Awaiting the flakes

I am taking a sort of sick day. I am home, resting, but working. The sore throat is getting better, but I am not thrilled with the pain I still have.

The next 8 days are going to be interesting. Jay has a meeting in Santiago, Chile. He leaves tomorrow and returns next Saturday. Single mom is not the favorite job for me, but I can manage. As the girls get older, I get better at this.

I just got an email from work. They booked my flight to Marseilles. I arrive after the meeting starts…Lovely. Have to call travel next week and fix that.

And it is going to snow tonight. 4-8 inches. Hoping for the 4inch side. Too crazy for the 8inch side!

I had a nice big post in my head, but now I have a headache, which has pushed the post out. Oh well

The Spacemom’s Guide to Disney Princesses

Luna is big into the Princesses these days. Soleil is starting to lean towards Hannah Montana, so I know there is hope:

So here’s the Spacemom’s Guide to Disney Princesses

Let’s start with Cinderella, shall we:

  • Girlfriend, you are one hell of a cook and cleaner. Not to mention that you are handy with a needle and thread. Have you ever considered owning your own business? Cinderella’s merry maidens  House Cleaners? Or maybe Ella’s Crust of Bread bakery? Why on EARTH should you work for your hag of a stepmother and stepsisters? Have you ever considered checking your father’s will? Did you even retain a lawyer or did you just let that bitch of a stepmother be the executrix of the estate and let her put you to work? Honestly, you can make the cat and dog work together, you dress mice, but you can’t even look out for your own financial safety?
  • And who the hell names a cat Lucifer anyway? Let’s name the dog Beelzebub while we’re at it.
  • You have time to make clothes for mice, but you only own one work dress?
  • Obviously you don’t get out much, but please, when you’re at a party, don’t hang with a guy all night without noticing that he’s the only one in a uniform that’s dancing. And ask the guy his name. At least then you have a name to call out instead of "oh yes! Man in red pants!"
  • What’s with the red pants anyway?
  • Glass slippers? WTF? Like you need glass shards in your feet when you trip.
  • This whole fairy godmother thing. Instead of making a dress and carriage and all of that bull, why doesn’t she send you the number to a domestic violence hot line and get you the hell out of there? Hmm?

Sleeping Beauty

  • Okay- Maleficent is powerful enough to put a huge curse on this baby, but can’t find her? Hello?
  • What’s the deal with the singing?
  • Brier Rose grows up healthy and strong. For 16 years the fairies take care of her. But then they go to the castle on the night of her 16th birthday? How incredibly STUPID! Come on, ladies, THINK! Just put it off one more day. Take her to her parents the next day! Poof! Nobody knows she’s the princess and the curse is avoided.
  • If the fairies need to use their magic to make a dress and cake and clean up for Brier Rose, how did they survive before that? Take out? Nordstroms? What? Wait, they must have used Cinderella’s Merry Maidens for cleaning.
  • Spinning wheel? What kind of curse is that?
  • Why do the bad guys like to keep people around? Hey, Maleficent, just kill Prince Philip, okay? Don’t play stupid and keep him around forever, just off him and the curse will never be broken. Good grief, do we have to do all of the thinking for you?
  • And what kind of lame thing was it to put briers around the castle?
  • Couldn’t you have just eaten Prince Philip when you were the dragon? Sigh….

Snow White:

  • Okay- Girl starts out with a blue bow and it becomes red when she is "a woman". My kids caught that. You’re a sick bastard, Walt.
  • Honestly, this film has no socially redeeming value. The female character is weak, she begs to serve men in exchange for room and board. Sounds rather kinky to me.
  • However, this film takes up almost 2 hours on a drive to Buffalo.

Beauty and The Beast:

  • Belle is one of the stronger female characters in Disney. She reads, she doesn’t take shit from some stinking Gaston and she wants to get out of her village. Smart woman.
  • But why is her mother dead? Does Disney really need to have single parents? Disney does Murphy Brown?
  • As Anne Nahm mentioned, Stockholm Syndrome.
  • I really like how Belle even stands up to the Beast. Although he really must smell. You know that scene when he saves her from the wolves and she saves him in return? Wet Dog smell is all I think.
  • I also wonder what sort of acid Belle is on when she lives through "Be Our Guest". Personally? I’d be terrified to have forks doing synchronized swimming in the punch bowl.
  • This film taught my children several new concepts, such as spitting contests, wrestling matches, male aggression and jealousy and decapitation.
  • I would have preferred the Prince (we call him Prince Fred in our house) to have been a little more, well, ugly when he was human. Every one else turned into something they looked like. Not him.
  • And whatever happened to his parents anyway? He’s been a Beast for 10 years, he’s turning 21, so he was alone as the master of the castle at 11? Hello?

