Ah, Mother

Aug. 27th, 2010 11:49 am
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My mother called me at work just now, I think from her car (a terrible habit I cannot break her of), to ask me what I wanted for my birthday (which is Labor Day).

I gave her some suggestions (butter dish in the crockery pattern I am starting to collect; flower bulbs).

She said she didn't like any of my suggestions and what did I think about a small hooked rug?

I said we had a lot of small rugs and a big rug was probably out of her price range, and besides choosing a rug is a fairly big decorating choice and not a great gift from out of town.

Who wants to place bets on the chances I'll receive a small hooked rug in the mail next week?

My mother has never been able to understand that a gift is to please the recipient, not the giver. Also, she has confusion about the fact that I am, in fact, not her.
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What's it about? What it's always fucking about around here, folks - dentistry. Casper went in today. At her cleaning 5 months ago they said she had one cavity. We switched dentists (for various unrelated reasons). These ones say two crowns, possibly root canals, and 8 additional fillings, and sealants, and the treatment plan comes to more than $2000. WTFF? We JUST paid these people $1000 for Dillo's fillings. How can she have developed this much more tooth decay in 5 months, during a time when we have been working pretty hard to brush teeth appropriately? This is the kid who cooperates! Who brushes her teeth and has been to the dentist regularly! And had clean checkups until that one 5 months ago. How did we get to 2 crowns?

mr. flea, who did the honors this time, was too stunned to do much but make an appointment.

AND I can't even post about it on Facebook because my mother is there now and we lie to her about this. Because I'd never hear the end of it, otherwise. She is EXTREMELY holier than thou about dentistry, being married to a dentist.
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Item one, an email just received from my mother. Subject: American Girl dolls.

Subject line: OMG the doll is fat!

Body: Borrowed an A.G. doll from next door. Can't say that I like her construction as all of her limbs wiggle loose. She will remind you of how very nice the Sashas' are. And, she is fat: absolutely porky in the arms, legs and torso. Truly the new American girl!
How can we influence Eve back to Sasha, or shall we trust that superiority will rise to the top.

Truly it is a wonder that her children did not develop eating disorders (our inherent tendency to be skinny probably saved us.) Also, no wonder we are all snobs.

Item two, my father is crazy too (or at least a prescriptivist, which as we all know = craxy)! From an email warning us about the rockslide between Asheville and Knoxville, he corrected my usage in the message he was replying to, like so:

> It sounds like [Hmmm: "AS IF", a conjunction, not preposition!] the afternoon/evening of Sunday the 27th is good to have an everyone gathering? Let's tentatively plan on that.

Yes, growing up with my father was like living with the English Police. Also, every time anyone said Florida or orange, he corrected her pronounciation (short o, not long!! Long is what those declasse people say!) I do speak very nice standard English, but I suspect I would have done so anyway without the continuous grammar shaming.

Memo to Teppy, your Chatty!Coworker's extreme literalism and general assy responses often remind me of my father. Who, I can say in all honesty, replies like that because he is an ass (said more nicely, he's a geek 12 year old boy), not because he has Asperger's or anything.
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The kids are now both old enough that I can leave them with Grandma with almost no qualms about how things will go. (I do expect the possibility of tiffs between my hard-headed daughter and my hard-headed mother, and generally get them.)

Grandma and husband are off to Asheville, leaving me in great hopes that mr. flea arrives at the Athens airport as scheduled at 4:40pm, because I don't have a backup plan to collect Dillo from school if mr. flea ends up kicking his heels in Denver or someplace. Taxi, or my neighbors (who would be happy to help and there are enough of them that one should be home), I guess, would be the answer.

