Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
I have to admit. I am so proud of my daughter. She has become quite the activist. It all started her junior year of high school when she became concerned with the environment. One of her teachers told the class some statistic about the fate of the world and the next thing I knew, an environmental activist was born! Her activism began at home. No longer could we use liquid soap. That was not earth friendly because of the plastic containers. Now, I buy bar soap. When I got a Keurig, we had to get the reusable coffee pods. This actually made sense in two ways, it decreased the amount of plastic we were using, and it saved money in the long run. Have you seen how much a box of Keurig pods cost? Believe you me, a bag of ground coffee is much cheaper and lasts longer. All throughout her junior year, my daughter researched environmental issues and decided that she wanted to make an impact on this world. That is why I was not surprised that when Greta Thunberg came to New York City to rally and protest, my daughter was right there with her. I was so proud.
My daughter not only researches environmental issues, but she is up on current events. Thanks to social media, she knows all about Black Lives Matter movement and the injustices that people of color experience. So, when the rallies and protests first started, I was not surprised when my daughter told me that she just HAD to protest. I have to admit, I had seen some of the protests on the news. Of course, the news focused mainly on the not so peaceful protests. As a parent, part of me didn’t want to let her go. I wanted to keep her locked up at home, safe from the evils of the world. But, we all know that is not realistic. Besides, who am I to hold her back? Protesting was something that she strongly felt she needed to do. If I held her back, what message would I be teaching her? She needed to follow her spirit, so I let her go. It was hard to do. I was fearful for her safety, but luckily, the protest she attended was a peaceful demonstration. There were no altercations with the police. I am thankful for that. I’m also glad my daughter went to her protest. So many times, it is easy to sit back and complain. My daughter followed her spirit and took action.
Her activism isn’t going to end. She’s already expressed how she is going to find an organization in college to work with. I’m so happy for her! It is such a pleasure knowing that she is growing into a person of action. I can’t wait to see what she does with her life!
Trust me. As a parent, it is very hard, but we need to have the strength to step back to give our children the freedom to go out and experience the world on their terms. There will be times when they will fall. But, there will also be times when they will surprise and amaze us with their accomplishments. We just need to be there providing them the encouragement they need to find their path.
So, now you know and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, did you ever step back and let your kids do something you weren’t too thrilled about? How did it turn out?
A few months ago, I told my kids that I would get them a dog. At the time it sounded good. Then, I started thinking. Both of these kids will be leaving for college in August. What will happen to the dog then? I mean, I’m sure I’ll like the dog and all, but I don’t want to take care of it. Having a pet will be like having another kid. I would have to make sure that it is fed, that it gets its daily exercise, and has all its shots. I don’t want to do that.
So after much thought, I made the executive decision not to get the dog. My daughter was fine with the decision. She was still on the “I’m going to college soon” high. My son, well, he was disappointed. He had been looking forward to having a dog. He even offered to take it to college with him. In my mind, I said to myself, “Yeah right!” I can see it now. He and his friends will get bored on a Saturday night. One of them will say, “Hey I know. Let’s see what happens when we get the puppy drunk. “ Right. I don’t think so.
But here’s the funny thing, after we had all gotten used to the idea of not having a pet, we kind of, sort of ending up with not one, not two, but three by default. Let me tell you how. A few weeks ago, my daughter noticed that a feral cat and her kitten had been living in my neighbor’s garage which is behind her house. Since our houses are semi-attached, so are our backyards. After my daughter pointed out that the cats were living there, I started noticing them too. My daughter, being the kind, compassionate person she is, decided that we should feed them. I was fine with it, but since the cats technically were living in my neighbor’s garage, I told her that we had first to ask our neighbor if she knew that the cats were back there, and if she didn’t mind that we fed them.
So we spoke to my neighbor. She told us that she knew that there were cats back there. In fact, she had been feeding them herself and she didn’t have a problem with us feeding them too. So, my daughter and I went to the store that same day for cat food. Now, every day, usually at least twice, sometimes three times a day, one of us will go out and feed the cats. At first, they whenever they heard us coming out the back they would run and hide. Now, when they hear us coming, they don’t even bother to hide. They literally wait for us to go back into the house and usually, by the time we look out of the kitchen window, they are eating. Those cats have gotten so used to us that my daughter told me that one day after the cats finished their food, the kitten looked up and locked eyes with her. My daughter thought, “Ummm. I wonder if the kitten is still hungry?” So she put more cat food out. By the time she got back into the kitchen and looked out of the window, the cats were eating again! That kitten has her trained!
