Friday, August 22, 2008

AM I GETTING OLD? OR AM I JUST A CROTCHETY BROAD?

I think we have a problem in the world, people. No shock value there, right? What route am I going with this you may wonder?
Politics?
Parenting?
Financial?
Health Care?
Education?
Children?
Pretty much all of it besides politics....
strap yourselves in, this is a long post.


I am so happy that Jackson is loving school. Although he is absolutely exhausted, I am not surprised. Poor guy had a melt down on the soccer field last night at his second ever practice.
He's a beached kid right now. Plus, I've started the "School year rules" which means lots of things:
1. no TV or video games before school
2. empty backpack immediately upon returning home from school
3. empty lunch pail/bag/box/tin/whatever immediately into recycling/trash upon returning home from school
4. Place your shoes in your designated bin in the coat closet in our square kitchen.
5. Make your bed in the morning as difficult as it may be on the top bunk of a bunk bed
6. Video games are allowed but for a max time of 20min in which you can use the time in increments.
7. Homework will always be required to be completed upon arriving home from school
8. After backpack is put away, lunch box in sink, shoes in bin, and homework out, wash your hands.
9. In bed by 7:50 with a range of minutes to read books or play around with his Lego's or whatever he wants besides Video Games
10. 8:15 lights out, music on, closet door open, hall light on, closet light on, shades drawn, no talking

It's a tough life, isn't it? Rules. We all have em.
They suck at times.
But some of us do tend to follow the majority of rules we have.
We don't always follow them but that is something that is our choice.
Rules work well with privileges too.
You are offered more independence based on your behavior.
So you would think.

Jackson is in first grade now.
His first full day was this past Wednesday.
Each student in the class has been asked to bring a bottle of water with them to school every day.
But only a bottle of water that is good for the environment because his school last year went green. The bottle of refreshing H.2.O must have a pull top to avoid any spills that will occur when/if a child knocks it off his/her desk.

It must not be an aluminum type thermos because the noise is rather deafening according to his teacher. The purpose for the daily dose of H2o Desktop? To keep the students hydrated.
And yes people, the school does have a wide variety of drinking fountains available within their halls.


I know I sound cranky, but that's because, well, ONE, I am, and, TWO, I can recall when I was in my first year of college. Do you understand how excited I was when we were told by our college professors that we were "allowed" to bring a beverage to class with us?
All those years of K-8, grades 9-12 paid off.
I earned that right.
It was a privilege.

Now if you ask me, the generation that my children belong to are being "trained" for instant gratification. They don't have to raise their hand, wait for the teacher to call on them, be approved or denied to take the hall pass in order to sip from the school public bubbly.

The reason for the bottle at hand is to minimize disruption in regards to students needing to use the water fountain. Plus as Jackson's teacher emphasizes, the importance in keeping her students hydrated (in an air conditioned school mind you).

Instant Gratification.
Pisses me off.
Speaking of pee-pee, wouldn't you think that by having a bottle of water on their desk, daily (and this is for the entire school Grades 1 thru 5) that they're more likely to have to pee?
Do they get to have a urinal or stall next to their desk too, to minimize potty breaks?

I just don't get it.

It annoys me just as much as it does when I am told what I can and cannot pack for my child due to peanut allergies. And please before you go attacking me about the severity of allergies to food, as you include how heartless I sound because YOUR.CHILD.COULD.DIE.IF.HE.ATE.A.TREE.NUT, I'm not being heartless to your children. I understand how difficult it is if your child has an allergy. It's frustrating for everyone.
Only I don't ever recall my mom being told what she could and couldn't pack me. The ones that had allergies (granted it wasn't a "popular issue" back then) were taught responsibility quickly. You were taught to follow the rules of "whatever you do, do not take food from your friends at school because there could be peanuts in it." And guess what? The kids followed directions.

They didn't have mom and dad walking them thru life, providing them with health insurance until they are 26 (recent "law" that was passed In Illinois) because they are too lazy to even try to be successful in life. Naturally because everything has either been instant gratification (like that damn water bottle) or managed for them (like food in lunch pails).

The more we hold their hand thru life with things that they need to learn, the more we're going to hurt them when they are at the age of adulthood, where they should be able to at least try to provide for their family.

Naturally there are many people with disabilities, mental illnesses, chronic illnesses that deserve to have this type of assistance. That deserve to have less stress in their lives, as do their parents. I'm talking about the kids that just graduated from a four year college that mom and dad paid for with their 529plan. (Yes I have one, but you bet your ass my boys are going to have to work hard -not to mention contribute- they're not getting a free ride from us that's for sure).

