promping v. 2014


If it’s Spring then it is time to promp again here under the Big Top. Such is the life of raising a family of five circus clowns growing up much, much too fast. Actually this will be the last promping time for awhile. I imagine that when Daniel is old enough and if he chooses to go to prom that it won’t be such a big deal as it is now…and truthfully my girls are much, much more low maintenance than some peers…thank goodness. Still, I won’t lie, I do live a little bit vicariously through my girls’ proms because that wasn’t one of those things I got to share with my Mommy Dearest even if I did have a boyfriend through high school…that dang “no-dancing-because-it-is-a-sin” thing that he and his family ascribed to.

Oh well.

But this year’s promping is again all about Jodie…her Senior Prom!

There was the dress shopping.

It MUST be a burden to be a hanger that every single dress one tries on looks absolutely perfect. I’m going to keep telling myself that. These were part of her top 4. Wait for it…the winner is coming.

But horrors! A monkey wrench in all the promping.

A tumbling mishap at dance earlier this week which she tried to tough it out until yesterday when she could scarcely lift her arm. That could be a problem. Xrays ruled out a broken clavicle but it was determined to be a sprain of ligaments connecting her clavicle to her shoulder joint so the good doctor recommended no dancing for a week and to wear a sling to keep her arm in a neutral position.

I know, first world problems.

Still, we pressed onward because it is promping time.

Who else would be doing hair and makeup besides big sister? Really?

Ta-da!!!

Actually this is the only picture with the sling. We made a deal and yes, against medical advice, she went sling-less to the prom promising to be careful. I’m not worried. Her shoulder and collar bone are quite sore still and she has limited range of motion so there won’t be any throwing her hands up in the air because she can’t. Plus next weekend is a big dance competition so with the exception of tonight, she is motivated to follow doctor’s orders. Besides, this dress…

…with a sling?

Yeah.

Aren’t they cute?

They’re just friends which is okay because promping is so much more fun with friends.

Truly.

 

 

new and adorable


There is nothing more adorable than a brand new baby…and the brand new parents. Everything is shiny, new, perfect, clean and sweet smelling. Oh that new baby smell! Then they burp and puke and fill their diaper with the most foulness that is literally twice their body weight. How is that even possible?

Still babies are amazing and the newness of them and their parents discovering it all is oh so adorable. Like how the newbie parents I know with their perfectly precious babies have discovered all things breastfeeding and babywearing and cloth diapering. I mean how did the parents before them…their parents and grandparents… manage before these awesome things? A new parent I know literally said that recently.

?

Oh you brand new parents! Y’all are absolutely precious!

Some of you I have known since you were kids yourselves. You know, back in the day when I seemed to be always pregnant or carrying a baby around…in my baby sling…when they weren’t attached to my breast like that one I nursed until right before she turned FOUR YEARS OLD. I’m pretty certain that my sister in law believed me when I joked that I was going to continue to breastfeed her right up until she graduated from high school. I was dead-pan serious when I told her that in answer to her question, “How long are you going to keep doing that?” And when I wasn’t babywearing or breastfeeding those babies of mine I was cloth diapering them with real SAFETY PINS. What can I say, some of my parenting peers and I were way ahead of our time. We were kind of hard core too because safety pins.

Erm, actually no.

To the generation or two before me I apologize for being certain that my baby parenting style of babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, breastfeeding was something we parents of the 80′s, 90′s and 00′s invented because, OMG, I was pretty obnoxious about it all, wasn’t I?

Note to the generation before me, this is likely one of the only times I will apologize about my early parenting know-it-all obnoxiousness so savor it while you can.

Now don’t stress my dear newbie parents. I’m not judging you or poking fun at you. I’m just observing and realizing that I was pretty much the same way. I think it is part of the process of figuring out what kind of parent we are going to be and feeling confident in who that is in spite of the grandparents’ well-meaning critiques. Sorry newbies, they never really stop that even when you have somehow managed to raise a human up to be an adult who makes an honest contribution to society…or makes human babies of their very own.

I know. It kind of sucks.

But you did invent this new cloth-diapering style with those sweet little fancy wraps and baby wearing amazing wraps for every day of the week that coordinate with your hipster wardrobe and co-sleeping and breastfeeding and everything else awesome that you are doing for your little ones. I know that you believe this all to be true. It’s okay for you to believe that because there are some exhausting days and sleep-deprived nights where it will seem like that is the only truth you can cling to in order to reassure yourself that you are doing this parenting thing right.

You ARE doing this parenting thing right.

You also might cling to the novel idea that it’s going to get better and so much easier when they are older and can mostly take care of themselves. Then, at long last, you shall sleep…like babies.

