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Category: Children

Cliff Cullen should stop writing cheques with his mouth that he can’t cash

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The problem with making bold statements is that at some point you’re going to have to cash the cheque that your mouth writes. In Manitoba, it feels a lot like the cheques being written by our leaders are bouncing.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling rather frustrated by the inability of political representatives to answer direct questions posed by media, constituents in formal emails or informal online forums. There is a lot of redirecting and deflecting going on, and ridiculously, blocking.

As elected representatives there is a responsibility to the public for transparency and honesty and neither of these things seem to be in the playbook written by Coach Pally and his team.

My specific experience has been one of hostility and buck passing, and of late, lack of ANY response- not even the stock, party written answers that are a waste of my good time and efforts.

I have to say that it sort feels as though the plan is to just pass off each inquiry rather than answer it, and force someone to repeatedly contact their representatives with honest questions about many concerning actions of this government in a time of unprecedented uncertainty- until we are gaslighted into believing that we are just being bothersome.

Personally, I don’t care if they are annoyed by me. I am as relentless as a dog with a bone. As a citizen who cares about her community and the well being of everyone, I will continue to be relentless in my inquiries until someone-ANYONE- in this government is able to be accountable to me for the words coming out of their mouths and the claims they are making.

At the moment, in light of Bill 64 and all of the abominable commentary by the Minister of Education in his recent guest column in the Winnipeg Sun, I am trying to figure out how this government can insist that they have reduced poverty rates in this province in the last four years by 25%. I want to understand how this was measured, what factors were considered and how they studied the varaibles. And IF (big if) this statement is true, how was it achieved? Wouldn’t the government be so proud of this amazing work that they would want to share their programs and policies with other provinces so that they would be able to achieve the same results?

I have many doubts about truth of this matter. I figure that if this statistic is not made up, the information to prove it and back it up would be readily available.

I have reached out several times to the Minister of Education by email. I wrote him directly, and also to my local MLA, who promised to forward my concerns and request information be sent to me. No response.

I phoned Minister Cullen’s office and provided my contact information. No response.

I was informed by a friend that she had been redirected to the Minister of Families to request this same information. I will not hold my breath for a response, but here is my letter to Minister Squires. If you are so inspired, feel free to copy and paste the text of the inquiry and initiate your own contact. They can’t ignore all of us, can they?

Good Morning,
Thank you for taking my call this morning.  
To follow up, I am requesting information regarding the claims of a 25% reduction in the poverty rate in the Province of Manitoba. Specifically, I would like to receive the studies/peer reviewed research indicating this change in poverty statistics. Ideally, I’d like to understand what outcomes were measured, in what populations, who performed the research and what the study designs were.
One would assume that a 25% reduction in poverty would translate to a significant and observed impact in local communities in terms of income level, employment rates (specific to the impoverished communities), access to resources, reduced use of food banks or shelters, improvement of health, and drastically improved educational outcomes. 
In addition, I would like to be sent information about how these outcomes were achieved, specifically what programs were developed and implemented/introduced.  A 25% reduction in child poverty is substantial achievement, and I would think the strategies used to get there should be shared with all who have a vested interest in helping those in need. 
I look forward to hearing back, and would be open to scheduling a meeting to further discuss the subject.”

Dear Manitoba, start enforcing restrictions or STFU

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Fuck restrictions.

Honestly. Closing retail spaces and restaurants and gyms again isn’t going to do anything further unless a few other things happen.

  1. Close the borders for real. Redefine what essential is and make sure that you monitor it. Yes, the variants are already here but adding new sources of infection is just plain dumb.
  2. Go to remote learning, at least for high school. Stop allowing team sports to practice. This is one of the fastest growing age groups spreading infection, and the data showing limited spread in schools no longer applies as variants are changing the game.
  3. Vaccinate everyone who works in a manufacturing or factory setting. These people are essential to supply chains and work in small, poorly ventilated environments and have a high proportion of new Canadians or folks living in multi-generational homes. This immediately makes close contact numbers high, exposes those more vulnerable, and continues to put at risk those that have no other alternatives for income, no sick benefits and do not have the option of working from home.
  4. Mandate anyone who is able to work from home to WORK.FROM.HOME.
  5. Vaccinate teachers.
  6. Vaccinate bus drivers and taxi drivers.

