Do you remember when Halloween use to be fun? When kids could get dressed up and go on a hunt for the best candy in the neighborhood. I remember running (never walking) from house to house and screaming “Trick-or-Treat” at the top of my lungs while my Dad dutifully jogged alongside my brother and I. I remember shouting to my neighborhood buddies as we sprinted from house to house, telling them which houses to skip because they were only giving out tootsie rolls. Halloween isn’t fun anymore.
Long gone are the days when the elderly woman on the corner can bake cookies and pass them out still warm off the cookie sheet. (That was the only house we ever walked away from. Dad wouldn’t let us run and eat cookies at the same time.) We now have to be careful which neighborhoods we trick-or-treat in. We have our children’s candy X-rayed to check for hidden needles and we have to check every piece before letting them have a single bite. Some parents aren’t even letting their kids go out on Halloween for fear of their kids getting poisoned or kidnapped.
Parents are also keeping their kids home because “we do not feel it necessary or appropriate to teach our children about ghosts and goblins. They don’t want their children to see other children in “violent” costumes. The magic of Halloween has always been the make-believe part. I remember spending hours with my friends discussing which costumes we should wear. (I almost always went as a witch.) Our parents never worried if we wore capes and fake vampire teeth. They had faith in us that we wouldn’t run around biting people on their necks or drinking blood. I just don’t understand what is wrong with a kid wanting to dress as The Hulk or Spiderman. They are superheroes not serial killers. Next, people are going to ban bee costumes because “people who are allergic have died from bee stings” and it is too violent for their precious little snowflakes! Give me a break people! I know it is a scary world out there full of all kinds of sickos, but lets take back this one night a year and make it fun again.
I am sure that this is old news, but Nebraska’s new ‘safe-haven’ law has caused quite a stir. Now, most states, including my own have some sort of law that allows you to leave newborns at hospital’s, fire station’s or police station’s without fear of being prosecuted for abandoning their infant children. Nebraska’s law doesn’t give an age limit and people have really taken advantage of it. It seems like every day there is a new story about teenagers being dropped of in Nebraska hospitals because their parents can’t deal with them.
It just makes me sick to think that parents will drop their kids off to “teach them a lesson” or as a form of punishment. What kind of message does that send to these children who are abandoned by their parents. I wonder if these children will grow up to not trust people, to question authority or to simply hate themselves. I am sure that there are times that we all wish that we could step away from our kids that are misbehaving. I am sure that from time to time, our children wish we would just leave them alone. But, people are using this law to cast aside their almost fully grown children and that is just wrong. It is not limited to just Nebraska residents. People are driving and flying from all over the country to do this.
I could never imagine leaving the girls anywhere. I could never imagine just leaving them behind in a unfamiliar place. I hear people in the grocery store telling their kids, “If you don’t hurry up, I am leaving you behind.” They take few steps and say, “Bye!” The kids usually go running up to their parents. But you can always tell when the parents use it all the time, because the kids don’t even blink. Personally, I think this game is wrong. All children are afraid of being abandon. I wonder if Nebraska kids are feeling this fear worse because of recent events.
I know that the law makers did not intend for the law to be used this way. I am sure that they are kicking themselves for the fact that it can be exploited in such a way. I am sure that they will not leave any loop holes when the law has been rewritten. But, that also suggests to me, that law makers are going to be more careful everywhere and all new laws are going to lose some of flexibility that would have been good to have. Laws are going to be a lot more specific now, and this is just as dangerous. Because when laws allow for no flexibility at all, they can cause innocent law-abiding citizen’s a lot of undue problems. I just hope that it doesn’t turn out this way.
What do you think of the Nebraska law?
This is only a test. Should this have been an actually exam, I would be panicking like crazy right about now. (Okay, so I am panicking like crazy!!)
Look for regular updates to resume soon!
UPDATE: I passed! YAY!
I may have mentioned before that I am a geek. I am a full-time computer geek and one of my favorite tricks is playing with my co-workers computers. As a group, we remotely reboot eachother’s computers while we are working. We remotely open CD-ROM trays, disconnect drives, reset screen savers, and set the screens so that they have a mirror effect.
Sometimes these tricks get very brutal. There are times that the pranks will go on for weeks at a time. But the worst time, was something I was not even involved in. A co-worker of mine packed up the targets computer and sent it to our other building, a 4 hour drive away. The target was franktic because he couldn’t find his computer all morning. Finally, after setting up another computer to use, he got a phone call from people in the other building. They said, “we have a package for you, would you like to come and pick it up?” He was confused and said that he wanted it sent to him. But the co-worker put a note on the package stating that he had to pick up and sign for the package in person, so they wouldn’t send it. It took him three days to get his computer back. I think that it was really taking it a bit too far. After that we had to stop pranking eachother for a while…
Studying sucks. Especially studying for a computer certification! I am still alive but studying has taken up all my time. So, I haven’t had time to write… I will be posting the second part to keeping your kids safe on-line soon. Hopefully, my brain will be less overloaded tomorrow!
