Friday, April 08, 2005

Spoil the Child?

A scene from a not-so-calm morning in a small house in southern California. Boogie's Mom is sitting on the couch, feeding little Dak his first bottle of the day. She is dressed for work, minus the shoes and socks, and is looking at clock, and the rapidly passing time, and realizes she'll probably be late for work. Boogie enters the room from stage left, suprisingly happy considering she has just woken up.

Boogie's Mom: Good morning! You look happy this morning.
Boogie: Good morning, momma.
BM: Would you like to try to get dressed on your own this morning?
B (remembering that she had put her shirt on yesterday by herself, grins wide): Yeah.
BM: Why don't you go pick out a shirt and pants. Make it a long-sleeve shirt because it's going to be a little cool today.

Boogie smiles and excitedly runs out of the room. She re-enters a few seconds later with a short-sleeved T-shirt.

B: Can I wear this?
BM: Sure, but you'll need to put a long-sleeved shirt underneath it. What about the purple one?

Boogie once again leaves the room, and returns with the T-shirt and a bright pink long-sleeved shirt. The shirt is a lightweight fabric that tends to cling to itself. Boogie takes off her pajama top easily and is excited to put on her shirt. She tries to put it over her head, but it gets stuck because the top part of the shirt is stuck together. She just stands there, shirt pulled over her head, crying because she can't get it on, while Boogie's Mom watches helplessly on the couch because she's feeding little Dak.

B: I CAN'T DO IT!
BM: Just try to pull the bottom part over your head a little more.
B: DON'T TALK TO ME!!!

Boogie's Mom looks away, ignoring Boogie and her little outburst. She can see Boogie staring at her, waiting for her to look at her. She does.

B: DON'T LOOK AT ME!!!

Boogie's Mom again looks away and after several silent moments, Boogie leaves the room. She returns a few minutes later with a differnt light pink shirt.

B: What about this one?
BM: Oh, that one will probably be easier because it's not so clingy. Sure, try that one.

Boogie once again gets stuck halfway in the shirt and starts to cry, yelling "NO!" over and over. Boogie's Mom tries to console her, but Boogie doesn't want any of it. Finally, Boogie's Mom finishes feeding Dak, and goes to change his diaper and get him ready to go. She hears Boogie crying in her room, and after finishing the diaper change, Boogie's Mom goes to Boogie's room to help her get dressed.

BM: Here, let me show you. You just have to pull the bottom part of the shirt a little farther back on your head. Like this.
B: NOOOOO!!

Boogie goes running out of the room. Boogie's Mom picks up Dak and chases her down the hall into Boogie's Mom's room, where Boogie presses her body against the bed to get away. Boogie's Mom lays Dak down on the bed and tries to talk to Boogie. Boogie starts to hit her mom, despite the mom's attempts to grab her arms to stop her.

BM: OK. Here's what's going to happen. I'm going to get Dak ready to go. Then I'm going to finish getting ready. You're going to stay here by yourself, since you won't let me help you get ready.
B: OK, then I'm going to put my jamanas back on.

Boogie's Mom realizes her error, that being alone was something Boogie wouldn't want, but instead is looking forward to.

BM: No, you can't put your pajamas back on. We have to get ready to go. Do you want Mommy to get in trouble?

Boogie shakes her head.

BM: Mommy's going to get in trouble if she's late for work. And you're not helping me.

Boogie's Mom goes into Dak's room to get him dressed. A few minutes later Boogie comes in with a blue long-sleeved shirt and gray pants.

B: Will this work?
BM: That's perfect. How about if I help you. I'll pull the neck over your head and you can do the arms.

Boogie agrees, and soon has her shirt on. She then puts on her own pants, and leaves the room. She calls Boogie's Mom into her room to help her with her shoes, which she has once again put on the wrong feet.

BM: OK, now we just have to brush your hair. It looks pretty good this morning, so I don't think we'll need a pony tail.
B: I can do it.

Boogie brushes her hair (typically unruly, but this morning fairly flat and non-staticy). Her part is crooked, but Boogie's Mom decides to just let her go like that, rather than risk another outbreak.

Boogie's Mom then realizes, once she puts on her shoes, that the pants she's wearing are too old-fashioned (the risk that comes with carrying extra pregnancy weight and having to wear "big" clothes from the last time she was pregnant), and has to change clothes to wear a pair of pants she wore earlier in the week.

Boogie remains happy and helps Boogie's Mom turn out the lights, and closes the door after them as they go into the garage. She happily climbs into the car, and says thank-you when Boogie's Mom give her her sunglasses to wear on the 2-minute car ride to daycare. After dropping her off, Boogie's Mom realizes that in all the ruckus, Boogie has not used the bathroom. She has to quickly tell her to go so that she doesn't forget later.

Boogie's Mom arrives at 8:01 to work, and slips in unnoticed to go about her work ... or perhaps write this post.


I read somewhere that spoiling kids means more than just buying them everything they want. It's also stepping in to help them everytime they get frustrated. It said that kids need to do things on their own, even if they get frustrated. Does that rule apply in mornings when I only have so much time to get two kids ready to go and still make it to work on time?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A Huge Blind Spot

I used to be a safe driver. In fact, it still says that on my renewal for my auto insurance. I had never had an accident that was my fault. I had been in car accidents, small fender benders, and an even larger accident where someone slammed into me from the side, causing nearly $7,000 in damage on a car that wasn't even worth that much (unfortunately it wasn't pronounced totalled because I had leased the car and owed much more on it). That one was pretty scary because I was covered in glass from the passenger window that imploded onto me in the driver's seat.

I admit that I had the occasional curb rollover when making a turn or trying to parallel park. I'd also dinged my door on the cement poles that are located near gas pumps. But nothing major.

Until I had my first child. Since then, nothing has been the same. The first incident happened on my way to work. I was on the phone (I know, a big no-no), and was behind a woman making a right-hand turn. I was watching the same traffic that she was and saw an opening for her to turn. In fact, she did start to go. I had turned back to the traffic and went to turn myself and quickly found out that she had not gone. She was a little further out in the turn lane, but had decided she couldn't make it. The nice thing was that she wasn't concerned about the fender-bender. No damage was done to either car. I counted my blessings that day and vowed to never again talk on the phone while I'm driving. (Ok, you caught me ... I still do, but usually just for important things).

The next big one occurred in my driveway. I backed into my husband's uncle's BMW. I was in a bad mood, mad at my husband, and wasn't paying attention when I backed out the garage. To be fair, no one ever parks in our driveway, so I wasn't used to looking behind me when I backed out. That nice little accident caused my insurance rates to up from $800/year to $1,200/year. Ouch!

I thought I'd learned my lesson, but apparently not. Just this Saturday, my sister-in-law came over to babysit while my husband and I went out to dinner. However, she was upset about some personal things, and we ended up not going. I decided to get us all take-out and got in my car to go get the food. I backed out and quickly realized that she had parked in the driveway. In fact, my SUV sits so high that it practically drove on top of her little Civic. The bad part is because my car sits so high, I couldn't even see her in the rear-view mirror or the side mirror. Pretty scary.

I'm dreading the amount that it's going to cost me to replace her hood and front grill. I didn't want to go through insurance again, because who knows how high it would be this time.

So what happened to me? Why am I all of a sudden a bad driver? Have I turned 16 again? Or perhaps turning 36 has caused me to be senile? I don't know, but it's getting to be an expensive habit!