And here’s the big one:

It really does not matter one bit what restrictions you impose if people refuse to follow the rules. Increasing the restriction levels does nothing but further punish those who are already doing their best: wearing masks, limiting contacts, only seeing people outside their household outdoors, limiting non-essential activities. The people who aren’t doing this and are organizing anti-mask rallies, or spreading mis-information online, having personal gatherings, and basically anything else to effectively thumb their fucking noses at public health officers will continue to do so no matter what rule you make.

They are LAUGHING at you.

To be honest, we all are. You sound like a bunch of idiots. Nobody trusts that you know what you are doing or are prepared to actually back up these rules.

Until this government gets out there and actually enforces the rules they are making, not one of these anti mask “BUTMYRIGHTS” wads from a rancid dickhole is going to give a shit.

As we speak, there is an anti mask rally happening at the Forks. No cops, no bylaw officers in sight. Not one ticket being handed out, not one arrest being made. THEY.ARE.LAUGHING.AT.YOU.

If the Manitoba government wants people to take their Covid actions seriously, they need to get serious about them. Ticket every fucker who breaks the rules. They don’t pay the ticket? They can sit in jail until the 14 day quarantine period is over.

And I don’t want to hear anymore about how they are worried about people lying to contract tracers for fear of being fined. They are lying ANYWAY. If you had your shit together, you could easily investigate this.

Get your shit together, Manitoba. Or we are about to be Ontario, Part Deux.

On the subject of appropriateness and other bullshit

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I read something this morning that hit the nail on its fucking head.

https://bcmj.org/presidents-comment/nature-being-professional

Basically, this doctor in British Columbia talks about how we have these standards of “professionalism” and “appropriateness” and I swear to fucking god this man nailed it so hard.

I’m not a doctor, obviously, I am a teacher. A parent.

Both of these titles comes with this list of expected and accepted behaviours that people like to hold over your head not because they mean anything, but because it makes them feel better about themselves if they can have some criteria to judge you by.

“Teachers don’t get frustrated. They don’t get angry. They are always calm and patient and never swear. They engage in professional, arms length relationships with their students and their families. They don’t share personal experiences or stories. They don’t reveal personal details about faith or family or belief systems.”

“Parents have endless supplies of energy and selflessness and love. We shouldn’t yell, or consider ourselves. We are capable of knowing when library day is and whose laundry basket is full. We keep track of what time is swimming lessons and soccer practice and what day are we meeting friends at the park and who needs a new jacket and did you brush your teeth today and we’re almost out of ketchup. Our energy is endless and we take the time not to discipline our children but just have meaningful conversations with them and it’s ALL FINE ALL THE TIME HERE IS A NICELY EDITED PHOTO FPR SOCIAL MEDIA.”

It’s all fucking bullshit. They are impossible standards that are built on a mountain of lies we tell ourselves that do nothing but hide the truth about our personhood and all the beautifully real and messy thing that go along with being human.

Here’s the thing. The second you stop pretending that you need to live up to any of these standards is beyond liberating.

I literally break every rule, every fucking day.

Like Dr. Chow in the above article, I refuse to live behind a set of barriers between myself and my students and my children. I wear leggings and messy buns. I share my struggles and successes as a musician and a parent. I ask about their day and their feelings and I actually listen to them. I give them a safe place to fall without judgement.I say fuck in front of my kids and in the company of adults. I fuck up and get mad and take ownership of myself and say I’m sorry. I tell the truth about who I am every single day and in return, people feel like they can tell me the truth about who they are.

And while I may not be everyone’s favourite flavour at the ice cream shop, at least you know I’m not full of shit. Professionalism? No thanks. Realism? Yes please!

