peachyteachy

For realsies

Bribery: Still and Always, Moral Imperative November 15, 2015

Image: brothersoft.com

I wrote the following more than three years ago. I found it because I am a one trick pony who wanted to write again about bribery as a moral imperative.  It is clear that this deeply held belief has come to be held more deeply than ever. I have been buying record numbers of  “treats” to hand out like so many little placebos as I convince the youngsters that every sweet  is an indicator that they are achieving like Einstein. Truly, it usually buys me a few minutes of reduced decibel level. As a matter of fact, I was working with a colleague a few days ago when she erupted with candy from God-knows-where, proclaiming herself  a human pinata! Bribery is alive and well and living in school, my friends! That deserves a treat!

Do I want my kids to do the right things for the right reasons? Sure!

Do I tell my students that they should behave as if their grandmother is watching them at all times? Yup. God knows I shouldn’t be the only one carrying that macabre little thought around the world of the living.

Is there a little Lego set in my closet, awaiting my son’s completion of swimming lessons without melting down and leaving the premises once? Um, why, yes, there is.

Hey, I have never paid money for good grades! That is my ex’s job.

The kid is older than most of the other “Goldfish,” loves the water, but has remained absolutely terrified of going underwater.  Water in his nose, eyes, ears or mouth is reason for extreme distress.  He’s a tiny bit high maintenance. Previous attempts at swimming lessons have gone terribly wrong.  It hasn’t helped that the teachers have had exactly one strategy in their “toolkit” when it comes to getting kids “used to” going underwater. It goes something like this:

  Boy: “I CAN’T GO UNDERWATER!!!!!! NOOOOOO!!!!”

 Aquatics Instructor: “You have to.”

 Boy: (climbing instructor like a tree, screaming) “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”

 Aquatics Instructor: “Okay, okay, you don’t have to go underwater.” Dunks him under.

 Boy: Comes up sobbing and doesn’t stop until class ends and we can leave the Satanic waterpark, having learned the invaluable life lesson: Never trust your swimming instructor. Sweet.

This display would, of course, be followed by the natural born swimmer kid who is next in line executing a back flip with a half twist into the water.  I am looking around as if to figure out which parent goes with that screaming, flailing child.  Which works for exactly ten minutes, after which we are greeted daily with whispered “Here they come”s.

You get the idea, and surely understand why part of my preparation for this swimming session was calculated bribery.  I didn’t tell him that he couldn’t cry, because I am not super pumped to shoot myself in the foot on any given day, but I did say that he would need to stay with the class for the whole time every day.  This, he did.  The first two days were painful, and did involve screaming, crying, and, yes, being forced underwater after being told he would not be.  While this does not synchronize with my personal philosophy, we managed to make it out of there mostly intact (remember, the bribe requires not melting down AND leaving the premises).  “Keep your eyes on the prize!” I said brightly.  This referred to the unknown surprise bribe awaiting him, should he complete the session.  Let’s face it, he won’t be getting a certificate for passing Goldfish!  My bribe is kind of like the “Participation” ribbon that is so coveted by the mediocre athletes of the world.  Only cooler.

The happy ending is that he turned a corner somewhere around the third day.  Strangely, this coincided with the fact that he had a substitute instructor that day who was actually skilled and was able to give him some baby steps to take to help him move in the direction of surviving wetness of face.  We call this Divine Intervention, and I am appropriately thanking the Universe.  He WILL cry today because it is the last day, and he’s like that.

Sometimes the bribery thing works, sometimes not.  I don’t honestly think that it made much difference with the swimming thing; he gets credit for making the progress that he made (as do all of the angelic host that helped him).  He also gets a prize. If folks are really up in arms about this bribery thing, tell it to the Olympic committee.

Advertisements
 

Drinking the Kool Aid of the Cult of Inadequacy March 15, 2015

Filed under: family,humor,inspiration,life — peachyteachy @ 12:32 pm
Tags: , , ,

Everyone likes a good shortcut, I suppose.  In the era of multitasking and inadequacy, I fear that things are getting out of hand. When the hell did Hints from Heloise morph into life hacks? I know that it emerged from the geek world, but if you find  yourself bringing a Magic Eraser® into the shower to multitask/hack in there, you might very well be drinking that Kool Aid®, and chances are that you have been Pinterest-shamed out of ever purchasing that powdery pack of sugar and color again.  Cuz that is not clean food. That is hair dye.

And another thing: the word “hack” brings to my mind images of a saw, used to escape dark and dreary prisons (as opposed to the light and airy prisons where they keep the criminally adequate), 0r something I might find in the bottom of one of my second grade students’ backpacks.

Have you ever clicked on a link to a video of three hundred hacks for apple cider vinegar? No. No, neither have I. All of these opportunities to become better than ever before through the miracle of life hacking have made me feel less together than ever.

That damned eraser displayed no magic, by the way. Kool Aid man, take me away!

