Thursday, April 30, 2009


i've been poisoned. I am convinced.
seems like stricnine, though i've never officially been poisoned by strychnine - and i am not correcting the spelling because i haven't the energy to look it up.

if i twittered, i'd let you know through that, but i do not, so i am here.

i'm praying for either immediate death or considering having someone saw (or chop, i care not which) my body off directly under my breasts, and then reattaching myself directly to the tops of my legs.
I may look a little wierd, but it would totally be worth it.

send someone immediately, won't you?

Monday, April 20, 2009

i wonder....

how much cleaning can one Mama get done when Daddy has taken the babes to the half-hour-away fancy fishing store?

I'm giddy with anticipation.....

Monday, April 13, 2009


So back to it. :)

Here's my problem.... complacency.

And I don't mean a "resting" period. And I don't mean a "soaking it all in" period. I mean a "I'm comfortable where I am watching television" period.

Not that the tellie is even a problem (read: a stressful worry for Mama) at the moment, as Cartoon Network has been banned again. By Trevelyn, of course. For a couple of more months, until Summer, he says-- and its been about three weeks, now. (He got frightened by something again - I think it was Batman, though he doesn't talk about it, and so we just respect his wishes.)
And I never mind pbs shows and library videos, or even the Flinstones, Scooby, Dora and Diego, as the children love them so much.

So-- it's not the tv.

And since that's not it, I've been asking myself today and yesterday what it is.

I think it kind of surfaced the other day, maybe a week or so ago, when Trev was pounding on the computer desk, and really frustrated. He was angry because he wanted to play with his friend, and she was in school. (He was pounding and screaming, I was pmsing, you can imagine that the moment wasn't going over terribly smoothly.)
Our conversation was something like "Come on, Bud... let's do something together."
"No, I just wanna sit here and wait for (friend) to get out of school."
"She doesn't get out of school for six hours."
"Then I'll just sit here and wait."
"And what if she can't play when she gets home? Then your day will have wasted away." I could just envision the meltdown happening if she couldn't play (and didn't think I could take it)... "You can't just sit and wait for your life to pass by, Son. Do something fun."
"I'll just go sit on my bed and wait."

Now as I sit here (in this quiet morning, when everyone but me still sleeps) this doesn't seem like such a bad idea.
He can be pondering the game he and she play, and think about dinosaurs, and think about racing, or whatever he's thinking about.

But I was in that "He never wants to do anything," place, (that's the truth as I saw it in that moment) and I was totally frustrated by it.

And it's not true that "he never wants to do anything". Obviously, if you've ever visited OLM.

But it is true that he can be complacent in a place that he isn't happy with, and will turn down things that I know he will love or truly enjoy in the name of "I'm comfortable right here where I am".

So what to do? And do I have the right to do anything?
(Lord, this isn't another "I must Fix It" thing, is it?)

Here's what I don't want:
I don't want to be a domineering -or even authoritarian- parent. I want to aid and support my children in limitless love, and to give them the very best of myself so that they may find and represent the best part (ie the Most) of their individual Self.

I don't want my children to rely upon me as their motivation for Learning. That's an obvious one, and not really a problem, as they really are inquisitive and interested (but just don't ask me if that's true when I'm stressed out about something).

I don't want to be my child's main motivator in Life. Though this one is a bit complex, as I'm not a self-motivated person, so I really have no idea about instilling it in my children. Spiritually and philosophically, I suspect that it's an innate part of us-- a characteristic that some have, and I am perfectly comfortable with being motivated by different things - a warm summer's day, someone's blogpost about a fabulous adventure, a view of a snowy landscape, the sudden p and v of my children and a need to run and wander freely, whatever.

And here's what I know:

Inspiration comes from the outside. It can come from anywhere and everywhere.
It doesn't have to be fancy. Someone can mention "curtain rod" in a book and your mind wanders to a fabulous idea of using a curtain to make a puppet theater.

It's my job (as I have seen more of the world, and have a broader scope) to provide my children with Inspiration. Now it isn't left only to me, but particularly as we grow and learn naturally (educationally speaking) it's up to me to hunt and gather for them.

So.... again, the question.... is it also my job to say "Let's go"?
And, again, it comes down to paying particular attention, I think.

If the mood of the day (such as the day-before-yesterday) is one that says "Uh, no.... we're not fit for being in public today..." then we'd best cancel plans and stay home.
And if we've had a crazy busy few days, and the children have had a blast, but are now coming undone, then of course a day in front of the tellie might be just the thing to recuperate.

In light of "what I really want for my children" I can revisit yesterday's question of "Is it alright to urge them to do something they don't initially want to do?"

And then I can ask "Is urging one to stretch acceptable?"
I'm really comfortable with this idea. It feels freeing and strong. It feels right.

So I arrive to a similar conclusion... but one that feels more loving and liberating than yesterday's answer.

The difference between the pale bitterness of yesterday's resignment (ie my children losing the Joy of Discovery), and today's conclusion is authenticity and honesty.

It's in part the approach.
It is asking "then how about this?" to Trev's answer of "Aaaw, Mom, do we have to?"
It's asking "then what?" (and persisting until someone comes up with a happy solution) if not.
The answer is using an honest approach to his skeptical "no, thanks"... "Hey, Bud... remember the other thing that you love? I really think you'll like this one, too... how 'bout we give it a try? At least for a couple of minutes?"
The problem I had before is that I wanted to call a spade a spade, and asking or urging seemed and felt manipulative, and I may as well therefore call it Force. Coersion.
A bitter pill to swallow.