In return I feel an enormous sense of community around me. When my mom died two years ago, my students’ families took care of me, because I at some point had taken care of them. They fed me and cried with me and took care of my kids. When my dog died and my students came for their lessons, they hugged me and forgave me for being the worst teacher ever that week. When my students became teenagers and they needed an adult to be on their side when they made bad decisions and to give them advice, I was there. When they were hurt and needed help, they asked me. When my families were struggling as units, they shared their hardships with me and I loved them anyway.

When I was a terrible parent and was exhausted and shitty to my kids, the other moms reassured me. When I couldn’t find a solution they offered advice. They didn’t judge me. When they saw me failing or bitching or asking for help, they shared their own problems and complained in solidarity. We supported each other.

And honestly, I think being real and transparent and sincere is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and each other.

Personally, I don’t give a fuck about the details, as long as you own yourself. Being real and authentic can’t live in the same house as “appropriateness”.

And yes, I get it- there are obviously situations where we respect the boundaries and limitations of others. That’s a given. I’m just saying you can’t exist authentically in a bubble blown up on the expectations of others without being in fear of it popping all the time.

BE MESSY. BE HONEST.

Throwing shade at parents who can’t afford to “make sacrifices” to do a School Trustee’s job for free is Pallister’s latest gross thing

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“A great many Manitoba parents who are heroic in their behaviour make the decision to back their kids in their pursuit of a better life through education…….made sacrifices to make sure they were involved in their children’s education, read to their children, made the sacrifice of learning themselves…..”

These are the words our Premier chose to use when asked about how parents facing various social barriers to becoming members of school councils are going to have equitable voices with the proposed changes of Bill 64. As Dougald Lamont so eloquently pointed out, many parents don’t speak English, or work long hours or multiple jobs to make ends meet, and the reality is that communities lower on the socio-economic scale will be disproportionately challenged to find enough parent resources to take on the new responsibilities proposed in Bill 64.

The statement above is insulting at best and shows a complete lack of understanding of the struggles of many people in this province. Coming from a place of extreme privilege and refusing to see this Province through anything other than is his narrow field of vision, the Premier seems to be only capable of speaking from his own life of comfort without expressing any empathy or understanding for those who do not.

The average price of a house in Winnipeg is almost $300,000 and the average cost for a 2 bedroom apartment in Winnipeg is almost $1,300/ month. Minimum wage is $11.90. From my calculations, if you work 40 hours a week, your gross income is about $1,900/ month. Even if there are two parents in the home, working full time you are grossing $3,800. BEFORE tax.

Let’s assume that the parents have 2 children. According to http://www.numbeo.com, the average cost of living per person in Winnipeg NOT INCLUDING RENT is $1,137.22. Multiply that by 4, and add in rent, and you get $5,848.

Tell me, Mr. Premier, which part of their well being should the parents “sacrifice” so that they can do the job of trained professionals for free, because you think that we are all just lazy fools who don’t love our children? Should one parent quit their job to “back their children” and either forgo food, shelter, heat, clothing or transportation?

Tell me again, Mr. Premier how two parents working multiple jobs in order to just be able to scrape by are supposed to sacrifice anything else than they already have to prove your ideals?

On a personal level, I have struggled with being a working parent. My particular field of work involves almost exclusively annual contracts that are not protected by labour laws and have no guarantee on renewal depending on individual clients, the economic climate and funding. I acknowledge that this comes with the advantage of being able to decide how much work to take on and being able to schedule ( to a small extent) around my husbands rotating shift work. But it also means I have no sick time and any work I do not complete has to be made up or refunded. We were extremely fortunate to have incredibly supportive family (parents and chosen) that minimized our childcare costs, but most people are not that fortunate.

And you know what? We still struggled financially at times, even with both of us earning decent livings. We still made sacrifices. I worked a part time job on the weekends as a bartender just to help things along. Doesn’t leave much time for developing public school curriculum and disciplining teachers for poor performance, despite my efforts to be a “heroic” parent and do it all.

And even though I said a million times that I would have loved the opportunity to stay home with our kids, there was absolutely no way that was financially viable without tossing us into a situation where we couldn’t pay what is considered a very modest mortgage and living expenses.

