Thursday, February 22, 2007

5 Years to Life for Spanking

Rant of the Week
Good thing I live in deep South where many folks still smile upon the practice of spanking, because if were were still living in CA, I might be doing a little jail time. I was at the gym on Monday with the girls and Jaley had a dirty diaper. As I was getting out the diapers and wipes, Sarah, who definitely knows better, just grabbed one of the little garbage bags I use to contain the toxic mess and promptly put it over Jaley's head. I am not a spanker, Sarah tush has felt the "joy" of a good whoopin', but I was too stunned to speak. I just slapped Sarah's hand, so she would let go of the bag. The entire incident only lasted about 3 seconds, and Jaley wasn't even phased, but I was horrified. The vision of that plastic bag over Jaley's face, is still haunting me.

And then to make matters even worse, Sarah screams at the top of her lungs, "My Mommy just hit me and hurt me." So now, I have an entire room of kids, parents, and babysitters staring at me. PERFECT, I look like the abusive parent. I start yammering to anyone who would listen the full tale, but basically I was now horrified and mortified. The truth is sometimes you can talk things through with a 3-year old, but when life and limb are being risked you just have to solve the problem first. So I hope those folks in CA proposing to make spanking illegal, but in an exception if you are saving the life of another child...

For the record, Sarah and I have now had at least a dozen more conversation about the dangers of putting anything over any one's face or around the neck. And I hope not to revisit that scene ever again. We parents do the best that we can. I am not perfect, but am hoping that how much I love Sarah and Jaley more than makes up for all my mistakes. And now I will get off my confessional / soap box

Tales from Stroller Lane
So what else is happening here...

Nana was up for a few days and had a great time with the girls. She, of course, made cookies with Sarah. And she help me repaint the neon green bathroom to a much softer and palatable shade. Unfortunately, she hasn't been inoculated to as many kid germs as the rest of us and spent part of two days in bed with a horrible stomach virus.

Then the next week Grandpa Perry came into town. His trip at Christmas was canceled at the last minutes, so we had Christmas in February. We even still had his Christmas stocking waiting for him.

Scott's work travel is heating up again and spent the first half of this week in NYC. While he was away, we girls enjoyed some time outside. The weather here is beautiful and we are soaking in all the warmth before Mother Nature remembers it is still winter.

And best of all, Jaley is happy. As many of you know, she spent her first 6 months in various stages of "colic." The poor thing was never comfortable and she let it be known to everyone in the vicinity. I truly believe something was a little off with digestive system. But whatever it was, she finally seems to have outgrown it. We have said she was "better" before, but this time it seems for real. She is a happy baby. She even had an ear infection this week and was still happy.

She is also learning lots of new tricks. She is sitting all by herself and almost crawling. She kind of does a commando move scooting around on her belly. She cut her first two teeth. In fact, Jaley cut her first baby tooth on the same day that Sarah cut her last one.

As for Sarah, she has hit the thrashing threes. Everything has to be her way and only her way. If not, her world crashes into an atomic sized tantrum. A tantrum so large it makes those of the terrible twos seem like a whisper. Although I try to accommodate as best I can, the truth is I can't change the laws of nature. Toys that are dropped will fall. Cups that are tipped over will spill. And sometimes it is going to rain, whether Sarah wants it to or not. But, when things are going Sarah's way, she is so much fun to be around. She jokes and plays and invents and explores and is constantly learning about everything.

Those are our tales from Stroller Lane. Lots of love to each of you.

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