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Tag: Education

Make no mistake, this extra week of remote learning is a giant fuck you to educators

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I’m sure many of you were glued to your devices waiting with baited breath for the education press conference this afternoon in Manitoba. I am also sure that many of you, like myself, were expecting the government to announce further restrictions and a temporary move to remote learning as we ride this newest wave of Covid fuckery.

Dear Heather and Cliff had other plans. She sat there with her cunty smirks and him in his bewildered gaze trying to pronounce hard words in his briefing and announced that they would be moving to one week remote learning not because of the enormous spikes in Covid transmissions, rising hospitalizations, and unknown outcomes yet to happen- but to give the educators more time to prepare the schools to make them safe for the return of in person learning.

I’m sorry. I know I am just a lowly peasant and not one of the anointed stakeholders that are spoken of so frequently in these pressers, but what the actual fuck.

Prepare for WHAT, exactly? WITH what, exactly? Another shipment of improperly donned medical grade masks by hundreds of tiny humans, some more barrels of hand sanitizer and an inspection of windows that don’t open and ventilation systems that do nothing but recirculate the same air around the same building until the end of time? Will they hire more lunch monitors to make sure the kids sit in their spots while they eat maskless twice per day and toss their tiny little aerosols of Covid cooties into the air for someone else to enjoy later? Is there a secret shipment of hazmat suits coming in sizes XXS to XXXL that haven’t been announced yet?

And the 550,000 RAT’s that have supposedly finally been allocated to schools instead of to pompous morons who refused to get vaccinated? How long is that going to last 300,000 students? And what are the protocols for their use? How exactly do we expect this to help?

Whoever decided that going to remote learning was going to give teachers and administrators “more time” is either a liar or an imbecile. How in Satan’s sweet hell are school staff supposed to reconfigure classrooms, prepare material for home learning, inventory supplies and PPE, rearrange cohorts etc etc etc with students in the fucking school and the rest of them in online class? When is this magical preparation (of what I am still uncertain) going to happen?

No. This is the government telling teachers to go fuck themselves. Since being elected 5 years ago there has been a war raging between government and teachers and I feel like today’s announcement was like Heather saying “Oh you need time, we’ll give you time” and she loved every fucking minute of it.

Furthermore, we basically have no new information. Are we reopening in Code Orange? Where is all the extra staff going to magically appear from? What is going to be done with staff shortages? How important will education be then, Cliff? Or will it just give people one more opportunity to call teachers lazy and overpaid babysitters? Once again, there are more questions than answers and no details about what exactly is going to be accomplished.

Teachers and schools have been repeatedly neglected and set up to fail since all of this began and here we are again. Politicians self congratulating themselves and jerking each other off on camera while they talk about all this money they have given to schools. What was it for? Is it the 80 million from the federal government from last year that wasn’t “invested” in education as promised that you are now taking credit for? Where is the accounting? Why are you so completely full of shit? People just want straight answers and some accountability. We are frustrated. We don’t trust you.

This “extension” is stupid. Pull the plug and do something actually proactive or don’t and live with the consequences of your decisions. But putting schools in another impossible situation so that everyone can be mad at them is a cowardly deflection of our government’s consistent ineptitude and miserable attitude towards educators.

No, I don’t think I will be sending my kids back to school in January.

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Let’s be honest. I personally don’t know of any parent (especially working parents) who enjoyed or felt successful at remote learning. I’m not talking about parents who chose to homeschool their children as a means of regular education and have the time, energy and will to take on this enormous task. I’m talking about being thrown into a poorly supported (by the government) situation where the amount of hours in a day don’t ever feel enough nor do the limitations of our patience.

But let’s also be honest about something else.

I personally can’t envision a situation where sending our children and educators back into the classroom for 7 hours a day, without the resources- both material and human- to make it a safe environment for the students or the staff.

Our provincial government is once again busily dropping the ball and keeping parents and school staff in the dark about what the actual situation is and how they plan to address the challenges before them. In fact, it feels like they have been very blatantly gaslighting us all into believing that everything is just fine, and that they have it all under control. Just be honest for once. Please. It is so painfully obvious that we are making public health decisions based on political outcomes and I am absolutely so fucking sick of it.

