Stop Driving Like An Asshole In The Snow

I was born and raised in Connecticut.

Although we’ve had a relatively mild winter in New England this year, we are used to significant snowstorms.

Some years we are hit with multiple blizzards. Some years we only get a couple inches here and there.

A couple days ago, we had a near blizzard here. About a foot and a half of snow fell in twelve hours.

The kids had a snow day, swim practice was cancelled, most businesses were closed, and we didn’t leave the house.

But if I was forced to drive somewhere in an emergency, I would have been okay.

I’m used to driving in a snow, it doesn’t bother me, and I have a big-ass Suburban that has four wheel drive.

That being said, having a large, heavy car with four wheel drive doesn’t mean I can drive like a complete moron.

Unfortunately, the other five million people in CT driving SUVs apparently aren’t all aware of that.

Yesterday I went to a swim meet with Number 3 and 4. It was about a 50 minute drive from our house.

A small snowstorm was supposed to come through the area last night.

It started snowing as we left the meet at 9:30 last night.

By the time we were about 20 minutes down the road, the snow was coming down steadily and it was starting to stick. It wasn’t treacherous or anything, but the roads weren’t dry, snow was accumulating a little bit, and it was getting slick in some spots.

As we were driving down 84, there was a truck in front of us treating the roads. It was driving in the middle of the left two lanes so the salt covered both of them. He was probably driving about 40 miles an hour. The speed limit was 65 mph. So if you were behind him you had to drive pretty slowly.

It was late and I wanted to get home, but I wasn’t in a major hurry to get anywhere.

I happily drove slowly and stayed behind the truck, especially since he was treating the roads. It was the safest place to be, for sure.

Other people, though, were apparently facing life or death emergencies. There were at least a dozen drivers who must have had women in the car who were about to give birth, passengers who were bleeding out from gunshot wounds, in the midst of massive heart attacks, and suffocating due to obstructed airways.

I can’t tell you how many people were driving like complete idiots, weaving in and out of traffic to get past that truck at all costs.

It was unbelievable.

When you are first learning to drive and your parents tell you it’s not you they are nervous about on the roads, it’s the other people, well…

If they had seen what I saw last night, no teenagers anywhere would be allowed on the road. Ever.

Last night as I was driving, I realized something.

They don’t tell people to stay off the roads during snowstorms just because they are too dangerous to drive on.

They tell people to stay off the road during snowstorms because they drive like total assholes.

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?????

We are getting another storm here tomorrow. They are predicting anywhere between one and ten inches of snow, depending on what part of the state you live in.

I’m supposed to be driving to another swim meet tomorrow. I’m not nervous to drive in the snow if the meet doesn’t get cancelled.

But I am nervous to drive among the multitude of douchebags who were on the road last night.

If you are driving in the snow tomorrow or during any other snowstorm in the future, do me a favor.

Pull your head out of your ass.

Don’t be stupid.

Remember that the possession of an SUV and 4 wheel drive does not make you impervious to the elements.

And one more thing.

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.

If you can’t do those things, then do us all a favor,

Stay home and go sledding.

You can go as fast as you want then, and when you have an epic crash, the only person you’re gonna hurt is yourself.

 

 

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Don’t you dare talk to me that way!

Last night I was live on Facebook, and someone asked me for my thoughts regarding kids and back talk.

Ooooooh.

Backtalk.

I fucking hate back talk.

It’s annoying and frustrating and, at times, infuriating.

It’s infuriating at those times when our kids talk to us in a way that is completely rude and disrespectful and we KNOW we have taught them better.

But have we?

We think we have.

I mean, we tell our kids to say please and thank you. To use manners. To be respectful of teachers and other adults.

But telling them what to do in the moment and modeling the behavior on a consistent basis are two different things.

Think about all the things you ask your kids to do every day.

And now, think about how you ask them to do them.

I have only just become aware of this recently.

In the mornings alone I bark dozens of commands at my kids.

Get dressed! Where are your shoes? What are you doing? GET DRESSED!!!  Hurry up and eat your breakfast. What the heck are you doing? How many times do I have to tell you to get dressed?

WHY AREN’T YOU DRESSED YET??? Let’s go.  Get your backpack! WHY AREN’T YOU READY TO GO YET?

CAN YOU JUST, FOR ONCE, DO SOMETHING I ASK THE FIRST TIME?

Those are just a fraction of the things I have said in the morning.

And I know I have said them repeatedly, Monday through Friday.

If you have ever let one f -bomb slip in front of your kids, you know that’s all it takes for them to feel the need to use that word  multiple times a day.

So imagine how your kids are learning to communicate when you repeatedly blast them with the same orders every day.

They are mirrors.

We’ve learned this in the grocery store or in line at the bank or in church or wherever the most embarrassing situation could possibly be.

If our kids looked at us and said, “Get your behind in the car!” we’d kick their asses.

We think we have taught them better.

But there’s a good chance we actually haven’t.

There’s a good chance that’s exactly what we’ve taught them to do.

Of course there are times your kids talk back for other reasons. They could be testing you to see how far they can push things. They may be not feeling well or maybe something upsetting happened at school or they are just having a shitty day.

