Tag Archives: parenting

How To Be A Grand Prix Parent

20 Dec

I hang around some very advanced parents.  Their parenting skills are at the Grand Prix level (to use a dressage analogy) and they get scores of 93.976 on their Parenting Freestyles and set world records.

I am still at Intro A (walk trot), though I am about to move myself up to Training Level 1.  That may be a mistake considering I am still getting 4s (“Marginal”) at Intro A.  Sometimes I get a 2 when I throw a big tantrum instead of moving forward.

My major fails include everything from Santa Claus to my inability to convey the inherent unfairness of life to a pre-teen.  If I were a Grand Prix parent, my kids would realize that if another child uses up the eraser on their pencil, they can just get another pencil out and use up that eraser as an act of revenge.  Oops, major parenting fail there.  Revenge is not good.  Back to Intro A.

If I were a Grand Prix parent, the kids would not spend lots of work getting out of less work.  They would willingly do their chores and even sing while they did them, like Fraulein Maria in the Sound of Music.   A Grand Prix parent would have a nice teaching story for the kids.  They hate my teaching stories.  Mine usually involve, “When I was your age…”  This type of teaching story gets a 1.  Or a zero.

If I were a Grand Prix parent, my kids would smile and hold the doors for each other instead of holding the door shut and not letting the other kid in.  They would eat stir-fried bok choy.

Yes, sometimes they can be sweet and loving.  That’s when I take pictures and post them on FaceBook so it looks like I am a Grand Prix parent.  Actually, I don’t.  Because I would have to use photoshop.  If I did that, I would just photoshop myself on the beach with a cool drink.

I would also not say things like, “I am not trimming a chicken’s beak!” when they ask if Henny’s beak is too long.  I would say, “Let me look, dear.  Oh, yes, that beak is looking in need of a trim.  Let me get my dremmel.”

The real problem with my parenting is the same problem most dressage riders have.  I just don’t have the right horse.  I have a miniature horse with no work ethic named Katie and need a large, well-trained horse.  One at least 13.3 hands tall.  I would be a great parent if someone would buy me a nice horse. Then I would ride off into the sunset.  I would be a Grand Prix parent.

The Fable of the Frozen Dog Poop

19 Dec

I am sorry I do not have a picture.   You will have to use your imagination.

As new parents, we were were walking in the park with my firstborn, a toddler of about 15 months.  She liked to pick up rocks and eat them.  On one crisp winter day I turned to see her raising something towards her her mouth.

It looked like a rock at first glance, but I registered some non-rocklike traits about it.  It was a little lumpy for a rock. Horror settled over me and and my breath stopped.

“That is not a rock!”  I screamed, and snatched it out of her hand and flung it.

I looked at the chunk of frozen dog poop she had found and we ran all the way back home and I scrubbed her tiny fingers.

If this had happened to my second child, I would have pulled the chunk out of his hands and wiped his hand off on the grass and kept walking.  Since I have no more than two children, I pondered what would have happened to the third, fourth and fifth children.

The third child picks up frozen chunk of dog poop.  I pull it out of their hand and keep walking.

The fourth child picks up dog poop and eats it.  I wipe off their mouth on their coat and keep walking.

Fifth child is back there eating dog poop somewhere.  I figure if it tastes bad enough, he will stop eating it.

Sixth child?  Sixth child is back there somewhere doing something.

No Jello Salads Here Today

1 Sep


Most every blog seems to offer profound insights into parenting, social issues, tasty recipes or travel to exotic locations.

You won’t find any of that here.   Not that I am not a parent, have insights on social issues, concoct tasty recipes or travel to exotic locales like Des Moines, IA.  I could post my latest recipe for jello salad.  It involves radishes and green jello for that holiday look.

Or I could talk about my inability to overcome my jealousy of other moms whose hair lays flat when they get up in the morning and whose children don’t call each other stinky and jab each other in the back seat of the car. But that’s been done.

I could also post stunning pictures of hummingbirds, since one just buzzed by head.  But that would involve getting up to get the camera.  So no stunning pictures of hummingbirds today.

So, what’s left?  Horses.  Or maybe a horse-shaped jello salad.  Made in Des Moines, IA .  By hummingbirds.  But no, you won’t find even that here.  Instead you get this picture of Katie.  Have a great Labor Day!

The Possibilities are Endless

22 Mar


This is not horse related, but it is art related.  Since everything is related, I guess it’s a post about everything. 

As a homeschool parent, you don’t receive many kudos.  Make that no kudos.  Society assumes you are Amish or hoarding an arsenal of weapons and cracked wheat.

Oh, well.  I’m used to being different. People homeschool for all kinds of reasons in this day and age.  There are millions of homeschooled kids, most of them successful, happy and can hope to be accepted to college and hold jobs.  If they really want to stockpile cracked wheat, they can do that, too.  The possibilities are endless.

But back to kudos.  One of my kids received awards in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition.  She likes to write and make art.   I submitted her work as her “teacher” because of course there has to be a teacher.

Today I received a lovely Made in China (yes, large letters informed me of that in case I had any ideas that the pin was manufactured elsewhere) Teacher Award Pin from Scholastic.

A nice letter thanked me for my “daily efforts in the classroom and the fundamental role I  play in the nurturing of the talents, abilities and personal vision of my students.”

Wow!!!  No one has ever thanked me for that before.  Well, Scholastic did last year.  But no one else ever has.  I don’t even have a classroom.  I think we will keep entering Scholastic as long as we homeschool.   I am feeling really important about now.

Yes, I know the pin is upside down.  Well, I know now.