I don’t know about you, but being repeatedly and consistently bullshitted by what is probably the worst political leadership in the history of ever in Manitoba feels like a slap in the balls already.

Around the country and around the world, we are seeing staffing crises in multiple sectors. New York City has an emergency workers shortage of 30%. WestJet just announced a reduction in services as they struggle to staff flights. London has reduced tube services as they also face a large number of train conductors and staff off sick.

As usual, the tits in charge of Manitoba have set up a scenario where they will try and tell us that they aren’t seeing transmission in schools, they are safe, blah blah blah. They have instructed those under 40 to not get tested, opening up a door where they don’t have transmission and case data for school aged kids, so how will we know? We still don’t know how and when rapid antigen tests will be used, the schools are scrambling to implement the distribution of them, N95 masks are difficult to find and certainly not handed out in an equitable manner, and the schools have a whole extra TWO FUCKING DAYS to figure it all out.

So what is the government assessing in those two days? Are they figuring out how to help the schools split all the classrooms in two? How to use the limited staff and resources they have to try and distance and manage classrooms using EA’s to supervise as teachers run back and forth from room to room? What about how they will manage the inevitable staffing shortages that will occur as the adults get sick? Are they getting ready to keep the essential workers’ kids in person and organize remote learning packages for others? Or are they going to just pretend that they don’t have to worry about children getting sick anymore despite the alarming increase in severe illness in children in other jurisdictions – or continue to not report the outbreaks currently underway in our Children’s hospital here?

We are 10 days from the start of the winter term. Educators need better communication. Parents need better communication. This province deserves better communication than a Premier who shows up once her tan has faded enough to not be so obvious, a health minister who only shows up to deflect every single question ever asked of her once her nails are fucking dry, and an education minister who seems to feel like his role is purely ceremonial.

Personally, I don’t have any trust left in the system. Our educators are worn out. They are getting sick. Two staff members DIED at the same school this week. Parents are worried. I AM WORRIED.

I don’t actually give a shit if Omicron is mostly less severe. Less severe than what? Than dying? Than needing hospitalization in the acute phase? A lesson in proportionality: a smaller percentage of an exponentially bigger number is still a whole fucking lot. More than Manitoba can handle, and more than is fucking reasonable to risk.

So no. I don’t think I will be sending my kids to school in January. I fucking hate that this is where I am at again, but it is what it is. I actually feel safer sending my kids to extra curricular activities that provide shorter exposure, better ventilation, smaller numbers and business owners who hare able to control some variables in the name of keeping everyone safe and keeping their doors open.

And once again, those of us privileged enough to be able to say “NOPE” will have a better chance of escaping this wave that those that rely on schools to not only educate their kids, but care for them. There is no equity given to those already underserved in terms of resources, care, funding or options. I can’t find all the answers for everyone, and I wish to God I could. All I can do is be part of the solution by trying to keep our little family safe.

And PS, I will participate in “remote learning” as it it provided or not provided on my own terms. I am not killing myself or my relationship with my kids to meet some made up standard of what they need to know about the history of Egypt when they are 9 years old. I don’t give a fuck right now. My priorities will be happiness, survival, coping, health, inquiry based learning and fun. I will try to facilitate work sent home as we can tolerate and that is IT. If that makes me a bad parent then there is a place reserved in my mind for you to go fuck yourself.

I hope this is the last time I have to vent this type of frustration, but I suspect our leaders will continue to suck ass. So until we get new leaders, I’m gonna take matter in my own hands and do the best I can.

Solidarity to all the educators, staff, parents and kiddos out there. I hope you all stay well and we see the actual beginning of the end after this.

While we are busy with Healthcare being in the toilet, some of Manitoba’s teachers just got dealt another cock shot

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While the Conservative government in Manitoba is self destructing with a catastrophic situation in Healthcare, people dying in transport due to a lack of space in critical care and MLA’s sharing laughs in Question Period over it, public health compliance scandals, transphobic jokes and basically just a complete misfire on every fucking end of the governance spectrum that you could possibly imagine……there is still a fire simmering that we shouldn’t forget about.

