Wednesday, November 29


I had a horrid "meeting" with my parents Saturday.

Without going into immense detail and history, lots of things happened with my controlling, domineering mother (with my father following in her wake) and my family, mainly about mine and Dave's parenting (or lack thereof in THEIR eyes), we took an extended "vacation" from visiting them, and ended up in a family counselor's office; things went much more "our" way than my parents expected or wanted. I suspect that is the *main* reason they cancelled the sessions, but they *were* expensive and that was the reason they gave US for discontinuing. While discussing this change in plans, they agreed to the 3 of us (my parents and me) having continued meetings to further discuss things and situations and try to resolve some of the ongoing conflict. [Look at that! I summed it up in ONE paragraph! One SHORT paragraph!! I am SO proud and amazed!! LOL]

Okay, the first meeting went more smoothly than I expected and even though I was so, so nervous without a "moderator" and there were tears and upheaval, it still turned out pretty well, and we all agreed to another meeting soon. Things came up and schedules got busy and when I next mentioned another meeting, I got, "ANOTHER meeting?.... Well, we don't really have anything else to discuss... do YOU?" I should have known... So, schedules got full again and by the time the second meeting actually HAPPENED, it was around 3 months after the first.

(Shoot. I've forgotten the original point I wanted to mull here!) So, we met at Denny's, they ate, I wasn't hungry-nor did I want a bunch of greasy food sitting on my belly while I was trying to convey my point of view to a couple of deaf brick walls. ;~) It did not go well. It even got to the point where I was afraid we were going to be yelling at each other in the restaurant. (we didn't) My mother had asked for a list of books to read so that she could "see where we were coming from" in a parenting standpoint. From what I can tell, she really just wanted the list of books that I had given the counselor-which would be different than any books I'd recommend my parents read, anyhow. When I gave her the 2 books I had gotten recommended from my radical unschooling mentors, the point came up that I hadn't read them yet, but that I intended to. She was quite adamant that she wasn't going to read any books that I hadn't read myself, even though they were recommended by the people who have gotten us to this point in our parenting and I trust their recommendations implicitly. There was even a DVD they could watch together! So, anyway, basically we went round and round on "you don't really know me" (from my mother), "children NEED discipline" and a huge go-round on thanksgiving/family/preparation and hard work/showing appreciation. I did not foresee most of the "subject matter" beforehand, and my brain does not think well "on its feet" while in confrontation, so all my good answers came to me on the ride home. Sigh...

Basically, my mother thinks she can tell me that my ideas and my parenting are "wrong". Not "wrong for you" or "wrong for some people" or "wrong for me", just WRONG. :~P They both bring up stuff that "might" happen because of my parenting. When I say that we can't really discuss it until they understand some about how we're parenting and that is in the books, mother refuses to read them. (My Dad won't read much of anything) When I say that reading them could help alleviate some of her concern/worry she says she's NOT concerned or worried!! And it starts all over again.... I am SOOOOOO frustrated!!!!!!

They also just don't GET the point that they still treat me like a child-that I am an exception to every other adult they know. They make up stories and LIE about suggested scenarios or things that we remember differently just to MAKE THEIR POINTS. Basically, they expect all the obedience and "good for them" stuff from me that they'd expect from a child but none of the "good for me" stuff of being an adult. Did that make sense? I don't think so... I'd really like to go into the Thanksgiving part of it, but its really just too long and too much venting for this late.

So, at any rate, I've been jotting down thoughts as they come to me these past few days and will compose a "wrap up" reply probably this weekend. Not that it will likely make any difference, because I'm nearly 30 years younger than they are and thus my experiences, thoughts and knowledge don't count when they conflict with theirs'. But I'll have my say. I also have to call the counselor and see if he'll do freebies for us... Or something ridiculously cheap like 25 bucks a visit. Like my life isn't complicated enough without having to hold my mother's hand and lead her kicking and screaming along a path she doesn't want to go on, but in order for my kids to have the grandparents they adore in their lives, she HAS to go on.... :~P

Likely more on this (sooner rather than) later....

