Letters from my Kids: Catheryn

Pausing to listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping to watch a ladybug on a plant, sitting on a rock to watch the waves crash over the quayside – children have their own agendas and timescales. As they find out more about their world and their place in it, they work hard not to let adults hurry them. We need to hear their voices. ~Cathy Nutbrown

Hi, my name is Catheryn and I am 7 years old. I like horses and cats. My favorite color is pink. I have two brothers. I have 6 Care Bears. I have two pets named Remi and Wiggy and I want to be a waitress when I grow up. I like to go camping and play at the park.

A Little Slack

Every now and then, Rob and I are more lenient in our parenting.  We let the kids have a little more lead.  I should probably mention here that try as we may to keep them calm and peaceful (especially in public), our kids have a tendency to go wild when they have a little slack in their line. 

So yesterday we decided that it would be fine for them to look in the kids department of the bookstore while Rob and I were just a couple of aisles away, hoping to find the cure to our… funk. 

Every so often, we would hop over to the kids to make sure they weren’t turning the department into their own personal playroom.  Well, Rob did this mostly, I tend to get lost while in a bookstore.  At one point though, I went over to spy on the kids and found the twins sprawled out on the floor playing doctor.  Where on earth were their parents?? 

About an hour after we arrived, out of nowhere, came a loud voice.  It sounded as though it were talking through a megaphone or (most likely) a rolled up book.  Anyway, the voice was William’s and he was aiming his comment at his sister.  Rob and I found ourselves almost rolling in the aisle as William bellowed out, “CATHERYN HARPER, COME DOWN TO THE OFFICE!!!!” 

Well, if nothing else, at least he pays attention to the loud-speaker while at school.  That’s progress, right?

Kindergarten Family Day

The kindergarten classes invited family to come have lunch with the kids today.  Everyone who went was able to get a hot lunch from the cafeteria.  They went all out, too – mashed potatoes smothered in turkey gravy, a roll, pumpkin bread, cranberry sauce and chocolate milk to rinse it all down.  After lunch, the kids sang us a fun Thanksgiving song before going out to play in the snow.  It was a great lunch, and the company was even better.  🙂 

Kids will be kids?? Or…

It is amazing just how many kids are running around the neighborhood. Kids are like magnets, they are drawn to each other. I wish I could remember what it was like to be able to go up to someone and just start playing. To be quite honest, I am not sure I was ever able to do that, but my kids have no problem meeting others and running around like they are connected at the hip.

I normally don’t mind the kids out playing, but I am learning just how differently people parent their kids. I think I would fall into the “controlling” category. I want to know where my kids are and who they are playing with at all times. There are some kids in this neighborhood whose parents fall into a completely opposite group.

I try not to judge people’s parenting habits because we are walking a different road, and I’ll be the first to admit that I am full of faults in the parenting department.

Having said that, though, I have a hard time letting the kids run around the neighborhood with kids whose parents let them do anything. My kids are extremely impressionable, as I am sure many are. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I usually keep them on a short leash.

Lately, I have been coming up with every excuse I can possibly think of to keep the kids inside. I am not a fan of this because I am a firm believer in outside play, but inside the house coloring seems safer that the outside possibilities, especially with some of the things I have seen the neighbor kids doing.

For example, yesterday evening I went to the alley to take out the trash. As I rounded the corner, a local five-year-old popped up out of the dumpster. He didn’t see me at first and he help up a dirty baby diaper and yelled to a four-year-old buddy, “Hey!! This one’s got poop in it!!” They had the alley covered with dirty wipes and diapers. After asking the youngster to get out of the can, the boys informed me that they had been throwing the diapers at each other. Ewww… The sad thing was I knew that if my kids had been outside at that time, they would have been involved in the diaper war.

Am I wrong to not want my kids a part of this? Am I wrong to tell my kids to stay inside when I know the neighbor kids are out? Are these just kids being kids and it’s normal for them to trash the alleys and dig in dumpsters?

I tend to lean more towards craft projects and free play. At least this way I know that at the end of the day my kids are not covered in an anonymous baby’s poop. But please, correct me if I am wrong…