Talking with Mae

 

Entering the room with her hands up.

Mae:  F…B…I!

Mommy:  (blinks)

Mae:  You go to jail.  (As she pulls my hands behind my back and tries to pull me to her bedroom)

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Mae:  (finger stuck up her nose and digging around with a very serious look on her face)

Mommy:  Are you okay?  Did you get it?

Mae: Yes….It looks like chicken.

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As a group of Daddy’s friends left the house a couple of evenings ago.

Mae:  Bye, Dudes!

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Out of the blue..

Mae:  I want to have baby when I grow big.  I will cuddle her.

Mommy:  (cue the tears)

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Something she picked up from her cousin and we hear it often…….

Mae:  Mommy!  I just need you.

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While making the second trip to the potty after bedtime.

Mommy:  Do you really have to potty, or are you faking?

Mae:  Shhhhhh!  I am sleepwalking.

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Easter 2014 Tales

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I hope that it was a happy relaxing Easter for you all as it was in our home.

 

 

Are you a free range parent?

Have you heard of this……Free Range Kids? Seems to be a bit of buzz words these days.

This was a foreign concept to me until a few years ago when a friend brought it to my attention.

She told me that there was a site/book/author/blogger that advocated a parenting approach that focused on children taking responsibility at a young age. She told a story of a young boy (age 9) taking the subway home for the first time by himself. She was horrified that a mother could leave her child to safely ride the train home. As she was describing all of this with doom and gloom, I was thinking something quite different.

To be honest, I didn’t say much in return in that discussion. I took it all in until I could research it myself. My search lead me to this site. Click here for a description of a free range kid.

I devoured the information and subscribed to the newsletter. Daily, I rec’d an email with newstories happening around our nation in schools and communities reinforcing the helicopter parenting that runs rampant in our nation. Stories of high schools making policy changes that essentially treated the teenagers like toddlers. This newsletter filled my inbox for about six months before I unsubscribed. I found the newsletter informative, relevent and interesting. But, I also found it to be disheartening. The rare glimpse of some tidbit of hopeful news wasn’t enough to keep me going.

Check out some of the articles on Free Range Kids. Makes me think our nation is gone a little batty.

Dad on foot arrested for refusing to wait in line of cars to pick up kids……

Cops Say Mom Left Kids Home with 13 y.o. WHY IS THIS A CRIME??

The fact that this free range kid perspective even needs to be pointed out, discussed,  and debated is frightening. Though I am beginning to wonder if the title of free range kids really in truly needs to be changed to free range parent.

Where are the days that kids could learn adult tasks by doing them? When did parents decide that hovering and smothering was a necessity?

In our family you learned to drive a tractor before age 10 and a pickup before that.  We hauled hay with a hay crew of other kids our age and drove down the highway to the barn or next hayfield by ourselves.  We were expected to pump our own fuel for these tasks.  We fed and watered the chickens, milked the goats, feed the bottle calves, and did our chores all without supervision.  If we ran into a snag of sorts, it was our responsibility to figure it out, find help via a brother or sister, and then go get Mom or Dad as a last resort.

I DROVE TO THE FEEDSTORE (30 MILES AWAY) BY MYSELF FOR THE FIRST TIME AT AGE TWELVE.  I don’t say this to brag or highlight the fact that is was technically illegal.

I write these words to say, that at age twelve I was mature and responsible enough to DRIVE TO THE FEEDSTORE (30 MILES AWAY) BY MYSELF FOR THE FIRST TIME AT AGE TWELVE.

It is different time you say…..Well, it might be.  But, I want to do everything in my power to turn back the clock for our family. Mae Mae is a lucky girl to have the opportunity for a lifestyle that will instill responsibility at a young age to facilitate her developing into a capable, independent adult.

There will be naysayers that will say that a farm work ethic is child neglect and will limit the child somehow if life. Bologna I say! A little discipline and a sense of purpose that comes from having a few chores would go a long way for the couch potato and video gamer kid.

When I got back around to discussing this further with my friend, it was clear that we had very different takes on the matter. She grew up a farm but has lived in the city for sometime now and it has changed her. When I told her that I was very lucky to live where we did and that we could allow children the freedom to roam, explore and problem solve. She replied, “Well, I guess so. As long as you lock the farm gate.”

Really???? I don’t even lock my house.

I didn’t have any words……

Play Kitchen Wrap Up!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Just wanted to tear away from all the fun to share with you what we have been hard at work on around the casa. Eddie and I re-worked an old nightstand into a play kitchen just in time for Christmas for little Mae Mae.  And by just in time, I mean that touch-up paint was still drying when I left for midnight mass on Christmas eve and the kitchen wasn’t brought up from the basement and staged until 6am Christmas morning.  By the hair of our chinny, chin, chin…….

Play Kitchen Before

Play Kitchen After

Originally, I thought we could leave both of the doors on and use them as is.  Turns out that due to the nice curved detail on this nightstand, it wasn’t possible to just switch the hinges from the side to the bottom.  So, both doors came off and a new drop down stove door was added.  Eddie used some scrap lumber lying around to build the divider wall and add the shelves.

The rack in the stove is a trimmed down to size cooling rack from the kitchen.  I borrowed the light in the stove idea from Young House Love.  It is just a small touch light and Mae can turn it on when she wants her stove to be on.  The plexiglass for the door cost $.43 at our local glass shop.

I whipped a small little curtain out of some pink gingham fabric.

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The microwave was a surprise early gift from my brother and it just happened to fit in the bottom shelf perfectly.  We did use a little velcro on it as well so that it would stay put when Mae tugged on the door.

The stove top burners are just CD’s spray painted black and the faucet and handles were cut from scrap wood by Eddie and spray painted silver.  The sink is a stainless steel bowl and the basket on the side is full of play food.  The utensil caddy is a $3 flowerpot that I secured with velcro.

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I am sure that more accessories will be added over time but I think we have a great start.  I am picturing a cute little teapot!

Cost – $80.  That is the cost of the nightstand at $35, paint and all accessories.

I know that pinterest is full of these play kitchens.  If you are interested in making one but hesitant to tackle it, just dive right in. There is no right or wrong way to do this.  Whatever you have on hand or readily available will do.  Even though the need for perfection gets to me just about everyday, don’t let it stop you from building/trying any crafty or pinteresty idea.  JUST DO IT!

Play Kitchen in Action

There will be hours upon hours of enjoyment!

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