Monday, November 20

My thoughts for the day...

My goodness! So many unschooling-affirming things have been happening in the last couple months. Work has left me with no time to blog, so I've neglected this a lot, but I have a little time today... probably not enough for all I have to say! LOL I was sending myself little notes to refer to when I got around to blogging, but I can't seem to locate them, so I'll see if I can edit at a later time... or maybe I'll just save it as draft until next I have time for posting!

I know that one thing that stuck out in my mind was a point where Wyl (7) asked what direction the earth turned in. Dave answered and Wyl then said, "So, if I walked *this* way (demonstrating the direction he'd be walking on the earth), then I wouldn't go anywhere..." (Meaning that he'd be walking against the earth like a treadmill or escalator). Wow. What realm would that be in-physics? I thought that was an amazing insight. Dave said that the world traveled too fast for that to actually happen, but I commented that it was a super idea and I thought it was very clever. We're both (Dave and I) still working on the "waiting before giving more/too much information" stuff. :~)

Storm (2 a few weeks ago) is still not clear in his speech, but is a great communicator, none-the-less. One of his favorite "games" is naming alphabet letters and most of his favorite books are about the letters. Though he loves "Mr. Brown Can Moo" a lot, too! :~D .... Drat. There was something that really stood out in my mind that he showed us recently, but I can't remember it.

I've had a constant headache for the last 2 days. I've never had a headache for HALF a day before, so this is testing my patience.

OOOH! I know!! Wyl again-he had gotten his allowance and was at the store with Dave last week when he remembered that I had commented a few days before that I had a "taste for" an Almond Joy. Did he remind Dave of that? Did he suggest Dave buy one for them to bring home to me? Nope. He bought the candy bar and brought it home for me! There were so many conflicting emotions that I had... embarrassment that he spent a chunk of his "small" allowance for something I didn't "need" AND that I could buy myself, surprise, some weird feeling I don't know what to call that had something to do with being on the receiving end of "giving for the joy of it", and joy and pride that my oldest son is thoughtful and sharing and selfless. At least some times. ;~)

Then, two nights ago, Wyl *without prompting, suggestion, asking, etc.* chose to start picking things up in the living room! He picked toys up off the floor and lined up the bins they go in and made a game out of tossing them into the right bins. He very carefully and painstakingly wound up all the game controller cords and put the consoles and the controllers very neatly away in the entertainment center. He very carefully and neatly made up his "bed" on the couch. He did all this without commenting or drawing my attention to what he was doing. I thanked him hugely for that.

BWC has Dave on this huge workload... The doctor that was seeing him wrote in the chart that he was "not improving" and so BWC takes that as he's as better as he's going to get instead of allowing him to get the surgery the previous doctor had recommended. So, now they're saying he has to go back to work, filling out 15 applications a week. That's very hard, since offices are open about 8-5 and I have to leave for work at 2. Not to mention that they give NO allowances for interviews (he has a 3 hour one scheduled for Wednesday), and NO allowances for holidays like Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving when there are few-if any-offices open. And even if there WERE, the hiring personelle are unlikely to be in, anyhow. Bleah. With all that on our plates, we have no time for working out the business plan for the welding place, the gift-giving holidays are fast approaching and things are hectic and crazy. We did get to have a nice afternoon yesterday, as we went out to Olive Garden with one of Dave's friends-from-the-past that he recently got in contact with again. He had a really good time and I got bits and pieces of adult conversation in between Storm's newfound desire to climb all over me and then get down and lie in the middle of the floor looking at the ceiling... LOL

Sunday, October 22

I love it when unschooling "lets us know" its there and working...