Now I've shifted slightly again, and am able to see that I was on the right track (as Sarah said) and that bringing true authenticity -much love- into it is the right thing to do, but, too, is the very important matter of leaving the Final Decision up to the children.
With no judgment or disappointment from me.

Love, love, love.
Only Love.

Thanks so much to those who responded to the last posts and helped me to work through this.
Much love to you.


.... to yesterday's post.

Addendum: I reserve the right to think on all this, and to change my mind at any time. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ho Hum

I believe in Unschooling.

I agree with Mr. Einstein's words of "It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty."

It's also cause for yet another of the puzzles my life.

Like that I believe in not harming any living creature but that I eat meat.
And that people who don't follow the rule of using their turn signal piss me off, but that I happily drive 80 miles per hour (or so) on the freeway.
Or that I'm a pacifist, and would like to smack people upside the head sometimes (and once in a while even do).
I have a peculiar set of rules that I adhere to-- ones made up by Me, in accordance with what I deem as sensible or honorable.

I think I'm learning -and accepting- (in my vast wisdom) that two or more opposing things can be true at the same time.

Because my son loves to ride his bike.
And my son did not want to learn to ride his bike.

Being a domineering and authoritative parent who has children live and behave because they are bullied and made to feel it's the only way they can receive my love and acceptance is probably my greatest parental fear.
Coersion and manipulation are not things that I want associated with me.
And as it happens, I am bossy by nature.

On the other hand... I am human.
And my children came to me to have a Human Experience.

Sometimes the call is an easy one. "Am I doing or thinking or feeling this out of Fear?" And if the answer is Yes, then I know it's not something that is True.

But sometimes the answer is not so clear.
Sometimes it feels like the answer is To shake things up. Or For a sense of adventure. Or Because I think he will enjoy it. And I have to dig deeper into my motivation.

So a Mama finds herself saying "Oh, come on, Bud, come snuggle with me! Come, let me read to you for a minute...." and so we end up reading (at his request and his delight) the next five chapters of Georg's Key.

And he learns to ride his bike, and discovers a whole new world - riding and whooping down hills, Independent Play (without his Mama nearby), neighborhood exploration, and growing up.

And he learns to feel satisfaction with something he's Created or drawn with his hands. Something that makes him smile.

And he learns that being challenged and adding numbers in his head is fun.

And he plays with baking soda and vinegar in the sandbox for the next two days.

I have been thinking on these things for a few weeks, now.
For a long time I wondered if I was justifying bullying my children into doing something they didn't want to do "for their own good".

My children have very real interests.... and never would I discourage their explorations and dedication to their pursuits and discoveries.
Never would I consider taking them away from an animal or dinosaur book or video (something they love) and toss them a Mathematics cdrom.

On the other hand.... when my son is standing around and waiting for his friend to get done with her chores so they can go Explore, I'll say, "Here... how about a ten minute game of Bingo?" and then "Addition or Subtraction today?"
And the thing is... we have a good time. (As long as I don't get my head into a "Let's just finish this" place. That robs the joy of something, but good.)

So a couple of questions arise.
Is it alright (with me and my subscribed philosophy) to interfere if the children find themselves in a lull?
I've found (through interacting in such a way with my son) that since I am (I believe) connected enough with my babes to recognize when they are "resting"- ie processing, needing a break from lots of activity, internalizing something, etc - that the answer is a surprising Yes.
Somehow, some way, getting them out of a place of Complacency... seems to work- and by "work" I mean it benefits all of us. As incongruous as it seems.

But... is that a good reason for doing it?
Am I robbing them of the Joy of Discovery?
If we play math Bingo at age 7, am I subverting his possible discovery of love for Math at age 9? or 12? or 17? (Provided I can hold out that long, of course.)

Does everything under the sun have to be discovered in absolute joy?

I know that these things seem so simple and probably so ridiculous to others.
And in regard to sweeping statements like "You are the parent" I say yes, but it's my job to aid and support them, not make them into something that I think they should be. Even at this young age, I don't get to choose their lives for them.

I think I have to ask myself the hardest question of all (and truthfully see myself) and ask myself if I'm just justifying something that doesn't sit well with me.
Does the end justify the means?

This is the question I haven't answered yet, and the reason I haven't posed (and posted) these questions before now.

Just because we have fun playing Bingo, does that make it alright to wheedle Trev into playing in the first place?
Just because one of his new Heroes is now Davey Crockett, does that make it alright that I said "Yes, you do have to watch it... for fifteen minutes."?
Just because he went through two gallons of vinegar in two days, does that make it alright that initially I said, "Come on, Bub, time for volcanoes...." and gently insisted when he drug his feet?

As I read this and think about it (and sift through the ill feelings) I come to the conclusion that the deciding factor is.... Motive.

Whether I'm choosing it out of dreaded Ego, Fear.... or Joy.

Aaaah...that's what it comes down to.

And if I'm not doing it out of Joy (and/or a sense of "I -honestly and in Love- believe you'll like this and I want to share it with you"), then I'd better damned well change my motivation. I'd better get damned good at swiftly stopping myself in my tracks, and taking the higher ground, instead.

Yup. I think that's it.
Let's bring it in... as long as the motivation is filled with happy Love.