; window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-6252405-9'); In the Mommy Trenches: January 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Women Who Lie

Do you lie to your husband? 

According to reality television a lot of women do.  Mainly about how much money they spend.  Apparently, they'll go to such lengths as hiding bank statements and hiding their booty in the back of the closet and then bring it out months later at which time they could honestly say they've had it for a while.
The more that I thought about it, the more I was confounded by it.  It just doesn't occur to me as being a realistic option to hide my spending by lying to my husband.  Of course being of an analytic nature, I had to disassemble why that is and I realized there are two main reasons why lying wouldn't work for me:
#1.  There is no way I could hide the fact that I'd spent the money.  He looks at our accounts more than I do and with online banking there's no way I could even hide the bills from him.

#2.  I suck at lying. No, I really suck at it.  I instantly feel guilty and you can pretty much read me like a book when I'm lying and if I do get away with a lie.. I don't feel good about it.   
I just blew $30.00 on some yoga mats online and while I hemmed and hawed over buying it because money's tight, I really wanted the mats to go with the DVDS I was getting (with a gift certificate) because it's our plan to get fit.  I knew he probably wasn't going to be pleased.  Did I lie to him or fudge the truth about how much the mats really cost?  No. I may have wanted to but the price tag was staring me in the face and I had to be honest.  In a sense, I am lucky.  The way our finances are set, I really have no option to lie if I wanted to or not. 

Still this got me thinking about women who do lie to their husbands. I don't get it.  After all, if you think your husband is going to blow a gasket because you just blew $100.00 bucks at the mall,  call me crazy here, but maybe there's a reason why you shouldn't be spending the money. 

Of course, I'm not a saint and I'm sure there have been times when I've been guilty by omission and I definitely know there have been plenty of times when I've downplayed my involvement in certain items getting broken around our house. Just as I am sure I don't tally up my blogging hours in a day for him to peruse or confess that I ate the rest of the candy I supposedly shared with the kids.

Which is where we come to white lies and how we define what constitutes a serious lie and a harmless (white) lie.  Depending on who you are and your background, that can vary a lot. 

So what it came down to for me was that I realized that lying about those types of things isn't okay in my book.  I want a marriage based on respect and trust. I would NOT want my husband to lie to me about those things.  He has, in fact, lied by omission to me recently and it hurt .... a lot.  There wasn't a thing I could have done differently at the time but it would have been nice to have been involved in the decision rather than him thinking he'll take the money and put it back before I know it's gone. 
I believe lying is usually done to save face. To save ourselves from blame, culpability, consequences etc.  But what about the people we lie to?  Months later, I'm still resentful.  It's hard not to play the blame game... if only we had that money we'd be able to buy a new washing machine or I'd have some money to invest in that home business I wanted to start.   

While you may think it's no big deal for you to lie about what you spend, think about it from their perspective.  If they know and/or are constantly finding out that you are over spending the budget etc they are already feeling angry and resentful and one day it will catch up with you.  The couples I see on these reality shows like Til Debt Do Us Part that are struggling financially are all on the verge of divorce, especially if one of them is being deceitful. 

I don't really think that's worth a new pair of Jimmy Choos.

Do you lie to your husband?  If so, do you think it's affecting your marriage negatively?

*Please note that this post is not intended in any way to be judgemental on how others live their lives but merely hopes to provide a platform for discussion concerning the issue of lying.* 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Extra Extra Wife Takes Public Revenge

Wife vs. Husband

Judge:  It says here that the Plaintiff is suing the Defendant for damages due to a wilful failure to complete projects in an efficient and timely manner.

Plaintiff Counsel:  Yes sir.

Judge:  Present your case

Plaintiff counsel:

Well you see, your Honour, it is the plaintiff's position that upon their marriage the wife and husband entered into a contract to love, cherish and help one another through life's journey.  It is furthermore the Plaintiff's position that the Defendant is failing to uphold his end of the bargain by failing to complete projects he begins in a timely fashion and by failing to clean up after himself.  I will begin by cross examining the Defendant.

