Saturday, September 26, 2009

A good night's sleep makes for the most productive days

In 90 minutes, I have a 4 hour workshop to attend.  I organized it, someone else is facilitating it.  So in honor of THOSE four hours, I have only SLEPT four hours!

Because I was scrambling to get all of the details finished, right?  Nooooooooo, here's why:
  1. Went to bed at 10pm for a solid 8 hours.
  2. Oldest was awake singing until well past 10:45.
  3. Husband called up at 10:45 to ask my if I knew why the sound wasn't working on the tv.  Um, no honey, I'm up here sleeping.
  4. Oldest's hamster began her nightly escape attempts around 10:30.  She gave up when I took her out of the bathtub at 6am this morning.  Yes, thanks to a very smart friend of mine, that's where we put her cage at night now.
  5. Husband came to bed at 1:30.  He's a nightowl.  Usually I'm completely asleep, but not last night.
  6. FINALLY, at 2am, I covered Hamster with a bath towel to dampen the noise and that did it.
On top of the workshop this morning, I am coming home today to pack for a vacation!  Wow, this is going to be a loooooooonnnnnnnngggggg day. 

BUT I AM OVER 100 SITE VISITS NOW - JUST HAPPENED YESTERDAY!  Just cartwheeled around the house over my excitement.  Oh, no I didn't - I'm too tired!  :)

And don't forget Super Sunday Series begins tomorrow!  Intellectual overexcitability is on tap first.

Friday, September 25, 2009

september pictures

Sometimes I wonder why I try something ambitious like loading pictures while my kids are "happily occupied," because during the time it took to do this, Youngest is now climbing all over me and the computer desk asking to see something on YouTube and it has taken my 5 full minutes to write this one run-on sentence.  but it's worth it to see these cute faces.  I think.  :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Teetering Update

So yesterday was when my parents left.  Usually I don't see much fallout on the day they leave.  But yesterday it was ALL ME who had the fallout. 

I decided to use a shortcut to the girls' gymnastics class.  Last night was the first night.  I chose the wrong way and got us lost to the tune of a 20 minute detour.  At the beginning, who was falling apart?  No one.  I was in control.  We were going to make it.  The girls were none-the-wiser.  Just holding hands in the back seat singing (alternating) Our Lady Peace and O.A.R.  How cute is that?

I started realizing my folly pretty early in the game (ie: I overestimated my ability to get us from point A to point B too easily).  We were not coming from home.  We were coming from an appointment and I had it totally worked out in my head how to get there.  It was going to be no problem.

The PROBLEM, I discovered, was that I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO GET THERE FROM WHERE WE WERE.  I tried, and I DID get us there, but there were about 30 minutes of OMG, WHERE ARE WE, CHRIMINY WHAT HAVE I DONE moments. 

The kids handled it well until LITERALLY, the last 2 minutes.  I mean, seriously, do you have to freak out when we're there?  What about Mommy's freak out the previous 30 minutes?   You know it, moms, the silent freak out you do when you don't want your kids to know?  The freak out you try to hide but your tension fills the car?  Oh, is that just me?  Sorry. 

Being lost AND not on time is quite possibly my biggest personal life nightmare (aside from the obvious family catastrophies I won't go into here). 

So, you are wondering how the last two minutes went? 

Oldest started bawling and hyperventilating over our late-ness (15 minutes), mostly because Youngest kept saying (I kid you not - 20 times at least), "Oldest, are we at dimdastics yet?"  It was funny until Oldest started moaning in the backseat and begging her to STOP because she was going to DIE if she heard it one more time. 

Of course, as it's always the case when Mommy's held it together over major trauma (getting lost in your own town certainly fits THAT), I ended up saying in a not-so-normal tone of voice, "DO YOU WANT MOMMY TO START SCREAMING WHEN WE ARE LITERALLY TWO MINUTES AWAY, I MEAN I CAN SEE THE PLACE, CAN'T WE ALL KEEP FROM LOSING IT NOW?"

Which begs the question that maybe MOMMY was losing it, I know. 

But, we made it in one piece.  15 minutes late, which makes me C-R-A-Z-Y.  I can't stand being late.  Hmmmm.  I wonder where Oldest gets her standards?  Just one of life's little mysteries.  ;)

And they L-O-V-E-D it.  Seriously.  They think gymnastics (dimdastics) is the best thing that ever happened to both of them.

