I Teach My Children To Be Rude

You read that right. I teach my children to be Rude.

These little angels? Rude?

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OK. I didn’t teach them that kind of rude. They were born with a complete knowledge of how to be rude to their siblings.

If you hadn’t noticed, I have FOUR daughters. Four girls. Four female children. And I am compelled to protect them.

Many years ago when I was barely twenty I traveled around the Middle East with friends. In Egypt, I traveled with two girlfriends. Two of us were Caucasian Americans and one of us was an Asian American. The two of us who were easily identified by Egyptian men as “White American” were targeted constantly. Men would walk up to us in a museum and grab our hands or brush against our bodies. In tight spaces or taxis men surreptitiously put their hands on us attempting to touch our breasts or bottoms.

Yet our Asian friend, as much American as us two white girls, was relatively untouched. The sleazy men didn’t identify her immediately as “American” and seemed somewhat in awe of her.

Here’s a fact, Middle Eastern men do not treat their own women this way in public. They did not treat my Asian friend this way. I’ve noticed the same phenomenon all over the world.

What is it about American women that make us targets?

Here is what I think. Women in other parts of the world are raised to be RUDE. If a man “accidently” bumps in to her, she hauls off and lets him have it with a verbal tirade. I’ve seen it – and the sleazy man slinks off. These non-American women have no internal restrictions that keep them from acting rude in order to let a creepy man know to Back Off.

American girls/women have been taught: Don’t make a scene. Don’t disrespect our elders. And because someone is a friend or relative of a friend that we need to listen to and respect them.

I say NO. And so I teach my daughters to be RUDE.

This has become more crucial in recent years because my girls are getting older. They go places – Without Me. Birthday parties, sleepovers, camping trips, etc.

Nowadays our conversations go something like this:

Me: “If a friend or relative of so-in-so is bothering you in the pool or keeps talking to you and picking you up and throwing you around, what do you do?”

Daughter: “I say, ‘Get off me. Stop doing that. I’m going to tell my mom.'”

I let my kids know that there will be NO negative consequences for being Rude to a person who is making them uncomfortable, harassing them (even jokingly)  or bothering them.

They have been taught their entire lives to be kind to others. I know, I was taught the same thing. I didn’t know I could or should open my mouth and make a scene.

This world is full of predators; to keep my daughters safe, I teach them to be Rude.

Don’t get me wrong, I do want my children to be kind as well, I’ve written about it here.

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I Made My Bed Today and The Dawn of a New Era

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I made my bed today.

This is a big deal. I can’t remember the last time I made my bed – I don’t even do it when I change my sheets. I have entered the Dawn of a New Era. Today is significant because it is the first full week of my children being back in school. Not only that, but it is the first full week of my youngest child being in school for a full day.

Seven hours. I now have 7 whole hours a day of no child time.

No “Mom, can you get me something to eat.”

No “Mom, can you wipe my butt?”

No “Mom, can you put on this movie.”

Seven hours when I am no longer primarily Mother and Caretaker.

Summer was hard. Not hard as in miserable or horrible, but 97% of my time was spent picking up and dropping off kids, feeding and entertaining. That only leaves 3% of my time to: run my business, clean, work on the household projects or anything else. The weekend before the first day of school I slept seven hours worth of naps. Seriously. Summer was exhausting.

I’m not much one for making or following schedules but with the amount of work pilled up over the summer months I thought I should try it. I actually made a Monday through Friday Schedule of how to most effectively use my time – but I can’t find it now.

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Never-fear, I’m going to try to remember it, here goes:

Monday: Work in office, cook actual dinner for kids.

Tuesday: Clean house and work on home improvement projects.

Wednesday: More office work and writing.

Thursday: Volunteer and cook a real dinner again.

Friday: Be creative!

With my house a total wreck and home improvement projects piling up I’ve been stymied all summer in pursing the creative activities that I love – WRITING (Blogging world I’ve missed you), Quilting, Sewing, Crocheting, Painting, etc…) I was hindered from creating by vicious Guilt that bound me in dormancy by a dirty house and undone projects (that weren’t getting cleaned or completed anyway – but that’s what Guilt does).

No more! Dirt or no, HI projects will wait – on Fridays – I’m creating…something.

And it all started with me making my bed this morning. This is the dawn of a new era and I am so ready for it.

 

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Lost

I got lost in scrubbing floors and shifting clothes and priming walls.

I got lost in the celebration of the end of another school year.

I got lost in the pool holding a wet five year old. I got lost in the upsidedown over and around twirl of a roller coaster. I got lost in waving to little girls in a rocking pirate ship.

I got lost crossing from state to state, pumping my own gas and riding in Amish buggies.

Being lost was lovely (except for the scrubbing floors).

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This post was written in 5 minutes for 5 Minute Friday. Check it out and link up here.

 

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Part of My Job

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I am the mother of four girls ages 13, 11, 7 & 5. Drama is nothing new in this household, but sometimes the pain of friendships that are damaged or broken is deeper than usual. My prayer is that every experience with my children will be teachable. I thank God for reminding me that part of my job as parent is to disciple my children.

