Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kids Today Are So Busy!

I’m actually writing this post while I’m waiting at my daughter’s soccer practice. This weekend we’re picking her up early from cheerleader tryouts so we can travel 2 ½ hours away to a soccer game. Since I found someone to stay with my Mom (she lives with us and has Alzheimer’s disease), we are going to stay overnight in a hotel and make a fun weekend out of it. My husband and I spend a good part of our free time attending our kids’ activities. It sure wasn’t like this when I was a kid.

I grew up in the seventies, and I just don’t remember that many activities being offered to kids outside of basic school activities. The few that were offered, I had to beg and plead to participate in. I remember when I wanted to play softball when I was in second grade. Mom and Dad said I could, but I had to be on the same team as my two older cousins. I think they planned it this way so I could ride with them to practices and games. We only had one vehicle, so I don’t know if it was too much trouble to take me or if they didn’t want to.

As I grew older, I was in band and I tried a few sports at school. Games and events were all local, and there were never any big family outings to attend anything far away. Mom and Dad still didn’t come very often. I remember when I played volleyball in Jr. High that if my dad came to watch, he would bring a newspaper to read. It always seemed like the only times he looked up was when I made a mistake!

My husband’s experience with sports and activities wasn’t much better. Since he was the youngest of seven children, by the time his time came around his parents had grown weary of chauffeuring kids all over the place. When he did play baseball, his dad would actually walk over from the town bar to watch a game. He would stand behind the plate and every time he had a strike, he’d sternly yell out, “Come on, son!”

So, I don’t know if maybe some of us feel we were deprived as children, so we overcompensate by having our kids in every activity under the sun. Maybe we are trying to live out our unrealized dreams through them. Or maybe, we’re just caught up in the idea that we have to do more and more for our kids to be a good parent. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just happy my laptop has a decent battery so I can write about it while I’m waiting!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh My! I Think I Have a Crush on Phil from the Amazing Race!

In our house, we watch a lot of reality T.V. Of all the shows we watch, The Amazing Race is our favorite. I love the action and drama, and we learn a little something about other cultures. But I must say, my favorite part of the show is the host Phil Keoghan. He seems like a genuinely kind man who cares about the contestants. Plus, he has a really sexy Australian accent, sigh...

This season, one of our favorite teams is Margie and Luke. They are mother and son, and Luke is deaf. I nearly melted when Phil first signed, "You are team number..." when they arrived at the mat. Last night, we watched as Margie struggled through the leg and fainted when she got to the mat. Without any hesitation, Phil leaped across the mat to catch Margie in his arms. He called for water and helped her cool off on the sidelines. I was so moved that I had to rewind our DVR just to watch it again. "I just love Phil," I said breathlessly. The kids gave me a look, and Tyler told me to "calm down." Hubby was upstairs so he didn't hear my confession!

You know, sometimes I fantasize about being on the show (and being in shape to do it). But I do know I were on the Amazing Race, I would not be so lucky to faint into Phil's arms. No, I would pass out on a mountainside or in an alley with Phil nowhere near to come to my rescue. I would be lying there with drool coming out of my mouth and the camera rolling. I'd probably get trampled by an ox or have my fanny pack snatched by a local thief.

Oh well. I'm glad Margie is okay and I hope her and Luke continue to do well on the race. Even if Phil will never catch me in his arms, I can still dream...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is My Local Wal-Mart Messing With Me?

Like thousands of other small towns across America, we have a local Wal-Mart where most people do most of their shopping. Love it or hate it, it's the only store around that has a complete array of groceries and household items.

Last week when I went, I noticed they were moving some things around. Nothing major, I just thought that maybe they were doing some cleaning or putting down some new flooring. Tonight I went and about half of the store was moved around, and I could tell they were working on even more changes. All of the paper goods were at the back of the store where the baby section and shoes used to be. The baby section was shoved in with the kids clothes and the shoes were stuck out in the middle aisles. There were other changes like some of the snack items moved out so that the beer and liquor could be there instead of with the drinks. Even the deli and bakery section had shelves moved out to make room for something else.

Fortunately, I didn't have too much to buy and I wasn't in a time crunch. I could figure out where to go, but I was definitely off of my normal path. I looked at some of the other shoppers. Most of them looked frustrated and confused. Everyone just seemed to be wandering around with a lost look on their face.

I'm sure in time that everyone will adjust. We'll be able to get to the toilet paper aisle without thinking, and our shopping routes will become reestablished so we can shop on autopilot. I do wonder why they decided to make such drastic changes. Knowing Wal-Mart, they probably studied how store arrangement affects buying habits so we'll spend even more on our shopping trips. Or maybe, it was just a random change and someone is watching me on the security cameras and laughing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Do I Really Want My 11-Year-Old Daughter Singing the Lyrics to "If U Seek Amy" by Britney Spears?

I consider myself pretty open minded when it comes to music. I like to know what my kids are listening to, and if it's something questionable we can talk about it.

Last week, I heard the new Britney Spears song, If U Seek Amy, on the radio. Part of the lyrics were bleeped out, so I wondered what she was saying. In situations like this, I consult with my friend, Amanda, at work. Her daughter is a few years older, so she usually knows about things before I do. She explained that she was singing, "All the boys and girls are begging to if U seek Amy." I didn't get it. Why were the boys and girls begging her to seek someone named Amy? Amanda had to spell it out for me, literally. Oh... now I get it. Great. I knew it would only be a matter of days before my daughter would know all about this.

A few days later we're in the car when the song comes on. Her face lights up, "Oh, I like this song, it's by Britney Spears!" Okay, I thought, maybe she's just heard the song and has no idea what it's about. She then casually informed me that part of the song SOUNDS like she spelling a bad word, but she's really just saying, "If you seek Amy."

"Yeah, I know," I told her. I went on saying that I couldn't understand why Britney would sing a song about people wanting to do that to her. I tried to turn it into a teaching moment about values and respecting your body. She just looked at me like I was stupid. Finally, I looked at her and asked, "Do you even know what that word means?" "Kind of," she answered quietly. "It means having SEX!" I exclaimed.

The rest of the car ride was pretty quiet. Times have really changed. When I was her age, my dad made me throw away the 45 record I bought of "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)" by Robert Palmer because of the line, "you'll like it on top." (Like I had any clue what THAT meant). He also confiscated my "Call Me" record by Blondie because it was from the sound track of American Gigolo. Today, there's nothing I can do to keep my daughter from hearing this song besides locking her in her room and eliminating all contact with the outside world. Eleven is just too young to be singing along with a song that sounds like it came from a pornographic movie.

My Life in the Fishbowl

Since I started blogging, sometimes I feel like my life is a fishbowl. People stop by to read what's going on, and sometimes they may laugh or shake their heads in disbelief. I don't know what it is about human nature that makes us want to watch other people and their lives.

This blog will have updates and links to posts from my two other blogs, Taking Care of Me and Caregiving Daughter. But this blog will also be for my random thoughts, ramblings, and other tidbits of my life that don't seem to fit in with the topics on those blogs.

So please come back often to see what's going on with my life in the fishbowl.