Plaintiff counsel:  "Do you recall the project called Operation VHS Reduction?"
Defendant: "Yes"
PC:  "Do you recall when you began OperationVHS Reduction?"
Defendant: "Um.. sometime during first week of January 2011"
PC:  "Would you please look at this photo of a box VHS"

PC:  "Can you tell me where that box of VHS is sitting as of 10:30 a.m. this morning?"
Defendant:  "In the family room."

PC:  "Thank you.  Perhaps you'll recall Operation Shower Head/Thermostat.  Can you tell me when you purchased these items?"
Defendant:  "Sure, January 8th"
PC:  "That's right and can you tell me on what day the showerhead was finally installed after several reminders from your wife?"
Defendant mumbles. "January 23rd".
PC:  "And can you tell me what you did with the old showerhead that you removed?"
Defendant:  "No idea"
PC:  "You left it on the kitchen counter"
Defendant: "Yeah but I put it away after work the next day"
PC: "Only after your wife reminded you."

PC:  Your honour, we have many more such examples and it is only owing the plaintiff's reluctance to completely embarrass her spouse that we are refraining to expose such failed Operations such as Garage Clean-Up, Gutter Gunk Removal and Retaining Wall Assent.  However, it was only after today's events that the plaintiff has finally reached her breaking point and has elected to expose all in the: 

Operation Paint Trim

PC to Defendant  " Is it not true that you stayed home on January 16th while your wife and children went out so you could paint the trim?

Defendant: "Why yes I did and I did a fantastic job if I do say so myself. My wife was very pleased with the results."

PC:  "And did you clean up your brushes and put your paint supplies away?"

Defendant (sheepish): "Uh no. I planned to continue painting the trim so I put a baggie over the brush and tucked it and the paint supplies into a corner of our kitchen."

PC:  "Are you or are you not aware of your 3 year old son's penchant for getting into things and drawing all over the furniture and house.  Have you not personally witnesses the great Felt Debacle of 2010 in which all the upstair carpets had to be cleaned?"

Defendant:  "um yes."

Your Honour, May I present the final evidence of my client at what their son accomplished while she was having her shower this morning.  Supervised, I might point out by the five year old daughter who was home sick today.

Judge:  I find in favour of the Plaintiff.  The Plaintiff is entitled, at the very least, to a day at the Spa.  As for the Defendant, for his flagrant irresponsibility I sentence him to 10 days hard labour to be supervised by the Plaintiff. 

(This is meant to be a tongue in cheek poke at my husband.  I recognize that he works very hard at his job providing for his family and doesn't always feel like working around the house when he's off. And I should mention he's not the only one that procrastinates around here.) 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Knowing When to Say Enough is Enough

I've been reading quite a few blogs lately of larger families and it's left me feeling a little sad.  Now I have three and most days I am quite happy with my three and there are the rare days I wish I had none.  Still, there is this little part of me that wishes we had at least one more.  I miss my babies. 

I know it's completely crazy, although not according to my girlfriend, because we are past so many of those difficult stages like breastfeeding, diapers, bottles, naps, sleepless nights, the terrible twos.  My youngest will be four this April and in another year he'll be going to full day kindergarten and I'll finally manage to get some free time. We've managed to scrape through the last 7 years financially but reached the point where we really need an income from me again.

When I was in my teens there was this lady at church whom I admired.  She had four children and every Sunday, she would arrive (usually by bike) at Church with her four children in tow.  She wore dresses and was lovely.  My mother never wore dresses. Not that that is a negative reflection on my mom, but I loved dresses as a child and for some reason mother's who wore dresses and didn't work awed me.  I'm not sure why I thought this woman was the epitome of motherhood but I always swore that I was going to have four children when I grew up. 

Well, life doesn't happen the way we plan because I also planned to be married and have those babies by the time I was 24.  Not an unreasonable plan I suppose except that Mr. Right didn't show up until later.  I was 28 when I got married, we decided to wait 2 years before getting pregnant only two years turned into 4 due to a bout of infertility.   My first baby was at 32. 

