Archive for July 27, 2012

Now You’re Just a Country That I Used To Know

Whenever I read a story about bureaucratic overreach, about children whose lemonaid stand is closed down, about children who are not allowed to sell Girl Scout Cookies, and about the kid who saved up money slowly and painfully, through mowing lawns and shoveling snow in order to buy a hot dog cart to help support his family, checked for the necessary permits, bought the cart, then was shut down before he could sell the first dog, well, I see red.

This song has been running through my head lately whenever I hear about the massive injustices being heaped upon the citizens of these United States, but instead of “Now You’re Just Somebody that I Used to Know”, I hear “Now you’re just a country that I used to know”.

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I Pushed Poor Little Dylan To His Breaking Point Today

Dylan, who just turned five, will be entering kindergarten in a few weeks. He is not really ready. I did some intensive letter reading and writing work with him this week, but he just can’t remember his letter names under pressure, poor little guy. He’ll just randomly call out a letter that we haven’t even gone over hoping that it is the correct letter.

Mommy was busy this year with working, being sick from being pregnant, losing a grandfather, losing the pregnancy, caring for two active boys and a toddler when she got home from work, and just didn’t have the time or energy left to oversee his school readiness like she was able to do with Jacob. That was supposed to be daddy’s job, but daddy didn’t do it. Papa didn’t do it, either. I don’t think either one thought it was really important at this point, but kids left behind at this stage just fall further and further behind without some pretty intensive coaching.

MeeMaw had to probe hard to find out his weaknesses so that they could be worked on, and sometimes that hurts because we really do not want to do things that are hard work for us, even though we cannot advance if we don’t.

Previously, I have had several short sessions with Dylan in which we covered one letter of the alphabet at a time, then he runs and plays. Today I tried to make it more like a school setting in that we did about one and a half hours of work. We looked at letters. We wrote letters. We talked about letter sounds. We made pictures on the cards. We sang songs about letters, particularly “C is for Cookie”*. Then we read the letters he had written. Then we wrote some more letters and read them. Then, finally, we worked on flash cards.

He just could not remember the letter names from flash card to flash card, and he started crying silently with big tears running down his cheeks. Oddly enough, he could remember some of the initial sounds which I just threw in as a little extra information. The flash cards were letters that he had already learned, not new letters.

Mommy’s heart was broken when her poor little boy had those tears running down his face, and she had to walk outside. That’s okay. I didn’t tell Mommy that since we only have a few more summer days together, I’m not going to ruin what remains of his vacation by forcing him to do something that he cannot.

We’ll do a few worksheets. We’ll glue macaroni in the shape of letters. We may paint some letters, and glue some letters, and cut letters out of magazines. I think we’ll paint some glue on cut out letters, then sprinkle sand over them so we have some nice sensory sandy letters to trace with a finger. We’ll watch Letter Factory and Word World and sing a few more songs. We’ll compare flash cards instead of naming them. That is, I’ll show him two flash cards, and ask him “which one is D for Dylan?” instead of showing him a flash card and asking “what letter”?

Dylan knows his shapes and colors. He is pretty good at reproducing letters that he sees, particularly if we review where we start our letters. He has a slight age-related ADD in that if there is anything else at all going on, his attention is there. (I can relate!)

Children aren’t the only ones that do not want to do hard things. A lot of us are happy sitting in our little comfort zone rut, never expanding our world or doing something different because we do not know how and/or are too afraid of looking silly or foolish when we try something that we aren’t initially very good at it. After all, nobody wants to look foolish in front of their friends or family.

*When life got too hard for a little feral autistic girl, she wanted me to pick her up, hold her tight, and sing her favorite song “C is for Cookie”. My voice is not a good singing voice, but she would not allow any others to sing to her even though I sound like the Cookie Monster off key.

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Missing Items

My daughter was outside this afternoon when a neighbor came up asking if we had any boys there, as there were some items missing from his yard after he observed a couple boys cutting through the woods. She got rather irate, told him that her boys were inside, and they were waaaay too young to be wandering around unattended in the woods. They had, in fact, been inside all day, for the mosquitos are horrible now and WNV and EEE is in the area. He left a phone number, and I called him back.

We talked about relatives, connections, found out that we knew people in common and established our bona fides to the satisfaction of each other so that we knew who we were talking to, so to speak. He understood our family background and had connections way back with some family members. He gave me his name and people to check his ID with. Once we understood who we were talking to, we got down to nut cutting.