Its been busy this month. Going to work again (uck), preparing (or trying to) for Storm's Blue's Clues birthday party, Dave and I taking classes at the Akron Main Library, Dave trying to put together a comprehensive business plan for the welding place, trying to organise talks with my parents and me and visits for the kids and grandparents... You know, *life* LOL

Well, work's extremely boring, but I expected that-data entry and all... One good thing about it is that I have time to read on my breaks and have really gotten into Kohn's "Punished by Rewards" and loving it. I also have the ability to listen to audio books WHILE working, but can't seem to find any of the unschooling/parenting books I want through the library. Wonder if there's a "Netflix" for audio books... I'm sure there is somewhere. Work also adds 8 hours to the already huge amount of time I spend on the computer and my hands, wrists, shoulders and back are letting me know it!

Today we had one of those great moments:
My mom had called from their trip out west to see her brother and compete in the barbershop singing nationals to let me know they'd be in tomorrow. When we were done, Wyl wanted to talk to her and I over heard him say "Arizona??", guessing that she'd told him that's where they were, "Isn't that in Mexico?" Wow. That was so cool-I wouldn't have known at that age that Arizona was near Mexico! A year older, I would have, but only because I had gone on a cross-country trip with my surrogate grandparents and cousin and had been through it, experienced it, seen the maps numerous times, etc. Wyl has loved looking at maps since he was very young-3, maybe?-and has just absorbed information because he enjoys it! Dave traveling for work later on created a "need" for him to have more information about the continental USA, so that he could follow Daddy's progress and see something he could focus on, touch, relate to and feel that he really *knew* where Daddy was-I think it was a connection of some sort. He still loves to look at maps and tell me what exit we're passing, look for towns we'll be going through, comment on alternate routes... but he hasn't been much interested in USA-map-looking since Dave came off the road.

Oooh... Which reminds me.... Jackie Chan Adventures cartoon today had us wanting to look up the legend of Chupacabra... if I can figure out how to spell it right. Wikkipedia, here I come!

Thursday, October 12


A blog game!

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your Blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

***Okay! The first book I saw (and man, are there a lot here! LOL) was "JUMPER The Life Of A Siberian Horse" by Nicholas Kalashnikoff (a musty, much loved book from my adolescence-was going to read it to my oldest kiddo soon). Nothing esoteric And as it goes with 5th sentence on:

"Several of the wolves attacked it hungrily, and in doing so fell behind. But one, an enormous beast, refused to be fooled. With great leaps he kept gaining on the sleigh in an effort to reach Jumper's head. He seemed to know that his only hope of stopping them was in getting at the horse."

Well, good thing it was nearer than one of the steamy romance novels!! :~D Pass it around and have fun!

Sunday, October 1


Well, good and bad points to the day. Wyl and Dave enjoyed the live Hobbit performance. What I saw of it, I really liked-masks were awesome, props were cool and I LOVED the versatility of the scenery! A lot of the masks and some props were made by one guy out of foam-I suggested to Dave he should find the guy's info and offer his help-he may learn something. Storm and I left about 10 minutes into the 55 minute production... He wasn't at all interested, and was starting to vocalize a bit and I didn't want to bother other watchers. I was really interested in the "theater" aspect of things, but Dave REALLY likes the Hobbit and LOTR books, so I took Storm.

Storm decided he wanted to go look at the children's section, rather than run the halls right behind the auditorium, so I didn't even get to hear the performance. :~) Storm had fun, though, rolling on the cool linoleum (? I think) floor with the planet, star and comet shapes in it, exploring an alphabet puzzle, and seeing ALLLL the books everywhere. He tried out different size chairs, explored the little puppet show "stage", tried the doors to the craft and story areas, looked out the windows and knocked, started a couple books, found a BLUE'S CLUES BOOK!! and skimmed through that twice, finding the clues and getting REALLY excited about that! :~D And basically wandering around. He didn't seem to mind leaving, either.

