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The Blink of an Eye

Posted Friday, July 13, 2007, at 9:40 PM

Has anyone else noticed that families don't dine together anymore? I don't mean a drive-thru at McDonald's (where I actually HAVE spotted that bruised young thing at the window...guess they put him there where would-be seniors can't reach him). I mean at home, around a table, where the day's activities are actually discussed and news of the day is debated. What happened? I know it's easier sometimes to just place a plate of food in front of a child as he or she is glued to the television set, but it's just not conducive to good family life. If the current generation of young parents just knew that in the blink of an eye those six and seven year olds will be calling from college for a few extra bucks! The blink of an eye.

AND, on the subject of children and children's children, has anyone been witness to the children placed under the direction of Super Nanny, yet another reality TV show, and a quite successful one at that? One must watch to appreciate what is about to be said here, but I have some advice for the English Super Nanny. I believe all of her time-out chairs and incentive charts and points earned for good behavior plans and getting down on all fours in order to be "on their level" could all be replaced by a simple little English Walnut board, to be applied amply and often on the backside of the offending child when such child spits, uses vulgarity, hits a sibling or (unbelievably) a parent, runs away when called, etc. etc. It's difficult to watch grown men and women throw up their hands and shrug their shoulders and honestly not have a clue where they went wrong with their child-rearing skills, or lack of, while all the while their young are yelling obscenities and beating up their siblings in the background. What's wrong with this picture???

A few suggestions…no TVs in children's bedrooms, no phones and no computers either. One family computer, to be placed in a well tended area and a couple of cordless phones that may be taken to other rooms for privacy, but no private children's lines. Keep a bar of Dial soap handy for cleaning the mouth (works every time, I know from experience) and hang the English Walnut piece in plain view at all times.

And, last but not least, hide the 1-800-CRY-BABY hotline number from the kids.

Keep me posted!

Minnie O'

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Lifebuoy used to be the gold standard!

Ah, Minnie O, you and I are of an obsolete generation, I fear. That's not the way it works anymore. Dr. Spock rules! I've known grade school teachers who were afraid of their students - and right here in the heartland!

I like the observation about eating together around the table. That's such an important time for families to connect. My children still reminisce about those days and chuckle over their father's funny little habits.

I even used to cook back then!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Jul 13, 2007, at 9:54 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:
A shame that first graders can actually put the fear into a teacher; not the children themselves, but the fear of repercussions if they administer the punishment that "fits the crime." But, in today's world, attitudes being what they are, teachers are placed in a position wherein tolerance sometimes wins out over appropriate response when it comes to misbehavior. It's a shame, but I believe it comes from attitudes and statutes handed down from levels much higher than the local systems. Again, as "Ducky" advised, consistency is the key, in and out of the classroom, but it seems that too many parents expect the teachers to correct everything they've failed to teach their children in the first five years, and not just to teach, but to "unteach" them all the negative behaviors they've learned from the lack of consistency when they were absorbing the most information that would form their attitudes for later in life, with RESPECT being prioritized on that list. Put it right up there with consistency.

Case in point...and a true story. I recall a few years ago an incident wherein a first grade child was using obsenities (and I mean REAL obsenities) on the playground. He admitted it, knew it was wrong, did it repeatedly anyway, and was punished (in school suspension & lost recesses, I believe). The father was irate, actually came to the school and in no uncertain terms informed the school staff that his child had a constitutional right to use any kind of language he liked anywhere he liked! There was no convincing him otherwise, a freedom of speech issue, he believed as he shook his finger in the face of the principal. I believe a police officer finally convinced him to leave the building. And we wonder why the kids have problems!!

I'll get off my soapbox now.

I think the problem is, mom went to work so we could have a nicer home and two cars instead of one. OK, we got what we want. Not blaming mom's, just saying that is the difference I notice. My mom was always home. Now they have to work and run here and there just for a little nicer home and two nice cars instead of one or maybe there are two cars and a pickup. I think that mothers used to be the glue. Now, it's hair on fire to get this done and that done. Dad used to do those things while mom stayed home and got that meal ready. Can't do that anymore and by the way, our schools aren't totally blameless are they. Just mom's and dad's there with their hair on fire aren't they. I remember my teachers and they were totally different. On the subject of corporal punishment. My wife and I raised a house full of kids. The older ones got the english walnut as you call it more than the younger ones. It seems I had more patience as I grew older, I think. Anyway the young ones who received the english walnut and soap less frequently never turned out any worse than the older ones. In fact I am pretty proud of them.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Jul 13, 2007, at 11:10 PM

You definitely have a point about the mom being the glue. However, I think it's still possible for women to work and have meals -- even when their kids are involved in swimming team, gymnastics, and sports. I know women who do it, but they really have to be energetic and focused.

