Entries from May 2006 ↓

Little Things

If you see me this evening, I’ll probably be wearing a goofy grin. You see, the sun is shining and I have an errand in West Ashley. The husband has to be home early to watch the boys and this means I get to drive my jeep. No car seats and no strollers, no diaper bag and no whining.

I’ll take the top down and tie my hair up. I’ll crank the radio and find my sunglasses. It’s only for an hour or two, but I can’t wait.

I just might round out the evening with an icy Dr. Pepper, a book, and a stolen hour.

The Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Band

We ventured all the way to Marion Square, yesterday. For most of the locals, it’s a quick jaunt, but for us ‘hicks in the sticks,’ it’s quite the haul. We packed a lunch and arrived just as the band was making its appearance. The two year old was interested, but not in dancing. He prefers to stand stone faced glaring at the musicians. Later when asked he commented, “I liked that music.”

Meanwhile, this little girl seemed entranced.

Now’s when I open the can of worms labelled "spanking"

Aunt B, has opened a can of worms. Since I became involved in this whole parenting thing I’ve seen arguments about: circumcision, breast vs bottle, cloth vs disposable, whether or not to let your child cry it out etc. Of all the arguments, I think The Great Spanking* Debate has probably sparked the most controversy.

A friend of mine sent me this article The Parent Trap. This sums up the current problem, for me:

Add to this the increasing amount of parental responsibility for things their children do wrong, coupled with steady legal diminution of parental authority (Flanagan mentions an incident in which Caroline Kennedy was spanked for running off and notes that today it might result in jail time — an exaggeration, perhaps, but not by much.) You’re responsible for your kids in ways previous generations weren’t, but your ability to discipline them is much reduced, and as my wife (a forensic psychologist) notes, the bad kids know that they can cow most adults by threatening to call 911 and make a bogus abuse charge. And forget disciplining your child, even with a harsh word, in a public place: At the very least, if you do you’ll be looked on not as a virtuous parent helping to preserve the social fabric, but as that worst of all sinners in contemporary American culture: a meanie. And schools, anxious for parental “involvement,” place far more demands on parents than they did when I was a kid.

I absolutely think The Pearls go beyond what most of society would deem healthy. I am in no way defending their parental guidelines.

What I do believe is exclusively following any one parenting technique may be a lesson in failure. Each child is unique and will have unique phases in their maturation process. What worked last week may not be in any way effective, today. My older son has taught me a lot about myself. I have learned that I can be more stubborn than I previously thought. I also have learned that I will spank a child. I do my best to provide the safest environment possible, I do my best to maintain my composure as long as possible, but there are times when I am fallible and I am human. A quick example: I tried redirection a hundred times before he was spanked for climbing the outside of the stair railing. That quickly and effectively improved the learning curve.

My favorite professor has said, “Pain is Mother Nature’s way of saying, ‘You screwed up.'” Now, whether it was because you were an idiot and stuck your hand on the stove or because your mother caught you hanging from the bookshelf playing Tarzan is probably irrelevant in most cases.

Do I think that spanking is the only effective disciplinary tactic? Absolutely not. Am I so confident in my own parental abilities to think I haven’t and won’t make mistakes? No, but believe that good and effective parenting takes elements from many sources and weaves them together, teaching based on respect: for one’s self, for others, and for property. I also believe that unless harm is being done, more people need to mind their own business .

I hope my children turn out fine, so I don’t have to eat my words.

*When I use the word spank I am only referring to an open-handed smack on the bottom of a child. This discussion does not include any other form of corporal punishment.

The economy

US economic growth Roars Ahead

The US economy roared ahead by 5.3% in the first quarter of 2006, its fastest growth rate in two-and-a-half years, revised official data has shown

My husband works in the steel industry. I tend to pay attention to their numbers when I’m listening to financial news. I hear the proclamations of doom and gloom, but I see “Help Wanted” signs in windows around town. I hear of the mill running at full capacity. I am aware that things can change quickly, but I have a hard time swallowing the story that the economy is about to tank. I think certain sectors have got to adapt and quickly or they may suffer in the long term, but what do I know?

I’m sorry I teased you.

I know I should have left you alone, but you were so cute with the box of tampons in your hand. You were avoiding eye contact and shifting from foot to foot. It probably didn’t help that the only cashier available was a cute highschooler. So, I apologize for making the situation worse.


We finally rolled into Moncks Corner about five this evening. I am exhausted and I am ready for some time away from the kidlets. Aside from that, is there ever a better feeling than walking into your own home after being away for a few days? My friends cannot be beat for their hospitality, but there are some things that just can’t be provided. Apparently we are extremely spoiled by our good tasting tap water, funny how that matters so much.

