My children don’t see color

The statement “My children don’t see color.”, as it has come to my attention, isn’t necessarily the right thing for a white person to say. Yet, I’ve said it. And here’s why I will continue to say it…

You know as well as I do that you literally see and hear things and that your brain processes the information, including differences.  So technically most of us “see” color or other differences from ourselves.  But when you see something or someone and your brain processes and forms an opinion based only on what you literally see before you, you are being presumptuous. And when your presumptions are based on false ideas formed in the absence of good reasoning, you are seeing with prejudice.  

We all know there is a difference in teaching. There is “teaching by telling” and “teaching by showing”. The first is usless when it comes to matters that are subjective. Telling my children to not be prejudice, racist, homophobic, etc. is useless. There is too much negative, outside subjectivity.  And unless you make them live in a bubble with no outside world contact, ideas you rather they didn’t hear about will make their way into their heads. Ideas you might want to prepare them to defend against. 

Drug and alcohol use, sexual activity, work ethic, bullying, prejudice, etc…..I want my kids to be able to stand firm in doing the right thing because it is engrained in them. I want them to be able to stand up for someone else or help those in need without any type of judgement.  If you help someone and have to mention their skin color, disability, economic situation, etc. or feel more proud that you helped someone for any of those reasons….you are prejudice. It’s just that simple. 

I am far from perfect. But my children are being shown to love. They are being shown to take care of others. They are being shown compassion. They are being shown right from wrong. So when I say “my kids don’t see color” I mean they see without prejudice. They also don’t “see” wheelchairs, prostetic limbs, hairloss, sign language etc. and form a negative opinion. 

They may be curious, but I’m trying to teach them how to approach differences they don’t understand. Sometimes it is as simple as introducing yourself and talking to someone. Or asking a parent to explain the best approach to their child. The main thing I am trying to instill in them is to make no judgements about anyone until they have interacted with them on a regular basis. Form no opinions based on rumors, outside influences like social media or the news, or other people’s opinions. 

They are learning that not everyone can just get up and go to school and not feel like everyone is looking at them or judging them. They are at an age where they can being to process and understand what injustice means. As their mother it is my job to help them process injustice they have encountered  and how to handle it.

 Don’t deny it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t be passive. 

The statement “My kids don’t see color”, at least in reference to my kids, doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to learn history….all of it. It doesn’t mean they think everyone lives like they do and are as privileged as they are. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t learning about what’s wrong in this world and their role in changing things for the better. But I have never once heard them refer to anyone as a color, disability, or difference.

One time at a festival a young girl who was deaf, blind, and used a wheelchair, had a malfunction of her chair brakes. The chair rolled backwards down a slight hill and hit a curb. She fell out of the chair backwards and luckily land in the grass unharmed. But she was understandably shaken.

As I saw her starting to roll backwards I ran towards her in what felt like molasses. I couldn’t get there fast enough! And you know who was on my heals? My 5 year old daughter. I was actually shocked. She had been getting on my nerves by being a whiny butt just a few minutes beforehand. So much so that we were in the process of leaving the festival. Ha!

But there she was. A completely different child. Asking what she could do to help. She was the only child at that festival who approached the young girl without any hesitation. Yes, she was technically with me, but she wasn’t scared of a child who was different from her.  She showed no hesitation to help a scared little girl because that’s all she saw. 

As the girl’s mother checked her for injuries, she explained to Elle that her daughter was deaf so she wouldn’t respond to the words of comfort Elle was saying. Elle immediately asked what she needed to do to comfort her. Whhhat??? I just looked at my daughter like “Who are you and what did you do with Elle?”. The mother told Elle her daughter uses touch to understand things and having something in her hands would help calm her down. So as we are sitting in the grass, Elle hands the girl a wand with a fuzzy ball and streamers on the top of it that she had won in a contest…..without any prompting from me. It immediately began to calm the girl down. 

My children see human beings. They see a chance to learn about and embrace differences. I feel confident that I have set an open line of communication with them to where they feel comfortble asking me about things they have been told or have seen. They are learning to form ideas and opinions of people based on their own experiences with them. They are also learning that people have different experiences and that they should strive for other people’s experiences with them to be positive ones.

The best way to help them is to demonstrate “loving your neighbor as you love yourself.” It’s that simple. 

 

Haunted Trail: Part 1

I am beyond excited about Halloween! For whatever reason this time of year has always been my favorite. I think it’s just October in general. But Halloween is just FUN!! 

