Tag Archive: parenting


Argh!  Today has been one of those days.

Did I mean to have this review done and ready to go yesterday? Yes, I did.

Did I mean for it to be posted and not have Samantha worry that one of her bloggers was failing or flailing? Yes, I did.

Unfortunately, life and family got in the way. Baseball games, dog training,  and the need to be out of the house during this awful period of unemployment got in the way.

While my son’s team lost last night in a complete blowout, I can tell you almost every time he was at bat Sam hit the ball and managed to get on base.

I can tell you that the picture for my mother’s Mother’s Day gift is ready and the frame needs a little adjustment. I can tell you I bought a nice red dress shirt for my son’s concert in two days and that I found a cute top for my daughter on her birthday next week. And I finally bought the needed Plumber’s goop for under the kitchen sink.

Those are all stories for another time.

Image from Chick Lit Plus

Image from Chick Lit Plus

Today we are talking about Cookies For Dinner  by Pam Johnson-Bennett and Kae Allen.

This collection of essays follow the very different paths to motherhood Pam and Kae took, as well as their philosophies.

That might explain why the germophobe had a cockroach wave at her or the usually punctual mom found herself getting late to class as her pregnancy wore on.

Life, pregnancy, and child rearing is seldom what you will expect it to be; there is no such thing as perfection.

Which may be the reason I found myself laughing at the cockroach story and the measles story and one of the potty training stories.

I like this book for being easy to pick up and put down. Some days, the only time I had to read even one essay was at bedtime before I passed out. But during that time, I would read one complete story. It gave me time to reflect on the story and chuckle to myself.

I understood the one about trying to get through a store without a dreaded tantrum but still buying your stuff because, yep, I did that. Child had a tantrum and I refused to give in. We have all done some of the things in this book and it is reassuring to know that sometimes, some days, we fail. But then the next morning comes and we try again.

Now the stories that might have you tearing up are the ones Pam tells about adopting her two children.  When you need comic relief, Kae jumps in with a tale of hosing off her child’d car seat in the front yard after an explosive poop. Did I mention the child was still in the seat?

Pam and Kae: Image from Chick Lit Plus

Pam and Kae: Image from Chick Lit Plus

Oh, you can sit there and pretend you have never done any of this or thought about it. Truth is, too many parenting books are pompuss and filled with inane advice. I put down one book because the author’s forward was a hot air explanation of what we do wrong as parents from the perspective of someone who may have never had a kid.

That I do not need. Instead, I want to read stories of real people who have been there, done that, and can tell a damn funny story after the storm clouds have settled down. These two moms have that down. If there is no other reason to read the book, then listening to their stories about parenting in the worst of times and in the best of times is one of the few things you will actually wish to do again.

Especially the one about the waving cockroach because it is both touching and funny.

 

Want to find the book? Connect with Pam & Kae!

Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/twoloonsandabook

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/2loonsandabook

Our website: http://www.twoloonsandabook
Buy the Book!

http://www.amazon.com/Cookies-Dinner-tales-survive-motherhood/dp/1935052519/ref=la_B001H6NUGW_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1367684096&sr=1-7

A few weeks ago an incident at a park bothered me. Really bothered me despite it having nothing to do with me or my actions.

Picture by Click

It was the Fourth of July and our town was having a celebration that was also raising money for new playground equipment. We had fun and had a hand at raising nearly $6,000 for the new park. That was the great part of the day.

However, while I was there talking to another tee-ball mom a little boy came along to play in the sand. He was without parent. At first he was throwing sand but a stern look from me stopped that behavior. He continued on playing with my friend’s little girl – in the sand – for 15 or 20 minutes.

That is when mom finally came on the scene and she was angry. How dare he play in the sand and get all dirty. A smack to the head was followed by his crying and being dragged off by angry mom.

It was over in a minute but I felt shocked at what I was seeing. There are certain rules of parenting that should not get broken and one of them is being an unreasonable bitch. Hitting your kids in public is no longer allowed. And certainly leaving your kid alone for twenty minutes and then getting pissed at him should have given me the right to smack her like she smacked her five-year-old.

Picture by Anita Patterson

Did that mom not know they were at a public park? Sand and dirt are all over the place – in sandboxes and on baseball fields. Kids are going to find it. Did she tell him not to get dirty when they got there?

That is like bringing a kid to a jump house place and saying “Ok, no playing in any of the bouncy houses. I don’t want you getting hurt.” What kind of stupid idiot parent brings a kid somewhere that has sand and then tells them not to play in the sand?