I taught at a school not too far away, where it was interesting to note that the families whose parents made the most money - even working jobs in St. Louis during the week and coming home on the weekend - had the kids who were doing drugs. The poor home folks lived in the modest frame houses and scrounged for a living, but their kids worked hard, did well in school, and made something of themselves.

Sometimes more money just means more trouble.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 7:05 AM

I think consistency is the key. You can't ever let the little dears get the upper hand. With my own mother, you knew exactly what response you would get to a sassy mouth (among other transgressions). Not just sometimes - every time - as sure as the sun comes up in the east. There was a degree of stability in that sure and certain knowledge. She set the rules early in our lives and she kept the rules without faltering until the day she died at 84. I'm sure there were times when she was tired after working all day and it would have been easier to let our behavior slide. She never did. Some parents now days take the easy way out.

Not too long ago, Dr. Spock apologized for dishing out all that crap about child rearing. He should have a special room in Hell populated by all the little monsters who grew up on his advice.

-- Posted by Ducky on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 9:35 AM
Minne O'Pausal's response:

You have nailed it right on the head. How often do we hear in the aisles of Wal-mart, "I'm gonna ------." Not to promote what they are threatening, but if you're going to tell a child they will be punished for wrongful behavior and not follow through, you can expect the behaviors to continue. So, as you well-stated, consistency is the key. And another "c" also plays such a vital role. Communication. Can't be beat! Keeping those lines open, especially in the teen years. After that, THEY keep them open, ironically! And, isn't there some comfort in envisioning ole Doc Spock, as you suggested, getting a bit "toasty" and all the while trying to control the little devils running about. Nice to think that there's justice served sometimes.

I think some parents wait until they're in Walmart to implement their discipline programs........ And sometimes it looks as if they do it just "for show," like when my Aunt Marie left hand towels on the rack in the bathroom and labeled them "For Show Only."

Just for looks!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 11:54 AM

I don't know guys. We had a little angel that did nothing wrong until she got in Wal Mart for all the world to see. The others conducted themselves fine. There was no controlling her, no matter what you tried. I have never seen anything like it. Everyone always told me that kids won't hurt themselves when they are having a fit. They were wrong. I had to take her to the emergency room for self inflicted injuries twice. I know the Doctors didn't believe me, but it was true. I am so happy that she grew up and she is such a good person today. She has two fabulous kids that give her fits in Wal Mart. I don't go there with them. Maybe its Wal Mart that drives some kids crazy.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 6:42 PM

I say AMEN to I.B.s observation about Walmart. I think Walmart plays some kind of subliminal sound that's beyond the adult range of hearing. It encourages kids to run rampant.

-- Posted by Ducky on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 9:47 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:
You may be on to something here, perhaps the most clever marketing move ever conceived. They play those subliminal messages for children's ears only, and once received, the once poised, well-mannered children turn into demanding monsters, snatching things off of every shelf within reach. And how many parents do we see giving in and purchasing the watermelon-scented pencils and the Dora the Explorer paper plates, just to keep them quiet till they get out of the store. It's brilliant. Just think of the income...hmmmmm....I foresee a "Minnie-Mart" in my immediate future. Gotta go practice whispering subliminals.

I knew it. I am not crazy.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 11:04 PM

Maybe you've just eaten too much cloned meat.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 7:13 AM

Maybe it was the opossum.

Have you all noticed a lot of grandparents and great grandparents raising their grandkids? What happened? My parents took care of both of my sets of grandparents until they passed away? What happened to cause this swap. Now, after the old folks can't take care of the grandkids anymore we store them in a nursing home. Another by product of Mom working?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 7:37 AM
Minne O'Pausal's response:

Here's what happened. Wal-Mart opened with those subliminal messages, the kids got whatever they wanted, the parents started doing drugs to drown out the wailing children hearing the subliminals, they ran low on money and sense so they began dealing the drugs along with using them, they got caught, sent to the big house, kids got taken away, grandparents (who are only in their early 40's themselves), fought for custody, got custody, but they aren't allowed to punish the kids because the state really frowns on that, so the grandparents take them to Wal-Mart and get them anything they wail for. It's simple as that! And that's why we're beginning to see grandparents up on drug charges. A vicious circle.

Seems I've been sleeping on the job here. I've let some new postings molder on this site for almost twelve hours!! How did that happen? I'll have to punish that clone that I had working for me today!

Minnie -- I love the idea of a Minnie-Mart! Issue me a shopping card as soon as you open! Across the street from Walmart, you say??

