Category Archives: Family

The Poop Incident…

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The Poop Incident…

Well, it’s been months since my last post.  I have to apologize for that.  I really don’t have an excuse other than life got in the way.  I can’t tell you how many times I sat down to write and just couldn’t focus long enough to actually finish a thought.  I had so many good ideas and things I wanted to write about, but not enough time.  So here I am, apologizing yet again for a long absence.  I do hope that doesn’t happen again anytime soon.

Now, on to other things.  We have been working very hard on potty training my son.  He’s done great… with exception of pooping on the potty.  He still insists on pooping in a diaper.  I don’t know why and he can’t explain it, but he refuses to sit on the potty to poop.  It really has been a struggle and I’ve tried to be patient, however I am tired of changing diapers.  It’s one of the major reasons I’m glad Mr. X is our last baby.  I’m past the point where I really want to deal with diapers and wipes.  He’ll be four in a couple of weeks and I have been pushing so hard for him to be fully potty trained by then.  It hasn’t worked, at all.  He still puts up a good fight and ultimately I don’t want him to be afraid to poop, so I give in and he gets a diaper.

The other night we had a long discussion about how he can poop on the potty and it’ll be great.  I let him know how proud I’d be if he would just try to go on the potty.  He shook his head and insisted that there was “no more poop inside”.  That’s been his favorite excuse lately.  He swears that he’ll never need to poop again because he’s already squeezed it all out.  It’s rather cute listening to him explain this.  He finished explaining his lack of poop and then bounced off to his room.  About an hour later he comes out of his room, stomps into the bathroom and then heads back to his room.  He’s in his room for maybe ten more minutes before coming back out.

As a parent I just know when they’ve done something horrible.  I can tell by the way they walk and the expressions on their faces.  This was one of those moments.  Mr. X had this look.  The look that says “I did something bad and don’t want to tell you”.  To further his point, he maneuvers himself into the corner between his room and the bathroom.  Of course he doesn’t say a word.  He just looks at me.

  • Me: “What’s up buddy?”
  • Mr. X.: “Look” he points to his room
  • Me: cringing “What happened?”

At this point I really don’t want to get up and look.  I figure if I can ask enough questions maybe my husband will get up and look.  If he looks, he has to deal with the issue.  Typically this tactic works, but not this round.  My dear husband is completely ignoring the situation.

  • Mr. X: “Just looooook…. messy.”
  • Me: sigh “Alright…”

I got up and headed toward his bedroom.  In my head I’m hearing the Imperial March (We’ve been on a Star Wars kick in my house lately).  It feels like I’m walking to my doom.  As I get closer I can smell it.  He stinks like no other.  I peek into his room as he points to his floor.  Right there, smack dab in the middle of the floor is a trail of poop.  I kinda lost it there.  I don’t really know what I said or how I managed to find the carpet cleaner and disinfectant.  I do know there was a lot of slamming of cupboards and stomping of feet.

I managed to get the carpet cleaned and then moved on to the boy.  We marched into the bathroom and I find more mess.  There, in the middle of the bathroom floor is a pile of clothes.  I can tell they have been somehow tarnished by poop.  I look a little closer and sure enough, there inside the underwear is a lemon sized poop squished into a chocolate kiss shape.

  • Me: “What did you do?!”
  • Mr. X: “I change my pants” he just shrugs.

At the time I didn’t think it was cute.  Looking back now I can appreciate that he was only trying to help.  He did what he thought he should do.  I just wish he’d have grabbed me before changing his own pants.

  • Me: “Did you wipe your bum?”
  • Mr. X: “No…  I’m still squishy mom.”

Uggh.  So not only did the boy poop in his pants, but he also got it on the bedroom carpet, bathroom floor and dirtied another set of clothes.  Yeah, it was working out to be a great night.  I pulled off his pants and got him all cleaned up and changed into pajamas.  I marched him to his bedroom and tucked him in for a video before bed.

  • Me: “Alright buddy, you stay here and I’m going to take a bath.  Do not leave your room.”
  • Mr. X: “I’m sorry momma… “
  • Me: starting to thaw just a little “It’s fine, but you have to learn to poop on the potty.”