I don’t mind feeding the feral cats. As far as I’m concerned, I have the best of all worlds. I have the cats patrolling the backyard a few times a day, I don’t have to take them to the vet and pay for shots and all, I don’t have to buy kitty litter as so far they haven’t done their “business” in the backyard. And their presence is actually doing me a favor. As long as they are around, the mice stay away. Besides, when I need a break from work, I look out the window to see if they are out playing around. I actually get a little worried if I haven’t seen them all day. The little kitten is soooo adorable. She is so full of energy. Its fun to watch her jumping all around, exploring new things. Sometimes, I want to run outside and hug her! Lord help me! I need to get out of this house soon to be around people (other than my kids) again!
Now you may be saying to yourself, “SassyGirlTye, you said you had three pets. You only told us about two” And you are correct. Every few days another cat comes around. We don’t know if this is a feral cat or not because it looks like its well-kept, but sometimes it eats like it hasn’t been fed for a while. We suspect that this is the daddy cat because the kitten looks a lot like him, and the mama cat hasn’t run him off.
So, this just shows that you don’t always have to buy an animal to have a pet.
No you know and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, what have you done if your kids wanted pets, but you didn’t?
Future Empty Nester
May 1st. Decision Day. The designated day for high school seniors to commit to their college of choice. Last year, my son committed to Syracuse University. This year is my daughter’s turn to choose which college to attend. She had a few good options to choose from: The University of San Francisco, The University of South Carolina, Penn State, Spelman College (my choice), Jacksonville University, and Binghamton University (her father’s choice). Her choice … The University of South Carolina! So, come August, assuming that the colleges are letting students return to campus, I will be an empty nester.
When I was pregnant with my son, people at my job gave me free, unsolicited advice all the time. I listened to everyone. One piece of advice that someone gave me was to make sure that I had a life independent of my kids because one day they will leave home. I don’t know why, but I always remembered that advice. So, even while the kids were little, I made sure to maintain my friendships. During my mommy journey, I made new friends at school functions, basketball games, swimming class, hapkido class, and dancing school. I am still friends with some of those moms today. As the kids grew older, I joined the Single Moms Ministry, the choir, and the drama ministry at my church. I took voice acting classes. I took a screenwriting class. I started running. I ran the NYC marathon last year. My point is this, I made sure to explore things that were of interest to me and to not live solely for my kids.
Now that both kids will soon be away at school, people ask me what am I going to do. Well, I’ve been preparing myself for this moment since they were little. When I leave my daughter in South Carolina, I will most likely cry. After all, she is my baby, the last one to leave home. But, after I stop crying. I will drive myself back to Brooklyn, text my girlfriends, and if its not too late, go out for happy hour to celebrate the accomplishments of both my kids!
Part of me is looking forward to having the house to myself. When I buy food, it will still be in the refrigerator when I get home. Things will be where I left them. When I’m watching tv, I won’t have to compete with my son’s tv or his loud telephone conversations. When I come home from work, there won’t be dirty dishes in the sink (a pet peeve of mine). I won’t have to cook for these kids anymore. Thank you meal plan!
Of course, I will still miss my kids. I will wonder what they are doing. Are they ok? Do they miss me? I will call them every now and again to make sure that they are doing well and that they are eating enough and getting enough rest (I’m still their mother). But, I will also give them space so that they can have the freedom to explore, grow, and mature.
So, what will I be doing when my kids leave for college and my nest is empty? Who knows? The sky’s the limit. But what I won’t be doing is sitting at home crying because my kids aren’t there.
Parents of young kids heed my coworker’s advice, don’t make your kids the center of your life. Make sure you maintain friendships and develop your own interests. If you don’t, you will be miserable once your kids leave home.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
If you are an empty nester, what are some of the things you’ve been up to?
Right before this pandemic started, my daughter asked me if she could have a pet rabbit. After many years of asking me for a dog, I finally gave in. In both our minds, we envisioned a small, cute, little rabbit that would fit in a little cage in the corner of her room. Once I said yes, my daughter got online and researched what we would need for the rabbit. She also found a local animal shelter to “rescue” a rabbit. So, after getting rabbit supplies, we went to the animal shelter.
Now, you would think that it would be easy to adopt an animal from a shelter, right? Well, the first day we went to the animal shelter, we were stopped at the front door. The shelter was closing so we were told to come back the next day. The next day, we were told we needed an appointment. The following day, we show up at the appointed time, only to be told that we had to read the course material and pass a test before we would be able to adopt a rabbit. The worker also informed us that the cage we purchased was too small and that the rabbit needed at least a four-foot space to live in. We were sent our way with a packet of study materials and told to make another appointment once we felt we were ready to pass the test. By this time, I’m pissed because they could have told us all that the day before, and my daughter is sad and disappointed. She decided that she didn’t want to be bothered because the lady left such a bad impression on her.
