Monday, October 20, 2014

Parenting Advice - Why?

The Husband and I had agreed long before we had children that we both thought it would be important when raising children that we explain why we ask our children to do things.

Most of the time, we've done that very well.
I'm pretty frickin' proud that we've never, ever had to answer the question, "Why?" with "Because I said so."

It's not to say that the boys have consistently done what we've asked, but we've found we don't have to "nag" them about things we've explained as often as when we fail to give a good reason.

 Case in point:
The boys have the run of the basement.  As long as they keep it clean, we don't care if they eat pizza, drink soda, and entertain their friends down there every day.
The boys are good about picking up food, paper plates, and recyclables.  However, all of these things get crammed into the trash basket downstairs... and stay there.

You would think that after the basket got full, someone would empty it into the garbage can in the garage.  But no.  That's grown-up thinking, not kid thinking.
Grown-ups think, "That's going to start to smell bad and attract critters."
Kids think, "I wonder how big I can make this pile before it falls over," and "It'll be cool to gross out the guys if this starts to stink!"

The other day while doing laundry, I passed the overfilled trash basket.  It was stacked so high with teenage snack waste that it looked like a picture in a Dr. Seuss book.  (In all fairness, it was an impressive show of balancing skill.)

I know I had mentioned to both boys that they had needed to take the trash out, and one or the other had replied, "Yeah. I know."
But, there it still stood.

So, the next time I saw Younger Son (who hosts the most friends), I asked him again to empty the trash downstairs. 
This time I worded it differently:
"You'll want to empty the trash before mice decide to move in downstairs."

The trash was gone in minutes.
And I'm pretty sure the next time the basket gets full, he'll think about mice climbing in it, and he'll empty it right away without further prompting.

Parenting high five!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

De boys... Dey gives me prouds

Elder Son, after pulling an all-nighter gaming with friends, came home at 2pm... and washed the dishes... before falling asleep on the couch. 

No one asked him to do the dishes. 
What a good kid. 


Younger Son also did a good deed for one of his friends. Details are not mine to share, but he was a stand up guy regarding his friend's privacy and reputation. 
I'd like to say I taught him that, but in all honesty, I told him he has shown more respect for his friend's privacy than I have shown for my own friends. 
What a good kid. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Looking, but not looking.

She:  I need a new job. 

Me:  I'll keep an eye out for you. 

She:  I hate my job. 
Me:  What else would you like to do?
She:  I don't know. Anything. 

She:  I've had job interviews, but everyone is being weird. 
Me:  Weird, how?
She:  I don't know. 

She:  My office is going out of business and is closing its doors next week. 
Me: Here's a job that just opened and the name of my friend who is in charge of hiring. I can put in a good word for you. 
She:  Actually, I was looking forward to not working and sleeping in for a while. 
Me:  ... 

And that's how you never get a job. 

Monday, October 13, 2014


The worst thing about being sad for no reason is that your brain will fill in reasons to be sad. 

Stupid brain. 


Not the funny. 

Just an observation. 

On my way to work, I was listening to one radio station conversation where a caller said she didn't believe our government was being honest regarding what it knows about the Ebola virus. She figures they know stuff they're not telling us. 
I flip the station to the Husband's broadcast. He and the morning guy are talking about old black and white movie reels we watched in grade school. The Husband mentioned remembering the one that instructed children to hide under their desks during an atomic bombing attack. 
"Your desk will protect you from the radiation," the Husband said in a mock-announcer voice. 

Our government flat out lied to us about the radiation. 
I am wondering why we should believe what they say about Ebola. 

Happy Monday. Enjoy your day. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Blog Poll

Quick show of hands:

Who here would like to slap people who say, "I wrote a blog" when what they really mean is, "I wrote a blog post"?

It's the equivalent of saying, "I wrote a newspaper" instead of "I wrote a newspaper article."


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Speech! Speech!

Several decades ago, I took a speech class at a four-year university. I enjoyed this class very much, and I feel like I actually learned a thing or two. To pass the class, I had to write and deliver three speeches.  I think I was pretty good at giving my speeches. 

And if I haven't mentioned it before, I have spent twenty plus years working in radio and talking for a living. 

Still, my university speech credit did not transfer to my new college. And speech isn't one of the classes for which I can get credit for prior learning.
I would have to take and pay for this class. Again. 

Unless, I could test out of it. 
Challenge accepted. 

Motivated by the thought of saving one thousand dollars. 

Part one: multiple choice test. 
I was encouraged to study for it. The professor in charge of testing had a text book on reserve at the library, but no guidance as to what parts of it would be on the test. I could not justify spending time reading an entire textbook, so I took the test cold. Expected little, hoped for the best. 
Good choice. There were 40 questions. Can you image reading an entire textbook and picking out 40 lousy bits that might be on a test?
Yet, I passed. 

Part two:  deliver a persuasive speech to faculty. 
Now, I knew months ago that delivering a speech was going to be required.  But I hadn't done more than mull ideas around in my head; it seemed unnecessary to work on it when the odds of passing part one were so low. 
I had a week between learning I passed part one and needing to deliver the speech... which will be this coming Tuesday morning. 


I spent five hours yesterday *frantically* tracking down sources to cite in this speech.  I don't mind talking to an audience; but I hate writing the material. Citing sources?  That's like... writing a report!  How did this turn so wrong so fast?
 I spent five more hours today writing the speech and condensing it onto 3x5 cards. 
The speech needs to be 7-9 minutes long. At best, I thought I had five minutes. I crammed as much fluff as I could into that thing. 
Then I did a test run-through. 

It ran twelve and a half minutes. 


At least it'll be easier to take stuff out than add more in. 

One thousand dollars motivation, peeps. 
I understandably overshot the goal by a bit. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The good parents?

Like most parents, the Husband and I have at times questioned our abilities as parents. 

So, it is gratifying when one of our children comes home from a friend's house and gives the Husband a meaningful hug.  And when the Husband asks, "What's that for?" the answer is, 
"Thank you for not being an a-hole like other people's dads."

So maybe we're doing better than some. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It doesn't take a grammar nazi...

Can't figure out why you keep getting less than stellar grades on your college papers?  

Perhaps you should let a friend look over your work to check for things you *could* *of* *did* differently. 

In College.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Professional Insight

If you say something during a session with your therapist that causes him to say something like, "Wow, I never thought of it that way before," and if he then spends a moment contemplating your statement and shares how it relates to his own personal situation, should you expect:

a) your money back from your session, or
b) your money back and a fee for your own therapeutic insight

Because... day-um.
One of us should be paid for being a professional here.