I gave him snuggles and then headed off for some much needed seclusion.  Sometimes you just gotta walk away to maintain your sanity.  Usually the kids know to leave me alone when I’m in the bath.  That’s mommy time and they get in trouble for interrupting.  Evidently, Mr. X didn’t think it applied at the time.  About 20 minutes later there’s a knock at my door.

  • Mr. X: “Mommy, I sorry.  You come out now?”
  • Me: “I’ll be there in a bit, go back to you room.”

Another five minutes pass and he knocks again.

  • Mr. X: “Ok Momma, time to come out.  I need snuggles.”

How can anyone resist that?!  Angry or not, you don’t pass up snuggles.  I drained the tub, got ready for bed and headed back into my room.  There on my bed, snuggled with my special blanket that Miss Lulu gave me for Christmas, was my little Mr. X.  Sound asleep.  I crawled in next to the guy and cuddled him.  All my frustration and anger was gone.  It didn’t take long for me to drift into my own poop free dreamland.

The next day my sister, who happens to nanny for me, sent me a text.

  • Sister: “Mr. X just asked to poop on the potty!”
  • Me: “Seriously?!”
  • Sister: “Yep and he did!  No hesitation!”

Alright, so maybe just maybe pooping on the floor solved the problem.  Who knew that all it would take was seeing poop on the floor for him to realize that the potty was a much better idea?

Welcome to our mess…

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If you haven’t already noticed from my posts, my life is a bit busy and somewhat chaotic at times.  Okay, well most of the time.  I spend 99% of my time doing something.  Whether that’s creating a project with my kids, playing a game, running errands in town or planning my next Girl Scout meeting, I am consistently busy.  I rarely have downtime and when I do have a few moments, I like to spend them with my family.  I love being a Mom.  It’s truly the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.  With all this chaos in my world, there are definitely things that slip through the cracks and even those I intentionally put off.  In particular, I push aside my housework.

When you enter my house you won’t see an immaculate sitting room.  You won’t see granite counter tops or gorgeous tile flooring.  You won’t see expensive vases or sculptures.  I don’t have paintings worth more than my life savings on the wall.  What you will see is a lovely home.  You will see my son’s snow boots kicked to the side of the door, as if he ran right out of them.  My daughter has likely tossed her winter coat over the back of the couch and dropped her school bag on the floor.  My dining table is cluttered with markers, crayons and construction paper.  My walls hold pieces of art that are priceless only to me.  The counter tops in my kitchen inevitably have remnants of jelly toast or peanut butter sandwiches.  My floors?  My floors are strewn with toys.  If you’re not careful you may step on a Lego.

You will see my home. You will see where my children play, create and use their imaginations.  You may even be lucky enough to see one of Ms. Lulu’s science experiments in progress.  You will see where my son learns his alphabet and numbers.  You will see where they sing and dance.  You will see the blankets they use when they curl up and read their books.  Is my house a spotless showroom?  Nope.  Not at all.  In fact, I couldn’t tell you the last time I cleared off the computer desk.  However, it is a home.  It is a place where my kids can just be kids.  They can let their imaginations roam and create pieces of art.  They can ice cupcakes without fear of a mess on the floor.  They can leave a science experiment on the counter for four days hoping they grow diamonds.

Is my home a complete disaster?  Of course not.  It’s a clean and tidy home for my family.  I just don’t come home every day and spend hour upon hour cleaning.  I refuse to spend the short time I have in the evenings cleaning up the chaos.  I would much rather teach my daughter to play Yahtzee or try to out roar my son who seems to think he’s a dinosaur this week.  I want my kids to remember spending time together.  I want them to grow up and look forward to teaching their kids what happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda.  I don’t want them to be so concerned about the mess that they miss these fun moments.  I don’t want to be so caught up in cleaning and organizing that I miss these moments.  I refuse to worry about cleaning up the mess while they are small and still full of wonder.  The mess will be there tomorrow.  I can always clean it then.  My children will only be children once and I will miss that when it’s gone.  I certainly won’t trade that for a spotless home.

