Friday, August 31, 2007

There comes a time to go to the Big Boys Room

How old is too old for boys to keep using the ladies' room with their mom? I know, men's rooms can be really scary places. And some should probably not be used by grown men let alone kids. But I get uncomfortable when there are 8, 10, 12 year old boys in the ladies' room. Yes, I am a prude. But I should get to choose who I am comfortable doing you know what around.

Yesterday we were at a big homeschool event at a public amusement park. So naturally there were lots of moms with lots of kids. And a large number of dads too. But I assume the family I'm talking about didn't have a dad with them. I went in the ladies' room and there were 2 boys standing by the sinks. Right by the stalls. Not even at a respectful distance from them. Not right by the doors, or around the corner, right in front of all the stalls!

The boys had to have both been at least 10. They couldn't have gone into the men's room together? With mom standing right outside the door periodically yelling in "everything okay in there?" She was in there with some younger kids too. The older boys could have waited for her outside the ladies' room door? There were two of them. It was a closed event. It wasn't that crowded or unsafe at all.

I know one mom of a 7 year old boy who says she'll let him go in the men's room (in most places) by himself. But she stands outside the door and if she decides it is taking too long will charge on in there yelling "Mom coming in the bathroom" to find out what is going on. She's taught him to go in, look around, decide if it looks okay and walk right back out if anything at all makes him uncomfortable. That seems like a perfect solution to me. And of course, you wouldn't send them far away to a men's room without an adult right nearby.

I freely admit I'm one of the most cautious and paranoid people on the planet. But there comes a time when children should use the bathroom of their own gender. Or find a family bathroom and go in there. Let me pee in private.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Follow-up post

I got my new title. I am "healthcare research specialist" now. Go me!

I took 2 demands to my review, both were met without hesitation (I'm also being moved to the proper place on the organizational chart). Damn, next year I'm going to have some back up demands just in case.

I want a chocolate cream pie delivered once a week to my house.

I want a monthly massage.

I want dinner brought in once a week.

I want someone to come clean up the cat vomit from the rug.

I want a driver and personal shopper.

I'd really settle for the cream pie.

I can't even talk to other moms anymore

Public school started today. We started our homeschool back up too. It went really well. Until the end of the day when the neighbor called to see if the kid wanted to go over and play for a few minutes until dinner. The weather had turned nice, after being cruddy all day, and they were getting some fresh air. I said she could go, she just needed to finish her last couple of pages of math.

Well, wouldn't you know I'd start getting ribbed. I know it was just teasing, but Freak Mom is tired of being teased. It is too much like being criticized. Freak Mom is tired of being criticized.

"You teachers are so mean."

Yeah, like you'd let your kids play if they didn't have their homework done. 4 pages of math had been on the schedule all day long. Granted we'd been busy with other work but I didn't see why she should let it slide.

If I let her out of her work then I'd hear about how all homeschool kids do is play all day.

She finished up and I walked her over. There were two of them talking. About public school, and how wonderful would be when the littlest ones were in preschool because they were learning so much already at home and they were so bored, so ready for school. Sigh, welcome to my world ladies. You try to make every single subject fun and interesting every day. Potentially for 13 years.

I mentioned I had to go back and finish cleaning up the kitchen. We'd been studying cooking and I needed to put stuff away before making dinner.

"If she wants to cook she should just come to my house, I make my kids cook all the time."

Thanks, you just belittled the one area of our curriculum that we are really, really excited about down to an everyday occurrence.

I know I am overly sensitive. But I am so sick of non-homeschoolers perceptions' of homeschooling. I should just stop talking to everyone.

Monday, August 20, 2007

We don't need more time together

This one is really getting to me. I try to tell people that the kid HATED daycamp, but LOVED resident camp and they all assume they know why. Which wouldn't bother me quite so much if it weren't for that freaking smug look they get on their faces while they nod knowingly. No you are WRONG.

At daycamp I was there volunteering, but I was not in the kid's unit and didn't see much of her. At resident camp we went 4 days/3 nights together in "mom and me" camp. I saw a lot of her. These know-it-all public school moms all assume that the kid liked resident camp because I was with her. That has NOTHING to do with it. In fact she would have liked resident camp better if there had been more activities where we were apart and day camp even less if I'd been her unit leader.

We see each other all the time. ALL THE TIME people. Constantly we are together. She is so ready for more time away from me. I try to arrange play dates at other people's houses as much as possible, but there is a limit as to how much inviting her over to someone else's house I can do politely. (I mean, would it really kill another mom to initiate things once in a while?) I sign her up for classes on her own and she LOVES them. She isn't clingy to me at all.

She hated daycamp because it was run by a bunch of meanie moms who were pushy and over the top. There was no downtime and it was exhausting. It was hot, it was rushed, there was bad weather, and she hated fishing and having to act in a skit. The high school girl "helpers" spent their time driving the golf cart and gossiping, never interacting with the girls.

She loved resident camp because it was run by a bunch of fun college girls who were the coolest things since flip flops. The pace was slow. There was plenty of time to finish activities. We slept in tents and ate in the dining hall. The high school girls who were there showed her several crafts and took her on a hike. They asked her questions and listened to her answers. She loved canoeing and archery. It was much more her pace.

So wipe that smug smile off your faces or I will do it for you. She is not a clingy mama's girl. She is just stuck with me because her father and I choose to homeschool.

