Friday, August 1, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys

This article pretty much confirms my limited experience raising children and highlights one of my biggest fears as the parent of sons.

For all the failings of the educational system over the past several decades to reach out to female students, it appears the ship has turned 180 degrees to the point that boys are being shut out.

I've been reading this research for a few years now... The lack of tactile experiences, the focus on test scores that requires endless sitting still in the classroom, the focus on teaching facts and figures at younger and younger ages while eliminating any experiences that teach the joy of learning, e.g. art, music, group activities.... These are all cited as central to the fact that more and more boys each year are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD when, in fact, they are just being boys.

We are trying to force kids to do things at ages four, five, and six, that their brains are not physically capable of doing. And it's worse on boys because their brains mature more slowly than those of girls.

And it's really easy to turn that all into a big joke, but ultimately, the joke is on us as a society. If we crush the self-esteem of a generation of little boys, tell them there is something wrong with them when they're simply being who and what they are, what kind of men will we produce.

I'm terrified of what this school year will bring.

But, I'm really glad there's research going on in this area and that others are noticing. I'm glad that a mainstream publication like Parenting is talking about it. I just wish it would trickle down to our educators. My fear is, however, that the ability to dose little boys with poison to the point that we zombify them and make things easier for our largely female teachers, is such a temptation that we will never recover.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm So Tired

I hate feeling dumb. But boy do I feel dumb today.

For a couple of weeks now I have been totally on edge. Snapping at people. My poor kids and husband included. I've felt edgy, achy, totally discombobulated.

This week, it kind of came to a head. I was feeling anxious about Scott's show. I had to make a decision about a job offer I'd received for a pretty cool job that would pay a fantastic amount of money but require me to go into an office one day a week and force us to hire a nanny and/or housekeeper because I'd need someone to help with Beckett. I walked around in tears or on the verge of tears for a week.

There were a couple of moments where I wondered if I might be having a nervous breakdown.

I was wondering what was up? Why would stuff that I could typically deal with without batting an eyelash push me so close to the edge?

Then, Saturday, it dawned on me.

I haven't had a break since May. Scott and I have gone out alone a couple of times, but most of the times we've had a sitter, it's been because he's playing. Or we've gone out with other people. I've been with the kids constantly except for the two or three times I've hired a sitter to go to a work meeting.

No down time for me since May. Even when Beckett has napped, I still have Brendan.

I love my kids. I love my life. But sometimes... I need some time. A bubble bath. A quiet hour with a book. To go to the bathroom without someone knocking on the door and asking me to come do something that could wait.

So, this morning, I planned to get up at 6:30 and work out. I actually woke up a bit earlier raring to go. I got up, did some Pilates, and only just now has Beckett awoken. Brendan is still asleep.

And I feel great!

Refresed, revived, and ready to go.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Coming Up Roses

I hate Back to School time. Well, I sort of love it. And I sort of hate it. As a student, I loved it. I loved learning and for me, summer was a long, boring, friendless time. I filled the days with reading books, listening to music, and counting down the days until school began again. While my friends were going to visit grandparents in far away places or making sojourns to the beach with their families, I was stuck at home all day while my mom worked.

This summer, we didn't go on vacation. The trip I planned for the boys to see their grandparents was waylaid by car trouble. It has been a long, boring, friendless time for me where I have felt cooped up and lonely. Even the things we've done haven't felt like things I wanted to do, but obligations.

This summer has felt long and exhausting. I haven't had a moment of me time it feels like. I haven't even exercised in months. I haven't had time to think or pray or do anything to rejuvenate my spirit. I feel aimless, hopeless, lonely, sad, confused.

But, I'm somehow not ready for school to begin again. Mostly, just because I don't like the school board deciding that school should go back in the middle of summer.

School starts in our county on August 11. August e-lev-enth! Can you believe that? It stinks for the kids.

We haven't even been on vacation yet.


I hate this frantic, frenetic, stupid, stupid world.