6

Idle Hands Are The Trumps’ Playground

So. I’ve been trying these past few weeks to wrap my head around the outcome of the presidential election. I haven’t been very successful at it. I take a lot of deep breaths and tell myself to calm down, it can’t possibly be as bad as I imagine it will be.

But as it turns out—it already is.

Der Führer went on a “victory tour” yesterday and exulted in his crushing defeat of his foe (nevermind those 3 million more votes she got, which weren’t illegally gained, by the way.) He railed against the “dishonest” media, yet again, and continued his call for flag burning to be cause for loss of one’s citizenship, despite the fact that that has been proven to be un-Constitutional.

Hey, no biggie. Or bigly. Der Führer is calling the shots and when he says throw out the Constitution, we will respond by saying “How far?”

Anyhoo. I am tired of waking up in a cold sweat at 3:00 in the morning. During menopause I used to wake up in a hot sweat. I’ll take that over this any day.

So I’ve been pushing myself to get crafty (not Trump crafty, but actual craft-making crafty) and make some Christmas decorations. Since my maternal great-grandparents were from Norway, I used to have several of those red and white paper woven heart baskets that I had made when my son was a baby—50 years ago now.

But, cue the violins, all of my Christmas decorations were stolen from a storage unit a couple of years ago by a Grinch-like thief, so I decided to make some more.

This time out of felt.

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Then, figuring I’m on a roll (and hoping my fingers will last a little longer before going numb from the exertion), I found some designs on the interwebs for a Dala horse and a bird. These two are pretty small, around two to three inches in length, but my artificial Christmas tree is pretty small too, so they should work just fine.

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Then, my daughter saw them and requested a little larger Dala horse in slightly retro colors to go with her decor.

Et voilà!

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And lastly, in an “idle hands are the Trumps’ playground” fervor, I souped up a standard gingerbread house my grandkids sold to raise money for their school. It came pre-assembled with a kind of puny pack of candy and a bag of white royal icing.

I, however, had biglier plans.

I went to Walmart and bought a couple packages of pre-made cake decorations in the shape of Christmas lights and also a bag of red cookie icing. Then, being on a felt “bender,” I made a 3-D Snoopy.

The decorating process was somewhat excruciating—the royal icing was too watery at first and then too dry and kept oozing out of the zip-lock bag they provided. I always say “Next year I make my own!” and this time I mean it. If Alton Brown can do it, so can I.

The results were pretty satisfying, even though I was a wreck by the time I finished.

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So, that’s what I’ve been doing to try to retain my sanity. How about you?

How are you coping in the post-Trumpian Apocalypse?

3

Well Said, Sir.

 

Quote from the Dallas Chief of Police:

Asked how these events would change police reaction to future protests, the chief reiterated that these were “peaceful protests until these events happened” that Dallas was not going to militarize its police operations. And they were not going to “let cowards change our democracy” by affecting the right to protest.

As the mother-in-law of a Texas peace officer, the shootings in Dallas horrified me.

About a year ago a fellow officer of my son-in-law was shot during a routine traffic stop. Fortunately, he survived. These five men will not be coming home to their families. Every day those families have lived with the knowledge there was the very real possibility of something like this happening. And yet these officers get up and go to work to protect us.

I have great sympathy, too, for the Black Lives Matter folks. They face dangers that white people can’t begin to imagine. Merely driving while black puts many of them at risk.

What is the answer? I wish I knew. But more guns and inflamed rhetoric like Rep. Joe Walsh’s execrable tweet about coming for Obama and those saying Hillary Clinton and “the liberals” are to blame only create more hatred.

Truly a sad day for America.policeman

My drawing of one of New York’s Finest

5

Yes. Let’s Go Back to the “Good Old Days.”

From a Trump rally in Janesville, Wisconsin:

As Trump spoke, some listened. Peggy Sue Metz, 47, a trucking dispatcher from Rockton, Illinois, lamented not making it inside and being forced to share the sidewalk with the protesters, who she suspected, were raised with the values of unionized schoolteachers rather than those of their own parents. “It would be nice go back to the days when the father worked and could support five kids and the mother could stay home and raise the kids properly,” she said.

In other words, Donald Trump will make sure women stay pregnant and in the kitchen if he’s elected.

 

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5

The Case for a Little Benign Neglect

I came across this 2009 post of mine deep within the bowels of my blog’s archive. 

(Sorry for the colonic imagery.) 

I think it’s still relevant today, so…here you go.

AUGUST 24, 2009

By today’s standards for parenting, my entire generation shouldn’t have made it to adulthood.

lg_27helicoptersThe other day my daughter attended a “meet and greet” with the teachers at the private school my grand-kids attend.  She figured it would be the usual get-together where the teacher expounds upon the lesson plan for the year, the parent listens while politely munching on a cookie provided by the room mother, and then the teacher fields a few questions on mundane topics such as “can little Herkimer wear his orthodontic headgear in class.”

Instead, my daughter was taken aback by the grilling some of the mothers gave my grandson’s second grade teacher, Miss F., a young single gal with a bookish demeanor but, apparently, nerves of steel.

The intensity and depth of the questioning were quite surprising.

Sarah Palin was given more leeway by Katie Couric than the young Miss F. received from her inquisitors.

The climax of the interrogation arrived when one of the mothers said she wanted to personally deliver a Subway sandwich to her daughter every day for snack time.  (I will interject here that the kids in kindergarten through second grade get out of school at 12:15, so there is no actual lunch period.)

Our Miss F. maintained her cool while informing the mother that this was not an option.  She explained if the children want a snack, they must bring it with them from home.  Anything out of the norm would be disruptive to the class and interfere with the egalitarian atmosphere that the school was trying to project.

The mother wasn’t listening.  She pressed on by asking if she could just “hang it on the classroom doorknob” so as not to disturb anyone.  Miss F. wasn’t buying this either, but apparently it took some discussion before the case was closed.

When my daughter related this conversation to me, I raised my hands to shoulder level and made little fluttering motions with my fingers.

“What is that?” she asked.

“Helicopter parents” I said, to clarify that I wasn’t having a stroke or something.

She hadn’t heard that before, so I went on to explain the concept of parents who continuously hover over their kids, anticipating their every need.  These are parents who have completely invested themselves in their children, possibly setting up their kids for a rude awakening at some point when they discover the universe is not centered around them.

In the days since hearing of Miss F.’s inquisition, I’ve been reflecting upon my own upbringing.  Certainly my mother worried about things like me putting my eye out if I ran with scissors, but there wasn’t a lot of concern about many of the things that are taken for granted with child raising today.

We rode bikes everyday and didn’t wear protective helmets.  We wandered around the neighborhood and beyond all day and into the dusk, only returning home after hearing my father’s loud whistle from the front yard.

My mother used to put big gobs of Vicks Vapor Rub up our noses when we had colds.  If you actually read the directions, it emphatically says not to use it anywhere internally, only on the chest.  I should be dead right now.  But, if my mother had her way, she would have found a way to cure cancer with Vicks, she loved it so much.

My parents had a baby-blue Oldsmobile.  There were no seatbelts and the dashboard was solid metal.  We kids used to rattle around in the backseat and very often I would ride in what we called “the way back”, that spot that was sort of a ledge behind the backseat and below the rear window.  If there had been a quick deceleration, I would have been a projectile object.  No one gave it any thought.

I practiced a form of benign neglect with my own kids.  Yes, they wore seat belts, always.  (By that time we did have them, thankfully.)  But when it came to overseeing every little detail of their day, that I didn’t do.

Maybe this attitude of “live and let live” was a result of my mother always wanting to know what I was thinking.  It wasn’t out of concern for my well-being.  She just wanted to know what was going on in my little head at all times.  So perhaps allowing my kids to have some independence from the Thought Police resulted in my being more of a laissez-faire parent overall.

Yes, things have changed in this country since the 50’s and 60’s and not in good ways.  There are a lot more threats out there to children than there used to be.  But kids need room to grow into individuals and they can’t do it with Mom and Dad always fluttering overhead.

Be like my mother.  Send the kid to school with a warm tuna sandwich.

Now, that’s living dangerously.

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