Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teaching Reliance

While sitting at my kids' gymnastics lesson last night, I had a conversation with my friends about cooking.
Not what we were going to cook, but about letting our kids cook.
I immediately felt panicked, thinking about letting my kids near a stove.
And knives, don't even get me started.
But after talking for a while, I realized that I have been doing a disservice to my kids.
By taking care of every little thing for them, I have hampered their ability to be self-reliant.
OK, I don't do EVERY little thing.
They do make their beds every morning, and recently have started to get their own breakfast.
On occasion, I have let them pack their own lunch.
But I wash and fold and put away their clothes, wash all the dishes, cook almost every meal, clean. . . 
I am basically a housewife from the 1950's.
But I like it.
It makes me happy when my son tells me that whatever I have made for dinner is the best meal he has ever eaten (he says this a lot, which makes me doubt his sincerity, but I still love to hear it).
But when they ask to help, I politely decline.
Yes, that sounds really sad, and not something that a very good mother would do.
And I have my reasons, which are all dumb (they will probably break something, or they won't do it right, or it will just be faster if I do it myself, etc.)
So last night I let my daughter cook for the first time.
She made pancakes.
(From Bisquick, not from scratch)
She read the recipe from the back, got out all the ingredients, and mixed them up.
I did not help once.
I did help by telling her at what level to have the stove, and she needed a little help with the flipping of the pancakes.
But she mad the whole batch, and the house did not burn down.
I am resolving to have her cook more often.
(I still did the dishes for her, but that will be another lesson for another time.)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Life After St John

So, when I last left off, we were in St John.
(It turned out the swimmer had died from a heart attack, and not from drowning.
Still very tragic.)
We have since returned to PA.
Cold, wet, icy, snowy PA.
It makes me miss the beach.
We had a fantastic Christmas. 
As usual, it was just the 4 of us; no extended family, no visitors.
We ate out at our usual Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day with some great friends (who will soon be leaving us, so if anyone else wants to join us for Chinese Christmas 2014, let me know!) and just hung out at home.
We celebrated New Years with friends as well, but didn't make it until midnight.
Since then, things have calmed down, and the regular routine has started.
This consists of: school (for the kids), work (for Rocky and somewhat for me), hockey (for Rocky and Caden), gymnastics (for both kids), and cooking, cleaning, errands, etc (for me).
One new development:
There is a semi-truck driver that has started parking next to our house.  
He doesn't live in our immediate area.
But just likes to park there.
This is annoying for many reasons.
1.  When pulling out from the alley behind our house, you cannot see the oncoming traffic.
Beside being dangerous for us the in car, the kids tend to cross the street there because there are friends whose house is right across that part of the street.
2.  It is loud.  He has begun to start the engine at all hours of the night, and leave it running for at least 30 minutes.  I know there is a reason for him to do this, but it wakes us up every time, and I can't go back to sleep until he either drive away or just turns it off.
And when I say "all hours of the night," I mean all hours.  Sometimes it happens at 1 am, 3 am, 5 am, 6am.  Plus at random hours during the day.
3.  I hate looking out my windows and seeing a huge, ugly semi parked there.  This reason is less of a problem than the first 2, but it is annoying to not be able to see anything beyond our fence besides a truck.
We are at a loss as to what we can do to better the situation.
Rocky did call the cops one night at 3 am when he left the truck running for almost an hour.
But he continues to park there, and start it up whenever.
We have tried talking to him as well, but to no avail.
So we are going to have to get tough.  
There apparently is no ordinance (currently) to prevent him from parking there.
But I would think that common sense would just tell you that parking a semi in the borough is not the best idea.