Saturday, July 21, 2012

Matter of fact, I am THAT kind of parent

I can't keep up with my reading right now.  Between books for the summer reading program at the library, my 2 monthly magazines, my daily newspaper, and whatnot, I'm getting behind.  I also read lots of articles on-line, especially information that comes to me in daily email blurbs.  One email subscription that I have is for, which I've found to be very useful, and generally, I agree with it.  Earlier this week, however, it disappointed me. dropped the ball on this one, in my ever so humble parenting opinion.

I as reading an article on anonymous advice, secret tips if you will, from various professionals that parents come into direct contact with--dentists, pediatricians, teachers, and so on.  And I have a very specific problem with the "helpful hint" shared by the day care worker.  To be clear, though, we are doing our very best to avoid putting our children in group day care (mostly for the reason that I have an issue with).  Because of this, I feel like my griping is not hypocritical, and reading this professional's words reminded me that yes, I am definitely that parent.

Specifically, the day care provider focused on "specialness."  In other words (and I'm paraphrasing this), don't ask that your child be special; your child should eat what everyone eats, sleep when everyone sleeps, and play when everyone plays.  This is all well and good for an adult, but can we really ask toddlers and babies to be on someone else's schedule?  I have specific issues with that! 

My niece was not allowed to eat eggs from about age 1 or 2 to age 7.  And she's supposed to eat what everyone else is eating?  Toddlers need different amounts of sleep, but they should all be disciplined enough to be expected to sleep from exactly 1-3 every day, even if they're young enough that they still need 2 naps?  We have largely revamped our eating habits, utilizing organic produce as much as possible, limiting fats & sugars, incorporating whole grains, etc., yet my child is expected to eat pretzels and drink some concoction that is 10% juice for snacks because it's cheap and kids like it?  We eat fruit or yogurt for snacks and juice is very limited and never a "juice cocktail" let alone fruit punch. 

I realize while I'm writing this that it comes across very snobbish and wholier-than-thou.  But it's something that is inherently important to us, and it bothers me that people whom I'm entrusting to provide a healthy environment for my child for several hours, M-F are saying "We know better than you what your child needs and what is best for them.  Don't be a parent to your child between the hours of 8-5."  I get it that it can likely be something of a headache if different parents have different expectations for their child, but they also get paid a whole lot.  I feel like a parent should have some latitude with controlling the needs of their child within reason. Parents and day care providers really can work together rather than on separate planes. 

I get it that if my kid doesn't eat the pretzels and fruit punch in favor of strawberries and water that there's some level of "I'm different from you" going on, but honestly, is that such a problem?  Kids are different; why force them into sameness through things like what they eat?  And, I abhor the thought of my kid being fed gross processed foods because they are cheap, easy, and largely lacking nutrients in favor of unnecessary fats.  I provide the food for my kid, so how is that a problem?  I refuse to be ashamed of being that kind of parent.   

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


As I'm sure that we all do, once in a while I find myself in a weird mental place.  It's not deja vu exactly, but more like a feeling that something is just OFF from the norm.  Seven years removed from college, I still feel mightily connected to that place, and a few weeks ago, a quick stop in town (at the Subway nonetheless) brought on that surreal feeling. 

Our wanderings in the summer take us directly through that little town often, and we have always had family and/or a friend who lives there that have drawn us back to our old stomping grounds.  The church where we were married is right on the main highway that we travel, and it's hard not to feel nostalgic driving by on a sunny day.  The campus is small and just a quick detour off of the main road.  My first apartment is just across the street from campus so that if you drive by one, you drive by both.  Also, I continued to play for the college orchestra for 2 years after I graduated.  And, if you skim through my Facebook friends list, the predominant group is made up of college friends and with whom professors I still keep in touch.  In short, I still have a lot of ties to that place, and all of them are centered around me as a not yet married early 20-something English major who spent a lot of time in the music department and Admissions office.  Therefore, escorting a bubbly 3-year old and sleepy infant out of the local Subway (where, again, I formed some GOOD TIMES memories--did you know that sometimes you can buy just the bread if a random Subway bread hankering hits during a game of euchre on a cold and rainy day?) just didn't seem quite right.

Shlepping my kids around any other Subway in the continental United States is perfectly natural in my mind.  It's one of Abby's go-to spots when given the dinner choice (she knows the places that deliver the chocolate milk).  And it's a relatively cheap way to feed everyone when you're on the road during a meal time.  But working the maternal angle at the Subway in North Manchester, now that's not quite the same.  It's not the way that it's always been.  It's weird, unnatural.  Surreal.     

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Color me caramel

I don't have a lot of solitary "me" time nowadays, so showers have become some valuable think time lately.  You want to know what I think about, right??  Caramel. 

I'm not kidding.  Really.  For whatever reason, I dwell a lot on caramel things.  Actually, I think I know why; every day involves me thinking about if I can justify some luxurious little treat.  Starbucks day?  A quick trip to Dunkin' Donuts?  And, there's always the flavor of the day at Culvers to consider.  Here's my secret: THIS is my reason for my love-o-the caramel. 

Salted double caramel pecan.  I do love me some of that creamy, freezy delish-ness. 

I think that there were other things to write about, things that had slightly more validity than writing about caramel ad naseum.  But I'm not in the shower right now (trust you me), so my ME time thought process isn't with me at the moment.  And unfortunately, I've just increased my current caramel craving, which is never at 0.