Last week was the Show’s birthday. So, Bear and I went out to the store and got her a present. We spent quite a bit of time debating about what to get for her. When we had finally decided we were pretty excited. The whole way home, we talked about our prized gift.
The Show was dying to know what we got for her. She kept asking over and over. After about an hour of her questioning, we finally told her, “A rock.” The Show asked, “You guys are kidding, right?” We just shook our heads no. ”You wouldn’t get me a rock, stop teasing me!” she declared. ”They were all out of coal, so we got you a rock.” I told her. ”We got you a rock,” Bear said.
This is what she opened.
If you had asked me 5 years ago what my greatest fear was, I would have answered without hesitation clowns. It all started when I watched the movie IT. I watched it with my dad as a kid. When Pennywise grinned with his razor sharp teeth and that gleam in his eyes while saying “They all float down here”, I was scarred for life. Circus clowns, carnival clowns, birthday party clowns, or rodeo clowns all give me the hebejebe’s. Because my fight instinct is stronger than my flight instinct when I am confronted with a clown I usually must suppress the urge to punch them in the face while screaming, “You’re gonna die clown!” Before buying a ticket for a haunted house, I always ask if there are clowns inside. Going to prison for assault of a haunted house actor just doesn’t sound very glamorous to me.
Clowns are not my greatest fear anymore. The thing I am most afraid of now is letting people in, trusting people, letting my guard down. It is the lasting scar from my ex-husband. After our marriage ended, I started not trusting people and myself. Well, it actually probably started before that. Either way, I am scared of letting people get too close. Because he got close to me and used it against me. So, I keep people at arms length. And I do my best to keep them there. I am loathed to ask people for help because I don’t want to give them something that can be held over my head later. Being with the ex was always a favor trading exercise. If I needed him to take me to the doctor, I had better be prepared to do what he wanted later. When people offer to do things for me, I still sometimes hesitate to say yes. It comes from the fact that I still don’t quite trust my own judgement of people.
If I truly want to be a good StepMom (Wicked or otherwise) I need to practice what I preach. I always encourage the girls to face their fears head on. I try to give them the strength and the courage to not back down. (Honestly, I think Bear is better at this than I am. He is their protector and they are always less scared when he is there.) The Show was afraid of heights. We helped her by climbing to the top of a light house tower together. Her entire body was shaking when we reached the top. But, I made sure that she took a picture from the top of the lighthouse, so she would never forget that moment. (Bear hung the picture in her room.) The Tyrant is afraid of thunderstorms. I was too when I was her age. So, I do for her what my dad did for me. I show her how cool the lighting and thunder looks during a rain storm. We ooo and ahh over the light show. The Mother Hen is afraid of the Mackinac Bridge. We are still working on it. Every time we cross though, we all link hands so that she knows she is not alone. It is well passed time for me to face my fears and start trusting myself again. Once I do that, trusting others will not be hard at all. It is so easy to write about this and talk about this on the Internet anonymously. But, it is time to face this in real life too.
Dear Spin Cycle:
I thought I would make a list of things that really get under my skin. But at the moment, I can only think of one thing. In-grown toenails. Well, just one toenail actually. But it makes me so mad! It hurts, I can barely walk and the worst part is I had to get part of my nail surgically removed yesterday. So, all I can think of is the pain in my toe.
Nothing makes me more angry than no being able to take care of myself. I couldn’t drive into work today because of course it is my right foot!! So, Bear had to drive me in. I wouldn’t care if he drove me in, if I could drive myself, but I am just ticked that he had to do it. (Yeah, I know, I am bring nit-picky here.) He never minds doing these things and stepped in as soon as I needed to be taken care of. But, I want to take care of myself dammit!
At work, I had to ask others to take care of things for me so that I didn’t have to keep getting up. I am always the person that people turn to as the go-to-gal. And I couldn’t even take care of my own stuff, because I couldn’t walk to the printer to get my own documents. Other people didn’t mind or make a big deal out of it, but I hate that. I hate having to rely on someone else so that I can do my job. As a matter of fact, as long as it is my choice, I have never done a project that required waiting on someone else to help me. And today, I didn’t have a choice but to wait for others to assist.
Whenever something is wrong with me, I always wonder if I am being a wuss or overly dramatic. I can never tell if I am reacting the way that I should because I spend so much time sick. I am also a klutz by nature and tend to get injured a lot. So, I don’t know if my response to pain is normal or too much. I can just never tell. And that makes me angry too because I am always questioning myself and wondering if someone else would be as down and out as I am over whatever it is that is bothering me. This toe thing is really making me feel quite pathetic because I am walking kind of like a zombie. I am trying not to put any weight on my right toes, so I am walking on my heel. I look like a movie zombie dragging my leg behind me in search of my next cranial snack. This would make for a great Halloween costume but it is horrible for walking around. People tend to stare at you either in sympathy or fear because they think you are really injured (and it is not just a stupid toe!) or think that you are going to start screaming “BRRRAAAAIIIIINNNNSSSS!!!!!!!” at any moment.
