Natterbug’s here!

Yesterday afternoon, K and I picked up my adorable niece, Natalie. She cracks me up. I love having her around. Every time we see her, she always asks “Auntie, did you bring the eye-uh-pad?”. She has all sorts of games downloaded on our iPad for her. But she really loves playing games and chasing our cats around. Right now she is snoring away on my living room chair while I get ready for work.

And K is such a sucker for her. Last night, we stopped at the Walmart and she runs up to him with a T-shirt that is a pink Mossy Oak shirt that says Camo Princess on it. “Uncle K, can you buy me this?”. “How much is it?”. “I don’t know but it’s pretty.” he’s such a sucker. Why does he say he doesn’t want a daughter? Probably because we’d go broke with him spoiling her.

Sorry this post is just random. I’m tired and wanted to write something quickly. Tonight we’re having a campfire so I’ll have to post pictures of that.

Have a happy Friday.

20111104-073134.jpg

Advertisements

I’m a Bad Mom

I criticize my children.

I’m not afraid to admit it. I think they need it.

In this culture of telling every kid is that he/she is smart and a winner, I tell my kids exactly what their weaknesses are.

I don’t ever tell them they are stupid and that they are losers though. If my kid is bad at math or passing the soccer ball, I let them know. Then I tell them what they can do to improve or how to focus more on something that they are good at.

I think sometimes my parenting style comes off more as a workplace supervisor than a nurturer. Frick and Frack are teenagers though. They are about to head out into the big, cruel world where not everyone wins, where one or two people get praised for being better than the rest, where jobs get lost because of underperforming. I want kids who are able to deal with that and learn to work harder to come out ahead. I like to consider my criticism (constructive, of course) like a precursor to job performance reviews.

The only reason I chose to blog about this is because today was the day they handed out medals in soccer today. Each child got one just for participating. I have no problem with this on the younger fields, but I wish they would do trophies and have the winning the final tournament actually mean something on the older kids’ fields. We have a drawer full of these participation medals that our boys don’t give a flying fart about because they have no meaning.

K coaches Frack’s team, one of the 11-14 year old teams. Honestly, they suck. Like every other team in the age bracket, we have two or three great players and a mix of good and not so good players. Our main problems are attitude and communication. Two kids on the team have a horrible attitude. They talk back, don’t listen and are just little a-holes. Yeah, I did say that. Because it’s true. Their attitudes affect the rest of the team until most are bickering like old hens. And the communication problems we have. The kids don’t tell each other what they’re doing out on the field so they end up bickering because they’re not doing what the other wants them to do.

K enjoys coaching but this year he is so frustrated that he doesn’t even want to go to practice or games. I have been trying to help him but I am not good with kids this age. I do notice what he does when he coaches the kids individually. He tells them what their weaknesses are and gives examples of what they did wrong on the field. Which is always followed with “the next time that happens, I want you to…”. He tells them how to improve what they are doing so that they don’t make the same mistakes. He then tells them how to use whatever their particular strength is to the team’s advantage. Once you get past the age where basics are being taught and refined, that is how a coach should do it.

So why are there so many coaches that tell kids it’s okay when they make a mistake without telling the kid how to correct it or prevent that same mistake? Mistakes are bad, but they happen to everyone. Our job as parents (or life coaches) is to teach our children the basics and provide plenty of nurturing when they are young. Once they hit their early teen years, it is our job to prepare them for real life. We provide a safe environment to make mistakes and point them in the right direction to fix those mistakes. We teach them to play to their strengths and work around their weaknesses. We shouldn’t fix their problems for them.

Sorry, this turned into a rambling post that is all over the place. I just don’t think we do our children any favors by letting everyone have a place on high school teams, not keeping score in youth leagues or not letting kids experience any form of defeat.

That’s it, there isn’t any more.

Have a great weekend.

When waiting isn’t in our husbands best interests

20110808-033726.jpg

That adorable little girl is my niece, Natalie. She’s four now; this picture’s about 2 years old. She is the most adorable little girl who has the funniest facial expressions.

Last night, K and I went to her house for dinner. Her parents are my older brother, Dennis, and his wife, Heidi. We had a good time talking and laughing. Plus grilled chicken and sweet corn on the cob for supper. Yum!

My brother is 38 and Heidi is 25. That’s quite an age difference. Of course the subject of having babies came up. I know Heidi would like to wait a few years before trying for another but they are trying now. My brother doesn’t want to be an old man with young kids. He’d like to be around when they graduate, get married and have babies of their own. So Heidi defers to his wishes when it comes to planning the timing of their second.

We kind of have the same situation at our house. Because we knew there would be problems conceiving, we started trying six months after dating. K was 36 and I was 26 at the time. I think the idea was to have two before he turned 42. Now, after four years of trying, I am 31 and he’s 40. I want to take a break, work on my education and a career so we could be on better financial footing when we have a baby.

That would take about four years though. K doesn’t want to be an old man and with the struggles we have conceiving, he could be fifty before we’d have a baby. He wants to play with his kids, teach them to hunt and fish and not need a walker to go to his children’s high school graduation. So we continue trying because we have a timeline.

The only reason I’ve been thinking about this lately is because so many people keep telling me I have years to have a baby. I may have a good nine or ten years but my husband doesn’t. Well, physically he has ages but is that fair to a child? Frick and Frack’s grandfather married a woman who is the same age as their mother. They have a seven year old daughter together. He will be 82 when she graduates high school, if he’s even alive by then. My brother and K don’t want to be in that situation.

So, when there is a gap in ages, sometimes your idea of when the right timing for a child has to be adjusted to fit your spouse’s schedule instead of your own.