I am the PTA Treasurer at my kid’s school. Have been for 4 years now. And every year we have a Fall Festival as a fundraiser. It’s been a tradition at this school for years.

Until a couple of years ago, we didn’t realize there was a hidden jewel literally in our school’s back yard. An outdoor learning center in the woods! It was put in 20+ years ago and had become over grown. We (the PTA) paired up with the local Master Gardeners and made it great again.

It is an awesome area for the kids to learn about nature and to get out of the classroom to explore. It is also open to the local community after school hours and during the summer to come and enjoy the various trails that wind up the hill and through the woods.

The thing I’m most excited about is the fact that it is a PERFECT place for a haunted trail. We have had one the past two years and this year I have volunteered to take over that project. I am going to try my best to put together an awesome one for the students, families, faculty, and local community to enjoy.

My first objective was to get ideas…. Pinterest overload! I am a major DIYer and found so many great ideas. BUT thanks to Vyvanse and Wellbutrin, I am was able to just pick a few managable projects that I can accomplish way before the last minute.

The outdoor learning area has two huge asphalt areas that are divided by a trail head. Then there are several trails that wind up and round in basically a loop right back to the asphalted areas. My plan is to have several “themes” on the asphalt and on a short loop around one of the trails. BUT that’s the idea in my head. I will have to go map it out and narrow things down…or maybe expand. We will see!

So far I’ve broken the trail down into these following themes:

  • The Witch’s Lair
  • The Ghost Trail
  • Clown Town
  • The Valley of the Dolls

My second objective is to collect all my supplies.  I have a budget of $200. Some from the PTA. Some from my pocket as a donation. Facebook is a great place to get some help. I’ve rounded up some good FREE stuff to borrow or keep to use.

I also hit up Craigslist and found some huge, FREE tubes I just couldn’t pass up! I fortunately have an awesome brother who picked them up for me. 

These are going to be tunnels for the kids to crawl through.

These tubes are about 20 inches in diameter and 4 feet long. My plan is to put them together, paint the outside, and put something on the inside to creep out the kiddos if they choose to crawl through! I I’ll keep you updated on the finished product.

Yesterday hit the jackpot at a couple of local thrift stores and stocked up on some creepy-ass dolls. Some of these things I don’t even have to “creepify”. It’s crazy!

The kids and I put the dolls on daddy’s side of the bed. He wasn’t amused.

So now I’m off to collect even more creepy things and to work on some easy and fun DIY projects that are kid friendly…which means I get to use my kids are free labor. 

Haunted Trail: Part 2, coming very soon! 

Slime and more slime

Thanks to YouTube and now Elmer’s smart marketing people, I have spent more money on slime making materials than I am willing to say. Like, this summer was probably more expensive that when we went to the beach….just kidding, I think.

Anyways I wanted to share a discovery I had towards the END of the summer, because, well, I’m an IDIOT. And idiot who RAVES about Amazon Prime, yet chose not to check Amazon for the gallon of Elmer’s glue. Instead she took her kids to Hobby Lobby and spent way more for it….along with 100 other things we didn’t need….because that place sucks you in and spits you out…broke. 

I DID go to Dollar Tree for shaving cream. BOOM!  Because I was being a smart shopper. (Insert Eye-roll here.)

So here it is. Short and sweet. Gallon of Elmer’s glue at Hobby Lobby….$24.99. even with 40% off it isn’t as cheap as Amazon Prime’s $11.99. And that’s got free 2-day shipping…..you’re kids can freakin’ wait….

So here is the link. Be smarter than me!!!

Lenovo Yoga Book

We finally cracked and bought our daughter her first real tablet, a Lenovo Yoga Book. She first had a Leap Pad. Then an Amazon Fire for kids. 

So far we are impressed with it. The keyboard can flip all the way backwards. It is also a touch screen keyboard that can be changed to a blank drawing pad with the touch of an icon. It is lightweight and has great screen quality. It runs on Android which I also love. 

She LOVES to draw. And for some reason she loves to draw anime. Not sure who’s kid she is, but I still love her. Ha! The Yoga Book comes with  what they call a “real pen”. It is used in a variety of ways including draw on a special pad of paper that transfers the image to the tablet screen. 

She has pestered us since she was 8 for a cell phone. What??? Crazy kid! Now that she has her Yoga Book she doesn’t say a word about a cell phone. She is able to use Google Hangouts through her email to talk to her friends….and I can see EVERYTHING. And I don’t have to pay for a phone line or data. WIN!!!

