Saturday, July 9, 2016

Can I get A Welcome Back?

I have been so gone!

                                                     And so freaking busy!

 ( Like a 



                            It has been forever and TWO days since I even tried to write.

But now I am trying to come back. So many changes in my life and so many things are the same. I hope to find myself again and find time to write. I will learn how those mothers who blog manage to multi-task. Its going to be a challenge that I need to face and share. Wish me luck. I am going to need it! 

New address Test

new blo address test

Monday, January 5, 2015

Constitutional Amendments and Bathroom Etiquette - Yes, I went there!

This is a topic that someone needs to broach so I going to take one for the team, ladies. 

Some men might even have my back on this one. 

I am not sure how many signatures it will require to pass a Constitutional amendment but that may be what is necessary to have across the board compliance. 

I am talking about public restroom sounds and etiquette required by them and how we can avoid the embarrassment these issues cause people everyday. 

For the sake of all of us, please join my cause. 

How many times have you had to rush into a public restroom for an "emergency" stop? 

Only to be confronted with a room full of people chatting on their phones,
lined up at the mirrors checking their make up or just standing around waiting for little Betsy to finish her business?

Have you dreaded the moment that all sound stops after you have entered your little cubicle and the evacuation has begun.

"If I could have made it home, don't you think I would have." 

Is that something you wish you could say to the person you hear gasp with shock at the first sputtering splash? 

But are you too busy trying to waving your hands to make the damn self flushing toilet flush to cover the sounds you know are coming next?

I have also suffered from that seated dance of shame. 

The multiple flush send away is a give away.  

There needs to be a law!  

Put some speakers in there.

Play some music. LOUDLY! 

I think there has been a government study done somewhere telling us what kinds of music is best suited for us to evacuate with.  

Truthfully, I don't care what they play. It could be this for all I cared....

We next need to address the issue of the people who are responsible for cleaning the restrooms.

These people are hardworking individuals and they have a thankless job. 

I hate cleaning my bathroom at home. The idea of having to clean up after strangers is not something I want to consider. 

But please don't try to be extra helpful when you are in the middle of cleaning up and I walk in. 

I"ll wait.

I  feel bad enough in a public restroom. 

Having you stop working so I can dirty up what you are cleaning is not something I want to happen. 

Oh, while I really appreciate the extra step you went to when you came and found me to let me know you were finished cleaning
the toilets, I was super uncomfortable that you hung around until I was done.

Having you standing there, alone in the silent bathroom, waiting for me to "go" was my least favorite potty memory since I was three. 

I locked myself in and needed helping wiping. It was a problem of first world order. 

This time I just had to leave and rush home.

So people maybe we need to add extra rules to our Constitutional Amendment. 

Won't you join me on my mission? 

Does anyone know a lawyer who can help me out with this? 

I think I need to write to Oprah first, right? 

Or is it Ellen now? 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

I Was An Evil Step Mother or Bet you Wish Your Step Mom was Cool Like me!

I read those letters from moms to step mothers and I really wanted to reply. 

So here is my version. 

I Am An Evil Step Mother

I never planned to be one. I always thought I would just be a regular mother, but fate had another plan in store for me, too. 

I help to raise the kids you gave birth to and you keep insisting that they didn't have to listen to me. 
Because I am not their mom.
You are right I am not. But I am still someone's mom. I still know how to be a parent. If we had met on the playground, you would not have had an issue listening to my advice. 
Because your kids were brats. 
They didn't listen. 
They talked back. 
They had no manners at all. 

I married the man you no longer want. It doesn't matter to me why you don't want him or how badly he may have treated you when he was married you. He is now my problem. Please don't tell me stories about how awful he was "back then", in a laughing tone of voice. 

We both know what happened. It's ancient history.

I studied history in school so I don't need a refresher from you. Thank you, very much. 

I did not plan to marry a man with kids. I already have my own problems to deal with. Why in the world would I want to add your snot monsters to the mix? 