The Joys of Parenting an Elementary School Student

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The Joys of Parenting an Elementary School Student

My daughter started daycare at 3 months old and has been exposed to other kids her entire life.  She attends public school, Girl Scouts and many other outside activities.  One of the major fears I have always had as a parent was dealing with those childhood epidemics.  No, not chickenpox or the flu.  I can deal with the itchies and puke.   I fear things like pink eye.  The things that spread like wildfire.  At first it’s just one child and within minutes you have an entire class infected.  I know that pink eye is totally curable and really, if I think about it, it’s one of the less gross afflictions of childhood.  But the whole idea of an oozy eye and having to put eye drops in my child’s eyes while they are screaming… yeah I’ll take puke any day.

In prior years we’ve lucked out.  We had one bout of pink eye with our son when he was a year old.  That was not my idea of fun, but thankfully my husband handled the majority of that.  This year… we were not as lucky.  While my husband was out of town, I had to combat my nemesis of childhood ailments.  Well, not so much an ailment but rather an infestation.  Yep.  I had the pleasure of treating my daughter for head lice.  Ugh!  Did you just cringe?  I know I did.  The mere mention of head lice gives me the creeps.  Even as I write this, my head is itching and we’ve been clear for three weeks.  Something about little bugs crawling around my scalp just freaks me out.  That and it takes FOREVER to treat for them.  I remember how long it took when we ended up with it as kids.  It was awful.  So when the school called me and informed me they were sending home the majority of my daughter’s class, I could have cried.

I got the call on a Friday at like 9am and it went something like this…

  • Secretary: Hi, I have Alexis here in the office.  It seems we’re facing our third outbreak of head lice for the second grade class. (I was cringing at this point.  My stomach had pretty much dropped and I was about halfway to a panic attack.  Yes.  I realized it could be worse and I was totally acting crazy.)  I’m not certain she has lice but she does have some red marks behind her ears.  Now, it could be her headband she’s been wearing all day. She’s not sure.  But we just don’t want to take a chance.
  • Me: Oh I can’t blame you.  Either the nanny or I will come get her as soon as possible.
  • Secretary: Thank you.  Like I said, I don’t know for sure.  We’ve just been hit so hard with it this year…
  • Me: Yeah, I understand.  It’s nothing to mess around with at all.
  • Secretary: Thanks.  I’ll see you when you get here.

So there was a chance it wasn’t lice.  My mind was racing.  I had checked her not but two days prior.  It was all part of our daily process.  When we received a notice the school had the first lice outbreak, I went through the whole lecture with my daughter.  “Don’t share brushes or hair ties… or hats or anything that touches your head.  Do not rub heads with your friends.  You really don’t want bugs in your hair do you?!”  Of course, that totally freaked her out.  I strive not to pass my crazy onto my kids, but in this case, I made an exception.  My daughter’s hair is just as thick as mine is and I really did not want to have to pick through it with a nit comb.  We started a daily process of looking through her hair.  I could not believe I had missed it.  I had failed to catch something so vital.  I was in a full panic as I explained to my boss that I had to leave work.  My heart was racing and I was about to have a major breakdown… in public.

I raced to my car and dialed my sister.  I rushed through an explanation and let her know we would be spending the afternoon decontaminating.  If Lexi had it then chances were her house was contaminated too.  After hanging up with her I took off toward the school.  Thankfully, her school is about 10-15 minutes from work so I had time to calm myself.  By the time I had gotten to the school I was in a much better place.  I could breathe and I didn’t feel like a total failure.  I was still holding out hope it was just her headband.  I had a brief discussion with the secretary…

  • Secretary: Thanks for coming to get her.  I’m just not sure if she has anything.  We are just being precautions.  We’ve never had an outbreak this bad.  This round it’s only in the second grade class thankfully.
  • Me: No problem.  I’ll take her home and get her checked out.  If she has it we’ll get her treated.
  • Secretary: Oh good.  Also, please remember the second treatment a week later.  I guess that’s a piece a lot of people skip and it’s pretty vital.
  • Me: Oh you don’t need to worry.  I take lice very seriously.  She won’t be back until she’s clear and then we will treat her again later.
  • Secretary: Thanks!  We really do appreciate it.

Once I had Lexi in the car and started for home, she was fairly worried.

