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BUTTERLIFES AND BETTER LIVES
Where is everybody? Is there a party going on somewhere to which I was not invited? har!

Hey! Guess what! I have ANOTHER interview! That makes 2!

I'm having mixed feelings about telling you all, because what if I don't get either one of them? Then I have to tell you I suck and you will all feel obligated to *hug* me quite a lot, and I'll feel better for it, but I still won't have a job.

Anywho, I have another interview and that makes me happy. Also, my brother got a job! Which must be a harbinger of good things to come, right? A general trend? An upwards turn in the economy, the market, etc.? Another chance for me to use the word harbinger?

One of the first jobs that I applied for was one that my nearest colleague also applied for. She got a call for an interview today. I did not. That makes me sad, but I guess I can't win them all.

I made the zucchini-soup-that-rocks-the-mostest last night and brownies for the Regional Singers, as we are calling ourselves. We had our last practice last night. Performance is on Friday in front of 50 people, many of them our close friends. Eeep! I have butterlifes in my stomach. Much bigger and fangier than butterflies, let me tell you. Singing in front of a bunch of strangers? No prob. Singing in front of friends and/or family: total nerve-wracked shaking spazzathon. Although, usually, once I'm ACTUALLY singing, it's fine. It's just the beforehand part that gets me.

A Family Dilemma
Anders, who is the best father that ever could live, and who takes a huge amount of interest in his children and their interests, is very hands-on about being involved with our children's activities. He was, as I've mentioned before, a Scout leader since way back and has been really looking forward to getting involved again with HIS kids. He's also encouraged Karin's interest in ice-skating and soccer, and has plans to be a leader for the ice-skating school that Karin is going to start in this fall, partly because she won't do it without him. Both my kids are very stubborn, individualistic and frighteningly capable of demanding that their world conform to their desires and ideas.

Karin and Anders came home early from soccer practice (otherwise known as playing around on the field with a lot of balls) because Karin refused to participate. All decked out in her blue and yellow soccer outfit, yellow knees socks, pads and NEW soccer shoes, she stood on the sidelines and pouted for 30 minutes because 1) they had forgotten to bring her fleece jacket and 2) they had forgotten to bring her water thermos. Finally, after trying to persuade her that it was okay and she could just go ahead and play anyway, Anders gave up and brought her home. Mad as hell. This is not, by the way, an isolated incident, especially when Karin is involved. His feeling is that there are tons of parents out there that DON'T care and DON'T get involved and DON'T encourage their kids in activities or sports or whatever, and here he is, doing his damndest to be there, and his kids keep thwarting him at every turn. I didn't know what to tell him.

Part of me thinks that he is doing those things partly for HIMSELF and not just for them, but that's not really fair, because he IS doing them for them, and I know it. He has plenty of hobbies and activities that he pursues just for himself, and he genuinely wants to make sure the kids are stimulated and excited about their lives and recreations. But, I still don't know what to say to make him feel better, to encourage him, to make him understand that they are not doing it to hurt him personally, and that it IS a good thing to have stubborn, individualistic, highly demanding children, when they drive me crazy sometimes, too.

This may not seem a big deal, and indeed, in the scheme of things, grand or not, it ISN'T a big deal. It's just the ways things are, and a general indicator of the personalities of those involved. But, there must be some way to encourage our children to participate, to try things out, to give it a go, and at the same time learn that the world is NOT always going to conform to their expectations, and that sometimes THEY need to conform to it instead, without bending them the wrong way, and so that we, as parents, can feel GOOD about our input, our involvement, our desires and dreams for our children, too.

Happy, Happy Birthday Wishes to orangepoppy!
 busy
mood: busy
music: Bruce Cockburn—Lovers in a Dangerous Time


Comments

Congrats to your bro on getting a job, and to you for scoring another interview! Just keep this in mind: you're also interviewing *them* to see if you'd be interested in working there. Don't just jump at the first thing offered, if you're at all getting negative vibes. You're not desperate, and you won't be, so just go in with a list of questions for things you want to find out about working there.

And I promise that I won't make faces at you while you sing. :)

You better not!! I'm going to have a hard enough time keeping my concentration on what I'm doing and not on how people are reacting!!!

"Just keep this in mind: you're also interviewing *them* to see if you'd be interested in working there."

So very very true and important...

(Anonymous)

I think alot of your American friends were on vacation as yesterday was a holiday here. I hear you on the stubborn child (I was one of those nightmares). My mom did some pretty clever things to smooth things out-- one was I was solely in charge of my belongings. As a result, if I forgot my books or the paper I needed for school or my hat, I had no one to blame. I remember her drilling that into me-- when I would say, "where'd you put --fill in the blank-- or where's my --fill in the blank-- and she would say, "I don't know. Where did you put it?" Of course, she had 5 kids so I think it was a sanity saving technique to make us take ownership of things as soon as we were school age. Hope things go well with the interview!!!