But when it’s a regular occurrence, chances are, you are modeling this to them without even realizing it.

Don’t talk to me that way!

How far do you think that smart mouth will take you?

This is how you talk to me after everything I do for you???

I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!!!

We very often respond to our kids talking back to us by talking back to them!

So the next time you find yourself in one of these situations where your kid is talking back, first, don’t react.

Take a deep breath.

Then, rather than reacting, try saying something along these lines:

Wow! I can see you are really upset.

or

If I have ever spoken to you in that way, I am really sorry. Can we start over?

or

I must have heard that wrong. I think you meant to say, “Mom, I’m just too lazy to put my dishes in the dishwasher!”

or

I love you, but when you talk disrespectfully to me I will leave the room and we can try again later.

See how that goes.

At first your kids might be like  What the hell happened to Mom?

But the more conscious you are of the way you react to your kids, the more conscious you will also be of the way you speak to them.

And when that changes, then there is a good chance the back talk will present itself less and less.

Until you get to that point, well,

there’s always Franzia.

(You can also pick up a copy of Positive Discipline, where there are more suggestions to help change this irritating and exhausting behavior in your children (and you)!)

 

 

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Whatever happens, everything is going to be okay.

If you read my last post, you know that Number 7 failed two hearing screenings at school and I had a minor (okay major) freak out.

First of all, THANK YOU for all the comments and emails and messages and support. I really appreciate all you have had to say. It was very reassuring.

Plus now I know I’m not the only mom to go from  Everything is great! to My kid is on the verge of death! in approximately 2.4 seconds.

So yesterday I took Number 7 to the pediatrician to have her checked out and tested there.

When I first called the office and explained to them what had happened, they tried to convince me that Number 7 was fine because she passed her hearing test back in March at her yearly exam.

And while I am always in such a rush trying to get the hell out of those physicals and admittedly don’t pay attention as closely as I should, I have a cloudy recollection of the nurse who administered the test last time kind of  redoing it and giving her a second chance. Or something. Like I said, it’s a cloudy recollection.

Anyway, I do remember at that appointment she failed her eye exam. But she was supposed to look at a screen that was flashing different stuff at her, and she’s not a particularly huge fan of TV as it is, so to get her to watch a bunch of super annoying flashes on a screen was definitely not going to hold her attention.

After failing that vision test, the doctor told me to take her to a specialist, but I was (and am) sure her vision is fine. So I never did that. And she passed the school vision tests with no problem.

But I remember telling my husband when I got home from that check up back in March that Number 7 failed the vision test but I was really surprised she didn’t fail the hearing test, because she so often says “What?” when I am talking to her. And my husband said that he had noticed that, too.

So I wasn’t super shocked that she failed the school hearing test because I’ve felt for a while now that something is not quite right.

Back to the pediatrician yesterday —

Number 7 failed the hearing test in both ears.

I sat and watched the little light go off on the ear test tool thingie, and most of the times she was supposed to raise her hand, it stayed flat on the bench she was sitting on.  The nurse turned the thing up a notch and did it again and then she heard some of the beeps. But still not all of them.

So then the doctor came in. Or maybe she was a physician’s assistant.

She started right in with the Has-she-been-massively-ill-lately-and-you-neglected-her-and-that’s-why-she-can’t-fucking-hear type questions.

I think I did a good job of not getting defensive or sarcastic and I assured her aside from a cold that has recently run through our house, she has been fine.

The doctor checked her ears.

No wax, so that wasn’t the problem.

But she does have fluid in both of them. And she has an infection in one of them.

We had no clue about the infection. Number 7 wasn’t in any pain.  She did say that ear felt “funny” but I thought maybe she had water in it from swim practice.

The ear with the infection was the worse of the two as far as the hearing deficit. So that explains a little bit of it.

And I guess it looks like the fluid  may be the issue in which case, as was the case for many of you who left me comments, she may need tubes put in.

But first she’ll finish the antibiotics the doctor prescribed for the ear infection, and then when that is all cleared up, we’ll have a more comprehensive test done with a specialist to determine what we need to do next.

So what lessons have I learned from this?

First, don’t let doctors push you around or minimize your concerns. Especially when you have a feeling in your gut that something is off. TRUST YOUR GUT. You know your kids better than anyone else. Even better than a doctor.

Second, having a community of moms to turn to who can relate to what you are going through doesn’t suck. I love you guys!

And third, when the Furies, as Martha Beck calls them, start going crazy in your head, un-rut your brain from that bullshit fear cycle!

Repeat to yourself, May you be happy, May you be well, May you be free from suffering. And keep that going until your brain has rewired itself.

Because those damn Furies will drive you fucking insane.

And everything is going to be okay.

 

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The Seven Best Words in the English Language

You know what the seven best words in the English language are?

Mommy, I love you so, so much?

No.  Those are good.

But they’re not the best.

Let me watch your kids all day?

Not quite.

I just went poop in the potty?

Very close. But no…

Susie Johnson, you just won the lottery?

Nope.

The seven best words in the English language are…

MOMMY!  I can tie my own shoes!!!

YESSSSSS!!!!!

Six down, one to go!

 

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