While we are at it, what kind of stupid parent brings their kid to a fun fair at a park and does not know where their kid is for 20 minutes?

This mom shows up and acts as if what the kid was doing was a total surprise to her. Where was she during all of that time? Talking to friends? Having a good time,  not noticing her kid throwing sand and being reprimanded by another mom?  It is one thing to be an idiot mom and not notice your kid. It is another to reprimand him in the worst way possible.

That’s right. Smacking a kid because you took him to a park where there was sand and dirt while telling him he cannot get dirty. And when he plays in that irresistable pile of sand while you were not paying attention for 20 minutes that gives the parent the right to smack the child and smack him hard. What if I place that parent in a bar and then told them the only thing they could drink was water. No beer, wine, mixed drink, hard lemonade, nothing.

You know what will happen next. They will try the water but nothing is a good as what you cannot have. The desire grows and then someone hands them a favorite alcoholic drink. That is when I get to swoop in and “whammy!” with the back of my hand.

While I enjoy the imagery of that last thought, here are a few rules for parents to live by.

1. If you go to the park, kids will find the dirt and/or sand. Don’t go thinking they will stay perfectly clean or by your side while you talk endless trash with your friends. They will get bored, they will look for something to do and chances are it will involve sand and/or dirt. If it bothers you that much, bring along hand sanitizer, baby wipes or a plastic bubble to put around your kid.

2. Keep an eye on your child – no matter what. If they are under the age of 8, watch what they are doing and do not be surprised when they find something to do involving dirt/sand/mud when you are not looking. You can still talk to your friends, just move around so your child is within your eye-sight line.

3. Do not hit your child. In public, in private, anywhere. Especially if what you are really mad about is your own shortcomings.  You blew  it in public and then yelled at your child before smacking them to let that kid know he did wrong. A wrong you did not catch till too late.  Who is really in the wrong?

So is there good news here?

Yes, there is. You can be a better parent. You can start observing your child better, setting parameters more clearly, acting better towards your child. You can be the grown-up who controls their own actions.

A Babe-In-Total-Control-of-Herself.

Otherwise, a bitch, like myself, might not be disiplining just your child. She might take her cell phone to call the cops to disipline you if she doesn’t do it herself first.

An adult bed, picture by Kevin RosseelMy husband and I have been dedicated attachment-styled parents who allowed children to sleep in our bed over the years. Whoever was the youngest got the place of honor between mom and dad.

But now our youngest is five. Sam is as cute as a button. At night however he prefers to sleep without a blanket and kicks it off all of the time. Unfortunately this means I am scooching down so I can have some warmth from the blanket.

A child sleeping, picture by Side Show Mom

This is when you call in an expert because on top of everything else, the hubby and I want quality, no, quantity time alone with each other.

Judy Arnall wrote the book Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery.

Discipline Without Distress by Judy Arnall, picture from Amazon.com

I did read Judy’s book but I felt as if I needed personal intervention. So I asked her how do I get the kid out of my bed and into his own. The following is Judy’s response.

“Many parents still sleep with their school-aged children in the same bed or at least the same room, but will not publicly admit it for fear of Children’s Services knocking at their door. In many cultures this practice is quite normal. It certainly happens more in North America than most people think.

If you are not happy with him in your bed, then it’s perfectly okay for you to keep returning him to his own bed. He may be lonely and going through separation anxiety (as all children do at certain times during childhood, especially transition times) and doesn’t want to separate from you at night.

It means that you have a well established relationship! If he is lonely, can he sleep with his sister? Siblings are excellent sources of company. I’m sure the 8-year-old won’t mind yet, but may when she reaches teen years.

Another option is to return your son to his own bed through the night and sleep with him there and leave the next time you wake up in a sleep cycle. If you are repetitive, he will get used to it.

The key to starting new habits is to use baby steps as increments, and not huge steps that are too drastic.

A happy medium between him sleeping with you and him being not happy alone in his room, might be to put a mattress or futon on the floor in your room. You don’t have him kicking you in your bed, but you can meet his needs to be in close proximity.

As for sex, get creative! Go to another room, or another time in the day while children are busy and occupied!

Above all, there are no bad habits in sleep practices. Whatever works so that everyone is sleeping and no one is crying, is the right option for your family.”

Since Judy has given me these great suggestions, we have started moving Sam into his brother’s bed more often. Brother is 13 and is a snuggler so it has been a good fit. I do have a papasan chair in my room that can do as a second mattress so I might start directing him towards the chair as an option.

For more information about Judy and to see some of her blogs, check out her website at www.professionalparenting.ca.

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.