US Gun debates are running wild around the world. Education reform is stirring up some strong emotions here in Nova Scotia. Change is needed in both places and I feel like those with the most power to make those changes happen aren’t listening to the ones who know what changes need to be made.
But that stuff is too heavy for a Jeudi. That’s French for Thursday. I substituted in a French Immersion class yesterday and today and the little ones had a blast trying to teach me some pronunciations. Guess it’s time I start taking some French courses!
Pouvez-vous parler français?
1. What do you like daydreaming about?
Crash: Minecraft and Pokemon Battles with real Pokemon
Bang: I feel like I’m still sleeping… even when I’m in school.
2. If you could do anything right now, what would you do?
Crash: Stay up late and play video games… Geometry Dash!
Bang: Play electronics all night… Geometry Dash!
3. If you opened a store, what would you sell?
Crash: Candy, Pokemon, Minecraft Figures, Books about Pokemon and Minecraft, and super snuggly, ultracomfy stuffies
Bang: Things from Sobey’s (grocery store) like bread, cookies, and milk
4. If you could grow anything in the yard, what would it be?
Crash: A big orange or apple tree
Bang: I would grow more electronics!
5. What sounds do you like?
Crash: Farting, my favorite songs
Bang: Wawa (imagine Charlie Brown’s teacher) and creepy noises
6. What sounds do you not like?
Crash: When I’m laying in bed at night and I hear thump thump thump
Bang: I hate the word “this”
7. If you could ask a wild animal any question, what would you ask?
Crash: I would ask an eagle if I could be best friends with him
Bang: I would ask a wolf, “Can I ride you?”
8. What animal would make a great racecar driver?
Crash: Cheetah because they’re fast and used to the speed
Bang: A giraffe because he would stick through the roof and be able to see all the cars
9. What makes our family so awesome?
Crash: That I’m in it and that we have an amazingly cute Quaker Parrot
Bang: Nothing, our family isn’t awesome because you yell at us
10. If you could make up a new holiday, what would it be?
Crash: There’s already a Minecraft Day so I’ll make a Pokemon Day
Bang: Booty Time and on June 10th you go outside and take all your clothes off
The parents are fighting again.
The provincial government and the teachers are at it again and it’s getting ugly. Last year, teachers worked under a work-to-rule strike until the provincial government passed a law, Bill 75, that forced teachers into a contract (essentially, it was the “because I said so” argument). In this bill it became illegal for teachers to strike while under an imposed 2 year contract. Then the province brings in an expert consultant to review Nova Scotia’s education system. Paid $75,000 to fashion a report in just 6 weeks, this report magically aligns with reforms the province was hoping to implement anyway. Some of these reform measures have already proven to be less than ideal in other provinces, yet ours is going ahead with them anyway.
Like one analogy I heard, it’s like 10,000 iron workers told you that bridge they are about to build is unsound. An expert, who has built bridges elsewhere that have design flaws that were found post production, submits a report that was completed in just six weeks. This report mentions nothing about helping the iron workers build a more structurally sound bridge. This report wants to restructure the departments of the company in charge of said bridge. Would you cross that bridge?
Nova Scotia teachers voted to strike today. In Nova Scotia education history, all 122 years of it, there was never a teacher strike. There was one last year and teachers just voted for another. However, this time the stakes are higher. Should the teachers strike, they will lose pay for sure, but they could possibly be fined $1,000 per day. How dire is the situation that teachers would vote 82.5% in favor of striking?
You would think that Nova Scotia’s education department would think, “hmm, our teachers think this reform won’t work. Perhaps we should listen.” In fact, the department has already said they will carry on implementing these drastic measures, regardless. Then again, this is same government struggling with health care but refuses to listen to nurses and doctors.
How can a government become so disconnected from it’s people?
There have already been numerous posts written by others ranting and raving on this subject. I just wanted to throw my two cents in there, too. I’ll keep you updated on what happens next.
