Raising Kids to Follow Rules

I’ve learned a lot about being a mother over the years. Between my first and my third, I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t, when to fight, and when to pick my battles. I think there is one thing that we should all agree on, and it baffles me that anyone would think otherwise. When I visit the zoo, or anywhere really, I always obey the signs. I know rules are a hard concept for some people to grasp, but they are there for a reason. Especially at the zoo. There are railings and fences all over the place with signs that remind patrons to stand back, not to climb on the railings, not to feed the animals, and for heaven’s sake, don’t hang your children over the railings, for any reason. I don’t know why there has to be a sign forbidding the hanging of children over railings. You would think that is just common sense. I have to admit, I’ve been to the zoo several times, and all of my children have come out unscathed. I thought about shoving my husband over the gorilla railing, but he was my ride home. Never have I once thought about hanging my children over a railing so they could see an animal better, or for any other reason. It is beyond stupid, not to mention thoughtless. But what I do I know? I’m just one of those horrid people who teaches her kids to follow rules.

The Road

As an English major, I have had a cornucopia (thank you, word a day calendar) of writing assignments. One of my favorite writing assignments ever was when I was assigned to write a missing page from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. If you haven’t read it, I recommend doing so before reading the following imaginary excerpt.

 Page 87.5

 The dog ran ahead and doubled back. This time I caught it with the wire noose. I could feel the boys eyes on me as I did what I had to do to survive another day. Turn away.

No.

The dog is suffering. I’m helping the animal.

You promised.

I promised you wouldnt starve.

You lied.

I lied.

Yes.

Maybe. About some things. Eat.

Im not starving.

Eat.

The man woke sometime in the night. He stared into the starless sky waiting. For what. The noise. There. A sniffle. He felt the ground for the boy and found him huddled against a tree. Im sorry.

About what.

Lying. The dog. Everything.

Are we the bad guys now.

Dogs arent people. We will never eat people. I promise.

You promised before.

I know.

Okay.

The man pulled the boy into his arms and wrapped him in the blankets. The boy fell into a sleep born of exhaustion. The man muffled his coughs and waited for the dawn to break on another gray day of trudging through streets of ash.

Victoria’s Secret vs Lane Bryant

I’ve never had a problem with either store, Victoria’s Secret or Lane Bryant. They obviously cater to a different clientele. So I guess I just don’t understand what the big deal is with Lane Bryant’s new advertisement. They advertise for a specific clientele, having women who are bigger sizes modeling for them. So how is that any different from Victoria’s Secret using smaller sized women to model for their clientele? There shouldn’t even be a controversy about this. Body shaming any woman, or man for that matter, regardless if they are big, small, or any size in between, is completely wrong. Before I had kids, I had no curves. This means, according to some in society, that I’m not a real woman. Before I had kids and turned thirty, I could eat anything I wanted without gaining a pound. I was constantly told I needed to eat a hamburger. But according to society, it is okay to tell a skinny girl to eat a hamburger or accuse her of bulimia or anorexia. There is no outrage over this. However, if I were to tell a bigger sized woman to eat a salad or accuse her of gluttony, I would be tarred and feathered. This double standard needs to stop. We are all real women, regardless of how many curves we have. Whether you shop at Victoria’s Secret, Lane Bryant, or any store in between, you are beautiful.

Dumb People in the News

I’m making my first post from my Word Press phone app. I usually wait to post until I’m on my computer so excuse any typos. What I just read on the news, okay it was Washington Post, so it wasn’t really a news site, was so dumb I had to actually talk to myself out loud asking if people are really buying breast milk off the Internet. They tested a whole bunch of it and it turned out it was mostly cows milk, some of it tested positive for different kinds of medicines, and some even tested positive for nicotine. Yet people think breast milk is so much better than formula that they’re willing to put their babies’ health at risk by trusting strangers on the Internet. I guarantee that feeding your baby nicotine milk is a lot more harmful than giving them formula. And as for the charge that formula makes kids stupid, my kids were all formula fed and all test at several grade levels ahead of where they are.
The second dumb thing I saw was that the government is trying to get people healthy by telling them to skip dessert. Excuse me? Oh heck no. My kids don’t even interfere with me and my Oreos and I love them a whole heck of a lot more than I love the government. I had rice pudding for breakfast this morning. Take that, government!