Ahhhhhhhhh.  Some days it all works out. Eventually.

Monday, September 21, 2009

She's teetering

My parents are visiting right now.  They leave tomorrow.  So far, we have had a very pleasant visit all around.  I'm just dreading Wednesday, because it takes about 24 hours for Oldest to go all whacky for a day or so after a visit. 

This just happened over Labor Day with my in-laws.  They visited, staying two nights.  It couldn't have gone better.  Except for staying up too late chatting with my mother-in-law (apparently all of my husband's family share his night owlish tendencies).  They left Monday morning right after breakfast and Tuesday morning, RIGHT after breakfast, Oldest totally fell apart. 

I'm talking full scale short circuit.  It was ugly, I can't even get into the details.  But after I spent some not so proud moments haranguing her, she said,

"Mommy, I don't know what's wrong with me.  I just can't think today.  Having Grandma and Grandpa here was so fun and I got to wake up to them for two mornings and this morning they were gone.  So I feel all kooky and weird about that and it's making me mess up at everything.  I wish I could make it stop."

Well, talk about stopping an angry mommy in her tracks.  How SAD that transitions still do this to her after everything we've worked on to help her through them.  Is there ever going to come a time when she can manage them fully?  I felt so badly for her and was so mad at myself after this talk.  She truly, accurately assessed her feelings and why she was having them and I was so wrapped up in her crazy behavior that I forgot that she might be going through the "post visit transition."

Truthfully, though, she'd never really had it with my in-laws.  But she's definitely gone through this with MY parents - practically every time.

So I'm ready this visit.  24 hours after my parents leave tomorrow - I'm ready for the meltdown.  And we're going to make it through together.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Introducing the Super Sunday Series

I've been upset about LIFE getting in the way of my blogging this week.  But just because I haven't made a post doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about my little blog baby. 

As much as I want, truly WANT, to be as impressively academic as some of the sites I'm now following thanks to Twitter, I just can't.  I started this blog to help me deal with the daily issues of gifted life.  And let's face it; sometimes the daily issues just aren't glamourously academic.  They're painfully exasperating.  And fun - because sometimes they ARE fun too.

That being said, I am SO happy about being accepted into a gifted community that I didn't even know existed until my good friend Sidney from introduced me!  And I feel like if I don't at least try to raise my own personal bar a little bit for those of YOU from that community, then I will be letting you down.  Because you all rock the gifted advocacy fight.  Seriously, I am not worthy. 

So I am introducing the Super Sunday Series for your academic reading pleasure and for my need to discuss more than just "it's hard to carry my gifted child out of birthday parties screaming."  Because it is about more than that, right?

I will devote my Sunday posts to something of academically gifted interest.  There are so many topics to choose from - I can't wait!  I have all of my books lined up and ready to start digesting and discussing.  I will spend time on the education aspect first, and then do a little personal application, because that's where the fun is for me.  :)

The rest of the week?  Well, it's all about the day to day fun and games of gifted.  Highs, lows and everything in between.  Time permitting, of course.  Did I really think summer was busy?  HA!

But Sunday?  It's all about high level thinking.  Then applying.

Starting next week:  the excitabilities and the gifted child.   Can't wait!  See you then.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Update on my errant "children"

I am so happy to report Kanye West's call to Taylor Swift to apologize.  Good for him. 

I am fascinated how many papers have carried the same article I quoted yesterday.  Newsworthy stuff, apparently. 

Now I can get back to the important things in my life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shut Up! You Lie!

Riding on the heels of my Mother of the Year post from Sunday night, here is an article about public outbursts. 

If you click on the title of this post, you will see this article that ran on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch today, stating that it is becoming "in vogue" to make public outbursts.  I am so sorry, I am still trying to figure out how to insert links in my posts.  Soon! 

To briefly recap, in case it's possible anyone's missed the furor:

U.S. Rep Joe Wilson yelled "You lie!" to the President during last week's speech to Congress about health care reform.

Serena Williams threatened a line judge on his foot fault call during her Saturday semi-final match.

Kanye West took the microphone from Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech at the VMA awards Sunday to say Beyonce is the one who deserved to win the award in question. 

Among other things, the article blames a "stressed out society," instant gratification, and not seeing rude behavior being addressed, therefore leading to more rude behavior as some of the reasons for why we are seeing more and more people, public or otherwise, not exert self-control in public.