We went straight up Market Street instead of getting on the freeway (my preference) and went by Two Amigos-so decided to stop for lunch. The food was great, and so was my guilt for spending $50 on lunch... :~/ I disappointed Wyl when I asked him to eat instead of talking about Teen Titans and what the episode had been about today, since I could hear about Teen Titans in the car or at the store, but he couldn't eat his mexican pizza in the car or at the store. The look on his face told it all. :~( I'll try to remember better next time. I just worry so about him not eating... He eats SO little and he's thin... So, I picked up some chewable vitamins for both of them at the store-they finally have ORGANIC chewables! Yay! We saw a really neat evergreen-ish bush in front of where we parked. It had very tiny hard, white berries on it that smelled like mint or wintergreen when we crushed/broke them open. I tried google-imaging all the "minty" plants I know, but can't figure out what it is. I wonder if my Dad knows.

As we were heading on our previous "flight path" on Market Street, my lack of sleep the previous night really hit me. We split up and Wyl and Dave went to Thinker Toys while I took Storm into Mustard Seed. He saw avocados (man, I wish I knew how to record onto the computer so I could get the funny way he "says" avocado recorded for posterity!) and HAD to have one, and was amazingly patient while we went and paid for one and I rolled him (in the cart) back to the salad bar for a plastic knife to cut it with. (Thank goodness I was prepared with an extra spoon in my backpack!) He wanted to hold the half and spoon it up himself, but kept plopping, "Uh oh!" little spoonfuls onto the floor (yikes-how slippery THAT would be to step on!), so I kind of mushed it up in the shell and gave him the spoon back-then he didn't need to hold it himself, anymore, apparently, and happily munched away. Then he saw bulk-packaged Sun Drops and since we hadn't brought M & Ms with us, and he seemed pretty serious about wanting them, I swallowed my hesitation of the cost of them and put them in the cart-well, after giving him a handful. LOL By the time he was done and ready to get down and walk, Dave and Wyl were back (thank goodness!!), so that timing worked out great. While Dave checked out and Wyl chatted with the cashiers, Storm and I went back to get the Naked Juice I'd forgotten at the beginning of the store, baby-step running and having fun. I had a hard time convincing him that we needed to get back to Daddy with the juice before he was done checking out, then I remembered the Sun Drops and that was motivation enough to head STRAIGHT back to the cart! LOL He sat down and ate a few, then was up and toddling again. Dave let us know he was headed to the car, so I got him turned around as Wyl joined us and headed out. I managed to get him stopped at the street/parking lot where 3 cars stopped to let us go across. Weelllll... Storm only had socks on (oil and gasoline and other guk in the parking lot), he's quick as all get out, has no concept of street/car danger(that I can tell), and I was so ready to go home... so.... I scooped him up without discussion and carried him to the car. He was NOT a happy camper!! He told me in NO uncertain terms that I was violating his autonomy and that he was mightily displeased with me, struggling and kicking the whole while. Afterwards, I realized I could have asked Wyl to run and get me Storm's boots while I explained to Storm about needing footwear in the parking lot, big cars and a need for me to hold his hand, and by then, Wyl would have been back, I could have put the boots on and Storm would have been happy to hold my hand across the street. :~( Too tired and worn out to think of it beforehand... So, THAT'S the thing that's sticking out in my head today. Not the other cool moments, but the couple negative ones. Sigh...

I don't remember much what we did when we got home, because I was pretty zoned out, but I know the boys had a blast together playing a little toy xylophone/piano and goofing around with each other, scream-singing, dancing and banging as loud as they could on the keys. The noise was horrific and nerve-jangling, but I just couldn't find it in myself to ask them to keep it down, because the joy was so fufilling to observe.

I have also made it a point to extend RU to Dave the past few days and I believe the fighting, sarcasm and resentment has been reduced IMMENSELY. Why do the negatives stick with me?