You don't have to like me very much. But we have to accept each other. I do not have any real issues with you. Provided you understand a few things about me. 

  • I love your kids. 
  • Most of the time, your kids like me. 
  • I love their father. 
  • My ultimate goal is that they spend time together.
  • Talking shit about me is not going to work. Talking shit about my kids is certainly not going to work.
  • We deserve family time. Please do not get pissy when I include "your" kids as part of "our" family. They are. Get over it. 
  • I might decide to do family pictures. I might include the dog. Please try to explain to the
    kids why I won't be including you. Do not use use the words, "Evil bitch" or "Snotty" either.
  • I know those are your nicknames for me. Kids talk, you know.
  • Schedules are set up for a reason. If I can read a clock, so can you. 
  • If we are late, you take every opportunity to complain, even if we call. But you don't think it works the other way. Why is that?  
  • Please help the kids pack appropriately. We don't care if they match but clean underwear is always nice and we never get back any of the clothes we keep buying.
    Are you selling it ?
  • My parents treat your kids just like the rest of the grandkids. Please show some respect for "Grandpa and Grandma Jones".
    They have nothing but love and presents to give everyone. Calling them Mr. and Mrs. Jones is rude. Stop insisting on it. Its been long enough.
  • While we are on the topic of titles...I have never once asked your kids to call me Mom or any variation of that title. I have no intention of doing so. My kids have steps also, we worked out some pretty cool nicknames for them. Why don't you try it?
  • Or maybe I am just cooler than you.    

                     Your children's loving,
                                                                Evil Step Mother

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I asked for them, I swear I did.....What was I thinking? Snarky Momma Past & Present

During the time I was raising my kids, particularly my boys, I could frequently be heard to mutter to myself something that soon became my mantra,

Don't get me wrong, my kids were and are great. But I had two boys thirteen months apart and I started raising them alone when they were two and three. 

The term WILD CHILDREN should have my boys pictures next to it. I would Google it and try to find a fitting image to put up here, but I am truthfully afraid an old photo of my kids will show up.

For now just imagine a couple of boys like this. 

No, not the cute one in the middle. But the two on the edges of the picture. There is one who stomps through life and manages to knock over EVERYTHING  he passes by, even paper on someones desk. And his little brother, the climbing baby, who is able to scamper up onto the top of ANYTHING that has the slightest grip.

A friend once told me she didn't understand what the expression "bouncing off the walls" meant until she was introduced to my sons. 

They were not hyperactive. I had them tested. They were just ACTIVE. VERY,VERY ACTIVE !

They had plenty of outdoor time. I promise. I kicked them outside every chance I got. 
Go play in the yard, I'd say. 
We had a perfectly safe, HUGE metal satellite dish for them to climb on in the back yard. I mean sure, it had a few rough spots, but I covered those with duct tape. 
That was okay, right? Nope. Guess not. 
I had asked for them. It was my responsibility to protect them. 

Then there was the couch jumping. As soon as we came home. Me from work, them from my parents house. 
They would start jumping on the couch yelling and wanting me to play with them. 

Can you imagine? I just worked ten hours and they want my attention. Where did they get the idea I had any energy left? But I did it. And loved it. Because I loved them.
I had asked for them. It was my joy to play with them.

Then there were the demands that I feed them. 
Constantly. I swear, I never knew that two small boys could eat that much food. During the weekends, I would no sooner finish cleaning up one meal, when they would be asking for more food. WHERE do they put it? But that was nothing compared to what they put me through as teenagers. Heaven help me. I once went to

and spent $40 on dollar items to feed them and a few of their friends after work. It was gone before I finished changing out of my work clothes. They were like hyenas, except they knew how to say please and thank you. Which I insisted all their friends learn to use, if they didn't know how already. Even if I hadn't given birth to them, I had asked for them. So I was going to provide for them. And teach them along the way. 

So while I spent a lot of time muttering to myself and have lots of stories buried in my brain about my boys and their just as troublesome baby sister, I did ask for them. Especially my daughter. I loved my boys to distraction, but I really wanted a girl and when I discovered I was unexpectedly "expecting" I wished that I would have my girl. 

