A little Chick-fil-A on the way to World Peace

Tags

, ,

So, I’ve been hearing about “something” going on with Chick-fil-A. Wasn’t sure what it was about, was quite certain I didn’t care to, but knew in the back of my head that it was coming. You just can’t keep stuff like that from breaking through when it gets so big that it’s everywhere. Sort of like an old boyfriend of mine who would record the World Cup soccer games and would, despite his most diligent efforts, inevitably hear the score before he could get home to watch them.

Facebook. I should’ve known. Right there in a status update – just enough information that I “got it”.

Well, since blogging is my new thing, it seems only appropriate to blog on such an event. Where, oh where, to begin? I’ll start with one of my all-time favorite quotes:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.

~Rumi

So, I’m all for having an opinion. I’m all for each and every one of us to BE different… and to like love different things (or even people, or even different types of people, you get where I’m going)… It is the human experience to experience, and what an amazing thing that we can all create our own unique set of experiences to call “life”. Ah… that word. Such a beauty. One thing that drives me absolutely bonkers, though, is when people think that their values/morals/opinions/beliefs are in any way connected to those of others. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. To me, it should be that simple. Unless someone is hurting someone else (who doesn’t want to be hurt – some people are a bit keen on pain, I’ve heard) then why, oh why, oh why, do you care — this is speaking to the Chick-fil-A’ers out there?

I wonder if you care because you wonder?

Now I’m wondering why I care that you care? I’m doing the same thing, aren’t I? On a smaller scale, of course, but still doing it. Darn!

I suppose I care because I’d like my kid to grow up in a world where people don’t judge each other. And I’d like to live in a that world, too. But, I guess the Chick-fil-A’ers would like to live in a world without gay people. And, I guess the gay people would like to live in a world where they can get married. Since we all live on the same planet, it get’s tricky. I have a sneaking suspicion that even if we had separate planets like the “Chick-fil-A” planet and the “People Who Don’t Care What Other People Do As Long As They Don’t Hurt or Judge Others” planet (otherwise known as “Planet Peace”), we’d still have problems.

So, here I sit, dreaming of that field. A field where two people can sit together – one who prefers to eat junk food, and the other who prefers intimacy with a same-sexed partner – accepting each other as they are, and appreciating the beauty in each other’s differences.

Here I sit, dreaming… of Planet Peace. Or more appropriately, World Peace. Maybe if enough of us want it. Definitely if all of us want it.

Who wants to meet me there?

Is Your Child “Well Behaved”?

Tags

, , , ,

A few months ago, Jet and I were enjoying one of our weekly trips to Toys-R-Us on “Toy Day” (which is usually on a Thursday). He’d picked out his toy for the week and was trying his best to carry the big package down the isle to the checkout stand. Each trip to Toy-R-Us brings it’s own unique set of toy parameters, and this particular visit had this guideline: “Jetzen, you can get any toy you’d like as long as you can carry it all by yourself to the front of the store, and it needs to be fully assembled.” (I didn’t have the time or energy to put anything together.)

Being a “bigger-is-better-sort-of-guy”, Jet had managed to find the largest toy that met the criteria. So, as he struggled to lug his big box down the long isles (dropping it several times and stating loudly that “this is a weawly heavy toy, Mommy”), I smiled politely at the other shoppers as they shot disapproving glances my way.

We finally made it to the long check-out line and waited our turn as Jet continued to hold his big prize; the occasional grunt slipping out of his tiny mouth. About half-way through our wait, Jet dropped his box just as the box of Rolo Chewy Caramels candy bars caught his eye. “Hey Mommy, what are theeeeese?”

“Those are called ‘Rolos’, Jet. They’re a chocolately-caramel candy treat.”

“I want to try them.” Of course he did. At the ripe young age of 3, he’s already a chocolate-lover.

“You’re thinking that they look yummy and you’d like to see what they taste like?” I’m already seeing that this is probably going to go sour, and fast.

“Yeah, I want to taste them! They look YUMMY!”

“I’d like to have some, too, sweetie. But I’m remembering that today is not ‘Treat-Day’. Remember, today is ‘Toy-Day’ and we came here to get a toy.” The line must have started moving at warp speed because it’s already our turn to check out. I kneel down so that he and I are at eye-level. “It doesn’t work to have those today, but we can make a plan to have them on ‘Treat-Day’ if you’d like.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” (yes, it was as loud as it looks) “I WANT THEM TODAY!!!”

The checker, along with everyone else, is not moving, but staring — waiting to see what happens next. I can feel them placing silent wagers on me with more votes going to: “She’s gonna cave and get him the candy.” Still kneeling, I hand my credit card to the checker and say “We’re not buying these, just the toy, thanks.” The checker takes my card, still unsure as Jet wails even louder, with a death-grip on the candy bar.

“Mommy, please, please, please can I have it?! I WANT it!!! Pleeeeeeeease!”