Now, I’m not an animal person at all. But, I do feel sad for my daughter. She looked so heartbroken. On the ride home, I started having an internal conversation with myself. What should I do? I know she really wants a dog, but I don’t want to be bothered. Cats are supposed to be low maintenance, but she is allergic to cats. Maybe she’s outgrown her allergies. After that inner struggle, I finally suggest that we get a cat. She immediately perks up. Really? She asks. Begrudgedly I say yes. Later, we went back to Petco and exchanged the rabbit supplies for cat supplies (which cost more). The clerk told us to look for a cat on Petfinder.com. My daughter did and low and behold a few days later, we were on our way to pick up a cat.
Remember, I am not an animal person. But I have to tell you, this little cat was soooooo adorable. Her name was Chebe. Chebe was about a year and half and shy. The foster cat mom had lots of cats. Some much more friendly than Chebe, but they were also a lot furrier. Since I was worried about my daughter’s allergies, I chose little Chebe. So, after the cat foster mom put Chebe in the carrier, we were on our way home.
Let me tell you, Chebe meow-cried the whole car ride home. My daughter and I almost cried with her. My daughter felt so bad for the cat that she was ready to take her back. Honestly, I was ready to take her back too, but I told my daughter that once Chebe got used to us, it would be better. Well, let me tell you, I don’t think Chebe wanted to get used to use to us. She wanted to go home! My daughter had made a space for the cat in her room, so when we got home, we put Chebe’s carrier on the floor in her room. Chebe stayed in there for hours. She would not come out for anything. That night, that poor cat meow-cried all night long. And I mean, ALL NIGHT LONG! It was so bad; my daughter left her room to come sleep with me. She wanted to return her back. I tried to reassure her that the cat had to get used to us. Afterall, it was only the first night. Meanwhile, I silently started praying for the poor thing. I asked God to let Chebe know that we weren’t bad people and that we just wanted to love her. If God answered my prayer and relayed my message, Chebe was NOT listening. I don’t think she ever stopped meow crying that night. The next day we put her in my office where there’s more room and more things for her to climb on. Whenever I worked in my office, she would give me a look that seemed to say, “Yo, what are you doing here? Don’t even think about talking and disturbing me lady. I don’t want to hear it. I’m good right here in my corner, by myself.” And, that was if she was actually chilling in her corner. As my son said, “Chebe was an expert at hiding.” Let me tell you, that cat could find the tightest space to hid in. Sometimes, it would take us a while to find her.
Eventually, my daughter’s allergies started acting up to the point that she needed to take allergy medicine. After another internal conversation with myself, I suggested to my kids that we give the cat back (it had only been a week). I told them that we could get a dog instead. They were both so happy about getting a dog that they couldn’t get rid of poor Chebe fast enough. I on the other hand, was actually a little sad to see her go. So, little Chebe went back home to her foster cat family, and when things get better, we are going to get a dog. But I must say, when I go to my office, I still look in Chebe’s corner to see if she’s there. I miss that cute little cat. You know, maybe having a pet isn’t so bad after all.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, what do you feel about getting pets for your kids?
Hey everyone! Its been a minute. I hope you are all managing through this Coronavirus and that you and your families are all safe and healthy. The kids and I are all home, trying not to get on each other’s nerves. Just like everyone else, we can’t wait for this to all be over so that we can get to our new “normal”.
My daughter reminded me last week that if not for the coronavirus, she and her friends would have been in France for Spring Break. I have to tell you; I really feel sorry for my daughter and all the other graduating seniors. They worked so hard over the last four years, expecting to enjoy big moments this year, only instead to find themselves being quarantined at home. My daughter is currently on Spring Break and was supposed to be in France with her classmates. Every year, her school plans a trip overseas. My daughter and her friends were able to convince us parents to pay for them to enjoy all that France has to offer. And why not? My daughter and her friends hadn’t been on any of the other overseas trips, and this is their senior year. My daughter works hard, makes good grades, and really doesn’t give us any problems. She deserved to go. This trip was her reward for being a great daughter. You can only imagine her disappointment when the trip was cancelled.
Not only was the Spring Break trip cancelled, but so was her last season of outdoor track. It looks like prom will be cancelled as well. And, graduation is not looking too good right now either.