The education system in this province is struggling. After years of chronic underfunding, the events of the last 15 months and the dark cloud looming that is Bill 64, the complete and utter burnout of staff, students and parents is a heavier burden that we are capable of carrying for long.

We all have our opinions on whether or not schools should be in remote learning. I personally believe that this was the right call and should have happened way earlier, despite the challenges and near impossibility of being a working parent trying to facilitate my children’s education at home even with the monumental efforts of our teachers. These past few weeks have been burdensome. Teachers feeling like they need to live up to the same standards they normally would, feeling the criticism of the chaos of last spring freshly enough to drive them to go above and beyond what seems reasonable or achievable today. Parents needing structure for their kids but struggling to keep up with all of their duties and responsibilities. Wanting desperately to throw in the fucking towel and just NOT.

These are trying times, and I will tell you from my personal experience that I am pretty much over it. The only thing keeping me from refusing to do a single thing more in terms of printing assignments and threatening the kids’ relationship with electronics FOREVER so that they do their work, and taking pictures and submitting and fighting is literally the utmost respect that I have for my fellow educators and the amount that they care about our kids and trying to give them some stability in all of this.

And that respect and knowledge about how hard teachers work has me shaking my fucking head about how underappreciated teachers are in this world.

“THOSE WHO CAN”T DO, TEACH.”

It seems to me that those who teach literally DO EVERYTHING.

And so now comes the extra what the fuckey ……

Teachers in Winnipeg School Division today finally got a contract. They have been negotiating for FOUR YEARS. They are finally getting a nominal raise that will back payed for 4 years. But there’s catch:

In order to pay teachers (almost) what they’re worth, the school division will have to cut 120 permanent full time teaching positions. Seniority will not be a factor, it will be cutthroat decisions based on how valuable you are. So teachers with highly specialized skill sets may be safe, but anyone else is fair game for a lay off.

From a teacher in WSD: “ Everyone loves us when it comes to babysitting their kids so they can go to work, but no one actually wants to pay us” (what we’re worth)

In all of this we keep referring to these people as heroes, yet we give them the choice of accepting less than they deserve for literally ever, since the beginning of time, or watch a bunch of their hardworking hero colleagues lose their jobs??

So, the next time Pallister or Cullen or any of the rest of those fucking assholes gets up and starts talking about all of the investments they are making in education, and when you all get your education tax rebate cheques, remember it is founded in bullshit and what it is at the expense of. People losing their jobs. Your children losing educational resources. Your children’s relationship with their teachers as class sizes continue to grow.

This province needs to stop congratulating itself on a job never done and top sucking their own dick in the media about how awesome they are.

If this is Team Manitoba, the stands are empty, revenue is in the red and the coach needs firing. Fuck already.

A rage post dedicated to Brian Pallister

You know, I have been trying to write these nicely balanced articles full of good points that are blunt without hearing about the language I use, but I am pretty much over that today.

This is a rage piece, so if you aren’t here for that, I won’t take it personally. If you are a pearl clutcher, know that I will continue to use grown up words in a grown up place and you can either put on your big girl panties or complain about it to someone who isn’t me.

Manitoba is fucking bullshit right now.

I am so sick and tired of a government that is so clearly gaslighting people and vote pandering with their “keeping our promises” posts and throwing out some seemingly really terrific bones that seem to always come with conditions that end up bending you over and assaulting your back door.

It wouldn’t feel half as insulting or half as terrible if Brian Pallister would just seriously shut the FUCK up. Every time that guy opens his smug, arrogant mouth, teachers and health care workers everywhere both alive and dead collectively vomit into their own mouths or roll over twice in their graves asking Jesus to just rain down Armageddon already.

Look Brian. I get it. It’s been a real shit time to be in charge of anything. Someone is always going to be pissed off at you. But right now, TODAY, even the people who fucking like you think you are an absolute piece of shit.

