The Punishment That Didn’t Work (or at least didn’t work as planned)

It all started a few days ago when I saw this Pinterest Post in Holly’s Potluck Post

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which stems from a post over here at Ali Martell’s Blog where Ali makes her kids hold hands as a punishment after they have been bickering. Brilliant! My kids have been bickering lately.. I thought, I’ll just show them next time they are at each other’s throats. Mama has a new weapon in the arsenal of parenting, yeah Mama!

So today the opportunity arrived. They were playing Glow Hockey on their iPods and there was a bunch of back and forth that included accusations of cheating and  unfairness and something referred to as “not doing it right.”

Ah Ha, I thought, this is what I’ve been waiting for…

“Put down the iPods and go sit over there on the couch together and hold hands,” I commanded. This will put an end to the bickering! And I'll get a cute hand holding picture out of it like Ali did! Evil Genius Mom!

And it did…

but what followed was something out of If You Give A Moose A Muffin

If you punish my children with Hand Holding

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Once things start to get silly

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Once the hugging starts

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And if things are cuddily and the 5 minutes of hand holding is not up yet….

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Evil Genius Mom, foiled again by Smarter Than They Have A Right To Be Kids.

 

 

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Perfectly, Completely Average

I’ve come to hate this time of year. The last week of school. When my Facebook stream fills up with all the pictures of all the kids of friends who are winning school awards for everything under the sun. Left and right little Johnny and little Susie got straight As and won State Science Fairs and all but cured cancer.

My kids are average. They read at grade level. They know just the right amount of math and science and social studies. They are not in chorus or band or math-letes. And 95% of the time I’m perfectly okay with that. They are great kids. They giggle and have fun, they are well adjusted, and loving. They are growing up just fine.

But this one week, when I swear all the moms I know, are all being so humbly proud of their little Einstein. Man I hate this week.  I hate that it makes me feel like my kids are less than they should be. I hate that it makes me feel like I’m not doing something as a mom that I should be – that I feel guilty for working – as if that would really make a difference. Or that I didn’t send them to the right pre-school. That somehow their average academic performance is a reflection of something I have done wrong. There is a part of me that wants to enroll them in some intensive summer school program somewhere and get them overly prepared for next year.

And then I feel ridiculous for thinking they are less and I hate myself as a mom for thinking that way. I mean seriously after the year they have had. Lesser kids, with less spirit and less character would have fallen apart. My 4th grader had all A and Bs with the exception of 1 C. And the little one she had all Ss all year. Perfectly fine grades for 4th and 1st grade.

Truth be told, my oldest works her butt off for those grades. She’s not naturally inclined towards school work but she wants to do well and sometimes, well she as to work for that B. She’s darn proud of it and I’m proud of the effort she puts in.  The little one, I suspect, if she buckles down, will be more apt to get better grades. It comes to her more naturally, but she hasn’t show the desire or drive yet. To her schoolwork is something that gets in the way of her social life.

There is nothing wrong with that at this age.  But I have the hardest time with it sometimes. I feel like I’m the school equivalent of that overly competitive parent who stands at the fence at the ball park and yells and screams at the little kid  who is clearly doing their level best but it just isn’t good enough. And then I feel ashamed of not feeling like they are enough or that I’m proud enough of them. And I pray they don’t catch on. That I hide it well enough.

Who Can Turn The World On With Her Smile …

SawyerBirthdayGoose turned 7 this weekend. She’s officially a giggly, squeally, silly, seven year old, just like the manual calls for.

We had a very busy weekend of birthday activities because we can never manage to do a simple birthday.

It’s something I’ve struggled with year after year, fighting the urge trend to produce a birthday-palooza each year. 

This year I managed to reduce us to just a small gathering of neighborhood friends at the house which is a huge step forward.  We did a store bought, off the shelf sort of cake, with just a few but meaningful presents, nothing over the top and you know what… she loved it.

Friends of ours also invited us out on their boat for some tubing and we also had a friend’s birthday to attend as well so maybe it seems like it was more than it really was.

What about you, are you able to keep the birthday celebrations to a dull roar?

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USA! USA! USA!

I’m one of those unabashedly enthusiastic Olympics fans. IOClogo600

I am and always will be a sucker for that torch.

From the first time I saw it on television in 1972, I was in love.  What kid could help it, with Mark Spitz breaking 7 world records and Olga Korbut’s dramatic fall from the high bar. The news of terrorist actions in the Olympic village that our parents tried to shield us from. The pageantry and drama of it all imprinted itself on me.

In 1976, at summer camp, with our Dorothy Hamill haircuts, we begged and were given special permission to watch the gymnastics on the one TV they had at Camp Pine Valley. We squealed as only 10 year old girls can when Nadia scored a perfect 10.  In 1980 we watched a “miracle” as USA beat Russia in Hockey, even though we had never watched hockey in our lives.

Driving to work one day in the early ‘90s I had to pull the car over out of excitement as the radio went live with the announcement of the location for ‘96. I sat and cried with joy at the realization that I would finally get to go an Olympic event. That my hometown Atlanta would be hosting the games. That week was one of pure joy for me.  A dream come true. It’s an moment in time that is woven into the fabric of my life and marriage, never to be forgotten.

Four years ago Puddin watched the first games she will remember. With the rest of us, she helplessly fell in love with Michael Phelps.  If this year had not been what it has been, I think we would have at least tried to take her to London this summer to experience the wonder of it all. But that is not to be.

So we will watch from home this year and love every minute of it. I was  so excited last month to read about the Olympic Athletes’ Hub the IOC launch to bring the social media links for the participants into one place. I can’t wait to see how the connectivity of social media directly with the athletes changes the tone of the media around the games. I have high hopes it will bring us all closer to the amazing experience they all will have.

With 100 days left before the Games begin in London, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched an online athletes’ headquarters designed to serve as a social media platform enhancing the digital connection between fans and competitors.

The Olympic Athletes’ Hub aggregates the verified social media feeds of more than 1,000 current and former Olympians. It will post content directly from their Facebook and Twitter accounts and incorporate a gamification layer incentivizing fans to interact with the site. Users will be able to access exclusive training-tips videos and gain virtual and real-world prizes according to how many athletes they like and follow online. (From Mashable)

So what do you think? Is this a good thing? Or do you think the social media will be distraction for the athletes?  There is a a part of me that totally understands why two time gold medalist Rebecca Adlington has declared she will quit Twitter for the the games.  But there is also a part of me that wants to see someone tweeting that they are about to walk up the medal stands 🙂