Saturday, January 10, 2015

Social issues (No, this is not a political post...)

Chickie will be NINE in four days.


That's one year short of double digits. I'm not sure how that's possible, since I certainly haven't gotten nine years older since she was born. 

(My gray hairs just called me a liar. Oops.)

Chickie went back to public school this year, after two years of homeschooling, and honestly it was hard for her to make friends at first. But everything changed (literally overnight, which was super weird and super cool) right before Thanksgiving. She started hanging out with two kids in her class, a girl and a boy. I've been at the school a couple of times lately, for lunch and for the winter party, and my mama heart has felt very happy seeing her happily hang out with these kids who clearly like her.

But kids aren't the only ones with "social issues." I've got my own insecurities. I remember feeling lonely as a kid, feeling like I didn't belong. I gradually gained confidence, and I have some great friends now. But I still sometimes feel socially insecure, and I easily project that onto my kids.

My heart has broken, watching Chickie struggle to make friends. She is learning to be more confident and to reach out to other kids, but it's a process--a process I have more trouble being patient with than she does! More than that, Chickie is not me. I've realized that she doesn't feel a need to have a friend in every situation. She may naturally be far more introverted than I am.

When Chickie told me she only wants to invite three kids to her birthday party, I was sad. If I only had three friends to invite to a birthday party, I'd feel like I'd somehow failed socially.

But that's not how Chickie sees it. She could make a longer list if she wanted to. But instead she wants to focus on the three friends she is closest to. She told me her room won't get as messy with only three friends at the house! She's okay with it--more than okay with it. Happy with it. I should be too.

One of our old pastors said that we're all like Legos...but we're all different sizes. If you're a big Lego, you have lots of pegs that need to connect with lots of other pieces--you naturally need many friends. If you're a small Lego, you only have a few pegs, and you only need and want a few friends. Chickie, at this point in her life, is a small Lego.

I don't want my own "social issues" to get in the way of who she is. I'll celebrate her birthday with her, and I'll try to make that party very special for Chickie and her three friends. I'm glad she feels good about her small group of friends. Time for me to relax and feel good about it too!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Vaccines, ice cream, Legos, and s.ex

You may be wondering about that errant period in the middle of "s.ex" in my title. I'm just trying to prevent Google from picking up my blog for inappropriate reasons! Now that that's cleared up...

I just watched this PBS Nova episode on vaccines. It was great! Chickie watched with me; she likes science. Zoodle watched most of it too, while he played with Legos.

There is a segment on HPV, which led to one of the kids asking what it means for a disease to be s.exually transmitted. For us, it led to a good, natural, age-appropriate conversation about s.ex.I haven't always handled s.ex conversations with my kids perfectly (I'm remembering one particularly horrid one right now), but my ideal is for s.ex to be something we talk about whenever it is natural. I don't want the conversations to be a huge deal, because I want them to feel comfortable talking to The Engineer and me as they get older.

The results of today's conversation? Chickie wishes babies were made by eating strange-flavored ice cream, and Zoodle didn't have any questions; he just wanted to show me what he was making with his Legos. When a s.ex conversation includes ice cream and Legos, I think the kids must have been pretty comfortable with it!

You can watch Nova: Vaccines: Calling the Shots by clicking here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stupid ads (Warning: Rant ahead)

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has issues with the shallow, often demeaning, ads on websites. I frequently notice them on news websites. This one is from

I was reading an article there with great news about scholarships for women, and then I saw this stupidity on the sidebar. It's always extra-insulting to me to see such disrespect after reading something so positive.

Some people argue that when someone chooses to live in the public spotlight, they should accept this type of insult. But you know what? If I was a celebrity making $20 million a year, it would still HURT me for strangers judge me on my prowess in the bedroom or my hygiene habits; or to make my personal life inappropriately public.

Yes, I know these ads are not created by the news organization. But if several of the "big guns" in media would be more careful about which ads they allow, the ad companies would be more careful about which ads they produced.

P.S. They keep making these ads because people click on them. If you are tempted to click, remember that.