summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Monday, July 6, 2009

rainy days ahead....

and I am glad. Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit thundery and rainy, my favorite weather. Especially for what I am planning...a trip to the video store. Or maybe the library. And maybe to lunch with the kids, after Abigail gets home, of course. It is possible to go places with several small children, but it is preferable to have a helper. I read a really really good book recently, it is called, "FREE-RANGE Kids", by Lenore Skenazy. She discusses the actual statistical risks certain activities are verses the fear that surrounds them. For example, a child abduction by a stranger is very rare, a very small chance that would happen....In America, the chance of abduction and murder by a stranger: 1 in 1.5 million, or a .00007 percent. Yet we seem to think it happens all the time because of the publicity it generates. No one wants anything to happen to their child, but putting the fear in perspective and letting them live like we did when we were growing up, understanding that they are safer than the horror-story-loving-media wants us to is a very interesting read. In fact, after I read it, I went to a small local grocery store with Suzanne, 8 years old, and Sonja, 7. To make a long story short, the salad mix I was buying rang up way more expensive than the sign said. No way. The manager came over and insisted I read the sign wrong. Here is what the sign said: DOLE SALAD MIX 2/$3.00 So, I picked up a bag of Romaine Blend. Salad Mix. Wrong, said the manager. Only the Iceberg Blend is on sale. I asked how people were supposed to know that. He said because it is salad mix. I told him he should fix the sign, and he just walked away. Oh yeah, I do have a point here. I told Suzanne and Sonja to stay with the cart in line while I went and showed the manager the sign. (which was a waste of time, I had to put back my Romaine and get Iceberg, blah.) Leaving the girls there with the nice cashier was a first for me. I usually would just take them with me or not get the salad (notice I didn't say I would pay the higher price, nah, I wouldn't do that)....but since I read that book, I realized that no one was going to butt in line, take my girls and run. I was gone all of 2 minutes. It is the fear of what others think about my mothering skills (or lack of them!), and/or fear of repercussion, like someone calling social services on me that dictates alot of decisions like that. It isn't really risky behavior. It was a very small store, with the produce section like 20 feet away. It would have been different if it was like a Walmart Super center, and I had to go across the store. Although they still probably would have been okay. And I do apologize, it is just not in me to make a long story short.

After reading the book, I did realize one thing. There is a huge difference in letting your kids do things because the risk is minimal and being just plain lazy. And it seems that there are alot of people out there who just love to jump all over someone for doing something they view as negligent. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world it everyone stopped judging and criticizing each other, and just judged themselves? Someday....

Well, Miss Charlotte Claire is still up, since she took a mega-nap today. She has been having fun. She has been sitting here in the living room with a pair of blunt-edge kindergarten scissors, cutting up a travel magazine. (hey, we aren't going anywhere!)....she cut little little pieces. Page after page, for well over an hour. I think it is good to let kids have scissors. Wait, a three year old, supervised, with scissors. It is good for their small motor control, and maybe someday soon when I am not looking and she gives herself her first hair cut, she'll do a better job than say, Mali, who butchered her hair....



Debbie said...

wow..that book seems liek a good true about the protection of our MIL is so overprotective..she gets upset when I let them im the Backyard and I am in the house cleaning up...Have a great day!

Martha said...

"It is the fear of what others think about my mothering skills (or lack of them!), and/or fear of repercussion, like someone calling social services on me that dictates alot of decisions like that."

This is absolutely true. I left a plenty old enough child in the car with a few smaller ones once to run in our hometown grocery store and grab a bag of bubble gum for a church baseball game. I was gone all of five minutes, maybe, and when I came out some strange woman really let me have it. I ignored her and happily she did not call the police or social services.

T.L. said...

I have this book at home. It doesn't make much sense for me because how I was raised I was walking to school alone by 6 years old, and playing out until 6 PM in a desaffected area . I liked it. I think I was raised in trust, and with time limits. I was ALWAYS home on time or early. NEVER LATE. because I knew my parents would worry.
Anyway saying this because my husband got crazy over that book. He even took me to Brooklyn to see th eauthor. She was fun. :) But some moms there were really control freaks! OH my!! ANd I heard such an AWFUL comment at the end. The author was commenting about the criminality rate in America, and how now it's as low as in the 50's or something... and one lady said " thanks to abortion many who would have been criminals were not born." I thought I was going to throw up right there in the room. I was speechless with frustration and bewilderment. And NO ONE commented. I got so mad!! How can people make hypothesis on people who were NOT given the right to live!!
Anyway I associated the author with that comment because she said nothing, and that really broke my heart.. and now I don't like her.
But before that last note I thought she was funny..
I should maybe get over it and read the book..

FLmom7 said...

I agree that people are over protective to the point that it's ridiculous...but then again, when I looked up that website that tells you how many registered sex offenders live in your area and I found over 300 of them living within 15 minutes of my home (many less than 5 minutes away, but thankfully my neighborhood bans them from moving in here)...I don't know, it makes me feel less safe. We have a lot of crime here in South Florida. I still let my kids out to play and around the block, but only if they are with a teenage sibling or if they're over the age of 10 and with another person. It's unfortunate but it's reality here.