The way I see it, the more we provide these kids with easy access to everything, the more we're screwing them when they're adults. Not to mention us when we're elders since we most likely won't have social security, and I would bet there could be quite a few of us that may just in fact have to rely on our children, well, not if they're used to not having to wait to get a drink of water.
Not when they're used to not having to rush out and find a job after college because the health benefits are now up with mom and dad's PPO, not when they aren't taught to be responsible for themselves by not eating things that they shouldn't, not smoking things that they shouldn't, not walking into a house full of dogs when they are fully aware that their eyes will water, their throat will be scratchy and they'll need a shot later on that evening in the ER.

They must learn responsibility now. It's not my job to make sure that the child next door avoids peanuts. It's the parents job to teach the importance of this scary allergy. It's the child's job to be aware of it. After all, we do tell our children not to take candy from strangers, right? In Jackson's school one of the main rules in lunch hour is absolutely no sharing. Shouldn't that be enough?
No, of course not! Instead the school is green without peanuts and tree nuts and children aren't learning about responsibility and patience. Should they ever question the definition, I'm certain the teachers will advise them to google it.

It scares me.

Welcome To Crustybeef~
I have so much more to chat about in regards to the allergy thing, but I am exhausted. It's been a long week. Worth it, but long. You see, my parents are finally taking a vacation with just themselves. After 35 years of marriage, this is the second time that they've gone somewhere by themselves for an actual vacation (because in the past it's been vacations with other people, or just the two of them for weddings out of town, or many many football games--story for another day---). The first time that they went on a vacation for 7plus days just the two of them for "no reason? For their honeymoon. So, the point is, they're in San Francisco and have been since Sunday. I have been running my dad's company remotely by being their "answering service, scheduler, 24/7 on call broad, minimal payroll, scheduling, emergency calls, data entry, accounts payable yadah yadah." I am happy to do it and so glad that my parents can finally get away-not to mention be able to mind you, but it has been exhausting. So as much as I'd love to delve further into my thoughts on peanut allergies and other kinds of allergies that hang out within the school walls, I am too bushwhacked. Just remember, it doesn't mean I don't feel for the children that do have them, I just think that the school needs to scale back on instant gratification and encourage more self responsibility from their students.And I'm PMS'ing.

21 comments:

Cheryl said...

I wish I'd had more rules for mine when she was little. Things would be better now. Not to mention the clean jeans hanging in the doorway of the laundry room would have been put away on Monday.

I love to hear PMS talk!

Martha said...

We had rules in our house, too, a lot like the ones you're talking about here. I'm a little more lenient with my daughter--lots of reasons I guess. My mom was able to stay home, but I have to work, so our house rules are just different from the ones I grew up with. The allergy thing? I agree for the most part--my daughter knows to never touch, let alone eat a carrot, no matter who offers it--but I've also seen how sick kids can get after breathing in peanut dust. That's so hard. But where do schools draw the line? The water thing I think is actually a good idea, but as a parent of a child who's been seriously ill and dehydrates on a regular basis, I'm probably biased. For my daughter's daycare, we actually had to get a doctor's note on file to make sure she gets X number of ounces of water per day, depending on the temperature and her level of activity, whether it's inside or outside. We're lucky in that the teachers have been really great. Now, I'll stop rambling!

austere said...

You have a point about responsibility. And owning up.Yes, school and home is where it starts, when I think back I remember homework diaries and no rules about not sharing- someone with an allergy was expected to behave sensibly. But we did have water bottles and it was embarrassing to ask Miss to be excused, so people learned to hold in till the bell rang.
I liked your house rules. V sensible.

Brad said...

Well, who the hell put the fire cracker up your butt?

Right on Sister!

I agree with your every point. We're going to end up with a generation of Joshuas and Jennifers who have never failed at anything because everyone wins and who have always been praised for any level of effort. It'll be a cold hard reality when they go to work for 'the man'

Not that I know what the hec I'm talking about, having only raised a golden retriever and the odd half dozen cats.

Your a great Mom and I know there's a reason for each rule. But as an uncle of other tots, can I beg for 10 more minutes of video game time for Jackson? Maybe an extra 10 minutes if he does a chore above & beyond normal duty ?

Love ya sweets!

JLee said...

I'm PMSing too! lol I'm irritated that next year my daughter can't wear this, can't wear that...no fur on your boots or shoes, no headgear or scarves of any kind, no denim jackets. No denim jackets?? Since when did that become inappropriate?? Militant! haha

abbagirl74 said...

Yes. Yes. Yes!

I feel the same way. What is happening to our kids?

fiwa said...

I applaud you - I think your attitude is right on. I also think this business about "everybody is a winner" is a mistake. Kids need to learn that you can't always be the best, but you need to be satisfied with DOING your best. How else are they going to learn good sportsmanship - the art of losing gracefully?

I would have been up a creek without a paddle if that peanut rule had been in place when my stepdaughter was in school. Peanut butter was the ONLY thing she would eat.

DOn't work too hard - that sounds exhausting doing all that.