Had parent breakfast at Casper's school today. Thomas' mother informs me that Thomas told her that Casper plans to marry him. This is news to me, but he's actually a great kid, so if she still feels this way in 20 years and can convince him, I'd be okay with it. He's going to be tall enough, too (his parents are as tall as we are). Lots of parents showed up, including many of the ones you always suspect won't, and I got to spend some nice time talking to kids who were parentless as well as loving on my kid. I told Jeremiah he had a beautiful name and he was so shyly pleased. There are a bunch of seriously beautiful children in Casper's class.

Dillo had a charming habit of hating it when I push up my sleeves. He always pulls them down for me. He is doing GREAT on the potty lately, and I feel like we are finally finished with diapers in my house!

Tomorrow is mr. flea's birthday and I am planless. It's been a very distracted week, all out of routine and dealing with Mother. I am also planless for Thanksgiving and Christmas (though I have preliminary gifts bought for my mother and siblings at least.) This weekend needs to see some serious planning happen.

(Oh! Grandma got the kids flu-misted yesterday at the county. They got 2 of the last 3 available doses of mist, but the county did have some shots. They say they need another dose in a month, but we'll see how the WHO/CDC work this advice out in the next month, and also, will they actually have any in a month?)


Nov. 11th, 2009 10:01 am
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bangs! Partly in anticipation of my mother's visit next week, I cut the kids' hair last night. Dillo got an allover trim of about an inch, which still leaves him a lot of hair. It probably needs a little cleanup, but I doubt I'll get the chance, as he had a big freakout at bedtime and said he'd changed his mind about getting a haircut. Casper looks INCREDIBLY different to me. It will take some getting used to. This was her choice - and we asked her to consider carefully, as bangs take a long time to grow out. I cut them a little too short on the right (her left) and am trying to decide whether to trim up the other side or just let it be.
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Last week was a pisser - I worked 7 days in a row. This week is okay - I work Wednesday night, but Friday is a furlough day. But then on Sunday mr. flea leaves on a trip (through Thursday), and he'll be gone another 5 days in mod-November. And my mother is coming for that, which helps in some ways (less worry about how to get Dillo to daycare), and is hard in others (MY MOTHER IN MY HOUSE - always touch and go.) Just gotta keep plugging through.

Our neighbor has a new puppy - an 11-week old border collie. (Her previous dog, also a border collie, died of old age in the spring.) It's little and submissive and licky and she's thinking of naming it Indie or Milkshake (although Casper suggested Rosemary, and Dillo suggested "Cheese." Heh.)

Then there was the feral kitten we dealt with on our camping trip, and a couple of different coworkers are fostering kittens ready for adoption. So little and sweet! Must remember we have one cat, who does not like other cats, and kittens grow up into cats. (This holds double if we took kitten siblings - do we really want to be a 3-cat household?)

A bunch of people in my life are back in baby mode, too, and as I am nearly finished getting baby stuff out of our house, I am thinking about babies, too. If we had decided to have a third, it would probably have been this summer or fall. I look at newborns and don't want one, but the charm of the 6 month old cannot be denied. (I mean, remember this?
best smile evah ). And Casper is at a point where she would be so helpful and charming as a big sister, and... ah well.
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mr. flea seems to be allergic to Cape Cod.

But mostly, it's just my mother being herself. How can we avoid each other for three more days in a small house?
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My mother called in distress - her cat Henry has swallowed a plastic object. He's had a laxative, but the odds of that working are slim. If it doesn't work, she faces the choice of $3,000 surgery, or putting him to sleep. Thing is, she has exactly this happen maybe 20 months ago, and chose the $3,000 surgery then. The plastic object then was a little piece of some thick bag, like a ziplock, which presumably he chewed into.

I told the story to the family at dinner, with a little eliding of exactly how Henry might die, but I said he might die. And Casper said, "That would be GREAT! Henry always growls at me." Well, he does, but still. She's a hard-hearted little thing.

Dillo is very shy about his birthday party, which we have begun to mention. We delivered invitations today, by hand to our neighbors. I hope he is not overwhelmed by the actual party; his level of shyness just talking about it is pretty high.

