Archive for the ‘my kids’ Category

When my kids were in their teens, they became followers of The Princess Bride cult! They discovered the movie and watched it over and over and over again. We bought the VHS tape then the DVD. My daughter now owns it on Blu Ray. It got to the point where they could recite the dialog as the movie played. When they had friends over, they watched the movie. In the hundreds of times they watched it, I never sat down to watch it with them. I would me in ear shot and most of the time I could see them, especially when it was a mixed gender group of friends watching it, but I always gave them room and never sat down to watch it. Every time they watched it, I would remind myself to sit down and watch it some day when they were out of the house but it never happened.

Then this weekend linkup was announced and I figured it was my chance to watch, at least I would have an excuse, and it is on Netflix so no money involved. Yay. So I watched it last week. Did I like it? Well, I kept meaning to watch it again so I could write a good post about it but I guess I didn’t like it enough to watch it a second time. Why? Well, something you don’t know about me is that I don’t find a lot of “humor” funny. I don’t like slapstick. I don’t like the ridiculous being passed as humor. I don’t like “jokes” about bodily functions. Yeah, I’m kind of a dud that way. So I didn’t find a lot of humor in it. Yes, there was some humor that I thought was truly funny. And even though I grew up in the times of the women’s liberation movement and hated it, having been brought up in a very traditional hispanic family and believing that the woman’s place is indeed in the home and all that. Somehow along the way, from the 1970’s to now, I grew up and realized that I was wrong. So it kind of bothered me that it was all men made out to be the heroes and it also bothered me that Buttercup expected everything to be done for her as if she were a fragile flower. I didn’t like the “As you wish” attitude.

What did I like? I loved that it was a grandparent reading to a grandson. The family aspect of it was wonderful. The reading being passed on from one generation to another was very authentic to me. It showed the value of generations of a family interacting with one another and it showed how storytelling and reading are valuable. And even though the grandson was at the age where he did not at first value the reading or the grandfather, by then end, he valued both and looked forward to more visits from the grandfather and, presumably, more storytelling. I love storytelling and I have a lot of stories that I’ve told my kids and students. I love how at first they aren’t too interested but as soon as the story gets going, they are hooked! That part was very real to me. I’ve had it happen.

If I were rewriting it (and I will admit that I have not read the book) I would write it as the grandfather telling/reading the story to both a grandson and a granddaughter. I would write in some kind of dialog about the gender roles and maybe, by the end of the story, each of the grandchildren might see some valid points in the other one’s views. Oh, and I would clean up the language so it would be more understandable, a little more modern. I think that would add to the story.

Will I watch it again? Yeah. I will. Not sure when but maybe the next time we have a cold, rainy weekend and I don’t have grandchild duty, I’ll put it on and give it another look. Then maybe I will write about it once again.

Do I recommend it? Yup! I hear the book is absolutely wonderful, too. Maybe I’ll pick up the book one day.

If you’d like to read more blog posts about The Princess Bride (book and movie), check out the linkup!

Read Full Post »

While commenting on a blog post the other week, I was reminded of the time my daughter would not cooperate with the dentist.  She was about five.  It was the year she began kindergarten.  I had taken her and her brother, who was about 8, to the dentist for a check up.  Tony cooperated beautifully.  Tina not so much.  It took a second then a third visit to get the x-ray film in her mouth.  On the third visit, I was the one that held the film in her mouth.  The technician gave me the little button to depress to take the picture because by then we had all figured out that she would only let me anywhere near her mouth.

The x-ray revealed that Tina had two cavities.  Her brother had one cavity and did a great job of letting the dentist work on his mouth.  We figured that would help to get Tina to cooperate.  We all made a big deal about Tony being so brave and he got a special treat (a trip to the toy store to pick out a much wanted toy) after the visit.

Then it came time for Tina’s appointment.  She went.  We sat in the waiting room and then were ushered back to the treatment room.  As soon as the dentist walked in, Tina curled up, sticking her head deep against her chest.  Nothing either then dentist or I did could get her to uncurl so he could work on her mouth.  The dentist let her play with his instruments and ask questions and brought toys in to the room for her.  Nothing worked.  Thirty minutes later, we left with no work having been done.  I made another appointment.  This time, the dentist gave me a prescription for a sedative to give to Tina when we left the house for the dentist’s office.  This sedative would take effect by the time of her appointment and the doctor would be able to fill her two cavities. Perfect plan.

The morning arrived.  Tina was very cooperative.  She took the cherry flavored sedative and we left the house for the dentist’s office.  When we got there, she was so sedated that she could not walk.  I had to carry her in, which was no easy feat.  Although she was only five, she weighed  about 65 pounds!  The doctor was ready and they took her in right away.  She was so out of it that it was funny.   She was half asleep.  The doctor and I looked at each other, relieved.  She would finally get her fillings done.  Tina was all sleepy and then smiley and happy and sleepy again.  As soon as the doctor pulled her cheek and raised the hypodermic to put her mouth to sleep, Tina slapped his hand and he ended up injecting his own hand, instantly numbing it.  So much for that visit.  He couldn’t do anything with a numb hand and was forced to cancel his next appointment, too.

