My mind and actions in viewable format.
Posts tagged kids
I miss my garden today. Being away from home is not fun or exciting after a while. Once the novelty of road warrior working wears off? It’s just tiring.
I missed my son’s birthday yesterday. He turned two. I kid myself that it’s ok, because he won’t remember. I will though.
It’s quiet and boring in hotels like this one. The nice thing is that the kids and my lady wife will be joining me this weekend. I guess I’m just used to seeing them every day and singing my babies to sleep.
front yard sovereignty
So, here’s the scenario:
Yesterday afternoon, some seriously uncool stuff happened in my front yard.
My daughter was out front playing on her scooter. She was accosted by a classmate who called her names and apparently had hurt a friend of Tess’ at school that very day.
My little girl, told the boy to leave her alone. He did not. Maturely, she picked up her scooter and went into the backyard to help me with stuff instead.
I didn’t know what was going on outside, I was working on my project. Normally, there is some sort of child noise in the front of my place, so I pay it little heed.
I’m finishing up my little backyard engineering project, and I send Tess and Fred to the front yard to get me some stones to put with the newly installed rain barrel.
A few moments pass, and I hear a commotion that doesn’t sound like playing. It sounds like harsh words and threats. I heard “get away” and “help”.
I quickly go out front and find some young kid trying to run my kids over with his bike. He says something to me about how I should teach my daughter to have a better attitude. I told him to leave, in my own inimical style. He left. (I was hoping he and his parents would return to determine why I shouted at their son. They never came over.) Not knowing what had happened, I yelled at my kids to go inside. De Facto, I have this habit of simply assuming my kids are probably at least in part at fault. And I will not have my children be the hellions of the neighborhood. In the house we go.
I demanded that they tell me why they were causing problems. They were scared because they were in trouble, and did not immediately tell me what had happened. After a time, they finally told me that the kid had come into my yard and had pushed Tess. And Fred was going to protect Tess and stop him from hurting his sister. So, of course, I had to apologize to my kids for getting angry with them. I felt really bad, because I originally thought they’d provoked the kid. They were only out there a minute though, the kid had come looking for Tess. He intended to start something with her.
Which brings me to the point of the whole post; what do you tell your kids about this? I cannot in good conscience tell them to not play in front of their house. I also can’t really tell them to stay away from that kid, as he had no problem trespassing onto my property to assault my daughter. (I don’t use that term lightly here either. He pushed her without provocation and then when Fred came to her rescue he tried to run Fred over with a bike. If I were to push you, I would go to jail. the charge would be assault. So yeah, the little prick assaulted my kid)
But what do you tell your children to do about bullies? I told Fred he cannot resort to violence. That’s weird coming from me, because growing up? I was violent. I had serious anger issues and was in more than a few fights and scuffles. I definitely know how a young me would handle this situation. I don’t want that for my kids. I don’t want them to be submissive to this little kid either. My kids deserve their front yard sovereignty. Part of me wants to exhort them to defend that right.
But instead, I told Tess and Fred that if he comes around again and tries to start things, that they are to simply go into the backyard away from him. If he tries to do anything that they are to yell as loud as they like for him to go away or for an adult to come, but to not resort to violence of any kind. (though, I did put in the proviso that if he lays hands on Tess again that she may use whatever force she thinks is necessary to stop him, I’m not completely non-violent). But violence against their neighbors is not a path that I want my kids to consider as anything other than a very last possible option. At the very same time, I want them to be able to enjoy their yard and their neighborhood. I moved out of Old Towne because that was something that was not going to happen there.
Parents. This is really the fault of parents who’ve let their spawn off the leash because they don’t care, or at the very least, are not engaged with the lives of their children. My kids have strict parents. They are raised with morals and ethics. They are not bullies. They would be in SO much trouble if they even so much as thought about pushing around another kid for any reason. (Hell, my son was grounded for a month for being involved with an accident where a smaller kid got hurt. He wasn’t even really to blame, but I wanted to send a message about harm.)
The parents of that kid did not come over and find out why their kid got hollered at by a huge guy. They clearly don’t care why. Hell they probably know why. If my kids were at another persons house and they were getting screamed at, I would ask WTF did the KIDS do. I would want to show my neighbor that I am an equal partner in the civility of the neighborhood. That’s really part and parcel to our society (or at least it friggen should be).
