Thursday, February 23, 2012

When's the last time you saw a child 'smoking" gum/candy cigarettes or riding on the handlebars of his friend's bicycle?

My friend, Chad sent me this article a few weeks ago and for some reason I let it sit and fester in between the Groupon and Daily Deals that are clogging up my yahoo account. The Gmail is clogged with health and fitness "tips" and Nigerian relatives who want to give me money.

LUCKILY I decided to purge today. No...I am not clearing off the dry bar that is covered with dust (dust that has seen more parts of this country than ANY travel adviser, I'll have you know. I wonder if I could sell it...?

"This dust began its dismal life in Charlotte, North Carolina where it began its journey north to Manassas, Virginia. There were too many battles fought in Manassas, so the dust settled (hahahaha!) in Warrenton for a while, then headed to Fredericksburg where it spent most of its youth. After five years, the dust rolled through most of the central states to reside in upstate western Montana for about two years when it collected itself (and others) and rolled back eastward to settle in New Jersey where it now rests beneath a ridiculous amount of time-out toys that were never missed and candles that are never lit (for fear of a dust explosion upon lighting...)"

Wow--that was QUITE a digression. Now you know why I confuse so easily. There is MADNESS going on in my brain. Where was I? Right--purging. No--I am not sorting through the stacks of papers that are strewn about the house. I am not purging the leftover ham from last year's Easter dinner (just kidding, but you were wondering for a minute...I don't blame you. If our refrigerator hadn't broken a month ago, it could TOTALLY be the case--don't beat yourself up about it). I AM purging my irrelevant email. I would LOVE to do both accounts, but let's not get crazy. I have over ten THOUSAND emails in my yahoo account. TEN. THOUSAND. I don't even KNOW what half of them are about, yet I will keep them...just in case. I very well may want to sit down later to discover the secret fat-burning ingredient in five foods I may or may not eat every day. And if I click on some of the surveys I can earn something...I may want to read about what that something IS.

Well, I am glad I at least attempted to purge because I came upon this email from my friend and the article is HILARIOUS! Really. I know what you are thinking--I think EVERYTHING is hilarious (unless "you" are my husband--then you think that I think that NOTHING is hilarious--but that is for another day), but THIS will REALLY make you laugh out LOUD (which I hate to say because people don't believe that laughing out loud is really a thing anymore, but it IS! LITERALLY (another word that people don't believe in because it is so frequently misused). I LITERALLY laughed OUT LOUD when I read this and I think you will, too.

Did you read it? DID you? Wasn't it HILARIOUS? Were you picturing yourself falling all over the seat in the car or worse--sitting in THE FRONT seat as a child? Or flying down a hill helmetless and carefree with your parents nowhere in sight?! I am giggling just REMEMBERING the article--and those PICTURES! I want Amber Dusick to be my friend because she is SO FUNNY--and I have funny friends!

 While reading this I started thinking about when I would babysit for my cousins (who are now in their twenties) and their car seats would practically tip OVER when we went around corners. Of course, at least they attempted to keep their children safe twenty years ago. When I was young you were lucky to have a seat belt and a relative who would hail a few Mary's for your journey. As for Mr. Yuck--we had a serious love/hate relationship. My mom would put those stickers on every container (which really just made me MORE curious about what was inside) and would get extras for me because I LIKED them. If that doesn't tell you what my taste in men was like (before I met my husband of course), then nothing will!

I choked on my carrot (yes, carrot. I had to grab SOMETHING when I clicked on Dusick's link to the BEST chocolate chip cookie EVER, because I was salivating. Luckily I am far too lazy to make ANYTHING right now--even if it is of the chocolate chip variety and even if it is the best EVER. ) reading about her experience with the metal swingset remembering how we would stand up on the swing and have people push us as high as possible and now I say, "Only on your bottom" as my children have the controlled fun I allow them to have. They have never even ATTEMPTED to stand up on the swing--I am pretty sure that I would KILL them for even TRYING it. I remember trying to swing high enough to make the entire swingset tip over backwards. Don't act like you don't know what I mean. ALL of those sets would come out of the ground as we swung--was there supposed to be cement poured in to keep them in the ground? I'm not sure that ANYONE went to those extremes--they just banked on us slowing down so that the set would stay in place. Or maybe they were hoping it tipped, too!

The see-saw/teeter.totter slam down was like a rite of passage when we were young. You climbed onto the teeter totter KNOWING that you were taking a risk. I remember the panic when your tottering partner would decide that she would rather be jump roping...BAM. Your top teeth became your bottom teeth and your brain was in your nose. Sometimes people would just mess with each other--you never knew if you were going to crash to your doom or be carefully let off of the see saw with no injuries. It was a crap shoot. Good times.

I read this knowing that I was the most overprotective parent out there and was just happy to know that someone may be almost as bad as I am. Or slightly as bad as I am...?
The first time I let my son play outside without me, we were living in a townhouse in Montana. There was no screen door and I couldn't really see in the back yard from the tiny kitchen window, so I left the back door open. In December. In Montana. The neighborhood children who had gathered to play ball in the back yard were a little freaked out by me, but I was a little freaked out by THEM. And pretty much EVERYTHING else

 I have gotten better--I let all three of them go out without me now as long as they stick together and stay in the yard. The other day, the older two were having fun and getting along so well that they didn't notice the youngest taking off on her bike. ALONE. I say "taking off," but you should know that we live on the corner of two culdesacked (I am coining that--it is now a word) streets so "taking off" meant that she rode in the street in front of our house and next to our house. IN THE STREET. And she did NOT have her helmet, which is a bit...ironic? Hypocritical? since someone I know VERY WELL just wrote an article for the Examiner on the subject of helmet safety. Ahem.

 I know all of this because even though I let them go outside without me I check them every few minutes to make sure...well, to make sure that one of them isn't riding around helmetless in the street.  When I peeked out, I only saw the oldest two and my heart sank. I yelled for them ALL and the oldest two came running noting that they had no idea where Addison was. At this point, she was riding her bike along the side of the house where we could not see, but when my son said, "She's inside--she went in a LOONG time ago!" I thought I would be sick. Seconds later, little Addie comes squeaking around the corner with a huge smile, not a care in the world. Until I grabbed her and mauled her and told her to ALWAYS answer when we call her name. Nothing like freaking out the five-year-old.

Why ARE we so much more protective of our children now? I blame Lifetime television. I don't watch it now, but in my twenties I LIVED (AND cried) by it! There is always something happening to some sweet child and the nice neighbor is always the serial stalker. AND it is ALWAYS a true story! I will NEVER get the image of the parents going to bed in the room of the husband/killer and when they turned the lights off the room GLOWED to show how much blood had been on the walls. CREEPY. Anyway, I knew I had to give up Lifetime and I haven't watched it since. if only I could give up chocolate and baked goods that easily...FOREVER.

Only, I don't WANT to give up yummy treats FOREVER--or even for a short amount of time, really, but Lifetime HAD to go because it was messing with my brain. I am constantly afraid of something happening to my babies and watching Lifetime would make it SO MUCH WORSE! it's a shame because those movies usually are SO GOOD.

I have a whole thing about certain movies and when I am allowed to watch them--I'll have to revisit it in a different post.  Now, though, I will have to settle on reading Tummy taming tips and writing back to my Nigerian uncle. Speaking of keeping children safe, where ARE my kids anyway...? I would have done GREAT as a parent in the seventies...

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