Tag Archives: daughters

They Learn Young

Anyone with a toddler knows that shopping of any kind becomes a headache quickly. Your delightful two year old goes from simply chattering to asking for every. single. thing. I suffered through it for years with my first five kiddos. Now I am nearly incapable of running errands with my youngest two or three in tow. I don’t buy them stuff on a whim, so I’m still unsure where the “I want all the things” comes in. Maybe it’s just toddlers and that’s that.

Hubby and I had to make a quick stop into Walmart the other day. Okay, that’s ridiculous. There’s no such thing as “quick” and “Walmart,” just as there’s no such thing as spending less than $500 at Costco when all you need is honey. Anyway, Walmart. We decided to take the youngest 3 in with us instead of leaving them in the car (yes with AC on, calm down). We figured since usually it’s just me running around, surely two of us can handle them. Nightmare. I did try to warn him but he didn’t believe me. Oh well.

After being asked every second for things like dental floss and pink plates to candy and clothes and shoes, coloring books and toys (we got lost trying to find our items)… we were both ready to scream.

But the last part of all shopping experiences is the worst, hands down: checkout in the evil product placement aisle.

The youngest, my beautiful, busy 3 year old, gasped and shrieked, “A TROLL!! A PINK troll!!! PLEASE?!”

At this point, hubby had enough and issued a firm “No!”

She sat in the cart quietly for about 4 seconds.

“I’m sorry. I love you so much. Can I hug you?” She asked.

Ugh, he’s such a sucker. He fell for that hook line and sinker. He hugged her happily and told her how much he loved her too.

“Can I have a dollar?” she asked sweetly. And do you know what happened next? He gave her the dollar!

We turned out of the checkout and I began scolding him for giving in to her after we told her no for the last 30 minutes. But I was cut off by said 3 year old…

“Can we go back and buy the pink troll with my dollar?”

I WIN!


Women, Mothers, Daughters

I’m a sensitive person and at the moment, also an upset one.

Until not too long ago, the term “rape culture” was not in my vocabulary.  When I first saw it, I freaked out at the very thought of the words being put together and being okay that way.  Rape culture?  As in a place where it’s okay??  So I read on about this appalling t0pic.  For those who don’t know, here is the definition:

Rape culture is a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape.

Do we have a rape culture in our country?  Let’s think about that for a moment.  When a female dresses in an itty bitty skirt,  cleavage spilling over her top, and puts on excessive amounts of makeup, most people think “slut.” Some people may even think she is dressed that way and “asking for trouble.” Throw in a bar and a few drinks and a few unsavory characters.  Then she is really asking for trouble.  And if, God forbids, she is followed and attacked, how many people would say that the assault was her fault because she was a) dressed provocatively and b) drinking.  That is what “rape culture” is.  We minimize the crime committed because of the behavior of the woman.

People are having sex a LOT.  And with more than one person.  That has just become the norm.  We don’t blink an eye at the strip club billboards, or the scantily clad women in music videos, movies, advertisements, and walking down the street.  By the time Americans have reached the age of 21, 85% have had sex.  For men, the average number of partners is 6.8.  For women, the average number of partners is 3.7.  So with all that sex going around, of course sex is normal!  It’s what everyone is doing, thinking, seeing, and hearing about.  Even if a person is not engaging in sexual activity, they are being exposed to it through the media, their friends, etc.  Sex is EVERYWHERE.

But what about rape?  There are many forms of that, too.  It is a heinous crime, no matter how it occurs.  When we hear of it happening to a child, we want the maximum punishment the law can hand down, and rightly so.  But what about the young girl who goes to a party, gets drunk, passes out, and is then violated by her classmates?  Some of us may say, “well, she should not have been drinking underage and at a party where drinking was going on, but it’s still sad what happened to her…” WAIT.  WHAT?!  Did we just make an excuse for the crime?  YES!  How can we do that? What if it was your daughter?  Would you say, “I’m sorry you were raped, sweetheart, but you should not have gone to that party.”  NO!

Of course, I believe in cause and effect in even the most basic scenarios.  For example:  I was mugged on 1st Street because I went down 1st Street and someone was there looking for someone to mug and that someone happened to be me.  Does that put me at fault?  No.  The crime was the mugging and the criminal the mugger.

So why am I upset about this at the moment?

FaceBook (I hate FaceBook more often than not, but that’s not the point).  Someone posted something about not “slut shamming” but that the drunk girl who was abducted by an Uber driver should have been more careful.  Seems harmless, I guess.  But I’m sensitive.  And I’ve got “experience,” so to speak.  So I got upset and said something about rape culture and that no matter how it happens, it is always wrong.  People translated this to mean that I must not think girls should be cautious and not put themselves in predicaments that could lead to rape or sexual assault.  Let me be clear: GIRLS  SHOULD NOT PUT THEMSELVES IN SITUATIONS WHERE BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN. Now that I got that out loud and clear, let me be clear about another thing: Rape is WRONG, REGARDLESS of the girl, the situation, etc.  And to excuse it in ANY way is feeding into our rape culture (that people on the thread don’t think we have).

When I was 4 years old, I was sexually assaulted by a 16 year old boy.  He was the son of a friend of my parents. 