He's gotten more into creative play by himself - arranging little houses and setups. Casper was doing this at 15 months, but Dillo has always been a very different player from Casper. He has a couple of small cars, from Cars, that were originally Casper's - "little Lightning" whom Casper painted with sparkly pink paint, and a Sally car.

Am having the stress and social anxiety of trying to arrange to see peole when we are technically another's guests (i.e. next week). Can I invite my friend and her kids to my mother's house for dinner? Guess I need to ask at a time when she is not in cat-induced distress.
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Sunday morning we visited two sets of family graves in the Boston area. Set 1 will have another post - I transcribed the stone inscriptions and left the paper at home. Set 2 is my great-grandparents, Ormon Earle and Jane Augusta (Jennie) Spurr Bassett, and their daughter, Rosamund Jane. They are all buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge (http://www.mountauburn.org/), under one stone (relatively recently placed by my grandfather).

Bassett descendants

Rosamund died at age 2 when they were living somewhere in Boston. It was only after her death that they conceived my grandfather, who was born in August 1922. Jennie was a nurse from Nova Scotia who came to Boston in the teens. Ormon was named after Ormond Beach, FL, where his parents honeymooned. My mother has fond memories of, especially, her grandmother (although when pressed could not actually conjure anything specific!) She said they they both lived with her family for a while when the family lived in Winchester MA in my mother's elementary school years (later 1950s-early 1960s).

Ormon, Jane, and Rosamund

My mother was really happy to visit the gravesite, although I know she's been there relatively recently with my sister. The stone was 1/4 buried by soil creep from the hill. It's in an area called St. Paul's Plot, below Spruce Lane, above a small lake. There are currently active areas of the cemetery nearby, and my mother reports that her husband is thinking about buying a plot somewhere; she seemed taken by the idea of Mount Auburn. She made us promise to come visit her when we're in Boston if she's buried there (she's 59 and in good health, but my stepfather is 77).
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Actual baby name: Samuel (Sam), siblings Olivia and Leo (to a college friend).

Our kitchen cabinet possum has returned. As of 8am she was sleeping on her back in the cabinet, half-snuggled into a plastic bag full of bolts of something, with a belly full of mouse-sized babies. A professional remover has been called. I started out annoyed with mr. flea for not getting around to blocking the entry hole, but then my mother handily deflected the annoyance onto herself by being SO EXCITED about the possum and planning to remove it herself and getting into the squabble mr. flea and I were having and generally feeding her need for drama. (I guess this is where Casper gets it from.)
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I've honed in on a problem my mother and I have in communication. If I express any problems, anything that's making me unhappy or worried or even mildly ticked off, she feels like it is showing care and affection to tell me what I am doing wrong and try to fix things. I take this "care and affection" as criticism and undue bossiness.

Example today: Mother calls. In the course of everyday chitchat I mention I am having cavities filled this week. It is looming large; I am both dreading it and feeling guilty about it, since the existence of these cavities is exclusively the fault of my poor dental hygiene. But I just mention it along the lines of, "I'm having cavities filled, doesn't that suck? Oh, and maybe I'll plan to have my wisdom teeth pulled while you are here for Spring Break."

She immediately turns to her husband (a dentist, now retired, who did all of my dental care up until about 2002) to get his opinion on the choice to have my wisdom teeth pulled, quizzes me about why I have so many cavities lately, and tells me that I need to brush better and I should consider using an electric toothbrush (which I have tried and cannot stand, and she knows.) What I wanted to hear was the sort of thing a friend would say, more like, "Man, that sucks. I know you hate dentistry. Teeth are hard." I mean, I am a 36 year old woman. I know how often I am supposed to brush my teeth. I do not brush them as often as I should, but it is not from lack of knowledge. I tried to explain to her that her advice was belittling and not respectful of me, using the example, "What if every time you complained about how fat you are getting, I told you that it was simple to stay thin, you just need to exercise and watch what you eat?"