Hey - I sent you an email about your header - let me know whatcha need. fiwa6831@yahoo.com

love & stuff -
fiwa

simonsays said...

You are SOOO right, miss crusty beef! If we allow society and schools and everyone to act as though our children are not capable of being taught responsibility....then they WILL turn our just like my kids!

That's a joke, sort of.

Hugs, honey.

You are such a good mom, a good daughter...

:)

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Cheryl, Things will get better-I gty it. Just ask my mom! !:)
xo,
elizabeth

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Cheryl, Things will get better-I gty it. Just ask my mom! !:)
xo,
elizabeth

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Martha, I totally agree with you on the rules while working bit, it was much more like that when I was working---and it "seemed" to be working, but naturally at the time the grass was always greener,..I've always said this that as much as a sahm's life can be boring or hard, I think being a mom that works fulltime, and cares for her home is a remarkable woman. Since I've been at home I've desired more management style tactics (maybe because I miss working, which oh my gosh I do!!) and more schedule and organization with them in the home, I've seen how less frenetic they become and for them this is what suits them.Kids don't learn the same way, it's based on their personalities and the outside stuff-like fulltime working, school, single parents, etc..it's never the same for each child..
credit is where credit's due.

Always,
Elizabeth

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Austie: I do remember the burning of the neck and face to raise your hand to use the loo, and perhaps held it more (which probably wasn't so good to do being a woman and all) but I just think for a school like theirs that is so airconditioned and with many water fountains, why have their own water. Maybe if anything they should make that a priviledge--to those that follow directions and conduct themselves based on manners are deserving of the water bottles--not based on intellect but on your classroom ethics..
might enable these kids to head in the right direction.

Who am I though, right? :)
I bet when my boys are 16 I'll have a whole different mindset because I can't understand what I don't know but I do remember what I felt "then."

wierd.

Always,
Elizabeth

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Brad, wish granted because of his middle name. :) Joshua and Jennifer -you're hilarious! now put down that grandslam and move along, it's sunday-- :)

:),
Elizabeth

CRUSTYBEEF said...

JLee: NO demin jackets? WHAT??????
I remember wearing Micheal Jackson's glitter glove to school and that was okay

In third Grade.

Pmsing really is a pain but lets hope for a calming Pam. :)

Elizabeth

CRUSTYBEEF said...

abbagirl: I don't know but when you figure it out will you help me out here with it all? it's mind numbing.

always,
Eb's

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Fiwa: I couldn't agree with you more on the winner part, however I do have to say that I wish there was a way to make the young females of this day as well as my day past, less bitchy towards others and more understanding..same goes for the mom's--we're all in this together, don't be catty.

Drives me mad.
I do need help-will chat with you soon!! :)
Elizabeth

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Jaime: :) how do we undo it though? because I know for me I am not consistant with my parenting styles, I do well for awhile, and then I suck, and then I create new schedules, and then good for awhile, and then screw it for awhile..
it's hard to be consistant!
The good thing is, no matter what's going on with your kids, they love you to death and that's a nice thing to be able to see-

Always,
Elizabeth

I hope you're feeling better soon momma!!

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Btw: I was a pain in the ass as a daughter too,I fell on my ass quite a few times in my life, I made mistakes, and naturally I'm sure my parents think they did too, that stuff happens, if it doesn't I don't believe you can learn then..just look back and find the positives with all of it..
I would give anything to my parents, even when I don't understand them, I know that I could count on them when everything crumbles around me...but I was a pain in the ass for them as a HS student because I always had to "Do it my way" and to "be grown up" and be "on my own," I'm glad I'm strong, but I wasn't always nice to them..

and I still feel bad for it.


Always,
Elizabeth

Gypsy said...

We went through that whole "no peanut" thing right through junior and primary school and while I am also sympathetic, it was a pain in the ass. Like fiwa it was also the only thing one of my kids would eat. (Funnily enough she hates it now but I digress).

I don't necessarily agree with the water thing maybe because I live in a hot country but I certainly understand the point you are making and wholeheartedly agree with you. Our kids definitely get too much, too easily and don't know the meaning of being satisfied and content with what they have. Seems to me the kids of today are quite ungrateful and the more we give them the more they expect.

Great post. I find the best ones ARE usually written when suffering from PMS. Hope it eases up soon. Big hugs.

Portia said...

Nobody could ever accuse you of being heartless! But you did crack me up with the MY.CHILD.COULD.DIE.IF.HE.ATE.A.TREE.NUT
Of course a lethal allergy isn't funny, but the way you tell a story sure is:D

Kstro said...

ANNOYING!!!!!!! Not that I would ever home school...but geesh! You can't do anything anymore.
Did you know there are links between peanut allergies and the high amounts of folic acid taken in prenatal vitamins? Interesting, huh? Good thing I slacked on those things!