We are now middle class, hard working parents, live full and busy lives, give our children every opportunity we can afford, and the AUDACITY of this Premier to insinuate that we aren’t prepared to make enough sacrifices to enable our children’s ability to thrive by doing the work of paid experts for free is absolutely ABSURD.

Some of us can’t afford to turn down a shift, or not accept a new client, or take an unpaid day off to do the job of a public education trustee or superintendent because our premier wants to throw ignorant insults at us. For the kids who are not thriving in the system, it isn’t because their parents aren’t willing to make sacrifices for them, it’s because we live in a province where our Premier is actively stacking more barriers in front of them. All while he insults their commitment as parents and gives the same old “family values, pull up your bootstraps” speech every right winger likes to throw at anyone who has ever struggled with something other than deciding which Caribbean Island to buy a vacation home on .

This has got to stop, Mr. Premier. You are way out of line, and should be ashamed of yourself and your absolute arrogance on topics you seem to know little about.

A step by step review about the Better-Education-Starts-Today report: It mostly sucks, but has some valid points

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So, after reading through the “Better Education Starts Today” report I have a few comments. This whole thing has really chapped my ass if I’m being really honest, and I’m fairly sure I have only scratched the surface of the details. Not all of the changes are as fucking terrible as I thought they’d be, and a few actually make a bit of sense. Others are terrific conversation starters.

Really, that’s what this report should have been. A conversation starter. Instead, we have a Premier with an agenda that seems to include dismantling and privatizing a whole bunch of things before he retires. The scary thing is that for someone who we know is not actively seeking re-election and has a majority government, there is little accountability and those of us in opposition feel like we have no leverage to inspire a better way.

There is a lot to unpack here, but here are a few of the things in the report that stood out to me:

“With 37 different governing bodies it was difficult to be agile and respond quickly, yet that is what Manitobans
expected and needed.”
(during Covid)

Excuse me, but teachers, parents and school administrators cried, begged for, screamed for and deserved real direction from the province about how to address the lockdowns, school reopening, lack of resources, lack of space, lack of unity, lack of competency and apparent lack of fucks given by our provincial government over the course of the pandemic. They literally just threw their hands in the air and told the divisions to figure out their shit, which left them scrambling and likely compromised safety for students and staff. But it was obviously because there were 37 divisions. WHAT SHIT.

“Parents and caregivers played an important role during COVID-19, yet they struggled to access information
about changes and to inform and influence decisions.”

We lacked access to information because our government didn’t provide what we needed. It constantly changed and contradicted itself and was confusing. The government had months to get their shit together and just did not do their job.

“COVID-19 affected student engagement and learning differently, and a one-size-fits-all approach will not work
now or for the future.”

Well, interestingly enough, that seems to be exactly what the government wants to do. Standardize every classroom. Standard test, standard methods. They want everyone to play the same game with the same amount of skill and talent, but some of kids are on astro-turf, some are on wet grass, some are in a fucking mud puddle and a whole bunch of others are almost underwater.

“Retain two boards to oversee the delivery of education: a newly created Provincial Education Authority
(appointed members)”

I am all for a provincial education board as long as the representatives are education professionals that are NOT appointed by the governing political party, but rather nominated by the Manitoba Teacher’s Society and elected by them AND have specific terms of service.

“Manitoba needs a fair and sustainable funding model. We are the only province to set taxes at the school division
level. This means some divisions collect more revenue than others. Since education property taxes comprise 42%
of all education funding it leads to disparities in funding for schools and outcomes for students.”

This is so fucking stupid and such an easy fix. Taxes in general are collected on a rate level, either a portion of your income or according to property values. Continue to collect taxes in the same manner, but divide it equitably among the divisions. Meaning that (CLUTCHING PEARLS) those who are more well off will be supporting those who aren’t, levelling the playing field. Part of the price of living in a nicer, bigger house is that you will have to help to care for the well being of others less fortunate. All in the name of standardized education.

