Posts Tagged ‘life lessons’

I missed out, and why?

From an old (inadvertently) deleted post

From an old (inadvertently) deleted post

Grammar naziism and word policing are two of my greatest pet peeves.

Having repeatedly witnessed these being used as tactics by people with superior education to discount those with lesser education, I can be quick to bristle at anything that even sounds like the favoring of form over substance.

Knowing this about myself, I usually remain silent on the point except in congenial face to face dialogue. I broke the silence on Twitter tonight after seeing one too many barbs the last few days. With only 140 characters to boil it down, I did so with uncharacteristically sharp form:

Grammar Nazis and word police: doing their part to inhibit meaningful dialogue since elitism was a thing

I then–belatedly–tried to engage in discourse, but was blocked by multiple jabs directly at me for how I was taking it too personally, how it’s good this was the hill I wanted to die on, and so on. This is argumentum ad hominem, or ad personum, directing discussion away from the position and toward the person taking that position. It’s one way to obliterate actual discourse. Another, more ideal way to do that if discourse is not desired is to simply say, “I’m not interested in this conversation right now.”

But this isn’t a post about logical fallacies, grammar naziism or word policing. It’s about what else might be missed by trying to hold discussion in the wrong forum or at the wrong time. Because as I was trying to have this conversation, my baby boy, teething and in pain, fell asleep without me present to hold him.

My agitation over some ideal, expressed in Twitter conversation, kept me from bouncing my baby and stroking his hair to soothe him to sleep. By the time I walked away from this needless conversation, my baby was snoring.

And those moments, those moments more precious to me than anything, were gone.

I chose poorly tonight. I want to mark this poor choice here, now, to engrave it in my mind and help inform my future choices.

Given a choice between Twitter argument–or even, say, scrubbing the toilets!–and my real life loves, I want to always choose my real life. That is where I am needed, and where I most want to be.

littler j snuggles


Be brave without me

Yesterday I cooked five dishes in one two-hour burst. This wasn’t my idea of fun, but a first practice run.

I go back to work in three weeks. I will be gone almost twelve hours daily, leaving me with just one waking hour each evening to spend with my kiddos.

I want to spend every minute of that with my kids.

Every. Single. One.

So, for now and once each week before returning, I’m building my cooking multitasking muscles by cooking many large dishes in one short burst.


Driving to preschool this morning, still aching at the thought of being separated from my kids so much, I interrupted my four-year-old’s Ninja Turtle drawing. “Soon we won’t have this much time together every morning, so I’m glad we have it now.”

“Are you going back to work?” he inquired, still drawing. Read more…

Escape from Terror Teacher

I knew something was wrong with my son’s new school the moment I absorbed the incident report.

My initial response was horror. “My sweet, sensitive son did that? What on earth is happening at the school for him to do such a thing?”

Exhausted from tending to his baby brother and in the throes of post partum depression, I focused my chagrin on him. “I am so disappointed in you!” I told him repeatedly as we drove home.

“But he told me I had to!” Read more…

Sorry, kiddo. Lesson learned.

“How are you raising him?!”

My Friday evening took a scary, unexpected turn when a neighbor intercepted my son and me on our porch. “Come here,” he told my three-year-old son, Li’l D. Li’l D hid behind my legs.

Conversations with this neighbor had been friendly to date, so I smiled and said, “Nope. That’s not likely to happen. He saw a cricket on the door, and he’s convinced all bugs are out to get him!”

My neighbor ignored me, instead addressing my son again. “I told you to come here.” He held out his hand and said, “Come here and take my hand.”

Bemused by the weird turn of the conversation, I said, “No. I don’t believe in forcing kids to respond to adults, even close friends. It’s important training for them learning to trust their instincts.”

Again my neighbor ignored me and demanded my son respond to him. Li’l D planted himself more firmly behind my legs. Again, more vehemently, I said, “No.”

“How are you raising him?!” my neighbor demanded, finally addressing me. Read more…


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