Exhibit A: Today a reporter asked you “Does it bother you that teachers have to pay out of their own pockets for supplies?”

To which you replied “It doesn’t bother me at all…..I’ve watched teachers invest their own money out of their own pocket for decades now and I just think this is a good fair incentive to encourage other teachers to do the same.”

Once I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I wondered if you had ANY idea how enraged people- not just teachers- were going to be about those words?

And really, the answer is zero. You are so fully out of touch with the people of this province and such an arrogant fool that you couldn’t even muster up the foresight to imagine how ignorant this statement was.

Your government claims it will be investing record funding into education with this budget, and yet not two months ago a 1.6% cut was announced, which is forcing school divisions to slash their budgets. This will not only leave them chronically understaffed, but programs that provide the little bit of equity that is attainable like milk programs are on the chopping block. Teachers have been in contract negotiations since 2018, and I would bet my ass that Bill 64 will undermine the collective bargaining abilities from divisions once they cease to exist. Education support staff are heroes that are having their wages frozen while you and your gang will enjoy an increase that is retroactive to April 2020.

NO. Teachers should not be paying for classroom supplies out of their own pockets. If they do, I think the rebate you meant to offer is 100% reimbursement, not 15% of up to 1000$. It is a public system. They are not private contractors. Offering a tax refund so you have yet another reason to underfund the system is a dick move and you know that. And just because it has been happening for decades doesn’t make it right. It continues to create more inequity in the system.

There is so much contradiction in everything you do and say. You continually fuck things up and then act like a dick about it in press conferences to deflect from your deficiencies as a leader. You love to call people by their first names while we must address you by your title, MR. PREMIER, in order to try and diminish their status or credibility and don’t think for one second it doesn’t go unnoticed.

The last time a Conservative government treated healthcare workers and teachers like absolute shit it was the beginning of their own demise. 17 years of NDP governance followed-because that’s how long it took to people to forget.

We have two years until the next election cycle, Brian, and trust me, we won’t forget. Your legacy will ultimately be the downfall of you own party and you will be nothing but a series of bitchy memes people use to make fun of terrible leaders.

PS: take a warm bath and have a fucking drink or something. You always look like you just got electrocuted.

Motherhood: Limiting Or Limitless?

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Over a Sunday morning coffee while watching our not so tiny humans play, I caught myself saying the words “It can be really limiting”.

The “It”  was motherhood.   The “It” was irregular work hours.  The “It” was financial obligations and a need and desire to provide all the things I could for my kids.

But what was I limiting?

We were talking about work, career, and furthering our education.   We were talking about giving ourselves a little bit of consideration after spending time at home with our children.

And then it dawned on me.  The only thing that I’ve been  limiting was my career, and perhaps due to guilt by association, my ego. 

Because you know what wasn’t being limited one bit?   The privilege of getting to see the first steps of both of my kids.  The privilege of hearing their first words, and soothing their first face plant. I was the one to make my daughter feel better when she got stung by a wasp, and make her first sandcastle, and print her name for the first time.

I’ve been there all along.

I’ve had the privilege of letting my kids drive me up the fucking wall and around some asshole’s bend every single day since they were born.  I’ve been blessed to spend so much time with them that I need a break and fantasize about a 24 hours alone in my house.

So you know what hasn’t been limited?  The opportunity to raise decent kids in a world full of greed and assholery and downright nastiness.   My chance to make the world a wee bit better has not been limited because my ego said that I should be more than what I am.  I have been gifted this chance to have such a huge impact on their lives and the people that they become.  Isn’t that more important than feeling like I am keeping up with my friends who have high paying, highly successful careers?  Is it ok to put my family first and catch up later?  Or not catch up later because really, who gives a fuck about what I do anyway?  When did I decide that my children are limiting my life?  Because I want a better job?  Because I want a PHD added to my name?  When did I decide that being a mom isn’t enough for me?

I’ve decided that at least for now, I am ok with my primary description as “mother”. 

Because that’s not limiting.   It’s limitless.