For my daughter and other seniors, this time of year was supposed to be full of fun and excitement. The seniors were all supposed to be hanging out with their friends, making memories to last a lifetime. Instead, they are stuck at home, “seeing” each other by Zoom or Google Classrooms, making a different kind of memories.
Well, times change, and we must change with them. Unfortunately, some of those changes will be disappointing for our kids … and for us. I hate to see my kids disappointed, but disappointment is part of life. We have to help our kids navigate how they handle disappointment because unfortunately, this will not be the last time that they will be disappointed. This is a teaching lesson for our kids.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, how are you helping your kids cope with the disappointments that they are experiencing now?
Well, we are all homebound because of the coronavirus. A few weeks ago, my son called to tell me that he was coming home for spring break. I was actually surprised. My thought was, “Don’t you want to go somewhere with your friends?” Nope. His friends from high school were coming home for spring break and he wanted to spend time with them. Later that day, my son texted me to tell me that Syracuse told the students not to return until March 30th (at the earliest) and that they would be having classes remotely until then. Ok. He wasn’t too happy about that development, but hey, it was only to March 30th. He could live with that. However, the hope that this situation would be temporary was short lived when he received an email this week informing him that the kids will be home for the rest of the semester. You can only imagine how “happy” he was to read that. This kid had adjusted well to freedom. Now, he has to answer questions like, “Where are you going?” “When will you be home? “Who are you going to be with?” You know, questions he didn’t have to answer when he was living away from home.
My daughter’s school was proactive. Weeks before the NYC Board of Education finally shut down schools, her Catholic high school already had a plan in place and start date for remote education. She started her remote classes yesterday. While she is sad that she won’t get to physically see her friends every day, she is happy that she no longer has to wake up at 5:30 am to get ready for school. And, she is happy that she doesn’t have to be out of the door at 6:45 am to get to her school in Manhattan by 8:00 am. All she has to do now is literally roll out of bed, brush her teeth, put on a shirt, make herself some breakfast/tea, and sit in front of her IPad a few hours a day. What a luxury.
As of Tuesday, I am not at work. I am home, indefinitely. I am choosing to think of this time as a (forced) vacation. My plan is to get up every morning to exercise (hopefully, I’ll start tomorrow), take a shower, write, and work on some of the projects I started but haven’t finished. I am also going to catch up on some movies and tv shows I have been wanting to watch. I just have to remember what I wanted to see.
So, just like most of America, we are all stuck home … inside … together. All I can say is thank God my kids are teenagers!! They can fend for themselves with little supervision. I don’t have to watch them do their schoolwork, or pretend to be a teacher. Those days are long gone. I can’t imagine having young kids again. I don’t know if I’d have the patience one needs to home school them. Let’s not kid ourselves, most of us really don’t want to be responsible for teaching our kids every day. Can you imagine having to stay on a schedule and plan, all day, every day? Nope. Not me. I can’t do it, and I don’t want to do it. That’s why they go to school. Let the trained professionals teach them.
If you have little kids, God bless you! I wish you all the best. Now that parents have to be “teachers”, I am sure that more people will have a deeper appreciation for professional teachers and for parents who homeschool their kids. I know I appreciate them. Besides, let’s be honest. Everyone is not a natural teacher. We all can’t do it. If you can’t, you may want to find someone who can. Know your limits. I know mine.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
If you have kids, what are you doing to keep them busy while they are homebound?
Where’s My Dinner?
Kids are so lucky. They get a winter break. I mean, they just had Christmas break. Why do they need another one so soon? When my kids were younger, I used to drop them off at their grandparents for this break. My kids were lucky. They had grandparents were youngish, healthy, and retired! And, most importantly, they had grandparents who wanted to spend time with their grandchildren. My father would call me up just to find out when the kids were on school break. They always wanted their grandchildren to stay with them. This was great for me because even though school was closed, work was not! Because of my parents, I was able to save many of vacation and sick days, days that I was able to use in the summer to spend time with my kids.
As the kids grew older, going to their grandparents’ wasn’t as much fun anymore. Now they were able to take the subway by themselves and they wanted to spend time with their friends instead. Also, winter break falls during basketball season. Instead of going to his grandparents’, my son preferred to play basketball with his friends. We all knew that this was part of their transition into “adulthood”, and we all took it in stride. Besides, I made sure that the kids still spent time with their grandparents during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So, a few weeks ago my daughter was home for the winter break. Every day, I got up, got ready for work, kissed my daughter goodbye (who by the way was just lying in bed chilling like she didn’t have a care in the world), and went to work. I. Was. Jealous. I want a mandated winter break!!! I deserve it!! I work hard all year. I want a free week that doesn’t count against my vacation and/or sick time. Granted, my daughter did have a science project to work on, but she didn’t look stressed about it at all. In fact, when I came home, this girl was relaxing on the futon binge watching some cartoon. Hey, I want to binge watch a tv show too! In fact, there are quite a few shows I want to binge watch. I can’t think of them right now, but they will come to me eventually.
