Ever heard the term "Classically overscheduled child"? You know, when all those "experts" try to make all us parents feel guilty for not giving our kidlets enough "downtime" to just sit and be and think? They tell us we have our children in too many "extracurricular" activities.
I gotta tell ya... we took the last 2 months "off" which means we didn't have any other sport except Tae Kwon Do 3 nights per week. It was great... but if we didn't have those three nights, we would have gone stir crazy! The weather has been bad, the sun goes down at stupid o'clock, we don't get home from school until 4:30 most days! What got my panties all in a bunch was listening to a bunch of Mama's at the beach complaining while they were watching their little darlings sun bathe on the roof of their RV.
I was at the beach this past weekend and I was ear hussling again.
I heard these Mama's complain that their children were too involved in too many things after school and they needed some down time, so last year they took their kids out of everything they loved. One Mama was thrilled with what it did for her family. What I failed to hear from her, (I remind you, she wasn't talking to me, but to her friends, loudly, and I was in a chair a few feet away "reading" my book) was what good it did. She kept going on and on about all the different things SHE was able to do now that SHE didn't have to chauffeur her kidlets around. She was taking a cake decorating class, reading books, eating out more with her hubby, got a tutor for her kids, etc... The other Mama was amazed at how wonderful that seemed and audibly wondered aloud what her "family life" would be like if she pulled her kids out of everything too.
Well, you know me... I am not one to keep my mouth shut. I knew I would be seeing these Mama's for the next couple of days while camping, and our kids liked digging huge holes together. So I kept listening, but not listening, know what I mean? A couple of times, they even looked at me like they were talking to me, and I just smiled and kept "reading". I knew my time was coming.
During the course of their conversations, (they had girls and boys, I just have boys) I noticed that while their young "ladies" were up on the RV sunbathing, that their daughters were on the phone with what I was absolutely sure were boys. It was so funny, because the Mama's were certain that their daughters weren't interested in boys and while they (Mama's) were away at all their new found hobbies, their daughters were home doing homework and going to bed early.
Then one of them slipped off her bikini top and and was sunbathing topless.
Yep, I was the one to point it out.
I simply said... "Excuse me, I believe one of your older daughters just took her top off. I have sons and would like to keep them as innocent as long as possible, you might want to let her know this isn't a nude beach." She was pissed. AT ME! She got off her cute little chair, put on her cute little sandals, adjusted her cute little shorts and hat, and called her cute little daughters name on top of the RV. Her daughter sat straight up, covered her ample bosom with an arm and had her other arm firmly affixed to her ear with the phone. The little darling said "Brian, I have to call you back... threw on a T shirt, and came down the ladder to her cute little Mama.
Boy, am I glad I have a strong bladder.
It took everything I had not to burst out laughing.
I leaned over to the other Mama and said... very simply and slowly...
My Nonna always said... "Little children, little problems, big children, big problems... keep them busy and keep them off the streets"
She knew EXACTLY what I was talking about.
She and I gathered the rest of the kids and went down to the water and let the other Mama, "handle" her adventurous little darling 14 yr old daughter.
Mama's have such a special bond. We all love our kids so much it hurts. But we can all be a little snide also. I admit, I wasn't at my best when I giggled inside, and I felt bad afterward... I believe in karma.
I was a complete stranger and she just let loose a huge load of information about her friendship and her feeling of inadequacy in comparison to her friend.
All I said to her was... "If that is what UNDERcheduling is like, give me overscheduled ANYTIME."
Now, don't get me wrong... I don't for one second think that just because my kids play everything and do everything that they are going to be the world's best kids... but I ask you...
How many gangbangers do you think played Little League Baseball, or took a music lesson?
How many kids were active in sports when they were small and cute, and when they got older and stronger and opinionated their parents gave up, did stuff for themselves and then the kids were left to fend for themselves?
Yep, I will continue to sign my kids up for whatever floats their boats. We'll let 'em try anything at least once, (short of bungee jumping, base jumping, and parachuting).
Whoever said "Idle hands are the devil's playground" were right on the money.
Later that evening, my older son decided to pay the "topless wonder" a visit to see how she was. Our motorhome was just across the way, a he doesn't yet have a volume control (ah naivete!) we heard pretty much the entire conversation. THIS time were weren't ear hussling.
Do you know that that young girl tried to convince my son that the 7 month old baby at their campsite was HERS? (We knew it wasn't.) I can't for the life of me understand why she would think for one second that that would be a GOOD thing to say? I remember hearing her say how cute she thought my son was, so if she thought she was being cute trying to convince a boy she was a Mama, her Mama has her work cut out for her in the self esteem dept. Yikes!
William came back to camp shortly after that conversation, thankfully, with a bewildered look on his face. God, I hope he doesn't get married until he is well out of college!
That's my Saga for today! I'm sure there will be more tomorrow!