Fast forward 8 years. My baby will be 8 this summer and I'm turning 40 in September.

Not a significant reason in and of itself to stop having children. I'm know lots of women do have babies later in life. I don't judge those women.  If I hadn't had children already I'd wouldn't even bat an eye at my age.  I'm just not sure if it'd be the right choice for me now.   I'm heavier than I have ever been, I have diabetes, high blood pressure and truth be told, I'm not enjoying motherhood as much as I thought I was going to. 

I love my kids, I love the creativity of them, their joy and their exuberance and yet... I hate the mess, the noise, the cleaning, the whining, the crying, the constant demand for things, the monotony of it all.  One moment I'm cross and impatient with them, the next moment I'm in awe at how adorable they are and most days I yell like a banshee.  It's disheartening to realize that you're not the mother you'd hoped to be no matter how hard you try.

Granted the last 4 years have been extremely stressful for us and that doesn't help my outlook.  My last baby was a very difficult birth, we almost lost him and me.  So no wonder I'd be reluctant never mind the naysayers in my family.  My husband looks at it like our family life is finally coming together for us to be able to do things.  Just think of the money we save on diapers.  My mother was less than thrilled when we got pregnant with our third and has made more than one comment about hubs getting fixed.  She loves her grandchildren but being a wise woman, knows how hard it is physically and financially draining it would be for us to have more children.  I think she wants me to have a well rounded life.  I'm not sure.  The other part of me thinks that she sees my stress and thinks I'm not coping well. 

Most of the time I'm okay with the thought of not having any more babies.  Just every once in a while, I get this little ache for a baby.  As crazy as it is, if my period is irregular, I secretly hope that I'm pregnant and can imagine all sorts of little scenarios of telling hubs and family. 

I'm envious of those friends I know that are absolutely adamant about only wanting two. When I was struggling with infertility, my friend once told me very firmly that two was enough for them and all I could say to her that for me at that moment not having had one yet, I couldn't imagine not wanting to have more.  

So I wonder when it's going to change.  At 40, 45 or will I hit 50 and wish we'd risked it after all?

How did you decide when to stop having babies?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Waste-Free Lunches - Review and Giveaway

Courtesy of Easylunchboxes

You may recall my post "It's Not Easy Going Green".  Well sometimes it pays to share our troubles because Kelly Lester emailed and offered me a possible solution:   check out the Easy Lunch Box system.  As a matter a fact, I had already checked out this system and found it to be the most affordable system out there.  The problem was that it's in the U.S. and what with being Canadian and all you're just never sure how much duty and/or taxes you might get hit with once that delightful parcel arrives.  Not to mention duty, taxes and shipping all help drive up the costs. 

So when Kelly asked me of I'd like to do a review, I jumped at the chance.  Here's what Kelly has to say about her Easy Lunchbox System:

"Born out of my response to unhealthy school lunch programs, EasyLunchboxes.com started from the desire to send my 3 kids to school with a nutritious meal, using little to no wasteful packaging. But the EasyLunchbox System is not just for kids. Adult size meals fit perfectly too.

The EasyLunchbox System 's design, functionality, and low price has quickly made it a top choice among green lunch box solutions since it came on the market in December, 2009. Named a 'top 5 Eco-Friendly Mommy Must Have" by Parents Ask, the EasyLunchbox System has been rated TOP CHOICE by many independent reviewers. Read their reviews HERE .

My clever solution to the lunch-packing chore is the simple two piece EasyLunchbox container: The bottom has three compartments to hold an entree or sandwich and two side dishes. The fitted lid (which comes in 4 colors) covers all three compartments at once. No more squished sandwiches, mismatched plastic container pieces to keep track of (matching up all those bottoms and lids was the thing that drove me nuts!) or wasteful baggies. Fits perfectly inside the roomy EasyLunchbox custom carrying bag. And there is still plenty of room to throw in an extra snack or two, whole fruit, perhaps a thermos of soup, drink and ice block. Flexibility is key, and since so many different things can fit, no matter what menu you choose to include, it packs easily and quickly. It's amazing how much faster, greener, & easier lunch box packing is with the EasyLunchbox system.