The Little Mermaid:

  • The phallic symbols in the beginning sequences of Atlantica are a pure genius tribute to Walt and his dirty old mind.
  • Ariel is quite spoiled, headstrong and very rude. Although I know the attempt was to make a "typical teen" she is quite snotty.
  • And her songs are not all that good.
  • Ever notice how the song for the chef is similar to "be our guest" in Beauty and the Beast?
  • I haven’t figured out the message of this film. Except that if you are deceptive to your family, and try to convince the man you love you are something that you aren’t you still get what you want? HM. Have to think about that one.

Aladdin:

  • Ah, another somewhat strong princess. Unfortunately, this story is not hers, it is her groom to be’s story. However, despite her provocative clothing choices, Jasmine knows what she wants, and tries to get it. She’s  another strong character, but stuck in a man’s world.
  • But what I wouldn’t give for a body like that!
  • The whole Rajah thing gives me images of Siegfried and Roy. And not they happy kind.

Mulan:

  • Technically not a princess at all, not at any point of the story, but she’s included for merchandising reasons.
  • Another strong female who doesn’t want to play by men’s rules.
  • Eddy Murphy makes a better Donkey than Dragon
  • Did anyone else thing that Cheng could have been a bit nicer after finding out she was a woman? Hello? She saved your LIFE!
  • At least her father comes around at the end, And Cheng. Poor Walt must have been rolling in his grave!

Pocahontas:

  • Again, included for merchandising, although she could qualify for a princess, sort of, maybe, if you feel that a chief’s daughter must be a princess.
  • For the sake of a story, let’s completely change the historical facts
  • Again, ONE PARENT! WTF????
  • Talking trees freak me out. I don’t mind the animals, but the trees?
  • After the past few years, I can’t see Mel Gibson as the same anymore. I remember the Mad Max days…mm mm old sane Mel…..
  • Have you ever noticed that the bad guys are often fat? Let’s just reinforce negative body images for girls (also in Little Mermaid)
  • Would have been a better movie if she cartwheeled naked for the Englishmen

Checkered Village

(This is what we get from Soleil. This is her most recent story, written on checkered paper…She dictates the story to the staff at her after school place and they write it down. Does anyone else wonder what must be going on in her head?)

 

The Checked Village   By Soleil Space

 This is what Checkered Village looks like from a far view away.Checkered Village is the best village in the world and it is special to some people. This is what the houses were painted like in and out. Some of the checkered people liked it and were very happy. As you know, Checked Village is very scary.

Everybody was happy in Checked Village. Unfortunately, one day a monster woke up from his long winter sleep for six years. A mother and her daughter seen the monster. They both ran home and told their family. One day in Checkered Village when a lady was gardening…(the picture shows a monster eating a person and a large scream) And that was the roof of the house.

(Written against a peachy red checkered page) This was the skin of the people. And the monster ate most of the families until there were only 2 left. They made lots of children to fill the land. The monster went asleep for 6 years. When the monster arrived home for its sleep it needed some food and it ate all the children it captured. This is the color  of grass in Checkered Village.

The End.
 

For today’s winner….

I guess that would be… ME? oh, thank you! Thank you very much!

Today, I experienced something I had not even contemplated. 2 free hours! Yes, 2 CHILD FREE HOURS! I took Soleil to a clay shop where she painted a piggy bank for her sister (aside, is this normal for a 5 year old to constantly make things for her sister? It seems so sweet!) and I painted a tzedakah (charity) box for our family. Then we packed off for the sudden birthday party. When I got there, I ran into another mom that I knew. She was leaving? Whoa….? I asked her "Is this a drop off party?" She said she had the other two kids (she’s divorced) so she had to drop off. When I got in, I introduced myself to J’s mom and apologized AGAIN for RSVping so late and then asked "Do you want me to stay?" And she said it was up to me. I asked Soleil and she said "I’m fine, you can go now, Mom"

So I DID! I left! And I uncluttered the newly rearranged office! Whoohoo!!!