  • Lex: So… if I have lice what does that mean?
  • Me: Well, that you need to have your head treated and we’ll get rid of it.
  • Lex: But… you just checked me.

Yeah, she said it and it made me feel awful.

  • Me: Yeah baby I know.  Maybe I missed something. But it’s okay.  We’ll take care of it.
  • Lex: But it’s fireman day at school.  I’m going to miss the firemen.

She was very upset about that which just made me feel worse.  Not only had I missed the creepy crawlies on her scalp but I had also ruined fireman day for her.  Great.

  • Me: I’m sorry Lex.  We’ll go visit them another day.  I’m sure that will be more fun.
  • Lex: Yeah.

The rest of the trip was quiet.  She was upset over firefighters and I was chastising myself for missing the little monsters.  When we got home my sister had already started the process of quarantining anything that may be contaminated.  We checked out Lexi’s head and sure enough, she had eggs behind her ears and at her neckline.  I had failed.  That’s all I could think.  I had missed a live creepy crawly and it had laid its nasty little eggs all over my daughter’s head.  I had ruined fireman day for her.  Instead of having fun meeting the firefighters, she would be stuck getting her head treated for the next several hours.  I was a bad parent.

We spent the next four hours treating her.  Shampoo, rinse, comb, rinse.  She was such a trooper.  Regardless that it took three plus hours to comb through her hair, she stayed positive.  I have to say, she handled it much better than I did at her age.  While I worked through her hair, my dear sister worked through mountains of laundry and stuffed animals.  We cleaned and cleaned the house.  Neither of us wanted to take a chance of it spreading.  We were on a mission to eradicate their kind.

It’s been a few weeks and so far, everyone else is clear.  Looking back at it, I realize that I was a bit harsh on myself.  I did what I could to keep her from getting it and that is all I could do.  I don’t blame myself.  It’s just one of those things that happens.  I get that.  I know that we did what we could to prevent an infestation.  It happened and we made it through the whole mess.  Of course, I still hate the buggers.  They still creep me out beyond belief and I have my sister check my head daily.  However, I do know that they do not want to face me again.  For I am Mom.  Giver of hugs, kisser of owies and executioner of lice.

Solid… like a cement wall

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Solid… like a cement wall

Today is my 8th wedding anniversary and sadly, due to work I’m spending it without my husband.  He’s been sent to Arkansas for the week.  It is kind of annoying that his travel fell on this week specifically, but at the same time neither of us are the hopeless romantic type so I’m okay with it.  We’ve never had any major plans on our anniversary, especially after having kids.  Both of us work full-time jobs and have a very hard time sacrificing “family” time for “us” time.  So while I’m sad to be celebrating alone tonight, I also look forward to his return and our family celebration dinner this weekend.

As I think about our relationship, I can’t help but laugh.  We truly are a case of opposites attract.  He likes Chinese food, I prefer Mexican.  I love hard rock and heavy metal, he likes pop and country.  I am consistently cold and he’s always overly warm.  How we ended up together and stayed together, I will never know.  🙂 Especially when he’s made comments like these:

  • Before we were married ~ “Honey, you’re not fragile like a flower, but solid… like a cement wall.”
  • One night back in college, he and his friends had a bit much to drink.  We’d all gone out for dinner to a Chinese food buffet and about midway through he decides to start calling people names.  He’s calling this guy ‘CRISPY’… in a not so quiet voice.   Needless to say, I left him there with his friends.
  • About six years after we were married – “So, at my next wedding…”
  • More recently, just to drive me crazy – “So I dropped your toothbrush in the toilet…”

Sometimes I wonder if he just spouts these things off to see my reaction.  More often than not I’m left speechless and highly entertained.  Other times, like the “Crispy” incident, I’m rather annoyed.  However, no matter how obnoxious he gets, he’s always there to deal with my crazy.

If you’ve read my about page, you know that my neurosis has gotten increasingly bad over the years.  When my husband and I first started dating it wasn’t nearly as evident.  As time went by he witnessed the increasing severity and STILL married me.  🙂 I quite honestly don’t know what I would do without him.  He deals with me locking the door four times before bed, double checking the closet for any intruders and my ever changing storm of emotions.  I can’t thank him enough for dealing with the mess that I can be sometimes.  He does his best to keep me balanced and when things end up tipping, he’s there to help even me out again.