FDA approved. No BPA, phthalates, lead, vinyl, or PVC. Safe for dishwasher, freezer, and microwave.

Our Cooler Bags are made of the highest quality 300D Polyester for premium durability and toughness. Vinyl free (PVC free) & lead free, with an FDA compliant PEVA lining.
The Lunch Bags come in a choice of five colours.  The Lunch Bags and Food Containers are purchased separately and it is recommended that you buy both.

When I first received the lunch box system I was impressed with how sturdy the food containers were.  The lids fit nicely together and were easy to pop open.  The Lunch Bag too was sturdy and a nice size as well as very colourful (we chose purple).  My girls were thrilled at the thought that one of them was going to have a new lunch bag to take to school

At first I was hesitant to let the oldest take this lunch box system to school.  She, is after all the one I've been having problems with returning her containers.  You know how it is, you get something new and you're reluctant to let it go.  But then I came to my senses and realized, duh this is the child I need to try it out on.

So that's what I did and so far it's been an entire week and E has remembered to bring home her lunch box every day.  It has even motivated her to bring her water bottle home more often.  The reason being is that there is only ONE container to look after and due to it's size, there's no way she's going to tuck that in her pocket and take it outside with her at recess. Nope, she's going to take out her snack and put it in her pocket. 

I didn't want to leave my younger daughter out so I checked to see if the food container would fit in her lunch box and sure enough it did.  Since you get four food containers in a pack, it makes sharing easy. 

I should mention that the lids are not spill proof. They are made to be easily opened by small hands. Which is why it's recommended to use these food containers with the corresponding lunch boxes. The containers fit snuggly in the bag in an upright position and unless the bag is tipped upside down the containers stay upright.  So I can see how liquids could spill if you put these containers in regular lunch bags which are meant to be carried sideways. 

I really do love this product and it's taken me from ziplock baggies to one step packing eco-friendly lunch boxes.  I also should mention that these containers stack really well in the cupboard.  When not in use they nest together with the four lids clicking together and sitting on top. 

Possibly the best news for me is that there is a now a distributor in Canada (no more duty) and so I will definitely be buying a lunch bag for my other daughter and for my son when he starts school.  

Open to US and Canadian Residents
Please do not enter this giveaway if you have won or received free product
from EasyLunchboxes within the past 3 months.

Enter to win your own Easy Lunchbox System. 
 Winner receives 1 Lunchbag (colour of your choice) and 1 set of Food Containers

Contest Ends February 4th

Mandatory Entry

Visit Easy Lunchboxes.Com and come back here and leave a comment about something you've learned from their site.  Must be done before any other entries.

Extra Entries

Disclosure: I received one lunchbag and one set of food containers in order to conduct my review.  In no other way was I compensated and the reviews on this product do honestly and accurately represent my experience with this product. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Sick Day and I've Cracked

It's a sick day.  I.E. my youngest was up in the night sick. First at 2:30 a.m. to announce he threw up in his bed and then again at 4:30 with a raging fever.  The fever had been sweeping through his preschool and I had hoped that we had missed it.  Of course, with my poor bubba feeling so crappy there wasn't much I could do but get up with him, feed him advil and put on Treehouse.  Nothing like a little t.v. to distract them from their woes. It gave the medicine a chance to kick in and by 5:30 we were back in bed.  Hubs never even cracked an eye open.  It figures. Worse because I've been playing Poppit on Pogo lately, all I could see when I closed my eyes was perfect coloured ballon formations that I popped. I hate nights like these.

Of course, I had a hard time falling back asleep and 7:00 came way too fast.  Now is when I would have appreciated the foresight of having made the girls' lunch the night before because while Hubs takes the girls to school, I couldn't leave him to shower, make lunches, breakfasts and hustle the girls along all by himself.  Especially since he doesn't like dragging himself out of bed until the last possible minute. 