In other news, I was reading the Boston Globe magazine this morning. A woman was pointing out that an article from last week about baby sitter stealing that HER teens needed sitting jobs. So I noticed she was in the next town over and I googled her number. I called her and on Friday, (if there’s no basketball game), her daughters are coming over to babysit.

Is that surreal or what?

To Do

  • Get head cold
  • Get up 5 times over night
  • Remind self that Scooby Doo might be too scary for 5 year old
  • Remind 3 year old that she has two parents and screaming for daddy in the middle of the night is not a good idea when Mommy is right there
  • Discover invite for a birthday party was misdelivered and receive it two days before party. Feel like crap when RSVP yes the day AFTER RSVP date.
  • Watch 1-3" of snow turn into 10"
  • Have day to get work done at home turn into Stay home with Mommy Day
  • Decide to rearrange furniture in office for no good reason
  • Have sore throat
  • Decide that I must know how to clear the driveway incase freak snowstorm when Jay is gone. Strain several muscles using snow thrower
  • Nap
  • Shower for the first time in two days
  • File activity for for Girls Scout meeting on the 29th
  • Sleep

American Fears..or Why Nance is the Oddball

One of the nice things about friends is that you can talk about almost anything and be comfortable. The weekend in Florida was a great example of this.

I was raised by two wonderful, and paranoid, parents. I learned how to be afraid of everything. Strangers, germs, dogs, water, falling, you name it, I was afraid. So when I met Jay, I went through a great deal of unlearning. It was hard and different, but I have changed a great deal over the past 15 years.

Jay and I have some differing views on childrearing. He and I both agree with some basics; respecting the child as a person, no hitting (as opposed to physical punishment because we have had to hold Luna’s hands before so she didn’t hit her sister, or me), having the family work together instead of a child or parent driven schedule, the eat dirt theory…

We let the kids do a lot. We have 5 second rule, even though I KNOW that this is false and  that most germs get on a piece of food within oh, 1 second. Yes, someone did research on this…However, we decided that the kids will be exposed to some germs and that developing a strong immune system is important. We do vaccinate. We decided on public schooling (see Omegamom for some homeschooling discussions.) I am not opposed to homeschooling. It’s just not for us.

During the weekend, we discussed the big fear of American Parents…Child abduction. That weekend, the Friday, a 10 year old boy in Belmont Mass was almost abducted. He started yelling "this is not my parent" loudly. The man ran. I give that kid a ton of credit for keeping his cool and yelling something that would scare away an abductor and a real parent would be able to deal with.

It made me bring up the question of "when would you allow your child go to a public restroom alone?". Soleil will be 6 in July. She’s 5 and a half right now. Shortly after she turned 5, she started to ask to go to the restroom alone. We allowed it at Friendly’s, a local Ice cream restaurant, where we could see the restrooms. If she was taking too long, I would check on her. Don’t get me wrong, I have my paranoid fantasies of abductions and other unspeakables. I try to teach her what to do if a stranger or someone she knows tried to force her to do something.

I discovered that most of the parents at this get together would wait until their children were about 8 before letting them go to a restaurant bathroom alone (or Disney…that was the bigger example). I know that I am lucky because I have girls. I can take them to restrooms myself as old as I want because there’s no same sex issues. Also, Jay has discovered that he can send the two of them into a restroom and ask the women going in, coming out how they are doing. Women are generally good about this.

We also moved the girls into boosters around 3. This is earlier than most people that I hang with. Basically, I’ve looked at the stats and we’ve balanced the safety factor vs the independence factor. Soleil can seat belt herself in. Luna, not yet, but we are working on it. The boosters work well for them. We do know what CAN happen in a car accident. And we have made our decisions.

I think we’ve discovered that Americans take the worst case and imagine that it can happen to them. From there, decisions are made. For Jay and I, we take the statistical approach of how likely is the worst case to happen, weigh in other factors and then make our decision. I know it puts us in an oddball case. I am sure one day, it will bite us, like when Soleil burned her butt because I let her stand closer to the fireplace than most parents would. On the whole, however, this fits in with our view that kids are not kids one day and adults the next. Our society tens to treat children that way. Teens are treated like children and not as young adults. We don’t give the teens the ability to try out their independence. Instead we enforce strict rules on them and then suddenly turn them lose at 18 or 21.

And this is why I am the oddball. The person out of place. I try hard to balance the fears I have (and believe me, I have them!) versus putting these fears on my kids. But my friends don’t make me feel terrible for feeling the way I do.

What do you do? How do you balance your fears with reality?