Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ch ch ch Changes....

Overheard in the kitchen

Mid: If I ever have a shed I'm so gonna paint it blue.

Lit: I know, right.

Now I admit for a few moments I was puzzled. Then it dawned on me.
100 wizard of weirdness points for an explanation.
There is a hint later in this post.

Yesterday morning when I woke up Lit I was confused because her entire room had been changed around. And her light bulbs were missing. So I turned on her bathroom light which started the fan. A little while later I went to make sure she was up and heard her in the bathroom so I moved on. At 6:45 I gave her a warning knock and called out that it was getting late. At 6:55, which is when we leave for the bus stop, I opened her door and she was in the shower. I freaked and called out, "what are you doing? It's time to go!" She said, "What! you just woke me up a few minutes ago." So I had to make the 45 minute drive to her school.  Now, she did not wake up properly because the lamp next to her bed was not turned on. Being half asleep myself, I forgot about the bathroom light/fan and thought I heard her in the bathroom. Then I learned that, though I slept through it myself, she was changing her room around at midnight and crashing things around which woke up her Dad who gave her two warnings to go to bed before he took her light bulbs away. So....

Whose fault is it that she missed her bus?

We noticed our cable bill was OUTRAGEOUS and decided to cut back some. Now I don't watch TV a whole lot but after the change I realized I won't be watching it much at all because I lost almost everything I actually watch. TCM; IFC; ID; Science Ch and LOGO....which means my beloved Buffy is no more.....
I still have History International so this was not as bad for me as it was for Littlest who nearly curled into a ball and died because she lost...
the Military Channel and BBC America.....uh oh.....Luckily we didn't have to call 911 because I grabbed the remote and feverishly flipped to On Demand and Thank God....Dr. Who was least for now. Not so the Military Channel so I think she compensated for that by telling me that she is seriously considering joining the Marines after high school.....I guess if you don't have good cable real life is the next best thing.... And hey, oh joy. somehow, we still get Smoking Gun's Worlds Dumbest.. and MTV....

Speaking of cable and changes.
Biggest and DecentGuy are on a very tight budget so they have the most basic cable of all. As a result these two, who listen to bands like, The Adicts and watch movies like Zombie Strippers, have become addicted to......
Both Of Them.
Now I spent some time watching Oprah back in 1987 when I didn't have cable at all and she came on right at nursing time for this particular child but over the years I lost track of it, what with having choices like History Detectives and Buffy of course. Now she calls me several times a week to ask, "Did you watch Oprah?"  To which I usually say no but it doesn't matter if I missed it because I'm getting ready to hear the entire episode. The last time they were over she was describing a show and DecentGuy said, "oh yeah, that was a good one and started to talk about it to. ?. She even cried when she watched the Tribute show with Naomi and Wynonna Judd singing along to still photo's, which by chance I did happen to catch because I was flipping through channels and was mesmermized by Wynonna's face which always fascinates me because I think she's a robot.........huh....oh...i'm back. I find it hysterical that these two Former Rebels were enthralled with Oprah and Gails camping trip. They really like Gail by the way. They think she's cool.


Recently I wrote about my parenting rules and Middlest's boyfriend who I felt was too old for her but he was alright and I was starting to resign myself to him even though I thought she was resigning herself to him too and then she dumped him. What happy dance? Am not....anyway. Now that she has 5 whole months of high school left she has finally found some friends who aren't creepy and is dating someone she has known since 3rd grade that she has a lot in common with and she is having a wonderful time being a regular teenager. Which means that she stopped coming home at 9: 30 like she did when dating the older guy and now calls me at ten to eleven every weekend and asks if she can stay out later. She is doing her school work..mostly...she is working...she seems to be truly happy for the first time since she started high school...and it's almost over. But I think she has turned a page. She is becoming stronger and more confident in some ways. Interesting to see what other changes this year will bring. Maybe she will even start picking her underwear up off the bathroom floor.

