The Non-Existent Rules In Our Home

There has been a lot of discussion around the intraweb about what parents will and will not let their kids watch for entertainment. I thought I’d chime in to share my “rules” for LilZ. Except that there really aren’t any. But, before I get into that, let me give a little background on those regulations (or lack thereof) by explaining key factors about how MrZ and I grew up.

1) I grew up with a few friends who were very strictly banned from watching anything rated PG-13 or higher. Even in high school. So, they simply lied to their parents. We still watched the movies either in the theater or at other friend’s houses, their parents just didn’t know. I remember one friend who told her Dad at least half-a-dozen time we were seeing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. When we never had even seen it once.

2) MrZ and I both grew up with few restrictions on what he could watch ourselves. Especially in terms of horror movies. In Junior High, the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th movies were staples for sleepovers. In my group (of girls) we watch those as well as Dirty Dancing at our slumber parties. I bet I saw Dirty Dancing 50 times before I even entered high school.

First of all – I’m fairly confident that my Junior High child is going to be seeing Rated-R movies at some point in time regardless of the rules I set. I’m sure there are parents who successfully protect their children from Rated-R movies through Junior High, but I just don’t really see that as a possibility in our lives. I don’t have the desire to call Moms before sleepovers to make sure no movies are rented that I don’t approve of. I don’t feel like escorting my child to the theater to buy tickets to a movie to make sure it’s PG and not PG-13. In terms of priorities in my parenting world? None of those things are very high. I’m too busy trying to figure out if I can wait one more week before washing the sheets on my kids’ beds before they’ll disintegrate under the filth. If I can squeeze in one more episode of Samantha Who? before I do laundry, then I consider it a good day.

Secondly – I would much rather my son see one of the Rated-R comedies in the theaters (Sarah Marshall, Superbad, Knocked Up etc.) than half of the forensic/crime dramas on television right now. To me? Sex jokes and naked bodies are way more tolerable than Bones or CSI or especially Law & Order: SVU. That show talks about rape and pedophilia and show graphic shots of abused bodies. And it’s on network television at PRIMETIME. I just have a hard time getting worked up over nude scenes and sex jokes in movies when NBC is showing a dead girl who has just been raped by her uncle.

Lastly – have you listened in on any Junior High or High School kids lately when they didn’t think you were? I sit in a line to pick up my Junior High kid several times a week and hear groups of well-dressed, well-groomed kids walking by cursing like sailors. For example, I saw a name-brand wearing kid whose Mom drives a car with a church sticker on the back say, “She’s just a fuckin’ whore. Screw her.”

There’s a lot of talk about sex and drugs in the schools as well. And LilZ attends a very well-ranked public school in town that has minimal negative reports in terms of academics or discipline. It’s kinda snobby, almost. The kids that go there dress better than I do. (Which, isn’t that hard to do, I’ll admit.) This is a “good school” with “good kids” but I’m still no longer naive enough to assume that means they’re all angels with nothing on their minds but good grades and God.

Case and Point: The other day I asked my son what a drug was because I hadn’t heard of it. Or at least, I wasn’t positive I knew what it was. And he knew the answer. Not because of some DARE program, but because kids talk about drugs at school. They talk about sex at school as well. A LOT. And the girls? Let’s just say that as I drive through the line watching the girls leaving the school I wonder how skimpy the clothes will be when NikkiZ hits Junior High if there’s already so little left to work with. There are girls with belly-baring shirts and panty-flashing skirts. And again: THIS IS JUNIOR HIGH.

I think I just have always hoped that if I’m open with LilZ about my opinions but let him make his own decisions, then in the end I’ll have an honest and well-rounded kid in my home.

Maybe I’m just jaded. Or at least the complete opposite of naive. I just feel like there’s not too much of a point in keeping my 7th grader from watching a movie he’ll probably watch at someone’s house when it comes out on video. At least now I know what he’s watching and I can watch it too. Maybe not with him (he feels uncomfortable laughing at sex jokes if I’m in the room) but at some point so that I’ll at least know what the kids are talking about.

And also? Some of that shit is really funny. And if we can’t laugh at a guy who is getting dumped while he’s completely naked – what can we laugh at?

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Toddler Fashion

She likes to dress herself

I fear my daughter has inherited my horrible sense of fashion. This picture is what happens when she dresses herself. Including the stickers. And for the record? There were no pants in this outfit. Now, I will say that I (usually) wear pants when I dress myself, but for the most part? Her clothing choices seem to reflect my own horrible taste. Which, of course, is adorable now! But when she’s 14 and pinch-rolling her flare-legs? (Why could I never separate the styles?) She’ll be in trouble.

Unless this is just the age of bad taste. Is there still a chance she could grow out of this? Could it be that all two-year olds prefer to put stickers on their legs instead of pants? Is there a chance she’ll eventually realize that socks and sandals don’t mix? Or is she doomed to spend her life like her mother does: A minimum of two styles behind at all times.