Ivy, thanks for putting up with the boys and I. I am looking forward to your visit in July.

It was so nice to meet the Nashville Bloggers. Even though I had seen some pictures, it is always an experience meeting the whole person. I am still waiting for Big Orange Michael to post the podcast to This is Smyrna so I can really get snarky about the gubernatorial candidate. (ha, I got to use the word gubernatorial). I’d like to announce my son’s blogging debut. It seems he took full advantage of my being distracted to show off.

Finally, I’d like to apologize about the hotdogs. I warned you people. I was supposed to be manning minding the grill when the baby went bonkers. I fed him and forgot all about those hot dogs. I put them in a dish and set them aside so Ivy could save them for dog treats, they were not fit for human consumption. Yet, someone ate them anyhow.

Carye, thank you for opening up your home. It is always such a treat to visit you.

Tennessee and North Carolina areabsolutely gorgeous right now. With all the rain they’ve had all the little waterfalls along the I-40 and I-26 were flowing and the flowers were in full bloom. Oh and finally this is for the psuedo hippy riding my tail in the construction zone past Spartanburg, and enjoy the scenery, at least I was saving gas. The posted speed limit was 45 and apparently wasn’t fast enough for her bumperstickered Element, sorry lady, but your impatience isn’t worth my getting a ticket.

Train Wreck

I was attempting to hold a conversation yesterday, but at the next table a verbal train wreck occured. I really tried to hold up my end of the conversation, but it ground to a halt and we both gave up all pretenses and listened in unabashedly.

It almost felt dirty, but I think it will be available on podcast, so technically they intended to have an audience, right? I will share a link as soon as it is.


Today, I’m taking the boys to the beach, it’s all a part of my plan. They love the beach, but it wears them out. I’ll be keeping them up a little late, too. You see, this sick puppy, is driving unassisted to Nashville. Tomorrow, we’ll be leaving at o’dark thirty (4:30ish). The husband has strict orders to work on his car and I am tempted to take the router(?) so he can’t waste time playing World of Warcrap. (I used to like it… really.)

I’m not a socialite, but after the local blogger meet-up this week and the Nashville blogger meet and BBQ to follow, I’ll feel like one.

Yes, the camera, charger, and extra memory card are packed.

Husband has all the parts for the mustang on order and is 99% sure he can get the car all but tuned this weekend. That will be acceptable.

The other day he casually mentioned something about converting my Jeep to diesel so it could run biodiesel. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Bad Bad Ivy, ready or not, here I come.

Blogger Meet-up

I had a wonderful time. It was so nice to get out of the house and enjoy some company. I’d like to apologize to anyone whose ear I talked off; let me blame it on being over excited.

Dan, at one point you asked me if I always wanted to be a writer. I answered no, but I wasn’t satisfied. Consequently, I thought about it on the drive home. I think that question is the equivalent of asking if I always wanted to be a redhead. It’s just something I’ve always been, not something I’ve pursued. Only now*, writing is becoming more of a creative outlet.

I’d like to thank everyone who put the evening together. I enjoyed myself immensly.

*I discount those angsty teen years as being typical.

Stop saying that, dude.

I was doing the blog round-up on Friday and I ran across an entry by Shadow of Diogenes* where he wondered

What is the one curse word, swear word or bad word that you find yourself using over and over ? Perhaps you have attempted to remove it from your vocabulary, but you haven’t been successful as of yet.

I answered with the swear word that had given me the most trouble over the years. However, I began to think, “Was that really the hardest?” No, not really. I’m almost ashamed to say the word that has given me the most trouble. OK, it’s “dude.”

I told you it was bad. I had only said it jokingly until I met Mike**. He was another server where I worked and the word had firmly entrenched itself in his vocabulary. I thought at first it was a joke, no educated person could possibly say dude so often without being aware. And then, dude, it happened. The more I talked with Mike, the more the word snuck out of my mouth.
“Hey, did you see that dude at table 104?”
“No, which dude?”
“The old dude with the moustache.”
It starts off innocent enough, where it actually refers to a person. Then, one day dude, you just start randomly inserting dude into your sentences.

I have a bad feeling, that I just reinserted the word back into daily use.

I have a problem; I pick up the language of those I associate with.

*What is the pronunciation of Diogenes? I’ve got about three possibilities rattling around in my head and they won’t go away until I figure it out.

**Not our Notoriously Nice Mike, this was a not-so-nice-Mike, but he was an amusing co-worker.