Monday, April 1, 2013

No perfectionist left behind

Went through my 6 year old daughters back pack with her. She has a test with a 84%, it was in sections so the first section was 100% and she didn't notice the overall score of 84 until I pulled it out. Lots of tears on her part. I went through the pages, she hadn't marked a single answer an entire page. Went too fast? Thought she was supposed to skip it? A boycott perhaps? Other than that only 2 wrong of all the other things she answered.... I know how I responded, I know how Tiger Mom would respond, I'm just asking my little world for what would you do?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Skipping Easter

My six year old had no Easter this year  No church, no basket, no candy.
She was at her dad's house. So while her sister went to the big family party that her grandmother had and knocked other children out of the way to get to camouflaged plastic eggs filled with gummy hamburgers my other daughter watched whatever she wanted to on Netflix and had a couple kids meals from Subway.

I don't make up elaborate stories about the Easter Bunny and told her honestly when she asked about Santa Claus that Grandma and I fill up the stockings, but I have to feel the holiday loses something when it is just another day.

The week before we attended church for Palm Sunday. On Thursday she made deviled eggs for the meal shared with community members in need and we talked about Jesus washing feet and being an example of serving others. On Friday we colored eggs at my mother's house and she drew an angel and an empty tomb on one and dipped it in pink and yellow so that it looked like sunrise. And then it dropped and cracked and she cried because there was no way to fix it.

There is my beautiful daughter and she is amazing and I desired to be a mother so much that I married her father, a very very bad decision. And sometimes I feel like crying like she did with the egg because there is no way to go back and have someone else be her father. And while we are picking specks out of other peoples eyes, no way I can be a perfect mother.

She will find her eggs and get her basket next Sunday, we arranged it with grandma and she calls it "her Easter" and really any day is just as good for recognizing the triumph of the Divine.

Friday, March 29, 2013


I've always wanted to homeschool. But can't. There's the part of my reality where I have to work to pay the bills and even if I could make that go away or tuck neatly around my time with the kids 50/50 legal of my oldest means if her dad says no that means no and if I fight it I would risk a judge taking away my primary physical custody. In fact keeping her in the same public school every year gives me the best defense if he tries to get custody later, can't disrupt that stability.

I can complain about the crappy food they serve her, but we've already established I don't do better at home. She has clearly learned the requisite reading, writing, addition, and subtraction and not brought home any bad habits she couldn't have learned here.

So for now I try to help them learn at home in the evening when I am home. Last night was Community Circus practice for the 6 year old. I jotted down some notes on how to use examples from circus to help her with some of the conceptual physics in the second grade curriculum and practiced some positional words with my 2 year old. "Watch her climb on top of the ladder, now they are upside down, he is inside the hoop..."

When she got bored with that we went for a little walk and found...

Look real close there is three phases of ladybird beetle here. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Single parenting

I was a single mom for over 2 years. In that time I was fanatical about no screen time before my daughter turned 2. Later I made sure the living room was set up so the television was tucked in the corner and not the focus of the room. And then I went back to school to finish my college degree and the TV got used more and more as a babysitter. My parenting partner now is the kind of person who likes the tv on all the time just for background noise. Most nights he falls asleep on the couch watching TV and our toddler daughter is right out there with him dozing on his chest. I get on to him about how bad it is for her all the time.

He's been gone for 3 days now working a job on the next state over. Day one the oldest had no screen time but the youngest watches leapfrog Numberland while I attempted to get laundry folded and put away. Day 2 we went to the theater and saw The Croods. Today the oldest came bounding in an hour and a half before the alarm was set to go off and I groggily told her she could watch something if she wanted so a couple of episodes of My Little Pony got watched before school.

Food on my own hasn't been any better. Yesterday I got the kids chicken stars meals with french fries... For breakfast. Tonight's dinner includes the same whole wheat penne noodles we had with artichokes Monday and celery last night. Tonight they were served with boil in a bag mataar paneer and bananas.