She doesn't get it. She's never gotten it, even when I try to explain to her during times when we are getting along fine that sometimes (let's face it, almost always) when I complain what I want is sympathy, not to be told what I am doing wrong and how she would do it better. (Today she explicitly said, "I haven't had a cavity in years, and I brush faithfully!") I read a book pitched at parents who want to have good relationships with their adult children, and it could be summed up in one sentence: Do not give them advice or critique their actions; respect them as adults. I considered sending my mother the book, but I felt like even if she read it, she'd never get it.

Do you think there's any hope for her to change? My coping strategy at this point is to try to be exclusively positive about everything when I talk to my mother (I never complain about the children any more - learned that lesson!), but like today, sometimes fairly innocuous communication turns into How Mother Knows Best. And I don't like the omit/lie strategy - it's like admitting I can never have a positive relationship with my mother. If she won't change, what can I do to minimize my feeling disrespected and criticized when she does this?
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She seems to be doing well. Mrs. E spoke of her as a good citizen of the class, friendly with several of the girls and a good example to them of standing up for herself in the face of a few boys who are behaviour problems (which Mrs. E says they are working hard on. They the teachers, I mean, as well as they the boys in question.) She knows all her letters and the sounds and is starting to sound out words in her reading group. She's well into working on or already meeting most of the grade-level skills for the year, and we have 3/4 of it to go. They do do phonics, which relieves mr. flea, who attributes his inability to spell to newfangled non-phonics education. (English is HARD.)

(She's not in the most advanced reading group - there is a group that is reading the simplest books already. Must not tell my mother, who in a recent phone call when I talked about how Casper is getting close to reading, said that my grandmother Dod, who was my mother's parenting oracle as she had dysfunctional parents and had me at 22, told her that HER children (my father, aunt and uncle) all could read when they started kindergarten, so my mother decided I had to be able to read when I started kindergarten, and so she taught me at 4, and (unspoken, so far) why didn't Casper get to kindergarten already reading, must be flea's fault!!)

The only thing Mrs. E brought up that we could work on is that sometimes when she is tired/not feeling well/ upset she stops talking and resorts to little whimpering noises and then gets frustrated when Mrs. E and the aide don't understand. She does this at home, too, of course, so we are already working on it. It can be hard for her to express her emotions; she's pretty stoic for a while I think and then topples over. Possibly I am projecting.

I picked her up early today - they were released at 12:30 because of the conferences, and I picked her up at 1. We walked home, spread some "spider webs" on the front bushes, planted some iris and daffodils that I brought from NC, Casper built the most adorable treehouse for her little mouse figure out of a magnolia leaf and tape and some lambs' ear leaves and a tiny doll quilt and a washcloth (and the mouse has a dress made from a wipe), we took a big bubble bath together, I made soup and she ate bacon and did some art stuff involving a large vat of blue-dyed water, and then we walked back to school, visited the Scholastic book fair where I spent $24 and got some good bargains, and then to the conference. She is looking tired and run down and still is having digestive problems off and on - had diarrhea this afternoon. She often says her stomach hurts, and her voice is hoarse like a cold is coming on. I had hoped to get her to nap, but fat chance. I hope mr. flea can get her to sleep early tonight. She feels fragile to me right now. But I am proud that she is happy at school, working carefully, and a good citizen (who also, Mrs. E told us, likes to make people (including Mrs. E) laugh, but she's good at choosing when to be funny, and isn't disruptive with it, as some of the other kids who think they are funny are.)


Jul. 11th, 2008 07:22 pm
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My mother has been on a negativity kick lately, at least when she's not talking about my brother, who is (as usual) the apple of her eye because he finally got a job, and has opted to spend more in rent on a 1 BR apartment in Brookline than our monthly mortgage including insurance and taxes on a 3 BR house. Aside from her gloom and doom about the stock market (she claims they are POOR now and she will have to go back to WORK to pay the mortgage on their vacation house, to which I have so far refrained from saying, "I HOPE you have to get a real job, it would be good for you"), her current main topic is her pity for poor Dillo, who will have to go to day care.