Since I knew that my daughter would be home, I made sure that I went grocery shopping and made food for her. After all, I didn’t want the poor girl to starve. All she had to do is literally put the food on a dish and heat said dish in the microwave. She didn’t have to cook anything from scratch if she didn’t want to. Although, she did make some sugar cookies on Monday. I got to eat about four of them. There were no more left by Wednesday.
The last two nights, of her winter break, I came home and made myself a light dinner. Being polite, I asked my daughter if she would like for me to make her some too. Of course, both times the answer was yes. In my mind, I’m thinking, “What! You’ve been home all day, and YOU’RE waiting for ME to cook dinner? What’s wrong with this picture?” So I finally said to her, “Hey, you’ve been home all day. Where’s my dinner?” Can you believe she laughed at me?!?!? That’s right. She laughed! Then, she reminded me that she was not a housewife. Man, I hope and pray that I live long enough to see her if and when she has kids. I hope they do to her everything that she does to me. I look forward to listening to her complain about her kids, only to laugh and say, “OMG! Really! Wow, I wonder who she got that from?”
Future parents, take it from me, unless your kid really likes cooking or you tell you kids to make dinner (and they remember to do it), don’t expect dinner to be waiting for you when you come home from work. You would probably have a better chance hitting the Mega Million. In fact, you may as well start planning which numbers to play now.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
If you have kids, have they ever surprised you with a home cooked dinner? And I mean a dinner that was not served on your birthday, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day? Those don’t count.
I love my parents. I really do. But as they have gotten older, I realize that I need to work on my patience. If you have elderly parents who are technologically challenged, I’m pretty sure you know what I mean.
A few years ago, my brother gave my mother a smart phone. He didn’t get her an iPhone like he had. No, he got her a Galaxy and told her that I had the same kind. Thanks a lot! To my mom’s credit, she wasn’t afraid to use her phone. She figured out how to text. In fact, you have no idea how many “This is a test.” texts I received. After a while, I wanted to scream, “You got it down now! Stop texting ‘This is a test.’!” After she got texting down, she figured out how to use emojis. Lots of emojis. She became the emoji queen. And I must add, she takes a selfie better than I do. She needs to show me her technique.
When my brother got mom a laptop (my father has a desktop), I started receiving the dreaded calls from both my mom and dad: “What does this mean?” “Why is my computer doing this?” I tried to help the best I could. But you know, truth be told, I just can’t see through the phone. Someone needs to actually read me the words on the computer screen. After one of them would read the message to me, I'd try to resolve their issue over the phone. God help me, I do try. But sometimes I really don’t have the patience to try to figure it out. And it really doesn’t matter. Once I fix or solve one problem, another one pops us. It can get frustrating. To be fair, it has gotten better. At least now when she calls, my mom will mention that she already tried to google the answer before calling me.
You may be wondering what this have to do with anything? Well, today, I spent a long time on the phone helping my mom register online and pay for a weekend course. It would have been much faster if I did it myself, but she didn't want to read me her credit card number over the phone. Fair enough. I can understand that. After about what seemed to be 20 hours (but was probably only 30 minutes), we were done. Honestly, by that time I felt like I needed a drink. I’m sure my mom felt like she could have used a hot tea. She doesn’t drink. Later, mom and I both laughed over our mutual frustrations, and I mentioned to her that I wonder what it will be like when I’m older and my kids have to help me with technology. Will they have the patience to do it? What will technology even look like 30 years from now? I also told her that I was going to write a blog entry when we hung up. She jokingly said that I have something to write about. Boy was she right!
Technology is rapidly changing. I’m not that old, but even now, sometimes when my kids talk about different things, I have no idea what they are talking about. I ask questions and they’ll patiently explain what the app is and how it is used, but damn … sometimes I feel old. Is this how my parents feel? Do my kids think I’m old? I mean, I know they do. My daughter once told me that Facebook was for old people. Really? I’m not just ready to claim it yet.
So, if you have kids, stay current with social media and anything else technology related, so your kids won’t think your old and outdated.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
If you have kids, how are you staying current with technology and all the different social media platforms?
Happy New Year!
This New Year, may you be blessed with Peace, Love, and Happiness.
In this new year,
Let's talk more, chat less.
