How sad is the news coming out of Louisiana and Mississippi? Not only have all these people lost family members and homes, but the ones remaining are having to deal with flood waters as deep as 20 feet and full of dangerous critters like poisonous snakes and water rats, not to mention all the submerged sharp things like torn up fences, wiring, broken glass. Now they say, 80% of New Orleans is under water, 37,000 people are in shelters and the death toll keeps rising.
Andy said that a CNN correspondent broke down last night when telling of all the people who have died. What a devastating time for so many people.
Today we have the Kindergarten parents meeting for our five year old daughter. Her teacher is really wonderful and this year she added a new exercise for parents to go through. She asked us to come prepared to today's meeting by writing out a list of our hopes and dreams for our daughter academically and socially this year. Rick and I have been talking about this for about a week and it was such a cool process to go through and think about. It is simple things we want for her: learn to read, stay curious, work on not feeling she has to keep all her friends happy all the time...It gave us a really interesting frame of reference as we enter the school year.
Now we want to do the same for all our kids, even though their teachers did not ask for it. Maybe we just keep the lists to ourselves and then we have our own schooling "hopes and dreams " in mind as we go through the year with each of them.
Here's an email I am sure many of you have received, but it is cute, so I share. (Plus, it's so true, right?)
A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon
channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she may be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet
towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.
She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"
She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world did I do today?"
"Yes," was his incredulous reply.
She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it.
You have probably seen this already, but yesterday I discovered Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. It is so dang funny (if it wasn't so scary that this is actually necessary in the 21st century.)
This summer, Bobby Henderson, the founder of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, sent a letter to the Kansas State School board to protest teaching "Intelligent Design" in its schools, and asking that his new religion, Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, be given equal measure along with evolution and intelligent design.
"I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence."
The FSM cult now has a Wikipedia entry, with details that indicate that followers of His Noodliness -- Pastafarians -- are growing in number, like so many meatballs accumulating on a plate of linguine. A few of the facts:
- Prayers are ended with the word Ramen rather than Amen.
- Like the great noodles they worship, Flying Spaghetti Monsterists have flimsy moral standards.
- Promise of a stripper factory and a beer volcano in Heaven.
(Official image of the FSM)
Wait,there's more: Pirates!
According to FSM-ism, Global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct consequence of the decline in numbers of pirates since the 1800s and followers are expected to dress in full pirate regalia.
Emily and I had so much fun writing this post for the Design Public Baby Blogapalooza. The topic was "Children and Design," so Emily and I interviewed our kids. Go and check it out - lots of great posts from parent bloggers and furniture/textile designers as well.
I think of some of the things I have said to my kids in a fit of stressed-out pique and all I can say after reading the following column is: ugh.
By CLAUDIA QUIGG- For the Herald & Review
- Published online on Monday, August 15, 2005 2:34 AM CDT
At a recent parent-child event, I observed a pair of four-year-old twin boys and their mother. These red-haired look-alikes were a delight to watch until I realized that one of them was displaying some spectacularly bad behavior.
I wandered over to where the beleaguered mother was seated with them to see if I could help. The misbehaving twin stepped up to me, beamed into my face and announced, "I'm the bad one! We think I have ADD."
In that moment, I learned a lot about the prevailing dynamic in that family's household. First, I learned that this little boy was remarkably bright and verbal. He also appeared to be quite energetic. No doubt, this little fellow was a handful.
But I also learned that the grownups in his life had been labeling him in his presence. Few 4 year olds would diagnose themselves as "having ADD" or even as being "the bad one," for that matter. This young man was parroting what he had heard said about himself countless times.
While it's true that he had a pretty active temperament, I couldn't help but notice that his brother - unscathed by their mother's judgment - also seemed to be a busy little boy.
While I empathize with the tough job this mother faces, I regret that she had developed this pattern of relating to the one of the boys. Somehow, the roles had been cast in this family, and one child had been classified as "the bad one." Without knowing anything else about how he is doing now, I can predict that he continues to struggle with behavior issues.
I sometimes wonder if parents understand the power they have to help children build their self-concept. Without a doubt, children become what we say about them. Parents who talk about how "bad" their children are in front of them are giving them a license (more - an obligation!) to behave in a "bad" way. Children have such utter confidence in their parents' judgment that they believe the labels they hear at home.
Labeling of children often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When a child hears again and again that she is messy or lazy or selfish, she figures it must be true and embraces that characteristic as part of what defines her. Often parents' well-intentioned efforts to correct and improve their children have the opposite effect. If the child of a busy parent gets attention for being messy, why would she stop making messes?
Parents benefit by reframing their comments to children, focusing on the behavior they hope to see. "I love it when you help your brother." "Look how you put that truck on the shelf!" "You help our house stay clean when you keep your food on the table." When children are noticed for doing things well, they are motivated to do more.
With children you can expect bad behavior, bad choices, even bad stages (which are often developmentally appropriate!) But in 30 years of working with young families, I've never met a "bad" child. Our words are the mirror our children face. When they look into them, what kind of person do they see?
There is a beautiful post up on DotMoms by Kimberly describing what it is like to be a single mom. She said she is always asked what it is like to raise her kids on her own, so she decided to write about it. Here is an excerpt, but go and read the whole thing, it is really moving.
Being a single parent is so much more than being the only one there at bedtime. We've all been there, single and partnered moms alike. It's not about having someone else to pick up the slack around the house -- although I'm sure that when you are used to that support and it is withdrawn, it must seem doubly hard. The real difference is living with the knowledge that no one will ever love or be enthralled with your child as much as you are.
Cooper & Emily
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