Wish granted. Really, just what was I thinking? 

I will admit there have been moments, when I asked myself if I was totally crazy for ever wanting a daughter,
but then I remember what a great child she was and I know she will overcome the difficulties in her life and I remind myself.....I asked for them, especially her. So I must have been given her for some karmic reason. Some parents, we get the children we need. Sometimes we get the children that need us. I am still not sure which of us got which. But I love them all.

I asked for them. And I am damned glad I did. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Clueless, Brain Damage, Blogging and Condiments. Follow the Map, She Says....

Do I really have any clue what I am doing here? 

Nope! But I am trying to do it my way for a change.

Along with following some advice that I have read from other bloggers. The biggest problem I seem to have is that my brain is not directly attached to my blog writer. Of course, I would prefer my brain remain inside my head, but you get the idea. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Random Suggestions for Mothers 1st Edition The Vomit Bucket Story

Well, That Is Kind of Gross, But....

I raised three kids that I actually gave birth to myself. I also raised a daughter that I was gifted with when she was five. Then there are the teenagers I picked up along the way who called me "Mom". That makes for a lot of kids. So I picked up a few tricks. 

But my memory sucks worse than my mom's old Dustbuster.
So I figure I will just post them as Random Suggestions for Mothers whenever I remember them.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What do you mean "Get my morals in order?" Twitter and blogging attack questions

Angry Twitter Replies?

I recently posted on Twitter what I thought were a couple of fairly innocuous Tweets concerning how social media was handling the Eric Garner hashtags. 

I had posted a blog that I wrote without doing a lot of Twitter research, because it was about how I felt. I ended with the comment that All Lives Matter, only to find out on Twitter that a whole lot of people agreed. My ending line was popular and I wasn't the first to think of it. Duh, not so brilliant after all.    

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Our Thanksgiving Failure Dinner..What a Disaster!!!

We Wanted A  Big Family Event

When our kids were growing up they never saw a true big family gathering. They grew up as kids of divorce so they were shuttled back and forth between households. 

This year my husband and I are finally in our own home. We have all but one of our five blended family kids nearby. 

We wanted a family holiday. 

An old fashioned family dinner. 

The kind each of us had growing up.

We invited the one living parent. 

All siblings nearby. 

All adult children and partners (except one, but that is another blog)

All grandchildren, nieces, nephews.

Mr.Snarky planned to do all the cooking with me as assistant. 

Do you see where this is heading? I thought I did. 

Especially since my youngest was announcing her pregnancy to everyone! 

And my middle was also introducing his pregnant girl to those that had not met her yet. 

And our newest granddaughter and her mother was meeting some family members for the first time. 

Blended family fun! 

I figured that there would be fireworks for sure. 

I know that my good old fashioned family dinners always included some yelling. 

Aunt Mary was mad at nephew Drew because he never thanked her for his high school graduation card five years ago. 

Cousin Susan was mad at her mom because she gave the family pie recipe to her sister and not her.

Mr.Snarky's family was the same.

But the only yelling going on in my house was at and by the small children.  

What did I do wrong? How did I fail by family? 

Would my adult kids never know the reality of families screaming at each other over dry turkey and creamy mashed potatoes?

Would they be sent out into the world unaware of what could happen between pass the cranberry sauce and Uncle Joe making a pass at cousin Joan? In full view of his wife, Aunt Martha?

Would they go to other people's family dinners and expect to hear  laughter and pleasant conversation? 

Or maybe we did something right, my husband and I. Maybe we managed to teach our kids something that our parents families had never learned. 

That family gatherings are about the family gathering. Together. 

They talked. People who rarely see each other and even less often interact, talked together. They may not meet for coffee next week, but who cares. 

They laughed. Everyone passed the new baby around and marveled over how much she looked like her dad. He was the only one missing. (Still away at school)

Mr.Snarky cooked and then before I had finished taking everything out of the oven he called for the buffet line to start. WTH?