Now, until 2 weeks ago, Dillo had been in daycare continuously since he was 5 months old, and showing no ill effects. I think the new day care will be fine, although I suspect there will be a crying adjustment period.

This morning mr. flea got the earful, when she called to say Happy Birthday to Dillo (more on that later). She added a new tack - that upper middle class people don't put their children in daycare. Uh huh. And the fact that a huge percentage of the children in Dillo's ex-daycare have parents who are doctors or college professors, and most of the children at the new daycare have parents who are researchers holding PhDs, means what exactly?

I am so tired of my mother's affluenza.
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Dear web sites for popular local amenities: please to put your holiday hours on the web site, so I don't have to use the Evil Telephone to find out when you will be open! Guilty parties include: Guglhupf, Mama Dip's.

I don't think I ever wrote about my mother's visit to Mama Dip's when she was last here. She'd been to Crook's Corner before but was not too impressed by shrimp and grits. When she was here in November we did a marathon day of shopping, starting in Carrboro. We had worked our way up to Chapel Hill (and a hilarious store in the little mall set back from Franklin Street, where my mother bought an, I shit you not, $195 fitted sheet) and I had the brainwave to take her to Mama Dip's because she likes fried chicken. For starter's, Mama Dip herself was sitting in the entry when we came in and complemented me on my shoes (I was wearing my purple suede Dansko Roxys.) My mother went nuts over the place. She LOVED the food, went to talk to Mama Dip, and bought a cookbook. It was a side of her I don't often see, but I guess southern country cooking really touches a nostalgic place in her. She talked a lot about what her mother used to cook, especially fried chicken and succotash. Her mother (Porter) was born and raised in Annapolis, a daughter of southern parents, but I've always had an image of her as not domestic at all. My mother told me she learned to sew and bake bread, for example, from her girl scout leader. (Porter died when I was 2 and my mother only 25, so I know very little about her). I asked my mother if Porter had learned how to cook from her mother (Mary), who was one of four sisters from a lower middle class background and had been a schoolteacher before she married Bill, a PhD in philosophy from Chicago (step up!). My mother said, "oh no, she learned from Mary and Bill's cook, Sarah." Such a completely different way of life, to grow up in Annapolis in the 1930s.

In other completely different ways of life, I am reading the book Friday Night Lights, published in 1990, about the 1988 football season at Permian High School in Odessa TX. (I don't watch the show.) I was in high school myself in 1988, but it was on a completely different planet from these folks, I tell you what. I think what shocks me most is the completely open, causal, virulent racism. The school system was only desegregated in 1982, and man does it show. When people say no progress has been made in this country? I'm betting that racially things are better in Odessa now. I mean, I really really hope so.
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1. Baby name (first grandchild of coworker): Christopher Wayne. Didn't anyone tell these parents that giving your son the middle name Wayne gives him a greater-than-average chance of growing up to be 1) a serial killer or 2) a guy who gets his penis cut off and reattached, and then becomes a one-hit-wonder porn actor? Sheesh, people, this stuff is important!

2. Sinus headache persists, a bit more on and off. I went home from work with it yesterday, when it wasn't responding to the combination of a full dose of extra strength tylenol plus a full dose of advil, and I wanted to cry. Very tired of this. Acute pain I can do; chronic, not so much.