In patheticness or undeath,
I have mentioned this before before, but dinnertime is almost always a war zone. It is nearly impossible to make a meal that everyone tolerates enough to put more than one bite in their mouths enjoys. One kid won’t eat rice. One kids hats potatoes (all potatoes, including french fries). One kid hates pork (but she will eat it, if she has to). One adult hates vegetables. I have good allergies and despise lemon chicken. Somehow, this is everyone’s favorite meal (but mine!!). Come on people, its like the one thing I hate! I am not a picky eater! I will eat anything that won’t kill me. Even that damned disgusting lemon chicken! And you guys have to love the only thing that I hate. I suffer through it because you guys all love it.
The long standing rule has been, if you don’t eat your dinner, you won’t get dessert or snacks later. We always serve small portions and try to make sure that each kid gets what they like. We don’t put rice or potatoes on the plates of the kids that don’t like those foods. Personally, I think this is very close to running a short order kitchen. But, I don’t feel right about forcing a kid to eat what they hate. Maybe if I was more of a Nazi about it, we wouldn’t have so many problems with meal times and getting kids to eat.
This past Sunday, The Tyrant decided that she must once again test the rules. I think she does this from times to time, just to keep us on our toes. First, she decided that she didn’t want to have “chicken subs.” They are a favorite amongst the tribe, except for the Tyrant who will not try them, on occasion. They are just chicken and melted cheese on a toasted sub bun. They are simple but good and filling. So, I kept a piece of chicken whole for her and served it without the cheese or bun. Next, she decided, for whatever reason, that forks and knives just cramped her style. She wanted to eat with her hands. She put her feet up on her chair and her knees were between the table and the rest of her body. This was a disaster waiting to happen.
The Mother Hen pointed out that she was eating with her hands. So, she sighed and threw her food back on the plate. “Forget it, I am not eating!,” the Tyrant declared. The Show grinned, “Good, more dessert for me!” The Tyrant started to cry. Bear and I looked at her and simultaneously stated, “No dinner, no dessert.” So, she went back to eating, with her hands. Bear shakes his head, “Use your fork.” She disdainfully piks it up and glares at the food on her plate as she stabs at it with the hated utensil. ”Stupid chicken,” the Tyrant mumbled under her breath. The Mother Hen and the Show who are familiar with the game, wisely stayed out of it. Any time that they add commentary, the situation only gets a hundred times worse.
After taking three more bites, The Tyrant declared that she is finished with more than half of her food left on her plate. ”You can be done, but don’t ask for treats or snacks later, because you won’t be getting any.” I told her. She looked at me with a shocked look on her face, like I had just told her where babies really come from. ”But, that’s not fair!” she said and crossed her arms before she began to pout. ”If you are going to pout, go to your room, we are not watching it,” I said to her. She huffed and stomped her foot. The Mother Hen and the Show hit the deck. They knew this was going to end badly. Bear looked at her and said, “No, don’t go to your room, stay here while the rest of us have dessert.” The entire time we had dessert ever everyone was extremely quiet. The Tyrant even managed to cry silently while her sisters had dessert. As we got up from the table, the Tyrant looked at us and said, “I am eating dinner tomorrow.”
(Welcome to this week’s Spin Cycle)
I wish I could find an interesting way to write this post. No, I am being serious, I can’t think of what to write about. It has been plaguing me since last Friday. I can’t think of a darn thing. I thought it was writer’s block, so I tried writing about other things. I can write with ease, but this just stumps my brain.
My parents have been after me to provide them with a Christmas wish list and so far, I can think of new pots and pans. And that is about it. Well, maybe some golf balls… But, beyond that, I can’t think of anything. (If you guys have some ideas feel free to share!)
I have come to the conclusion that, I don’t know what to wish for because I am truly happy with my life. The only thing I would want more of is time with the girls. I just love it when they are around. But, for the first time, in a very long time, I am truly happy. I have come a long way in the last few years. And I can say that I am happy with how things have turned out. I am happy to be who I am and I am happy with where I am in life.
I could wish for a lot of things. A new car, no allergies, no asthma. I could wish for my dad to be healthy or for my apartment to have heat (it just went out!). But, I don’t think anything on the list will make me happy. (Well, probably having heat when its 40 degrees!) These things would be nice and I would appreciate them. But, I have now what I use to wish for all the time. I have something that is priceless and cannot be taken away from me without my consent. I have happiness.