Let's call more, text less.
Let's meet more, Skype less.
Let's travel more, collect less.
Let's care more, ignore less.
Let's do more, gossip less.
Let's praise more, blame less.
Let's share more, accumulate less.
Let's experience more, fear less.
Let's love more, hate less.
[© Trupti Paliwal; Published: January 2017]
I hope you all are enjoying this holiday season
with your family. See you in the New Year!
I am so tired. I don’t really have any reason to be tired, but I am. Who knows? Maybe I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, maybe it’s the effects of being perimenopausal, or maybe I just need to go to bed earlier, but in any event, I am tired. All I can say is that I am so glad its December. As of December 20th, I will be officially on vacation. My daughter and I am going on a cruise to the Bahamas. I can’t wait to go. I just want to sit on the ship, relax, and then relax some more. There are going to be lots of activities that we can do, but all I want to do is ... nothing! Other than taking Instagram pictures for my daughter (mind you, I said for my daughter, not with my daughter. I guess teenagers aren’t suppose to post vacation pictures of themselves with their mothers on Instagram), and going to the spa, I plan on doing nothing by sit on some lounge chair and relax.
This will be the first vacation that my daughter and I will take without her brother. He didn’t want to come with us, saying that he would rather stay home and be with his friends over the school break, (he also said that he didn’t want to be on a boat for eight days). I can understand that. I think I would have wanted to spend my first winter break with my friends too. I’m sure they all want to get together, catch up, and compare their college experiences. And besides, he’s 18 now. He’s old enough to decide whether or not he wants to come on vacation with me. But, I actually feel guilty for leaving him home in Brooklyn (however, I don’t feel bad about having one less person to pay for on this cruise). I’ve been asking myself, “ What will he do?” “ What are his plans?” “ Does he plan on having a party at the house while we’re gone?” “ Would my neighbor let me know if he does?” “Does he think he could play house with his girlfriend while no one’s home?” "What if something happens while we are gone and he can't reach me?" “Oh, why can’t he just come with us?”
I guess this is just the beginning. Soon, I will be traveling sans kids. I’m not looking forward to that. I remember when I used to day dream of what life would be like when the kids were on their own. In my mind, I was living the life ... hanging out with my friends, going out to eat, vacationing with friends, etc. But, now that it is almost a reality, that life is not as appealing as I thought it would be. The kids and I always had fun when we vacationed together. Don’t get me wrong, my daughter and I are going to have fun on this cruise too. But, it just won’t be the same without my son. This time next year, my daughter will be 18. What if I decide to go on vacation and neither of them want to come with me? I guess I better enjoy this cruise with my daughter. This may be the last vacation she takes with me.
If you have kids who are still willing to, or have no choice but to travel with you, enjoy each moment. They grow up quickly and soon they will have vacation plans that don’t include you.
So, now you know and you can ... Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, when did your child stop going on vacations with you? How did you feel?
As long as I have been alive, Thanksgiving Day has always fallen on the fourth Thursday in November. You would think that I would remember this, right? Well this year, November was a busy month and Thanksgiving snuck up on me. I mean it really snuck up on me. It just hit me last Thursday that Thanksgiving is today, and I hadn’t bought a turkey yet. I must confess. I have NEVER cooked a turkey from scratch. I prepare all the side dishes and dessert from scratch, but never the turkey. Normally, I buy a fried turkey from Popeye’s, heat it up, and serve. Simple. Everyone who eats meat seems to like it, and I don’t have to worry about seasoning it and making sure that its not dry. If the turkey’s bad, I’ll just blame it on Popeye’s. Luckily, we have not had a bad turkey yet.
So, Thursday after work, I went to the Popeye’s near my house. They didn’t have any more fried turkeys. In my mind, I was thinking, “What do you mean you don’t have any more fried turkeys? Thanksgiving is next week.”. What I said was, “Will you get more in before Thanksgiving?”. The answer was no. I figured, hey, this isn’t the only Popeye’s in Brooklyn. Surely, I should be able to get a fried turkey tomorrow. Well, apparently, Popeye’s fried turkey is very popular. More popular than I realized. Who knew? Friday morning, I called four different Popeye’s in Brooklyn. All of them were sold out. Oh well, I guess it will be chicken this year. I don’t think anyone will really mind. After all, Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and being thankful for all of our blessings, right?
If you are responsible for the family holiday dinners, don’t be like me. Put reminders on your calendars and shop for your holiday dinners early.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
What A Change!
