Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Parenting/Blogger Roller Coaster, and Athlete

I finished a long ol' post about parenting earlier. About how I was all yelling at Mina this morning because we suffer from an age-old conflict called Getting Ready On Time Disorder. I realize that this has been a parent-child issue since amoeba were yelling at their kids to get their single-celled asses dressed already. The post revealed an interesting parenting technique that my husband and I resort to when we reach a boiling point with the kids. I like to call it the Blue Collar Threats Technique. For example last night Mina futzed around with her homework for an endless amount of time. We were constantly saying things like "Are you done yet? No? Then why are you (hanging upside down on the banister/mixing paint, glitter and salt on the patio/putting on lipstick in nothing but a tutu)?" When we couldn't take anymore, Husband pulled her aside and gave her a long speech about how school is a priority punctuated with comments like, "We don't make you dig ditches do we? No. Focusing on school is much easier than digging ditches, but I'll tell you what. You will be digging ditches as a career is you don't get it together." This morning she spent 75% of her getting-ready time staring out the window, tying ribbons on the dogs, dancing around in her cow-shaped slippers. Until I snapped from roboticly repeating the phrase, "Come on, baby, we're almost late." I then yelled a lot, which I don't like to do. Then I told her to forget it, that she wasn't going to school now. Not ever again, in fact. "I'M CALLING THE PRINCIPAL AND TELLING HER YOU'RE DROPPING OUT." "No, Mami!" "YOU'RE GETTING A JOB INSTEAD." "No!" "YUP, SCRUBBING PEOPLE'S FLOORS!" Nothing makes a kid like school more than the prospect of having to get a manual-labor job.

And then I wrote a whole long thing in the post about Maya's junior-high torment and how she gets made fun of this year and how it came to a bit of a head on Monday when her worst tormentor sent her a note calling her a "Super Dyke" . . .and how I told Maya to march into the Vice Principal's office to hand him the note and her cell phone so I could tell him I'm not tolerating that horseshit, not that level of derogatory name calling. I won't let Maya put up with it either. And he better handle it now. This part of the post was about this: For as much time as we parents spend teaching and guiding our children to do for themselves, sometimes they just need to know that we have their back. That we'll rip the gloves off for them and throw down if we have to.

Then I lost the entire post. Which made me examine a little too much about why I might have lost it. Like, what made the universe hit the delete button? Or was I just all aggravated and did the honors myself? Oh well. You get the drift.

I happily stumbled across this blog-project yesterday called Athlete.
David Lam is making a documentary about everyday people who are athletes, who endure the pain and training like any elite athlete. The doc spends a good amount of time on how connected these athletes are to charitable organizations. He also examines how everyday people who simply ENCOURAGE everyday athletes are heroes too. The whole concept touches me for obvious reasons. Plus, he's got some great posters aptly titled: Defy Odds featuring a blind runner. Defy Pain featuring a cancer surviving athlete. Defy Definition featuring twin sister cyclists. Check it out, and buy a poster! All the proceeds of the posters go to the charity with which the particular athlete is involved. I'm getting this one. Their proceeds go to Girls On the Run.

20 comments:

DJ said...

It IS a complete fucking roller coaster. My little girl is petite (born waaaaay premature), vegan and blessed with a quirky sense of humour - I worry already about her being picked-on at the age of six. I remember being singled-out as a kid, but only now can I understand how devastated my mum must have felt at the time. And I agree with you 101% about having their back - you're their mother, their no.1 protector - if you don't back them, what the hell are they supposed to do? Motherhood is never easy - your lovely girls are lucky they have someone as fierce as you helping them on their road to womanhood!

Kristin C. said...

Thanks for sharing your stories about motherhood..and womanhood. I am so inspired and reassured.
Also, thank you for the equally reassuring comment at my little ol' blog. Even though it DID make me start thinking about the baby in belly eventually having to make it's way OUT through my LADY BITS!! AHHHHH!!

nec said...

Hahaha - I love it! Why is it you have to give the ultimate threat before action ensues? I told my 19 year old that he has from now (last night) through this weekend to complete listed items (that I gave him 2 weeks ago)or he could use that time to find a new place to live (not working, not going to school, not doing anything - BUT he has AMAZING skills on the XBox!). He was up at 5:30 this morning starting on his chores :o)

I have always taught my kids to be their own advocate but you are right, sometimes you just have to step in the ring with them.

I have to say - My highest highs and my lowest lows have all come from being a mother... You do such a great job!

Melinda said...

Ooooooooh, point me in the direction of that punkass kid who's ripping on Maya. I would like to join you in messing her shit UP.

madness rivera said...

Aah, DJ. Your little one sounds like she has the makings for the best kind of person. I'm sure you'll tell her to be true to herself and to rough out the storms when she has to. She'll be great, especially with her mum by her side!

