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Monday, December 25, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Men We Love

Funny thing happened yesterday while I was out getting the mail. The clouds I had seen in the dusk sky were suddenly billowing and turning a funny shade of orange. Turns out, they weren't clouds at all, but the beginnings of a rather large structure fire. I am used to things burning here in California, but I have never seen a building go up in flames.
It is a humbling and awesome thing to witness a fire of this size. The fire started in an old train station turned warehouse/processing facility for the lemon crop that used to be abundant in this area.
Firemen at fire
At first I thought that the construction site at the end of my street was on fire, then it looked like it was the houses directly behind them. The fire was actually 3 blocks over, but was so large it appeared to be much closer. I heard they could even see it from Camarillo, which is about 15 miles away!
We walked over to find out what was burning, both out of curiosity and to assess our own danger level and as we came within a block of the blaze, the flames were so hot that they warmed the very chilly air and made our faces hot. The flames themselves must have been several hundred feet high!
We watched as the firetrucks rolled up; first one, then two more, then many until the entire neighborhood was alit in red and blue flashing lights and the eerie orange glow from the fire. It is impressive to watch the firemen do their job. They do not rush, they work with a sense of urgency and purpose that is comforting in an otherwise caotic situation. We are lucky to have these guys!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Note to Mammalettie

First I have to tell you I like your "handle" => Mammalettie. It sounds very nice! OK, now the real reason for this entry! Please accept my apologies if you felt I was knocking you, or anyone who puts their child on Ritalin or similar based on the sound diagnosis of a doctor. There is a real medical condition that requires this medication, and any responsible parent would choose to give a child medicine when they need it (IMHO).

What I am flapping my gums about is the "bandwagon approach" that seems to be prevalent in many schools, where you have teachers, principals, administrators, dingbats and hedgehogs advising parents to go get some drugs for their kids so they will just sit quietly and not make any noise, thank you very much!

Not that I am excusing disruptive behavior either, but it seems to me that what used to be accepted as "boys being boys" behavior has now become abberrant behavior, even though, to my knowledge, boys are still being assembled much as they were in the past and are just not as nice and quiet right out of the box as girls are!

Reading your letter, it is obvious to me that the choice to put your son on Ritalin was not taken lightly and that you tried alternatives before deciding to go ahead with medication. I think you approached it just right, and I hope I would have done the same had my son really needed it.

I don't really view this issue as one of ideology, where I am "for" or "against" using medicine. That would be just silly.

I do object to kids being treated that aren't sick, because somebody is too lazy to take the time to raise the kid, or worse, based on some politically correct notion of how things ought to be.

See?

RH

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ugg!

For all you Ugg fans, I have a treat for you...An Ugg of Australia coupon code! I am passing it on just as it was sent to me! As you know...Ugg never offers coupons, so this one is a treat!
Rare UGG Australia deal! 30% off any one item in the handbag, outerwear, or accessories collections with code UGGF&F30! Expires 12/16.
Nite Nite!

RH

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Follow Up On Diagnosis Male

Note to Nancy! I am curious as to what sort of comments you are getting from your son's preschool teacher, and in what situations. If you care to and have a minute, let us know! That goes for anybody else who has something to add too!

Re: "Disruptive" behavior: I wish I had written more down when my son was young! THANK GOD my natural rebelliousness kicked in and I never considered putting him on hyperactivity drugs. My son grew out of the "bouncy" period and I have much more experience now with things "boy". (I only have sisters and female cousins, so a boy was really new to me.) After observing my friends' boys, my son's friends etc., I have to say that my son was absolutely normal, if not on the tame side.

Little boys bite, climb, enter a room like they are storming the Alamo and seem to love to grab anything within reach. They view furniture as an indoor jungle gym and would rather climb over a sofa than sit on it, or better yet, climb up on the back of the sofa and then jump off as many times as they can get away with. Some friends of ours have a 5 year old boy who always climbs our stairs on the outside of the railing. He also bites his big sister (for which he received Cayenne on the tongue, which has discouraged further incidents). Running while making loud noises seems to be a big hit as well. My own son went through a six month bout of that, during which time he insisted on wearing his "Batman" costume to pre-school every day.

EVERY DAY.

He would also put on several layers of clothing underneath. I was helpless. He insisted on Batman and would put up such a fight that in the end I just let him be Batman and said to myself, "OK, so my kid's a bit weird". I mean first off, can you imagine going to school wearing the same outfit twice in a row? The other kids thought it was cool, though, and since then I have heard similar stories from other moms (Superhero can vary, however.)

In the end they sort of grow out of it by themselves (with the proper guidance) and become very interesting young people. It never ceases to amaze me though, how differently they view things than girls. I was a bit of a Tom Boy when I was a kid and yet I never came close!

But back to all that hyperactivity...It has also occurred to me that parents seem to be hell bent on having their children learn to read as early as possible, and as a whole we seem to be shoving the 3 Rs at kids earlier and earlier. Book learning is not something that is easily done while climbing a tree, in fact I would strongly advise against it. Book learning requires you to sit still and focus, which girls are better at in the younger years. So boys will naturally come out of it looking like the troublemakers who are preventing the teachers from giving the overeager parents what they want! (The ability to brag to their friends that Johnny and Janie could read when they were 16 months old.) In the end, it doesn't make a lick of difference in the overall scheme of things whether you learn to read, write and 'rithmatic at 3 or 4 or 6. Really...It doesn't. Send the poor kids out to play!

And PLEASE let the boys be boys!

RH