I.B. --- Are you saying that all the evils of the world are caused by working mothers?? Now, hold on there, partner! I know some pretty sharp moms, who are doing a whiz-bang job of raising kids in fine Christian families, juggling a job, going back to school, fixing delicious meals, and shuttling the kids to sports and swim lessons!!

Okay, so I know only ONE mom who's doing that...... but I'm sure there are more! It can be done! The dedication and resolve just have to be there!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 6:48 PM

No, by no means. I was just thinking it helped when they didn't have too. I know a few too, but its tough. I was just saying, I enjoyed having a mom at home. She was always there. Of course I don't think my family was relevant with most families, but almost everyone I knew had a mom at home. My wife did all those things, sometimes she was able to handle it. We both had to help. I wished we didn't have to. But, I guess we wanted too much.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 9:06 PM

Ideally, every mother would be able to stay home and raise the children for at least the first few years, but in this day and age, it's just not financially feasible for most couples. Too bad that the days of cookies (homemade)and milk waiting on the table at 3:15 are long gone. Now it's more like a Debbie Cake and Coke just before supper!

-- Posted by bringwine on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 9:25 PM

I think you are right. I do like those Debbie Cakes though. Some of them I can eat a whole box of. gl are you the one lady you know who is doing all that stuff?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 11:58 PM

Just reminiscing about having dinner long ago with my husband and three children when they were all acting up at the table. In frustration I threw up my hands and said "how can you be so childish!!!!" in my most mom-like voice. Bursting with laughter, my husband replied: They're three, four and five, you know!

-- Posted by qglenellyn on Mon, Jul 16, 2007, at 7:26 PM

Well, no, I admit I'm not, I.B., but I guess I came close. I was thinking about this conversation earlier today on the way to WORK, and I realized that most of the moms I know are schoolteachers, so they have a little better arrangement for child-rearing than a lot of moms.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jul 16, 2007, at 8:57 PM

Ah, qglenellyn, you bring back memories... Interesting how things which seemed so frightfully important have now been relegated to the realm of pleasant memories in these days when our kitchen tables are only used for craft projects....

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 17, 2007, at 8:00 AM

Man, sleep for just one night and look what happens on the blogs. Wow.

I actually remember both when my mom stayed home and when she worked outside the home. (I.B., never let a mother hear you say that she doesn't work when she doesn't work outside the home. They probably work harder.) I don't have warm fuzzy memories of either. Hmm. With 5 kids at home, an acre garden and lots of other chores I guess she didn't have any more time than she did when she worked outside the home. Both seemed pretty normal to me and I think I turned out ok - except maybe for those pesky little fixations.

-- Posted by Ducky on Tue, Jul 17, 2007, at 5:23 PM

Mmmm....such as? Go ahead and tell us - You're among friends, here. Isn't she, girls? The guys have all left us, so we can talk about anything we want to, and they'll never suspect! They're too busy arguing politics on Corey's blogs again.....

Hee hee! This is just like having bunking parties in junior high, isn't it??

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jul 18, 2007, at 7:22 PM

Yep we are all gone. Speek freely.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Jul 18, 2007, at 11:17 PM

Zounds! A spy!

Watch it, girls. One of those sneaky buggers was hiding around the corner, just waiting to give the all-clear to his buddies!

Better lie low a bit longer, ducky. Your chance will come.

Then you can give your lecture on "Fixations caused by having/not having a mother figure in the Household."

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jul 19, 2007, at 7:36 AM

Dog gone it. :(

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Thu, Jul 19, 2007, at 7:33 PM

Yep, you've been busted, buster! You just go on back to your politics and leave us silly females to our own little secrets......Heehee

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jul 19, 2007, at 8:40 PM

I doubt my poor fixations caused by having/not having a mother figure in the household are too racy for I. B. LeTruth, cultured, man of the world that he is. In fact, he could probably tell stories that would make me blush. I'm just a sweet, delicate, innocent little flower. HA!

-- Posted by Ducky on Fri, Jul 20, 2007, at 1:08 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:
I'm thinking that since we have a male within our midst, we should take advantage of this situation (that'll be a first for me..usually the other way around!) Anyway, let's see if Mr. I.B. Truth lives up to his namesake by directing some up front, just-wannt-know-how-a-man-thinks kind of questions. I'll start, but I invite all to join in the chorus any time you so desire.

OK, Truthy, don't tell us what you THINK we want to hear, just what you believe to be the true regarding these subjects:

First of all, What do you feel MOST guilty about (if at all) in your day to day existence?