Does anyone think this sounds like parenting?  Maybe not "stressed out society" so much, but instant gratification and modelling good behavior, while at the same time showing consequences for poor choices, sounds an awful lot like the lessons I try to teach my children.  Every day.  Painfully. 


With children we expect this kind of behavior -  the only ways kids learn to show civility, respect and (hopefully) delayed gratification is to have it taught to them.  We expect them to try and fail many times before they get this right.  We expect them to sometimes not even try because the only way they can know if we, their parents, are serious is to TEST US.  We expect it to take a long time because learning isn't a light switch in our children, it is a years long process of gradually, slowly learning right from wrong.

And for heaven's sake, how can they learn this when everywhere they turn there are ADULTS unable to control themselves in public?  On TV and even glamorized because people keep talking about it!  And really - what are the consequences for these public figures? 

Nothing immediate, nothing swift - which is what all of the parenting advice tells you.  When your really young child hits, bites, pushes, they should go into a time out at minimum.  When your older children lie, cheat, steal, disrespect authority, there should be immediate consequences as well. 

When Oldest is disrepectful to me or another adult, she gets something she cares about taken away from her (TV, computer, the dreaded DESSERT).  And if it's in public?  I double whatever it would have been.

She really acted out at the Brownie's end of year celebration last Spring.  Every time she glanced my way, I would do the cutting motion across my neck, which is our code for "cut it out."  I would bug my eyes out and mouth STOP.  I would shake my head at her.  Nothing registered.  Clucking like a chicken, rolling around on the floor, yelling at a friend, interrupting the Scout leaders, a LOT of completely unacceptable behavior.  I was SOOOOO angry with her, I couldn't even speak for an hour.  I had to send her to her room because I was so afraid of saying something truly damaging.  During that time, I made a list of all of the things I planned to enforce.  The worst was that I banned dessert for a week and we had 1) the end of school ice cream social and 2) our church festival the next day.  So she couldn't have dessert at either of those. 

But you know what?  She wasn't even that upset, she knew she had been completely out of bounds and didn't once try to change my mind, complain or mope about it (it might have helped that I told her I would double everything if she did any of that). 

So what would I do if these three public figures were actually MY children and were young enough to be treated like children?

Joe Wilson - I would have removed him from the audience.  I certainly wouldn't have let him sit there checking the public reaction on his blackberry for the rest of the night.  I would also make him write a letter of apology to the President.  And publish it.  He IS a public figure, after all.

Serena Williams - I would have fully expected the referees/judge to remove her from that game and if they wouldn't have done this, then I, as her parent, wouldn't have let her play in her other match the following(?) day.  Isn't good sportsmanship one of the first lessons you learn in sports? 

Kanye West - I would have removed him from the stage as well.  I would have made him apologize to Taylor Swift - on TV.  Sincerely.  And he would not be allowed back to announce at any award shows for a specified amount of time. 

I mean, really, aren't these just glorified temper tantrums these people have engaged in?  Didn't they all deserve a little time out?  I think yes.

So why am I so upset about the public outbursts from these three?  Because if I'm willing to enforce such consequences AND expect better behavior than what they displayed from my CHILD, then we as a sociey need to expect better behavior from our public figures.  Because if we don't, then I believe our society is in real trouble.  And our kids don't have a chance.  No matter how hard we try. 

That's why I keep MY outbursts behind closed doors.  ;)  No, seriously, we all WANT to have little outbursts every now and then.  And sometimes we do.  But we just shouldn't - we're adults.  We were supposed to learn this throughout our childhood.   And public figures must be held to the same standards. 

I would love your thoughts.  Good, bad, ugly.  Unfollow if you have to, I can take it.  Part of being a parent is making the unpopular decision and sticking with it in the face of dissent.  :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Taking nominations for mom of the year

While I can SAY I'm taking nominations for Mom of the Year, that's actually a sham, because I LOCKED THAT MOFO UP this weekend. 

Yesterday, I was in a mood.  I had co-chaired a fundraising cocktail party the night before and was up late wrapping that up.  Then Oldest's hamster kept me up until 2:30am with her (successful) attempts to escape.  I finally got smart (shoulda woken up Oldest to ask her what to do) and tied the cage door shut with three twist ties in three locations.  Husband arrived home around 1:30 from his brother's bachelor party, which added a little more stimulation to the wee hours of the morning - getting the post game report from him. 

