Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guest Post - Gender Bending in The DeBie Hive

I am so giddy about this guest post.  I am not sure if it trumps DaddyCool writing as I never thought that would occur, BUT it is a super duper close 2nd.  A very close friend who is a real life friend...not just a read on the computer friend has agreed to write a guest post.   

She has been with me through great and horrible.  She was there with when I was miserable and pregnant....because she rocks as a doula.  She was there when my kids were sick and I needed a reality check.  She is there to laugh with and we do that a lot.  She does all that and runs a hive of 4 kids Who has time for all that and four kids?  My badass friend Kelly from DeBie HiveShe is the Queen over there if you haven't met her, here is an intro from her page...

I'm a California girl living a Colorado life. I'm a doula, a photographer and a writer. I have four kids....and, trust me, that explains a lot.

 DeBie Hive

When The Mommy Ref asked me to do a guest post for her blog, I was thrilled. 

You see, I may or may not have encouraged her to get into this whole crazy blogging thing as direct punishment for the fact that she's always asking my advice about parenting.

She can blame me.

I have kids that are older than hers, I have both boys and girls, and our children have more similarities than differences when it comes to personality issues.  Most of the time when she shares her frustration about whatever is going on, I can tell her that I've been in that place, almost exactly. 

I like to believe that I've talked her away from the mommy ledge a few times, and I know that I can tell her about all the stuff going on in my life without worrying about it ever going further than that.

We aren't just fellow bloggers, we're friends.  True friends.  The kind who know way too much about each other. 

So, when she asked me to do this, I said yes immediately. 

We tried to come up with a topic that would go along with her blog theme, and that was something I haven't really written about before, so here goes.

Gender Bending in The DeBie Hive

Sometime in this past week, The Mommy Ref mentioned something to me about a parent in her daughter's dance class commenting on how she put her daughter in dance because she didn't want her playing sports.  It stuck with me, even though I wasn't even there when it was said.

It stuck with me because we have always encouraged our kids to try activities that they are interested in, with no regard to whether something is a "boy" activity or a "girl" activity.  We just don't deal with gender boundaries here at all, we push them.  Test the limits.  Challenge what people expect.  Allow our kids to be who they already are without question or judgment.

When I was pregnant with our second, we bought our oldest, a boy, a baby doll.  He loved that doll and carried it everywhere.  He has lots of big brother miles on him these days, and has always been loving and understanding around babies.  I think he gets almost as excited as I do around newborns.

That boy, the oldest, is not my athlete.  He played soccer for a few seasons, but didn't love it.  He played baseball for a few years too.  Through just the luck of the draw, he needed surgery two years in a row.  His baseball career ended. 

Since then, he's tried swimming and basketball.  We just signed him up for wrestling.  He hasn't found a single sport that he loves, and that's okay.  He loves to play, he loves to try new things, and he doesn't care if he is good or not.  He's a fan of sports, he loves to learn the intricate rules of them all.  He just is a better spectator than player.  And that is okay.

What he is great at?  Art.  Music.  Anything creative. 

He loves to make, to envision, to build.  He wants to get more active in the drama club at school, and I could easily see him doing musical theater by high school.  I'm sure he'll be designing the sets too.  The kid has a wicked pair of jazz hands and can kick anyone's ass on Just Dance. 

He invented a cartoon character named Pinki.  As you can probably guess, Pinki is pink.

Does that make him less "boyish"? 

Hell no.  I happen to think it makes him awesome.

My eldest daughter, the opposite.  She's a tomboy, has been since birth...but she's a fabulous tomboy.  She's always been my jock, she's always had the highest energy level, she's always cared the least about what the other little girls were doing. 

She'd rather kick the ball around than go shopping any day.  She's the reason we have rules about playing soccer in the house.  She's the one who got a USWNT jersey for Christmas and squealed as much as her younger sister did when she got a box of makeup. 