I'm assuming there's a Mrs. Truthy about, so I'm wondering..is the same quality you found most desireable on the day of your marriage the same one you find most desireable today? If not, what is? (Endurance, perhaps!)

If there is one single thing that you believe a woman over-reacts about, what might that be?

I'm always told that men just don't think like women do, and I believe that's a good thing, but tell us in what respect you find this to be most significantly true?

OK, I. B. Profin, I mean Truth...get to work! We are all waiting with baited breath. You're going to have to earn your keep to stay within our ranks. Agree, girls?

In my life I have had the opportunity to do many things to feel guilty about. However, the things in my day to day existence I probably feel most guilty about are not things that I have done, but things that I didn't do for my children and my own family. For my children I should have spent with them more time and not money. For my family I should have given more than I took They gave me my life and everything I am. What I gave in return I do not know.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Jul 20, 2007, at 9:44 PM

The quality of my wife. Nope, now its different and more. Now she is my wife, the mother of my children and grandma to my grandchildren. And, she don't bake cake.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Jul 20, 2007, at 9:52 PM

Women over react about the break up of a romantic relationship of their children. Even when the children are only 16 years old and don't really know what a romantic relationship is. Just how many times do you think this is going to happen in a persons life these days before they find the person that they are really going to spend the rest of their life with. Shake your head, pat them on the back and go on. It will happen again. Probably several times.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Jul 20, 2007, at 10:04 PM

Perhaps I could teach her.

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Fri, Jul 20, 2007, at 10:05 PM

That's cake-baking, Truthy...you're a faster typer than I am!

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Fri, Jul 20, 2007, at 10:08 PM

You know, I have never considered this question so maybe the fact that you have is an example. You could be more analytical about things. Individuals, no matter gender think differently don't they. That is what makes me, me and you, you. Women may, (may) express their thoughts a little more quickly, especially during emotional situations, but I don't know that their thoughts are any different.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Jul 20, 2007, at 10:17 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:

A very astute response regarding why we think so differently, and given your answer, I realized that the question is an impossible one to answer. How in the world could you know how differently we think. The only way to determine the answer to this question might be to lay out four or five questions on a survey and compare the answers male vs. female. The differences in thinking and reasoning patterns is what makes the world go round. I was just curious as to the degree of differences, especially to reactions to certain circumstances. Someday I'll put a survey out there, but you see, we have only you to complete it!

Time for a grade on your test to remain among our elite ranks...ok, you get a B+. I've refrained from an A, because no man is perfect!! You've done well, and so it has been decided, in all my Minnie wisdom, that you may remain in our midst. Lucky you!

I doubt it cake. Baking is not one her premier qualities. Now I am happy about that. Never knew how lucky I am.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Jul 20, 2007, at 10:45 PM

Oh, my, look what's been going on while I was out on the town..... More searing questions from Minnie, aided by her clone, Cake lady.

Gee.....I've probably missed it, and everybody's gone to bed!! Wake up! Wake up! We can sleep later! (But it IS later!)

Differences between men and women?? Was that what you asked? Do you notice how many women prefer to marry the high school jock, instead of the little nerdy guy, who turns out to be Bill Gates? How short-sighted is that??

Also, why do women like shiney things more than men do?

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Jul 20, 2007, at 11:06 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:

Men and women favor shiny things equally. Men just favor them on a larger scale...chrome, my dear, chrome.

Actualy we are obsessed with things that are round and spin. Chrome is an accessory. I know, dogs are too.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jul 21, 2007, at 4:16 PM

Minnie, dear, you are wise beyond your years --- no matter what the years are!

The chrome tidbit may well be your most profound observation of all - even more astute than the neosporin and WD-40 beauty tip!

How did we ever struggle through our dull little lives without your sage advice?

Speaking of which, I just saw the grade you gave I.B.LeTruth for his True Confessions on our site. I must admit that he is remarkably perceptive for someone of the male persuasion -- especially for one who so argued so soundly on Corey's Iraq blog awhile back!

I agree! He can stay, as long as he swears not to repeat any of our secrets to the other, less open-minded members of his sex...... Now, all we need is the cake lady's vote on this issue.


-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jul 21, 2007, at 4:40 PM

Dogs are obsessed with things that are round and spin. They aren't an accessory as it appeared it said.

I am not sure I want the cake lady's approval. Could be a conspiracy.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jul 21, 2007, at 5:51 PM

Fear not Le Truth...you have my approval. As GL says, you do seem to be remarkably perceptive in some areas...even though you confess to enjoy a Debbie Cake now and then.

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Sat, Jul 21, 2007, at 8:23 PM

Oh yes, let's let I.B. stay on. I enjoy his pithy replies. Glad you cleared that up about the dogs - I couldn't quite picture it.

