My Name is Lauri…and I’m a Bossypants

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WARNING: The post you are about to read may contain offensive language that is unsuitable for the weak-kneed. One might need to put on their Big Boy/Girl Bossypants and check their fears at the door.

I have often heard the expression, “Show me someone who doesn’t mind losing, and I’ll show you a loser.” Show me a man/woman who isn’t bossy and I’ll show you a doormat that gets taken advantage of throughout his/her life. You won’t see a competent leader, that is for certain. You will see a man/woman who helps to promote those who are bossier to higher status while he/she meekly recedes to the shadows. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should ever intentionally try to squash someone to benefit yourself or improve your position. If so, you simply have a callous, self-interested, egocentric and heartless nature; you aren’t being bossy. “Bossy” knows what direction he/she needs to go and confidently deems it unnecessary to coddle any teammates.

Currently, there is a discussion being promoted by the Left and Hollywood about getting rid of the word “bossy”. They base their argument on the idea that the word has a negative connotation towards women. Since when has the word only referred to women? Let’s see…I have been called a myriad of names, some of which I won’t put here in case my daughter reads this. “Moptop”, “Fuzzytop”, “Dorky”, “Quirky”, are just a few that quickly come to mind. You can only imagine the blonde jokes to which I have been subjected. Some apply, some don’t and others are hysterical. What ever happened to the expression, “Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? We all have baggage from mean things that have been said to us. They linger inside of our conscience, and we revisit them when we are mentally beating ourselves up or we are feeling especially vulnerable. More than likely, it was said in the heat of the moment. Does it make it right? No. Do they have the freedom to say it? Yes! Conversely, we all have had moments when we have shown our lesser selves and used hurtful language toward others. Should our society alter our vocabulary so as not to offend? Absolutely not!

I have a great reverence for our nation’s Constitution. For 55 men, of vastly different backgrounds, to have gathered and created a document that has been as timeless as it has, is nothing short of a miracle. I wouldn’t be alone in saying that I believe it was Divinely inspired. To compare, the proud French have written five Constitutions since the birth of ours. One of the freedoms listed in the First Amendment of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, due to its importance, is Freedom of Speech. If you have lived other than a solitary life in a cave, you have probably been offended by someone’s speech at one time or another. When we start limiting what people can hear with their tender little ears, we gaze toward the slippery slope of when Hitler gave “his” radios to the German citizens and made it illegal for them to hear any station other than his own. He was able to shape the citizenry at will.

Political correctness has hampered honest debate and truth in our nation. The Left has brilliantly used “racism” to stifle free speech. The Libs can’t make up their minds. They frequently give mixed signals about what they determine to be acceptable or unacceptable. Though it is a variation of the “n” word, many celebrity black rappers want to marginalize and “own” the word “nigga”, saying it is okay amongst themselves. The offensive slur is now referred to as “the -er word”. How inconsistent is that????? George Orwell warned about this “Newspeak” in his book 1984.The Black Community is calling foul and are trying to disallow use of the “racist” word “thug” because “EVERYONE KNOWS THEY ARE REFERRING TO BLACKS AND ARE STEREOTYPING”. Who is stereotyping? I don’t know about you, but when I think of a thug, a Chicago-style gangster, no offense Chicago, pops into my mind. No, he is not a black man or even a young black man. If any stereotype might be drawn, it would be of a 35-year-old Italian mobster. I apologize to Italians everywhere! I can say that I love Italians! It is absurd! I wouldn’t use the word “thug” to describe any of these lawless teens, whether they are black or white. I would simply refer to them as punks, because that is EXACTLY what they are.

I remember a few years ago when a little girl was riding in my car with my daughter on our way to a field trip. My daughter referred to something as “lame”. The other little girl gasped, almost as though my daughter had dropped the F-bomb. She said, “You can’t say that. That is a bad word.” Of course, then my ears perked up and I pictured myself getting a bar of soap to wash her mouth out (not a technique that I have used, but I know it was proven to be quite effective for my grandmother when my mom once told a lie). I said, “Gracie, what did you say?” She looked like she was in trouble because she knows that we make choices not to use bad language. She said, “Mom, I didn’t say a bad word, I promise! I said lame.” I said, “That isn’t a bad word.” The other little girl said, “My mom and dad told me that it is a bad word.” I told her that if her mom and dad told her not to use it, by all means, she shouldn’t use it, but it isn’t a bad word. Her dad works for a large corporation and has been schooled, I am sure, on political correctness. On the other hand, my husband is a self-employed entrepreneur, and I am a stay-at-home mom. Neither of us are overly fond of political correctness. We don’t believe one should purposely say anything hurtful, but sometimes you’ve got to call a spade a spade (I promise, no slur intended here).