She plays hard, she takes on the boys, she throws elbows.  She broke her foot in a soccer game against the boys last year, and was back out on the grass with her ball as soon as the cast was dry.  She broke one of her casts completely.  She never stops moving. 

She's played soccer since she was three, she's done figure skating and tennis and swimming and basketball.  She desperately wants to play volleyball, but the seasons overlap with soccer.  Oh, and that soccer thing?  She's been on a traveling team for two years. We all eat, sleep and breathe soccer around here.  I knew she loved it when she took a ball to the face in the box and stopped it.  I'd love nothing more than for her to find the confidence to get back in at keeper.



She's also my matchy-matchy girl.  She insists on careful wardrobe selection.  She adores headbands with giant flowers and bows.  She loves sparkly things, but she won't hesitate to drop it all and lace up her cleats if someone wants to play.

We've said for years that she has boy legs.  Covered in scars and bruises and bumps and blisters, they are the evidence of how hard she plays.  She asked for, and got a skateboard for Christmas. Does that make her less "girly"?  

Hell no.  I happen to think it makes her awesome.

My other daughter, the younger one, probably falls more within the boundaries of a typical girl most of the time, at least to the casual observer.  She loves music, loves fashion (though she refuses anything that matches), she is already boy crazy.  What she also is, though, is tough.  She plays almost entirely with boys, she can't stand girl drama already, and she could wrestle her brother to the ground by the time she was 18 months old.  She hates to color and loves to fight.

She can do anything he can do, better.  She plays soccer like her big sis.

She stands up for what she believes in, won't let anyone push her around, and already got sent to the office for punching a male bully in the face.  She's her mama's girl, and she's pretty badass.  She might look girly from the outside, but she's feisty.

Does her unwillingness to put up with the crap people throw at her make her less "girly"?

Hell no.  I happen to think it makes her awesome.

My youngest son could ride a bike by two, scored more goals on his soccer team than the rest of the kids combined, drop kicked the soccer ball into the tree during Christmas and can throw a spiral with a full size football already.  He got baseball gear for Christmas and has been asking five times a day when we're signing him up.

As I write this, he's also painting his toenails.  Again.  I'm pretty sure his toes have about six coats of nail polish on them.  He fairly frequently is dressed up like a princess, cha cha shoes and everything. 
He loves to sing and dance and has an unnatural affection for Lady Gaga.

Does that make him less "boyish"? 

Hell no, and anyone who would ever claim that can take it up with his mother.  I hear she's pretty badass.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Getting 2 Know The Mommy Ref



A wonderful Mama nominated for my second Leibster Award.  She is so awesome to me I couldn’t ignore the awesome nomination.  Although since I have already received this award I am going to take this time to use her posed questions as a get to know The Mommy Ref a bit better opportunity.  I sure hope that is alright with you players.  Bending the rules and getting crazy here!

Here are the questions and my answers

Have you ever moved away from "home"?

Yes, I grew up in CA.  When I was a young lass I had a nasty break up and moved to Oregon to finish school.  At the time I felt it was right to get a fresh start, but I sound realized it was more of a break from the drama.  I moved back after graduating 2 years later.  I am currently back in California.

What are your hobbies, besides blogging?

Are kids a hobby?  How about a hubby?  Is cleaning a hobby?  We enjoy camping as a family and try to go often.  Being in California there is always something going on.  I enjoy playing and coaching sports.  I have coached basketball for several years now and get pleasure out of seeing kids find love for the game.

Do you go on family vacations; which was your favorite?

We have stayed pretty local since the kids have been born.  More for cost than anything else.  Our favorite times are out in nature camping.  The kids are able to be more “free” and we get to relax a bit too!

Any big plans for 2013?

Not sure if it is a big plan but DaddyCool and I have made a decision to use more small businesses in 2013.  Give work to those that need and want it.  Give back to those that work hard to provide in a state as tough as California.