“To improve student outcomes, the Commission recommended focusing on deep implementation of the existing
K to 12 curriculum, including a focus on foundational knowledge, skills and abilities students should have when
they finish high school”

Ok so, this is a terrific goal. EVERYBODY wants the kids to succeed and improve. You know what helps kids learn? Not being hungry, or sad or scared or hurt. Anyone who has ever worked with children should understand that children who don’t have their basic needs addressed will struggle no matter how many curriculum meetings you have or how often you discipline a teacher. Address the poverty, address the social issues, and the children will have a better chance to succeed.

Not only that, but find creative ways to teach the same concepts and skills and help kids develop good learning behaviours. Make music study a priority in early years to support literacy and numeracy while giving children the ability to focus and develop consistent work habits. Help them WANT to come to school.

“Learning environments for Indigenous students must infuse culturally and evidence-informed strategies that
embed Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. Students need to see themselves reflected in the space
and in the texts they interact with by incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing and being in classrooms. “

This is one part of the report I mostly agree with. I would argue that this education needs to be included in all curriculum to create empathy and understanding of Indigenous issues so that we can begin to change the perception and see the value in the culture and traditions of our Indigenous peers.

“Establish a taskforce, in connection to the Poverty Reduction Strategy, to examine the linkages between
poverty and education and support the implementation of strategies to improve engagement and outcomes
for all students.”

THIS. Nothing should really be moving forward until this happens and there are clear goals and plans in place to reduce poverty in this province. Otherwise we will chase our tails for the rest of ever.

“Build a provincial system of remote learning”

Well they’ve finally seen the light have they? There are many situations where a child may need to be out of school for a while, a parent may not be equipped to homeschool and they need education support. This should have been in place in September 2020, but what the fuck do I know? I’m just a a lowly potential candidate for a community council….

“In recognition of the importance of local voice in education, Bill 64 incorporates a number of changes to increase
parental and community engagement by replacing informal parent councils with a School Community Council
(SCC) for every school. The role of the School Community Council is to advise the school principal on school
matters, including the needs of the community it serves and strategies for improving student achievement and
well-being. All parents and caregivers of that school community will be members and they will elect an executive
to work with the principal on matters impacting the school community. This will require a renewed emphasis on
engaging parents and communities so that they are reflective of the diversity of schools.”

You guys, I just don’t know about this. I believe parents should have a voice, but I find it completely inappropriate to give parents this kind of leverage over the school. We should be able to trust the educators and the professionals to take care of our children the way they always have. And unfortunately this will not be the same opportunity across all communities. Parents who work shift work or single parents with young children will find it difficult to serve on these boards. Communities that have a lot of housing instability could potentially struggle with inconsistent representation and inability to make the commitments needed for these boards to be effective. It means that schools in highly privileged and wealthy areas will thrive in terms of their voice, and those who are already marginalized will not have a strong voice. It sounds like an enormous responsibility, the work is unpaid and the folks getting involved won’t necessarily know anything about classroom dynamics, structure or needs. And the thought of parents being able to discipline a teacher gives me the fucking willies. It’s inappropriate and foolish. A parent’s voice is important, but should not carry more weight than the professionals who dedicate their lives to our kids. What a joke.

Do better, Cliff. It’s a shit start with some actual potential. Hear what the critics are saying instead of what your puppet master is demanding.

Apparently, Diva Cups and tampons ain’t got nothing on USB sticks in Manitoba

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Is anyone else confused about the statements made by the Hon. Cathy Cox when Uzoma Asagwara asked her whether or not the Conservative government would commit to making menstrual products accessible for all students in Manitoba Schools? The question was direct, but the answer seemed to be speaking about a completely different topic. Minister Cox rambled on about providing funding for USB data blockers to ensure safety while charging their computers or phones. As far as I know, no young woman has attempted to use a USB stick or a laptop as a substitute for a feminine hygiene product, and I am absolutely dumbfounded by the answer that was given.

Was this simply an avoidance tactic regarding a topic she had no satisfactory answer to, or does Minister Cox not know the difference between a vagina and a charging port? C’mon, honey….one is between your legs and the other is generally on top of a workspace. Unless…nevermind.