I then spent ten minutes scrambling to find spoons and pot holders for food I was frantically pulling out to feed the twenty plus people lined up behind me.  

Apparently once the turkey is sliced that is go time! 

The only one unhappy was Mr. Snarky who said his turkeys (there were two) were too dry. (They were but we didn't care).

The biggest disaster was when he dumped the stock to make the gravy down the drain. He managed to save a little bit but there was no leftover gravy and it didn't have enough Ooomph! 

But the family dinner? We all ate it. It tasted great. It was a success. 

I hope that we have lots more of this style of family gatherings. I like them. 

We forgot to put out the cranberry sauce.

I still have s load of i t left! You want some? Its delish! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lady Justice is Supposed to be Blind But this is F%@ing Nuts.

I started a post last week to cover the Michael Brown / Darren Wilson non-indictment but was interrupted by drama in my own life. 

Then the Eric Garner case walked back into national focus. 

And apparently the New York grand jury members were unable to see what the rest of the world including the New York City Medical Examiner saw. 

That this was and is a homicide.

Which is exactly why it was ruled that way. 

Does anyone not think that if the Medical Examiner's office could have ruled any other way, they would have done so and saved the city this whole issue?

They ruled with integrity.

The Grand Jury failed. 

I am not saying that the police officer is guilty. This is not for me to say. A jury of his peers would have to determine that. 

But because the Grand Jury decided against indictment, Daniel Pantaleo will never face that type of jury in New York City. 

The Grand Jury failed by not giving its citizens that option.

Shame on them.

Officer Pantaleo offered a statement of prayers and condolences from his family to Mr. Garners. They were rejected, seemingly out of hand. 

Good for him for at least trying. 

The case of Michael Brown is a different issue. 

Based on the autopsy reports,  reliable witnesses and evidence, Darren Wilson should not have been indicted. 

I believe that the Grand Jury in Ferguson did their job.

But in New York......

WOW! Just what the hell happened?

I don't think that Officer Pantaleo or the other officers intended for his death to occur, but it did. They over reacted.

Yeah, he did not comply to their requests. But he wasn't threatening citizens of their city. He was standing on the sidewalk.

Patience is a virtue. NYPD needs to find some.

I can't imagine how many muggings happened while the multiple cops were arresting one man for allegedly selling cigarettes.

Can we talk about a better use of police assets. 

Did Eric Garner deserve to be arrested and charged with a crime? 

I don't know. 

They found no evidence on him. What is his history? He claimed they had been harassing him. Were they? He was supposedly on bail for selling untaxed cigarettes. Why arrest him again?    

But he did not deserve to be wrestled to the ground by a multitude of police officers and have a banned chokehold used on him. 

He did not deserve anything that happened.

Should he have simply submitted and let himself be arrested? 

I don't know. 

There it is. 

The question I cannot answer because I am not Eric Garner. I am not an African American male. I cannot begin to put myself in that place. 

But what I do know is this:

If he had not resisted he likely would be alive today, planning what gifts to buy his children,grandchildren and wife for Christmas. 

He would have enjoyed the costumes and candy of Halloween. He looked like he might enjoy a good candy bar or two.

He would have had turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie while sharing what he was thankful for last week. With six kids he had a lot to be grateful about.

Instead on July 17, 2014, an altercation occurred between him and the police. 

Nobody won. 

I watch the video and I cannot see how the Grand Jury did not see the same things I did. 

A man died. 

An indictment should have been handed out. It is clear that the system failed. 

It is clear that we must have a new system.

One where people of any color should not fear the police talking to them.

One where only the guilty need worry about bullets paid for by our own tax dollars.

One where color, nationality, sexuality, gender do not matter. 

One where justice is NOT BLIND to doing what is right.

But I am obviously fucking nuts to believe this will happen. 

I know the current chant is "Black Lives Matter" 

But for me it should be 


Because they do, equally! 