Today I bring you a guest. She is a woman who wears many hats; mom, special educator, social worker. Her skills include (but are not limited to) wiping poop out of a small tushie twice in the span of ten minutes and NOT eating all the homemade mac ‘n’ cheese. She writes the blog “Tale of Two Mommies“. It’s her therapeutic outlet where she hopes to preserve the laughs and memories of child raising which possibly might also help others. Let’s give Allison an awesome All In A Dad’s Work welcome…
I often consider the pulls of nature and nurture…mostly because I receive a certain thrill from contrary responses to the most mundane of topics. It’s a funny thing because I loathe debating, but there exists an even more passionate dislike of arguing. The mere whisper of confrontation leaves the same sour taste as the residual vapors that refuse to depart hours after opening our diaper bin.
Privately…or not so privately I hold my ground that there are far fewer things that are inherently earmarked as male or female. That said, at this point I’ve met a good deal of fellow mothers who attest to their children gravitating toward the stereotypical gendered toys and clothing despite concerted effort to ensure an open mind. Perhaps there is something to frilly princess dresses that missed me during my childhood.
I waited eagerly from the babyhoods of my son and daughter to learn their preferences and general interests…what role my personality and parenting style rubbed onto them.
Little Man will be four in a couple of months, and Warrior Queen will be two in about the same span. They have personality abound, and I wouldn’t have it any other way…most of the time. If I’m honest, “asshole” is not far from my lips at least a few moments throughout a given day.
I suppose that’s the price of staying home, but in that same breath, I’m beginning to wonder if all this time I’ve spent with my children has shaped them in ways that might not otherwise exist. It isn’t a good or bad thing; just a query.
My kids are their own people in ways I didn’t expect, yet they are quite similar to each other. And, as I see them navigate their days, I’m acutely aware of the personality whispers that are mine.
In terms of their interests, I fully expected my daughter to love dolls and dress-up like my friends’ daughters. I predicted she would nurture her animals or engage in whatever girly things that I’ve never understood. I assumed something similar from my son, but those car and truck instincts missed him. To this day he owns a large assortment from gifts that he never touches…unless it’s to park them in the “garages” he constructs out of colorful cardboard bricks. But, in such a case they are merely unimportant props to his main passion of constructing random household things like pipes or an air conditioner (a side note: the objects never resemble his intention).
Warrior Queen has a comparable path…she is completely indifferent to anything girly and delicate. I watched another two-year-old girl comfort three stuffed animals to sleep, and all I could think of was my daring fierce girl in her exploring interests. Scaling legitimately enormous inflatable slide structures for the thrill of the “Whee!” down to the bottom. Even Mr. Man, while not an anxious child, isn’t quite so fearless.
Everything concerning Warrior Queen is an adrenaline junkie thrill seek…Bring it on, Gentlemen, Warrior Queen will force you to appreciate the true meaning of expendable.
Relatives abound buy my daughter dolls, and all are beginning to reveal a thin settling of dust…which has nothing to do with my lackluster housekeeping skills. It’s always such a shame because my daughter looks so enviously at my son’s gifted vehicles. For some reason family refuses to purchase them for her.
My kids are quite similar…and quite different, and I wonder if that’s how these sibling things work. I’ve never had one. I receive the stink-eye for the types of activities we most often do as our daily threesome. My children generally don’t play with toys as much as they enjoy gross motor activities and discovery. It’s a challenge to schedule meet-ups that would give me the chance to have adult contact; my kids like to roam. To this day the most successful and easy activity is a mall, which is funny because I’ve never been much of a mallrat. We go in the morning until the early afternoon. My children delight in the hours they spend running around and chatting with whomever will stand still long enough to notice them. Well, Little Man is the chatty one; Warrior Queen stares. I’m fairly social as well; my feisty sprite watches me, but mostly she’s captivated by her brother. She’s an observer much like her favorite person in the world.
But, here’s what strikes me as odd; my default is observing as well…taking everything in and crawling inside the comfy recesses of my mind. I can spend hours thinking and creating stories; I’ve been like that my whole life. Until this point I assumed it was because as a child I was so painfully awkward in social settings that my personal worlds were far more interesting and wonderful. Little Man doesn’t possess such awkwardness…or at least he hasn’t developed the insecurity that sometimes comes with age.