And she thought your daycamp sucked.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Don't complain to me

A public school mom I know was just complaining to me about how ridiculous the school supply lists are. Uh huh, and why exactly are you telling me this? I don't care. Complain to the school. Don't just sit around complaining get off your butt and DO something about it. Go to the school board meeting, refuse to buy the extra stuff, send what you think your kid needs. Don't bother telling me.

She said they need all these extra supplies that go into a community bin in case some kid needs more or loses theirs. Yeah, that wouldn't be happening if I were the one sending my kid there. I'd refuse, that's ridiculous. I'll buy my kid what my kid needs. If you can show me a kid in real need that can't afford school supplies, I'll buy that kid supplies. But not just to go into the "extra bin". No way.

They need 36 pencils. No way I'd send 36 pencils in. 6 tops. When those break, get lost or wear down, you'll get 6 more sent in. Keep track of them. Let me know.

They need to have color coded folders so that when the teacher wants them to turn in their science homework she or he can just tell the class to turn in their green folders. The kids can't figure out "science folder." I say if the kids can't figure out what folder says "science" on it, maybe the teachers should worry a little less about how many extra pencils there are and worry a little more about teaching.

And if I may continue my rant just a little more, how exactly is this preparing them for the "real world"? We homeschool moms hear that one all the time. If we don't sent our kids to public school they won't be ready to handle the "real world." Let's see, does the bank tell me to bring my "green" folder in? No, I have to figure out all on my own which is my paycheck, which is my bank account and make that deposit. What if I run out of eggs, can I just go to the supply bin and get more? Well, if I'm in real financial need I can fill out paperwork and be put on welfare and food stamps. I guess that is the same. Even then I have to get into the system and show I have need and haven't just misplaced them. Then I have to take my food vouchers to the store and make my purchases. The vast majority of us, thankfully, never are on welfare and don't have to do that. We have to go to the store and buy more. Not just get extras from the neighbors.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Promotions were just announced at work. I hate this time of year. I'm not in the running for any sort of promotion. Probably never again. I can't do all that I do at home, which yes, is more important, and be out their working hard enough to get a promotion and a new title. It is just hard seeing those that I trained get them. They are getting new titles, new offices, new respect. I don't even have a cubicle in the office anymore since I work at home all the time. Yes, jealousy is rearing its ugly head.

I know, many of them would give all that up to be home with their kids and not commute in, and not have to deal with clients, coworkers, bosses, etc. on such a frequent basis. I wouldn't want to trade. That still doesn't make it easy.

I have my annual review coming up in a few weeks. (Don't get me started on who will watch the kid during it, I haven't begun to figure that out!) I'm thinking of asking if I can have a new title. That's going to be a big deal in our stodgy accounting firm. But the old one I've had for 10 years really doesn't reflect what I do any more. And since I'm never looking to get the next title in the regular path, manager, maybe I wouldn't be totally off base. I'm thinking Senior Healthcare Researcher. I'm the only one who does the majority of the research and they are always telling me what an important role I fill. It would really perk me up if they'd even consider it.

Just call me freak accountant.

lacking depth

I wonder if part of my problem is that we, as a family, are deeper than most of the seemingly superficial families around us. Sure they are constantly busy with stuff, but with what? They shuffle the kids off from one class or lesson to the next, but do the kids ever do more than go through the motions? They don't in our Brownie troop. They aren't interested in much more than the meeting and at those they seem to only be interested in running around playing tag before and after the meetings start. (I know, I'm the only freak leader who sees a real problem with this.)

The families on our block are constantly buying new stuff and throwing away perfectly usable stuff. Not even donating it, throwing it out in the trash. As in to the dump with it. This week there was a nice set of 4 chairs, a Little Tikes slide and a guitar in the trash. Why don't they give it away, sell it, fix it if it is broken, hold onto it for parts? I don't know. They don't think beneath the surface and throw it away.

The parents seem too focused on keeping their kids busy. Starting with preschool for two year olds, into full day kindergarten at five, then into activities four nights a week plus Saturdays. They rarely do anything as a family. I wonder how well they really know each other.

Well, I don't know if I've really made any sense or any points at all. Chalk it up to airing more of my increasing frustrations with society.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A freakmom walks into an office supply store

My kid wants a purple calculator. Who can blame her? Purple is cool. She's 8. Calculators are fun. Purple it is!

So we've been looking around trying to find one. You'd think it'd be easy. There are school supplies on sale everywhere. No purple ones to be found. I even asked at Office Max today. The kid working there thought maybe I'd have better luck at Target. I didn't tell him I'd already tried 2 Target stores.

The kid said maybe dark blue or fushia (the only 2 non-grey or black colors we've seen so far). Sigh.

Is it better to make her learn to give up her dreams at an early age? Or to raise a freak kid? I'm going with freak kid and am going to check the internet for purple calculators.


Hello. I am a freakmom. I don't fit in with the other moms. Perhaps you are the same? Or the same in your own different way?

I don't fit in with the stay at home moms, I work.
I don't fit in with the public school moms, I homeschool.
I don't fit in with homeschool moms, I work.
I don't fit in with the moms of many, I have an only child.

Where are all the work from home, homeschooling moms, who volunteer way too much time with Girl Scouts for their only child? They aren't living on my block.