Ramona Theatre, Frederick, Ok

Copied from the Ramona Theatre Facebook Page:

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!
“The Daughter of Dawn” to be Screened in Frederick
The 1920 silent film featuring an all Kiowa and Comanche cast will be introduced and include commentary by Dr. Bob Blackburn of the Oklahoma Historical Society
FREDERICK – The Frederick Arts Council is proud to announce that they will be hosting a screening “The Daughter of Dawn” on April 9, 2015 at the 6:30 p.m. FREE admission. The 80-minute, six-reel silent movie was shot during the summer of 1920 in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge outside of Lawton. The screening will feature an introduction and commentary from Dr. Bob Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
“This film is an American treasure both as an early art form in the history of cinema and as a window into the material culture of Oklahoma’s Kiowa and Comanche tribes,” said Dr. Bob Blackburn, OHS executive director. We are proud to have the film represent our great state, its people and the beautiful landscape of southwestern Oklahoma.” The story and legacy of “The Daughter of Dawn” will then be permanently housed at the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP), a new museum being developed by the OHS that will be located in downtown Tulsa.
The OHS and OKPOP have partnered with Milestone Films out of New Jersey for distribution of “The Daughter of Dawn.” Plans include a high-definition release through special screenings at national and international film festivals, movie theaters and on DVD.
There were only a handful of showings when “The Daughter of Dawn” was completed in 1920. Newspaper articles indicate that it was shown in Los Angeles, Kansas City and Tulsa among a handful of places. However, historians believed that the film was lost just like a vast majority of films from this era. In fact, the survival rate for a motion picture from the 1920s is about 20 percent, with the majority of silent films being lost, damaged or decayed.
The dramatic events behind the recovery of “Daughter of Dawn” began with a phone call to Brian Hearn, film curator at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, from a private investigator in North Carolina, who had been given five reels of film from a client in lieu of payment. Knowing that the film needed to be preserved and returned to Oklahoma, Hearn contacted Bill Moore, the now-retired film archivist at the Oklahoma Historical Society. Through support from the Lawton community, the OHS was able to acquire the reels in 2007.
“Once we had the reels, we worked with film historians and preservationists to restore it to near original condition,” Blackburn said. “After restoration, we decided the final product deserved original music to accompany the 80 minutes of moving images.”

Are you a narcissist? Blame your parents.

The other day as I was scrolling though my Facebook newsfeed I saw a post with a title that made me climb up on my high horse and say, you have got to be kidding me. I rolled my eyes and kept going, refusing to even open the link. However, I saw the same post several times from a few different sources. So, after letting go a little of my self-righteous anger I opened the link: How Parents Create Narcissistic Children. The preview under the title said something about how praising your children will turn them into narcissists. You can see why I was angry, right? What parent isn’t going to praise their children for a job well done? And my kids aren’t narcissists. I’ve met narcissists, they’re the ones who don’t close their mouths long enough to listen to what anyone else has to say, always interrupting because what they have to say is more important, they’re always bragging about themselves, their kids, their pets, everything about them is perfect and they have to let everyone know. My kids don’t do that, I said indignantly. So, I read the article and realized that what I thought the article was about based on the preview wasn’t what I had thought. Just a quick aside, people should really be careful when writing those previews on Facebook. Anyway, praising one’s children isn’t what is turning them into narcissistic jerks. It’s the overvaluing, telling them they’re better than other kids, telling them they’re perfect at everything they do, showing them that they’re entitled, not letting them fail; those are the things that are turning kids into narcissists with whom no one wants to have play dates. The article listed several ways to praise your children without going overboard because there really is a fine line between overpraising and under-praising.

  1. Learn to accept that your kids are imperfect, just like you are. If we accept their flaws and help them see they aren’t perfect all the time, just like us, they will learn they aren’t better than anyone else.
  2. When praising them for a job well done, stick to the task at hand. “Good job on getting that home run today!” Don’t say, “You always do such a great job when you play baseball.” It shows the child that his present effort is being praised, rather than it being just a generalization.
  3. Teach the “Golden Rule”. Teach your child the way to be treated well is to treat others well.
  4. Teach your child how to empathize with others. If they can see others’ points of view, they will be more apt to understand why someone is upset and that not everything is about them.

I have to admit, I’ve done some of these with my own kids. I’ve told them they always do a good job on this or that. I think a lot of what makes a person a narcissist is personality traits combined with parents or other adults in a kid’s life always telling them they’re perfect or better than others. Nature versus nurture and all that jazz that I read in my psychology book. Bottom line is, don’t be a jerk, and your kid probably won’t be either.

Big Fat Juicy Lies

I do not condone lying whatsoever, however, since this is not my kid doing the lying, I think it’s pretty funny. And if my kid ever DOES lie about why he doesn’t have his homework, I would think he could come up with a better story than…termites. I mean, after all, he is MY son.

http://www.sothenstories.com/telling-his-teacher-a-big-fat-juicy-lie

BUSTED! Telling His Teacher a Big Fat Juicy LIE!