If you could have any animal, real or imaginary, for a pet, what would you choose and why?

I would get a unicorn and gift it to Kelly at The Debie Hive.  Because she would totally rock that with her Wonder Woman Cape and boots!  I am not making this up, she would.  Plus I would go crazy with something else to take care of.  I kill plants!

What's your favorite book/movie?

The Neverending Story….Loved that I could be lost in a Story


It's raining and the kids are home from school, WHAT DO YOU DO?

Movies, popcorn and snuggles.  Crack the window open and listen to the rain.  We also like to make pizzas too.  Just spend time.


If you could time-travel, would you go back to the past or into the future?

I would go into the past so I could spend more time with loved ones that were taken too early from me


Do you censor your posts based on your followers (like family or certain friends)?

I don’t write about certain things because I am not sure I can put it on paper well, but it is not for fear of “who” is reading it.  I have an anonymous blog but I am not na├»ve that my cover could be blown at any time.  Also, this blog was set up as a reflection of me.  I won’t write something to simply create traffic.  It is real stuff on my mind.


Will you keep blogging?

I hope to.  I only write about once a week because I don’t want to take a lot of time from my family and myself.  This year I am making better choices to get me healthy.  You will see more one liners on Twitter or Facebook than deep thought out blog posts for now.  I hope that chances as my confidence in writing builds.


You get to meet a role model or idol: who is it and why?

I would like to be in a room with other successful business women that were Moms.  I would like hear their struggles and triumphs growing to the positions they are in now.


  Hope that gives you a little more about me.  If there is anything else you have been wondering about me, let me know!                         

Game Over.

Friday, January 25, 2013

DaddyCool Writes...


Of all the topic choices out there, this is what you guys threw at me?   
What do I think about Mommy Ref having a blog? 
To be perfectly honest, she likes it and I don’t get it but I guess that’s what makes it work. Isn’t that what happens in a marriage anyway? We are different and that is what makes us work. She writes about stuff that bothers her. I use my mouth and just cuss people out. She drinks vodka. I drink Rum. I kick ass at Guitar Hero. Her, not so much. She played sports growing up. I played the tuba.
I guess when I think about my feelings of her having a blog; I realize that I have never thought about my feelings for her having a blog. She has it posted on Facebook and has a court full of followers, of which I am not one. Not because I don’t care, but because it’s ‘her thing’. She has her interests and I have mine. Isn’t that how marriage works? Don’t get me wrong, we both like some of the same things. Long walks on the beach, candle light dinners, cuddling on the couch…aw crap, who am I kidding. No one likes that shit anymore. These days doing things together consists of talking trash over a game of Words with Friends or kicking the kids asses at Candyland.
So when she asked me to actually write about my feelings I was a bit confused. Does she not remember that men can roll their eyes too? What do I say? Do I be brutally honest, or let her down easy? I felt like she was asking me if those pants made her butt look big. There’s just no right answer. Just like when I get asked which purse I like better. There’s just no right answer.
So I’ll end this with a final thought. I chose to write this because when Mommy Ref, aka my wife, asks me to do something that means a lot to her, I do it, even if it’s something that I would normally not do, like telling her that her those pants don’t make her butt look big. It’s the shirt.  
 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When I Grow Up...