Saturday, September 30


Well, today was a pretty quiet day. Dave had Steve B.s viewing to attend. Wyl played outside a lot. Feeling disconnected from him lately-have to figure out how to connect with him. Storm and I got lots of snuggle/lovey time with his beloved Dada gone for a few hours. :~) It was nice and re-charging. I didn't get much done around the house, but Dave did. Sheila was going to come by on her way home from the convention, but the kiddo got strep throat, so she went home instead. Feeling a bit brain-scattered this week and my sleep schedule is askew again. We're going to see the live Hobbit at the library today! :~)

Thursday, September 28

Potions and posts

Somtimes I get so involved in the day-to-day that it takes me a while to "see" something as a cool unschooling thing. The last few weeks, Wyl has been absorbed in "making potions"; basically playing in the bathroom with small and medium bottles (mouthwash, trial size shampoo, etc.), water, some comb-in hair dye of his, mouthwash, soap and all sorts of colored things. It started out quite a while ago with 2 or 3 "Zelda/Link" potions... there was a long interval after that before he really started experimenting with color and trying to work with consistency. At first, I was kind of bothered because there was blue and red mess all over the sink (and occasionally the tub)-extra I had to clean up. But I've come to see the coolness of it all. So, I started looking around, trying to find ways to make "thick water". Started thinking about powdered poster/tempera paints, small squirt-bottles of poster paint, food coloring (though I wonder if that would have more stain effect), Kool Aid (didn't they used to have a kind that was white until you mixed it in water and you got "surprised" by the color?), etc. I asked him if he'd like to go shopping for potion bottles and so we have been. Its been fun scouting around thrift stores, looking for cool shaped bottles with stoppers and corks! I've yet to find a cheap source for paints, but we'll keep looking. The potion he made last night has neat pearlescent swirls in it that constantly move and twist-but never actually fully integrate into the liquid. Wonder how we'd Google that to find out why...

Storm's speech has taken a little jump today. I slipped back into "old ways" a week or so ago, "over-pronouncing" "M-O-R-E", trying to "encourage" him to speak more clearly (almost everything is "moh-"; more, blue [Blue's Clues], come here, pick me up, mama [though sometimes that will come out moh moh], milk, etc.) and when I thought about it later, I was embarrassed and chagrined. I *so* want to be able to understand this spirited child, who often gets frustrated when we can't understand him. Understandably so, but I really wish I could spare him that, and be able to "say yes" right away, instead of having to decipher or guess what he is saying first. I'm very glad we didn't have to deal with speaking/understanding difficulties with our first, since we hadn't found unschooling yet and I was often HIGHLY concerned with where my child was in regards to "the norm". Thank goodness we're over THAT. :~) So, anyway, Storm asked for "mioh" today (milk), and it excited me at first, then I got bummed and wondered if this sudden change was because *I* had a problem with the way he said "more" and tried to *correct* him... :~( I not only took the joy out of that for *both* of us, but I failed to TRUST him. :~(

Sometimes I get frustrated with myself with regard to the regular posters on my regular unschooling post boards.... I should probably have more patience with myself-and I *do* have far more patience with myself than I used to-but at this point, I don't. I "see" the patience and eloquence and "advanced unschooling" thoughts these ladies share and I sometimes feel I will never be "that enlightened". Like this week with an unschooling math board I'm on, as example. Somehow, a few people made it onto the board without "realizing" it was an unschooling board and were rude (calling names), ignorant and insulting. It makes me grumpy and cranky. I don't feel like "gently informing" or helping "lift them up" to my level, I want to give them what for in no uncertain terms. I hate wasting my patience on people like that. Deliberate ignorance is my pet peeve. So, instead of taking this person to task, I left it to others and kept my mouth shut. Feh. Maybe I wouldn't if it was my own board or if I knew the owner well enough to know that she would welcome that kind of thing.

So, living, learning, growing...

Wednesday, September 27

And we're off...

Well... I should have started this a long time ago, but with time constraints, technilogical impairments and all... :~D FYI: I don't know that my blog is going to be in a familiar format... I tend to ramble off into tangents of tangents, ruminate and basically converse with an unseen entity-my content varying with what I'm imagining the entity is responding... LOL Hope it isn't TOO hard to read, but most of all, ENJOY.