“Jet, I’m going to take the candy bar out of your hand now because it’s time for us to leave. I’m worried that your outside voice is too loud in the store so we can keep talking about this outside, okay?” At this point, I pry the candy bar (ever-so-gently) out of his little hand and put it back in the box to the sound of his bleating and begging and sobbing… As I try to guide him out of the store, he lays down on the floor and refuses to move. I pause to take a deep breath before I pick him up (still screaming) and carry him outside.

We sit right outside the door, on the ground, just out of the path of the front doors. He is SO sad. Tears falling down his face. So very sad. I just sit with him as he cries, feeling like the best Mom in the world for not loosing it under all the pressure. It’s hard, after all, to have EVERYONE in Toys-R-Us staring at you, right? But I did it. I didn’t snap. I was the perfect example of how I’d like him to be able to control his actions some day with his child, should he choose to have one, of course. I was certain that all the people in line were very impressed with my parenting skills… She’s so patient… Wow, she didn’t even get upset… Did you see how respectful she was to him even though they were in public… (I’m a Pices, so a lot of what happens in life happens in my head :-). So, you can imagine my surprise when a lady walks up to us — she’d been behind us in the line — and says: “I’m so sorry he put you through that. I have a son who would do that stuff to me all the time and I was at my wit’s end. I found a book called ‘The Well-Behaved Child’ and it’s made a big difference. You should really check it out.”

I was dumbfounded. Was she really suggesting that I was the one with the problem? Did I look like I was having a problem? I felt like it should have been obvious that Jetzen was clearly the one having the big problem. “I’m sorry,” I replied, trying to muster up as much thankfulness for her concern as I could under the circumstances, “but I guess I don’t understand what you’re saying to me.”

Now she looked confused. “I telling you about a book that will help you control your son so he won’t mis-behave.”

“Oh, I see. Well, Jetzen is just really sad because he wanted to try a Rolo. But it’s not our ‘Treat-Day’ so it didn’t work to have it today. We’re both just sitting here feeling sad about that. You know, kind-of mourning the fact that we couldn’t get it today. I don’t consider feeling sad about something to be mis-behaving. Since he’s 3, he does have a hard time controlling his emotions, but I’m confident that he’ll learn how to do that by watching me do the same. Thank you so much for your concern, though.” It was her turn to be dumbfounded. She walked away without another word.

Jet calmed down after about 15 minutes of feeling sad with “Mommy, can we go home and play with my toy, now?”

“Of course we can, Love-bug! Can I carry your big box to the car for you?”

“Well, it’s weawly heavy so okay. Maybe you can carry me, too.”

I carried Jet and his big toy to the car. On the drive home, I said: “Hey Jet, can I talk to you about something important to me?”

“Sure.”

“Remember the big problem you had while we were in Toys-R-Us? About the Rolo candy treat?”

“Yes, I weawly wanted them.”

“I remember that it sure sounded like you really, really wanted them.”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I wanted to let you know that it didn’t really work for me when you were screaming about getting the Rolos after I reminded you that it wasn’t Treat-Day. I felt really uncomfortable when you were yelling with your outside voice and laying on the floor because we were at the front of the line and other people were waiting for us to pay for our things. I was wondering if the people in line behind us were feeling frustrated by all the yelling and because we were taking such a long time in the line.”

“Oh.”

“I’m wondering if it will help you, next time we come to Toys-R-Us, if we talk about treats before we go into the store. We can talk about if it’s okay to get a treat or not. Would that be helpful to you?”

“Yes, because I forgot it wasn’t a treat day and I was just really in the mood for a treat.”

“Yeah, I know it can be hard when you see something that looks really yummy and you can’t have it. That has happened to me before, too, and I was sad.”

“Yeah, I was sad because I wanted it.”

“It’s okay to be sad about it, but we just need to move outside the store if you need yell, and we need to move out of the line so that other people can check out, okay? I just wanted to let you know that I didn’t really like the way it made me feel when it happened today. It kind of made me not want to go to Toys-R-Us again.”

“Okay. I can hear that, Mommy.”

“Okay, sweetie. Thanks for listening.”

***

I never bought the book the lady recommended. I didn’t need to – I knew exactly the type of book it was by the title (good titles do that), which isn’t in line with my parenting style. But, before writing this I thought it would be a good idea to give it a quick once-over, just to make sure. I didn’t have to look long to confirm my suspicions about just how “wrong for me” this book is. Here are a couple of excerpts:

Children misbehave because they are bad, and the sooner parents understand and accept this, the better for them and the better also for their children. The incontrovertible badness of children is why it takes most of two decades to fully socialize them. Their badness is the reason for this book.

Exorcising a child’s demons requires punishment. The operative principle is simple: when a child does something bad, the child should feel bad about it. Unfortunately, when a child does bad things, they do not feel bad on their own. Therefore, when they do bad things, children need other people, adults, to help them feel bad. That requires punishment.