Littlest is in the midst of a serious decision. She goes to an award winning high school that you must audition for. She loves being a part of the creative writing department there and the prestige and opportunities being one of their students gives her. At the same time she has decided that in general she doesn't really love the school any more. She doesn't have friends there that she feel closely connected to. She is tired...very tired...of the rigorous curriculum and amount of time it takes to be a part of the school. It is a huge commitment. A couple weeks ago she refused to get out of bed one morning. She had writing assignments that weren't finished and she was having a meltdown. She said she loves to write but sometimes she "just can't." I think many of us could identify with that. She can't take the pressure of being required to create for a grade. She refuses to do sub-standard just to get by. All of her grades are falling. I let Mid leave this school after 9th grade because she was not committed. She was wasting their time. Littlest has been committed and worked really hard. She doesn't want to anymore. She says she has no life. That she doesn't think she's going to be a writer. She wants to join the Marines and be a psychologist. In the middle of all this one of her pieces was chosen to be in a reading performance that the department does once each quarter. It it isn't easy to get in. Some kids never do. I wondered if this was a sign. A message to her to hang in there. By coincidence Peryl at Parenting Ad Absurdum  just did a post called Daughters of Mothers Who Roar relating to this article -Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior by Amy Chua.... about pushing our kids. Whether we are hard enough on them.  Sometimes I Roar for a few minutes but then my throat gets raw and I just make a cup of tea and read a book instead. Part of me wants to tell her not to blow this gift she was lucky enough to live near. Stick it out and do what you need to do! Why would you throw away this opportunity that many kids would give anything for? Are you crazy? Well, maybe. When she is crying and having meltdowns and her grades are all falling and she is re arranging her room in the middle of the night because she can't rest. I decided to let her make the decision on her own. I'd be lying if I said I would miss dealing with her frustration and the long hours. I also know this. The school requires you to devote yourself to an art area. Like her sister, Littlest can draw. She also has a unique and lovely singing voice and is interested in musical theatre. At our local high school she can try all of these things. Not in a state of the art award winning facility but decently all the same.

What would you suggest as a parent? Insist she get up, get over it and work? Or, it's been 5 years of this. No harm in two years of regular high school to round her out? Don't be afraid to answer a life altering question for a teenager. Apparently one mom isn't enough. She said to ask for input. The decision she makes will be entirely her own .....Believe Me!

Other than that things around her are about the same. This week they all have PMS. Everyone has cried at least once. But this morning when they came in the kitchen they did some Ninja poses followed by a full scale song and dance performance of Little Bunny Fu Fu, hugged each other violently as a grand finale and still made it out the door on time. So as I look around I realize, Ah, of course.

Moon Music

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  1. Oh boy. That's a dilemma. It's great to be in a prestigious school as it gives a leg up to the college picture. However, if it takes the joy out of something that she loves, then maybe it's not the right thing. Maybe hanging in to complete out the year and then deciding might make sense. No matter what, good luck.

  2. I am the opposite of a Tiger Mother, and I'm not afraid to say I think Tiger Mothers can suck it (okay, I'm a little afraid, who are we kidding, they're scary). I don't mean let them do whatever they want, and I have a kick-ass project on the Aztecs completed in a very short vacation-shortened time period to show for that. But she's clearly no dummy. At this point I think she'll be successful no matter where she finishes high school, and if she does it without a huge therapy bill, so much the better for you and your future cable possibilities.

  3. there is so much to comment on here, ms. g, where do i begin? oprah? cable? bowie? maybe i should just respond to littlest? not feeling qualified on that one, so maybe i shall just soapbox a moment and something I will say will be a gem?

    life is really short. and if we are living for the spiritual long haul, rather than the blip of "while we're here," that changes our definition of success and of happiness. while there are benefits to school and career success, like being able to eat and pay the electric bill, investing too much of ourselves in worldly success and advancement just for the sake of that and not for our own personal joy and fulfillment has no benefit. At the end of it all, none of that is going to matter. That is not to say we should be lazy or effortless in our lives, but that being pushed to a breaking point is worthless. now is that decision to be left to a teenager? i imagine it depends on the teenager. still, there is no right or wrong answer, no moral issue when it comes to choosing this. also, it seems in my life, where i have chosen to close one door, another has opened. my encouragement to littlest would be to follow her gut. you only get to do this once. you don't want to look back regretting not having LIVED. advice from my oldest sister who graduated with a perfect 4.0 from college: she wished she had thought about grades less and actually enjoyed college. there you go. for what it's worth.