3. Thinking a lot about Casper and her personality wrt school and behavior issues the last couple of days. It is helping me to understand her better to observe the way her personality is like mr. flea's - VERY negative reaction to someone who starts out authoritarian when such an attitude is unjustified. I think this is the main problem with Mrs. S. It's coming out as passive defiance, rather than active, which is also the way mr. flea tends to react. mr. flea is also bad at transitions - he gets deeply involved in tasks and doesn't task-hop at all well. It can take him days to gear up to working on a different section of his dissertation. I wonder if some of the dawdling we hear about in Mrs. B's class, and issues with other kids, has to do with transitions between tasks. The one thing I have most trouble understanding is her tendency to secrecy, doing things we've asked her not to do (like buy treats at lunch). mr. flea and I were both shockingly honest kids. I do think a fluid relationship with the truth is a normal developmental phase at age 4, but I wish I knew a little more about child development in this case.

4. Mother has gone to Baltimore, where her father is in the ICU. He had (mostly elective) surgery about a month ago, and this is his fourth trip back to the hospital, as one thing seems to be leading to another (the fix for problem A breaks system B). He's 85, and mother is now thinking that while he's not going to die imminently, this is probably going to do him in sooner rather than later. I'm not emotional about it - I don't have an emotional relationship with my grandfather. He can be a charming old bastard, but ultimately he's just an old bastard, and I have kept well out of any entanglement with him (despite living in his house for most of a year after college). But my mother has unresolved issues with him that are very unlikely to be resolved before he dies (even if he lives through this and dies in 15 years) and the chickens will be coming home to roost. So, some coping-ma for my mother would be a good thing.


Nov. 5th, 2007 12:48 pm
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I am at work. My mother is at my house, and just called to say she has washed the curtains and the windows, and re-nailed the two sagging curtain rods, and is planning a Kroger trip to get more paper towels and brass polish and some kind of furniture polish (although I have lemon oil and told her so). And she's taken down lamp globes and washed them.

I mean, I'm glad my house will be nicer, but also, is she crazy or what?

To Do

Nov. 2nd, 2007 11:38 am
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Before Mother arrives Saturday afternoon:
Do all of homework (write total of 8 pages on 3 topics).
Finish shredding paper and get it out of bedroom.
Pack away other crap currently in bedroom in boxes.
Do another load of laundry (possibly 2).
Clean bathroom.
Vacuum kitchen.
Plan meals (Mother birthday meal) and grocery shop.
Acquire Mother birthday present? Or at least THINK about the topic.

With Mother:
Sunday birthday. Bake cake, plan meal.
Monday: send her to Winston Salem to see the museum of decorative arts?
Tuesday (day off): shop. I guess. It's what I do with my mother. Cosy, to Chapel Hill, to Mother of All Malls? Lunch out?
Discuss Tuesday PM bookclub - skip or bring her?
Yard work?

Sunday brunch out? But it's parents' weekend; possibly too busy.
Dinner: cake from Bake Shop Ghost, or possible cider spice cake. Shrimp (in freezer). Main dish? Would boeuf bourguignon be too much work?
Monday dinner (or, mr. flea and I go out while she babysits?). Maybe bean soup from kit? Need celery.
Tuesday dinner.
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I sorta quickie-skimmed this last night, but it was a book that does okay with sorta-quickie skimming.

Alfie Kohn, Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason (2006).

First off, my mother dated Alfie Kohn briefly, when I was maybe 12, she was 35, and he was 27. They met through a personal ad when we lived outside of Boston. It's a little funny to see that he has kids who are now about 10 and 6, judging by the photo on the jacket, since my mother's kids are now 35, 32, and 29. Also, he looks about 25 still, and he's actually 50. I remember him a little - he was very nerdy and didn't know what to do with a 12 year old in the slightest, which is also why it's very amusing to me that he writes about parenting now. Kohn first got famous (to the extent that he is actually famous; I mean, not Jackie Collins famous, obviously) by writing a book called No Contest, arguing that competition is bad for society. This in 1986, Reagan Time in America! I haven't read it.