Growing up I always admired my Dad.  He could handle the most difficult situations with grace.  He was able to guilt me into telling him anything and everything.  I am convinced he knew the answers before getting me to come clean…but he had a way.  My Mom and I were close as well.  Being that she was a young lady when I was born, I always had the hip Mom that everyone thought was my older sister.  Looking at that now….that is pretty awesome.  My parents were by no means perfect.  They gave 100% indeed.  They loved us to the moon and back.  They went without to give to us things we needed.  At a young age I realized this.  I saw the sacrifice.  I saw the dedication.  I saw that I was taken care of.
As with any of you there are attributes I would hope I took with me into my parenting journey.  There are also attributes I would wish to never have my children experience.  Our house was safe.  We weren’t hit or abused but my Mom has a very short fuse.  This is something I said I would never have with my kids.  I mean they are kids.  I am to be patient and loving and teach them their ways.  I see Mothers do it all the time.  I saw my Dad always keep his cool.  It was something I would do for my kids.
With my first child I was that parent.  I was so patient and loving and nothing would get me going.  That lasted until he was walking….then number two and number three.  Well, let’s just say I am NOT the patient and understanding Mother I set out to be.  I do have great moments, but lately I have been struggling….. A LOT.
I yell too often.  I lose my cool too easy.  I just get frustrated when I should show more self control.  Then I go in a room and cry because I am upset that once again I have not been able to control myself.  I cry because I remember what it was like as a child when my mom got angry with us.  I cry because once again…I have failed in keeping my promise.
I wonder often why I didn’t become more like my Dad….but lately I think I know that answer.  You see my Dad never showed he was upset because he kept it all inside.  He never wanted to engage in an argument with my Mom.  He would hear her out and let the whole situation simmer down.  He didn’t challenge her often.  He loved her and wanted the best for her (and us) always.  I am not able to bottle up my feelings like that.  I need to talk about them…. Or do I?
The harsh reality is…I am not happy with ME. I don’t talk about that.  I have thought about going to talk to someone about it, but haven’t.  I have often thought about the reasons “why” and then stop.  The truth is…I am not sure how to go about this.  I can give advice to others.  I am able to support them through difficult times.  I feel that I have good judgment on when to be supportive and when to take action….. as long as the person is not me.  I want to lose weight to be a better role model and have a healthier life.  I have lost 20 pounds since December 1st….and have now lost motivation again.  I have the best husband.  He is always there and always supportive.  My kids are thriving and healthy.  My family is close.  I have a successful career.  So is it all about the weight or is there more to this?  Honestly, I do not know…I am trying to figure that out. 
In the mean time, I need to work harder on being who I promised I would be as a Mom.  I need to be more patient, loving and kind.  I need to.  Yesterday confirmed this in a harsh honest way.  While cleaning I found a paper on the floor next to his desk.  It was written by my 7 year old.  He enjoys writing and usually it is really funny.  However, this was not funny.  It hit my heart like a ton of bricks.  It said, “If I see a wishing star night I would wish that my Mommy would never be upset enough to yell.  I love her hugs more”.
It broke my heart and warmed it at the same time.  I need to do better.  I am not setting out for perfection….just each day better than the next.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

And The Nominees Are...

This sweet lady over at Mom's World nominated me, for the Liebster Award.  We started our Facebook pages about the same time.  She has supported my growth and I hers.  Like her, I've never been nominated for anything before, so I amextremely honored for this nomination.
So the Liebster award has rules and they are as follows....
This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  The award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support each other.

1.  Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2.  Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3.  Choose 11 new bloggers (or with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4.  Go to their page and tell them about the award.
5.  No tag backs.

11 random facts about The Mommy Ref
  • I have an obsession with numbers.  I like the number 7 and numbers that are divisible by 7.  Ironically, my birthday, DaddyCools and all three kid birthdays are all divisible by 7....yes weird
  • I was in school to become a Respiratory Therapist.  I lasted 2 hours of clinically runs.  Once I heard someone hacking all that mucus I ran out puking and never returned. 
  • I love spicy food...I put  hot sauce or salsa on everything
  • My husband and I have been known to play Candyland without the kids
  • I wish I collected something.  I have always wanted to but have never figured out what to collect.  Man that sounds lame!
  • My first car was a 1979 El Camino....yes with the v8 engine.....yes it was crazy fast....no I never got a ticket.
  • I love sports.  I actually coach my kids teams.  That is partly because I am also a control freak.
  • I hate Chuck E Cheese or anything like it.  I hate bouncing houses...I cringed with all the thoughts of snot and spit, blah!
  • I am addicted to coffee....lots of coffee
  • My celebrity crush is Adam Sandler.
Questions from  Mom's World:

1.  Are you brand-loyal to any product?
No, I am a coupon lady.  Not a crazy nutty one, but I go for the deals.  I do have some brand avoidance.  Items that we don't like and stay away from no matter how good the deal is.  I aim to save about 40-50% on my receipts. 