  4. DG: You hit it well. At this point she is planning on finishing out the year.

    Bibliomama: I agree! She can save that therapy bill and analyze herself if she becomes a therapist.

    Elissa: Beautifully said! It's hard to have to make these decisions at this age. They expect so much more from kids than they did when I was one. I really don't think anything is worth making herself ill over.

  5. I totally laughed at "If you don't have cable life is the next best thing"!!! Thanks for keeping my belly from turning to total jelly. This regular laughter is about the only exercise my belly gets :)

  6. That's a hard one for me, because I shy away from competition like it's the devil. Even though I'm capable of pushing myself and doing so much more, I won't. I'll hide and stay in comfortable, safe boring land. So I wouldn't know what to do to change that for your daughter.

    Cable is outrageous in price, I agree. I've cut down to basic cable too. I get that!

  7. WOw that is a mouthfull.

    I have to say that I dont know what I would do without my dvr. Cable is a must a my house.
    but I agree too freakin expensive.

  8. I'm a tough mother. I push.

    I know I do, b/c no one pushed me...and I hd so many dreams that I never pursued. Had someone been behind world would've been so different.

    Anything worthwhile is hard, that's why you're rewarded.

    There's a reward in there, for her efforts: can you remind her? It isn't all work...the reward, however, is at THE END.

    hang in there, is my vote.

    tohad ghhter.

  9. Silver Strands: Thanks ; ) They keep me laughing around here but my cookie quota keeps it about even.

    blueviolet: That's how my Middlest is. Littlest is in a highly competitive school but she looks at it more as what she can get from it. She just feels like she's getting too much: )

    KittyCat: The thing that ticks me off is that you can't chose channels. I'm still paying A Lot but not getting everything we enjoy most.

    Empress: I do expect them to put their best effort into everything they do. I don't let them back out of commitments. For instance, when they played sports, if they got whiney and wanted to quit, I told them they had committed to their team for the season. If they didn't want to continue after that it was fine. This is high pressure though and I'm afraid she thinks she will crack over something she's not sure is worth it: )

  10. We gave up cable a few months ago. I'm liking the create channel & a couple more. My kids are HOOKED on Qubo! THey won't watch anthing else. I'm glad middlest is doing better. I don't know what to say about some of their choices. I'm having some issues with my middle one.

  11. We are going through something similar with Twin Sister. She goes to what is probably the best school in the state. But she is miserable and doesn't have any friends. I wrote a post on it a while back. Sometimes the best option isn't the right fit.

    As for your TV woes, we also had to cut back on cable and, yes, I desperately miss Dr. Who too.

  12. Nicole: Oh, Lord, I don't even know what Qubo is!I really need to get out more often. What is it with the middle ones?

    AE: I know, I remember that post and thought about it when she did the spin on me! No Doctor Who, what a world, what a world ; )

  13. The school dilemna is so on point with my current introspection - how much do we "encourage" (push) - and when do we let them make their own decisions? I mean, obviously a five-year old is not a great judge of what's best for him, but he does need some autonomy - I imagine this just intensifies as they become teenagers!! Btw, I love that you roar sometimes and then stop and have a cup of tea - I can so relate. Thanks for the link up!


  14. PMS must be going around this month! ha!...ok, I just amused myself, ignore me.
    Seriously though, PMSing at the same time: shout me!

  15. Peryl: Iknow it's a case of is this a decision she should make? How much do I input?!

    Sandra: I know, talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.....


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