Once at home, Tina’s dad and I had a long talk with her.  She promised she would let the dentist work on her mouth.    So we tried again.  This time, before we even left for the appointment, she refused to get in the car.  I didn’t want to waste the doctor’s time again so I called and rescheduled.  Then I issued an ultimatum.  Either she cooperated with the dentist to get her cavities filled or she would not be allowed to go trick-or-treating the following week.  She agreed.  When we got to the dentist for the next appointment, again she refused to open her mouth.  I reminded her about the trick-or-treating.  She said she would open her mouth.  She did but only long enough to bite down hard on the dentist’s hand!

That was the year that Tina missed trick-or-treating.  I tried and tried to give her another chance before Halloween.  The dentist even helped out saying that he would squeeze her in for an appointment if she agreed so she could get the work done before trick-or-treating.  Tina didn’t budge.   In the end, she just flat out refused and we were pretty tired of the whole thing so I followed through and she did not go trick-or-treating when her brother went.  She stayed home.

Eventually, once she turned 6 in January, she sort of grew up and agreed to let the dentist work on her mouth and she got the cavities filled.

Keeping her from trick-or-treating was one of the most difficult things I had done as a parent, to that point, but it had to be done.

Read Full Post »

Let Me Tell You

This is a short thing I wrote as an assignment a few years ago.  The prompt was “Let Me Tell You”.  As I’m traveling, it’s hard to post and I came across this on a CD so I’m sharing it with you today.

Let me tell you about Susie… Susie is my sunshine. She brings laughter and music into my life. Susie is always singing and dancing and moving! She always makes me smile and laugh, even when I feel like crying. Susie is my sunshine.

Let me tell you about Tina… Tina is my challenge. She brings frustration and chaos into my life. Tina is always confused and conflicted about what she should do! She always makes me stop and think, even when all I want to do is shut off. Tina is my challenge.

Let me tell you about Tony… Tony is my hope. He brings the past and the future into my life. Tony is always recalling the past and contemplating the future. He makes me laugh and think, even when all I want to do is remember. Tony is my hope.

Let me tell you about my children… My children are my past and my future. My children are always bringing laughter and tears into my life. My children make me think and plan. My children make me happy even when I am sad and all I want to do is die. My children are my past and my future. My children are my life.

Read Full Post »

Revisiting the Past

I am in the middle of complying with a meme and part of it was to list one of my own posts about something I love.  Well, naturally, I thought of my three kids.  I linked to posts about my two daughters and then found that I haven’t written too much about my son, or at least not a full post.  In an effort to have something about him to link people to in my meme post, I’m writing this.

My son is 26.  I’m very proud of him.  He’s thoughtful, honest, helpful, a wonderful big brother to his sisters, and a loving son to me.  He has always been this way.  I could write about him as a baby to illustrate my point but instead I chose to write about an incident that happened when he was about 13, a time when kids are trying to be cool and fit in with their friends.

When Tony started seventh grade at a new school, he had a set of friends that followed from sixth grade but he was also introduced to kids from other feeder schools.  He tried to make new friends, as he always does.  He came home from school the first few days and told me about his teachers and some of the kids at the new school and about the routines and rules at the middle school.  I enjoyed listening to him, especially because this was a school that many refused to send their kids to.  About half of the kids he finished sixth grade with ended up in a private school instead of at the public school.  I had hesitated but realizing that I’d rather put him into the public school that to send him to a private “uppity” school, I enrolled him at the public school.

On the first Friday of the school year, I picked Tony up and he had a notice from the principal.

Tony~”I have something from the principal that you’re not going to like.”

Me~”What is it?  Why am I not going to like it?”

Tony~”Well, you should read it.  Something happened in P.E. today but everyone is okay.”

Me~”Were you involved?”

Tony~”Yes, but not how you’d think.  Nothing bad.”

We drove home and I read the notice, which was sent to all parents, from the Principal.  Apparently, in my son’s P.E. class, right after lunch, someone had a loaded gun in a backpack and when the backpack dropped, the gun went off.  No one was hurt in any way.  Kids were questioned and the boy with the gun was suspended awaiting expulsion and the police were called.  It was handled.

I asked Tony how he was involved and he said that when the Principal came into the gym and asked if there were any witnesses or anyone that had information, Tony raised his hand.  He was questioned in the Principal’s office and he told them what he had seen and who’s backpack had dropped and where the gun shot had come from.  He also told them what happened immediately afterwards and who had said what.  This helped them to get a full picture.  Tony didn’t know any of the kids involved.  They had come from another school.  He had been very honest and had volunteered in front of everyone in the gym, without regard to his place at the school or that he would be fingered as a “fink” because of this.  He had just known that it was the right thing to do and he had done it.    At home, with me, he did say he was a little worried that this would mark him at the school and people wouldn’t want to be his friend, however, Tony came to the conclusion, on his own, that his friends already knew him and anyone that would not want to be his friend because of his cooperation with the administration probably wasn’t anyone he would want to be friends with.

The Principal called me as Tony and I were discussing what had happened.  He wanted to congratulate me on having such a fine son.  He said I should be proud of him.

I didn’t need anyone to tell me to be proud of him.   I was.  I still am.

Read Full Post »