I can’t say our relationship is perfect, but who can?  We have our flaws and our battles… it wouldn’t be a marriage if we didn’t.  But we love each other dearly and as long as he’s willing to:

  • Protect me from the closet monster on the way to the bathroom at four in the morning – without making a single comment…
  • Replace my toothbrush every time it comes in contact with anything other than my mouth…
  • Check on the kids twenty times each night…
  • Keep the house stocked with hand sanitizer…
  • Ignore my crazy comments about him ‘only washing his clothes’…
  • Bring me coffee when I’m having a shitty morning…
  • Not discuss credit card charges at 5:00 AM…
  • Help me with my baking projects when I’ve taken on too much yet again…
  • Protect me from the horrible nightmares that make me cry in my sleep…
  • Take the kids to the fair so I can avoid the germs and creepy people…
  • Never… ever buy a bird… or bring one near me… like ever…
  • Help me find the things I misplace and obsess over until they are found…
  • Check under the bed for gremlins…

I think I’ll keep him.

Happy Anniversary Dear Husband.

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I did say I wanted to try new things…

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I did say I wanted to try new things…

Well at the beginning of this year I mentioned my goal was to try something new each month.  So far I’ve managed to pull that off quite well.  I’ve auditioned and acted in a play, baked wedding cupcakes, grown my own garden, created new recipes, started letting my husband run through the nightly security check on his own (Only on sometimes.  I still find myself occasionally going behind him to make sure he’s locked the door…). Okay okay, so those of you who know me know that not all these are exactly new.  I’ve grown gardens before and created new recipes, but not often on my own.  In this case, I’ve done them without any ‘adult supervision’.  My sister and I grew our garden with no guidance from our parents or grandpa.  We’ve created our own recipes without Mom pointing out what is wrong with it, so that counts.

It’s August now – time for another ‘new’ thing to add to my list.  You’ll never guess what it is this round.  I’ll give you a few seconds to think about it…….

….

….

….

No, I haven’t decided to give up sleeping with a nightlight.  I said something new, not plain crazy!  We’re far from that step in life.  That’s a lifelong partnership I’m just not sure I’m ready to give up yet.  Now if you said ‘oh you’re building a house of course’ – you were very right!  Yep.  My family and I have taken the giant step to building a house.  Yes family, not just husband and I, because this truly is a family endeavor.  It impacts each of us in my household.  It’s been a long time planning and jumping through hoops but we’ve gotten to the groundbreaking and I have to say we couldn’t be happier.  I realize it’s not always going to be easy and there may be times I want to drop an anvil on my husband, but it’s exciting none the less.  The kids will have their own rooms, which my daughter is oh so excited about.  My two-year old son will love the new backyard.  We’ll have a bigger kitchen!  Both my sister and I are excited for that.  It’ll be nice filling cake orders and actually having the counter space to stack boxes.  Best of all?  We’ll be back out-of-town again!  I cannot wait to be outside of city limits and in an area with less people.  I miss living in the country.  It’s one of the best memories of my childhood.

I did say I wanted to try new things… I think this is a perfect ‘new’ thing to do this year.

Oh Look! Another Fort… Turn Here!

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Oh Look! Another Fort… Turn Here!

Growing up my summers were spent in the back of an overly warm vehicle trekking across Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. My parents were HUGE fans of packing up for a week and venturing out on ‘vacation’. I say vacation lightly because to an adolescent girl vacation does not equate to hours couped up in a hot, stuffy car seeking out the closest ghost town only to be diverted by the ‘historic site ahead’ sign leading us three hours out of our way. No. I would have liked to spend my summers with my friends at the lake or local water park. Of course my parents response to my begging and pleading was the same vacation after vacation; ‘you’ll thank us later’. Quite honestly, I thought my parents were completely delusional. No way in hell I’d look back at those long hours and say ‘gee thanks Mom and Dad for torturing us year after year’.