So I woke up (at 7:30am) drained, low, exhausted and truthfully a little sad.  I'm always a little low after doing something really ADULT-ISH, when having to transition back to Mom-only mode.  Really, I think I'd be happier sometimes if I ONLY did the Mom stuff.  Because I'm about as bad at transitions as Oldest.  I just let the transitions eat me alive internally, rather than fall apart externally like she can.  Except for yesterday.  I think you will notice some external falling apart from yours truly.

Anyway, back to my award.  Here is a general rundown of the criteria the judges will use for my big win:

Youngest bit me.  I bellowed at her.  I prefer to think of it as a kiss gone bad, but I still bellowed.

Oldest and Youngest got into a shoving match at the side door gate while I was TRYING to Twitter someone (really, don't they GET it?).  I bellowed at them, and put them both in time outs. 

Youngest whined and cried the whole way through our "special girls night out" dinner.  Which is laughable, because it was less "special" and more "painful like a root canal."  I took them outside to try to get past all of the angst from above and had them run races for about 30 minutes. 

Oldest lost the string from her balloon when we got home.  The balloon floated to the ceiling and she started bawling.  Because I knew this was a pivotal moment for mom of the year, I showed no sympathy to her, but told her, loudly, "God didn't give you this brain for nothing, you figure out how to get your dammed balloon back."  Yes, verbatim.  But there's history here - that child has lost balloons so many times and bawls every time! 

1) THIS balloon wasn't even lost and
2) seriously?  IT'S A BALLOON.

So while I left her to her own personal "necessity is the mother of invention" drama, I took the still whining and crying Youngest upstairs to have a bath, telling her along the way that Mommy was REALLY finished with the whining.  And when I went to take her clothes off, she felt hot, very hot!  Yes, friends and neighbors - she had a 103 temperature.  MIGHT explain the crazed behavior. 

So as it's dawning on me that I've been short, cranky and occasionally downright mean to a SICK child, not just one having typical two year old moments, I hear a huge, HUGE crash downstairs.  I whisk naked, feverish Youngest downstairs to find Oldest lying on the floor next to a stool, which is next to their kid table, which has lost two of its legs. 

First order - Is Oldest OK?  Answer - yes.  Scared and shaky, but yes.  Second order?  "WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?" 

Oldest:  "Well, Mommy, you told me to figure it out myself, so I pulled over our table, but when I stood on that, I wasn't high enough.  Then I put the stool on top of the table.  I was high enough then, but the balloon was at an angle, so I jumped for it.  When I landed the table crashed down." 

DAMN, that WAS ingenious!  I knew she could do it!  Except for that whole she could have broken several bones issue, of course. 

And guess what she did with the balloon when she got it?  Popped it, because "it could hurt someone."

Yep, it could, my little genius. 

Moral of this story?  When there's a balloon to be had, your gifted child will soar to the highest heights to reach it. 

Anyone else have Mom of the Year stories to share?  Come on - help me take myself out of the doghouse. 

P.S.  Table is fixed and Youngest is OK so far - I'm just hoping it's not swine flu.   And why is it that all the REALLY GOOD drama happens when Husband's not home?  Is that some sort of law of physics?

Friday, September 11, 2009


On 9/11/01, I was practicing criminal defense law.  Pregnant with Oldest, I had just gotten through that all important first trimester.  Husband and I were going to California that Friday for a vacation - our first time to CA. 

I remember being behind a courtroom waiting to talk to a normally placid, stoic, unflappable judge about one of my clients, when he came billowing out of his chambers.  Billowing is the only way to describe it too - he had his robe on, but it was unzipped and was literally flying behind him like a cape. 

"Turn on the TV in here, someone has just declared war on America!" He cried.  It gives me cold chills just writing it, remembering the terror, YES terror, I felt at that moment.  Didn't we all feel it?  Didn't those terrorists succeed in exactly what the definition of their name is?  In less than one hour, they struck fear at the very core of all of us.  The place we hardly ever dare to look because it's where we lock all of our most vulnerable emotions. 

Within an hour, the courthouse where I worked was closed (which had never happened before - no blizzard had ever closed that courthouse), and I was driving home on the most beautiful day imaginable.  Not a cloud in the sky, sun shining, warm, gorgeous fall day.  Driving on cruise control, really, because I couldn't even think in more than 1 and 2 word thoughts. 

The baby.
Where's Husband?
Are we going to die?  That one was the biggest one. 