He loves talking to everyone and anyone, but he loves his stories and thoughts more. I see him retreat into the same habits I’ve possessed for so long. It thrills and delights him to create stories about pipes or whatever else I can’t follow when he feels compelled to share. He’s lived in his stories since he was nine-months. Nothing so elaborate at the time, but I distinctly remember his focus on toy placements…positioning in various movements with intense concentration. He could be occupied like that for as long as forty-five minutes at times.
I disregarded such habits of Little Man as something distinctly him…until Warrior Queen began forming her wonderful quirks that melt me. She also lives in her mind from time to time…taking things in with deliberate concentration. It’s hard to know where such a practice will take her, but it’s the same shadow of action as her brother…as me.
I can’t say what any of this means or what impact such a disposition will wash over their lives. But, I can’t help but wonder my role in these fundamental habits in them even at such a young age. My children are their own unique people, but the overarching commonalities give me pause. I wonder what they see in me, and I wonder if how they see me will be vast from how I see myself.
Since the birth of my son, my diversity of hats is far reaching and overlapping. Obviously my role as wife, mother, and daughter are pivotal, but I can claim other, equally important identities that form my existence and ambitions. I’m a special educator by trade. More specifically, I’ve worked in various capacities with at-risk, delinquent, and incarcerated adolescents and adults. I am a licensed social worker, and try to incorporate these values to improve the world around me even if I do not strictly work in the field.
I record my mommying life in a blog (http://taleoftwomommies.wordpress.com), as well as create short stories and essays when inspiration strikes. I also organize a parent’s social group, as well as maintain a Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/strollerderbysupportforparents) and Twitter account (@MultipleMommies).
Finally, I volunteer for an agency providing rehabilitative programming for the Department of Corrections, as well as work on my own to develop programs on behalf of the DOC. When I am able, I teach creative writing in a prison setting with the hope that some day I can return to literacy instruction.
Are sugar free sugar wafers really sugar wafers? I know there’s more important, heavier matters if you will, to think about, but right now I just wanna think about these delicious sugar free “sugar” wafers. You can order a Big Mac with no meat. Is it still a Big Mac? How much of a work do I have change to make it not plagiarism?
I considered rounding up posts concerning Parkland and all the debates happening for today’s Sunday Share. Then I thought that might be too depressing, too much for a Sunday. Then I though about rounding up the funny stuff to bring some laughs where there might not be many. I though that wouldn’t be fair to completely ignore the elephant in the room. So I bring you a mix of both. I’ll let you choose…
Aging Millennial Engineer
My favorite post calling for ban. With over 10k shares, I’m not the only one…
The Salty Mamas
How to leave the house when you have kids…
Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Dad
Somewhere in a parallel universe we don’t have kids. Wonder what that’s like…
It’s kinda long, but he clearly makes the arguments…
The inspiration for my “Go Ask Your Father” segments except wittier and funnier
Sweet Baby Jesus… Thank God it’s Friday! Did anyone else feel like this week was longer the 2016 presidential election? I swear the Universe had some kind of time malfunction. Her clock was running a bit behind. Time does move slower the faster you go so maybe we went farther. Anyway, here in Canadaland this is a long weekend. Monday is Family Day. What do you think would be a good family day family activity to do with the family? (Did I say family, enough times?)
1. What color are mirrors?
Mirror, mirror on the way, who is the fairest of them all? Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris, the Canadian gold medal winners for mixed couples curling, are pretty cute. I don’t have a talking mirror, though. So the only way I know who the “fairest of them all is” is when DW is standing in front of it. What color is a mirror, anyway? Any color that is put in front of it. I had to look up how mirrors are made to find this one. Turns out they’re silver. Technically, they start as a window, a clear piece of glass. Then they spray it with demineralized water to clean it. It’s sprayed with liquefied tin. Silver is spray atop the tin because silver won’t stick to glass. As the liquid silver sets it hardens and takes on the reflective properties needed for a perfect selfie. A layer of copper is sprayed on to protect the silver and it’s all baked at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The backside of it is painted and it’s all set for the fairest of them all.