 

2015 For the Type Z Personality OR The Forever Sink January 4, 2015

If I read or hear the phrase “New Year, New You” once more, it is very likely that I will throw a slipper.  A new one.  A Christmas  present–from me.

That is because my aspiration for 2015 is to wear them as often as is humanly possible.  I can do it.  They have  rubber soles that will help me to disguise them as shoes should I accidentally exit the house before spring.

If I can tell  you where my slippers are, then I don’t need another de-cluttering checklist.

Slippers? Check!

IMG_0467

My super-achiever sensibility has filtered down to my 10-year-old son as well! HE just took a shower! Hot damn. Happy New Year!

In addition to hygienic prowess, he also managed to work the term “crap-ton” into conversation twice in twenty seconds. You gotta respect that.

Shower? Check!

“Crap-ton” usage? Check!

Type A Together People out there, I love you.  But I am aware of the fact that you may be picturing us in a Judgy show about New You-ness, with you as Simon Cowell and me as me.  I know that you buzzed me or dinged me or gonged me back in the introductory slipper section.

Hang on for just a second there, Simonizer.  In my defense, let me tell you about how things transpire when I follow a more conventional checklist in an effort to adopt new and glorious habits just because the calendar isn’t working anymore.

On New Year’s Day, I opened the napkin-light bulb-water bottle cabinet.  Predictably, I was assaulted by a lot of water bottles, and a couple of the other things.  So I “de-cluttered” it.  That just means that I took everything out of there and spread it all over the counters  organized it into matching containers labeled “Donate,” “Sell,” and “Trash.” Then I went to find a rag under the sink, where I keep 2 or 3 on a regular basis. I am proud of the fact that I do not keep 17.

Guess what I found under the kitchen sink?

If you guessed “A crap-ton of water?” you are correct!

Now it was time to de-clutter THAT cabinet.  Time to throw away another crap-ton of those white sponges that claim to erase anything, but do not erase pencil marks made by second-graders–but that is another arena.

The drain was leaking. It was nasty.

Backstory:  our kitchen faucet (not the aforementioned drain, mind you) has been doing some low level dripping for a couple of months.  Here was the perfect opportunity to fix it! Wait! I know! Since we have to do intensive sink intervention, we might as well do a teeny-tiny upgrade and buy a new faucet!

Yaay! Crap-ton of crap everywhere and we are off to the big orange store where people get things DONE! But NOT a new faucet, because in order to do that, one has to lift that sink out of its sink hole.  Our sink, however, was apparently sealed into place with the same sealant used to seal stuff on the space shuttle or the Millenium Falcon, and a crap-ton of it.

The point is, Simon, that I transformed a de-clutter checklist into a full day of plumbing.  I don’t know a lot about plumbing, but the one tenet of plumbing is that when you work on plumbing, you cuss.  Like, a crap-ton. I ended up manning the screwdrivers under the sink a lot, too, on account of the fact that I am smallish and can fit under there.  And you KNOW there wasn’t just one trip to the store.  No New Year, New Faucet.  Oh, the humanity.

Slippers? Check!

 

Allergic to Cute August 1, 2014

Filed under: family,humor,pets — peachyteachy @ 3:54 pm
Tags: , ,

kitten

Earlier today, my son was daydreaming about that faraway day when he will own a kitten (or, preferably, two) and will be able to generate kitten videos to share on his YouTube channel.  “Then I will share them with you and you will get more views on your channel!” My YouTube channel consists of exactly two videos of nerf battles at our house.  Add some kittens, we’re talking viral with a capital V and whiskers.

Sadly, he was not pleased with my response.  “I will have nothing to do with the proliferation of cute kittens on the internet.”

“WHAT? WHY? They’re so cute! What are you, allergic to cute? Because if you are, you should have had hives all over a long time ago, because I was flipping cute when I was a baby!”

The conversation ended then, because I had to go and yell at the giant neighborhood cat who was making his daily rounds and relieving himself in my vegetable garden.

 

Image: activatingthoughts.blogspot.com

 

 

Normal is Overrated February 26, 2014

Filed under: family,life,music — peachyteachy @ 9:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

When emotions are high, or raw, or low—this is when music is most essential.

I sometimes fall into a feeling of normalcy over some things.  That my parents are no longer walking around in the world.  That my only sibling is mentally ill.  That they were, we were, once, a little family with little kids and dreams for the future.

The crashing of the dreams is the most haunting part.

Tonight I am reminded and it doesn’t feel normal (although that state may be a delusional one, at best).

So I landed on the song. I had to listen so hard to hear the story. But it was worth sticking around for.

 

 

 

 

Doggy Intelligence Debate February 1, 2014

Despite the fact that cats obviously trump dogs on the internet, there is still a debate raging within the hallowed halls of my house: is our dog smart, or is our dog stupid? Does she emulate her owners and live that duality to a full extreme?

Here’s what my dog can do:

*Stuff that will result in a dog cookie.  She will sit, and lay down and go to her crate.

