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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The world is scary, pass me my iPhone

I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole technology distraction topic. I'm taking a class about digital tools and so much of what we're discussing is about this new generation, the iGeneration is what they're being called. How plugged in they are, how much access they have to instant information and how technology is completely embedded in their world.

There's good and bad to technology, I recognize how easy it is to tune out the world and those around you with the distractions on a phone or tablet. I also think there are amazing benefits tech has to offer for our day to day living to make connections with other people and ideas. But most importantly, I think that technology isn't going anywhere unless there's some huge cataclysmic tragedy, which in my opinion is not preferable to the cons of living in a tech world.

And then I read articles about how this generation is going downhill, how we don't know how to play outside, how to have a conversation with a real person, how we're slaves to our devices.

And it all gets me thinking about a conversation Ryan and I had recently. We were talking about empathy, and how we both feel it powerfully, sometimes a bit too much. This empathy for the pain and suffering we see and hear about around the world, makes it difficult for us to always stay connected with the present, because it can be too much. The world itself can be a little too much right now.

When I think about all of the things I've had to worry about in my short 32 years on this planet, it's overwhelming. The little day to day things, like wearing sun block so I don't get skin cancer, to the big things, like nuclear war. I actually wrote some of the most prevalent ones down just to wrap my brain around the worries and fears that I've been warned about since I was a child. If I were to let myself truly be present all the time and think about everything I could and should be worrying about, this is what my brain would look like.

And this isn't everything, just the big baddies that came to my mind first.

So, what's my point?  That's harder to pinpoint. Basically I want to put this thought out... it's easy to judge our generation and the ones coming after for being distracted by technology, but how many of the things on this list did you have to worry about as a child? How many things will be added to this list that's even more terrifying for our children? It's easy to focus our energy on blaming our children for not living the same way we did. But we have to remember they're not living in the same world, and neither are we any more.

We do need to think about these scary things and face them, and hopefully come up with ways to improve our world so there are fewer things to worry about, but sometimes it's ok to look away for a moment so you don't get overwhelmed. 

I'm giving myself (and you if you need it) permission to turn off the scary world for awhile. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Meltdown in Moscow

Well it's been awhile, and if left to my own devices I probably would have just kept being lazy, but my lovely grandfather has asked me specially to get back to my blog. This is a man whose been like a father, and always looked out for me. So here goes grandpa, hope you don't regret the request when you see what's on my mind.

Tonight was one of those moments as a parent where you start to understand why some animals eat their young.

Poor Q has been sick most of the week with a high fever and virus. He's been whiny, clingy, not wanting to eat and waking up multiple times a night to generally just moan at his own existence. It's been pitiful and hard to watch, not to mention exhausting. We spent most of this weekend in survival mode, trying to keep his temperature down and meet his needs no matter how demanding and convoluted they may be.

Then this afternoon we made the capital error of parenting. Are you listening to this friends with babies, I'm about to spout a golden nugget of advice that you should listen to, maybe even write down...

Do not let them sleep past 4:00 in the afternoon. 

You can go right up to it, but be warned that if you let them overshoot that time you are in for an "interesting" evening.

We've done it before because we're rebels who like to push the line and see what we can get away with (aka stupid) and it's always ended badly. If you've ever had a nap hangover you know what it feels like to wake up too late in the afternoon. You're still tired, you know you need to get up to go to bed that night at a decent time. But you're left feeling cranky and annoyed with everyone and everything around you. Well add to that a fever, congestion and sores all over the inside of his mouth and you can imagine the meltdown we experienced this evening.

Nothing was the way he wanted it to be. His water cup wasn't right, he only wanted to eat pretzels, he wanted to play but "No, not play!" There were many tears, so many tears.  So many long stretches of talking through sobs that we could not figure out, which only enraged him even more. He cried for 15 minutes straight at one point leaning against the wall in the living room, nothing we tried worked. So many attempts to snuggle him, talk to him, ask him what he needed, leave him alone when nothing else was working. It was soooooooo frustrating.  I know toddlers are known for being unreasonable asshats sometimes, but this really took the cake. A meltdown to steal the trophy from all other meltdowns.

At one point I must have just turned to Ryan with a look of complete despair on my face because he took over and I went into the other room to let my blood pressure come down.

And he eventually got a bit of food down, took his medicine and went to bed. While mommy took a bath with double stuff Oreos.

All I could think while I sank into hot water with a mouthful of cookie was how on earth do people do this by themselves?

I've had many moments over the last 2 1/2 years of parenthood to think on this. It's especially close to my thoughts since I was raised by a single mom. How did she deal with moments when I was just too much to handle? How do you cope when nothing you do is working, and there's no one else to step in? I think any parent who's raising a child alone deserves a commendation from the president if their child makes it to 18 alive. It's a remarkable achievement of patience and self control.

So, tonight did me in, pregnancy hormones may have played a bit into my very emotional reaction, but bless my husband for being there to face the toddler firing squad. And bless my mom for dealing with me, loving me when I'm sure there were times she wanted to just walk out the door and never come back. And to any parent out there who is going it alone, my admiration for what you're doing is immeasurable.

And can I get an amen for double stuff Oreos?