Being a bit of a word-nerd, no offense meant to any nerds out there, I just so happen to have the ol’ handy-dandy dictionary in my glove box (like I said, I am a total word-nerd). I whipped it out, and looked up the word. The definition for lame read “weak”. The example given was “He gave a lame excuse.” In my almost 50 years of life, I have never thought of a person in a mean way as being lame. If someone is wheelchair-bound or handicapped in any way, I don’t make derogatory remarks toward them. Period. I pray to God to lighten their load and then thank Him for my many blessings.

Sometimes name-calling is well deserved. Driving on the road, if I have my head up my butt and miss a red light turning green, you can honk your horn and call me “Butthead”. It’s okay…I would deserve it! I would then humbly wave an “I’m sorry” and know that I earned any new moniker they may have chosen in their aggravation with my oblivion. If people have their heads up their butts and aren’t paying attention, I might say something in the privacy of my car or my mind, and, in most instances, it is deserved. If I have to resort to using my own horn to startle a driver out of their reverie, I could only hope that they would roll down the window and yell, “Hold your horses, Bossypants!” I’m not gonna lie, it would feel good!!!!>

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Packed Lunches: Love in a Sack

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There are many ways that we show love to one another in our family. On a frigid morning, my husband might surprise me by starting my car, putting the seat warmer on, and having a steaming cup of coffee waiting for me in the cup holder next to a note telling me to “Have a great day!” Yes, I feel the love!!!! For years, Grace has shown me her love by bringing me flowers that she has found outside. Sometimes, the beautiful blossom might include the root system of one of my newly planted annuals. Gasp! Occasionally, in my coat pockets, I find dried-up, crumbling little daffodils that she had given me when we used to spend our summers at baseball fields cheering for her brother. Ironically, these little treasures are more precious to me now than when she had first given them to me. What sweet tokens of love! My showering of love includes hot breakfast for my husband and daughter almost every morning to start their days off on the right foot. I am a little laundry-obsessive making sure that their clothes have the freshest smell so when they put them on they can inhale all that love! I am crazy for Downy Unstoppables! I am also an ironing fanatic (I used to iron the sheets) who is starting to give in to some of the wrinkles due to a lack of time. Grace actually referred to me as an “Ironing Super Hero”. I fold underwear into sweet little packages that are lined up in the drawers. It may sound a little crazy, but they look like rows of little hearts!

One of the ways I show my daughter that I love her is packing her lunch every day. It started with packing her lunch for first grade. The night before, I would take great joy in my quiet time after she went to bed decorating her paper lunch sack with her class’s letter of the week. For example, if the letter of the week was P, I might write “The Proud Purple Penguin Put up her Polka-dotted Parasol”. Then I would take great pleasure in drawing an illustration to match. It was the epitome of dorkiness, but it was a stage that felt bittersweet to leave behind. Her lunch sacks were sadly replaced with a Barbie lunch box. Currently, my little fourth grader is sporting a Vera Bradley lunch sak that she threw in as part of a negotiation for a new VaVa Bloom backpack for achieving straight As all year. After all, they must match!

I would say that she enjoys a wide variety of lunches. In first and second grade, I would alternate between American cheese sandwiches or PB-and-Js. Occasionally, I would throw in a thermos filled with cottage cheese, sliced turkey, and pineapple or peaches. She really loves to takes leftovers with her, and I am amazed at how she bravely opens her thermos and isn’t swayed by peer pressure. One of her personal favorites is grilled rosemary seasoned lamb chops with saffron and Parmesan risotto. She told me about her tablemates asking her what she was eating. “EWWWWWWW!!!!” You’re eating dead lamb!” She continued undeterred. It reminded me of my own experiences in the lunchroom when I was in school.

My mother is a fantastic cook. She is also wonderful at stretching the dollar. My lunches were creative to say the least. My personal favorite was egg salad sandwiches on fresh white bread. It was pure heaven biting into the creamy texture and having to use my tongue to pry the bread off the roof of my mouth because it was so soft. I remember being in Mrs. Pillow’s first grade class, and the class squealing, “What is that smell? Did somebody fart? Ewwww!” I couldn’t have cared less!