O slept in until 9:44 and if I was smart I would have climbed back into bed for an hour but I figured he'd be up any minute.  He seems perky and fever free so far so hopefully he got a short bout of it and I hope too, that frequent hand washing will keep me from getting it.

So it must be the lack of sleep and generally all fuzziness I feel that had me pouring apple juice into O's cereal this morning and that's when I said.. "I've cracked, completely cracked."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Anxiety or Control? Advice... Follow Up

Thanks to everyone who comment and/or left advice regarding O's separation issues.  We left O with his Grandma on Thursday night and he cried for like two minutes.  It's funny but it was his big sister who told their grandma just to leave him alone and he will get over it.  Sure enough, he did.

So on Friday, armed with this information I presented it to the preschool teachers and when they were ready (i.e. done greeting the other children etc) I left O.  I just went down the hall and waited to make sure he settled.  He cried and screamed for ten minutes.  Phew, so I finally left. He was perfectly fine when I picked him and was proud to tell his dad and his grandparents that he went to school without mom.  Of course, we had a whole weekend in between the next class.

So this a.m., we did the same thing only this time he knew what was coming and was very clingy and held on to me for dear life.  He finally let go and I left.  This time, instead of turning right and heading down the hallway to wait, I decided to turn left and just exit the outside door and wait there.  So I did.  After a couple of minutes he stopped crying and so I left.  Only this preschool has glass patio door facing the parking lot.  Now he has never done this but when I was crossing to get to my van, I looked back and who's standing in the middle of the window looking out but O.  CRAP.  So I duck my head down and hurry to the van where I hop in and drop down. I peek over.. he's still looking the window.  Double crap.  So I hunker down with my cell phone in hand for a few minutes until I finally look up and see that he's gone.  So I'm looking over making sure he's not going to see me leave when the teacher sees me and waves bye.  Now I felt like a complete tool for two reasons.... a) Hopefully she doesn't think I was being completely dense sitting there where he could see me and b) I hope she didn't see me trying to flatten myself in my van like a twit. 

Anyways, I'm hoping this will be the last day of this but we shall see.  I appreciated hearing that this is normal for his age.  It helps to know that even though it's driving me crazy.  At least I feel loved. ;)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Anxiety or Control? I Need Advice

Here's the story.  My 3 year old son seems to be suffering from separation anxiety.  It started in the beginning of December.  Suddenly he didn't want to go to preschool and he refused to let me leave him there.  This after three months of him being just fine.  It goes farther.  If I step into the garage to throw something away, he's immediately behind me checking where I went.  If I go upstairs, same thing. 

With school, I figured he wasn't feeling well that day, he when to his Christmas party but I was there with him. I thought he'd be ready to go back after the break.  Not so. 

If anything he got worse.  I can't gas up my van without him freaking out.  The last time I literally had to roll his window down while I pumped the gas so he could see me, even though I stand right next to his window practically the whole time.  The only time he didn't cry was when that window open.

I have had to sit throw two entire sessions of preschool in an attempt to get him resocialize there.  Once he's assured that I'm not going to leave, he plays and has lots of fun and has no problem interacting with the teachers. 

I thought we were making some progress though until this morning when I went to have my shower.  Now he was fine with me being by myself until he was all ready. I had come out, wrapped in a towel to help him with his pants and told he could sit on my bed and look at a book until I finished getting ready.  I went back in my bathroom and closed the door.  Not five minutes later, he pushes the door open and I tell him it needs to be closed so mommy can have some privacy.  I close the door and he proceeds to cry and bang the door saying he needs me.  I told him that if he could not stop crying then he'd have to leave my room completely.  I can't stand listening to crying, it absolutely drives me up a wall, pushes all my buttons etc.  So finally, I make him leave my room and close the door.  Of course, he gets more mad and cries louder. 

Once I was finished getting ready, I went back into my bedroom and told him that I wasn't opening the door until he stopped crying.  Finally, he stopped.  We're talking like 15 minutes.  I go out and he's all snotty and sniffling and giving me the whole sad eyes thing.  At this point I'm not feeling very sympathetic.  It's not like it's the first time I've had a shower, it's not like it's the first time I've asked for privacy.  He can hear me the whole time. 