He explained that things were missing around his house after a couple of boys had been observed in the yard and then cutting through the woods. He thought they may have come to our house. I laughed, and explained that the only boys here were too young for me to let them out in the woods unsupervised at having just turned 5 and 8 and, in fact, they had been in the house all day.

He queried me about the folks around us, but everybody’s kids were either far too young or too old to be in the approximately 12-year-old guesstimated age of the suspected thieves. “Ahhhhh”, he observed. “Then they probably came from down across the main road.”

There is a place down on the main road that has had a perpetual garage sale going on for some time. It is apparently their only form of income. Another set of neighbors had asked me to keep my eyes on their place because of same perpetual garage sale. The folks from the perpetual garage sale had actually gone into somebody’s yard up the road and picked up yard ornaments, furniture, etc., and were going to haul them away when they were stopped.

“We pick up things to sell at our yard sale!” they explained. It was explained to them that they do NOT go into other people’s yards to acquire said things for sale without asking as that was called thieving. Dang. That would have been explained over a shotgun here. Unfortunately, when the homeowner had to be hospitalized, her place was cleaned out. By the time anybody knew her place had been burgarized, there was no evidence left. It had probably all been sold.

It is suspected that they’ve been behind some neighborhood break ins as well. I’m a little surprised that their house hasn’t suddenly caught fire in the night, but perhaps they haven’t hit the right house yet. So far the thieves, whoever they are, have limited their attentions to the houses of the elderly, sick, and dead.

My phone contact said that, in his capacity as a small business owner, he’d often noticed that tools that he’d unloaded from trucks and put away for a week or so turned up missing when they went to load them on the truck. He’d put it down to employee theft but, with the boy sighting and missing items, he was reconsidering. We do not know. However, there is no doubt that area property crimes are rising.

I noted that we were nervous every dang day about leaving the house to go to work despite years and years of being able to leave the doors unlocked for days. He agreed. We talked about the worsening economic situation, the crime situation, and the possibility of worsening neighborhood conditions amidst the growing chaos. Apparently the only people that are unaware of this are the folks in Washington and people that vote Democrat.

We discussed the possibility of armed self defense of the neighborhood if TSHTF. He’s on board, as are neighbors in the other direction.

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The Word of the Day Appears to be Testicles

The boys were watching some cartoon in which a freezing ray was involved. “Boy, that could really freeze your testicles!” opined Dylan.

“Hey! Cut it out!” I glared at Dylan. It probably could freeze their testicles, but nothing we need to worry about in Florida. That’s more a Yankee problem and may actually explain the problems in Washington, D.C. Lots of folk there are probably attached to frozen, useless testicles that are afraid of what real people might do if they weren’t micromanaged 24/7.

“WHAT? Testicles isn’t a bad word!”

Well, he got me there.

When Mommy got here to pick up the boys, she wanted to speak to me about a word the boys were tossing about frequently in conversation, to wit ‘testicles’. “They said they got it from you!” she explained.

“Uh, no, I can’t recall my use of the word ‘testicles’ yesterday.” I thought hard. It isn’t a term I usually use unless I’m castrating, and the boys certainly wouldn’t want to hear the term ‘testicles’ in the same sentence as ‘cut off’. I couldn’t recall any instances of using the word “testicles” in friendly conversation yesterday. How would that come up in conversation? “Good morning. How are your testicles today?” “Would you like cereal, pancakes, French toast, or testicles for breakfast?” No, if the term testicles came up at all, it would probably be more along the lines of “Dylan! Do NOT kick your brother in the testicles!” but I don’t *think* that happened yesterday. I generally use more, er, farm-friendly versions of the word for those fleshy appendages. “However, the boys did have a conversation about freezing testicles this morning!” I reported to Mommy. “Actually, Dylan was having the conversation.”

“Why am I not surprised?”

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For Somebody That’s a Nondenominational Heathen…

…I sure seem to be spontaneously exclaiming “Help Me, Jesus!” a lot today.

It beats “Awwww, shit, NOT AGAIN!” I suppose.

Dylan just observed a couple of people kissing on a movie. “Ewwwww, gross! They’re sharing breakfast!”

“DYLAN!”

“WHAT? If they keep that up much longer, they’ll be sharing lunch and dinner from yesterday, too!”

What kind of racy movie am I guilty of letting the grandkids watch while I try to get the kitchen cleaned? Why, “Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy”!

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