I write every Wednesday & Saturday for Moms of Faith. Find this entire article herePraying for Our Children’s Spiritual Journey

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I May Be Addicted

I may be addicted.

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I had a mini-“help”er.

I’ve spent eight+ hours over the past two days, basically this whole weekend, painting a bedroom. At 6:30 tonight I changed my paint-laden pants into a semi-clean skirt and took my daughter out to buy a bathing suit for tomorrow because the one she bought after church today, during the “entire family buys bathing suits after church extravaganza”, didn’t look right (to her). Of course, as soon as I reached the shopping center I realized it was Sunday and the shops would be closed by 6PM. It was 7:08PM. I promised the girl we would stop at the store on the way to the pool tomorrow and get her a suit, I sent her into the local ice cream parlor for a vanilla milkshake for dinner, swore her to secrecy since the sisters weren’t getting ice cream and came home.

Dishes need to be done, my house is trashed and all I really want to do is lay down and sleep. Or watch Signed, Sealed and Delivered, whichever comes first.

I think not.

I think not.

Before any of that could happen I was hugging my tearful seven year old whose heart was breaking because she didn’t get ice cream (somebody spilled the beans) and I smelled smoke on her hair. When I asked why she smelled like smoke she told me it was because there was smoke upstairs. Uh oh.

“Why does it smell like smoke upstairs?” I yelled up the steps.

My thirteen year old said it was the potatoes on the stove.

 

The boiling potatoes for the potato salad for tomorrow that I put on the stove. And forgot about.

This confirms that I really shouldn’t be allowed near kitchens or basically attempt to work at all for the rest of the night.

Yet here I am. 7:39PM on a Sunday night and I feel compelled to blog.

I wonder what disasters I’ll find when I read this post tomorrow…

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

 

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Have a Plan Man, Er… Mom

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“…it can still feel like I’ve been punched in the gut when I know an event is occurring that my children cannot participate in because they do not have a father who lives locally.” – Me

There are some things that only single moms know. I’ve found having a plan helps A LOT.

I’ve written about it here for my bi-weekly post for Moms of Faith.

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I Eat Crazy for Breakfast

I stopped by the drugstore this afternoon to pick up a card for my mother whose birthday was yesterday. Eighteen dollars ($18) later while attempting to hand over my credit card to the checkout guy he asked me if I wanted some headache medicine. Was the insanity swirling around me that noticeable? He gestured to the swippy machine in front of me (as usual – my brain refuses to believe that I actually have to swipe the card myself) and before I left, with my two cards, four bags of chips, two packs of Strawberry TicTacs and four wonderfully rambunctious (and hungry) children  I replied,

No thanks. I eat crazy for breakfast.

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Moms Will Understand

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“I hear the word, “Mom!” a lot, and sometimes it causes me to cringe as if the sound of it were fingernails on a chalkboard. Yeah, it’s that bad.” -Me

I love my children, but let’s face it, it often seems like I am needed an awful lot. For single mothers especially, it can get overwhelming.

MOM: A Three Letter Word can be found over at Moms of Faith where I write every Wednesday and Saturday.

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Godzilla & the Realization that I Need a New Friend

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Last night I went to see Godzilla with my two older children and my 74 year old mother.

The End.

 

Nah, just kidding. 🙂

The 11 year old had no comment.

The 13 year old said it was, “The Worst Movie She Had Ever Seen.”

The 74 year old said it was, “A little bit intelligent.”

This is what I have to work with people.

 

All I’d really like is a friend (preferably single male in his forties) to enjoy going to see Godzilla type movies in the theater with me and to sit with me on Sunday nights at 9PM so we can watch The Walking Dead together.

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Not this guy who was sitting next to me wearing Godzilla slippers. I’m not into that.

 

 

 

 

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What Would You Do with Two Extra Days?

If you had two extra days a week where you didn’t have to work, take care of anyone, clean, cook, feed people, go anywhere – totally free, extra days.

What would you do with them?

I’ve realized that I have too many interests.

Writing

Sewing

Crocheting

Quilting

Repurposed art

Treasure Hunting (Yardsaling)

Volunteering

Traveling

Home improvements/Painting projects/Making curtains/Quilt for bed…

Reading

Cooking/Baking

Selling Stuff (Ebay/Etsy)

That’s just off the top of my head. Besides working and parenting four children full time – which produces massive amounts of cleaning up, washing clothes, cooking, feeding, killing ants, dishes, shopping, driving, creating teacher appreciation gifts, etc… I also have half finished projects All Over.

In fact, right now I’m supposed to be cleaning, sorting clothes to give to the homeless and putting away the dishes (that I actually washed.) There is also a piece of yellow letterhead staring me down that reminds me that I actually have a business to run (and grow.) You can tell where my priorities are… I do believe that the more you have to do, the more you get done. I’m blessed with work.

Two extra (non-work days) what would you do with them?

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