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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Random Musings of a Scatter-Brained Thinkaholic

1. My book club book still hasn't arrived. Guess I'll be skipping out again tonight. Bummer, b-u-m-m-e-r, BUMMER! I love book club. Curse half.com and their alluring prices made ugly by their snail-paced delivery. I have learned my lesson. (But have I, really? Because this is the second time this has happened now.).

Lord of the Rings makes me cry. Reality couched in fiction. What a comfort to know that no matter how inventive or adaptive Evil may be, Truth will vanquish in the end. As my real estate agent (and landlord) signs her emails, "God is good."

Got a letter in the mail yesterday from the Honorable Mike Pence, Indiana Congressman. He wants my money. Can't anything be done in politics today without politicians begging for money? How about you ask me to donate my time? My talents? My zeal, ardor, determination, convictions, etc? But I read the whole letter anyway - all 11 pages. And this passage, in particular, stood out:
"The sad fact is, though, in politics, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Members of Congress listen to their constituents, and they listen to the interest groups who take the time to contact them.

Far too often, that means they end up listening to the folks who want special treatment, rather than to the people who will end up paying the bill for those favors. Ordinary Americans who don't want special treatment and who simply want their government to be run responsibly have not had much opportunity to speak out in force."
So true. Only he's being too nice. We have had "opportunity," we're just too complacent, too apathetic even, to turn our chagrin into action. Every single one of us ought to be more politically aware and involved.
"For too many, responsibility seems to end with hand-wringing and exclamations of dismay. Yet talk without action accomplishes little. We need to be vigorously engaged in the world. If our schools are inadequate or destructive of moral values, we must work with fellow members of the community to bring about change. If our neighborhoods are unsafe or unhealthy, we must join with the civic-minded to devise solutions. If our cities and towns are polluted, not only with noxious gases but soul-destroying addictions and smut, we must labor to find legitimate ways to eliminate such filth. . . . We have the responsibility to be a blessing to others, to our nation, to the world" (Elder Robert S. Wood of the Seventy).
4. Yesterday brought the most epic meltdown this home has ever witnessed. The munchkins were hungry. Really hungry. The kind of hunger that has been repressed out of a refusal to be distracted, yet pops up with a vengeance when focused interest wanes. So I set about rummaging through our cluttered kitchen and finally came up with a banana and our near-empty jar of peanut butter. Letting my mind wander back to my own childhood, I lunged for our whole wheat bread and went to work excitedly creating peanut butter and banana toast masterpieces. I was so proud of myself. As I placed the new concoctions before my starving children, however, the response was immediate and painful. Buddha's reaction went something like this, "MMMMMMWAAAAAA AAAAAA! AAAAAAAA!" And continued into the upper registers of pitch only a squealing girl could match, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA! I just want plain toast and BUUUUUUTTER. WAAAAAAAAA!" Now phase his continued screaming into your reading background while I pull up Bugga's reaction. His went something like this, "NOOOOOOOOOO!" And turned into a heady, throaty wail accompanied by gross facial contortions, "WAAAAAAAAAAAA! I don't wanna eat THESE things (pointing accusingly at the bananas)!" Now phase him into the background with Buddha and picture me, head in hands, steam surging out of my bright red ears. Here's where a better mother would reveal how she counted to ten in her head and patiently, lovingly guided her children through this new culinary experience. A better mother. Instead, I threw up my hands and whipped out the "if, then" threats. "If you don't eat this right now, Buddha Bagel, then you will be heading to bed." (Spoken in really fast, really clipped, really ominous tones). And I also whipped out the exasperated and totally-not-age-appropriate guilt trip, "Here I make these wonderful snacks for you guys and I have yet to hear a single thank you!" (Went right over their heads). In the end, it was a combination of threats that won out. I turned off their movie and prodded them, kicking and screaming, toward their bedroom, desperately spouting key words like "lights out," "dark," "sleep," and "jammies," as we went. It's amazing how quickly kids can turn off the waterworks, and, recognizing their sincerity, I gave them one. last. chance. Eventually the sniffles subsided as I pretended that every bite they took was sinking a banana ship. Now why couldn't I have started out with that perfect solution instead of wading blindly through the murk of threat? Good question. I'll put that one to the Lord this evening, along with my heartfelt request for forgiveness and a new plea for patience. Although, maybe I shouldn't ask for more patience because then I'll just be presented with more opportunity to work on patience. Ya know what I mean? :0)

