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The Storylady's Tales

18th November, 2015. 7:01 pm. Mishpacha!

Mishpacha is the transliteration of the Hebrew (or maybe Yiddish) word for family.

My grandmother used to utter it like a curse word.
For years I actually thought it was a swear word.

Right now I feel like saying it like she did.
And it's even due to some of the same people who provoked the response from her.

My mom's cousin, the one whose mother died last night, messaged me that she hadn't bothered to contact my aunt to tell her of the death.
Basically she felt that since she had told L that E was ill and hadn't gotten much of a response she would just leave it to me to tell my aunt. This is the message I got around 4:00pm today. Aunt E died last night. The funeral is at 1:00pm tomorrow in New Jersey.
So basically no way that my aunt could go to the funeral even if she wanted to.

I duly passed the message along.
L didn't seem to care that she couldn't make the funeral.
Seemed shocked that I would bother to go.
"I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't take my kids out of school for it. Well it's YOUR decision."

To which I responded "Yes it is."

I know she doesn't understand.
She's infected with the same bullshit hold a grudge attitude that most of that side of the family have.
The Hatfields and McCoys have nothing on them.
Because they didn't go up to Maine (an 8 hour drive) when my Mother died she thinks I shouldn't go to this funeral.

I may be unique in this family. I think I'm the only one who hasn't ever felt shat upon by any of the oldest generation.
Each one of them encouraged me in my dreams and goals.
Each one of them were accepting and (at least to my face) encouraging when those goals changed.
While I know the crap they all put each other through none of them piled it on me.
The few times any of them tried I stood up to them and instead of cutting me off they backed down and ended up making me feel like I'd earned their respect.

So my aunt L doesn't get it.
To her Family means your immediate family and the few others that you feel are nice enough to keep around.
I get that.
To me FAMILY is who I choose.
My family of friends are far more important to me than blood relations.
But it's important to be a decent person.
It's important to let others know that they have value and their loved ones have value too.

Do I want to make a 5 hour drive with two kids in the car?
Do I want them to miss school?
Do I want to spend the money on gas, hotel, food, etc?
Hell no.

But I think it's important that someone from the extended family be there.
I think my Mom would agree.

Make Notes

12th February, 2014. 10:08 pm. QOTD

From Bouncer age 4

"Grown ups have hair on their peeing parts but kids don't. But when they grow up to be humans they will."

Read 1 Note -Make Notes

3rd August, 2012. 11:45 pm. Where's book 2?

I just finished reading book one of The Hunger Games.

I cannot remember when the last time was that I read a book that drew me in so completely.
I literally just finished reading the last page and logged on here to say that I'm going to go nuts waiting for Dreamer to finish reading book 2 so I can get my hands on it.  I know that I will not sleep the night I get it.  It will be devoured.  I think I need to go and buy book 3 so we have it available to dive into.

So good.

I cried at (name unlisted in case it's a spoiler)'s death like I cried when Beth died in Little Women the first time I read it.
I don't think I can give the author higher praise than that.  It's action, a love story, a coming of age tale and a conspiracy novel all in one.

Make Notes

24th July, 2012. 4:17 pm. the Bikers who give them a bad name

That's who I had to deal with yesterday during my drive home from NY.
Now I'm not talking about the idiots who decide to ride BETWEEN the lanes of traffic ignoring the laws and the fact that everyone else is in stop and go traffic.  I saw at least 5 of them along the way.  They are annoying but not as dangerous as the 3 I saw later.
I was in MD around exit 15 when they zoomed up out of nowhere.  First a pickup truck went flying by me in the passing lane.  Speeding but not excessively.  Then, about 30 seconds later these three bikers came zooming in.  They were weaving between traffic.  They had to be doing at least 85 mph or so, the leader going faster than the other two.  I didn't see what they were wearing but I know none of them had helmets, just matching bandanas.  The leader's long hair was whipping in the wind.  All three spent a few minutes criss crossing the lanes of traffic and nearly caused a few accidents, then they converged on the pickup.  I was so glad that I was at least 3 or 4 cars back at that point.  I, and the cars to either side of me all dropped our speed almost simultaneously.  I assume the other drivers had the same thought I did.  "I'll need room to react when those idiots cause an accident."
All 3 of them started weaving as if they were going to ram the pickup or attempt to force him off the road.  They appeared to be screaming at him and making rude gestures.  After about 3 or 4 minutes of this the two flunkies moved over across the road effectively blocking anyone from passing on the right.  The leader threw his bike into a wheelie and kept it there for a minute or more.  I felt so bad for the driver of the car right behind him.  It must have been nerve wracking to be that close to such reckless bikers.  Eventually he let the front tire back onto the pavement, threw a few more rude gestures at the pickup driver and then off they zoomed to sow mayhem elsewhere I assume.

I've never before been witness to such assholes behavior from bikers.  While I've seen the idiots who zoom between traffic before this was the first time I ever saw bikers trying to intentionally intimidate other drivers.  It was not pleasant.