I mean, yes, they both have a few common characteristics. Both are holes that from time to time, need filling. One is typically smaller and more appropriate for the workplace. One is usually safe to play with in water, while the other may pose an unnecessary risk when wet.

Does anyone else feel a tad concerned that the Minister of “……and the Status of Women” was asked about the accessibility of menstrual products for students in our province, and she talked about keeping women safe from online dangers? Is it because of lockdown? Are the rules so strict that even Aunt Flo had to do virtual visits and Minister Cox is worried about women being conned by hackers?

Or am I missing the latest? I mean, is there some information available out there regarding the absorbency of USB sticks? Do they come in different sizes? Is there an applicator? Are they biodegradable? Can I safely use a data blocker on heavy flow days without worrying about leaks or embarrassing accidents? Will my IPhone help prevent toxic shock syndrome when safely charged?

Alternatively, perhaps Minister Cox felt uncomfortable with the topic. Perhaps she felt ashamed of menstrual cycles or didn’t want to offend any men in the room with period talk. Maybe the word vagina has been stricken from allowed language in the Legislature.

Or, maybe a tad more likely, there was an unwillingness by our government to address real concerns that are limiting to women, particularly those in challenging economic situations. Perhaps they forget that education is the best tool we have in preventing poverty cycles and that if young girls and women are having to miss school because they have their periods one week out of four, then in the spirit of equity we should support the solution- which is to make them available at school.

It really wasn’t a hard question, and the either ignorant or intentional avoidance of a conversation that should have been so obviously easy was fucking ridiculous.

DO BETTER.

The Stages Of Gratitude

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I’m not entirely sure about this, but I feel like getting older makes you more thankful.

When you’re a child, you have this completely reasonable expectation that all of your shit is just taken care of for you.   You assume that the world just revolves around your happiness, and for a while it seems like it certainly does.  Gratitude isn’t on your radar, because you just require your needs being met since you aren’t able to meet them on your own.   It’s your responsibility to grow and learn and become.  

And then you’re a young adult, and you are thankful for some things, but you also feel this insane sense of invincibility that makes it hard to pause and be grateful for the people in your life, and your health, and the ability to stay out drinking all night, nap for an hour, brush it off and go to work at a reasonable functionality the next day.

And then you become middle age, and you maybe have children of your own, and you start to learn what it is to appreciate something just for existing.  Or maybe you see your grandparents and parents starting to age, and you realize that time is no longer infinite like it was in your youth.  And that you need to soak in the moments around you and be thankful for the time you have to love and be loved on this earth.  Or maybe you start to see your friends struggle with their health, or their relationships, or addictions, or traumas, and you start to feel this quiet gratitude for the simplicity of your own life.  For the lack of adversity. For the lack of conflict or illness or things to be afraid of.

You read the news and start to realize how important your civil and human rights are, and how they can be at risk in an instant.  You are thankful that you have the privilege of living in the community you do, with basic comforts like running water and electricity and too much food on your plate.

Maybe it’s a maturity, or maybe it’s perspective that leads to this gradual understanding of what true gratitude is.   When I ask my tiny humans what they are thankful for they think it relates mostly to *things*, but in my world it relates more to *them* and feelings and purpose.

To all of my people, I am thankful for you.   For having you in my life and for the things I’ve learned from loving you all.   To the ones I’ve lost, I am thankful that I have grief to remind me of love.  To the ones who are struggling, I am thankful for the reminder to appreciate and invest in the important things in my life.   To the clock of life that seems to be moving faster, I am thankful for the reminder to love each moment and for all the memories that creates.

Happy Thanksgiving, Bitches. x

Bedtime Is The Biggest Asshole I Know

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You what time it is, Bitches.    That time where all you want is a little piece and quiet after a full day of tiny human taming.   You need a solid hour with a glass of wine, an episode of The Bachelor, and no other humans talking to you or each other before your exhausted body just collapses on the pillow.