This is the part where I have to do something I don’t like doing often… I have to admit, my parents were right. *gasp* I know! It’s not something I like to do. I don’t think any of us like to admit when our parents are right. It goes against every rebellious bone in my body. But they were and I am publicly saying THANK YOU!

Thank you for dragging us all over just to show us an old fur trading post or teach us how to pan gold. As an adult, I can now appreciate just how fortunate we were to have that opportunity. Not all families are able to explore such a beautiful part of our country. Granted, at the time I really didn’t get it. I didn’t understand that in just a short time, many of the small towns we traveled through, would either die out completely or developed into larger cities. I had no idea that as we toured our little corner of the world, I was actually learning something. I studied ‘Custer’s Last Stand’ while actually looking out across the Little Bighorn battlefield. My knowledge of structure fortification began as we explored every military fort along our path. But best of all, I exercised my imagination. I truly believe imagination is like a muscle, you must continually exercise it otherwise it’ll turn to nothing but flabby mush.

Whether we were imagining what the buildings of a ghost town looked like ‘back in the day’ or making up games to play in the twenty hour car ride, we used our imaginations. My siblings and I spent hours playing pretend or making up stories about this or that. Again, at the time this did not seem like the best way to spend summer vacation, but now I appreciate it. I use my imagination daily for one reason or another, and I have my parents to thank for that. Without the early poking and prodding and dragging here or there, I doubt I’d have the imagination I do today. So again, many thanks go out to my parents for tormenting us all those years.

Of course, you all must be wondering why the trip down memory lane? Well this summer we took our first family vacation with my kids that did not involve a hotel or swimming pool. We didn’t head off to a theme park or some huge vacation hot spot. Instead, we rented two cabins in rural Montana. We loaded our kids, my parents and nephew into two vehicles and set out on a four-hour drive to our cabin rentals. My Mom and I took the baby in one car, while my husband and Dad took the two older kids in the other. I have to say, this was the longest time I’ve spent in the car with my Mom since I was a child. It was so nice to chat and look at the scenery. Something she and I don’t get to do much with our chaotic lives. I loved it.

Upon arrival I watched as my six-year-old daughter and five-year-old nephew barreled out of the car and picked their room in the first cabin. By the time we finished unloading my parents, the two monsters had set up their room and were playing some pretend game that included an over-sized rain stick. No iPad, iPhone, Nintendo DS or television. They were using their imaginations. It just made me smile. They reminded me so much of my siblings and our family vacations.

The rest of our vacation went much the same. The two older kids played pretend the entire weekend. If they weren’t playing pretend, they were fishing with Poppy (that’s what they call their Grandpa). It was so nice to watch them content in creating their own fun. Don’t get me wrong, there were the moments of ‘I’m bored’ or ‘I’m hot’, but they were short-lived. The kids were easily distracted by some adventure they would create. All in all, it may not have been the long trek across Montana that we took as children, but it was a start. Well, not so much a start, but more of a continuation. It was the continuation of a long-standing family tradition that I truly hope to carry on with my children. And maybe, years down the road, my kids will thank me for tormenting them as my parents did me. Maybe…

Not Worth Skipping…

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Not Worth Skipping…

As a parent there are certain issues I’ve known I would have to address at some point.  The same topics I’m sure my mom agonized over when I was young.  Those touchy subjects none of us really want to address with our kids.  I knew going into parenthood that I’d have to somehow address things like sex, marriage, death, religion and whatnot.  I wasn’t deluding myself, these questions would arise and I’d have to have an answer.

In society today our children are exposed to so much.  I’m not saying that’s good or bad.  I would say that in some cases it’s great, in others… not so much.  I love that my daughter has had the opportunity to learn about other cultures and I despise that my daughter has picked up the word “ain’t”.  As with anything, today’s media exposure can be both good and bad.

Recently my six-year-old daughter has been falling asleep around six each night.  She’s had a busy schedule and she’s growing, this really isn’t that surprising.  I would love to fall asleep at that hour if I could.  It hasn’t been much of a concern except she tends to miss dinner if we don’t wake her.  A few nights we’ve tried to get her up and she’s basically told us she would rather sleep.  Again, not a huge problem, she’s always been one to tell us if she’s hungry or not.  I have never force-fed my kids.  I have never worried about my daughter and food, until recently.