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Meet Snarky Dog

This is the SnarkyDog. 

 He is the hairiest member of my family. He is also currently the loudest and most annoying. But I love him. His best trick is ringing the bell when he wants to go out. If he wants to play with the laser pointer he barks and nudges the drawer where we keep it.  He found us through the Animal Foundation. We were "just looking" that day but there were other people circling to take what I very quickly saw as "our dog" home. So we made an executive decision, paid the people and brought home a very happy six month old "boxer scottie bassett mix"

It took me a few days to figure out there was no boxer in our puppy.

The vet mentioned it when we took him in for his "well puppy" check up. 

There was some "Scottish Terrier" and likely some Bassett hound, but the big surprise was the third part of his party.

An American Pit Bull Terrier.

The very breed I had been determined to avoid. 

Not because I had anything against them personally but I know what a pain in the patatootie other people can be about the breed. I didn't need the aggravation.  Besides I wanted a smaller size dog. 

What I got was a 35 to 40 lb. short legged, long bodied, brindle haired baby. He grows eyebrows and backhair like a Scottie. He has the legs and length of the bassett. The rest is all pit bull.

He can jump almost as high as I am tall. For a person that's not saying much but for the dog that's pretty freaking high. He has a piercingly loud bark when he wants to get your attention. He arrived home housebroke, wearing a space collar and happily used that to herd the small children around the front room. He is bow legged and sheds hair worse than I do. 

Mr. Snarky is trying to talk me into getting the dog a puppy friend. 

But he already has this friend. Our almost year old granddaughter who learned to crawl by chasing after his chew toys. Then there is the four year old grand and we have two more currently one the way. I think Snarky Dog will have plenty of play mates in the years to come and when they go home. 

Please let them have homes to go to and not all have to live with us. 
But when they go home, he can kick back and lay around like he does now. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Its almost Thanksgiving I am living the Dream..... So why am I having a Nightmare? Again & Again & Again

So I am married. 
And then Again! . Finally Happy 
But let me explain........About that Nightmare

So lets back up a decade...or two.

Key the fancy swooshy,spacey sound effects here to indicate time travel taking place.

The first one was the guy I met right after high school and married at twenty one. 
We tired for kids until I found out he had been leaving his swimmers in someone else's pool. Yeech!

So we split up. It was pretty damn drama laden for a while. We all worked for the same company. 

If there had been reality TV back then, we could have had our own show on TLC or even Bravo. The company was that good.

Because I upped the ante by starting to date someone else on the same payroll. I thought I would find a good looking guy and have some fun. I had never been someone who "slept around", now was my chance. 

I was unencumbered and over twenty one. 

I picked my target. 

  • He was cute. 
  • He had sexy legs. 
  • He showed up for work everyday. (Not sure why that was on my list, but it was)
  • He had good hair.
  • He was a single father.(That was the biological clock talking to me I later learned)
I found out he and my soon to be ex were quasi friends. But they were more quasi than friends since he had no problem asking me out when he realized I was interested nor did he have a problem making a pass. 

I fell in love with his five year old daughter. 
I became pregnant.
I never did get to "sleep around"

But not everyone was thrilled.

Even my own father said and I quote, "You don't have to get married just because your pregnant, you know that, right?"

In my pregnant brain bliss I answered,"Yeah, I know, but he wants to."

I cried through the wedding ceremony. Tears and sobs and snot and all so hard I could barely say my vows. 

I was six months pregnant and realized at just that moment what a mistake I was making. (Looking back I probably kept putting it off for a reason. Duh, hindsight!) 

Fast forward four years after the ceremony. The family includes his daughter and our two sons, 3.5 and 2.5 y/o

Key the fancy swooshy,spacey sound effects here to indicate time travel taking place.

I am in a bad marriage. He is working. So am I because I know that the time is coming that I will have to get out but there is still some hope that I can change him.


After all he is my children's father. We created life together. 


Can you tell I was mad? 

Well, I was terrifically pissed off. 