The time will come when they’ll need me less, or at least differently then they do now.   When that time comes I will answer that quiet nagging to continue to feed my ego’s needs for career and change and education and success and whatever that entails.  In the meantime, I’m going to try to transform what I’ve been seeing as limitations into limitless opportunities of memory making and moments that I will never get back again.  And appreciating that so many of us don’t have that chance.

Kudos to all those women who work hard every day and sacrifice so much time with their kids.  Kudos to those moms who are able to seize an opportunity for education or travel or whatever makes them feel good.   Kudos for being able to balance it all.

But for me right now, it’s ok not to be the best at everything all the time, as long as I’m the best at what is most important to me.   I’m going to allow myself the luxury of being ok with who and what I am in this moment, not because I am limited by my current situation, but because I am blessed by it.

 

 

This Juggling Act Can Suck It

Balance.  I’ve written about balance before, and to tell you the truth, Bitches, I still can’t seem to keep the scales stable.

It feels absolutely impossible these days to balance all the things in our lives that need attention and I am feeling the burn.  How?  How do I figure out how much to work and how much time my little ones need?  And still make time for my husband, myself, our extended family and our friends?

Compounding the usual questions is all the uncertainty coming up in the next months.  How is my Destroyer going to handle kindergarten?  How will this change her needs?  How much will I miss her, and will she miss just getting to hang out with Buddy and I all day? And on top of THAT, there is a possibility of a change coming to the hours Husband works, which may make things easier in some ways, and harder in others.

Change is HARD, Bitches.  I like to think I am adaptable, but seriously what does that even mean?  If it means that I won’t curl up in a ball and just give up, I might be adaptable.  Depending on the day. If it means that I embrace change and welcome new opportunities, well, fuck no.  If it means we will just keep plugging along and figure things will pretty much work themselves out, that sounds a little more reasonable.

But that’s just it.  I don’t want things to just work out.  I want to find the perfect balance between earning enough money and feeling satisfied in my work and not missing out on anything with my kids.  Which seems impossible.

Husband and I were talking the other day about how shitty it is for regular, middle class people these days. A generation ago it was feasible for a family to do ok on one income, and have one parent at home steering the ship.  Nowadays, that would require enormous sacrifice and would likely make it impossible to offer any sort of enrichment activities for our kids, let alone any savings for their education.

So how, how, how do we simplify?  What can we do to make it possible for us to continue to have a good standard of living while cutting back on extra costs that just really mean more hours away for me? What are your tricks, Bitches?  How do you save money on groceries, utilities, housing costs?

I guess I am just tired of being tired all the time.  Of feeling like I am a juggler with way too many balls in the  air. And everyday I drop one of them and it turns out to be a bowling ball…way too heavy to juggle.  I yell too much, the house always looks like shit, something is always broken, I forgot to return a phone call, I haven’t seen my parents, we’re having frozen pizza again etc etc etc.

Balance.  Not sure if there is any such thing anymore.

I Don’t Give A Shit How You Feed Your Baby, As Long As You Feed Your Baby.

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Here’s the thing about Moms.  They (We) are the craziest, most passionate and stubborn group of people out there.  And it’s because we love our kids so much and want to give them every chance to succeed in life.

In this generation of Mothers, one of the hot topics is breastfeeding.  We have come to accept fairly consistently that “Breast is Best”. We fight for our right to breastfeed our children anywhere they need to be fed.  We have interest groups like the La Leche League who try to support women and help them breastfeed.  We have “Breastfeeding Awareness Week”or some other special recognition to help educate women about the benefits of breastfeeding.

And there have been numerous studies done that show how much better breastfed babies do in life when it comes to IQ and education.

Well.  Guess what?

There is now ANOTHER study ( read this article) that has been done that factors in things like socioeconomic status and IT shows that breastfeeding isn’t necessarily best.  It is barely statistically significantly better than formula.  That it is marginally better at most.

One of the things I found interesting is that families that are more educated and have a higher socioeconomic status are more likely to breastfeed.  I find that super weird because formula is fucking expensive.  You would think somebody that is close to the poverty line would be more likely to breastfeed, but I suppose they also have a lack of resources and education to help them through it.

