Monday, June 3, 2013

Why are you so defensive?

I live in a small town. Full of many.....MANY....people 'of a certain age'. And that seems to be the excuse for all the bad driving around here. Well let me set the record straight: it's not the people you think it is clogging up your roads. Quite the opposite, actually.

Here are some simple rules to help you not be one of those people when you are driving next time.

1. LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR GAS PEDAL - this comes with two different explanations. The first being if you are scared to go over the speed limit, don't. But for the love of Pete, can you please stay in the right-hand lane? Do not think for one minute you are doing a service to ANYONE by driving the speed limit in the left-hand lane. You are not making anyone safer by halting the horses; it's the other way around. Now you are making people so upset that they are actually thinking of giving your car a little nudge to force you off the road, NASCAR style (is it bad that I have that thought often?). Does it stress you when people ride your butt? THEN GET MOVING OR GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!! Don't play the role of 'rule enforcer'. That's why we pay taxes and pay the Police. Their job. Not yours. But, if that's your way of thinking, your probably going to be OK when I tell you that skinny pants are for skinny people, muffin tops are not en vogue, and no matter how much AXE cologne you wear it will never make up for your personality.
The second explanation has to do with actual acceleration. When you get to your desired speed, you are supposed to hold the gas pedal at that angle and continue on. DO NOT release your gas pedal and work your way back up to the speed again. PAY ATTENTION to what you're doing and move along.

2. DON'T YELL AT ME FOR TALKING ON MY PHONE - I'm sure that this is taboo to discuss, given all the accidents and whatnot for phone usage during driving. Let me state, first, that I do not text and drive. Just talk and drive. And I am OK with it.
I am NOT OK with someone, making a scene while they are driving their own vehicle to tell me that I shouldn't be talking on the phone while driving mine. I get their point. I do not, however, understand how these phone freaks are able to watch the road while they are obsessing and watching me on my phone in my car. Maybe a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black? There are a million distractions that occur while you drive your vehicle. Pay attention your own issues and let me deal with mine.

3. TOURISTS WELCOME, BUT MOVE ASIDE - I live in a very touristy part of this country. Every road and highway is full of people trying to see something historical. I get it. It's the livelihood of my town and I am grateful that you are here. HOWEVER, if you are lost or just driving around can you please figure out a way to do it without weaving in and out of traffic and going the speed limit? There are people in the town you are visiting that would like to make it to work or to a dinner reservation on time. There are many two lane roads and you are always ALWAYS holding up the busiest one. Also, if you see something cool that you want to look at, please don't slam on your breaks. PLEASE! Go a safe distance ahead and turn around.

Ok, so what I thought was going to be a ton of driving lessons, really turned into three. And not as well thought out as I would like. But I'm tired. And need to get this booty to bed!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Giving the Border Collies some love, though I'm sure they would be satisfied with a dog treat instead.

I often make it through my day not worrying about my dogs much (I feel absolutely awful admitting that out in internet world). I'm happy to say that we have trained to very well adjusted and independent dogs who don't want for much. The similarities between raising a puppy and raising a kiddo are really quite astounding. No doubt any breed can remind you of a child, but I'm pretty sure that our kiddos are alive today because our pups trained us so well. (They also rarely cried, which I think is why we thought we could handle parenthood...joke was on us. Guess they really are the smartest breed!)

When Baxter was a puppy he would let us know that he was hungry by scraping his dish. What a clever little guy, we thought. After having two kiddos,  I am now thankful that he scraped on a bowl instead of SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HIS FUCKING LUNGS to let me know that he was hungry. He also never threw food on the floor, spit up his partially digested dishes, or threw temper tantrums when he didn't get the desired food choice. He did however, separate into two piles the pieces of kibble he liked (non-existent pile) and the pieces he did not (very large pile of wasted money). All little funny tricks that we never paid much mind to. Now, two kiddos into this life, we often comment on how both of our dogs would be dead had we not been reminded that they had not been fed (this is also why we have no indoor plants).

Binkley, our non-communicator, has only one real job (well two, if you count going crazy over the fact that her herd - the kiddos - won't stay in place like she 'stares' them to) and that would be letting us know when she has to go to the bathroom. Silly to think, right? I'm pretty sure that if she didn't come up to me at the end of the night and then run to SleepySven and then run to me about a hundred times, she would make more messes to clean up. But let me be honest, it takes about 10-15 tries at this before the thought process starts that she may need to go out. No joke. We've been at this game for 8 years now and I still don't pick up on it until after she is panting from all the back and forth. I think the whites in her eyes are tinted a slight yellow color because of my lack of awareness. I am sure she hangs out by herself a lot because my intellect does not match up to hers. Clearly the smarter species in her yellow eyes is not the two-legged kind.

Obviously, these are not unique traits to my dogs. But I thought that I would give them a brief shout-out tonight for being such wonderful companions and taking care of themselves for the past three years with very little complaint. Seems that a scratch on the ass and a few dog treats thrown their way is enough to keep the wet kisses coming. They are our first kids, relegated to the bottom of the Family Totem Pole, and we love them unconditionally (even though the 'please take us home they are monsters' look they give our guests does not go unnoticed).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why don't you just go ahead and munch on some of that humble pie....

I have a great son. I have an extremely active, sometimes a little crazy, and often times very loud son. He is three years-old. There are certain people who think that he should sit down, fold his hands, and be quiet. All the time.

Let me tell you a little bit about how I parent. I am tough. Having been a coach for over a decade, it is hard to hang up the whistle when I walk through the door. However, I have made the conscious effort to make my home a 'safe place' for my very energetic 3YO to be himself. Now, when we are out in public, if the entire store, theme park, etc, doesn't know my son by his first name, I feel it was a successful trip. Literally, I take every opportunity to tell my little buddy how to act appropriately in public. I am the parent who does timeouts in the middle of J.Crew and am the first one to admit fault when my child bumps into someone or something. I have been told that I am one of the strictest parents some of my friends know. And I like that.

For all my effort, and that of my husband, our kiddo is gushed on by his teachers, praised by our friends as one of the best behaved kids in town, and shocks people with his ability to take his punishments like a champ. Bottom line, my kid knows how to act. PERIOD. And if he shows out in public, we go home. PERIOD.

So when WMD is at home, I cut him a ton of slack. I am on him like white on rice when we are out and about and he gets away with nothing. But when we are at home, I let him go BAT-SHIT crazy. In other words, I let him be a complete, uninterrupted kiddo. He does get disciplined. But I am more likely to let things slide because really, who wants to be yelled at all day long? And quite frankly, I don't like yelling all day long.

So to the harshest of critics, who are constantly trying to make me feel bad because when I talk to them on the phone WMD is running around the house and screaming that there are crocodiles that are out to get him....suck on it.

My son went to Busch Gardens today. He held my hand or held onto the stroller the entire time. He rode a train, sat with his hands in his lap and made faces that made his baby sister laugh like crazy. He played well with other kids in the water park area and rode the Grover Alpine Express TWO TIMES without me sitting next to him. There were no temper tantrums, there were no timeouts, and when he ran into a little boy causing him to fall, he made sure he got up and said he was sorry. I taught him to look both ways before crossing the train tracks and he did it at every R/R crossing.

So the next time you try to tell a mom how to raise her child after you only get a brief glimpse of their life from a phone call or the 10 minutes you see them as you're passing through, please don't be offended when she rolls her eyes at you and pretends the words didn't even come out of your mouth. Because what you said (and have said many times) is just plain stupid.