I am exceptionally rambly today. Anyway, this book I read. It's essentially in the vein of books like Haim Ginott's, Alice Miller's, and Playful Parenting - basically, nice touchy-feely psychology-influenced hippie-people parenting. He argues that punishing kids is bad, but the thing that probably would get people riled up in this book is that he argues that *praising* kids is bad, too - it has the potential to stifle their inner motivation, and make them do stuff just *because* you say, "Good job." That's pretty radical, I think. In some ways it makes sense to me - but in other ways I can't imagine how you would actually raise a child like that. I gather the Montessori method is supposed to do that - I should really read up on it more since Casper's school is supposedly using it - but I must say her classroom seems to be all about rules and some really traditional stuff. I can't imagine her teacher doesn't praise.

He makes some important points: it's really important to understand the developmental abilities of children, and not punish them for doing something they can't really control (he has lots of examples of things he's witnessed people saying in public). Like, Dillo is throwing rice on the floor not to be bad, but because he's 14 months old, and throwing rice is fun. (We do not yell at him for throwing rice, in case you were worrying. We do *limit* the amount of rice available within his reach.) He also argues that American culture, for all its "Think! Of the Children!" propaganda, is actually NOT child-friendly or child-centered. Mass culture tries to *sell* things to children, but it doesn't really accept or respect their needs or abilities. He suggests that when we say children are "good" we really mean "being quiet and under our control" and that's actually something that bothers me when people say it about my kids. "Oh, is he always this good?" He's *easy* to take care of, and doesn't tend to fuss in public, but that shouldn't be a moral judgment, and I don't expect it to determine much of what his ultimate moral place in life will be.

Fundamentally, Kohn is a proponent of the idea that a parent's main job is to guide a child into being himself, and not break him too much. I agree with that, but he doesn't give much coverage to the problem that sometimes you need to control your child for your own sanity.

I told my mother I was reading this book and she scoffed at the idea that Kohn might have anything to say about parenting, implying it was too hippie-impractical (and Just Like Me With All My Permissive Ways). Since she owns copies of Between Parent and Child, and Pictures of a Childhood, WTF? I guess she is now well into her bourgeois post-hippie phase.
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She: I have a big committee meeting at noon today, and I am all ready and prepared.
me: What are you wearing?
She: Why do you want to know what I am wearing? I am wearing my grey silk nightgown with the floral topper over it since your brother is staying over.
me: What are you wearing TO THE BIG COMMITTEE MEETING, silly!

I came home from work early because I felt so terrible. I have had a headache all day long, that nothing I've taken has touched. It's in the back of my head and behind my eyes, and when I walk my head throbs at each step and pain radiates down my back. Paranoia is saying meningitis, except I think the back pain is muscular, but this could end any time now, thanks.
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1. Casper is rather better. Still have 2 more doses of antibiotic, but she's rarely coughing now and has decresed the blue circles under her eyes considerably.

2. Mother (and, trailing distantly in her wake, her husband) have arrived. Had a very nice afternoon with them yesterday, receiving presents (distinct from actual Xmas presents), working on The Dillo's stocking, me cooking Indian dinner. Casper very excited to see Grandma. Dillo literally looked at her and laughed (and she wasn't even making Twee Voice at the time.)

3. Mother brought 4 long-sleeve onesies I bought off ebay for the Dillo and had shipped to her. Hanna Andersson 70s, good price, and they are lovely - thick, warm, like new, adorable, cute (pale blue, navy with white stripe, white with pale blue stripe, white with yellow stripe.) I am only writing about these because man, they are making me happy!

4. I would have posted that the Dillo's sleep is getting WORSE, but last night was decent. The night before, though, WIDE awake at 3am. mr. flea wins the parenting prize for taking care of that AND the subsequent 5am wake-up. Last night, down at 7, cried & nursed at 11:45, nursed at 2:45 because he was wiggly if mostly asleep but I was awake and my breast was about to explode, up at about 5:15. He is going to bed and sleeping the whole night in our bed again - so much for all my good intentions about the crib.


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