I’m currently attending a community safety forum to hear professionals talk about keeping kids safe on the internet. Great information. There’s a microphone on the floor for question and answer but all I can think about is singing Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time” karaoke style. (I’m a terrible singer but that’s a minor detail)
I’m often overcome with a need to perform when I see a mic in a large room.
I could write a whole book on how events in my my childhood affect who I am as an adult and the decisions I make as a mom of four. My mother raised three children as a true single mom. There was not a dad around. It was just her. She made all the decisions and her decision was final.
Fast forward to today. I decided to have more of a democracy. Every family member is equal and has a say in all major and minor decisions. We recently took a trip to Maryland over the Christmas holiday. I asked everybody if they wanted to go. If one person had said no then we would have stayed home. We literally had a conversation about putting up Christmas decorations and specifically a tree. I could care less about a tree. They don’t like taking down decorations. We scaled it way back and with a compromise we put a metal tree with lights that’s meant for the yard up in the house. Don’t judge us. It worked. I have the final vote on major things like buying the house we are in now. Everybody went with me to look for houses. My daughter, Melody, wanted one house and even through a mild fit. I told her she could not see what I could see. I was not only buying a house but a neighborhood and a way of life. Living on a cul-de-sac three house from the neighborhood pool proved to be a great choice and worth less square footage.
All of that to say, anybody can call and conduct a family meeting in our house. Josiah had requested to hold one to discuss his new guidelines surrounding waking everybody up in the mornings. Now Josiah is the third child. He is a typical attention seeking, vivacious, charismatic middle child who also likes being punctual. His school bus arrives at 7:40 so he has the alarm set for 6 am.
He had taken on the responsibility of waking everybody up if they were sleeping too late. He’s done a fantastic job at this self appointed duty. He has helped his siblings, especially his sister and younger brother, make it to the bus just before it stopped and opened the doors. He has even saved the day by finding neighbors willing to give them rides when it seemed they would not make it on time. After a year and a half of this daily activity he resigned from the self appointed position because of the stress. He did not provide any notice. It was effective immediately.
After a couple of days he realized how much they had grown to depend on him to get out of the house. He was sympathetic to their plight. During the meeting he said they would each get one free wake up per month. Unfortunately Shawn had already used his. He also told them the unused ones would accumulate from month to month. There was much discussion and shouts of outrage an insult or two and threats of bodily harm. At some point I heard, “objection!” and somebody yelled “order in the court!” It may have been the same person. For some reason the oldest gets unlimited wake up calls because he has a car. That created another uproar among the other two. But it was a good strategic move. Stay on the good side of the person with the car.
In case you’re wondering why the oldest doesn’t take everybody to school on a daily basis, it’s because he has late arrival. He will take them if they have activities in the morning.
I truly feel like I’m helping them find their voices at an early age and most of all realize they are an important part of this family and I value their input and points of view. They might decide there was way too much discussion and not allow their children to have any input. I won’t be offended. Everybody has to walk their own path according to the influences in their lives.
I came home from working out yesterday and saw my two youngest sons standing in the kitchen. The baby of my bunch (he’s 11) was holding an egg slicer with an unpeeled cutie in it over a cup and squeezing with all his might. I asked them what they were doing and they responded, “Making fresh squeezed orange juice!” My response was, “Well that’s not going to work.” I did wonder why they were putting so much effort into that when there’s a juicer sitting on the counter. Is that innovation or wasted energy? It’s hard to tell. Nevertheless I’ll pick up orange juice on my way home today.
Remind me to tell you about the family meeting we had last night.
How many days into the new year do we stop saying, “Happy New Year”? Sometime after the 3rd it started feeling awkward to me but then I decided that maybe it was appropriate for people you hadn’t seen or spoken to just yet. But I’m not really sure. Is this a question for Miss Manner or Amy?
If you haven’t been told by anyone lately, Happy New Year. I sincerely hope your year is filled with joy, peace, love, abundance and the ability to endure the difficult times.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who charge you or will not see you if you are late but don’t provide the same consideration.
How many times have you waited on your hairstylist, mechanic, doctor or anybody else for an extended period of time even though you made a appointment? I know ish happens and it throws off their schedule. Why not call me to say you’re running behind? Give me the option of coming in later or rescheduling for another day.
A doctor’s office may charge you a copay for being late and make you reschedule your appointment. But what do they do for you when they are running late? My time is just as valuable as theirs.
Yesterday I waited 42 minutes, yes I was watching the clock. Why? I needed to get to a PTA meeting. I gave myself plenty of time by scheduling at 2pm and the meeting was at 4:30 with a 20 minute drive. I started getting anxious because I wasn’t sure if this was just the first wait. You know how you wait in the common area but then wait again in the room? I had mentally given them until 3pm to come get me.
I made a different doctor’s appointment during lunch time for something else. Forty-five minutes later…I approached the front desk and asked, how much longer? Their response? About an hour. Are you kidding me? I requested a refund of the copay they insisted on collecting upfront. They looked confused and offered me a credit. No thanks. That forces me to return to you for services. As politely as possible I told them it was rude and inconsiderate of patients to make them wait. “You could have called me and said you were running behind.”
If I go through the process of making an appointment the least you can do is see me on time or call me if it’s delayed. Making me wait is unacceptable. Especially if you have a firm late policy that cancels my appointment and charges me a fee. My time is just as valuable.
Wouldn’t it be nice if clients or patients could charge a fee or receive a credit every time they are made to wait longer than 5 or 10 minutes? I think so.
I shared in a previous post, What’s up with me, that I was doing the Whole30 Diet and really enjoying the benefits. On Whole30 you eliminate a lot of foods. I thought I would struggle the most with desserts. I love sweets. I really do. But I cut them out. I actually can’t remember the last time I baked a cake, cookie or muffin in my own kitchen.
My struggle has been French fries and ketchup. Who knew??? Now, you can have fries but only if you put in the work to peel, cut and bake the or sauté them in an approved oil, deep frying is a no no. The struggle… I’ve had fries with ketchup once a week at least.
My 30th day was July 4. But since I have not overcome my craving or addiction I’m supposed to start over. I told myself I would not have any this week. But I’ve eaten them twice already. Is there a support group for fry addiction? Would you attend if I started one? My goal, starting Monday, is to go an entire week without one fry. I can do this.