-- Posted by Ducky on Sun, Jul 22, 2007, at 7:43 AM

Okay - it's unanimous: We let Mr. Truthy stay and add his pithy, male-oriented comments. Maybe it'll give us a sort of balance. ....Not that we need balance, of course... (I kinda like being off-balance, myself...but let's not get off-topic, GT..)

However, I suggest we watch him closely for some of those sexist attitudes that we all know men have....

First time he mentions how women should do all the cooking and cleaning, he's outta here!!!


-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 22, 2007, at 8:56 AM
Minne O'Pausal's response:
Something tells me that Mr. Truthy will stay on course, especially given his history thus far. He lends a nice diversion to the all-female content of this blog and I kinda like that. But, IBET, you must agree to stay on course and not to contribute to these ramblings just for the sake of being included. If your opinion totally differs from ours, we need to hear it, such as it is. We have the right to throw you to the dogs at any time...that privilege comes with age and femalism (a new "Minnie" word to be included in our upcoming vocabulary). So, Truthy, if indeed that is your REAL name, you're still within our ranks, but consider yourself fortunate to be here, and tread lightly...all we ask for is honesty...and don't try to sympathize with our flashes and sr. moments...you cannot identify and so there is no need to feign. We only ask for the truth and where better to find that than from I.B. Le Truth. Live up to that name.

I see the beginnings of a great friendship, here. So many stunningly beautiful, clever women in one place - electronically anyway.

-- Posted by Ducky on Mon, Jul 23, 2007, at 7:48 PM

Minnie, dear exalted leader, you have presented I.B.LeTruth's position in our Ya Ya Sisterhood quite concisely....unless, of course, our combined mental forces have completely overwhelmed him, and he has retreated to his living room recliner, choosing the much less demanding medium of the television....(Is there a good reality show on tonight?? That should do it!)

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jul 23, 2007, at 7:53 PM

Too tough for me, I'm stumped. Just trying to read and keep up. I admit it, I'm overwhelmed. Sure is interesting though. You all don't mind if I laugh from time to time do you?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Jul 23, 2007, at 11:23 PM

We'd be highly disappointed if you didn't!

So, how many Closet Girlfriends do we have, just hiding in the wings, watching and waiting, until one of Minnie's well-timed cell phone stories lures them out into the open???

Or is our little blog just a poor substitute until Corey gets his political powerhouse revved up and going??

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 24, 2007, at 9:35 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:
Funny, gt...I never considered those who might be lurking in the background..so I believe it's time to challenge all the "blogless" readers to come forward, log on and let us know your numbers! Stand up and be counted. You're among an elite group.

By the way, Minnie-Fearless-Leader, I like your new word very much -- femalism! I shall endeavor to use it in my next posting.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 24, 2007, at 9:37 PM

We'd be highly disappointed if you didn't!

So, how many Closet Girlfriends do we have, just hiding in the wings, watching and waiting, until one of Minnie's well-timed cell phone stories lures them out into the open???

Or is our little blog just a poor substitute until Corey gets his political powerhouse revved up and going??

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 24, 2007, at 9:38 PM

Whoops!! I think I got caught in a TIME WARP!!!! Now I'll never get to use the word "Femalism"!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 24, 2007, at 9:39 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:
It's always usable. You are hereby granted permission to use it at any time in this blog. Its antonym is "maleism," however is not nearly as appealing a word, so I choose not to use it at all and hereby deem it "unwordy." Femalism it is and may we hold our heads (and underwires) high.

"Underwires".......I am speechless, wordless, mind-boggled, and befuddled!! How DO you come up with this stuff, Minnie Dear???

You are truly the champion of femalism! (There! I got to use it! I shall find a way to use it in every posting from this day forward!!!)

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 24, 2007, at 10:14 PM

Minnie, dear, I bow to your unerring sense of femalism. "Deemed unwordy." I am awed by your scintillating wit.

You go girl! You too goat lady.

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, Jul 25, 2007, at 8:18 PM

Oh, yeah! Throw me a scrap, Ducky!!

"You too, goat lady..."

I know, I know! I'm chopped liver, compared to our illustrious leader!

I know when I've been outclassed!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jul 25, 2007, at 8:59 PM

No, no, goat lady. You're not chopped liver. Ducky never meant to imply such a thing. You, Minnie and the cake lady are my heros. Besides, someone with a name like Ducky doesn't get too close to references about chopped liver (or pate - drat, can't make that funny thing over the e).

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, Jul 25, 2007, at 10:44 PM

This blog is closed for repairs.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jul 28, 2007, at 9:53 PM

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