Anyway, this is what I think:

I don’t give a shit how you feed your baby, as long as you feed your baby. 

Seriously.  It’s really that simple.

Why on earth is something so personal and beautiful as the relationship between a mother and her baby up for debate?

And why are people assholes sometimes about shit that doesn’t affect their life?

Let me be clear:   I love the idea of breastfeeding.  I think it is what nature intended.  I believe in and stick up for a mother’s right to breastfeed anywhere her baby is hungry.  I think it has many benefits besides just nutrition and antibodies.  I think it is a beautiful thing.

Until it isn’t.

So many women, ( myself included) tried really hard to breastfeed their children.  I wanted so desperately to have that experience.  With my first, no milk came in.  With my second, it came in and my boobs simply did not work.  I had nurses and lactation people come over every day.  We tried to hook up tubes to my nipples. We tried everything and it just didn’t work.  And then I felt like a big fat failure.

So here’s the thing:  When people advocate for something, regardless of the specific nature of the topic, they need to be very careful that their advocacy doesn’t turn into a statement of superiority.

Is breastfeeding really best?  For some I’m sure it is.

But I can tell you that all the “pro-breastfeeding” information also served (unintentionally) to make people like myself feel like they were failing their kids right from the start. So you have to be careful that your positive experience with something doesn’t serve to cut someone else down for having to make another choice.  A choice that now appears as though it is just as beneficial for their child.

And that’s the key.  THEIR CHILD.

I think what happens is that people take their own experiences and love them so much that they want everyone else to have them too.  We can’t understand how something so wonderful in our experience could ever be hard or shitty for someone else.  It truly starts out with the best of intentions, but we need to learn to accept that everyone has different circumstances and their choices need respecting too. I have seen moms want so desperately to have an experience with breastfeeding that is all unicorns and rainbows that their baby almost starves in the first few weeks because they can’t accept that it isn’t working.

We get so caught up on what should be, that we can’t accept what is.

So yes.  I support breastfeeding. And I support formula feeding.  I support all moms who love their babies, and I don’t think we need any more studies about how much smarter or prettier breastfeeding your child will or not will make them.  Because in the end, I don’t think that should or will have an impact on the choice a mother has to make.

I think it’s ok to share your experiences, but it needs to be an exchange.  Just trading war stories, you know? It might make someone know that there are options for them, but it should never make someone feel like shit for doing the best they can with the situation given to them.

So go feed your babies,Bitches, and leave my titties alone.

 

 

Cracking The Dress Code

There has been so many articles floating around lately about school dress codes.  Children and teenagers are getting sent home for violating it. 

And now of course, there has to be a huge thing about the topic in the news.  Like, every day.

Some of the concerns are that we are teaching boys that sexualizing girls is the girls’ fault.  That girls and the LBGT community are being singled out. That we are violating the rights of these children to express themselves.

You want to know what I think about all of this, Bitches?  OF course you do, or you wouldn’t be here, right?

I call bullshit to all of this.

All of it.

I am a firm believer in school uniforms.  And here’s why:

1. If everyone is required to wear the same thing to school, everyone is on the same level of the playing field.  Kids won’t be ostracized because their clothes aren’t the right brand. Or the right style.  Or because their parents can’t afford to buy the exact thing that everyone is wearing now. It takes away one more opportunity for kids to have a reason to hurt each other.

2. Does anybody notice how much time we’re spending talking about bra straps and short shorts and all of this other crap?  Parents are so pissed off that their child gets sent home for violating the dress code and misses out on their education for the day.  Did you ever stop and realize how much fucking time teachers are wasting in the classroom policing this shit?  Deciding if a student’s attire is reasonable or not?  A child is in school 6 hours a day.  Between all the breaks and bullshit, classroom management probably eats up half the school day as it is.  It’s exhausting for teachers.  And now, instead of finding way to better our children’s education, we are creating yet another distraction from it. What a load of crap.