During my son’s last year of high school, he fought with his sister all the time. No, seriously. These kids fought All. The. Time. It drove me crazy. Any little thing would set them off. Someone moved/hid the other’s water bottle. Someone used the other kid’s cell phone charger and didn’t return it. Someone played their music too loudly while the other one was trying to sleep or study. I’m not kidding. These are actual things that my kids argued about. It was annoying and shocking to me because my kids are only 17 months apart, and they had been so close. Last year, they were enemies.
I have to admit. This new development in their relationship worried me. I’m not saying that they had never fought with each other before. One can only wish for perfect kids like that! No, my kids had their arguments, but they were never as mean spirited as these were. And, it never lasted as long. This lasted all year long. It was horrible! They would call each other names, my son made my daughter cry on several occasions, and they both wanted nothing to do with each other. I worried that they would never be able to mend their relationship.
The last thing I wanted was for my kids to hate each other, so I tried speaking with the both of them separately about how they were treating each other. I reminded each of them that when their father and I die, they will only have each other left. That had no impact on their behavior. I reminded them that they should treat each other the same way they wanted to be treated. That advise just went in one ear and out the other. I told them that one day, they would be adults with their own kids and that they would want their children to know each other. No luck. Nothing I did seemed to matter. Nothing. These kids hated each other.
I spoke to some of my friends about my kid’s relationship with each other. One of my friends has kids who are a few years older than mine. She told me that she went through the exact same thing with her kids. I couldn’t believe it. Her kids seemed so quiet, at least they were that way when they were around company. I couldn’t picture her kids ever fighting with each other the way mine did. She assured me that they did and shared that their behavior changed once her daughter went off to college. Then, they became close. No matter what she said, I couldn’t imagine my kids becoming friends again. I just couldn’t see it. Other friends suggested that my kids were acting out because it is my son’s last year home, and the two of them didn’t know how to express that they will miss one another. That could be, but damn! All they had to do was say, “Hey, I love you and I’m going to miss you next year.” But no. Instead, I got, “I hate you.” “I’m never going to talk to you again.” “I can’t wait until you leave.”, and everything in between.
The day we dropped my son off at college, I thought these kids would say good riddance to each other and never look back. But, their behavior towards each other changed that day. First of all, when one of the upperclassmen told my son that he had to get the key for his room, my son automatically turned to his sister and told her to go with him to get it. She did. Then, while I was parking the car in the parking lot and waiting for the shuttle bus to get back to the dormitory, my daughter arranged everything in my son’s room and had a list of things I needed to purchase from Walmart. Lastly, when my daughter was leaving to go back to Brooklyn, my son hugged her long and tight, and told her that he loved her. Awww!
My son has been away at college for two months now. A few weeks ago, I asked my daughter if she missed her brother. She told me no, but then she followed up with, “How could I? He keeps texting and calling me.” It is funny how their attitude regarding each other has changed. Every time my son speaks to me, one of the first questions he asks is how is his sister doing. If she is nearby, I put her on the phone. At the end of their conversation, I hear him say, “I love you.” He talks to her when she needs advise, and he calls her when he needs someone to talk to. I guess it is true, absence does make the heart grow fonder.
Siblings constantly fight with each other. As a parent, you worry about your kids and their relationship with each other. I know I do. After all, you don’t want to be one of those families that has a knock down fight each Thanksgiving. I mean, it is fun to watch, as long as its not your family. In this case, all my worrying about my kids relationship with each other seems to have been for nothing. My friends were right. Deep down, these kids really do love each other, and things definitely got better once my son went to college.
Advise may be hard to accept, but remember, there are other parents who have already gone through what you are experiencing. Listen to them. They may just know what they’re talking about. Apparently, I needed to listen to my own friends. They had already been through this. Oh well. No one is perfect.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, has there ever been a time when you sought someone’s advice, got it, and didn’t believe that they knew what they were talking about, or that it would work for your situation? If so, tell us about it.
Happy Halloween! This is the one day a year where parents allow their kids to get dressed up as their favorite superheroes, cartoon characters, and monsters and roam the neighborhood, begging for candy from strangers. I’ve had my share of taking my own little princess, Spiderman, and Power Rangers around the neighborhood. I used to raid their stash when I got home. I considered it payment for my time. Don’t judge, I’m sure other parents do it too. But, the reality was that I loved taking them out trick or treating. It was easy to get caught up in the excitement of little kids running from house to house and from store to store. It was also interesting to see how creative some of these parents got when making costumes for their kids. Some of them were elaborate. However, most parents were like me and dressed their kids in the good ole Party City costumes.