What she can’t do:

*Shut up when told to shut up.

*Not jump on people when they first arrive.

Before you start sharing your wisdom and suggest upping the dog treat factor, understand that if I gave a treat every time she shut up when I said to, she would become morbidly obese.

Let’s investigate this barking thing.  My dog is the Anti-Watch dog.  This is the dance broken down into dog behavior vs. actual situation.

Dog: WOOO WOOO WOO WOO WOOOO GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR WOO WOO WOOOOOOOOO!

Situation: Alert the authorities! The neighbor came home and opened the car door!!!!!!!!!

Dog: WWOOOOOOO WOOOO WOOO WOO WOOOO WOOOOOO WOOOOOO!

Situation: Call 911! There’s a leaf out on the driveway and it moved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dog: Snores loudly.

Situation: It sounds like the zombie apocalypse with a hundred jack hammers is coming down the street.

She can, interestingly, sit and bark simultaneously.

 

A Human Being/A Human Doing January 12, 2014

“I am a human being, not a human doing.” Such a trite little New Ageism, probably coined by Stuart Smalley, back before Al Franken became a US Senator.

Actually, I did come across a blurb that encapsulates the sentiment:

 “I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

The To-Do List is, as we all know, never done. NEVER.  What a freaking recipe for disaster. Even if every item were ever crossed off, another five or so would stand up, front and center, to remind us of our basic, gnawing,  inadequacy.   Sweet.

I have a colleague who writes stuff down and shoves it in his pocket, a sort of deconstructed to-do list.  There is a certain genius in this, I think, not because it is foolproof and he will never forget something, but because he WILL.  There is space for a human being to accidentally wash away the reminder of the human doing when the jeans hit the wash with one pocket uncleared.  Disaster? Hardly.  I, for one, need to remember from time to time that the world is, in fact, NOT going to come crashing to a halt if something on the list slips through the cracks.

But what if it’s something important?

Really? Is it? Will it be in a year? Will it result in  someone being deeply hurt by me? Mostly, even seemingly crucial deadlines would, in fact, end up compromising my ego more than anything else. For me, some of my most egregious errors probably were in the following category: I am freaking out and sick to my stomach about the message I am getting that there is no way I can do enough or be good enough at work—and that pain and fear makes me edgy and impatient with my loved ones.  Oh, yeah, priorities straight as an arrow there.  Doing a couple more hours of data recording for my teaching job is going to take care of everything.

What will take care of everything? How the hell do I know? I suspect it has to do with shutting up and letting my son’s words wash over me when I am overwhelmed: “You’re the best Mom ever.”  When I forget, he tells me again.

I was reading something the other day that gently reminded me of the fact that we really are all just a mess and that’s okay and no one knows how the hell we’re going to traverse the next little bit.   So we try to make a little to-do roadmap and it never feels as neat as we think it should.  Because to-do keeps on collecting, tenacious, like dust.

“You’re the best mom ever.”  It is super shiny, every time! No to-do attached! What a relief.

 

 

 

Image: http://www.holisticwithhumor.com

 

 

 
William Pearse | pinklightsabre

Writing is learning to see in the dark

Jabri'z Point of View

I might not be always right, but it's my point of view about stuff.

Christopher De Voss

Life, Humor, And Zombies

Unload and Unwind

A place to talk about the past, present and thoughts of the future

colombiancuties

As Cuties of Colombia we're lifting our great Nation.

ThinMan's Blog

A geezer's ramblings

Snapshots of Second Grade

Mrs. Tonnessen's Classroom Blog

Little Miss Perfect

Writer. Grammarian. Poster child for existential despair.

Miss Lou Acquiring Lore

Gallery of Life...

The Irrefutable Opinion

Assaults on the Casually Mundane by K. Jean King

Mister G Kids

A daily comic about real stuff little kids say in school. By Matt Gajdoš

The Blog of Funny Names

Celebrating Great People With Greater Names.

Lame Adventures

A Humor Blog

Weird Woman Lives Past 40

My bumpy, messy, fattening, slutty, beautiful, simple life. Step into my panties...err parlour.

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

The Magical Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Recipes

Essential Bygone Housewifery

A daily assemblage of the obsolete, the antiquated, and the curious practices of the erstwhile homemakers of a vanished era. Including lost secrets in the areas of Cooking, Baking, Personal Care, Remedies, Cleaning, Entertaining, Crafting, Decorating, and other miscellany of household management.

BunnyandPorkBelly

life is always sweeter and yummier through a lens. bunnyandporkbelly [at] gmail [dot] com

JessFindsVintage

For the Love of Vintage

Views from the Valley

Middle America musings

Bite Size Canada

Canadian trivia and history in bite size chunks!

The Tattooed Teacher

Adventures in Elementary School

The Great American Memoir!

Like, share, comment, follow, tweet, etc.

Glory Of Zig

I'll be the blog you're dreaming of

%d bloggers like this: