Thursday, April 28, 2011

Angry Birds and Education Apps

We rationalized the iPad purchase to help Thing One with her learning issues, repetition in a fun way was the theory. In reality the one who has become totally hooked on the iPad, Thing Two.  He will do chores to play any game, will rock through any educational app that we ask, and wants to watch Netflix on the iPad. It isn't that Thing One hasn't shown some interest, Angry Birds is alright. I think Thing One gets that beyond Angry Birds, the iPad isn't really a fun thing, it is an educational thing. Somehow she has already decided that no matter what the 'game' learning is frustrating, iPad toy or not.

Where does this really leave us with getting Thing One in the groove of education. I am not totally sure what I can find to hook her, but I am not about to give up. We cut a deal, any grade below 80% and we do extra work.  This deal was made ages ago and has generally worked well. This week 80% was breached, on a geography vocabulary test. Instead of harassing her about not paying attention in class, which was most likely the case, I asked her the questions she missed. She didn't have the answers to any of the questions so I hatched a plan. I told her that because she got below 80% she would have to work on it this weekend.  Thing One wasn't pleased at this prospect, most weekends are spent watching TV and trying to convince the kids PJ and scooters at the park can be a bad idea, but I am holding out hope.  I grabbed the iPad and started hunting, I found two apps, one a game and one a world encyclopedia that has geography searching. Why the second one, One loves animals more than people, if she ends up learning the continents, countries and all the US states based on the native animals, I don't really care as long as she learns the basics.

Technology and in particular the flexibility the iPad allows us in meeting both kids needs has been a boon these last few weeks. Thing One can independently work on grammar, spelling and math, something she has stated she prefers, working alone.  Two can do his reading, thanks to a free app a friend told us about, he also does math, and can be incented to do more homework with the iPad as a reward. Thing Two doesn't need much motivation to do his homework though, he easy can rock out his work with little encouragement. Two, Two is like molasses that has sat too long, and amazingly the iPad helps with that, the quicker she answers a question the more points and the more rewards; we are hoping this skill transfers.  Do I think the iPad can meet all their learning needs, no way, but it sure help when both kids can be working on homework at the same time.

We are working on modifications on how we interact learning wise with One on a daily basis. A modification we have made for her learning right now is to read her anything she asks us to read.  She will get there with reading, but we just need to let her move at the pace she sets for herself.  We have an app to test how many words she can read a minute, but that doesn't tell us if she understands what she reads. To test comprehension we constantly ask now, what do you think that means.  We ask this question for two reasons, one to check that she understood, she frequently doesn't understand when she reads but does when we do. We also ask because asking her to paraphrase what she just heard or read will help her mind learn to break down information so it can go into her working memory easier, hopefully with time her working memory will better adapt to taking in information which will help her processes.

By the way, she loved the geography quiz app and has been playing it pretty constantly since we taught her it tonight.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Moving out of the Comfort Zone

As adults we can sense when our children are uncomfortable, this weekend everyone around us who knew Thing Two knew he was uncomfortabe. This weekend we partially unplugged, left the sports equipment at home and went to Fairfield, Idaho to hang out with great friends and participate in an Spring Celebration at The Mountain School in Bellvue, Idaho.

We are lucky to have some amazing friends in our lives from all over, raising thier kids and living lives in ways that are fun, interesting and outside of what we do day to day. These particular friends are people we love, respect and want to spend time with, but never seem to have that time. We were lucky enough to get a call from them about 2 months ago that the school thier oldest goes to was having a Easter celebration/fundraiser and would we be interseted? YES, YES, YES..A weekend with some of our favorite people, and some fun activities that would help a school, perfect. The school has a Waldorf curriculum that is very different to the way the Things are learning. At the Mountain School they have a small working farm where all the students have chores daily, additionally they assist with meals and don’t spend a lot of their day in front of their desks with pencil and paper like the Things do.  Imagination and play are encouraged and fairies and trolls exist in the river behind the school. 

Upon arrival at the Mountain School both Things looked curiously around, this did not look like thier school environment. Thing Two looked uncomfortable, there were far too many women dressed as faries and guys in capes that were not super hero or jedi capes. Thing One suddenly squeeled and took off to play with the baby goats and rabbits with our friends oldest. Thing Two tentativly followed, looking around and playing on the playground, it was the most like what he could recognize. This behavior patten is not unusual or out of the ordinary in new environments. Thing One could have moved in with our friends and started milking the cow the second we got there, she wasn't down with the dress they tried to dress her up in, but she would have had a bee bee gun hunting trolls down in the river in seconds.  Thing Two is a totally different kid, he likes to know what is coming and where he fits in the world.

Once we got our bearings and saw the general layout and activities available the boys headed out to pet the baby chicks and Thing One and I headed off to face painting. She jumped on the stool and asked for an animal, they politely explained this was special face painting with an air brush to make her look like a fairy. Though tentative Thing One is always up for at least trying, and so she did. When the boys finished with the chicks they stumbled into the tent where Thing One was getting made up, our friends oldest happily hopped on the stool to get painted next. Thing Two merely trudged into the tent and plopped onto a bench looking sullen. I asked what was wrong and got no response, a pleading silence, but nothing else. I prodded Thing Two and saw his eyes glassing over on the verge of tears as he was looking at the face painting. I realized he felt that the face painting and fairy/elf dress up that was being encouraged was not something he was up for. He seemed uncomfortable, afraid and uncertain; I immediately wondered if; “what would I say to a kid who looked like this” was running through his head. With some prodding and bribery, Thing Two and I cut a deal, try everything, don’t complain and just have fun and extra reward stars will be given; he took the bait. Thing Two was not gleeful to get his face painted, but did get into the disco shirt and scarf for pictures. He did felting, made a fairy forest, and watched a puppet show about a troll who found a baby in a tulip.

At the end of the day, he was happy, outside of his comfort zone and had looked at the world from a perspective he doesn’t see often. My son has been bullied and has been a bully, and I strive through these experiences to give him a chance to see things, not through his eyes but through the eyes of the others around him. Thing Two was curious, any school that lets you have a pocket knife can’t be that bad, but cautious, “Those dudes are in sparkly capes”. He is not a touchy feely child out in the world, neither Things are, but I want to make sure they appreciate all the people and differences around them.

As a parent I feel it is my job to make sure they see the world around them, experience it, and embrace it, from frogs in a river to dudes in sparkly capes. Maybe our next family reading should be the hobbit?

P.S. Thing One got her kick ass girl on too….

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Heart the Maid....

I am by nature a slob.  I am constantly stressed when people come over they will see how truly messy we are, and how little I actually do to keep the house clean.
About two years ago we considered selling our house and due to our work schedules knew we wouldn't be able to keep the house in the shape it needed to be to show it, we opted to get a maid. When the house didn't sell in the time we set, the first conversation was..can we keep the maid. In three short months we had realized the advantages of these people in our lives. We no longer had to take a 1/2 day, minimum, once a week to clean the house. We no longer had to juggle the kids between us to figure out who had to cleaned and who to take the kids out of the house.  We didn't feel the guilt of the time we were missing with the kids when we were cleaning.  We realized the time we spent not having to worry and spending on the things the weekend was for was worth the expense. 
So what does clean mean to us?  Two times a month a family owned service comes into our home and takes care of the basics. The basics for us are the bathrooms, floors, kitchen, vacuuming and other various cleaning. Additionally, if we have something we haven't gotten to that needs getting too, the refrigerator, we can pay a little extra to get that done also. They spend about 2 hours cleaning, and my house smells amazing when we get home after they have been there.
I am absolutely gleeful on maid days, giddy with the prospect of a clean house, a clean house I didn't have to clean. They make the kids beds, pretty much the only thing they so in their rooms, but the kids love it, stuffes cuddled on pillows and blankets neatly folded. Some how they get rid of that funk in Thing Twos room, it always smells like sweat socks and a gym (YUCK).
The thing is within hours of us arriving back home, the house is already beginning to fall back apart again. Someone eats a messy dinner, I drop dinner supplies on the floor, basically we slob the place back up.  Having a maid doesn't preclude us from having to keep the house picked up, or vacuuming or wiping things down when they aren't here. 
I have accepted a few things, my house smells like animal, kid stink and general people much faster than I want to admit after a maid visit; a scentsy can take care of this. My house will not always be clean when company comes, but my bathroom toilet will have been sparkling within the last 14 days, if even for a few minutes. There is nothing that will take that weird stain off my ceiling, both us and the maids have tried, it is now the hubs responsibility to paint over it.  Laundry will pile up, things will get dirty, and the people in this house will occasionally live in a mess, an organized mess, but a mess.
As a person I see a lot of balls in the air I juggle daily; work tasks, house tasks, family tasks, wife stuff, friend stuff. We are constantly juggling all these things and I finally let the clean ball fall. I have decided of all the things I have to do, cleaning, deep cleaning like the maids do, is no longer something I want to spend my time on. If our financial situation changes, the cleaning may need to be picked yo again, but the kids are old enough to help now. For now though, I am going to accept the house is as clean as we can keep it and the maids can clean it, and be happy with the fact we can afford a maid and I can let this ball drop, love my maids and GO PLAY.
Update, we have been home in an amazingly clean house for 45 minutes, hubs isn't home yet..Thing One just spilt cornbread ALL over the floor, oh well.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting in the Grove and Teaching Independence

As the school year has progressed so has the amount of home work expected of Thing One. The latest edition to the homework pile has been a weekly writing assignment. This assignment requires a idea sheet, rough draft, and final draft to be completed and brought to school on Friday, the assignment comes home the Friday before. Usually we work on getting homework done on the weekend, we do this so we don't have as much over head during the week.
In trying to teach Thing One to better manage herself, her time and her thoughts, these writing assignments have become the Sunday drag out.  We start around 10 with reading the expectations of the assignment and talk about the idea page and what should be written, what ideas Thing One has and what she might want to write. At this point in the day she walks off to work on the assignment in the office and Thing Two and I do his homework in the living room.  Within about 40 minutes Thing Two has completed all the possible homework I can throw at a 6 year old and is near vibrating with excitement to go outside.  I yell to check on Thing Two, "working on it" is all I hear. Thing Two heads outside and One continues to plod.
By 12, while I am making lunch Thing One has brought me the idea sheet and is ready to talk about things. I remind her of the need for neatness and spelling, and also the fact that the assignment directions are a for a true story, somehow silliness always ensues when she is left to her own devices. After discussions about what is needed for the rough draft, what still needs to be done on the idea sheet, it's lunch time. Lunch and a bit of quiet time follow.  Thing Two once again heads outside around 130 and One heads back to the office to continue the plod.
As I sit, occasionally asking what Thing One is up to and checking to make sure Two hasn't caught the backyard on fire, I stew. It is now around 3, Thing One has spent the vast majority of the day inside, working on an assignment that should not have taken her more than an hour or so max. I want to help her, I want to guide her, I want to RIDE HER TO GET IT DONE. I know I can't help, I know she she needs to figure out how to ask when she needs help and how to get it done on her own. She has so many great attributes, but I suspect we will be spending many a Sunday sitting around waiting for Thing One to sort it all out.
Around 4 Thing One emerges with her rough draft complete...sign. I have been listening at the door for 20 minutes trying to figure out what she has been doing in there for two and a half hours, and only 7 sentences have been produced. I read through it, correct the spelling, pronunciation, we talk about making sure the order makes sense, and generally making sure she gets it. My spelling, grammar, and general sentence structure and paragraph structure are usually horrid, I almost failed English grammar.  We get through this, and Thing One once again continues off to muck with her assignment. Time ticks by, with me honestly concerned about what she has been doing....
At 6 dinner is served and Thing One emerges with no paper in hand. We eat and she goes back to the grind, I feel like I am torturing her, though she doesn't seem quite so bothered to spend the day hanging out in the office alone. By 8 a paper has been delivered, the paper is sloppy, has tons of erase marks and looks like something the dog chewed on and spit out. I accept it as good enough, though she is fine with this imposed torture, I can't stand it. I do remind her, a score lower than 9 will require her to rewrite this at recess, she is fine and moves on with her evening.
Today I corner her concerning spending the day working on her paper. I remind her that these paragraphs are only going to get more detailed and longer. She shrugs, "I Know".  I ask her if she was writing the whole time.
"No, I spaced off some too"
I just walk away, we are different people and I just need to roll with this, but I don't want the Sundays for the foreseeable future spent trapped inside waiting for Thing One to finish spacing off and get her work done.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


When I was 12 I met someone who would become a surrogate mom when I couldn't talk to my own, note I was 12 and I didn't talk to this mom either, though this woman had the opportunities to talk at me ALOT. Her name was Judy, I didn't call her Judy at the time, that took years, but she was a huge influence to me and we all lost her this week.
It has been years since I have seen her, years since I sat at her kitchen table while she did whatever it is she was doing at the counter, chatting with me, with all of us. Years since she tisked me, for whatever it was I had done that she didn't agree with. Years since she has consoled some hurt I had, by my own actions or others. Though I have not seen her since I was in my early 20s she has always been with me, in my mind, reminding me of those things that she wanted to make sure we heard and knew and never forgot. 
Judy was a 4-H leader and frequently, all but 2 that I can remember, was a chaperon on whatever adventure we were all heading off on. She was patient with us, patient beyond words.  She also kicked our asses when we needed it, reminding us of the RULES and busting us when she caught us. Judy had the joy of dealing with us from about 7th thru12th grade and she was one of those people that was always there, never in the pictures but always there, and even when she wasn't there she found out what we did. I remember the first state 4-H conference she was with us on, she pulled us aside within minutes and reminded us we were representing our county and other 4-Hers in our county and we should behave like the good people we were. We were never perfect angels, but she never expected us to be, she just expected us to try. She laughed freely, tisked often when we fell, and always reminded us of what the better choice should have been.
Until I was 15 or so I didn't really appreciate Judy, I saw her as just another adult trying to stop the fun, or dictate the rules. The problem was that she did a lot of talking, but I really wasn't doing all that much listening.  In everyones' lives rough spots happen and I hit a rough spot, and who was there but Judy. She talked me down and reminded me of who I was. That was the first, but far from the last time Judy peeled me off the ceiling or told me I was wrong and needed to fix things, or that I deserved what I got and should do right the next time. She wasn't the leader that taught me leadership, citizenship and the million other things I was suppose to be learning, but she did teach me common sense and how to support someone.  She was always there to support us, even if she was telling us we did something really stupid at the same time.
Judy didn't have any daughters, she had a son, a son that I adored. John and I are the same age and tended to attend most of the same events, which is why Judy was always in the girls dorms with me. John and I were both these loud, chubby, Portuguese kids that were just looking to have fun and hang out. We often ended up sitting in their kitchen working on a project, with Judy nearby. The best part of projects with John, was listening to Judy harass him. She constantly harassed him about something, that he always took in stride and I always eventually busted out into giggles. I loved to hear them talk, yell and love each other.
When I look back on those times I was happiest, most carefree or felt most OK with who I was as a teenager, it is up at the barn at Johns' or sitting in Judys' kitchen. I regret I never got back to see her and tell her how much she meant, I guess I always assumed she knew......
I looked through all the pictures I have of back in the day and I don't have one of I said before she was always there, but never seemed to be in the picture. I can never forget her, or the things she taught me.
Love you John :)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meeting Time..

Today was my meeting with the school to discuss Thing One and what will be the most beneficial path going forward for her in school. Let me start by saying I like her school over all and feel deeply that she is getting a good education by educators who care about what they do.
If I had never been in an IEP meeting before I would have been very intimidated by the scene before me today. Thing One's teacher came to get me and as I walked into the very small meeting room, 6 people turned and looked at me. I knew some of the individuals present, but I would estimate half the people were not people I had even seen before at the school. Immediately they wanted to know what my thoughts were regarding Thing One, why we pursued an assessment when both teachers we asked said they didn't think it was necessary, and they did not refer to the assessment that was before them until I continued to refer to it. Mostly the meeting was amicable in the beginning and more about getting to know each other.
The smoothness of the meeting faded when the discussion became, does Thing One even need a 504, or can it wait a year to see what her tutoring will do. I was adamant I wanted the 504 for her immediately, the processing issues she has are not going to go away with tutoring. At one point the special education teacher for the district responded to a comment I made with, "well, she doesn't have a diagnosis", this is incorrect and I showed her the assessment with the DSM-IV Diagnosis. She then argued that, yes in the DSM-IV but, I reminded her that Learning Disabled Not Otherwise specified is covered under the ADA and that though Nan doesn't meet the deviation from the standard, she still qualifies for a 504. Her response, well yes, but she is only NOS. Only NOS (Not Otherwise Specified), is not an excuse to marginalize or lessen what the impact to Thing One this has on her education and that made me more adamant than ever to establish the 504 right then and there.
With some support from the school nurse, and a little from Thing One's teacher the team agreed to initiate the 504. Looking back I wish I would have asked for more specific accommodations, specific amounts of extra time, specific cues I want initiated. At the time I was just thankful everyone had actually agreed to the 504, I assume as she gets older she will start to join us in these meetings and help us figure out what she needs. There may come a time when she can compensate for any issues or advocate for herself so that a 504 won't be necessary. Until then, I will take up the torch to advocate for what I, her father, the specialists she sees and anyone else I can get to read her report and give me an opinion thinks is best.
I need to thank all those people I cajoled, begged and downright insisted I needed some help from. They were able to keep me grounded, focused on the need, and give me the common sense advice that sometimes as a parent we forget when we are so emotional involved. I love you all, appreciate you in our lives and hope nothing for the best to you. KISSES

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lowes Build and Grow Project

Today we went over to Lowes to participate in the twice monthly Build and Grow Program. The Things had a great time, even though it was pretty crowded.
What I found most interesting was the different types of parenting styles that were present. There is the overly involved parent, the parent that did it all, the parent in the corner on their blackberry, and hopefully us, the ones in the middle, helping with the directions, but having the kid do the project.
Let me note, it isn’t like we don’t have faults as parents, big ones. I threaten my kids far too often to coerce them to behave, we all talk way to loud in public, and generally I swear like a sailor kids around or not.
Lets start with the let me do this for you mom next to me, I will call her the Star Bellied Sneech. The Star Bellied Sneech kept all the tools on her side of the work space, she read the directions and handled all the material while she had a conversation with her little Sneech. She multiple times told her Sneech to make sure he didn’t loose the nails, while she was busy nailing the project together. At the end of the project, she loudly stated what a great job he did with his project, while looking at me like we were now locked together in a secret world where her son actually did the project. When they left she asked for an extra project, apparently her ‘son’ had somehow hammered through the side of the plywood with a nail.
On the other side of me was Yurtle the Turtle. He let his daughter do the project, but god forbid she do something without first consulting him and then doing it his way and his way only. She had to repeat back the instructions, line up the nails precisely, let him review the work and then she could proceed. At one point his little turtle incorrectly hammered the nail in and he took the project apart and the process restarted. Honestly, this wasn’t an outrageous method; it just seemed really tedious and not very much fun. The project was completed and both Yurtle and his little Turtle departed, the little turtle seemed more excited by the patch than the project.
The Seussisms are ending here, I can’t think of anything witty for Blackberry dad. The guy sat off on the side for a hour while his kids, looking about 10 and 5 tried to figure and puzzle their way through the project. The parents near by helped, and defiantly the older helped the younger, but I hope this dad wasn’t thinking this was quality dad time. The kids at one point were tugging on his sweater to get his attention and he was far to engrossed to assist. There are a lot of possible reasons for this, the chief being there may have been a work issue that he had to deal with and at least the kids got to participate in the project instead of staying home in front of the tv, also a family issue could have been occurring. Ultimately though, to the parents two down from me who were not only helping their three build the project, but his two, it had to have been a bit bothersome.
Now for us or at least the interpretation of us I want to believe. I helped more than I should have, I read the directions and Thing One is capable. I aligned the nails, and pulled them out for them when then went in at the wrong angles. When Thing One ‘got tired’ I didn’t give in and made her keep at it until she hammered her finger, then I hammered the nail in the rest of the way, on only that one nail. Neither kid made the prettiest, cleanest looking pinball thing, but they did make them themselves and were excited by thier project, they are playing with them right now. I think both Things got tired of the directive to hold the hammer farther down, but nothing is perfect.
I realized as a parent that I did do one thing well today, I trusted The Things. At multiple points in the project the Things started to get frustrated and I held the project for them while they hammered. Let me say this again, I held the project steady while they hammered near MY FINGERS. I never said, don’t hammer me, but when they finished I always praised them for doing such a great job, and said a quiet blessing I was not cussing in pain. Today The Things learned they can hammer a nail, and finish a project with a little help, and I learned it is always best to give them a little trust without comment and see what happens.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tattos: Your Ink and Your Kids

When I was 19 I got a tattoo, it is duck on my left shoulder. I love my duck and now have a ying yang surrounding the duck. For years whenever I taught swimming at least one kid would ask about it. They touched it, asked if it hurt when I got it, and would tell me they are going to get one or that their mom said bikers have tattoos. In an attempt to clean yesterday, I came across a picture Thing One told me months ago was going to be her tattoo when she got old enough. It is a huge multi colored cloud with paisleys and a ying yang in the middle, it is hideous.
I have always told the kids when they are 18 and have the money to pay for it themselves they are welcome to get a tattoo or do whatever it is they want with their bodies, but be warned, a tattoo is there forever. I think about all the people I watched get their tattoos that first and second year of college, it almost became something to do to prove your independence or coolness, I think about the rugby guys I played with wanting me to get some huge rugby scrum on my back, I think about all that and am thankful. I am thankful I got something with meaning to me, something relatively small and easy to hide, and something that I am not paying to remove right now. I was a bit of a dork for a bit by everyone’s standards because I waited so long to get mine, about 9 months after the rest of the gang got there’s, and I didn’t do it in the dorms but actually went to a reputable place.
I am watching people pay more that it cost to get a tattoo to have them removed, and I think how I can make the Things understand all this and the permanence of a tattoo, and do they really need to? Is this one of those mom things they will never hear you tell them about, and encourage them to do the opposite so they end up with a spider web on their face at 16? Is this something that discussing at 8 will fade in the 10 years it takes to get to 18? I am totally unsure.
I plan on getting more ink, not sure about the specifics yet but it will happen. I like my tattoo, and I want something I just need to find the right something. When I do get around to getting that tattoo I know all the questions will come up again, with new ones, like do people your age get tattoos. I don’t see this as one of those do as I say not as I do things. I see it more as what is the best choice for you and long term, what do you want on your body that represents you.
I know, I know, this won’t come up for years, but the Thing’s daycare has a lot of young women tattooing their bodies daily. Every few months some question comes about, why do tattoos hurt, why do you get one if they hurt, can they tattoo anything on a person, like swear words?
I may point them to the ugliest tattoos website, or tell them the stories of friends who have had tattoo nightmares, like the girl who got the Pieces symbol around her belly button and then got pregnant; her tattoo looked like spin art after. Though I will also tell them the right tattoo may help them always remember who they are and where they have been, too.
If you have any ideas for a new tattoo, or what the Things shouldn’t get at 18, let me know, and yes I need it touched up...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mommy Guilt and Technology

OK, I know it seems like these two topics have next to nothing in common, but I promise I will try and bring them together as cohesively as possible.

Lets start with what is up right this minute; it is 5:30pm, I am in an empty house in my PJ's and I'm eating M & M dark chocolate candies. I am alone for the next 36 hours, why do you ask? My job, I work in information technology and am once again on a project that may see me swear at someone in upper management and totally make me feel like I am loosing my mind. I am spending most of the day tomorrow ensuring we are ready to start testing everything Monday and maintaining the time line I have committed to management we will meet. I am not thrilled about this, but I find a lot of satisfaction in learning a tool and being able to make it work in the way most people like. I like working, and doing something I feel is meaningful, I do not like not spending time with my kids to get that work done. I knew if I delayed our trip up to my parents yet again because of work, I would be at work pinning to get home to the kids and the kids would be making my husband NUTS.

I have mommy guilt, guilt that I haven't spent good quality time with the kids in the last week, guilt that my husband has had to pick up the slack, and guilt that there are days I am really glad I am going to get some time anxious as it makes me to be away from them.

The mommy guilt train hasn't quite left that station yet though, a chief on-going level of my mommy guilt is my general disinterest is teaching the kids to be better with technology. Thing One and Two were probably the last of their friends to learn how to 'google' something, and rarely ever do they turn on the computer and get themselves all the way to a favorite game. We have bought an iPad and the point and click mentality of it has made it a lot easier for me to let go and let the kids play without my assistance. Now if you think I am doing this because I am concerned about content or something of the like, you're wrong. I do it because I don't want my PC to get messed up so I, or the hubs more than likely, have to fix it. I work in technology, I grew up with technology, but I hate dealing with it at home. Most of the people I work with are passionate about various forms of technology and have terabytes of crap at their homes, building their own DVRs and PCs, not me. If I can't plug and play it, screw it. If the kids mess with the setting and the PC blows, I am more likely to look into buying a new one than fighting it out with what I have, thankfully the hubs will fight it out, though he isn't a techie by nature either.

So instead of pulling out the energy efficient house science project Thing One spent all her Christmas money on, I am all for a round of Angry Birds, Lego car tracks or a scooter ride, anything but reading a manual and trying to figure out how to make it work. I know that an in depth knowledge of technology can only help them, but I just can't seem to muster the push to do it, and I feel guilty. I know enough to teach them the basics, get the supplies and help them build a PC, though I have cracked a few processors in my time, I just have no interest.

When I was 21, 8 million years ago, I received a laptop/word processor from my parents for my birthday. Inside was a note, go forth and become the techno weenie we know you can be, I laughed, there was no way I was going to be near a computer once I got out of school, I was going to work with people and make a difference. I still work with people, but the focus is the technology and computers and delivering the service to the customer. The basics my parents taught me before I left their house, helped me get a job years later and set the path I am on now, even geeks need administration, was what a friend said when I wondered how I was ever going to get a job with a Recreation Administration Masters. So here I sit with my free time, typing into the techno verse instead of the knitting or the paper scrap booking projects piled up around me, here I sit when the kids tug on my arm to play a computer game and I don't want to scan the site to see if there are any viruses on it. I hope like me they learn the people side before the computer side, but the mommy guilt is still there. Still haunting me....though hopefully the cider I am drinking will make it a little less and the Huck Finn existence they experience at my parents house makes the occational weekend mommy can't spend with them OK.

And yes I still have the paper...but when I replaced it with this one in my office I knew the prophocy had been foretold