Oh you adorable parents of young ones who long for when they are older & can do things for themselves so you can relax and sleep well.

Heh!

You have no clue.

Absolutely no clue.

You think you do.

But you don’t.

Those grown and nearly grown beautiful children of yours go out and sometimes make bad choices. Of course sometimes they don’t because of your amazing parenting skills but they are still out and it is late. Are you beginning to understand now why years ago I declared to darling daughter #1, Hollie, that the car had a curfew even if she was 18 and an adult? One night she came home, bringing the car home in time for curfew and offered that I didn’t have to wait up for her. I immediately answered back that yes I did. Nineteen year old Hollie would never understand that yes I did because though she be all grown up and an adult, she was still my baby girl and how in the world was I supposed to sleep like a new baby if she was out and about town?

How?!

I think mother-of-two-little-girls Hollie might begin to understand…soon…as soon as her girls let her have an uninterrupted night’s sleep. I know that big sister Hollie definitely understands.

Meanwhile, there isn’t enough coffee to get through today after last night’s epic bad choices because part of becoming a grownup sometimes involves making such mistakes…the kind you’ll likely never, ever make again and the kind that you will never, ever let the children you might have in the future (the distant future) ever even try to make.

Good luck with that.

Excuse me, I’m going to pour myself another cup of coffee.

it’s time: “shut the door please”


I enter his room with an armful of freshly laundered and folded boy clothes. There he is sitting on his bed surrounded by all his bed buddies, including those little lions. One leg is propped up on his bent knee while he is so intently focused on yet another magic trick video…his latest YouTube obsession.

Thanks, Mom.

You’re welcome.

As I begin to exit his room and head downstairs to retrieve even more laundry to put away, he calls out to me.

Mom?

Yes, son?

Can you shut the door please?

Um, sure.

And so we continue on that twisty, winding road that is life with a pre-teen and teenager. I have no clue how this road will twist and turn nor how steep it might be but I do know that again, for the fifth (and final) time I am on that road. I quietly sigh to myself and gently shut the door.

It’s going to be okay.

For now.

Wait until we get to the slamming-the-door-and-loudly-blasting-angry-music stage. I’m so not ready to go to there.

play it again: angst stained


What?! You mean not every one gets all angsty, emo and philosophical when they are doing laundry?

Originally published October 29, 2013

A perfectly grey Fall day like today is the perfect day for laundry…especially because some of us are down to that last clean pair of socks and underwear.

Yes, I am slacking.

But today was the perfect day to get it done. At least most of it done. Okay, fine. Today was a good day to get some of it done…at least some socks and underwear. And thanks to my ever attentive, don-t-tell-her-she’s-clumsy-because-she-is-a-cat-and-cats-are-not-clumsy assistant, Zelda, I made a discovery.

When I am gone…remember me for who I am & not because I’m me. I know it makes no sense…but you’ll get it someday.

Teenaged angst all over one of my laundry baskets. I have no clue which one of my clowns wrote this and when and why. But I am sure they had their reasons to pour their heart out all over the bottom of this old laundry basket.

I get it. I had teenaged angst too. A lot of it. Too much of it. I poured it out all over the place. Funny how when I run across something I wrote years and years ago how sometimes I can get the pain and the emotion being expressed and other times I shake my head a little embarrassed because that really was tearing at my heart…that?! Perhaps at a certain age we aren’t supposed to understand that teenaged angst all that much…even if it was once ours.

I don’t know…

I get kind of philosophical when I’m doing laundry. And, as you can see it is hereditary.

play it again: Dear Mrs. Hall


Mrs. Hall certainly struck a nerve in September. Some loved her and some, well, some could not believe that which she wrote to the young girls out there taunting and tempting her poor, dear, sweet, innocent, adolescent boys. As the mother of daughters and a son and the wife of a darling husband who time and again calls bullshit on the idea that a guy just can’t help himself I had to say something…as did, oh my goodness, pretty much every other blogger out there.

Originally published September 4, 2013

You wrote and shared a blog post to inform and educate teenaged girls everywhere on how they should behave online if they want to be friends with your boys.

Um…

And then you shared it again.

Well, Mrs. Hall I get how you sit down with your boys and, as a family, check out that which appears on their Facebook feeds, Twitter stream, Instagram and anywhere else in their social media world. Good for you! I creep on my kids’ social media sites too. Sure you might balk at me referring to it as creeping but let me assure you that kids do call it creeping when their parents check their social media feeds. You don’t have to be defensive about it. You’re just being a good parent paying attention to what is going on in your kids’ world. Good for you! Good job! You’re still creeping…so am I.