Don't worry, I won't feel obliged to hug you. Just a quick chuck on the shoulder if thats allowed :)

Hmmmm..I wonder if the Karin/Anders thing has to do with the fact that kids won't do what you want/would like them to do. If he was uninterested, she'd probably be very interested.

The main thing is that when she looks back on this, she will know that you guys tried. I'm kind of irritated with my parents when it comes to my lack of musical talent since I was never encouraged to play anything. When I finally expressed an interest in guitar, my mother balked and said I would have to learn the piano first (I was 12 and a punker. That put a stop to any music aspirations).

I never got swim lessons because I was scared of water and was taken out of ballet because I had stage fright. I wish they had forced me to stay in ballet since I LOVED it in college and was quite good considering my age, although not good enough to do it as a career without having kept up as a child. And I spent every swim party being the "no thanks, I'm tanning girl" praying no one would throw me in the water.

Maybe you guys should say, "You started this season, you have to finish. If you don't want to do it later, that's fine."

Hope this isn't crap advice. :/

No, I think that's good advice, at least it worked with me when I was a kid, and through my teen years. I was told many times, that since I had wanted to do it, I had to finish what I started. It was a good way for me to learn what things I really _did_ want to do the next time. If I didn't like it, I just didn't sign up for the next season. I'm really grateful that my mom and grandparents made me finish what I'd started, even if I might have thought it was a bit unfair at the time.

I hope you can work through this, Liz...in fact, I'm sure it'll turn out okay. You guys are great parents!

thanks, sweetie! I think the "finish what you've started" thing is ingrained in me, too, so that's a good thing to try and instill in my children as well.

I second the great parents remark!

No, it's excellent advice, and mirrors what I am thinking. We have indeed told her that since she started this season she has to finish it (and also because we've already paid), but it's rough when there's a struggle EVERY single time.

My daughter has done that in the past. Something forgotten or just not right and the whole event/sport becomes too much for her to handle without whatever it was that brought her comfort level up. Very frustrating.

Wow

I'm just so glad that all I have to worry about is if putting Max in her crate for time outs is ok.

Re: Wow

Hmmmm...maybe I should try that on Karin. :P

Re: Wow

It might, sans the crate. :) Hey, get yourself a kickass power suit for your interviews, that always helps. I got a great one at Jones of New York outlet. It's black, I always feel so invincible in it.

Re: Wow

Power suits are just not done here in Sweden. (thankfully :)

Fingers crossed for the interviews. I agree with the first commenter. Don't forget you're 'interviewing' them too! :)

As for Karin, I don't really have any advice, and even if I did, I wouldn't wanna spout it as I've got no guinea pigschildren of my own. However, I would agree that having her finish the season (learning commitment) is a good thing. Although there may have been some practical reasons in her own mind as to why she didn't participate - if there's no water and she's working up a sweat then maybe the thought of thirst was unbearable?! Dunno. Maybe she's also happy to have her dad's support but maybe not so much of it? Dunno. Just guessing now.

*big hugs and more watermelon* ;)

advice/chuck it if you'd like

*1) note on car dashboard: " Did we forget anything?" Which is read out loud to Karin before leaving the house so that she and Anders are participants together on that one.

*2) Let Anders vent with you and then encourage him to Talk to Karen... mostly listening mind you... the first part, if she will talk will probably be crap, but what comes after may be an actual CLUE to what was actually going on for her.. be it related to the details or completely unrelated but triggered.
He could begin by saying that He felt upset at the soccer field when she wouldn't participate... but with NO expectation of getting satisfaction on that count there... like I said, let him vent with you..

*3) if you intend to do the 'you must finish what you start' then Karin should have the privilege of that information BEFORE she signs on... there is alot one doesn't understand about a situation before one is in it... like you maybe, the first time singing in front of friends rather than strangers... and then YOU got to choose whether this was a fear you wished to face. Children are very powerless in terms of these types of choices. Rightly so in many instances. I believe that it behooves us to give them any choices that we can.
I wanted my children to learn to finish what they started AND to learn that they have the inherent right to change their minds about things. We simply had to manage which lessons belonged where...
So sometimes we had the 'are you sure you want to do this?' conversation.. because you cannot back out/ must follow through... as well as the, it's OK to try it and change your mind, you are not a failure if it doesn't suit you, is too hard, etc.. conversation... and conversation with ALOT of listening on the parent’s part.. sometimes the real clues as to what is happening for the child is quite buried beneath alot of crap, or confusion, or misunderstandings and misinterpretations

