Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hip to Be Cool

What defines "cool" when it comes to parenting? And does cool equal leniency?

If you asked my girls, they'd say I let them listen to loud music in the car and let them stay up late with their friends. Or as Gracey put it, "Well, you are just fun! Me and my friends like to do stuff with you."

Billy says he loves that I always plan trips and find ways to see him. And he thinks it was pretty cool that we bought Gracey a laptop and handed down my old iPhone to her.

But what is the difference in being cool in your kids eyes - and just unconventional parenting choices?

Be honest. We all want our kids to think we are still hip. The last thing you want to hear from your kid is that you dress like an old lady - or that you listen to "old people" music. But I'd like to think the things making me seem cool aren't things I've contrived to do. They are just part of my ultra-cool self. You know?

I don't want to have to allow them to do the things I disagree with in order to gain their favor. I think a healthy amount of "no" is essential to being a good a parent. Boundaries may seem uncool - but in the long run, they just keep it all in check.

And that being said...is it possible to overstep the bounds when trying to be a "cool" parent? Does too much effort only make you seem cool to the kids who want the freedom to do whatever they want, when they want?

I often wonder if those who give their 3 year old a mohawk are doing it because the child begged to wear his hair that way - or if they just want to make a statement. "I'm so cool that I am going to buck the system and give my toddler a mohawk."  I actually have a friend whose son wears his hair in a modified mohawk and has for years. And if you knew her, you'd know that it's the personality she has instilled in her child more than anything. She didn't do it when he was a little bitty kid just to make some sort of society-thumbing statement.

And what about those who pay for their teenagers to undergo plastic surgery? Or take them to get tattoos? Is that 'buying' them off? Is it making them think you are the coolest parent on the block? I'm here to tell you now that I won't be helping Gracey augment her breasts or ink her body while she is still a minor. It goes against every parental bone in my body. When she is paying her own bills, and is of age to legally do it by herself, then I'll certainly respect her decision. But until then, I won't be joining that group of parents.

Generally speaking, I won't support any skanky clothing choices for my kids either. (And I know some would argue that my girls wearing bikinis since the young age of 6 months is inappropriate - but whatever.) No daisy dukes or super low cut blouses for my preteen. And honestly I think we've raised our kids to think twice about those kind of clothing faux pas anyway. (Please, Dear Lord, don't let that comment come back and bite me in a few years.)

So....I guess I'll just be glad my kids appreciate my open door policy on any topic any time. And that they aren't treating me like I'm a boring old fart - yet.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How YOU Doin'?

This morning I was driving to work and jamming to some new Matt Nathanson when I encountered one of "those" guys. You know the kind. The ones that make you shake your head and wonder what part of their behavior could possibly be considered attractive?

Rawr...
 Ok. So, anyway, I was driving along. And I'm pretty sure I wasn't dancing around in my car or singing exuberantly - although it wouldn't be terribly out of character if I did either thing.  I stopped at a stoplight and had that funny feeling I was being watched. Looking to my right, I see this...umm...guy...giving me the "How you doin'" smile. He obviously thought this was going to somehow attract my attention. (Good thing I was wearing my sunglasses, so he didn't see my look of disdain.)

As I drove away, shaking my head to myself, I began to ponder the way those "creeper"-type guys behave. Does it actually WORK sometimes? One of my guy friends has said, "Yeah - guys have to be really careful with the smile. You can't smile too long or too big because then the girl thinks you're creepy."  And I'd have to agree with that. But I can deal with the enthusiasm of a creepy smile a lot better than I can some of the ridiculous things others do.  I mean...I can think of a number of examples off the top of my head that could not possibly work on even the most desperate of females.

Take for example the guy in the beat up hooptie with the busted out windshield not long ago. Not only did he practically wiggle his eyebrows at me as he turned in front of my car; the guy SALUTED me and gave me a lecherous-looking gummy grin. Ummm......really? Sure...give me some of THAT, big boy. Blech.

Or how about the guy at Starbucks (not a local one) that kept trying to get into my line of vision and make eye contact. That wouldn't have been so bad if he wasn't sitting on the sofa to begin with. I almost busted out laughing as he wiggled around trying to get me to give him some kind of "YES" sign. If I wasn't the polite Southern girl type, I'd have rolled my eyes and stared him down. Instead, I tried to ignore his little sofa dance - and quickly exited the building when my coffee was read.

And don't tell me that it's some sort of flattery. That it's because of my amazing beauty. We all know that's not the case. Creepers just like to creep. They aren't THAT discerning. It's all about getting the attention.

Well....now that I think about it....I guess they win. Because they are getting my attention. One way or the other. *barf*

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Is That Your Final Answer?

"More tears are shed over answered prayers 
than unanswered ones.” ~ St. Teresa of Avila

In my quest for blog topics, this one was presented to me, and it just sounded like something I'd discuss:

"Prayers you were glad were NOT answered." (Thank you, Jay Milleson.)

Honestly I rarely ask God for anything directly related to me though. It's not some noble part of me. It's just not really the way I even think to pray. My list is almost always about those I love, and what they need.  Part of me almost feels selfish asking for something for myself when I know so many others need help, you know??

Anyway... in thinking of unanswered prayers, I realized that (for lack of even asking) I don't really have many! (Maybe I need to work on that....but you all need to realize I HATE being told no. Especially by The Big Guy...)

 This may be the most boring blog entry yet come to think of it!!

So....in no particular order - with explanations following each unanswered prayer.

"Dear Baby Jesus, will you please let me be a famous writer for People Magazine?"
     Explanation: Clearly I was a wide-eyed teen who thought the ultimate in journalism was to write for People Magazine. And clearly I was clueless.  Now I'd much rather write a book someday. Something fascinating that would sell millions of copies and pay for my retirement.

"God, I just know *insert name here* is the perfect guy for me. Let us fall in love and live happily ever after."
   Explanation:  God knew better than to yoke me with any of those "fill in the blank" guys I was messing around with in college. It's not to say they weren't nice guys. They just weren't the guys for me. I think I was so in love with the idea of love that I was a hopeless romantic.

"Dear Lord, You know I hate change. Please keep me safe and secure right here....with things exactly they way they are now."
  Explanation: Oh HOW many times have I expressed my satisfaction in my life to God? It seems like every time I become complacant and "happy"with my place in life, God shakes things up. And even though it freaks me the heck out...it always turns out for the better. I'd do well to learn to embrace change. (Yeah..right...)

Thank you, God for giving me only little girls. I'm the best girl mommy ever, and I'd never know what to do with a boy."
Explanation: Umm....I think we all know that I'm a FABULOUS boy mommy. Good thing God knew it too!

That's all I can think of right now. If I come up with any others, I'll be sure to come back and add them to the list!
Now your turn... what unanswered prayer are you thankful got the big "no"?