My mother tells me I'm allowing him to control me, the preschool teacher is concerned about retraumatizing him if I just leave him there to cry, and my husband tells me to cancel preschool since it's a complete waste of my time sitting there.  My mother has suggested that if he says he doesn't want to stay at school then I take him home and not play with him so he will realize what he's missing out on.  That's not going to work because he wants to go home.  He's perfectly satisfied being at home. The last time I had to stay at preschool, he wanted to go out to his grandparents after and I told him we couldn't since mommy had to stay at school with him, I needed to do work that afternoon.  He came home, I worked on the computer and he entertained himself.

The only thing that I have done that may possibly contributed to this was that when I took E to her jazz class, I'd leave O and J in the van watching a movie while I walked E to her school. Now, I parked across the street from the school so that the van has completely visibility of the front door of the school.  I walked E across the road, helped her switch her shoes, outside, and saw her through the door and walked back. I had done this the once a week since before October.  The last time I did that at the end of November he freaked out and managed to un lock the doors and was crying and yelling for me.  I think what had happened is that another parent chose to stop in the middle of the road (instead of parking) and just let the kid hop out.  This may have blocked him from seeing me for those moments.  Still, he did go to preschool after this event at least three or four classes.  Because of his anxiety the very next time, I gave up on leaving them in the van and took all three in with me which is a complete pain in the ass.

Seriously, I don't know what to do.  He has preschool again tomorrow and I do not feel like sitting through the whole class again.  I'm really behind on my bookkeeping work. With his sisters in school all day, I really think it's important for him to get some socialization with other kids especially other boys.

Do you think it's severe separation anxiety or he's really trying to control me?  Any suggestions on dealing with this?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Devious, Ingenious or Just Really lazy?

I have a love/hate relationship with my dishwasher.  I love to fill it and run it, I hate emptying it and putting the dishes away (especially the silverware).

I have gripped for the last two years at my husband for loading up and turning on the dishwasher in the evening and leaving me with a full dishwasher first thing in the morning.  Especially if I could spy empty spots.  All I wanted was just a wee bit room for a couple of bowls and plates so I didn't have to start my morning emptying the darn thing.  He, of course, thought I was being typically female and ignored my repeated requests not to run the machine unless it was absolutely jam packed full. Now that I don't work evenings anymore and hence I'm loading the dishwasher more often than not after dinner, that particular problem has simply gone away.

Only now it seems that as I wait for the dishwasher to reach maximum capacity, I find it doesn't get turned on until after lunch with the result of having a full dishwasher that needs to be emptied right before supper. Can you see where I am going with this?  Hubby has, on occasion, opened the dishwasher after supper and groaned.  Paybacks a b***, right?  Not that it's happening because of that but still. 

So rather than be greeted with my hubby's groans and silent criticism I either try to unload the dishwasher while I'm waiting for dinner to cook or... and this is the devious part (finally) I take just enough dirty dishes out of the dishwasher and wash them by hand. 

So am I being devious, ingenious or just really lazy? 

What's your pet peeve household chore?

Friday, January 7, 2011

$35 CSN Stores Gift Certificate

I am thrilled to announce that CSN Stores has offered one of my lucky readers a $35.00 Gift Certificate to any one of their over 200 online stores.  From stylish Modern dining room furniture to cute baby gear to groovy cookware, you are guaranteed to find something that you will love! 

I know I did.  Last year I was offered the opportunity to review something from CSN Stores and after much drooling over the keyboard I finally chose a casserole dish by Rachael Ray.  See my review here.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Am a Culinary Genius

Or at least that's what I want my husband to think.  Why else would I make sure I tucked away that recipe or closed down Allrecipes before he gets home while trying to memorize the last few directions.  If I do happen to admit that I *gasp* read a recipe it was you know so I could start from there and "tweak" it with the end result being 100% completely me.  If it tasted like crap then it was the recipe's fault, of course.

