Friday, September 26, 2008

Why throw up?

Most of you know, my Spencer has a pretty good smeller. A while back, I bought some Western Family brand Parmesan cheese. I don't usually because it doesn't taste the best. I like the real thing. Spencer, who usually loves Parmesan cheese, wouldn't eat what I made with it because he said it smelled like throw up. I don't have the best smeller, and couldn't really tell, and made him eat some anyway, and he threw up. I know, I get what I deserve.

Anywho, the next time I pulled it out (at lunch when Spencer wasn't around). I got a whiff of it and it did smell like, well, throw up. So, I look at the bottle a little closer...

I know, you can't see, but if you could, you would see that it has expired. Not only has it expired now, but it expired before I got it! And that is what ticks me off! I know, I should look at the dates, and I do when it comes to dairy and meat, but come on! Why should the consumers have to watch that so carefully. It is THEIR job! I am paying them by purchasing their stuff to make sure that it is OK. It seriously makes me never want to go back there. It is the same with milk that hasn't expired and is rancid when you open it the first time, or cheese that is so sharp your eyes water just opening the package, or bread that is moldy the next day after buying it. And I am too nice, I can't take it back. It is embarassing for some reason. So, just do your job, don't sell me stuff that is bad. You won't take a bad check, so don't give me bad food, ...I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dad Does Not Equal Babysitter!

Just to get it off my chest, I would rather have the title actually have a "not equal to" symbol, and it is driving me crazy that I don't know how to put that in!

That aside, on to this post!

A while back I was making plans with a friend of mine; we were going to go "hang" (seeing as how we have already established that high school never ends). Her comment was, "Well, let me check with *name* because he will already have been baby sitting the kids the night before." You know, I am all about being considerate of your spouse in regards to the kid duty, but come on! Watching your own children is not babysitting! It is called being a dad and a good husband. Do you pay him when he is done? I don't think so! Be thoughtful of his need for free time as well, but don't degrade his being a dad...I'm just sayin'!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Does High School ever end?

Why is it that we are "adults" and can't get past high school? We still have our little group of friends (hard to join and hard to quit), there is definately an "in-crowd", some people are still considered nerds, there's the smart people, the athletic ones, and the music people (HFACers we called them in College - you know, the people at BYU who were music majors and ALWAYS singing in public) and to top it all off we still have the economic status issue to deal with.

I look at our kids, and it is totally rubbing off on them. In fact the other day my four year old and her friend were making a "club" and on their entrance sign, they wanted it to say that no "weird" people were allowed. And she said, (and I am quoting) "You know, witches, ogres and fat people!" Yep, just like that she already thinks that fat people are weird.

We have "clubs" of our own, book groups, play groups for our kids, people we exercise with, bowling leagues, and PTA stuff. Our kids see us "grouping" and they follow suit. Of course we make ourselves feel better by saying anyone is welcome, but are they? Do people feel like they can just join if they want? Maybe you are actually a very inviting person, but do your kids know that? Do they see you invite someone who may not seem to fit in as much?

I am ranting to myself just as much because that's me I just described, I know that I am so excited to "belong" somewhere and be included, but do I make others feel that way? I don't know. At the same time, I prefer the smaller groups where you can actually carry on a conversation and feel like you can get a word in edge-wise.

So, we have these groups and we have our "clubs" that we fit in, and honestly I don't find any problem with that, but does it affect our kids? Do they feel like they can be friends with kids whose parents aren't friends of their parents?

I know that there are some people that I would like to be friends with, but don't think that they would want to be friends with me. I hear of them doing things together and wish I could too. I look at some of the "athletic people" and wish that I were considered "athletic" too. I don't dress as well as the "in-crowd" and I am certainly not an interior decorator, and my house isn't as cute. But why do I care? Why am I bothered? This isn't High School anymore, or is it? Does it ever end? And am I affecting the way my kids' "high school" experience will be? I don't know, I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

School and Homework

Now that school is here, I am once again reminded of a pet peeve of mine - Homework. There is something seriously wrong with it. Why is it that my fifth grader has very little homework and my first grader has a boat load of it?

My fifth grader's homework is basically read, practice typing and spelling words. As it should be those are all things that they really can't do in school. They should be reading all the time, it is good for you. They can't really learn how to spell a word without practicing it often. And they can't really learn to type without practicing it as well.

However, why the boat load for a first grader? And stupid stuff for that matter? Why is it that he has to practice writing his numbers over and over again at school and then over and over again at home? Why is it that he has to practice writing his alphabet over and over again at school and then over and over again at home?

His teacher has them learning phonics, which don't get me wrong is a good way to teach a kid to read, but why does he need to know that that the little mark over an A means that it is a short vowel sound and not a long vowel sound? When you are reading a book, is it there? Then there are these touch points! The idea of them is that each number has a touch points, these imaginery little dots on the numbers that correspond to the number. Zero has zero, one has one, two has two, (get the idea? me either). She has them learn it so that when they are adding and subtracting, they can actually add up the touch points on the first number and then add the second ones touch points if they are adding or subtract the second ones touch points if you are subtracting. This absolutely (!) drives me crazy. Kids should just KNOW their addition of all the basic numbers 0 to 9. They should just KNOW their multiplication of all the numbers 0 to 9. It should be drilled and drilled and drilled into them. The big numbers they can figure out if they know the basics. (The big problem with the touch points too is that when you get to ten which is one and zero combined, their touch points don't add up, so they have a whole other set of touch points themselves - which is so mathematically wrong in and of itself. Mathematical principles hold up ALWAYS in ANY situation - I know TMI, but I'm ranting).

Just to clarify - every Wednesday, my first grader comes home with a packet of homework, due the next Wednesday. A page of writing numbers, a page of phonics, a page of writing letters, a page of writing some words, and a page of touch points. Then there is the phonics book he needs to do a couple of pages out of and he has to read for ten minutes each day. It all adds up especially given the fact that he's a perfectionist and you better believe that he is being careful with everything that he is writing.

You know, if there are things they can't do in school, by all means, send it home and let them work on those things at home, but don't just send homework home to send homework. And if you do send homework, make it time appropriate.

I haven't even gotten started on school itself. I will keep it short and sweet. I am so not a fan of all of the extra fluffies. I think that school has gotten into too much fluff and not enough of the core good stuff that actually means something. My sister's husband made a good point. Their school was trying to get a grant so that each kid would get their own laptop computer. His thought was why spend all this time and energy teaching a kid about a computer that will just become obsolete in a few years? Instead, focus on teaching them the principles that are going to help them someday create a computer ten times better? Amen, why are teachers so worried about so much other stuff that math, science and english, the basics are suffering? I'm just sayin...