the Groundhog Day roundabout of parenting

Groundhog Day in paradise. 

There should be a law against this.  It’s a crime against nature that a gorgeous sunset colors the water while BrightSide and I are trapped in a room, hammering out another peace accord between our kids. 

Without surveillance video, stories morph from one version to another like fog rolling across a river.  She did this.  But he did that.  No, I didn’t!  And she said this then did that.  No I didn’t!  I really didn’t!

Lawd.

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offensive t-shirt seams, temporary body art, and the pointless pursuit of de-sassing teens

Leave it to my youngest to bring up back to school shopping.  In July.  While on vacation.

I guess one could praise Bear for her foresight and responsibility.  Me?  I fell back on Advanced Parenting 301.  I said I didn’t want to think about it until August.

And dammit, here we are.

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notes for our newly minted teenage son

I feel like there should be overture music here.  Something with a driving rhythm – thumping drums, blaring horn section, maybe an underlying bass line.  Perhaps the Death Star music would suffice. 

For today is the day that T-man finally, conclusively, at long last officially becomes a teenager.

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee…pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.”

Okay, maybe equating parenting a teen with “the hour of our death” is a little harsh.  Mark it up to poetic license on the eve of T-man’s thirteenth birthday.

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if it takes a village, sometimes I live in Siberia

At the risk of seeming like I have a split personality, we’ve got some pretty decent kids.  I’ve written more than a few posts ranting about one thing or another so this might sound like a flip flop to you, but the reality is that we’ve invested a great amount of time, effort, and energy into making sure our kids don’t act like a**holes.  I’d say we’re basically winning on that one. 

It’s not like it’s been a cakewalk, though.  As a matter of fact, sometimes it feels like we’re swimming upstream in the quest to produce nonasshole upstanding citizens for society.  Someone cue the world’s tiniest violin: would someone remind me why on earth I have to fight people on this?

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all things fidget spinner

Unless you’ve been living on a desert island (mmmm…desert island) for the last nine months – or are among the over-70-no-grandkids crowd – you know what these whirring, spinning, fidgety toys are.  [If you’ve been one of the lucky few to avoid the craze, here you go.  Check out what all the fuss is about.]  Gadgets created for fidgety fingers, kids are taking these things to new heights every day.

Timing how long they spin.  Spinning two gadgets simultaneously.  Balancing spinners on your nose, your chin, your big toe…kids keep finding bigger (and weirder) things to do with these toys.  Plus posting videos of fidget spinner hijinks – where else – on Instagram is practically an Olympic sport.

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Forever Family: baby daddies and the issues they leave in their wake

Major. Writer’s. Block.

Today’s post is supposed to be about birthfathers – it says so right there on the blog calendar.  The way they’re ever present even through the longest absences, the questions that linger, how the struggle is more challenging for T-man… 

But I’m sitting here, pen in hand, utterly unable to string together a series of coherent thoughts today. Looks like we’re going with stringing plain old regular thoughts.

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the blessing of boys (and how we’re failing them)

Our boys are such a gift.  Seeing the world with new eyes each day.  Laughing riotously, about everything, anything, and nothing at all.  Full of big dreams and even bigger imaginations. 

But in many ways, we fail our boys, too. 

We don’t do enough to encourage their sensitivity.  Middle school students mock boys for crying, and there are still too many parents who reinforce that message at home.  I don’t want my son falling apart over a paper cut (my daughter either!), but our boys need to know that it’s okay to cry.  That sometimes, sitting through the really hard stuff and letting it out is the only way to move forward.

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who has a “favorite frontiersman” anyway?

Kids’ camps are da bomb.  Really.  Except when they’re not. 

“Dear camp directors,

I’m worried.  Like seriously worried.  I mean you’re supposed to be taking care of my precious kiddos every day, but I’m questioning your sobriety.  Nahhh, not our bus driver.  She rocks the Casbah.  But I’m seriously worried that the people who are in charge at camp are smoking something.

Because I just took a look at the summer calendar and I have four words for you: WTF were you thinking?  Or drinking?  Or inhaling?”

WTF happened to NORMAL dress-up days like crazy sock day?!! – Baby Sideburns