I remember watching the towers get hit, over and over and over on the TV.  Wondering how awful the destruction was going to end up being.  Not being able to get through on the phone to anyone, it kept saying "Due to heavy call volume, please try your call again later."  Wondering if my family was ok.  It taking almost a day to catch up with everyone.

I think, to a certain extent, the pain and terror we all felt on that day HAS to be dulled.  Otherwise, we would be too paralyzed with fear, doubt, worry.  But I don't want to ever forget that terror we felt and the patriotism we felt in the days after.  How our country rallied together and truly believed "we WILL survive this because we are Americans." 

I haven't told Oldest much, if anything about 9/11/01 yet.  How do you convey the fear of that time and the hope that followed to a 7 year old?  Especially a 7 year old who has so much anxiety and worry like she does.  I don't want her to feel, yet, the kind of fear I had that day.  When I felt for the first time in my life that my freedom, one of the strongest bases upon which our country was founded, was in jeopardy.  I'm just not ready to go there with her, even though a part of me says I should talk to her about it - I owe her the beginning of an explanation.

I would love to hear how people share this day with their gifted kids.  They take things so seriously and to heart.  Have you found a way to teach them about 9/11 without scaring them senseless?  Let me know if so.

And always remember.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Early IQ - Round 2

I'm not quite finished with my basis behind testing Oldest's IQ so young.  A very good friend of mine has a gifted son and I asked her one time whether she would feel better knowing his IQ? 

She replied, adamantly, "HELL NO!  If I knew it, I would never let him slack off a little or take a break.  I would always push him to what the IQ number was." 

She does have a point.  But for us, getting the testing done early gave us solace rather than a high bar with which to measure her. 

Our deepest, darkest fears were assuaged A LITTLE.  She was still extraordinarily emotionally exhausting, but we no longer wondered if:
  1. It was our bad parenting.
  2. There was something seriously emotionally wrong with her.  Look up Oppositional Defiance Disorder sometime if you never have - it's enough to make your hair curl and my heart goes out to anyone who is struggling through that.
I spent years thinking "if I only parent better, harder, more effectively, if I only read another book about childrearing, if I only retake the class on positive parenting again, if only, if only, if only."  The burden was overwhelming.  Because things that worked for virtually every other family we knew, didn't even register with Oldest.   

And to learn that it wasn't our parenting, but the cards she'd been dealt was so much better than the self blame.  Instead of choking on uncertainty, we could become experts in raising a gifted child and how to help her with her emotional intensity.  And she has learned to manage her emotions now so much better than she used to - because we are approaching it from the aspect of "what does a gifted child need in this area?"  And yes, sometimes a swift kick in the pants is still the answer!  Speaking figuratively, OF COURSE!  Though sometimes you do want to . . . at least those of us willing to admit we're human. 

So for us, it was never "OH MY GAWD, when we find out her IQ we know how hard to push her."  It was "OH, THANK GOD, we aren't complete parental neanderthals and now let's teach her how to best help herself."  It was so liberating. 

So there you have it.  IQ testing, not just for ascertaining academic potential, but for helping struggling parents ease their guilt burden, even if just a little bit.

Monday, September 7, 2009

IQ testing at 5? Are you kidding?

I guess by now it's time to share why we think our daughter is gifted.  Because everyone thinks their kid is gifted, right?  So what makes us so sure? 

We tested Oldest's IQ one month shy of her 5th birthday. We didn't really want to do this, but we were in a disagreement with her teacher over her behavioral challenges. It was a civil disagreement - she thought we needed to test for things like ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Our sense was that she wasn't buying that our daughter might be acting out in class because she was/is highly intelligent and her needs weren't being met.  We weren't sure yet, either.  It was a terrifying, scary time.  Isn't not knowing always scarier?  I think so. 
So we did a full evaluation, including IQ. Because what the hell?  If the teacher wanted to learn about  the other stuff, I wasn't going to take any chances.  She tested well into gifted range and came up negative for other behavioral disorders.
She was then (and still is) at a Montessori school.

When I researched our public elementary school her Kindergarten year, the Principal virtually scoffed at the IQ numbers I gave him, saying they had to be inaccurate b/c of her age and told me that the GATE program (Gifted And Talented Enrichment) started in the 4th grade there (in other words, don't bother me with this until then was the message I received). Our school system is one of the best in our state, by the way.