3. In the real world, workplaces have uniforms.  They have dress codes.  You either comply or you don’t work there.  This is a lesson that can be taught early.  And I’m sorry that it’s hot outside, but it’s gonna be hot outside when you’re a lawyer and expected to dress respectfully and appropriately in the office.  There is something to be said about teaching our children to respect their environment and the rules as well.  Because that’s one thing we are not teaching them through all of this.  Respect for their environment, rules, themselves and others.  I’m sorry , I don’t care how hot it is outside, my daughter is not going to school in shorts that let her ass hang out and a tank top that covers a third of her breasts.  It’s not age appropriate, it’s not becoming, and it’s not respectful to her environment.

4.  The reason girls and LGBT are getting singled out for violating the dress code is because they are.  Unfortunately the options for clothing for girls is much wider that it is in the boys section.  Standard options for boys tends to be jeans and a t-shirt, so unless the t-shirt says something offensive, it’s harder to be dressed inappropriately for school.

I just think that the issue is getting far more out of control than necessary.  Rules are in place for a reason.  At the end of the day, when my kids go to school, I want the teacher to be focused on teaching math, rather than deciding whether or not Sally Sue is showing too much fucking skin.

And, in my opinion, this is not a debate about whether a girl is asking for it because of the way she’s dressed.  A girl can wear whatever she wants on her own time.  Show all the bra straps you want.  Don’t wear a bra.  I don’t care.  If men feel lustful towards her, that is indeed on them, not on her.  Because they are thinking that way whether her bra is showing or not.

But teach your kids that you have to respect the rules of the house you are in, whether you like them or not.  Because that’s how it is when you’re a grown up.

 

BULLySHIT

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This is not the first time I’ve written about bullying.  It likely won’t be the last.

Yesterday, I watched this documentary called “Bully”.  And honestly, I was a little shocked. Shocked at just how cruel kids are.  Shocked by the apathy that was demonstrated by school officials.  Shocked by the parent’s lack of knowledge.  And devastated about a young boy profiled who didn’t even realize that the other children choking, beating and name calling him were not his friends.  I remember being bullied from time to time as a child.  But never to the extent that we seem to be seeing today.  And I keep wondering why that is.

Why do you think?

When did being an asshole become an acceptable way to behave?

When did we start allowing our children to get away with everything?

This post has nothing to do with our kids.  It has to do with us.  The adults.  The ones who are supposed to fucking be in charge of shit.

Ask yourself this:  What would you do if your child was accused of bullying or harming another child?

Because honestly, in my opinion, that is where we are failing are children in this situation.  I have only had to deal with this scenario as a teacher, and not as a parent because my kids are too small still.  But this is what I said to the student in question:

” I got a call from Mr. Soandso saying that you had done XYZ.  This conversation is not about whether you did it or not.  I actually don’t care.  What I care about is that one of MY students, whom I expect to be respectful and polite would ever put themselves in a situation where their behaviour would be even be questioned.  This is the only time we will ever have this conversation.  In the future you will go out of your way to be nice and helpful and a good example of the wonderful person that I know you to be.  If I ever hear anything of this sort again, I will not only be deeply disappointed but there will be consequences.  The End.”

I have never, in three years, heard another complaint about this student ever again.

I need to teach my children what is right and what is wrong.  I need to teach my children to have empathy and be kind to others.  I need to teach my child that inflicting pain on others doesn’t dull their own.  I need to teach my children that the right thing to do is to help others in need.  To help someone up if they are pushed down.  To run for help when someone is in trouble.

And I am certain that no parent intentionally tries to teach their kid to be cruel.  But we can’t continue to stick our heads in the sand and assume that everyone else is lying if its our kid that’s being the dick.

It’s also not just up to the educators.  Their job is to teach academics, not how to be a human being.  We trust them to guide and protect our children in our absence, but it’s for us as parents to build their character ourselves.

I read some discussions where some jackass blamed the parents of the bullied children for raising pussies.  Funny.  That’s exactly what the kids say.

Way to go Mom and Dad.

