Monday, September 30, 2013

Today's blog post was brought to you by the letters P and C

I haven't had coffee yet this morning so forgive me if I'm not as coherent as usual - but when a blog post strikes me I have to drop everything and type.  They hit me so rarely these days.

Today I want to talk about political correctness. I was reading back through one of my favorite blogs when I stumbled upon a post where one of my favorite writers lamented a purchase of pans that she found on the Target clearance rack for a ridiculously low price. The problem was that they were made by Paula Deen.

I completely understand the hesitation, but frankly I would have had maybe a millisecond of pause before I would have been running to the checkout with those pans at that price. I'm fairly sure that Paula doesn't donate any of her money to the KKK and even if she does, Paula had already gotten her money from those pans and my bloggy friend's purchase off the clearance rack wasn't sending any messages to Target to reorder those pans.

So, in that instance, I say throw politically correct caution to the wind and buy the damn pans.

But then I was reading through the comments on that entry and I read a quote that said "Political correctness is not making our world a better place."

And that's where I had to disagree. Perhaps political correctness is not making our world a better place for white men between the ages of 24 and 60 - but it's damn sure making it a better place for everyone else. Have you ever watched an episode of Mad Men and found yourself horrified? Political correctness has gotten us a long way, Baby.

I'm not saying things don't go overboard - because they oh-so-often do - but I'd much rather have people overly concerned about saying the wrong thing than not concerned at all. Remember what Thumper's mom told him? "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all."

So yes, occasionally this hyper-sensitive politically correct movement kicks us all in the ass and someone gets crucified in the media for an insensitive comment they made years before (sorry Paula) - but for the most part, it keeps us on our best behavior. It keeps us actually thinking about the words coming out of our mouths and off the tips of our fingers.  And that is absolutely making our world a better place.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Evidently I'm THAT mom.

Here's my own take on teenage girls - a little "personal experience" follow up from my post last week responding to Mrs. Hall.

I don't care if you post selfies or if you wear low rise jeans that show your coin slot. I don't mind if you wear a bikini to the beach. These offences, while IMO not the smartest moves you can make, will not keep you from knowing or dating my sons.

However, if you decide to string my sweet and sensitive son along because he's nice to you and pays you attention, while claiming some other boy is your boyfriend - you will most definitely NOT be allowed in my son's life, if I can help it.  That's called cheating, young lady, and I'm not going to stand idly by and let you use my son as your entertainment while you're away from the boy you're calling your boyfriend.

My sons are amazing boys and they are growing up to be amazing young men. They deserve better than that and I won't stop meddling until they know it. I wouldn't let some boy do that to my daughter and I certainly won't let some fast little girl do it to my son.

I hope these girls soon learn that they don't need to keep several boys on the hook to prove that they're worthy of love. Think better of yourself than that, young ladies, you don't need to stoop to that level.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Some day I think the kids are going to kill me for this blog

They'll get over it.

Bug has a girlfriend again. I think this one might be a little more serious than the last ones.

We heard hints of her last weekend when Bug clutched his cell phone happily in his hand the entire weekend and we heard the constant "bling bloop" of his text messaging.  Then on Tuesday it poured rain and he received a text from her that she was walking home from her bus stop. Bug immediately grabbed a poncho to bring to her and rode off on his bike. Chivalry is alive and well in my Bug.  Yesterday Bug was at her house after school, meeting her three little piggies (for real... she has piglets... three of them) and her dogs. Today there is no school and Bug has gone off once again to see her.

He is 13.... but still a baby to me. When he was not quite two I can picture him dancing in the kitchen with his Aunt B2, his head on her shoulder with a sweet smile on his face.  He was so happy to be held and loved and close to other people.

Munchkin and Goober could never wait to be free and running, but Bug wanted to be loved and cuddled. I can still smell his warm baby smells when he would climb into bed with me as I groggily slept off his sister's 4 AM colic session.

He's still sensitive and sweet and wears his heart on his sleeve so I have to stop myself from trying to protect him from heartbreak. He runs off to see his new love interest with such a big smile and I worry... What goes up, must come down.

I can only be here for him when it happens, I guess. Even sweet, sensitive boys like Bug need to learn how to handle a broken heart, I guess.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

FYI (if you're a self-righteous blogger)

There is a blog post going around (you can read it here) in the form of a letter to teenage girls who post sexualized selfies on Instagram and Facebook.

As a mom, I can tell you I am 100% against sexualized selfies of teenage girls. You know the ones, we've all seen them. Wide eyes, pouty face, and a hint of cleavage. They're all over the place and if/when I ever see Munchkin has posted one somewhere you'd better believe a talk will be had (but not before I demand she deletes it and we pray it isn't saved somewhere in someone else's control).

But will I scroll through Bug and Goober's feeds and demand that they unfriend or block any girl they know that has posted one? I think that's a little counterproductive.

And I'll tell you why.

Because this is my blog and that's what I do.

First, it is up to Bug and Goober to view girls and women in a responsible manner. There will always be sexualized images. There will always be women walking around with not enough clothing on. There will be pool parties and girls in bikinis and low rise jeans and bare midriffs. This is the world we live in.

It is not my job to hide their eyes from every scantily clad girl in the world. It is, however, my job to teach them how to view a woman - no matter what she is wearing.  It seems to me that Mrs. Hall from aforementioned blog needs to spend a little less time shaming teenage girls and a little more time teaching her own young sons that all girls and women, regardless of her minimal dress or decision to post a selfie on Instagram, deserve their respect and good manners. Even girls who make bad decisions with boys who don't respect them, even girls with a reputation, even girls who don't seem respectable - they all deserve their respect.

Wasn't it not too long ago that the country was in uproar because of a certain group of abhorrent young men who molested an intoxicated young girl and then decided to brag to all of the Internet about it? It is our responsibility, as parents, to make sure that kind of thing doesn't happen again. On both sides. Our girls need to be taught to respect themselves and our boys need to be taught to respect.

Secondly (that's right, there's a secondly), teenage girls are - oh, how shall I say this - typically lacking in good judgement. That's not to say this is true in all cases, but the vast, vast majority. I know this because I was once a teenage girl and I remember. Caught somewhere between wanting to be loved by everyone and wanting to express themselves, teenage girls need special guidance from their community. They must know that they are liked and accepted by their peers and sadly, they will do just about anything to receive that affirmation. Making sure they know they have it before they do something desperate to get it, is our mission as a community.

Having my boys or anyone's boys block them or unfriend them only fuels this fire. It only makes it worse, it is causing the exact opposite reaction. Self-esteem is such a delicate flower for a young girl and sadly, it seems there are so many people (young boys, young girls, and grown adults) just waiting in the wings to put our young girls down. And then we wonder why they run to the first boy who pays them any sort of attention.

It is a great responsibility to raise children to be kind and respectful and to know right from wrong even when everyone else is doing something different. It is the most difficult job I have ever taken on and also the most rewarding.

In our family, we focus on elevating our own moral compass and we try to bring others around us up with us, rather than stepping on their heads in our own self-righteousness.

Edit: I had to include a link to this post, which said it better than I could and made me laugh at the same time.