Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Helpful Hints You Didn't Ask For

*Blogger is still busting my chops and messing up the spacing.  Feel free to offer any suggestions.*

I love my family and am always happy to have quality time, but this record-long 11 day Memorial Day weekend was a little too much for me.  What?  It wasn't 11 days?  Just the usual 3 days?  Are you sure?  Hmhh...go figure.  Anyhoo, during the weekend, I noticed some things that I think need to be officially mentioned and/or remedied.  I do not even want to get into how ridiculous it is that some people (not us) need a list like this.  Since I am not one to judge, I will just give my list without commentary (What?!  It could happen).

Things Every Kid Should Be Able To Do
(This list exempts children who have issues or differences that prevent them from doing these things.  Bad attitude and petulance don't count).
Should probably be
on the list too.
1.  Tie shoes.  The right way.  Not with 2 loops (bunny ears) wrapped around each other.  That's not tying.  I don't care if your kid only ever wears slip-ons and flip-flops, he needs to learn to tie.  He just does.

2.  Swim.  Nothing fancy, just the non-drowning variety.  If you don't happen to live somewhere that your child has access to a pool, lake or ocean, consider swimming lessons at the Y.

3.  Ride a bike.  Even if she hates to do it, she should know how.  Trust me, your 11-year-old will feel embarrassed and "too old" to learn if it gets that far.  This can only snowball.  When your child meets someone at college and a romantic bike ride is suggested, she will have to feign an injury.  Lying is no way to start a relationship.  If it's a boy child it will be worse.  You can rest assured that a college-aged boy who can't ride a bike will attempt to prove he can by trying "jump" his bike between two roofs.  Teach your kid to ride the bike.

4.  Tell time on a real clock.  Being able to say the numbers on a digital clock doesn't count.  Your child needs to understand the concept of fractions of time.  I am not a math person but I understand the way a clock works.  This keeps me from being made fun of in public.  Yes, kids think it's hard.  Too bad.  If they can figure out 73 levels of Call of Duty, they can learn to tell time.

General Tips For Adults
(There are no exceptions to this list).
If you are still single,
this may be why.
1.  Room fresheners and car fresheners - no.  At least not on an ongoing basis.  First of all, they never smell like they are supposed to.  They smell like the air freshener version of whatever it is.  That is usually nauseating after awhile.  I understand that in a bathroom, it is sometimes necessary, that's not what I am talking about.  I am talking about the continuous spray models.  Your house should just smell like nothing.  Like air.  If something is making it smelly then fix it.  Same with your car.  If you have 8 different tree fresheners hanging from your rear-view mirror, there's a problem.  Stop doing whatever it is you are doing in your car.  And for God's sake, open a window.

2.  If your 9th or 10th grader is wearing an outfit to a dance that makes her look "smokin' hot," it's not an appropriate outfit.  I don't care how gorgeous your kid is; why would you want her to be attractive to grown men and/or look like a prostitute?  Super high heels, super short skirt and a super low cut shirt looks trashy on grown-ups.  On a kid it looks trashy and creepy.  Why not go for pretty?  Do you want to give a 16-year-old boy extra reasons to try to remove your daughter's clothes?

3.  Your child is not a science experiment.  First we had Blossom and her "I say I'm not judging you but I am" parenting style (please go look it up, you'll enjoy).  Now we have the couple who isn't telling the the gender of their baby.  You really have to read the article to get the full impact, but essentially they believe that we should not "make" children be any particular gender, just let them be whatever they feel.  Awesome concept.  Except here's the thing, people ARE actually male and female and we don't all live on a commune where everyone knows/understands/cares that sex and gender are two different things.  In the real world, your 5-year-old will get mistaken for a girl if he has long hair he wears in braids and sometimes wears dresses.  Nothing wrong with it if that's what he wants to do, but maybe do your kid a favor and let him know that most boys do not dress that way and that yes, people will think he's a girl.  At least then he can decide what he wants to do.  Saying your child can pick his/her own gender but not filling him in on the way the rest of the world works is mean.

4.  If your last 2 cars (about 10 year's worth) have been silver, your new car should not be silver.  Okay, that is not really a rule for everyone, that's just my opinion and I'm really only giving it so The Party doesn't think he can make me not talk about him just because he said he's not here for my amusement.


  1. I completely agree, especially about the shoe-tying. Of course, my near-teen doesn't ever tie his shoes, but I promise, he knows how!

  2. I LOVED this post!!

    1. My 50-something husband stills ties his shoes with bunny ears! I kid you not. He claims it's because he's left handed and it was the only way he could learn. Hah! He tried to teach my kids to tie their shoes this way. I quickly put an end to that. WTH is with the bunny ears thing? I never learned that way. Jeesh.

    2. I totally agree with you on every thing, but especially the "smoking hot" thing. Really? You want your daughter to look smoking hot? Good grief.

    This post was awesome. Loved it. Really!

  3. Love it! A mom after my own heart.

  4. Is it LVankuiken or Ivan Kuiken? It looks like an L, but the other font makes it look like an I.

    Anyhoo - Thanks! And please tell your husband that I am left-handed and can tie my shoes properly. Also tell him that until he learns to do it correctly, he should not let anyone in a position to promote or fire him see him tie his shoes.

    Thanks Heidi and Unsweetened!

  5. can you please come teach my 12 year old how to ride a bike? She has no coordination or self esteem and gets scared every time the bike tilts slightly to one side. When she was young enough to be the "right age" to learn, I was not physically able to help her and my ex wouldn't take her out unless she asked.. helloooooo... Now that I am physically able, she is unwilling.

  6. best advice i've heard in a long time. now if you could just get it out there to those that *really* need it. i will admit i am guilty of one of the above but i'm not saying which one ... and it's not the shoes. bc xo

  7. BC - it's the air fresheners, isn't it? :)

    LRH - might be worth a little bribery (manicure or extra computer time) - she could use elbow and knee pads and/or practice on grass. Boy learned begrudgingly at 7 because there was $5.00 in it for him. He was further egged on by his 5-year-old sister learning at the same time.

  8. Love love love this post <3
    "Your house should smell like nothing. Like air." TOTAL AGREE. While I admit this is challenging here, with two kids, two cats, and a dog, air fresheners are NOT the solution! (Obsessive cleaning is. And good ventilation.) My mother has a friend with one of those room air fresheners with MOTION DETECTORS that spray whenever anyone enters the room or, like, moves in any fashion. I tried to keep very still, but still wound up with the delightful scent of a thousand gardenias shoved up my nose. Gah!
    And people who enjoy floozying up their teenaged (or younger!) daughters; what are they thinking?? Can you say "vicarious"? All girls should be dressed like Laura and Mary Ingalls until they're 18. At least! (OK, I may be overcompensating a little, but seriously, how cute were those outfits?)
    However, I have to stick up for poor Party. If he likes silver, why not go with silver? I like silver, too! I had two silver cars in a row... followed by forest green, because I got tired of silver. OK, you're right, as usual :)

    xoxo, KMC

  9. KMC - The Party's new car is Graphite Lustre Metalic - that's charcoal gray to you and me. It's very nice and much less boring than silver.

    Motion Detector Ninja Freshenners - no thank you.


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