I think my mom thought that peanut butter and jelly was either too expensive or too beneath her culinary talents. I’m not sure. She would send her little darlings to school with a variety of tasty sandwiches: green olive and cream cheese, roast pork or roast beef, tomato and cheese, cucumber with mayo, and baked bean. Yes, I said BAKED BEAN!!!!!!! As I said earlier, my daughter wasn’t bothered by any reproachful looks or comments from her peers. It wasn’t the same for me. I would wait until everyone pulled out their PB-and-Js and I would sneakily slide my sandwich out of my lunch box and try to eat it without garnering a lot of attention. It wasn’t something that I could get away with when eating the odorous egg salad, so I wouldn’t even bother trying to hide it.

Nowadays, when my brother and I tease my mom about the myriad of unusual lunches, she defensively responds, “I always tried to send you to school with a healthy and nutritious lunch!” My thought…ISN’T PEANUT BUTTER MORE NUTRITIOUS THAN CUCUMBER??? I used to babysit a child that ate nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner and she lived to adulthood! Mom, just kidding! I LOVED those cold baked bean sandwiches!!!! They were really awesome, ESPECIALLY if I had been vegetarian!(Gag)

I now realize how fortunate I was to have had a mom that put that much thought into providing my brother and me with such a tasty lunch. Most mornings, I don’t feel like being all that creative with the menu. If I have a little stretch when I put the same PB-and-J, apple, chips and FiberOne bar in her sak too many times, she lets me know. She says, “Mom, can I PLEASE have something different for lunch today?” Growing up, I never had to ask for a change to the routine. My mom could just as easily have made the same thing every single day. After all, “Variety is the spice of life!” Thanks Mom! Thanks for all the love!

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I Know This Much Is True: In Dance!

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Having your first child is quite an eye-opener. You don’t know what to expect, and, in your inexperience, you don’t realize that some of the more challenging stages are only temporary. Thank the good Lord! Being the mom of a little girl has its own set of challenges. Every little phase or whim comes with a bit of a learning curve. “When life deals you lemons, make lemonade!” Below, I have listed a few of those “sour” lessons pertaining to dance.

Lesson 1: Make sure to have an extra pair of tights.

The first recital my daughter ever danced in was traumatic, to say the least. My husband was out of town coaching his son’s baseball team, so i was flying solo. I had planned to drop her off at the theatre early, run to the store to buy her flowers, and be seated for the beginning of the performance. Like I said, I had PLANNED it that way. I got her dressed in her first costume and fixed her hair and make up. “Okay,” I told her, “Mommy has to get dressed now. It won’t take me long.” As she headed out of my bedroom, it occurred to me that I needed to go potty before I got dressed. As I was lowering myself to the toilet, I heard the door chime beep, and it quickly occurred to me that my daughter was going outside to show our neighbor “Miss Kelly”, who had been working in her garden, her beautiful self, all dolled up in costume and makeup. There was only one problem…she had no shoes on over her tights! It felt like one of those movies when a scene moves in slow motion. “NOOoooOOOooOOOooo!” It was too late! As I rounded the corner, I saw her do a pirouette while she was watching her reflection in the glass door. Nylon tights are not meant to hold up to twirling on exposed-aggregate concrete! Just sayin’! There she was with two toes poking out of her brand new tights! Deep breath!!!!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!

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Lesson 2: Keep Costumes, Accessories, and Shoes Close.

When there are twelve excited, squealing little girls trying on their much-awaited recital costumes for the first time, check to make sure you get all of the costume pieces back in your bag ensuring another mother hasn’t mistakenly taken half of YOUR child’s costume home with her. Shortly after witnessing her putting her little piggies through her tights, I checked the costume for her second performance to make sure that all the pieces were together. Half of her costume was missing! Breathe!!!!!! Of course, my bottom being still puckered after the tights incident, I wasn’t the most tolerant version of my self. I called the studio in the rare chance that they were picking up stage props, and got ahold of her teacher. She hadn’t heard of anything being turned in. Time to panic!!! Of course, I thought my child was the culprit! “Grace, what did you do with your costume? I told you not to play with either of your costumes until after the recital!” I am sure I was looking just short of demonic at this point! “Mommy, I promise I didn’t play with them!” Like I believed her! I remember saying I didn’t hang on the towel rack and pull it out of the wall, even after the third time! What was I to do??? If I kept looking for the missing piece, she might not make her first performance. Because my husband was out of town, I couldn’t send him ahead with our daughter so that I could keep looking in her room. I was certain that she had played with it and stuck it somewhere obscure. Ultimately, I decided to take her to the theatre and leave her with her dance team while I went back to look for the missing piece. I was rattled!!! When I got to the theatre, I told my friend the situation and she said she would stay with the girls and call me if someone came with an extra costume piece. I raced home and looked frantically through her drawers, under her bed and in her closet. Nothing. My phone rang and, lo, the missing piece was found! One of the moms said she sent an email to the team when she realized that she had an extra piece. Funny, no one else had received the heads-up. Regardless, it was my fault for not being more careful. I can assure you, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!!! EVER!!!!