Read 4 Notes -Make Notes

24th April, 2012. 11:06 am. Yup I'm a mean bad mommy

Squeaker brought home yet another scholastic book order form.
We love books.
The thrift store where I could buy kids books secondhand for 25 cents apiece has closed.
Borders has closed.
JosephBeth has closed.
all we have left is Booksamillion whose selection sucks.

I have no money for book orders right now though.
Squeaker has a wallet with birthday or holiday money in it that we just rediscovered after a few years of being MIA.
Bouncer has a little purse with Channukah money in it.
They both have a little left from their Christmas money from Grandpa.
I made them pay for their own books.
The only rule I laid down was they couldn't go over what was in these locations.
No raiding the piggy bank for more money.
$60.00 later their book order is on its way.

Current mood: Proud.

Make Notes

3rd April, 2012. 9:25 pm. More kid quotes

from  October 2011

I just found this message I sent Dreamer:

nce you're not home tonight Bouncer has changed her "look at me Mommy, look at me Daddy, I a cowboy" routine to a "Look at me Mommy, Pussy Cat watch me, please watch me PussyCat" :P When it comes to an audience it seems she can replace us with the cat!

Make Notes

30th March, 2012. 11:20 am. more kid quotes

Squeaker: "First you ask me to go get that, then you tell me to bring you this.   What am I, your servant?"
Me: "Yes, that's exactly why I had you.  So I would have a page to fetch and carry for me."

Bouncer: "Mama I want cookies."
Me:  "Ok, if you're good in the store you can have a cookie when we leave."
Bouncer: "More than one.  I want 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.  I want seven cookies."
Me: "No, you're not getting seven cookies."
Bouncer:  "Ok, then eight?"

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15th March, 2012. 11:11 am. Anti bullying gone too far?

The boy was "in the red" yesterday and I am in disagreement with it.
Here's what I was told by the teacher:  Another child called some of the kids Losers during PE.  That child was chastised and put into the red then Squeaker did the same. The teacher continued to say that this was out of character, he doesn't normally try to hurt other's feelings but name calling is classified as an offense as serious as hitting so he went right into the red for it.
Their policy is, if a child's behavior progresses to yellow and then to red good behavior in the remainder of the day can bring them back down into yellow and/or green.  If a single offense warrants a jump straight to red then no matter what the rest of the day brings they can't earn their way back down to green or even yellow.

According to Squeaker here's what happened.  The other kid did call names including "Loooooosers".  They were playing tug of war.  Everyone on the other team fell down.  Most of Squeaker's team fell down.  Squeaker (and possibly one or two others) remained standing.  Squeaker looked at the other team and said "Technically you are losers."

So here's my point.  Technically he was right.  We told him that next time he should be more aware of other people's feelings and instead say "We win!"  I don't see how he can get in trouble for that as long as he refrains from obnoxious victory dances and such.  Dreamer and I are in disagreement on this situation.  He thinks that the teacher was right to jump him straight to red and the regular punishments (loss of privileges etc) should apply.  He points out that some kids are very sensitive and that Squeaker's comment is the sort to provoke a fight.  Basically he thinks he should be punished for being a smart ass.
My view is different.
I think that the first kid should have been put to red because he was deliberately trying to make others feel bad.  I think Squeaker should have been put to yellow because he needs to learn a more polite/politic way of phrasing things.  He wasn't intending to call names.  He looked at the situation and gave a true statement.  One team won and the others lost.  In this competition one team are the winners and the others are the losers.  It's a matter of fact.  I am opposed to the "everyone wins" attitude that has swept the nation.  In a competition, a sport, even a science fair there should be scores.  People should know who has won and who has lost.  The losers shouldn't be made to feel bad for it or put down because of it but should instead be encouraged to try harder/do better next time.    Part of childhood is learning how to deal with the little disappointments now so that you can cope with adversity as an adult.  I seriously feel like the ZERO TOLERANCE movement is not working properly.  I'm all for stopping bullying.  I'm all for stopping drug use in schools.  ZERO TOLERANCE though means that an innocent (if poorly chosen) comment like my kid's is treated as the equal of a full on punch in the face.  It means that an asthmatic student isn't allowed to carry their inhaler but has to wait for someone to run to the nurse's office for it when they have an attack. 

I think my kid should have been put in the yellow for his offense (which was his only offense of the day) and allowed to work back to green.  Had he been obviously or intentionally trying to get a rise out of the other team that would have been a different matter.
So what do you think?
For the record since he was "in the red" regardless of my feeling that it was an innappropriate call he lost privileges (a trip to the library and the gym which he had been looking forward to).
Am I overreacting?  Does this attitude of ZERO TOLERANCE protect kids or mollycoddle them?

Read 2 Notes -Make Notes

4th February, 2012. 10:38 am.

The letter is written and sent.

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30th January, 2012. 8:26 pm. Kid quote of the day.

Bouncer looked at me and asked "Mommy am I the moon?"
It took me a minute to figure that one out.
Eventually I answered her "Is this because I say Squeaker is the son?"
Her brother started laughing and protesting that he is not the sun in the sky.

She did not like being told she was a daughter.  She likes being a moon much better.

Read 2 Notes -Make Notes

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