In part because of his cavalier attitude toward her abilities, we decided to keep her at the Montessori school where she started at 2 1/2 years old. She started second grade two weeks ago, and ended first grade reading at a fifth grade level. Mathematically, she's right at grade level.  Which is so typical of a gifted kid - the asynchronous development. 

I shudder to think what challenges we would be facing in our public school right now, while not even yet eligible for the GATE program. She would be THAT KID (future post on our experience with that already coming soon to a blog near you).

We are happy she is at a Montessori school, which follows the philosophy of  "follow the child" and that every child should be allowed to work at their own pace and level, regardless of whether that level is the official grade level of the child's age.  Each child is treated as an individual, not just as a class that must cover certain requirements, whether they are ready for them or already learned them. 

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Worry, thy name is Gifted Child

Oldest worries about many, many, MANY things.  Here's a really small example from tonight.

Me:  "Oldest, I still think you could write a funny story about Scutter (our Hamster) escaping last night."

Oldest: "Oh, no Mommy.  If I do that, my teacher might show it in circle time and if she did that, then the kids would pay more attention to me and if they did that, then they might want to play with me on the playground and if they wanted to do that, then they would all love me more, and then they would be calling my name on the playground trying to play with me and I just couldn't have that."

HUH?  (Isn't that a good thing?)

Me:  "Why not?"

Oldest:  "Well, I just like to keep my stories private, in my head, because that's where they're safe and none of those things will happen as long as I don't write them down."

Me:  "Maybe we should make a plan and talk to your teacher about not sharing your private stories in circle.  Then you wouldn't have to worry about everything you just mentioned."

Oldest:  "Oh, I don't have to do that, Mommy.  My teacher never singles people out in circle like that, she's never done that.  I was just saying IN CASE SHE EVER DOES, that's why I don't want to write that story in my journal, because I would hate for all of that stuff to happen."


Me:  "Well, if it's concerning you, maybe you should write it at home - you know how much you like to write."

Oldest:  "Oh, GREAT!  Great idea, Mommy.  I'm glad we had this talk."

Me:  "Me too, honey."

That one, she's an ocean of mystery.  Sometimes it blows me away the things she worries about.  And typically if something's worrying her, "bad" behavior tends to follow (see my post entitled  The Post Where I Remember to be Thankful).  So I'm glad we had this little talk tonight.  You never know how much a little time with your gifted child can save you hours of "corrective" time down the road.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Banned Words Part Deux

We spent the entire summer hearing virtually NONE of the words on the BANNED WORD LIST.  It was a classic case of "Away from site, no longer coming out of mouth."  School's been back for 8 days and Oldest had her first Weekly Thursday Playdate today and what words did I hear emanating from the bedroom?
  1. Fart - I'm not sure any word in the English language is more offensive than this one.
  2. Dummy  - maybe 30 times, as she was whipping Pokemon cards to her friend of the "dumb ones" for her friend to take them to the principal's office.
  3. Naked - this one is new, you're gonna love it!  Her friend suggested undressing all the Barbies so they could do the Booty Blast Dance.  I didn't hear that part - I just heard the "they're naked" part.  Seriously, WTF is a Booty Blast Dance?  And how does a 7 year old come up with it?
The whole point of doing weekly playdates is to help Oldest:
  1. Work on her social skills.  She's really intense.  REALLY.  INTENSE. 
  2. Develop some friendships that are a little deeper than surface.  See #1 for why that's a little harder in this house. 
  3. Work through Problem Solving.  Refer to #1 again.
Got this great plan from a book called "Good Friends are Hard to Find."  I can see that I have my work cut out for me this year. 

Thoughts?  The book says to pull her out and speak to her privately if things aren't going very well (there's nothing in the book about how to handle it when a friend suggests Booty Blast Dances - go figure).  I did pull her at one point, and in sidles Friend to listen in and I'm just not going to call Oldest out like that in front of someone. 

We did a little Post Game Report about what went well (Oldest:  "EVERYTHING - best play date EVER, Mommy!") and where there could be some improvement (Truthfully, I hadn't even heard the "F" word.  She spontaneously volunteered to me that she said "fart."  One of my favorite things about her - she tells the truth no matter how much trouble it might get her into - KEEP THAT UP, BABY!). 

So we'll see how next week goes.  Hopefully the banned words stay right where they belong - on the list, not out of the mouth.
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