Lesson 3: Invest in a Laundry Basket to Carry to All Performances.

My daughter has started performing with her school’s Competitive Dance Team. It isn’t hard core at this stage, but I know if she continues, it will become more intense. After my earlier debacles, I am very open to anything that will alleviate stress on “game day”. My daughter’s coach recommended a laundry basket to keep all items necessary for her performance. BEST ADVICE EVER!!! It holds a kaboodle (like a tackle box for girls) with her makeup and application instructions, makeup remover cloths, hairspray, bobby pins , brush, etc. It also keeps her costume, shoes, poms, mitts, tights (of course there are two pairs…see Lesson 1), leggings, and team jacket. I also keep a laminated checklist in the basket to look over so I don’t forget anything.

Lesson 4: Do NOT Go to a Wine Dinner on the Eve before a Performance!

The night before last year’s Jamfest Competition, we were invited to a wine dinner. The next morning, we had to leave the house fully dressed including makeup and hair at 4:30 a.m., drive 35 minutes, and check-in with the team at 6:00 a.m. Putting eyeliner and lip pencil on sleepy, miniature lips and eyes with an unsteady hand…let’s just say it can get a little dicey!

When it is all said and done, you find your seat, take a last deep breath, and sit back. As you begin to relax, you watch your little wonder, remembering a simpler time when you were up on that stage with your own parents watching, and think, “MOM, HOW THE HECK DID YOU DO IT???”

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Betcha’ Didn’t Know!!!

Betcha’ didn’t know…the Speaker of the House DOES NOT have to be a sitting member of the House of Representatives to hold that position. In my very humble opinion, who better than the fearless Constitutional scholar, Mark Levin, to articulate and defend Conservative principals? He would certainly activate the pulse of the Conservative base!

Betcha’ didn’t know…after being ACCUSED (not proven) of voter intimidation 1982, the Republican National Committee LEGALLY consented with the Democratic National Committee to not question the results of an election of any voting district that has a minority majority? A Jimmy Carter appointed judge, Dickenson Debevoise, who has since retired, has decided to continue to control the case. The decision requires the RNC, but NOT the DNC, to “refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting; and the conduct of such activities disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose.” In other words, in the swing states where every vote counts, especially during the General Election, some districts can have 105% turnout with EVERY vote going towards the Democrat candidate and the RNC is legally banned from questioning those results. We certainly witnessed it in the 2014 Presidential Election. I think the nation was stunned when the election results were announced because anecdotally a different outcome was predicted. Our country had never re-elected a sitting President with numbers as bad as Obama’s.

Betcha’ didn’t know….contrary to popular belief, Civil Rights legislation was actually introduced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1957 which was weakened by Congress due to a lack of support among Democrats, in particular then Senators John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. When President Johnson decided to hijack the Civil Rights movement, he introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After a 57-day Democrat filibuster, the Republican Leader in the U.S. Senate, Everett Dirksen (R-IL) condemned the Democrats and ended the filibuster. Leading the opposition to the bill was former Ku Klux Klan recruiter Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and, quite remarkably, given his history, he served in the U.S. Senate until he died.

Betcha’ didn’t know…after three attempts to pass Republican-proposed, common-sense welfare reform, Bill Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act in 1996 which moved nearly 3 MILLION families off the government dole was basically gutted with the stroke of a pen by President Obama in July 2012. He removed the part of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families that called on able-bodied adults to work, look for work, take classes, or undergo drug and alcohol testing.

Stay tuned…there is more to come!

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Do We Allow Our Kids to Reap What They Sow?