Yesterday we were driving the two hours home from our mini-vacation.  My six-year-old loves to talk.  She’s a girl and she’s six, of course she loves to talk.  In the midst of her latest story she pauses before saying; “So you know why I sometimes to go bed right after daycare? Without eating dinner?”  Both my husband and I responded with “because you’ve been tired.”  It seemed reasonable.  She just shook her head and informed us; “No, because I want to stay skinny.  I don’t want to get fat.”

My stomach dropped.  As I said before, I knew I’d have to discuss these tough topics with her at some point.  I just didn’t expect to be discussing body image issues with my very healthy six-year-old.  This is the same girl who prefers cucumbers over cookies, who swims at least once per week and spends most of her afternoons running around on a playground.  Weekends are spent at parks or the pool.  It is very rare for her to actually sit still.

To say I was upset would be putting it mildly.  I was truly horrified and heartbroken at the same time.  We asked her why she would think something like that was a good idea.  We discussed what happens to your body when you skip meals.  We talked about healthy food and habits.  She was her usual self and absorbed the information.  I hope she did and will be keeping a close eye on her going forward.  My last question to her was where she got such a notion.  She wouldn’t really give us a straight answer and I understand.  She’s never really been one to tattle, she doesn’t enjoy getting others in trouble.  What worries me is that there is someone of influence in her life who has given her this crazy idea.  Or worse, there is another girl at school who has the same thought.  At least now I can monitor her and help reinforce good eating habits, I worry for others who aren’t nearly as open as my daughter.

Last night after my family had gone to bed, I sat thinking about everything.  Was it my fault? Have I somehow failed her?  What can I do to fix it?  I ran from very positive to extremely negative thoughts on my parenting abilities.  I did what most parents do and blamed myself for not being a better parent.  It was when my thoughts turned worse that my darling daughter woke for a drink and ended up climbing on my lap.  We sat in our dark living room just cuddling for several minutes before she asked me to take her back to bed.  I wrapped her in her favorite blanket and tucked her back in for the night.  When turning to leave she asked me to cuddle her until she fell back asleep.  It was just what I needed to calm my busy mind.  We cuddled and both drifted off to a deep sleep.

Sitting here thinking about it today, I am much less negative.  I realize that no parent is perfect, parenting is an ‘on the job training’ career.  We do what we can and strive for the best, but we are all human and certainly make mistakes.  I am still very worried about whoever gave her this horrible idea.  Could it have come from television? Sure, except we don’t actually watch anything that focuses on that sort of topic.  We don’t have cable and the movies she watches are typically cartoons.  We don’t even have commercials on anything we do watch.  I have run through the majority of the shows she has seen and I can’t think of one that would focus on eating habits or weight.  This leaves me to those she interacts with outside of our home.

Did it come from school? Did it come from a friend of the family?  I’m not entirely sure on either.  It is absolutely possible, but the thought sickens me.  Whoever gave her the idea is obviously facing body image issues and I truly hope they find help.  This entire situation saddens me.  Our society has gotten so focused on body image that it’s causing serious damage to younger generations.  Do I agree that we have serious health issues in our country? Definitely.  But we need to focus less on the negative and more on positive reinforcement.

Our children should be carefree and happy, not paranoid about what they eat or getting fat.  They should be running around playing tag, not skipping meals.  They should be showing each other kindness and respect, not insulting one another.  It’s an epidemic of negativity and it’s causing more damage than many realize.  When I see post after post on Facebook about how fat or ugly people are, it breaks my heart.  I don’t want my daughter skipping meals to be skinny enough.  I want her to be active and make good food choices.  I don’t want my cousin to feel like she needs a breast enhancement to look pretty.  I want her to realize that she is a very beautiful girl without changing a thing.  Not that I have anything against breast enhancements or plastic surgery, I don’t.  My problem lies with young girls who think they have to have it done in order to live up to outside expectations.

It’s a terribly vain society we live in these days.  The negativity is like a disease and infects so many.  It may start with one person but then spreads.  Rather than spreading damaging thoughts, we need to be spreading encouragement.  We could all learn a lesson from Thumper – ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t’ say nothing at all.’