Wow. It was worse than I had imagined it could be. Um… okay, dude. That’s all I got, really. To respond to just those two paragraphs would be another blog entry in and of itself! Suffice it to say…

It’s been three months, which is roughly 12 “Toy-Days”, since the Rolo-episode. It hasn’t happened again, and there was no discipline involved – just a lot of love on both ends. :o)

The Truth About Teeth?… a journey beyond the norm (part 1)

PART 1 of many…

***

A couple of weeks ago, Jetzen made his first trip to the dentist. His teeth have shown signs of decay since he was under a year old, which has always concerned me. I mentioned this to his pediatrician at his 1-year check-up who said that was “normal” and that 3 was a good age to take him in for his first visit to the dentist. So, for a couple of years I continued to shrug off the nagging worries about the cavities I could see forming and growing in his little pearly whites despite our regimented daily brushing schedule.

The visit to the dentist proved to be as challenging as I had feared it would be. Jet sat in my lap on the reclining chair as the dentist, his technician and me all tried to coax him into opening his mouth for a quick peek. He sat welded to me, offering a tight-lipped “uh-uhh” each time he was asked to “open up”.

At some point he conceded to open his mouth – for me. The dentist could look inside but I had to hold the tools: a mirror and an explorer. Since I’d been brushing his teeth every day for the past three years, I knew all the problem areas to point out to the dentist. After about 30 seconds of looking, the dentist removed his gloves with a “That’s fine. I’ve seen enough.”

Really?! All that prodding for a 30-second peek? I was surprised and relieved… and also concerned. The dentist escorted us to a room with a big-screen TV and a small conference table. “You can pick out a toy from the treasure chest,” he said to Jet, and then “have a seat and we’ll go over his dental plan.” I sat and listened as he informed me that Jetzen needed approximately $5,000 worth of dental work, which could be performed in a 3.5 hour surgery under general anesthesia. He said the sooner the better. My head was spinning with thoughts and questions. How could this be? We brush every day. We only do sweets occasionally. He drinks water when most kids drink juice, sodas, etc. Should we have come in sooner? Was 3 too late? How could this be? “Is this normal for his age?” I asked.

“No, not at all. A lot of kids have a small cavity or two by the age of 3, but his decay is very advanced.”

“But how could that be?” After ringing in my ears, it felt good to get it out. “How could that be when we brush regularly and avoid sweets?”

“Obviously there’s something else going on with him.” he said. “He doesn’t have much plaque so I can tell that you’re brushing. Even a lot of sweets shouldn’t cause this much decay at such an early age. I don’t know, really… we see situations like this occasionally. Genetics, maybe.”

“I see.” I said, but I didn’t. It didn’t make sense and I was feeling a knot build in my stomach. The money was one thing, but the anesthesia really freaked me out. Being the naturalist that I am, the thought having my little guy put under for dental work seemed so extreme. “Are there any alternatives?” I asked, hopeful.

“Oh, no. There’s really no other option at this point. The anesthesiologist will be here on the 24th, we can schedule you then.” And with that he walked out of the room, leaving me to watch Jetzen as he played with the toys in the treasure chest.

I paid the $75 office visit and declined to make the appointment on the 24th, with an “I’d like to think this this over a bit and I’ll give you a call.” And then we drove home… with Jetzen commenting on how the toys in the treasure chest weren’t really “treasures” and me feeling the knot grow bigger. I smiled at my baby in the rear-view mirror and wondered, again, “how could this be?” – and then made the decision to get a second opinion.

***

Stay tuned… the second opinion may surprise you! :-)

Hello world!

I’m a writer at heart and have been toying with the idea of committing myself to a blogging site for quite a while. The time has finally come, thanks to a co-worker of mine who suggested the idea. It seemed like a “cosmic timing” sort of nudge, so here goes…

My blogs will focus on, at least for moment, my experiences as a single mom who is consistently on a quest to bring more peace and harmony into my life. My life’s path has taken me down lot’s of roads – many of which I’d prefer not to have travelled down, and many of which seemed to lead nowhere. But in looking back, I realize that they’ve all served a purpose, which is to bring me to the exact place that I am today. And “today” is what it’s really all about… Today is where life happens… Today is the day for either being content, or deciding that something needs to change and taking action… Today is the day that I started my blog. Finally. (thanks, Jenny :)

This site is mostly a way for me to process my experiences, whether any one reads my posts or not. For those of you who choose to live in a black and white world where “right” and “wrong” exist as absolutes outside of the context of yourself, I’ll take the chance at offending you now and suggest that this site is not for you rather than offend you on a continual basis with my blogs. I’m rarely mainstream. I regularly challenge the norm. I embrace uniqueness. I believe that each of us has the innate ability to choose what is “right” for us – and I honor that rightness for each of you without judgement. For those out there who enjoy seeing the world through another person’s eyes… read on.

If you decide you’d like to comment on any of my posts, please review my About page prior to doing so.

Welcome to a peaceofmyworld.