My Amelia Rose

My Amelia Rose

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My kid--the jack***

Well, it's happened.  That moment when you realize that you are THAT mom.  Your sweet baby, the one with the big personality and the sweet spirit, turns into the biggest donkey there is.  It's even better when your the host of a family event and she's the one bullying the kids in the restaurant play area.  Yep, go ahead and make that face, the one that every parent there did.

I'll admit it, I've coddled her, made excuses--she's a very high energy child (true), has ADHD (true), has some hormonal issues (true)'s not her fault (NOT true).  Sure, all of those things affect some of how she acts but at 5 she is making choices and she's smart-TOO SMART.  When I fuss at her she'll say "I'm trying Mom, I don't know how to be a star student" and I fall for the tears every time.  My husband is wrong, she couldn't fake me out like that--no 5 year old is that smart.  Well mine is. 

As a kid I remember my Mom blaming herself for our bad choices and I never got it.  Was it a guilt trip for us?  Surely she didn't think that, we make our own stupid choices.  And then MY night came when I cried myself to sleep...what had I done wrong with Amelia?  Am I too lenient?  Not showing her how to be kind?  Teaching her to stand up for herself too much?  Of course, it doesn't help when I make her apologize and the sweet girl just hugs her.  GREAT!  Couldn't she have just said "NO, your a jerk, I don't forgive you!".  But, no, she has to be a sweet kid.  Damn over-achieving parents.

So here we are, I'm not using the "wait til your Dad gets home" thing, he gets onto her and she looks at me desperately--I have to look away.  You see, I'm not a fan of spanking.  I don't have a problem with others doing it, I was spanked and I'm fine.  Many of my friends spank, that's okay.  Her Daddy spanks her...I don't like it but lately I don't fight it.  She just laughs if I try to spank her.  Yes, I'm the Mom that "re-directs", that annoying Mom that thinks all kids should get trophies.  Ugh--how did this happen?

So, next time you see me in public or even better--at one of my events around town and my child is being the jack***.  Be patient, I'm working on it.  I promise I'm not telling her to push your kid and certainly come tell me.  But feel my pain--please?  Don't judge too harshly--I'm a work in progress.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A message to all parents

*Graphic content, not for young readers*

Recently I posted what became a controversial post on my business Facebook page:

This became a huge thing with comments on both sides but surprisingly many comments disagreeing with me.  Those who know me personally know that I have a heart that wants to help people, when I see people hurting I try to go out of my way to do or say something nice to them.  But when I became a parent something happened, I became what seems to be labeled as a "bitch".  I will fiercely protect my child to the death and if I feel something is not right I will speak up--even if I am proven wrong.

I spoke up about this man because I am concerned.  Yes, I know the staff of the school will do everything they can to protect the kids but should they be put in this place when it can be prevented?

Our school is an open campus, as many Louisiana schools are, with adjacent buildings that are outside and the kids must go outside to enter other classes.  When I go to take my child lunch they send her OUTSIDE to the office ALONE because I can not go to her room.  Yet they allow this man to walk around the campus.

I was told that he's harmless, he brings school supplies, this and that, but isn't that how most abusers are?  They don't come in saying they are abusers.  Now I am not saying this man is dangerous, I am saying that we can't take that risk.  He has NO business on a school campus or playground during school hours.  If the neighborhood is okay with him that's fine, invite him to your home, but he doesn't belong at my kids school.

A few years ago I worked at a non-profit for homeless families and one of the families, a Mom with 2 boys, was featured in a news story.  The next day I received a phone call from a man who wanted to sponsor one of the boys.  It was very nice and we we're appreciative, then he started asking for the boy to come to his home, to go shopping with him, this and that.  He became angry when I refused. 

Our children are NOT for sale!  Because someone does something nice it does not give them free reign on our lives and especially not our children's lives.  We as parents are responsible, whether it's the popular decision or not, to protect our kids.

This morning I found out even more disturbing news which you will read about in the letter that I am posting below from a fellow parent at the school.  This is not an attack on this man, it is an attack on the choices made at the school by whomever may have made it, that this man is okay to come around out kids.  It is about putting our children at risk while doing what seems to be keeping parents at an arms length. 

Please read the letter below as it is from a Dad, which makes me know even more that I am right and not just being emotional. 

Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

I would like to respond to all the criticism that Macaroni Kid-Shreveport has received for being concerned about a man that roams the campus at ________ Elementary.  I personally have two children that attend school there and find it disgraceful that so many parents would stick up for a stranger over their children.  The safety of my little girls comes above and beyond my concern for any other person on this earth.  I don’t care one bit if an individual has a mental disorder when the protection of my children is the topic.  That gives them no pass to be on school campus when parents themselves aren’t even allowed without a legitimate reason and a visitor pass any more.  Safety was such a concern last year but it would seem that the only people who were limited in their interaction with the school are the parents.  We had parents that were being told they couldn’t even cross the street to get their children after school let out.  They would have to wait for their children to cross to them.  Now I learn that this rule is a pick-and-choose situation.  What a letdown.  I also found out last night he sits at the park where our children play during recess.  It clearly states at every entrance that the park is closed to the public during school hours.  I guess we should just turn a blind eye to this too?  Are parents so quick to dismiss that the world our children are growing up in is a scary place?  The predation of our children has reached heights that should scare EVERY single parent.  Just two years ago there was a man driving around the Broadmoor area trying to get children into his car.  I thank God that nobody in the neighborhood had to deal with that potential tragedy.  Let’s not even get into the fact that pedophiles consistently stalk Facebook and game Apps for kids.  How quickly our memories are washed away by political correctness and empathy for a person that should, AT THE VERY LEAST, come second to our children.  His intentions may be perfectly innocent but are you, as a parent, willing to take that chance?  Are your children worth sacrificing for the sake of political correctness?  Go volunteer at our local shelters.  Keep your kids safety detached from your philanthropic ideals.  Everybody wanted to state that this man is just a little off and he should be helped.  I completely agree.  However, this is completely separate from allowing him around our children without a legitimate reason.  Please keep the following in mind the next time you want to defend a person with potential mental disabilities against your kids.  A study conducted by a joint medical team in Europe found that all impulse control disordered sexual offenders and 93% of paraphiliacs have one or more lifetime mental or personality disorders.  This is not to say that every person with a mental disorder is a danger to children.  I would never agree with that.  It does point out that mental disorders are a precursor; that every sex offender has some sort of mental disorder.  To argue against this would be to say that a sexual predator is somehow normal.  Is the innocence and purity of your child worth risking for the sake of leniency?

Brandon Gerig

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -”

There is so much going on in our lives right now.  Amelia will be starting Kindergarten in August and just yesterday I gave my resignation to my day job.  In 3 weeks my life I'll be walking a tightrope.  
I've always been the dependable one, never took a leap without having a landing pad, but this time I don't know what will happen.  I know that I'll keep my Macaroni Kid Shreveport-Bossier website but beyond that who knows.    
I want to be there for Amelia when she starts school, things are different from when I was a kid.  Even though my mother stayed home it seems that today parents need to be more involved with their kids activities, bullying is at the worst that I've ever seen but it's proven that if a parent is around that it is less likely to happen.  So while women are being told to "lean in", I'm ready to lean out.  I want to be there when she gets home to do homework, I want to be a class Mom and PTA member, I want them to know that I'm going to fight for my child's education. 

Someone said that if I can afford it that it's great--the thing is that I really can't, that's what makes this even more of a leap for me.  I'm stepping into the unknown.  I'll still make some money off of Macaroni Kid advertising and hopefully be able to focus on it even more but it's going to be a tough (and very financially poor) road. I hope to get some contract work along the way and I know that I'll stay busy, I'm not a sit and home and eat bon-bons type of girl--regardless of what my weight tells you.  : )
This is a road that I must take, for myself and for my daughter.  We'll see where the road takes us.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Always my baby

A couple of weeks ago my baby turned 5 years old.  People keep saying that she's not a baby anymore but she will always be my baby. I used to think that was weird before I became a parent--like these parents really need to let go.  But now I get it.  Sure, I want her to grow and don't want to be over-involved but she is so special to me.

On Saturday I babysat a friends daughter and she was so quiet and sweet, my husband was amazed.  I think he may have even envied her mother considering Amelia is the total opposite.  Somehow I think there was a mix-up and Amelia and I belong in a loud Italian family, add our loud voices and love of pasta and there you go.

But I realized that while she can be exhausting I wouldn't change her for anything.  Her loud and boisterous personality just keeps me going, her imagination that comes up with the craziest things just shows her creativity.  With her BIG personality she will rule the world!

Sometimes when our kids make us crazy just remember that it's better than many alternatives that I've seen.  People know what Amelia will speak her mind, that she will be wild and crazy and that she will keep us on our toes.  But it's what makes her, we need more of that.  We need to stop trying to change people to fit our mold and start loving them for who they are.

Here's to my BABY girl!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The good, the bad and the...beautiful

Since Amelia hasn't been sleeping very well I decided to take her to the park on Saturday.  It was super hot but I know the sunshine helps and it really did as she not only took a nap but slept well that night.  But while we were there it was an interesting trip to see such a wide variety of people and what came with it.

First, a local church youth group brought bubbles over for the kids which I thought was a really neat idea.  They weren't pushing their beliefs on anyone but showing what I feel Christ is about, being kind and giving.  The kids loved it and Amelia was in heaven after playing in the spray ground and then chasing bubbles. 

Before long she made it to the swings and I sat and talked to two lovely ladies about their girls and sweet baby that they had with them.  After a few minutes one of the girls came and said they were leaving the spray ground because some other girls were making fun of one of the girls hair.  The girl being made fun of happened to be African-American so perhaps her hair is something they may not understand but that is certainly no excuse.  In an effort to keep her daughters from running away from the problem the mother (who was one of the ladies that I was speaking to) went over and so nicely told the girls to be nice or they could go back to their parents.  I was really touched by her reaction.  She didn't back down but she wasn't harsh, that is not something I'm sure I could have done.  When someone teases my daughter I go pretty much full force, but that's not a lesson to teach kids.  This mother knows what she is doing; of course, she does have 4 kids so maybe that's experience.

I spoke with the ladies a few minutes more and we talked about how parents need to teach their kids kindness and while "kids will be kids" it's the parents responsibility to teach them not to bully others. 

It was overall a good day, seeing the teasing made me sad but in the end good people won out and all of the kids had fun.  It reminded me to teach Amelia kindness and that different is not bad.