2.  Do you have a story behind your kid(s) name(s)?
Being that my blog does not use my kids names....this one is harder to answer.  But yes...they all have one common letter in their first name.

3.  What is your favorite board game?
I actually love the game Sorry.  I like the simple games of luck.

4.  Have you ever been to Disneyland/Disneyworld?

I have been to both.  Disneyworld as a young girl and Disneyland often as I grew up in California.  My kids have been once.  I would like to go more but it is a motgage payment to go these days.  Totally nuts!

5.  What is your favorite movie?

Anything Adam Sandler I could watch over and over.  Then there is Office Space.  I can related to this movie every single day I go to work. I like funny and brainless....hmmm seeing a theme here.


6.  What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a doctor.  I wanted to help people.  I am no where near a doctor now.  Looking back I know I could have got there.....but at the time I was too afraid to go for it and never signed up for that major.  I went the easy way out as a Business Major.

7.  What is one of your favorite childhood memories?

Spending time with my great grandparents.  I can still smell the cookies baking in the kitchen when I close my eyes.  I could draw you a picture of their entire apartment and place all the furniture.  I miss them.

8.  What city do you live in and do you like it?
Can I plea the 5th on this one?  I still live in California near LA. I do enjoy where we live as we are fairly close to anything we want to go enjoy.  Las Vegas isn't too far either...I want to go back soon.

9.  How long have you been blogging and why?
I just started the Mommy Ref blog in October 2012.  I wanted a place to decompress.  I wanted a place to write and develop as a writer.  I wanted a safe place to build confidence in my writing.  I enjoy the anonymous part of writing on MommyRef.  I have written on other blogs for family updates and tracking pregnancies.
 
10. Do you have someone you idolize or look up to?

I could go with the old, of course my parents answer, which is true.  They have made me who I am today.  I really strive to be the best "me" out there.  I am not focused on the way others are.  Since starting this blog thing there are a hand ful of ladies that I admire.  They can put anything in writing and I find myself just nodding and smiling....sometimes crying.  I hope to be that for someone else some day.

11. What is your favorite TV show?
Parenthood.....if you haven't seen it, you should.  In each "mom" character I find a little piece of me.

Questions from me to my nominees:
1.  Why did you start to blog?
2.  Do you have a story behind your kid(s) name(s)?
3.  What is your favorite sit com?
4.  Have you ever been to another country?
5.  What is your favorite ice cream?
6.  What did you want to be when you grew up?
7.  Are you allergic to anything?
8.  What state would you move to if you could?
9.  What is something you want to accomplish before 2013 is over?
10. Who is your celebrity crush?
11. What were you doing at 8am this morning?

And last but not least - my nominees!  I really wish I could nominate more than just 11....but here's some super awesome ones that have recently come across.  Don't forget to find them on Facebook too.  They are a riot!

Active Mum
The Fabulous Mrs. Wing
3monkeysandamartini
Funny is family
When Crazy Meets Exhaustion
Big A Little a
Adventures of NinjaMama
The Musings of Munch
Kissing the Frog
Red Vines and Red Wine
Mommy River Badger

Friday, January 11, 2013

Extreme Carpooling - How It Works




Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. 17 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.








