Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall Life Lessons - New England Style - the wood stacking edition

Stacking wood is a chore. A chore for the entire family. As big of a beating as it might be I love it. It makes me feel like fall. It makes me feel like we are preparing for winter and it is something that we always do together. It can also be great exercise and a little tough on your back.

The Stacking Crew:

The Daddy - Generally a happy, methodical stacker. (This is dependent on the temperature outside, what sports are on the television, and how whiny the children are.) He enjoys quiet, repetitive, physical work with his family and tends to work in a slow and steady manner.

The Mommy - Typically a hysterical stacker. Meaning - the Mommy recognizes that the window of cooperative and free slave labor is generally short so she stacks like a crazy person generally moving into the high pitched "come on guys- just a little more - we can do this!!!" tone of voice by minute 30 or so.

The 10 year old oldest female stacker - This stacker is generally highly motivated by the promise of a possible itunes song purchase so this can be a very valuable stacking force. When motivated - a ten year old is a stacking machine. When not motivated or feeling emotional for any reason this stacker is virtually useless.

The 8 year old middle child female stacker - This is by far the worst stacker.This stacker will actually be from here on referred to as "the chatter". The chatter will more than likely wind up moving 5, possibly 6, pieces of wood during the entire stacking session. The chatter is almost always in a good mood, will generally have to go to the bathroom 5 times, and is often good comic relief.

The 6 year old baby of the family male stacker - while small can actually be a powerful stacker. This stacker is motivated by one thing and one thing only - hanging out with the Daddy. Stacking wood with Daddy is the coolest thing ever. (This is once again contingent on the weather, sports on the television, and how whinny other stackers are. This can also be contingent on hunger.) A splinter in the finger is a day ending calamity for this stacker and something that should be avoided at all costs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A political post on a political night that is really not about politics but about how you are talking about politics with your children.... (You guys know you love me and my long post titles.)

I actually wrote and posted this last year but this seemed like a good time to repost. ;) 

Well - I gotta admit - we here at I Heart Bowheads (that would be me) don't really get terribly riled about stuff. Not a lot of drama. Not a lot of controversy. We (once again me - not sure why I feel the need to explain that) tend to keep it pretty light.
I do have the occasional rant in me and here it goes..........

This is not a rant telling you what to believe.
It is not a rant telling you what party to belong to or what issue you should back.
I will not even be expressing my own political beliefs in this post.
What I am going to rant about is........
Back when I was in my Kindergarten classroom, I would do an election every year. I would talk about the three branches of government, the two major political parties and the election process as a whole. I would always send a note home explaining this to the parents in my classroom as well as assuring them that no political opinions were going to be presented to the class. Only an explanation of the process.
This would often spark a lot of political dialogue with my Kindergartners. This was especially true if it was an election year. As my own children got older, they started to ask questions about the process. My husband and I have been very careful to simply explain the process and what both sides believe. We have explained that some of the issues that cause us to vote the way that we do are just not for children's brains yet and we will be happy to explain all of that when they get older. We do not even tell our children who we each vote for and there are many times that my husband and I are on the same side of an issue or party aisle but I have to be honest - we are also often on opposite sides and we have talked about that.
That is the bleeping (scuse my language - you can tell that I am starting to get worked up - I am even typing faster;) BEAUTY of America.
The debate
The checks and balances
I encourage you to disagree
I encourage you to vote your own choice and then if you don't win - lobby, talk, picket if you want to to get re-elected next time but for heavens sake.....
No joke - no exaggeration - here are some of the things that children either in my classroom or in my home have asked me.
Mrs. Bowhead- what's a communist? Cuz my Daddy says (such and such political character) is one of those?
Mrs. Bowhead - what's a moron? Cuz my Mommy says (such and such political character) is a big one.
Mommy Mommy - My friend (insert friend's name here) says that if (such and such political character) becomes president he is going to take all of our money!!!!!!!!!!!!! We need money - right? What are we going to do if he takes all of our money?
Mrs. Bowhead - why does (such and such political character) not love everyone? Why do they only love the rich people?
Mommy - such and such friend says that if such and such political character gets elected we will have NO MORE SUMMER VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Well my Daddy says that we don't have to listen to him and I don't have to watch his speech on television that is telling me to stay in school and work hard.


Now I could go on and on with the quotes but I believe you get my point. I would also like to remind you before you go getting yourself all riled up that my quotes also go back ten years which (if you will remember) spans both political parties in power.
Like I said - this is not telling you what to believe. This is not telling you what to feel strongly about. This post is telling you what I feel strongly about and you know what I feel strongly about? Do you? Do you? (Can you tell I am typing fast again? Frank the pug is sitting here next to me watching me with some fascination wondering what is happening with the flying fingers but anyway - I digress.......)
Teach your children to respect the system.
Teach your children to respect the OFFICE.
 You do not have to like the man or the woman. You do not have to support the party but respect the office. Respect the process. 

Use words like.....
Feel strongly about
Let's write a letter to our congressman
Please do not use words like
Stupid poor people

Remember - your children are listening to you. They are watching you and hate and dis-respect can be learned in the most unlikely of places.
They are standing at your feet in the church hall when you are chatting quietly with your neighbor.
They are playing on the floor of the kitchen while you are on the phone.
They are in the other room while you are cussing (I mean loudly disagreeing) with the TV.
Teach them to debate. Teach them to become involved. Please do not teach them to hate the other side.
The other side, in my humble opinion, is what makes the country so great. Because we get to have an other side.......