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My daughter and I recently attended a fabulous high-school production of The Children of Eden. It is a play based upon two main stories of the Bible. The basis for Act 1 is The Fall from Grace; Act 2 is based upon The Flood. It was an interesting study of parents (God, Adam, Eve, and Noah) and their relationships with their children. Throughout the play, there were many references to “letting go”. There was even an analogy of rescuing a baby bird that had fallen from its nest. After the bird became strong enough to fly, it pecked and scratched its caregiver to the point of injury. The bird was “let go” and it was able to become stronger, flying away to live on its own. I found it to be quite impactful, because, at times, I struggle with letting my own child fail and learn from her mistakes. As a matter of fact, it has been my observation that many moms appear to have the same issue, almost wearing it as a badge of honor. Maybe, as mothers, we feel our success is tied to our children’s achievements, and their mistakes, just as equally, reflect poorly on us. On the other hand, dads seem to have an easier time allowing their kids to make mistakes and suffer the consequences. Do we keep our children from experiencing the lessons necessary to learn essential character building, coping skills, and problem solving for “life after Mom and Dad”.

A very dear friend of mine recommended a WONDERFUL, scripture-based book called “Boundaries” by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townshend. It stresses the importance of having personal boundaries with those who might take advantage. They might include spouses, friends, co-workers, bosses, parents and CHILDREN. I envision a hula hoop around the heart. We easily get into relational patterns with others that can become damaging if there are no established safeguards. In the book’s introduction, an alien, from a zero-gravity planet, where all of its fundamental needs for existence were provided, got dropped out of the mothership and landed with a “THUD!” on Earth. “Ouch!” It was the first time it had felt any pain. It noticed an ache in its belly. A local yokel helped it to identify the feeling as hunger and kindly directed it to a restaurant down the street. After eating a very satisfying meal, the alien got up, tried to leave, and was surprised by the anger of the restaurant owner who suspected the foreigner of trying to skip without paying. The alien had no money and shortly found itself handcuffed and hauled off to jail. This scenario quickly draws a familiar picture (hopefully not the jail part) of when our own parents pushed us out of the nest. Who knew life could be so hard! The book further details that even though one might have grown up in a home with no boundaries, the world DOES have them. One will either choose to succumb to them or have to deal with the consequences. Let’s be honest, what kids, especially teenagers, like rules (boundaries)? From a parent’s perspective, it takes so much more energy to maintain boundaries in the home, but, in the end, the payoff is well worth the effort.

Being an older parent who doesn’t have the same financial stresses as those who are just starting out, I know how much easier it would be to say yes to my child’s every whim. However, based upon my own upbringing, I see the merit in kids learning to appreciate the value of money and how hard it is to earn. When I was eleven, I started babysitting for a family every summer making a whopping $.50/hour/child. I thought I was living large when the family grew to having three children! If I wanted to go roller skating, I would wash my parents’ cars or mow the grass to pay for it. I was a little surprised that my dad entrusted me with the lawn mower after leveling two of the five randomly planted dogwood trees that he had proudly purchased in a “Super Saver” 5-pack. When I was old enough to drive, I filled out an application, got the one-on-one interview, and excitedly landed my first real job…at McDonald’s! Today I see kids applying for these starter jobs that look like absolute slobs! It is like they have no concern about making a good first impression! Where is their pride? They look like they are entitled to the job before they have even been interviewed! I worked most weekends and all summer at “The Golden Arches” until I was in my senior year of high school. It was truly some of the most fun I ever had in a job! These starter jobs are very important in encouraging kids to do well in school so that they won’t have to flip burgers into their adulthood. I laugh when I hear of protesters wanting $15.00/hour. Maybe if they got the orders right, customers wouldn’t mind paying $10 for a Big Mac! There is a lot of mobility in the fast -food industry as well that promotes really good employees to different levels of management. Sadly, I see kids whose parents don’t make them work and I think both the parents and the kids are really missing out on a lot!