But the holidays were approaching and I was determined to give our kids the best damn holidays ever, as long as it didn't kill me. 

So Thanksgiving dinner was great. I stuffed and baked and basted and then served and cleaned and we smiled for family mine and his alike. Everyone went home and we were finally able to relax.

Or so I thought. 
But as usual, I thought wrong. 

See apparently my mistake during the marriage was...thinking.

I believed I was allowed to, he disagreed.

After Thanksgiving dinner was the first time he ever put his hands on me in anger. 

Yes, there had been signs that his temper was getting worse. 
Yes, I had seen him hit walls.
Yes, there was a lot of yelling in our household. 
All from him. 

After I managed to remove myself and my kids from the situation and he calmed down, the apologies began. 

  • He was sorry
  • He would never do it again
  • He loved me
  • He loved our kids
  • He would do what ever I wanted
  • He was sorry
  • He didn't know what made him act that way
  • He loved me
A repeating mantra of words and sound that meant little to me.

I had not suffered any great damage. No black eyes, no broken bones. In the great scheme of abuse victims, I barely qualified. I had a couple of bruises. Some scrapes. The police were not called. I went home after a serious conversation. 

I reminded him of something that I'd said to him when we first started dating. I promised him two things.

  1. I would never cheat on him.
  2. I would never forgive him if he hurt me physically

He remembered. He did the whole apology thing again. I took the kids home. 

But I had only one plan in my mind. 

Give my children one final Christmas as a family and then get the hell out. 

It was the longest five weeks of my life.

I moved out on New Year's Eve Day. 
While he was at work.

My kids had a great Christmas, but they don't remember it at all. I stayed for the wrong reasons. 

I left for the right reasons.
I do not regret leaving. 
Trusting my instincts usually works for me. 
This time I was simply lucky that ignoring them did not cause more damage.

As this holiday season approaches, if you find yourself living in a nightmare and your instinct is telling you to get out but you don't want to ruin your kids Christmas, please think about how it might ruin all of their future holidays if you are killed or badly hurt. Do you want them to spend every year remembering the time Mom spent Thanksgiving in the ER getting stitches? Or the Christmas you accidentally fell down the stairs? That haunted look in their eyes, only you can fix it. Talk to your kids. They may know more than you think they do. And they may be willing to give up a lot for safety. The young ones won't remember or know what they are missing and the older ones may understand why. Give them a chance.  

But most important listen to what your own instinct is telling you. If you KNOW you need to get out, then do it. Take your kids and leave. 
Run now. 
Because no one can be as lucky as I was. My own luck changed very quickly once he realized I was serious about not reconciling.
Do not leave your kids with regrets saying "If only.." 

-1-800-799-7233 is the number to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. 
This is the website...

Or call someone local. Just call someone. Or contact me and I will reach out and find a local someone in your area if you cannot do a search on your computer. Just comment on the blog with the city you are in and I will comment back in the same way with info for a local hotline. 

 Oh..I never really did explain my nightmare did I? The reason for our huge fight that Thanksgiving night?

I thought he could have helped more so I wasn't stuck in the kitchen alone. He thought it was my job. I thought he was an idiot. 
Ding Ding...Ring the bell, because the fight was on. 
It was a stupid reason. They always are, but it happened. Get out while you can. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Some things that should be Cold Are Warm and things that should be Warm are Cold!


Hmmm...First we discover the 4 y/o turned OFF the extra refrigerator. Lost several pounds of chicken, a couple gallons of milk and lots of frozen veggies. Plus all the yogurt and extra dairy we just bought for the month. 

Then we finally decided it was chilly enough to turn on our heater. 

 Hot air is suppose to be coming out of the vents, right? 

I know back in April when we bought the place there was hot air shooting out at me when it was tested. But today, when it is actually just chilly enough for us to want it.... 

Not even a hint of that "Click" sound that heralds heat. I tried dialing up the numbers.
 No joy.
 No heat, either.

