Thursday, February 4, 2016

Following Orders

I just got done with a little blow up at Bunny. As usual, on paper, it will seem silly.

She was painting - loves to paint - and had finished. Then she was ready to start playing. I asked her if she had cleaned up, which prompted a mini-meltdown. "Oh! Why do I have to do everything? I don't even know what to do!"

That is a typical response when I ask her to do a chore but she's ready to play. (It never grows old, I assure you.) My patience level immediately ticked down a couple of notches. And, yes, with the fifteen or twenty finished canvases around the house, she has had plenty of practice cleaning up after painting.

We go through the ususal, Whose paints are they? Who did the painting? Do you want to do the laundry, cook all of the meals? Oh, then you can just clean up after yourself. Sure, I could have done the empathy thing, I know you are ready to play and cleaning doesn't sound like much fun, does it? But if you do it really quickly, you'll be playing before you know it! Here, I'll time you! 1, 2, 3... Of course, this wasn't that day.

So she got used to the idea. I briefly went through the procedure. Then I realized that I was in the laundry room (in the basement) with the laundry sink, the ideal place to dump the water and wash the brushes.

"Bunny, please go get the brushes and water or the pallette and bring them down and take two trips. Do not try to bring them down at the same time. Make two trips."

"Okay, Dad." And she ran upstairs. And when she reappeared a minute later?

Holding the pallette and the brushes in the dirty water. Holy fucking shit. (Please excuse my language, but I'm just trying to bring you into my mind at that moment.)

To her credit, she had done so successfully, i.e. without spilling. That was not the point and I let her know about it at a high volume in a low register.

Here's the thing. I assure you, I'm not a dictator. The kids get plenty of choices. However, there are many times where there are no choices. There are no choices for wearing a seat belt. There are no choices for crossing a street in obedience of a traffic signal. And when I give specific instructions - when I give orders - they need to be followed as instructed.

There are times when there is no time to argue or explain. Emergency situations. There is no time to let a child know they are crossing a street blindly and a car is coming. The parent may not be close enough for a physical intervention. You only have enough time to yell, "STOP!" In the event of a fire, there is only time for action and obedience.

The point is, situations happen and kids have to be able to - have to have practice at - following orders. Now that I'm calm, I'm going to talk the the kids about the difference between times where there are choices and times when they must follow orders. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Frederick Douglass quotes

Today, Frederick Douglass is the featured historical figure for Google. Some of the quotations are fantastic. Here are my favorites of the ones posted.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

One and God make a majority.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.

A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.

Those who are brave enough to put their lives on the line for true freedom are the historical figures we most respect. Those who create oppressive circumstances, even in the name of progress and social change for the benefit of man, turn into history's foes.

We cannot allow our government to limit the people's ability to protest, for then we will truly have lost our founding fundamentals.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

On an attempt to be covert, I may have been to outgoing. I tried to get my fishery out of the drawer but that priced to be difficult

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Politically Correct Reset Button

I have a theory about the politically correct speech movement? It's a reset button on culture and vernacular. Let me explain.

For hundreds of years, humans have stereotypically judged, segregated, and discriminated against people based on skin color, religion, nationality, gender, and more. Nigger, slut, pussy, fag, jew, jap, camel jockey and dot head are just a few words used to describe people. 

Perhaps we need new words, new stereotypes to exploit. Skin color? Are you still judging people by skin color? Gender? Seriously, get over it. 

What those who are enforcing politically correct speech are saying is this:
Your vocabulary is outdated. It doesn't fit anymore. So we're going to have to wipe the chalkboard, clean the slate. We need to find what else makes us wonderfully different and make words for that. The old system is rusty. 

While we often long for the past and view it with appreciation, we would not give up the technological progress we've made to go back. We're not at home spinning our own thread to make our own clothes. We're not churning our butter and milking our cows. So why would we not also take advantage of cultural and societal advances?

Oh, and for those of you who say that people shouldn't be so sensitive: when you're the butt of the joke, when those names carry the weight of slavery and violence against your family members, then you can be the one to say whether or not it's okay. If  you're white, you don't get to decide that calling blacks, "niggers," is just a joke, as it also conjures up memories of burning crosses and lynchings. If you're a man, when you call someone a bitch or a pussy, don't forget that those words imply that the person referenced is as weak as a woman or as mean as a woman. That the word, "fag," is a reference to wood so worthless it can be burned indiscriminately.

We are smart enough to learn how to make fun of ourselves with better technique. We should not stop laughing at our differences, but we should use our vocabulary with greater care. What is the point of having words if we don't agree on their meaning and origin? When we're all just talking jibberish.