I’m all for teaching independence and think that children need to earn trophies and learn to deal with failure.  But saying that a parent who stays home to be with their kids and focuses on their development is raising a bunch of weak kids who need to toughen up and tolerate bad behaviour in others is utter bullshit.

And still we wonder why the world is going to shit. Sigh.  What can we do?  What do YOU do?

Discuss.

Destroyed By Love

cats-n-nails.blogspot.com

cats-n-nails.blogspot.com

So Destroyer had a music concert last weekend.  Super exciting, right?  Doll her up, take her out, video the performance.  Every parent’s dream.

Yeah.  Ok. Remember this is the Destroyer we’re talking about here.  Do you know why I call her that?  Not because I am a perpetrator of hate towards children as some bitch declared me on an earlier post.  I call her Destroyer because while she can destroy a room in under 60 seconds, she does it while destroying your heart and your will to be angry.  She finds a way to make you love her while she’s being a total asshole.

And sometimes she is, you know.  An asshole that is.  A non-communicative, screeching litle asshole.

So on Sunday she woke absolutely delightful.  We stayed in our pj’s all morning because we didn’t want to get our concert attire all crusty with peanut butter and kill some poor allergic babe.  We’re considerate like that. We had a great morning, ate lunch, got cleaned up and dressed.

The tricky thing about these concerts is that I am also a teacher in the program.  Which means that I have to be onstage with my little one for the baby class, and then switch gears to be on stage to lead my students.  Which means if Husband is working, I need to bring a babysitter capable of controlling the Destroyer in a public place.  NO problem, I thought.  I’ll bring Grandma.

So I should have known that there was something odd in the air when two things happened on the way to the concert.  First, while stopped at a red light, we hear the familiar thumping of some kid blasting gangster rap in the car next to us.  Looking over, I realize the noise is coming from a bald 60 year old man in a station wagon.  Can I please get a what the fuck?  And two, Destroyer fell asleep in the car.  Right before we arrived.  Of course.

So we go inside and wait for everything to start.  While listening to the cellos perform, the baby class instructor informs me that the instruments were left behind.  Super.  Because everyone wants to watch us uselessly walk around in a circle and lamely sing Humpty Dumpty.  Not really a testament to what we do in class every week.  You’d actually be really amazed how babies and toddlers catch on to the routine and learn all the movements and songs.  Whatever, the show must go on I suppose.

So we spend the best part of 45 minutes waiting for our turn.  That is a long time to wait when you are not quite two, it’s hot as fuck in the building and Mommy is 1000 months pregnant.  We spent most of the time trying to prevent Destroyer from running up on the stage.

All in all she was in a pretty good mood.  Happily running around, discovering all the things.  Until it happened.

1.  I tried to contain It.

2. While trying to contain It, It’s head got bonked by a closing door.

3. After unsuccessful attempts at containment, It toddled down the hall where the beginner class was convening and tried to destroy all their instruments.

4. I didn’t let It destroy tiny violins.

5. I took her out of Grandma’s arms to go on stage.

At this point, we were in full out tantrum.  Oh the tears.  Oh the screams.  Oh my God why does the concert have to be during naptime?

6.  So I stupidly brought her on stage.

NO xylophone.  What do you mean there is no fucking xylophone, Mommy?  Then give me that fucking cello. Right. NOW!

7. Destroyer is screaming.  On the stage.  Louder than the rest of us can sing.  Clenching her little fists, hulk style, like something out of a horror movie.  Looking totally and completely adorable while she does it.

8. I try to pick her up. Fail.

9. I set her down.  Fail.

10. I want to die, but I laugh instead.  Because she is an absolutely terrifyingly adorable little asshole.

11.  The audience is pissing themselves.  Because she got to them too.  She destroyed their hearts too.

So I took her off the stage and give her back to Grandma.  Grandma she likes.   Thank God I brought Grandma.

And that is why I call her Destroyer.  Because she also destroyed my will to be anything but in love with her, even at that moment.  Even when I should have been hanging my head in shame as an educator and a parent.  Because I kind of loved every second of it.

And I love her.

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