Sure I've had some accidental discoveries.  One of the things I've appreciated as I've gotten older is the plethora of cooking shows out there.  After all, the extent of my cooking training involved one semester in home ec where I learned to make an upside down pineapple cake. I don't know but I've never liked it.

My mother belonged to the "if you want something done right, do it yourself" mentality of cooking so I can honestly say that in the 18 years I lived with her I learned nothing from her cooking wise.  Oddly enough, it was my non-cooking father who taught me how to make a white sauce when I was 20.  And when I tell you non-cooking, I mean non-cooking.  The man is old school European.  Men don't cook, that's women's work.  How he knew how to make a white sauce, I'll never know. 

So I am proud of what I have managed to learn "on the job" so to speak over the last ten years.  Not that I can do much experimenting with the 3 picky taste testers in our home. 

But why the deception?  Maybe it comes down to the whole being a SAHM thing.  For some reason I feel like I have to show that my time at home is not completely wasted. I know, I know, my kids are the most important thing I can "waste" my time on but still, I'm always craving that validation.  Why else would I itemize for him all the things I've acomplished that day. 

Of course I fail to mention the time online or how many pages I read of my new book or hey.. what new book, I don't have a new book. Oh that book, I already read that book... twice.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What We're Reading Now

I love to read and love even more passing that love on to my children. There are so many books that I've just been dying to share with my kids: Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables etc.

In fact I've been pretty impatient waiting for E to get old enough. Two years ago I tried Anne of Green Gables but she found it boring without pictures. So imagine to my surprise when she stumbled on an old copy of My Side of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  (Sorry to the School library for not returning it umpteen years ago)  Not only was she not bored but extremely interested in learning all about this boy surviving in the wild. While I may have paraphrased some of the scenic descriptions and skipped overly descriptive passages so as to not lose her interest, she was pretty eager to hear of his adventures.  Even I enjoyed rereading this book. 

From there we moved on to Little House on the Prairie. She just loved hearing about the olden days and how they built their homes and survived on the land.  Although I do find it a little difficult explaining to her about the Indians and all the fighting and prejudices that went on.  She's a little young to grasp why people do what they do and I'm half afraid that the next time she sees a  First Nation person, she's liable to pop out with something insensitive like "Hey, did you know white people shot Indians and Indians scalped people?"  Okay.. I didn't use the word scalped and I'm pretty sure that didn't come up in the book but you get the drift. I don't believe we should edit our history because it is what it is and we need to learn from it but still, when it comes to explaining the old west to your 7 year old, you end up on shaky ground.  Teaching a child about being politically correct and sensitivity is a mighty long road full of pitfalls and traps.  It's hard enough trying to get them not to stare at someone with a disability and to NEVER point out the fat or hairy person.  (Thanks to my nephew who embarrassed my 16 year old self at the waterslides by repeatedly referring to the hair man behind us as a gorilla).

But I digress.  I think she may still be too young to get into the Anne of Green Gables series but we're getting close. I know she will love them after all her mother rereads the whole series about once a year.

Thanks to the school library we've been introduced to the Magic Rainbow Fairies series by Daisy Meadows. We started with the Rainbow set and she liked them so much I bought her the Rainbow Party Fairies set. They are simple yet sweet stories with just enough black and white sketches of the fairies and the two girls helping them to keep E interested.

Best of all I find them to be interesting enough for me so that it doesn't put me to sleep while reading them. Okay, they're not so great I'm going to run off and read the rest of story before she gets home from school but it doesn't make me yawn.  Plus it gives us plenty of one on one time every day. No matter what happened during the day, good or bad, bedtime reading routines allows us to reconnect.  It's like wiping clear the slate for the day.  Especially when we've had a "bad" day.  When I read to her I'm letting her know that I still love her no matter what and to quote Martha Stewart... "It's a good Thing"

***please note this wasn't a book reading recommendation and not sponsored in any way but merely a reflection on reading progression with my oldest. ****