However, when I was a teenager, I struggled with this greatly.  I wasn’t sure who was in the wrong.  I thought something was wrong with me.  After awhile, I began to dress provocatively and hang out with people that my parents did not want me around.  I did things my parents did not want me doing.  And guess what?  More bad things happened to me.  It was almost as if I was testing my subconscious theories that I deserved these things.  I’m sure many adults at the time thought I was a bad girl and if they knew what happened, they might have said I had it coming, too.

A few years ago, I was driving several hours home and it was already late at night.  My four (at the time) kids slept peacefully in the back.  My phone was almost dead, so I stopped to buy a car charger at a Pilot station.  I bought one, went back out to the car, and discovered it was only an adapter.  So I went back in to the store.  As I was looking at the various chargers, a man came up behind me and offered to help.  He walked me to the counter, I paid, and then he walked me to my car so I could make sure it worked this time.  I was not being very smart.  It was late.  It was dark.  I was alone and a man was now following me to my car to see if the charger would work and I was letting him.  But that was not what I was thinking at the moment.  He was just being nice and trying to help.  As I leaned in the car to plug it in, he pushed himself on me.  I won’t go into detail… skip forward a bit to where I finally was able to get him enough out of the way that I could slam my door shut and speed off.  I went into a panic.  I called first my priest and screamed into the phone what happened, followed by, “Why would someone do this?!  Why does this happen to ME?”  He urged me to pull over.  I hung up and kept driving… faster and faster.  Pulling over was the LAST thing I wanted to do.  I tried to call my dad a few times.  No answer.  I called a friend.  But I did not call my husband.  WHY?  I was actually afraid he would be mad at me because, after all, I was so stupid for putting myself in that situation that what happened was my fault (rape culture mentality).

I read a story about a girl named Audrie Pott.  She was a beautiful girl who found herself at a party, was raped by three classmates, and then bullied horrifically afterwards.  It led to her eventual suicide.  I was heart broken and devastated to read her story, and a few more like it.  I have only one daughter, and I cannot imagine the pain that girl must have been in, and now the pain the family will forever be in now that she is gone.  The end.  That’s all.  Not that she was somewhere she should not have been.  But because she was RAPED and then made to feel guilty for it and then took her own life.  I pray for her every day (in the Orthodox Church, we pray for the dead).

As a mother of five boys and one girl, I try to teach them good decision making every day.  I teach them right from wrong.  I want them to be good to each other and good to those around them.  And as a woman, mother and daughter, I cannot ever make the excuse for rape.  Is there cause and effect?  Yes, of course.  Should we be cautious with many things?  Yes, of course.  But we  should never, for even a moment, cloud the truth that these heinous acts of violence are somehow lessened because of another individual’s poor decision making at that moment.


Childhood Dilemmas

As carefree and simple as the lives of children may appear to be, it is not all marshmallows and rainbows.  They are actually complex little people struggling every second, and unlike adults, they voice these struggles every single second. 

Take my daughter, for example.  I love her dearly.  It’s just her and me in a house full of loud boys.  Thankfully, she can play with the boys but still want a pink room, painted nails, and a Rapunzel dress instead of a Spider-man costume.  However, lately we have not been getting along as well as I would like.  This truly breaks my heart and I plan on spending more one-on-one girly time with her from here on out.

Now when she gets caught doing something she has been told many times not to do, I might tell her what she did was naughty.  I never say “bad,” as I do not believe my children are bad.  Bad is for people who are bad on the inside, which most children are not.  Naughty is just making kid mistakes.

Today as we were loading into the car for one of the kids’ soccer practices, she said to me, “Mommy, you know what the hardest thing for me to do is?”

“What’s that?”  I asked, struggling to buckle everyone up.

“To be good when I’m being bad.  Because even though I want to be good when I’m being bad, it’s just so hard!”

 


For the Love of Blankie

My children have all had blankies.  My oldest two have traded their blankie days for other things, but my almost 5-year old, 3-year old and infant all still love their blankies.  To lose a blankie is a terrible thing…

The following conversation just took place.

The 4-year old, as she skipped through the house in her ballet slipper embossed dress, asked: “Where is my Blankie?”

No answer.

“Why does no one care about my Blankie?”

She spotted a corner of  Blankie underneath the 8-year old, sitting beside Daddy who was playing an intense video game.  She grabbed the corner and tugged at it.  The 8-year old and Daddy did not move.  They did not notice.  More tugging ensued, and finally I intervened.

“You are sitting on Blankie,” I said.  Some scooching took place and Blankie was retrieved.

“No one will ever love your Blankie as much as you do,” Daddy told our sweet, twirling daughter who danced around happily, now reunited with Blankie.

“That’s not true,” I said, “I love Blankie because SHE loves Blankie.”

“And my Blankie gives me chocolate!”  The 4-year old insisted.

“That is just not true!”  Daddy said jokingly.

I interjected.  “You don’t know!  Blankie may sprinkle her with yummy chocolate dreams, for all we know.”

“Impossible!”  Daddy continued.

“You don’t know anything about my Blankie!  My Blankie loves me and she gives me chocolate!”  She said, still twirling with it around the room.

“Nope, not possible!”

“My Blankie is NOT listening to you!”  She said and skipped away.