And then Storytime is a dick.   Put On Your Pajama Time sucks a fat one.   Brush Your Teeth Time is a total whore and then actual Bedtime is a steaming asshole that just will not give you a break.

What is it about bedtime that makes kids act like the most annoying humans on the planet?   Aren’t they tired?  Aren’t they excited to go to sleep and replenish their energy in order to face another day of keeping other humans alive and doing all the glamorous things like laundry and cooking and toilets in between working a paid job?   Oh. Wait.

That’s me.

Honestly, MY bedtime is my favourite part of any day.   It’s better than toast ( and I fucking love toast) and a good book or a glass of wine or sex or anything I can think of these days.

I am so tired.  And my tiny humans will not fucking go to sleep.

Bedtime is a real asshole.  The biggest one I’ve ever met.

And then when Bedtime sucks, the next day sucks, because everyone is tired and Mommy didn’t get any alone time and here we are ALL OVER AGAIN with me fantasizing about MY bedtime, while wishing I cold hire a bedtime nanny 7 days a week.   I love spending time with my kids except when I have to put them to bed by myself.

And if you want to talk about The Hour Between Dinner And Bedtime, we need a whole other post for that motherfucker, because he is almost as relentless.

This shit gets easier, right?

Guess What? I F*cking Speak French Too, Lady.

Longtime no post.   I KNOW.

But seriously, having contact with other parents in a public setting and their entitled, stuck up little brats have inspired me to pick up my keyboard.

Twice in the last week I have witnessed other peoples children acting like total douchebags at a playground.  Twice in the last week I have had to speak to someone else’s child about their behavior in a public place.   Once, because the parent’s pre-teenish girls were nowhere to be found and their actions were putting the welfare of some wee ones in danger.  Fair enough.  Those kids backed off and despite being totally obnoxious on the swing set realized when they had pushed too far and an adult was taking back the authority on the goddamn playground.  The thing that killed me about that is that the mom of the little one in danger of getting hit with shit being thrown up the slide stood by and was too fucking afraid to say something to a 10 or 12 year old kid.   She thanked me for coming across the playground to fix it but Jesus Christ are we so afraid to be grownups?   Do the kids have all the power?

Well, it would appear as though yes.

Today, while at an indoor play area, this woman showed up with her two kids who were a few years older than mine.  I’d say about 8-10.

She was busy on her phone, trying to book dance classes for her daughter, and shot me an annoyed look because my kids were being noisy.  In a children’s play area and she had to go outside the glass to finish her conversation.   I was already less than enchanted.   It’s a playground lady.   I fuck around on my phone while my kids play too, as long as there is no bullshit and nothing needs my attention, but I don’t try to deal with any business where I have to hear what a human on the other end of the phone is saying.   I’m not a glutton for punishment.

Anyway.

This is a high indoor structure that has netting to hold the kids in should they fall.   It also has netting along the side on a high, double bump slide that goes hella fast.

Well, her kid decided to pull the netting away from beside the slide so that he could get in behind and underneath the slide part of the structure.

And of course, my three year old copied him.

I have a few problems with this.   First, the netting is now not doing its job.   So if a kid gets air and flies to the side, they now literally have no safety net because it is not secured properly.  Second, the staff clearly do not want kids behind there.  Part of the reason it is in place is to keep the kids out.  Third, monkey see, monkey fucking do.  What might be a “safe” behavior for a 10 year old, is not necessarily safe for a 3 year old.

And fourth, and adult just politely asked you to come out from there, and you told her you don’t have to because your mom lets you do it.

So when Ms. Twatwaddle, whose attention I tried to get because I wrongly assumed that she would be interested in asking her child to follow the same rules as every one else FINALLY came back in, she proceeded to not give a shit, because she felt it was “safe”.

When I pointed out that while he might be “safe” but had created a potentially unsafe situation for other kids she also didn’t give a shit.   When I pointed out that her son completely disregarded the request of an adult in the area she also didn’t give a shit.   And then she proceeded to patronize me in French to her child, right in front of me.