My daughter loves anything related to mermaids. She wanted to buy a $30 mono-fin a mere two weeks after insisting that her life would definitely end if I didn’t buy a mask, snorkel, and fins set at Costco. I told her that she didn’t need two types of fins. I made her dig in her piggy bank to pay for it. It is ironic that kids don’t like parting with their own money but have no problem spending Mom and Dad’s! The following summer she found a Magic Fin Mermaid Tail that the actresses used on the Nick series H2O. She wanted me to get it. I asked her to show it to me. $200! I said, “Are you out of your mind? Absolutely no way!” She said, “Fine. I will ask Santa to bring it to me!” I said, “Go right ahead, but don’t be surprised if you don’t get it. Santa only brings cold weather toys like snow boards, skis, ice skates, and sleds.” I know, I know..it was just a little white one! Sure enough, the following summer, she decided to go for the more economical version that included a two-pice swimsuit (which was insufficient the summer before because it lacked the very authentic scale pattern). It totaled $90; she decided she needed it badly and couldn’t possibly wait any longer. I informed her that she had to pay for it if she wanted it. Agreed. When the credit card statement was due, I reminded her that she needed to pay her dad so he could pay the bill. She carried all the wadded up bills to her father and they counted them together…too cute! We could have bought it for her, but she took so much pride in buying it for herself. The lesson and consequence came when, shortly afterwards, she saw something else that she had to have and she didn’t have the money to buy it. As a result, she has negotiated $20/week allowance. She gets deductions for chores that are overlooked, so she doesn’t often get the full amount. After getting her money’s worth out of her cheaper mermaid tail last summer, she has her sights on the expensive one and she almost has all the money saved to buy it herself. MY LESSON in all of this: not bailing her out by giving her the money to buy the beloved MagicTail taught her the value of money AND the art of negotiation, two very important life skills.

The Medusa Scale

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Hi guys! Thanks so much for such a wonderful response to my post “The Medusa Scale”. I have gotten some wonderful anecdotes from other people about “losing it” themselves or their moms going off the deep end. If you have a story and would like to share it, please comment here or drop me an email:

Lgoodwin@4atc.com

I won’t attach any names, I promise! However, if you post a comment here, it is set up for public viewing. There is just something comforting in knowing that we aren’t alone.

Again, thanks for the stories!

Princess to Patty Cake

Lauri Goodwin

The Medusa Scale

Colossal Meltdown. It goes without saying, it is every parent’s rite of passage to experience them occasionally. I periodically apologize to my daughter for not having more patience (for which I regularly pray). When I feel like I am not getting anywhere, I apologize and pray a little harder. I have a rating system. It is called The Medusa Scale and there are varying degrees of lunacy associated. Low ranging on the Medusa Scale might be when my daughter gets a little smart mouthed in her tone and rolls her eyes. I feel my scalp start to tingle and my skin flush with green. I envision an altercation but I am able to take a deep breath and silence the reptilian minx. I would rate that a one on my Medusa Scale.

I repeatedly ask my daughter to systematically go through her assignments at school so that she doesn’t miss anything. I have even resorted to having her cross through the numbers in order for her to check them off as they are completed. This message sometimes becomes “wonk” speech; I am blue in the face and her glazed-over look tells me I am being ignored…the lights are on, but no one is home. She then comes home with a test that had asked her to list the seven continents in no particular order. She had only listed Australia on the last line. promptly asked her to name the continents, and to no surprise, she knew them all. I asked her why she only listed one. She said she went to the next page and was answering the more difficult questions first and forgot to come back and complete the list!!!!! WARNING!!!!! WARNING!!!!! It is a 3 on The Medusa Scale. Now one might think that I am being to hard on the precious little fourth grader, however, I am very blessed (in every instance) to have a child with an off-the-charts memory. She can list every U.S. President in order, by number, backwards,…makes nary a difference. I It makes me crazy!

My daughter has recently started swimming year-round. During the winter months the meets are held in a very large facility which has ambience resembling that of amy Black and Decker veggie steamer. When I went to my “virginal” meet to cheer her on, the outside temperature was a balmy 17 degrees. Unknowingly, I was dressed in my ski coat, cashmere sweater, jeans and UGGs. The natatorium was packed! I staked out my spot that wasn’t much bigger than the size of a postage stamp, and after promptly shedding my polar attire, I compressed it AND my daughter’s Michael Phelps Pro II backpack fully equipped with a solar-powered mini fridge and backup generator, all behind my knees. All kidding aside, it isn’t equipped with appliances, but it is THAT big! After every event, she predictably got out of the pool and went straight to her coach for a consult before heading back to a nearby spot to sit with her friends waiting for her next race. I use the word predictable because my little angel is ANYTHING BUT PREDICTABLE. After her last race, I watched her talk with her coach and waited for her to come collect her towel and backpack. No sign of her. I waited twenty minutes all the while feeling sweat dripping beneath my triple-ply cashmere sweater,certain that I WILL HAVE PRICKLY HEAT FOR A WEEK. I grew up with a mom who is just a little protective. I thought I was going to be abducted by any passers by. It then continued with my training as a flight attendant when I learned how to do a security check of my hotel room! get off of an elevator when I was alone and someone got on…get off at that floor. It all lended itself to a little psychosis that I have generated toward my chhild. . Wrestling my way to the aisle and up the steps with my

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