Like you, I sometimes see things posted by their friends that could be considered inappropriate or perhaps something they wouldn’t want a coach or teacher or college admissions clerk or employer to see; something you hope to never see on your own children’s feeds.

Right?

They way I see it is these are those teachable moments for my kids and me. Kind of like you do.

Except I see it as a teachable moment for my OWN child of how THEY should behave online…not how they’re friends should behave…or whether or not that person is good enough to be their friend. Like it or not, it’s not our job as parents of adolescents to dictate who they can or can not be friends with…unless you want them to hang out forever with exactly who you don’t want to hang out with. We certainly can and should keep tabs on the people they choose to hang out with online and offline but our kids are thisclose to being adults who can choose friends without our consent. As hard as it is, we need to respect this reality just a little bit.

Mrs. Hall I don’t blame you for being shocked by some of the more provocative pictures you might see on your boys’ social media sites from their friends. Really I don’t. But honestly, you really think a selfie of a female classmate or youth group member is going to lead your precious boys astray down that horrid path of thinking about…

S-E-X

???

because teenaged boys with raging hormones and body parts that sometimes seem to have a life of their own is not happening in your house full of teenaged boys unless they are PROVOKED by a GIRL!

Of course it is the girl’s fault you say because she is posed that way in her jammies and, and she’s not wearing a bra! It’s stirring things up in your boys that they just can’t control…not at all!

Bullshit, Mrs. Hall!

Yes, I call bullshit. Sorry if that offends you. But it is bullshit. My darling husband says it is every time someone plays the men just can not control those urges and thoughts card. Of course they can because those are somebody’s daughters. Enough with the slut shaming and blaming. Boys can be taught to have some self control and some respect. They need to be. They should be.

Mrs. Hall you missed the teachable moment…the right teachable moments.

First of all here is one of those moments where you teach those boys of yours how to treat a young lady…any young lady regardless of how she might be dressed or not dressed. These girls, as you yourself noted, are so much more than their tits and asses with a unique and colorful world-view that you enjoy. Like you yourself said, these girls are interesting and smart people. Teach your boys that. Teach them to look beyond the physical of the person…the person who just so happens to be female with female body parts just like your female body parts. Teach them this. Those are the men who are good, moral and upstanding…and who make great husbands..and fathers of daughters and sons.

Second of all teach your boys that provocative selfies probably aren’t the best thing to make public…probably not the best thing to share privately…probably not the best thing to take at all. Yes it seems that sexy, pouty selfies in the bedroom or the bathroom or anywhere practically are the thing with some teenaged girls but let me assure you that TEENAGED BOYS DO IT TOO! Remember I have creeped on my teenaged GIRLS social media sites. I too have seen things that I can’t ever unsee of nice, good teenaged boys from good homes just like yours! Selfies of them shirtless, in their shorts, in their boxer briefs, with just a towel barely wrapped around their body below their waists….

BOYS DO IT TOO!!!

How dare these boys pose in such ways and post them where my sweet daughters can see them and cause them to think thoughts…thoughts that they have no control over…

Oh for goodness sake, Mrs. Hall. Here is where we must teach our own children how to behave and think and have some self-control.

Mrs. Hall, teenaged girls and teenaged boys are going to do a lot of stupid things all in the name of growing up and discovering who they are as an adult…an adult like it or not who is very much a sexual being. Yes, it is our job as parents to guide them with what is appropriate and what is not appropriate and how to make good choices for themselves and anyone they might be attracted to. Then we are to trust them. We also need to trust ourselves…trust ourselves as parents who have done our very best to raise up our kids to be the best possible men and women that they can be for themselves and their future partners.

I know it’s hard but we have to…unless you really want to be helicoptering over…

EW!

Along with trusting them and ourselves we need to be forgiving because they are going to make some mistakes and even some bad choices… like everyone else…like myself and like you (you did point out that you have made some doozies of mistakes). We need to be willing to offer second chances…and third chances…and fourth…and fifth…and sixth…and seventh and eighth chances. We don’t have to offer ninth chances…unless that one of my kids makes that mistake again for the ninth time then I will have to wrestle with that line I have drawn.

Believe me, Mrs. Hall, if you have done your very best to raise up those sons and daughter right they will be okay. They will be men and women we can be proud of. They will be the man or woman their in-laws will adore. I have three adult children now to reassure me of this truth everyday that my darling husband and I continue to nurture their younger sister and brother.

Thank you for your time, Mrs. Hall.

You take care now.

Mrs. Scarborough