*4)"Anders gave up and brought her home. Mad as hell. This is not, by the way, an isolated incident, especially when Karin is involved. His feeling is that there are tons of parents out there that DON'T care and DON'T get involved and DON'T encourage their kids in activities or sports or whatever, and here he is, doing his damndest to be there, and his kids keep thwarting him at every turn. I didn't know what to tell him."
THIS is good (even though it may not feel so good) This is appropriate venting of frustrations so that the child does not end up carrying it. You don't have to tell him anything... until he's wound down. And then tell him you love him. Tell him what a good job he's doing, even if it doesn't turn out the way either of you expected or envisioned. Tell him he's a GOOD dad. Tell him that in her heart Karin knows that. That she feels safe to act out with him. That it isn't easy to discern the appropriate acting out and where to make boundaries and that he doesn't have to do that alone. Those things you two can work those out together. Tell him again what a very GOOD father he is. Emphasis this.

OK, I’ll stop ranting now.
(It’s been a long time, but I was the assistant facilitator/leader for a Mother’s support group for about oh. 6 or 7 years)

Re: advice/chuck it if you'd like

Thank you SO much! I so appreciate all the concrete advice, and will put it to good use, I promise :) It feels great to know that I have such caring friends who take the time to hand down their experience and wisdom to me. :)

Re: advice/chuck it if you'd like

I'm with Heartsong on this one. My one other thought was that perhaps this child is getting too much mileage out of her stubbornness, esp. when she pulls it in public. I would be tempted to take her and drop her off (is he coaching? I forget) for a few times. Or at least walk away and let her have the tantrum by herself.

Still, the talk that works its way into the real reasons for the behavior is the best policy.

Did SHE clamor to do soccor, or did an adult propose it, push it, talk it up, make all the arrangements, etc. etc?

I like the post-it in the car idea. We used the laminated list by the front door: "School: backpack. lunch. homework papers. everything signed? pencils." etc. You could do the same for soccor. So SHE has a responsibility to make sure she's got her stuff with her.

Re: advice/chuck it if you'd like

Yeah, Trish is right. There's a possibility that tantrums in public are some sort of attention getting function.
BUT, hopefully, that will become obvious if Karin has an alternate safe place to vent herself (the conversation) and get to the bottom of what might push her to act out in that way.

Re: advice/chuck it if you'd like

She's not really having a tantrum, per se, she just refuses to go on the field and participate. This kid is stubbornness defined. You simply cannot MAKE her do ANYTHING she doesn't choose to do...which is ultimately a good thing, but it sure can be mighty frustrating when you're the parent! :) So, the attention she is getting is nearly all from Anders or me when she pulls this kind of thing, not from her peers or coaches. I'm for not trying to sit and persuade her, but to say "fine, let's go" instead, and see what happens.

Re: advice/chuck it if you'd like

I agree with that - let her see the consequences of not wanting to play. Anders needs to play that trick too. Easier said than done though. And you guys both sound like fab parents - it's so sweet that he wants to get involved, he should keep at it but as the cool one, not the hounding one relative to you at times :)

Congrats on the second interview! I'm a bit superstitious with things like that too - can't tell people in case I don't get it, but heck, it's a nice thing to celebrate. And I definitely agree with the advice that you are interviewing them too. In my experience when I have gone to an interview with that attitude even if I've desperately wanted the job I came across more confident and appealing and got the job. G'luck! :)

Re: advice/chuck it if you'd like

My stubborn daughter is 25 and doing well. She doesn't take crap from anyone..holds her own well as a young woman in the world.

Persuasion never really works anyway in the long run.
You know your daughter, you probably know the best thing to do :-)

Re: advice/chuck it if you'd like

thanks! She is the one who wanted the soccer, and pushed for it. We don't usually take the car because the soccer field is so close. Anders walks over with her, because it's fairly close but too far for her to walk by herself, and it's not worth walking home for the hour they're playing, because he'd pretty much have to turn around and walk back to get her. I am also going to try switching off with him on this one a bit more, because he's going to do the skating, and has scouts with Martin.

i can't really give any child rearing advice, since I have no munchkins of my own, but I do like the idea of removing her 'audience' or a way to let her back out of the situation. You two are great parents, nevertheless -

good luck on your concert! I am sure it will be lovely. If I lived in Sweden, I would SO be in attendance! (maybe someone can record it? and you can put it on the Internet!) What are ya'll performing? I'd like to know!

We're singing a program that consists mostly of rounds and canons.

Let Us Sing Together (3-part round)
Love is a Song (2-part harmony)
Var Dudelija (3-part harmony)
Lyckan ar Gul (2-part round)
Donuts & Coffee (to the tune of Dona Nobis Pacem, 3-part round)
C-O-F-F-E-E (2-part round)
1 Bottle of Pop (3-part round)

should be fun! but I get butterflies just THINKING about it.

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