminded at least four times a week to plant his butt on the chair when he eats at the table.

When did he begin thinking that having combed hair was the height of uncoolness?

Or that being told to brush his teeth was not merely a suggestion?

Why is it when he wants something done it has to be this instant, but when I want something done I’m told, “Mo-oom, it’s not the end of the world, you know.”


At least eight more years of this, you say?

What’s Happening to Him?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
By Glinda

My son will be nine years old in a few months.

I’m thinking it could be time for a bit of, ah, information dissemination on the topic of sex.  I say that whilst cringing at the thought, yet knowing it is more important that he receive factual information in a timely manner than indulging any squeamishness on my part. 

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

My mother never had “the talk’ with me.  She never had it with my sister, either.  As a result, my sister got her period one day and was convinced that she was dying.  She saw blood down there and was convinced that she was having internal hemorrhaging and began to write a will.  I got nothing, by the way.

So seeming to have learned that something needed to be done to spare me the same trauma as my sister, my mother bought me a book.  She didn’t present it to me and assure me that it was fine to ask her any questions.  Oh no, she sort of hid it in a place she knew I would find it, and so I picked it up thinking I was reading something I wasn’t supposed to.  Which made reading the book quite an experience as I thought I would get into trouble for reading it, as it mentioned all kinds of things that I thought would get me into trouble if I knew about them.

My mom was tricky like that.

I never told her I read it and she never asked, but it all worked out fine. 

I just want to be a bit more proactive about the whole thing than my mom was.  And goodness knows that kids learn so much at a much earlier age these days, most of it probably wrong. So I spoke with my husband  and he agreed that we should start off with a book and then he would do any heavy lifting in the questions department.

Lo and behold, the book my mother bought me back in the early 1980’s is still around!

I remember the book being funny and informative and not really embarrassing to read.  It covered a large range of topics in a friendly, informative manner.  And did I mention it was funny?

My copy is already on the way.

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