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New Sources of Fun.

My mission yesterday was to clear out the 20+ 30-gallon bags of clothes out of our garage and take them to Goodwill. I wasn’t sure how it would work as I’ve never dropped off stuff at the new facility, so I took a small load the first time. There wasn’t anyone to help me throw the bags in the bins, but I saw where other people were putting their bags, so I did it myself. The next trip, I filled the car to maximum capacity: 15 bags. Again, no one was out there helping so I threw them all in myself. The third trip we were lucky enough to have MrZ join us because he was home after a doctor’s appointment. So, of course, the time he was with me there were two guys that came out to help. That is just my luck.

Ham it up, Doll!

Needless to say, my back was a little sore yesterday evening. So – LilZ spent some time with NikkiZ in her room yesterday afternoon while I soaked in the tub. After I was done, I checked in on them playing in her room and found her in the excersaucer.

Is this how you play
Swoosh!

I would have never put her in there as I just always say, “You’re too big!” But evidently? Not so much. LilZ used my camera to document their playtime which is where I found evidence of her in the basketball goal as well. Another activity I wouldn’t have considered. Put her in the basketball net? Why would I do such a thing? But LilZ did it and she cracked up over it.

The best, though, was when he put her in the pull-up boxes. She laughed that deep infectious laugh we don’t hear all that often because it takes extreme measures to produce it. Evidently, sticking her in the box her diapers came in is a good start.

Peek-A-Boo

So – new things added to my list of ways to entertain a toddler: Basketball Simulation, Excersaucer, and Cardboard Box Storage. I wanted to share these things with you in case you aren’t lucky enough to have someone living in your home that thinks outside of the boring “MOM” box when it comes to entertaining a child.

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I Love Being Pregnant

My OBGYN’s office has a nurse’s station that surrounds the two bathrooms used by patients to deliver samples through the windows. In other words, these bathrooms are pretty monitored. Which is why I shouldn’t have spent 10 minutes trying to lock the door when giving my own sample yesterday. BUT – I have an extreme fear of being walked in on while peeing. So, I repeatedly tried to lock the door while the nurses or patients walked outside the door probably thinking, “Jeezus, woman. Just pee already and quit screwing with the doorknob.”

So, I decided to pee. Without locking the door.

For those of you who haven’t tried to pee in a cup while 36+ weeks pregnant, let me just explain the procedure. You hover and hold the cup and just pee with wreckless abandon praying you’ll hear the pee hitting inside the cup. You can’t aim because you can’t see past your belly. In other words? It’s nearly impossible to do it with any sort of grace.

Which is why, when someone opens the door to the bathroom, you are possibly in the least glamorous position you’ve ever been in. EVER.

Now – luckily I was in a very hunched position to begin with so I was able to lunge towards the door to shut it before I made eye contact with anyone on the other side. But – can you guess what happened to my sample? It ended up in the toilet. Which means I walked out with lost urine AND lost dignity.

It was completely awesome.

I have no idea who opened the door. Oddly enough, there was no one outside the bathroom when I exited. No nurses or patients in the usually crowded area. I don’t know if everyone ran off because they were embarrassed to have either (a) opened the door on me or (b) not stopped someone from opening the door on me. I know I would have run like a bat out of hell. But not everyone is as mature as I am.

Either way – the next time? I’ll either find a way to lock the door, or I’ll insist on using the other bathroom. I don’t have enough dignity left to lose if it happens again.

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Best Shot Monday

A real smile

I took a crapload of photos this weekend. A lot of photos where NikkiZ is truly enjoying herself and laughing at something. So, it was very hard to choose one for Best Shot Monday.

After not getting rained out at Panoply this weekend, I thought I’d let NikkiZ run through some fountains downtown. I assumed she’d be like her brother and think this was a dream come true. She approached the fountains timidly, like she was hoping to hide from the water at first. This caught me off guard because her brother – at the same age – would have been running around like a maniac through the fountains until I’d finally have to set some sort of steel-cage trap to catch him and take him home. After every excuse in the book (she had to take her stickers off her arms, her hairbows out, her necklace off…) had been used up, she finally approached the fountains just close enough to get a few sprinkles on her shirt. AND THEN SHE RAN AWAY SQUEALING. This is the picture you see above. The exit squeal.

She did this several times and really enjoyed herself. When she was done (which she declared long before I would have expected) she demanded a towel because she was soooo wet. You know – those sprinkles! They’ll drench you! Holy Cow!

Next time we’re taking her brother – so he can show her how it’s done. Either that, or I’m putting down the camera and jumping in with her. Which I would have done this weekend if it wasn’t for the fact that I was wearing a light shirt and no one wants a wet t-shirt contest participant at 36-weeks pregnant. TRUST ME.

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