Telling the Teacher a Big Fat Juicy Lie! #funny #teacher #student #lying

So then…I open an email from Tucker’s 6th grade teacher that says:

“Tucker did not have his homework today; he told me this was because there was a termite infestation at home. I told him he needed to ask you to write a note explaining the situation, but he said that his family did not believe in writing notes.

However, since our homework policy is not to accept late work, I would appreciate a note or an e-mail when unusual situations occur so that Tucker can receive full credit.
Sincerely, Mrs. Gilbert”

What the what?

I love how the teacher writes her email in such a way that she leaves open the slim possibility that indeed, we did have a termite infestation that interfered with homework completion – rather than declare, “Your son flat out lied to me today.”

(Not only did he lie, but he did so, very poorly. Termites? Really, dude? That’s the best you could come up with? And you said your family “didn’t believe” in writing notes? What religious cult forbids the WRITING OF NOTES?)

Of course, I immediately want to write back:

“Dear Mrs. Gilbert:
I was mortified to read your email. We have had no such infestation – and we have no problem writing notes.

In fact, I’m writing this note to you right now. However, I’ll email it to you instead of giving it to Tucker to deliver — since he might claim it was eaten by termites (or boll weevils or alien mutant wombats) before it gets to you.

We are extremely disappointed that Tucker would attempt to excuse his missing homework in this way. We do not have termites. We are a clean and observant family. If there were termites, we would know about it and deal with it expeditiously.

And even if we had termites, that would not preclude Tucker from completing his homework. Termites are tiny. At most, they might buzz through a couple pencils.

It’s not like we were infested by ferocious cougars, lunging alligators, or blood-sucking vampires. I could see how those would be disruptive to concentrating on one’s homework. But termites? Please. We’re made of sturdier stock than that.

As soon as Tucker comes home from school, we’ll impose consequences — and he’ll also write you an apology.

Meanwhile, please keep us posted on any other “allegations” he might make at school. (I should tell you pre-emptively that you should not believe him if he claims his parents drink too much wine, gamble online, or use the F-word carelessly.)
Thank you, Darcy Perdu”

But instead I write:
“Dear Mrs. Gilbert:
I am so sorry that Tucker tried to use an excuse for his missing homework. We don’t have termites and we have no problem writing notes. He’ll give you the homework and a written apology tomorrow. Thank you, Darcy”

However, I WISH I had sent the first note — because then maybe the big vocabulary words like “expeditiously” and “pre-emptively” would make the teacher think that I’m a well-bred, well-educated, well-intentioned mother — and that it’s only my son who is a deceitful heathen.

Maybe I should have mentioned a possible maternity ward mix-up between my real son and a tale-telling gypsy baby. (No offense, gypsy babies.)

– Darcy Perdu

Update to Gaye v Thicke

A jury has reached a verdict in the case of copyright infringement between Marvin Gaye’s heirs and Robin Thicke. A jury has found that Thicke’s “hit song did infringe on Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up” and “Sexy Ways” by Funkadelic. The jury awarded Gaye 4 million dollars in damages, plus profits that Thicke and Williams made from the song, for a grand total of 7.4 million dollars.

In all of the news stories I read on this case, not once did I see Funkadelic named in the suit. And indeed, Funkadelic was not suing Thicke, choosing to stand with him as we see in this Twitter post from George Clinton: “No sample of #Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways” in @RobinThicke’s “Blurred Lines” – yet Armen Boladian thinks so? We support @RobinThicke @Pharrel!”

In my opinion, the jury was wrong, but I am glad I wasn’t in charge of making such a decision.

Gaye v Thicke

I was scrolling down Facebook when I saw something that caught my eye. A lawsuit brought by the heirs of the late Marvin Gaye, suing Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, over the hit song Blurred Lines. The contention is that the two plagiarized Gaye’s song, Got to Give it Up. Not familiar with Marvin Gaye, the first thing I did was look him up online and listen to the song. After listening to both songs, the only similarity I found was the beat, which I think is to be expected in similar genres of music. I looked up the lyrics to both songs and didn’t see anything that I thought could be considered plagiarism. While I am able to read music, I am not proficient enough to be able to tell if there is plagiarism within the chords and notes. In one report, it is stated that part of the suit is based on the feel and ambience of the two songs being too similar. However, at the time Gaye recorded Got to Give it Up, only written music could be copyrighted, not sound recordings. In another report, I read that the heirs are suing for some forty million dollars in damages, “a figure that includes the published earnings of “Blurred Lines” and a share of Thicke’s touring income”. In my opinion, asking for part of Thicke’s touring income is overkill. That income was generated from more than just that one song so I feel it has little bearing on the case. Either way, I will be interested in seeing how this case plays out in court.