Daily Archives: March 15, 2010

Heinous or Harmless

Sixth grader is to be sent home from school due to an act of perceived disobedience. The principal makes the child call home to tell his / her mother / father that s/he is being sent home and why. The principal makes no effort whatsoever to communicate with the parents.

Is the principal wrong in not being the one to call the parents? Or is the principal right in making the child make the call and “fess up” to what happened?

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WWYD – lost library book

You and the kids go regularly to the library; you expect the kids to keep track of the books they borrow; you have a special place set aside for keeping the library books so you can return them all without having to look like crazy.

You return the books to the library, take out some more, and you go home. In a week or so you get an email notification that one of the books is overdue. The son who borrowed it swears up and down and sideways that he returned it. He remembers, he says, putting it on the pile. The kid is trustworthy and you believe him.

You talk to the librarian, tell her that it isn’t lost, that you know it was returned. It’s happened before. They told me once that I hadn’t returned a book and later they called to say they had indeed misplaced it and found it on their shelves. If the book is lost you have to pay for it, if the loss is contested it has a different designation. The librarian gave a long lecture that you listened to, and yet you still gently insist the book was returned. She huffily agrees to mark it as “misplaced in library” and off you go.

Your son is cleaning his room for Pesach and oh no what have we here?  The “lost” library book is found between dresser and wall. He tells you straight away and wonders what will happen now.

Do you:

a) Return the book to the library in person and apologize profusely to the librarian, perhaps dragging your son with you so he can apologize;

b) Just drop it in the drop box in front of the library and think about it no more and give your son a stern lecture; OR

c) Sneak it into the library and leave it on the shelves so that they can “find” it.

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Sorry Kid, I need to ignore you for a while…NOT!!

You see, apparently I am so obsessed with building my reputation, my “brand” as a mommy blogger that I am neglecting my kids.

An article, entitled “Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand” was published in the NYT recently and it is the most ridiculous load of codswallop I have ever read.

The author lumps us all together, how we are all in it for the money (what money, pray tell?) and the furtherance of our careers, and we are all about the SEO and stuff like that.

Yes I hang out on twitter and facebook for inspiration and friendship, yes I blog, yes I am a mommy, yes I am a writer hoping one day to have a career in that field. Do you know what inspired me to develop my writing talents? There are 4 reasons – my sons. (Well 5 – my husband too). Writing about them preserves the memories forever. Raising them has given me perspective on so many different things. I would not be who I am without them. Not even close.

I hate the term “mommy blogger”. I write about other things than my kids. But that’s really who I am.  My boys are my raison d’être and there is no way on this earth that I would put money or blogging before them or my husband.  My children are the most awesome children in the world, and I choose to share this with the blogosphere. Having a blog has enabled me to enlarge my social circle and learn from other moms and dads. If eventually it makes money – who will benefit? Not just me, the whole family will.

I just didn’t appreciate the tone of the article. The author visited a mommy blogger conference, buddied up with the ladies there, and then shot them down in her article.

“Teaching your baby to read? Please. How to hide vegetables in your children’s food? Oh, that’s so 2008.

The topics on that day’s agenda included search-engine optimization, building a “comment tribe” and how to create an effective media kit. There would be much talk of defining your “brand” and driving up page views.

You know. For your blog.”

The tone at the beginning of the article, some of it quoted above, was dismissive. But those last five words that I quoted just total got my dander up. Pooh poohing mommy blogs. Like we are a waste of space.

My kids are proud of my blog. They ask me daily what I wrote about and how many people came over to comment and chat. It starts many interesting discussions around the dinner table (dinner which I cooked, and shopped for myself, oh the horror). They tell people their mother is a writer and cooks better than anyone. What more could one want??!

I am a Mommy Blogger and I rock!!

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Kids and Time Change

They are having issues with the lost hour, especially the two teenagers. The last two mornings I have had to hear discourses on why it’s not really 6 am, it’s 5 am and it’s cruel and unusual punishment for me to yank them out of bed when it’s still dark out. This time change is all MY fault, you see….

“How about this, Ima? Moshe Rabbeinu didn’t have to suffer through a time change, so I don’t hold by it. It’s not my minhag.”

Nice try son….

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Minhag HaMakom – Modest Dress and Hair Covering

Literally “the custom of the place”. I think this is the Jewish equivalent of “when in Rome do as the Romans do”.

Can we apply this to dressing modestly and hair covering? If you are married and don’t cover your hair, and perhaps dress more modern that your chareidi (ultra religious) cousins – if you go to a chareidi  event like a barmitzvah or wedding – will you make an extra effort to blend in by dressing appropriately? If you know that 95% of the women there are wearing hats or wigs, will you cover you hair too out of respect? Do you think this is asking too much?

When I go to the boys’ yeshiva I always dress more covered up than I usually do. I make sure I have sleeves to my wrists, my skirt is way past my knees and I don’t go in bare legged. Even though I might dress differently outside, when I visit the school I am respectful of their sensibilities. Some people say this is hypocritical. I say it is common courtesy. What do you say?

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