When my son was around 10, he started to get to old for Halloween. Part of him wanted to go trick or treating, the other part of him thought he was too old. Eventually, his desire for candy won. He didn’t have a costume, so he just wore jeans, a jacket, a heavy braided chain his grandfather gave him, and his father’s Kangol hat. I told him to roll with it. Finally, someone asked him who he was. Of course, he didn’t have an answer. I told him to tell everyone that he was Run from Run DMC. He later told me that when he told people he was Run, they gave him extra candy. Someone asked him if he knew any of their songs. He did (I used to play them), but he didn’t let them know. He wasn’t about to turn into a rapper. He knew his limits.
As much as I love watching the kids run around in their costumes, I have to admit, I don’t buy candy and rush home from work to give it out. I know. Its sad. I just don’t want to risk having all this extra candy sitting around the house. I’m trying to watch my weight. I know I can bring the extra candy to work, but every year we have tons and tons of leftover candy. I don’t need to add to the pot. Besides, kids come out earlier now and I’m not home from work when most of them come around.
This year will be different. My daughter wants to give out candy. Usually, she’s out with her friends on Halloween. But this year, she wants to give out candy. And, she wants me to do it with her. So, I guess I’ll be leaving work on time today (no happy hour for me) and rushing home. If you’re in Brooklyn, come on by!
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
What’s your favorite part of Halloween?
My daughter runs cross-country. She HATES cross-country. Well, maybe hate is too strong of a word for it. She is not a fan of cross-country. But SassyGirlTye, if your daughter isn’t a fan of cross country, why is she on the team? Well, that’s a good question. While my daughter doesn’t like running cross country, she LOVES running track. Her track coach is also the cross-country coach. He told her that he wanted her to run cross country, so my daughter runs cross country. This is her third year on the team, so she knows what to expect. She knows that practice will involve long distance running. She knows that there will be days where she will be doing a lot of strength training. And, she know that there will be days when she is going to be sore. Knowing all of that, she is a trouper and goes out there and runs.
The funny thing is that I run too. I am currently in training for the New York Marathon. I’ve ran a few half marathons and a number of races. However, this will be my first marathon. So, as I listen to my daughter’s tales of woes and aches and pains, I just laugh. When she has a race, this girl comes home exhausted! After one of her races, I reminded her that she only ran 2.5 miles. That’s a warmup for us! In all fairness though, when I run, I’m not trying to beat everyone else to the finish line. I’m just trying to finish.
Sometimes, I ask my daughter if she wants to come out and run with me. She usually tells me no, but every now and again, she will come out and run. A few years ago, my daughter decided to run the Turkey Trot with me and a few of my friends. It was a 5 mile run, on Thanksgiving, in the park. We had to be there early in the morning. My daughter is not an early morning person. She’s more of a “I’ll wait until early in the afternoon to roll out of bed” person. But this day, she got up and ran with us. On the way to the race, I told her, “Love, our mantra is your race, your pace. I know you will run faster than me, so you don’t have to wait for me. You run your pace. Once you finish, get one of the bagels they give out and wait for me.” My daughter wouldn’t hear it. We were going to run together, she said. We were going to be a team, she said. This was our bonding time together, she said. Well, let me tell you. The race horn went off, and my daughter was gone. After about 5 minutes, I couldn’t even see her anymore. Once my daughter started running, she never looked back! Not once. I was a slower runner then and I was taking my time. It wasn’t one of the qualifying races for the marathon, so I really didn’t care when I finished. As a matter of fact, neither did my friends. At one point, we all caught up with each other and decided to walk and catch up on things since we hadn’t seen each other in a while. While we were walking, my phone rang. It was my daughter. She had finished running. I told her that we were on our way. Eventually, she got impatient and called again. At that point, we decided that we may as well just run it in. We also laughed and joked that this would probably be the last time my daughter ran with us.
But it wasn't . That same year, one of my friends wanted to run the Cherry Tree 10 Miler and Relay. In that event, you have the choice of either running the full 10 miles as a solo runner, or as a part of a 3 person relay team. My friend wanted to do it as a relay team, but we needed another runner. Guess who we asked? Let me put this in perspective for you. This relay is in February. Outside. In the park. New York is cold in February. And, we had to be in the park before my daughter’s noon roll out of bed time. But, my girl is a trouper! She surprised me and ran with us. Every now and again, she still comes out and runs with us. In fact, she is running the Turkey Trot with us again this year. I enjoy running with my daughter.
If you want to have some real bonding time with your child, find something that you both enjoy doing and do it together. You will both have happy memories to reflect on years from now.
So, now you know and … You can Consider Yourself Warned!
If you have kids, what things do you like to do together?
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.