Well guess what?   I fucking speak French, and you, ma’am, are everything that’s wrong with the next generation of kids and the way they behave.

I actually don’t give that much of a shit about what happened at the playground.   Kids act like assholes there all the time and it’s part of how they sort out some social skills.

But I felt like she is one of those self entitled bitches who teach their kids that the rules apply to everyone else except for them.  And as a parent, a teacher, and a fellow human being, it makes me really angry.  It’s just another blaring example of how there are never any consequences for anything because the kids are holding all the damn cards.

Sometimes I wish that beating people upside the head with their own genitals was a reasonable reaction to their stupidity.  Until then, I’ll continue to just beat my head against the wall and curse on the internet about it.

 

 

To All The Sancti-Mommies Out There: Just Don’t.

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Pinterest

So last week I got caught up in an online discussion about ill behaved children in the grocery store.

A super observant, knowledgeable, and childless woman made all sorts of comments about how inappropriate it was for the parents to have tried to control their child’s tantruming by offering a bribe.   Or whatever.  She watched.  She judged.  And then she proclaimed her disapproval on social media like a total cow.

Anyway, the exchange pissed me off.  I am so tired of trying so hard to do right by my kids.  And having what feels like an army of Sancti-Mommies always screaming about how wrong I am for doing/thinking/feeling/trying/asking/wondering the things I am.  Or posting the “how you’ve fucked up your kids for good” article of the day.

And then there’s this new breed of Sancti-Non-Mommies who also want to weigh in on the discussion?   Because they took a few behaviour management courses that one time in University?

No thanks.

Also, fuck you.

So in order to deal with some of my feelings (don’t tell anybody I have feelings or I will cut you) , I have been trolling some of the mommy blogging sites in order to tell some of these bitches to suck it.

Does that make me a terrible person?

Maybe.

Probably.

But here’s the thing:  With the exception of the vaccination debate, where your choice does actually affect those around you I don’t actually give a fuck how you parent your child.

Like, not even a little bit.

What I’m interested in is hearing you share what works for you so that we parents can use each other as a resource when we are out of answers and patience.   Isn’t that what those sites were invented for?

Instead, everybody is Judgy-Judgering one a another and pointing fingers and making all sorts of assumptions about other people.   Throwing out accusations of violence and child abuse if you’ve resorted to spanking or chosen to circumcise your son.   The irreversable psychological damage you’ve done to your child by yelling at them.  How you’ve brain damaged them by allowing them to eat sugar.  Or how your kid will be smarter/healthier/better because you were able to breastfeed and I was just too lazy/selfish/stupid to do the same.

God.  We even get up in one anothers business for what kind of birth they had.

And my problem is not with what choices you make for your child.  My problem is with the choices you make about how you treat other people.  You may always speak to your child in a calm, respectful tone that explains your point of view and outlines your expectations.   You never raise your voice to them and certainly not your hand.   You are parent of the year in every way whose kid eats what’s on their plate, always follows the rules, never cries or tantrums, loves to grocery shop, goes to bed on time, puts their shoes on the first time you ask, cleans the house, walks the dog, all due to your awesomeness as a human being and in spite of the rest of us fuck ups down the street or linked to you on social media.  But when it comes to discussions about managing life as a working parent or disciplining your kids, we are all guilty of being class A bitches to one another.

This is such utter bullshit.  We all work our asses off to make our kids have the best lives possible.   And at some point we have decided that because something in our circumstance works or does not, it suddenly applies to every other human being out there.

IT DOESN”T.

So, to all the Sancti-Mommies out there:

Share your shit, but be realistic.   Be raw.  We can smell your entitled talk and insecurities a mile and a mouse click away.   You are not any better than the rest of us, you are just better at parenting YOUR OWN CHILD than the rest of us.  Stop acting like you have all the answers for everyone.   Stop making ridiculously overly dramatic statements about what another parent has chosen or tried or failed at.  Step off that high horse and let him go and graze in the pasture for a while.  Your burden of arrogance and judgement are too heavy for him to bear.

We. Are. All Doing.The Best.We.Can.

 

 

 

 

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