My subject is Extreme Carpooling - How It Works.  It was submitted by   http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com/  Here goes: 

 

When I first received this topic my stomach sank.  I don’t know anything about Carpooling.  So I have no clue how Extreme Carpooling would work.  I work all day.  I am excited if I am the one who is able to pick up my kids at all.  Usually I am reliant on my Mom to get them so they are at after care less time than need be.  Being a Mom who works out of the house does limit your exposure to some of the fun stories of school carpooling.  I see many stories from others and statuses that make you shake your head.  I, however, have not had the opportunity to experience it.  Well at least I haven’t in a school setting.
Working for a large company in a large town they are always looking for ways to be “eco-friendly”. 
  • Go Green! 
  • Paperless! 
  • Save a tree! 
  • Buddy up to decrease pollution! 
Yes, the last one is true.  As a company we were asked to fill out profiles of things we liked.  They used this data with other demographics like working hours and where you lived to develop these wonderful profiles.  These profiles would pair you up with one or more people in your area.  The intent was for you to reach out to these people and start up a carpool relationship.  The profile was not mandatory….but if you filled one out you had a chance to win $100….so I did…..but did not win! 
What I did win was phone calls from my apparent matches.  Let the Extreme Carpooling begin! Maybe?!
   
I was reluctant to buy into this at first because I like to be in control.  I want to arrive and leave on my time table.  Nothing eats at me more than waiting on someone else…especially if they are repeat offenders.  I set aside my selfish thoughts and agreed to a one month trial with the group.  One month in work terms is really only about 20 days.  Add in the fact that I was on vacation for 5.  I could do this for 15 days. Yes, I did that math prior to agreeing.

Unlike the photo above, there were only 4 of us…

Molly Sing All – Molly was sweet. She loved to bring trinkets to everyone. One time she stumbled upon these Slinkies that lit up. Who doesn’t like Slinkies, right? She was so proud of her find. She came bouncing to the car with her little pink bag all ready to spring her latest find on us. She was very energetic for 6am. Sometimes nauseatingly so, for 6am. She always had a story…about her. Before she handed us our gifts, she told us how this guy at Target who she just KNEW was rich, had asked for her number. She was “in love” and hoped we could all feel how she did some day. The flaw Molly had, was that she never asked about anyone else. So she was completely unaware that another rider had just gotten over a nasty divorce. When someone would start talking about anything but Molly she would turn up the radio and sing. Only she couldn’t sing worth a lick! My ears bled!

Tammy Twoshoes – Tammy was a young gal.  You know the type.  Her makeup always perfect.  She only wore designer labels.  And was quick to make fun of other peoples choices. She was always out late partying the night before.  Something would always happen to her that was “unthinkable”.  I remember on the 3rd day of carpooling (yes just 3 days in, I should have quit here) she came to the meeting place looking a "little rough."  I asked her if she was ok because frankly she didn't look like it.  She shared that she had just got home from being out at 4:30 this morning.  She decided to just shower and go to work since she was up.  Apparently she had met some new hot and coming boy band member that wined and dined her.  However as the night went on she found out he was not who he had said and had no car to take her home.  She had no money (of course) so she had to hit on others guys to get her a ride home.  You don't want to know the rest...because I sure didn't need to hear it.  The cool thing about Tammy was that it was never her fault.   She never had money for gas and always seemed to owe us next week.  In fact, thinking about it.  I think she still owes me some gas money….

Silent Susan – Susan was quiet.  Very quiet.  She rarely started a conversation.  She rarely spoke up in conversations either.  I am not sure if this was her true nature or if it was just because Molly and Tammy talked enough for all of us…about themselves. I don't have any cool stories about Susan.  I actually enjoyed the silent company.  Although one time she did drive all the way to work with her skirt hanging out the car door. 