Looks like I’m going to be chaperoning my own front yard for a while. At least the weather looks like it’s warming up.
When did I become such a wimp?
My daughter is hilarious
Katessa has been the subject of a couple of my blog posts recently, and I think that’s because she’s really interesting to me and because she’s so damn funny.
I mean, who can’t love a kid who tells an overbearing teacher that “she is mean” to her face?
The recent hilarity has been building, and I figured I’d share it.
Her homework assignment was to draw little pictures in boxes.
Under each set of boxes were the words Past, Present and Future.
Under Past, Tess drew a picture of a little girl in a diaper with a rattle yelling “I’m winning!!” (i’m not kidding.) And a picture of that baby pooping out little poops.
Under present she drew herself going to school and playing outside and smiling.
Under future, she drew an old lady with a cane and a grave with “RIP” on the front of it and a bat flying over head.
The teacher didn’t say anything about the Sheenism or the pooping. But her comment on the Future bit was really amusing, as she was clearly distraught.
An arrow scrawled to the box with the words “I’m interested in the time before this!!!” She writes in loopy letters on the side of the gravestone box.
I’m interested in how comfortable with the whole “life” thing my daughter seems to be ^_^
Raising kids is hard sometimes.
Nothing says parenting is fun quite like a child that is misbehaving at school. My daughter is a 1st grader and has been have more than a little trouble behaving herself at school. But the list of allegations seem pretty laughable upon closer inspection.
Katessa has been accused of making a face at a kindergartener, being silly (i kid you not), talking to her neighbor, crawling on the floor, cut up some paper and it fell on the floor, and upon being corrected by the teacher for these heinous crimes did reply “I hate my teacher because she is mean.”
The whole nature and nurture thing comes up at my house quite a lot.
My two older children are very different people. Giles will be exempted from this because well, he has very simple needs and behaviors. Frederick is the forthright, friendly, outgoing, “I’m a good boy aren’t I mom” kinda kid. He’s an eager to please little guy who is smart enough to keep his head down.
Katessa, she’s not. My little girl is smart but also defiant. She can be outgoing or super shy. I’ve seen her be so very kind. I’ve also seen her indulge in pettiness and childish cruelty. But really, isn’t she a kid? Isn’t she supposed to be working these things out?
Tess was getting a letter or email home every day with little remarks about her behavior. Little kids are kind of annoying, that’s what they’re really good at in my experience. The guidance counselor, the principle, and some gym teacher all talking and yelling at Tess told my wife that Tess needs therapy so that she will talk to them. Kate immediately (and deftly I might add) asked Tess if she thought these peopler were “on her team” and Tess said no. How can you fault a person (especially a young person) who clams up in the face of adversaries?? She doesn’t need therapy, she needs honest to God teachers who are concerned with more than just whether a child does what it’s told, but more, why they’re disobedient.
Tess just decided that no matter what she said or did, she was going to be in trouble, so she was smart enough to not say anything more to those people. Smacks of logic doesn’t it? If you can’t win with these people, why would you try? Further, doesn’t that seem to feel like Tess doesn’t get a chance to speak up for herself?
I decided to give Tess a new weapon in her arsenal, a little prematurely I feel, but I also don’t want to yell at her for every little thing that a seven year old does wrong. (Honestly, I support the teachers, and I want to help with the discipline, but I cannot ground, and remove privileges for a little child being silly and talking, WTF am I to do when and if she punches some kid in the face? No more sponge bob?) I told her that she is allowed to question the teacher. Not ask questions of the teacher, but to question the teacher’s motives. Simply, why are you yelling at me? I told her to follow up whatever response from the teacher with “i’m very sorry, I was unaware that this was bothering you I’ll try harder”. I want to diffuse this situation and empower Katessa. It’s going to be more difficult to control her, but really, I don’t want her to be controlled. I want her to be choosing her own way and not being brainwashed by the sit down shut up mentality of modern education.
Interesting side note, the principle of Tess’ school has had a talk with her teacher and instructed her to lay off of Tess and to stop sending home a daily diatribe of every little thing she does wrong. I hope it works. I don’t like seeing my brilliant little girl get squashed by the American Homogenization education system.