Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I just had a moment like this one myself recently and I was graced with the presence of mind to let it sink in and marinate there for a bit...

The Six Year Old was two and had gotten tangled up in his t-shirt before bed... tears, stamping feet, and yet he wouldn't accept any help. It was simultaneously painful and hilarious to watch.

Let me share here, that I don't do anything unless I know I'm good at it - yep... I'm THAT kid. Always have been. No sports for me, and after 7th grade art - no drawing, either. Some poor bastard, whose name I still remember, wondered out loud why I wasn't getting the shading right on my rendering of an apple. Let's just say I bet he still remembers my name, too.

The technical piece of getting this blog to look the way I want it to has been an experience in head banging and hair pulling. HTML code looks like it may as well be a launch sequence for the space shuttle, to me. Recently, I sat down, determined to make a badge for my blog and spent the better part of an hour ( a long time for me to sit and focus on any ONE thing ) and messed around on Photobucket until I got the image I wanted. I then followed the relatively simple instructions on a tutorial page I finally found and.... fucked it up. No image showed in my side bar. Just meaningless code... I'm pretending I'm not a total failure and am preferring to believe that perhaps someone clicked on it and launched a small, experimental shuttle somewhere near Kuala Lumpur. Firmly resolved to try again and get it right, I took an A.D.D. detour and decided to check one of my new favorite blogs first, and lo and behold, Shelbi at A Mother's Musings, Mishaps and Milestones has my badge! On her page! But wait... that's not the type I used. And where's the damn border?
Hmmm... Another long story too late to be short, Shelbi, in an act of kindness and support made me a badge and put it on her blog! I am so grateful for the help and I love the look of the badge - THANK YOU, Shelbi!

(Please note: This is in no way a criticism! Just a great insight... I'm happy for both the badge and the thoughts it has provoked)
But... my next thought was, "Oh... this is how it feels when we do things for kids instead of encouraging their efforts." The thought was accompanied by the sound of the wind going out of my sails.. just a little bit. Kids are forever coming up against things they can't or aren't allowed to do and although there are rules at preschool, it is a place of "You CAN..." When we do it, or "fix it" for them, their efforts and perceived abilities are squashed... For example - Please!! If your child has struggled to put on her own shoes and finally appears in the your line of sight with shoes ON, but on the wrong feet - SHUT UP! If they are clearly not hurting her - and you should ask, congratulate her and be on your way. NEXT time is the time to do a mini lesson on how to tell which shoe goes where. Kids are confident and happy when they feel powerful, and their power comes from feelings and experiences that inform them, "Yes I can... I did that. Because I'm me, and I fucking rock." Seize every opportunity to foster these feelings in your children. I think it's what keeps them off drugs, but seriously? Don't e-mail me later if your "confident" teenager gets busted huffing glue... As per my last "What kind of Crazy are you passing on to your children?" post, I'm going to be just barely treading water myself, as ages 8, 9, 10 and so on take turns kicking my ass.

The truth is that I was going to try one more time and then shoot Shelbi an e-mail anyway begging her to teach me how to do the HTML crap for my badge. Another of life's great lessons is learning when to humbly accept help. Thanks again, Shelbi :-)


  1. Awww..... I love where you went with the whole "moral of the story" and it's a good one AND sound advice! I too avoid tasks that I am sure will end up in either frustration or failure on my part; so this blog and all the technical stuff that has come a long with it has been a lesson is self-loathing more often than not... But when I do get something right... Man oh Man I'm walking on air!

    I feel badly though... I knew you were working on a badge and I did not create the one on my page for you - I had every intention of switching my temp for your creation once you had it up and ready. I am not usually a swoop in and rescue kind of gal. I hate that I might have appeared to be in this instance. I am a firm believer in sink or swim... So for deflating your sails, I am heartfully sorry.

    I think you are doing an amazing job! I am sure to be turning to you for help soon. When I do however, I am prepared for the preschool teacher response- asking me to take a deep breath and try it again on my own!

  2. I really didn't want you to feel bad, Shelbi!! It was exactly what I was going to do anyways.
    And again, thank you... for the badge and the encouragement :-)

  3. I know that was not your intention - AND you were clear in your post that you DID NOT want me to feel badly... Jumping in and 'just doing it' is a trait I've picked up after **cough** - **choke** 14 years with my husband...