Remember the profiles…the ones that we were required to all fill out?  I am convinced they all lied!  This was the worst 2 weeks ever!  If they didn’t lie, then I am equally convinced that we were the only 4 people in the area who filled out the forms. I would like to say this whole idea was a huge FAIL.  But I can’t.  I learned a lot about myself in two weeks.  I learned that:
  • I need to remember the people around me.  I too can get caught up in life and be like Molly.  My agenda is out there and I move on to the next item.  I am often in such a hurry to check an item off the list I rush past the people and blessings along the way.  I will take some time to slow down.
  • Tolerance is not my best attribute.  I need to work on it.  Not being in control every step of the way is ok.  I need to have more tolerance as people are learning the ways..this is especially important with my children.  I am often quick to get frustrated that it is not as I “think it should be”.  Everything does not have to look or be perfect.  Remembering that the cover of a person or issue is not the entire story. 
  • Not be afraid to show more about me.  This one I struggle with often.  I often lack confidence in myself.  Weird huh?  I want the control but lack the confidence.  This blog is the perfect example.  I love to write my thoughts.  I “want” to write and share my thoughts but I lack the confidence to share them as “me”. I need to work on my writing in a safe bubble.  I welcome the criticizing of my writings from dear followers.  I have found I have learned so much about myself in a very short time by reading my own posts and the comments of my followers.
 As far as this extreme method of Carpooling…profiling people and pairing them up…I would vote this effort an extreme fail. 

Would I do it again, NO.  Am I glad I tried it, YES. 

There are pros of course.  You save money, wear and tear on your car, you meet new people (whether you want to know them or not), and you can learn a lot about yourself.  That last one could always be a con…..you might learn more than you want to know about yourself.  Those 2 ladies annoyed the crap out of me ( liked Susan )….but I have some of the same flaws.  I will embrace these opportunities for improvement.  A work in progress....always.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Competition



I was speaking with a co worker this past week and the conversation turned to our kids.  The conversation started off like all conversations I have with BTDT (been there done that) Moms.  The newer Moms out there know what I am referring to.  You know the comments...

"Oh, enjoy these days they grow up so fast!"
"Kids will be kids, just enjoy it"
"What young parents these days don't understand is...."  - This one can go so many wonderful ways
"If I was raising my kids in these days, I would never...."
"Parents today are too tough on kids too young"

And this is where the conversation changed a bit.  The topic of children and the stress of competition and disappointment.  I have to say that I am a 100% believer that extra curricular activities are great for children. DaddyCool and I were both into extra curricular activities in which we both agree kept us focused and out of trouble growing up.  Ms. Coworker was upset that we would enroll a 3 year old in dance and our 5 year old in basketball.  Her comment was "why rush it?".  My answer is, they asked so we found them a safe environment to test it out.  I invited her to come watch my daughter's joy while in her dance class.  I invited her to come see how much my son loves to play animal ball basketball and that he begs to play more. I will never force my children to "do" anything, but I will not shelter them from the opportunity to try it out.

So as if I didn't upset her enough she then says "I guess you would be happy to beat your child at a board game"  I don't think she was wanting me to actually answer that by the look on her face, but I did anyway.

I do believe that children need to be exposed to the possibility of rejection or "losing" as early as they can comprehend it.  Now before you flame me for that, let me explain.  One important factor - In moderation.  For example, when we play board games here DaddyCool and I do not "let" the kids win.  If we are playing Candyland or another children's game and they happen to come in last we use that as a learning experience.  My co worker thought that was completely out of line and why would we want to "hurt" them in these precious years.

So to that I say this, losing might hurt for a bit when it is Mommy and Daddy, but when they are at school it is going to hurt a lot worse if they have never been exposed to some disappointment in life.  The tough reality is they won't win at everything and the answer will not always be "yes".  Why not use a safe environment to mold them to handle this in the real world?

Now don't worry, when are are facing bigger challenges we don't go around demoralizing our children.  Well, at least I don't.  You might have to ask DaddyCool how proud he was to have beat our 6 year old in checkers.  (ha ha).  No but really, there is judgment used when to teach these valuable lessons and when to "let" them enjoy the victory.  That is the balance each parent finds for each child's tolerance for learning these tough lessons.  Losing is a reality....Reality bites sometimes.