If you have a child who loves to draw or write, check out the link below and give the Lenovo Yoga Book a look. So far my daughter loves it. And Amazon Prime had it at our door in two days! 

Parenting win….so far…..

Neighbor kids

Most blogs take me a day or two to finish thanks to my brain, my kids, and my life. But not today!!!

Is it wrong to despise some of the kid’s in your neighborhood?? I’m nice and I show some grace….until I’ve had enough. Which takes about 5 minutes. Then I talk to them pretty much like I do my own kids.

Like:

  • “What did you just say?”
  • “I didn’t ask for your opinion.”
  • “It’s time to shut your trap.”
  • “No one told you you could have that.”
  • What did I just tell you?” 
  • “You gonna act like a fool in here then you’re goin’ outside.”
  • “You’re only safe from the belt because you aren’t mine.” (I’ve never paddled mine with a belt, but the suggestion sure does work well) 
  • “Don’t make me start counting…”
  • “Nope. Not gonna happen. Hate it for ya”.
  • “Well then, see ya!”

And they just keep coming back. Usually at lunch or dinner time….or both. 

Am I the only parent with this problem?????

Redneck slip-n-slide

Soooo….. I’m somewhat of  a cheap-ass. I rather DIY most of the time. When it comes to entertaining the kids it’s no different. The cheaper the better. One of their favorite “it’s hot as hell outside”entertainments is the redneck slip-n-slide.

To be truly honest I’ve grown somewhat of a social phobia. (Something else I’ll blog about more in the future.) So the more we do at home or somewhere that doesn’t include a crowd of assholes, the better for my sanity.

One day I went and bought some “waterslides” from “Wal-Maddening” to use in our front yard. To say I was disappointed when I got them out and set up is an understatement. Those damn things didn’t look like they were portraited on the stupid box. Reminded me of a nasty McDoo-Doo hamburger. That crap never looks like it does in their commercials!! That day I said “never again”. And that is when the redneck slip-n-slide became a summer staple at our house.

One thing you should always be able to find on any firetruck is a tarp. We use tarps for a variety of things. Mainly for what we call salvaging….where we cover people’s stuff to reduce water and smoke damage. They are also used when we stage important equipment for rescue operations. Sometimes they are used to make water chutes to divert water.

*The following pics show off a damn good water chute put together by one of my crews on a fire scene. Photo credit goes to Capt W.*

Water chute made by one of my crews to divert water and protect property.

Two pike poles with a huge tarp used to divert water leaking from the floor above.

At our home, tarps are basically used for slip-n-slide and grass killing. Tarps, stakes, a water hose, and some dish soap….BOOM! Hours of entertainment for all the neighborhood kids. The type of entertainment where the adults just take about 15 minutes to set it up and then get a few hours of freedom to drink beer or something…more than one, two, or ten days in a row.

This is the first year I went and bought new tarps and a sprinkler. In years past I just used a knozzle on the hose and set it to where there was just enough pressure to whip it back and forth across the tarp.

I got this awesome sprinkler from Home Depot. It is stationary and has a bunch of water spray patterns. 

Do you have some random items that you seem to have an abundance of? Something that you aren’t sure #1 where they came from and #2 what the heck they are for? Well, I have a supply metal stakes that I have no clue where they came from. Somehow I had about 4 different packs. Perfect for the redneck slip-n-slide!
So here you go….the redneck slip-n-slide.

#1 Find a place that has decent padding. Anywhere with rocky terrain,concrete, or some like traffic is probably NOT a good spot.

#2 Somewhere with an incline is preferable. Anywhere with over about an, ehhh, 86° angle would probably be frowned upon. If you aren’t sure..here is a pic of angles as a reference….

#3 Use some stakes to tack down the first tarp that will be the top of the slide. I’ve been told that running space is necessary to obtain maximum speed…so plan accordingly.

#4 Tuck and tack any other tarp under the one before it….meaning overlap them with the one above being on top. If you don’t understand, sorry. I just confused myself. But I have total confidence that you will figure it out.

#5 Hook up a continuous water supply. No water = tarp burn. 

#6 Throw a bottle of soap out there for them to use. Dollar Store stuff works just fine.

#7 Enjoy some free time to drink some beer or take a nap or whatever.

So there you have it. The redneck slip-n-slide. Hours of unmonitored fun. You’re welcome.