KC - you have a baby IN YOUR BELLY RIGHT NOW. Nutz.

Hi Nec, yeah, certainly a fine line of shoving them into their own battles and getting tagged in every now and again to back them up. I love that your son got his ass in gear though. Working Threats work on young and older!

Melinda, Come on girl. Let's do this! Maya's biggest tormentor is a boy (though she does have one girl tormentor also) - and as of yesterday he was as sweet as pie. Go figure. And that way I don't have to go jack up the vice principal for not taking me seriously.

Kellie said...

I love your blog! STRONG WOMAN ROCK! Confidence, courage, life life to the fullest, take chances, inspire, tell it like it is (no sugar coating)...you rock the house! I was driven to your blog by the director/producer of ATHLETE and the one poster for GOTR is me and I am SO proud and blessed to be part of something that will inspire and give back. We are just a refection of beautiful woman like you!! Keep rockin'!!

madness rivera said...

Thanks Kellie! You are absolutely aweseome and I love that poster of you guys. Your blog is so great and inspirational. And I can't wait to see the film.

saif said...

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madness rivera said...

Saif, are you adding my Blue Collar Technique to the Parenting Tips blog? It's veerrryy useful!

Anonymous said...

Great blog! I'm the other half of the twins and can't thank you enough for supporting GOTR! Your blog on parenthood cracked me up...I've got a 12 and 16 year old myself and damn if that "screw up in school and you'll be flipping burgers" line doesn't get 'em going. You are a stong and perfect role model for your girls. Keep inspiring! Carrie

madness rivera said...

Ah man, Carrie! Awesome. Thanks so much for commenting. We'll all keep on keeping on and make a huge difference in girls' lives. Thanks again for what you guys do.

LeS said...

Hi, love...there are plenty of things I could say in response to this post but I will keep it to just a few...first, you are awesome. Also, I, too, have threatened a few embarrassingly choice things when my lovely boy has pushed. me. just. too. far. Dude, parents not saints. But, more importantly, eighth grade was the fucking worst. Ri was tormented in a way that altered his path in life but, alas, has made him a kinder being. The whole DJ thing? Imagine a school full of kids jockeying (pardon the pun) for social position and then your kid has to stand in front of them with a microphone and his music picks every friday at lunch blaring thru speakers. one would think this was cool at first - but - every single 12/13 year old asshole with a mean opinion would tell him that he was a loser, or a fag, or an idiot based on the song choices. and, yes, i got him to approach the vice principal and she helped as much as she could....ok, long story to say that his freshman year is SO much better thus far. And he is SO much more aware of how a person's own internal pain thrown out at other's is SO mean and destructive. And, yes, it totally sucks to be the parent that can't make it go away but hang in there. We are making really good adults, friend. And give those girls a big fat hug from us, k?

madness rivera said...

Ug Les, My heart aches over what your son had to go through. Kids are nutz at that age. I do believe (I remember) that high school will be better. I tell Maya that too. Thanks for being such a great mom to him.

I will report that Maya's biggest tormentor and 3 of his crew got suspended last week, not only for the Maya thing, but these kids had been bullying another girl pretty badly too it seemed. Maya's incident pushed the school into action. Good. And in her own way Maya felt empowered by that.

LeS said...

yes, but he's a trooper and an awesome kid :)
AND right on - good for Maya to get some back up at school. sorry if my potty mouth was too much but, as you can see, this stuff riles me up. big love good mama :)

Julie said...

Oh, 13 is such a sucky age. I'm so sorry to hear that Maya is getting bullied. She's lucky to have you in her corner though; what you said about just needing to know parents have their back is so spot on. I do hope, though, that somewhere in your amazing intervention you are also sending Maya messages that ignorant people use homosexuality as a slander, and that being gay is not, in fact, an insult, and that even if she were a "super dyke" that would be A-OK, just like if she is straight as an arrow. I knew when I was 13 that I was a lesbian, and I would have KILLED for someone sending me those positive messages at that time. There's an awesome website that is doing a whole viral campaign to educate teens about hate speech, putting the blame on those who perpetrate and not the targets, and empowering kids to learn how to answer it when confronted. The videos in particular are fun. http://www.thinkb4youspeak.com/
I always love reading your thoughts about parenting. It's an issue I'm such a mess about, and I consider you a role model, actually. Take care!

madness rivera said...

Hi Julie, I'm glad you brought that up because it's an excellent and important point. It has been important to me to say outloud to them that it is perfectly ok if they are gay; that I love and support them no matter what. I realized that even if a mom is considered "cool" and even if it may seem obvious that they are accepting, it doesn't mean your kid wouldn't feel isolated and worried if they didn't actually hear it. I think that's true about most every topic for kids.

I'm gonna check out that link right now. Thanks!

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