2. Why are they called Teddy Bears?
The story I told Crash at bedtime when he asked went something like this. An American president a long time ago, named Theodore Roosevelt went by the nickname of Teddy. For a reason unbeknownst to me, created a stuffed animal that was a bear. People called it a Teddy bear. I was close. Right church, wrong pew. Theo did not create the stuffed animal. Instead its origins are from a bear hunt he attended. After 3 days he had not spotted a bear. So the hunt guides tracked down a bear, tied it to a tree and showed it to the President. Theo, seeing that it was wounded and tied to a tree couldn’t shoot it, deemed it inhumane. However, he did have killed to end its suffering. Political cartoonist, Clifford Berryman, drew a cartoon illustrating the President’s refusal to shoot the bear. That bear appeared in later cartoons by the cartoonist. Then Morris Michtom, a candy shop owner in Brooklyn, NY saw the cartoon and, with permission to call them Teddy’s Bears, put two stuffed bears his wife had made, in the front window of his shop. They became so popular he started mass producing them.
3. How does our brain send messages to the rest of our body?
Email? Text? Binary code? Shouting “HEY!” Really, I have no idea. Other than the brain using synapses and neurons and sending signals through our nervous system to the body part that needs to move (like my fingers across the keyboard). Your brain, spinal chord, and a tremendous length of nerves throughout your body all work together to give you that “human experience”. There are 2 kinds of nerves, sensory and motor. The sensory nerves send messages to the brain in regards to our senses, touch, temperature, pain, etc… Motor nerves send signals from the brain to our muscles either voluntarily or reflexively. If you’re wondering how it works on the molecular level, you’ll have to ask your friendly, neighborhood neurologist because I don’t understand neurons and synapses and stuff.
4. How does water get from the water tower into our house?
Magic. Just open the tap and out comes fresh, clean water we can drink (though we filter it anyway). We have several water towers around town. Water is collected from the lake, cleaned, filtered and pumped though the water pipes that are networked through town by pumping stations. The pumping stations provide the pressure required to push the water through the pipes so that it comes out of the sink, the tub, the toilet, or the hose when want it to. There’s something for you to think about when you’re standing in front of your silver mirror, telling your brain to move your arm while holding your toothbrush while water flows from the faucet.
Have you ever longed for bedtime? Not for yourself, but for your kids. PLEASE! Can it be bedtime now? I know they have only been home from school for 17 seconds, but can I send them to bed anyway? Getting in the truck to come home from school Crash hit Bang on the head with the truck door (accidentally) when he was trying to get in his brother’s side of the truck instead of his own. At home, I send them outside to play since it was sunny and warm. Crash took my GoPro with him to video himself skateboarding. Bang runs into him with his bike and breaks the frame that holds the camera. They come inside because apparently it’s no fun outside without a camera. So they try to play inside but all we hear is “Watch me.” “Watch this.” “Watch watch watch.” We watch some, but they certainly don’t need an audience for everything they do.
It’s 9:34pm. Guess where they finally are? You can probably tell from all the silence around here…
As always, feel free to ask your heathens these questions. Just be sure to tag me so I can read their answers.
1. What are you good at now?
Crash: Playing Beyblade, snuggling stuffies, and being annoying
2. What will you be good at when you grow up?
Crash: Taking pictures like a photographer
Bang: Serving pizza, which means I’m being a chef
3. How old do you wish you could be?
Bang: Nobody can live this long but I want to be a million
4. What 3 things would you take to a deserted island?
Crash: Video games, infinite food, and everything required to survive in the wild
Bang: Some food to eat, a ginormous jug of water, and some dessert – ice cream
5. The world just turned into Legos. What do you build first?
Crash: I don’t know, but I would build lots!
Bang: I would build a giant Lego person
6. Did you have a dream last night?
Crash: I had this one crazy dream that me, my friends had Pokemon and they weren’t just cards, they were real Pokemon. We battled for a long time and it boys vs. girls and one of the girl’s Pokemon scratched me and I used Sing and her Pokemon fell asleep. And this is craziest part… My teacher and brother show up to make another team! My team won, though.
Bang: Nope, I stayed awake all night. I just laid there with my eyes open like I do every single night.