And Mr.Snarky is getting worried that Abe Vigoda is going to die because its too cold. So Abe Vigoda gets a light on his tank until we can get a tank heater. 

We make a call to the home repair people and had a fun little guy come out and try to figure out a way to get up on our roof. He was soon Spider-Man-ing his way up only to discover that the problem was internal. 

As in ...inside the house.
(The call is coming from inside the house! Get out now!) 

What we learned was that there is a small connector between the two wires that hook up the thermostat. One is for the air conditioner and one is for the heater. You have to have the connector to jump the wires. 

Or some other technical term Spidey used to describe what was wrong with our box. 

The thermostat box that Mr.Snarky had replaced a few months ago. 

He swears there was no little connector thingy. Or maybe he dropped it. He isn't sure. 

I am sure it cost us 75 bucks for the little connector thingy. Oh and a new thermostat box to replace the messed up one we had. 

Abe Vigoda is fine. 

Just in case you are wondering, Abe is Mr.Snarky's Beta fish. He is very attached to Abe. 


Do As I Say Not As I Do! Not In My Household!

Imitation is the greatest Form of Flattery 
That is what I was taught?
Then my mom told me 
Do as I say not as I do.
Then I had kids and figured out what she meant.
But I disagree.
It should be do as I do, because I do right but I am also a GROWN UP! So I do grown up things that you cannot indulge in yet. So get over it!

Momo +BlogHer gave me the inspiration for this blog over at twitter. She asked the question "Has any one ever given you a few cents in a check-out line, or let you go ahead of them?" 

I answered that I did those things and while my monsters were younger I made sure to do them because

 Lessons Are Learned Everywhere! 

This was something I tried to remember when I was with my kids. That they watched me and learned from everything I did. 
Did I sit a particular way on the couch while watching TV? 
"R2" copied the way I curled my legs under me.

 "Skode" turned his head a certain way when asked a question he wanted to avoid. 

But the one that really got me was when my two year old started repeating my then favorite expression of exasperation...Along with the perfect pitch and attitude she managed to duplicate my facial expression.

What did I say? It has been co-opted by the Internet and text messaging short hand so it has lost meaning but way back then, it was my go to shout whenever the monsters were driving me to distraction.


The first time I heard her say it I was standing with a group of neighborhood parents while our children ran around playing in the street in front of our house. 

There she stood, wearing only a t-shirt and a pull-up,(we were potty training) and her older brother wouldn't let her ride on the bike with him. "R2" was eight and usually good with her but he wanted to go fast. She wanted him to play now. She walked up to me, said I want to ride. I said no, go play with your own stuff.

She bounced her head said OH MY GOD! and stalked off huffing and puffing.

The rest of the parents looked at me and pointed their fingers and covered their mouths to muffle the sound of laughter. Everyone recognized exactly where she had picked that up from. Not my best moment.

But I also taught that same kid and her brothers to feed those with less. To give to people in need. We donated every year. We worked with the disabled. They grew up with compassion, empathy and sympathy being part of their lives. I made sure they knew there was a difference. 

Making these things part of your kids lives doesn't require you to do anything spectacular.

  • Be kind to strangers
  • Stand up for the underdog
  • Teach the Golden Rule
Do unto to others as you would have them Do to you! 

  • Follow the Golden Rule 
  • Be honest, even if its hard.
  • Accept that sometimes your kid won't like the lesson
  • Accept that sometimes YOU won't like having to teach it
My monsters learned early that they couldn't really BE monsters even if they were allowed to act that way at home. They were taught manners. 
  1. Please
  2. Thank you
  3. Your welcome
  4. Yes and No ma'am
  5. May I..
They've helped the elderly with their groceries, people in wheelchairs reach things on the high shelves and they have even offered up their own pennies for someone short of cash while shopping. I am proud of the monsters I raised. They are generous and giving of themselves. 

They are also still trying to find themselves in today's world and they are making mistakes along the way. But they don't try to hurt people. They are growing into people that I hope will make me proud of them as parents. We shall soon see.