Category Archives: Raising a Humanist

Endless Snow matched only by Endless Fevers

Do-Bug’s bouts with illness are usually relatively infrequent compared with the average four year old.

But this winter, like the compounded snow storms, has been fraught with extended bouts of fever-filled colds.

Between the two, I don’t think she’s has a full week of school since the beginning of December.

We are both stir-crazy.  And I’ve given up thinking I’ll ever catch up with work.

Do-Bug Bundled Up in Bed

I just came to apologize

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve apologized to my child.

And not just the “Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to trip over you.” kind of apology since kids are always around your ankles.  They’re kind of like cats that way, actually.

I’m talking real apologies.  The ones that really matter to the heart.

I’ve got a temper, and I lose it most with the people I love.

When I lose it with people who aren’t in my family, I usually scare the pants off of them.

I don’t know why.

I guess I’m a little intense.

My kid is used to it by now; she doesn’t yelp in surprise.  But it does dishearten her, upsets her, makes her sad.

It’s always when I am overwhelmed by something else in life and my child happens to be in the room when it happens.  She pushes a tiny button that I can normally breath through and, instead, I lose my cool.

Like tonight.

So I went and apologized.

When I entered the room in the half dark, she scurried to get herself back under the covers: to curl up in a ball of pity-me.

I sat down next to her and said “I just came to apologize.  I shouldn’t have yelled the way I did.  I’m sorry.  You were just looking for your bunny and needed help.  I’m sorry.  I love you.”  And she smiled and shrugged her shoulders and gave me a slobbery kiss.

I hope, given that she has my temper (and her dad’s too) that she will slowly learn from  my mistakes so she will be angry at fewer people and with far less intensity.

Or, at the very least, she will know how to give a heart-felt apology.

Life Skills, thanks mom & dad

There are certain small skills everyone should have.

They seem insignificant, but they make you self-sufficient.  And they give you the ability to help others.

Plus, I can honestly say “I can do this.”  Makes you feel better on a lousy day.

I can do this:

  • unclog a toilet
  • sew on a button
  • hem my pants
  • iron my shirt
  • make my bed
  • put together cheap furniture
  • follow directions
  • take apart random mechanical objects and put them back together again
  • push buttons at random
  • replace a light bulb without freaking out
  • use a hammer, a screwdriver, and drill
  • shrink wrap my windows
  • make an omelette
  • change a tire
  • admit defeat and call someone else

And, today, I remembered that I can:

  • take an electrical cable, bitten in half by my bunny and, using electrical tape and a pair of scissors, put it back together.

This is particularly important since a half an hour after this triumph I discovered that I can:

  • laugh at the four pieces of wire sitting on the floor, the result of said bunny wreaking havoc on the exact same cord.

Thanks mom & dad, you make me self-sufficient.

Can you work on my bunny next?

Raising a Humanist: My Body, My Choice

Avi cut her hair tonight.

Her hair which I was finally able to trim for the first time at the age of three and hasn’t been trimmed again since.

Her precious hair which I’ve been dying to turn into a bob because it’s so straight and shiny.

She grabbed a lock, with her kid scissors in the other hand and said “Mama, I’d like to see what it’s like to cut a piece.”

I made sure she understood it wouldn’t grow back right away.  She said okay and snipped.  Looked at it for a moment.  And then disappeared in to the bathroom.

I knew what was happening in the silence.  It was just long enough for me to think about what I really should do right now.  Any other mother would flip her lid.  But, really, when have I ever made my child wear anything she didn’t want to?  Child’s been picking out her own clothes since she was old enough to walk….which was early, trust me.

How is hair any different?  It’s been long not by my choice, but hers.  So, chopping it off is her choice too.

But I want to protect her because  I imagine the scene in the morning when she looks in the mirror again and realizes she didn’t really want it short after all.  And she will cry and cry and cry.  Or will she?  Maybe she will wake up and love it.  And what if she does cry?  Well, now she knows she like her hair long and she can grow it out again.  It is just hair, after all.  It does grow.  What an easy lesson to learn in life…you can make a mistake with your hair and it will grow back.

I wish we all got second chances with our choices, even if it’s a year later.  Maybe we do, come to think of it.

Here she is.  In her new shorn ‘do. Done entirely with kid scissors.  I only touched the back, I swear.