7. What 2 animals would be funny to combine?
Crash: Dinosaur and a pig
Bang: A moose and an elephant and it’s called a mooselephant
8. What is your favorite word?
Bang: I like to say dab
9. What is love?
Crash: It’s family and stuff, like girlfriends and boyfriends and husbands and wives
Bang: I love mom because I fell in love with her but I don’t know what it means to fall in love
10. What’s your favorite game to play in gym class?
Bang: Hockey and soccer baseball (aka kickball)
Once upon a romantic time, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, back when humans believed some weird things, there was a wonderful holiday in Rome. It was celebrated around the 15th of February and it was a special time that was believed to bring fertility and purification throughout the year.
First, A goat and a dog would be sacrificed upon an altar, the first for fertility and the second for purification, both to the God of agriculture, Faunus, and to Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. After the sacrifice, strips of the goat’s hide were cut from the body and dipped in sacrificial blood. Men would then take the strips and would gently slap women with them. Women, wanting to be fertile and pure, welcomed the event. Afterwards, all the maiden’s names would be put in an urn. Bachelors would then draw a name and the couple would be matched until the following Lupercalia Day. Often, the couple would end up married.
Christianity eventually outlawed this practice when Pope Gelasius declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day in honor of Valentine, a priest who would wed couples in secret during a time when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriages. Valentine was imprisoned and while behind bars he would write to his one true love, the jailer’s daughter. Before his execution, he wrote one last letter and closed by writing,
From your Valentine.
I have no goat nor dog to sacrifice. I lack an alter, too. DW doesn’t need to be fertile as we’re done having kids. Therefore, I won’t smack her with strips of goat hide dipped in blood. I think that’s a real sign true love. You’re, welcome hon.
I may not have a goat, or a dog, or an alter, or the desire to sacrifice an animal, or even to smack my wife, gently or otherwise, but I do have a purpose. That purpose lies in being the best husband and father that I can be. I can be their Valentine. I’ll never give up on them. I’ll never give up loving them. I’ll never give up their love for me. Even on the days it’s hard to like them.
After almost thirteen years of marriage and through the raising of two kids, one thing I’ve learned is that we’re better when we work together. We have the common goal of raising happy, healthy, and educated kids. Granted, some days it appears we’re failing on all three accounts. However, we know there will be hurdles to jump and bridges to cross. Together, my valentine and I are prepared to jump and cross.
So, to my Valentine, Happy Valentine’s Day. And a Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, reader. I hope your day was filled with more chocolate, love, and loved ones than sacrificed goats.
Parenting is hilarious. Or at least it has the potential to be. God knows what might come out of our children’s mouth. God knows what kind of mischief they will get into next. It’s a roulette wheel of possibilities. It’s a crap shoot (HAHA) of potential opportunities.
So, because it’s late, because my kids are in bed (one is still hacking and coughing), I’m here to lighten the mood, lift a few spirits, and remind you that you’re not alone in the struggle.
Bang was watching the men’s luge. They were zipping down the ice at 130 kph. He said he wants to do that. This is the same child who was scared of waterslides last summer.
Tonight, while Facetiming my parents I had one kid licking the iPad and the other putting his feet on my head.
Did your kid make you laugh today?
We’re almost 8 weeks into 2018. Have I learned anything yet this year? I have learned a few new Keto recipes for DW. I learned Crash doesn’t like spaghetti squash substituted for spaghetti. I learned to spell spaghetti so I don’t have to type “sketti” even though that’s what everyone calls it. I learned that if we don’t have chocolate chips, Bang would rather starve than have a chocolate chipless pancake. I also learned that just because you’re in 10th place that doesn’t mean you can’t still win it all!
I also learned that these are some good reads from this week…
Dorky Mom Doodles
How you know you’re raising a “Mean Girl”
Girl power! and gaining economic power…
Stop kicking yourself over the small stuff…
Dreaming the World
The complexity of a bird network isn’t just for the birds after all…
A Momma’s View
What’s something good that’s happened to you? Let her know, please. Good news is great news!
Lastly, let me share with you a few other places around the internets that you can find and follow me…