Sunday, January 31, 2010


When I was younger, I used to be smart. I took advanced math classes in 8th grade, so that I would be able to jump right in to higher math in high school. When I was a freshman, I was scheduled for Algebra II with the 6 or so other girls that I knew from my advanced classes. My mom, thinking she was doing me a favor, had me transferred into the Honors Algebra II class, where I was the only freshman in a room full of juniors. I stood out like a sore thumb. So, it was actually a little bit scary when I got the highest score on the test for the first section we studied.

That section was programming in BASIC. Way back then, that was the only language suitable for high schoolers to be taught. It made perfect sense to me, because much of the language was if/then format. It was logical. If this happens, then that will follow. Simple.

Lately I have found many people attempting to apply the if/then format to life. It makes me absolutely crazy, because it is a fruitless exercise to try and apply logic to life and, more importantly, to emotions. My husband likes to tell me that he can't understand what I could possibly be stressed about. I have a beautiful daughter, I have a nice house, I have a good job - everything in my life is perfect. He's applying the if/then format to my life - according to him, if your life meets a certain criteria, then there is nothing that you should be unhappy about. However, he is a highly stressed person. I attempted to explain to him that based on his own criteria, he should have no stress in his life either. He has all the things I do (plus a lovely wife who takes good care of him!).

Apparently, this is also running rampant through the blogosphere. Shannon is experiencing it. Baby Smiling in Back Seat got a dose too. Mrs. Spit is experiencing it too. It must be a phase of the moon or something.

There is no if/then equation in life. I am more than grateful to have my daughter. But she is stubborn as a mule and I hear more arguments than the Supreme Court. Constant conflict beats gratefulness into submission many days. I love her more than anything. And she drives me crazy. Some days, when she has screamed "No" at me for the thousandth time, I fantasize about selling her to the gypsies (which she might actually prefer, after having read Madeline and the Gypsies many times) To pretend otherwise would be foolish and unfair to both of us. When I tell other people about her foibles, they give me the benefit of their experience. That helps me relax and ride out the tantrums a little more easily. If I had the opinion that I needed to take everything she dishes out with a smile on my face, because I am so lucky that she made it through alive, my head would explode. She would never get proper discipline, and she would be a wild, bossy, unmanageable, unlikeable kid. If I couldn't discuss her bad behavior with others, because by doing so I would negate the struggle I went through to have her, I would never learn different techniques for dealing with her.

Life does not conform to simple if/then equations. Emotions and reactions are rarely based in logic. I do have one if/then equation to apply though.

If you try to tell me that I should feel a certain way based on your value judgements or lack of information, then I am likely to visit violence upon you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Show and Tell - Farm Life

My husband dreams of running a farm. This provides some conflict with my minimum living requirements (city water and city sewers), so he must look elsewhere for someone to share his dream. I've always known that my daughter was very similar to her father, but this past weekend, I found out that she even shares his interest in farming.

We went to my SIL's house for lunch - we hadn't been there in a while, and didn't know that they had added a sheep to their chicken collection. When my SIL's husband offered to take the kids out to see the sheep, my daughter was practically beside herself with excitement.

You may notice that my daughter is running after the sheep - she must have chased him around for 20 minutes. She also renamed him - she was calling him Fartigo (FAR-dee-go). His name is Smoky. This is another thing she has in common with her father - she's always making up new nicknames for people and things.

Now go and see what everyone else is bringing to Show and Tell.