5. Speaking of "if, then" statements . . . . I apparently use them enough that Buddha has adopted them for his own conniving purposes.

Me: "Buddha, please clean up your room now."
Buddha: "If you want me to clean up my room, then you need to give me a piece of candy."

Oh dear.

6. Continuing to speak of "if, then" statements . . . . I think our society's entitled mentality is a direct result of parents delivering "if, then" statements, without ever following through with the "then" part. This is how a child in such a home will eventually come to regard "if, then" statements from his parents, "If you do not obey, Charlie, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAHDDY BLAH BLAHD BLAH." When we don't follow through with previously established consequences, a child will come to believe he is immune to whatever boundaries he decides are an inconvenience to his immediate self-gratification. If we think we are doing our children any favors by rescuing them from the consequences of their choices and actions . . . well . . . we thought wrong. This is also why we shouldn't present consequences that we cannot possibly follow through with, such as "If you don't stop misbehaving, Billy, I'm going to leave you right here in this store and head home." Um, yeah. What if he doesn't stop misbehaving? Either you're going to teach him not to take you seriously by failing to follow through, or you're really going to leave him in a store all by himself. Both options are irresponsible.

7. Will now stop babbling on and on about "if, then" qualifiers.

8. I just let Bugga get up from a failed nap. He has a worsening cough that woke him up after 10 minutes of sleep. So I told him I'd get him a cough drop and let him watch a movie, knowing he wouldn't be able to sleep through those wracking spasms. His response? "Is that smart?! You are the best Mommy! BUDDHA (he's yelling now), Mommy said we can watch a movie! This is the best Mommy ever!"

9. If I visualize Buddha's prayers, I see commas. Lots of commas. He prays like this, "Dear Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for toast and butter, cheerios, houses, cars, food, families, tents, God, Jesus, Holy Ghost. In the name of . . . ." I love it. It's like he just wants to get to the meat without wasting any time on unimportant conjunctions.

Bugga, on the other hand, prays like this, "Dear Heavenly Father, we thank ee for this and this and that. This, this, this, and those . . ." while pointing at everything in his immediate range of vision, from socks to tupperware.

10. I can't remember when this post became a list, but at least my compulsive self made it to ten. *sigh of relief*

P.S. (because I can't possibly make myself turn this into number 11). I will no longer be eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream because of this. And I think we all ought to write them and call them here to tell them to stop politicizing their ice cream to the detriment of our children and our society.

P.P.S. (don't you dare think of this as number 12). You know the old adage, "When it rains, it pours"? Yeah, well, in the last five days, I've had as many people mention The Hunger Games to me. Sheesh, I'd better order mine on hal . . . oh bother. Better head up to Barnes & Noble after dinner tonight. ;)

Note: When commenting, please remember to refer to my family members by their pseudonyms to help protect their privacy. Thank you!


Scott and Megan said...

Yes!! And get the sequel so I can borrow it!!!

I'm glad I'm not the only mommy who has movies on :)

Brooklet said...

So much to comment on- I will pick the one that I can relate with the most right now and that is the battle of getting my kids to eat what I make them without the fits. Mostly Morgan- she is so picky and screams if it isn't what she wants. I think parenthood is learning what works and what doesn't work, and not getting it right all the time. But we learn. and sometimes we don't learn fast enough.

Lizzie said...

So what do you do, Brooke? How do you deal with it when she throws a fit over something you've made? I NEED to know! :D