Thursday, February 28, 2013

My daughter's clothes

A huge issue.

A way too big of an issue, IMO.

One similarity with Skadi and I is that when I was 5, I wore only dresses too. I had some weird and irrational thought that if I wore pants, someone might think I was a boy. I had long hair. I didn't look like a boy. But I was POSITIVE that someone would think me a boy.

When I was very little - probably around three - my dad's mom bought me a pair of cowboy boots. But she poisoned them. She poisoned them because she said "cowboy boots!" Not cowgirl boots. I still remember screaming my head off and my mom hissing through her teeth at me that I WOULD try them on for her one way or another. It was horrible. My feet were poisoned by boy shoes.

Skadi has these same delusions, sort of, at least. With footwear, she is all about comfort and one of her recent favorite pairs of shoes was a pair of brown hand me down Keens from her brother. I have no idea.

But not only does she want to wear a dress daily, but she adds her own flair to her style.

And it is the flair that she and her kindergarten teacher may come to blows over.

I am pretty sure her kindergarten teacher has labelled me as one of *those* parents. At Skadi's fall conference she mentioned one instance regarding the "class t-shirt" and it not being her issue.

The Class T-Shirt. So the deal is that at the beginning of the year the teacher requested we send in a white t-shirt for our kids that would be decorated in all the same way to give the class a consistent and fun look for field trips, group pictures, assemblies, etc. "The kids are just so cute in them!" She proclaimed!


Except Skadi HATES hers. Despises it.

So Skadi came home last fall with a sticker instructing the kids to wear the t-shirt the next day. And she refused. Wanted nothing to do with it. Since Skadi goes to morning care and I feared it being taken off and left somewhere (since a pink t-shirt underneath is mandatory in Skadi world) - I don't know, stuffed into some drawer or down the toilet at her morning care? I put it in her backpack and sent an e-mail to her teacher explaining that Skadi didn't want to wear it, it is in the backpack, hopefully when she sees the other kids wearing theirs, there will be positive peer pressure and she will want to put it on.

Well at conferences I was told that was out of line and not a teacher issue, not for them to deal with, it was up to me to get her in the t-shirt, her job is to teach.

Actually I disagree a bit. The Class T-Shirt is not part of a uniform that I agreed to. It was a request by the teacher that she wear this t-shirt. Therefore, your request, your problem. Not to be a complete bitch about it or anything, really. But I was rather annoyed.

That hasn't been the end of The Class T-Shirt. Skadi still despises it and on the days before she is supposed to wear it the teacher puts a sticker on the kids' shirt on their way out the door for the day reminding parents.

Any guesses where those stickers go?

I have no flipping idea because I don't see them! So instead Skadi ends up being the only child not in a matching t-shirt on a regular basis. I do have a secret weapon - friends. I have enlisted a parent friend from the class to let me know when her son comes home with a sticker to wear the special shirt.

But seriously, a battle where I am left shaking my head "why?!"

As I mentioned earlier Skadi has her own flair. She loves wearing a tiara daily. She loves pink. She loves dresses. And she prides herself on her clothing "creations". She argues about what matches and what doesn't. She is a clothing centric child. I was not. I like nice clothing and like shopping for clothes (this she got from me), but I don't push the syle boundries.

One day I got an e-mail home citing a school dress code violation. I was perplexed. I looked at my daughter. She was wearing a dress that she has owned for two years, wore to her grandfather's wedding and wears nearly once a week. And now... out of the blue... a dress code violation? Despite the fact that she had a sweater on covering the bare shoulders each day, it was cited that she wore sleeveless dresses two days in a row. (The previous day she did have a halter dress on, but wore a jean shirt/cardigan/light jacket over it.) If this was a problem, why wasn't it brought to my attention when she wore it first and not after 25 times? How do I explain to my daughter that I know it was ok last week when  you wore the dress, but now it isn't?

Skadi gets it I think - and it may sound awful - but I blame her teacher. "Remember Mrs. W said you can't wear dresses without sleeves?" But you know? It works. And there is no battle. And she willingly changes to abide by Mrs. W's rules.

The other day Skadi wore a long flowing maxi-style skirt that she loves. Apparently when running on the playground she tripped on the dress and it ripped. Badly. Skadi came home in a pair of humongous sweat pants. I e-mailed her teacher acknowledging the rip and thanking her for loaning her a pair of sweat pants.

I kind of expected an e-mail back saying, "you're welcome".

Not surprisingly the e-mail back to me was not a "you're welcome" but instead said that she wouldn't need the pants if she would quit wearing long dresses and skirts and recommended that maybe if I let Skadi pick out a pair of sparkley pants that she wouldn't feel so compelled to wear dresses all the time.

I didn't respond. Because if you don't have anything nice to say...

I thought pretty strongly about snapping a picture of my daughter's pants collection - the pink jeans, the cheetah print jeggings, the pink cheetah print jeans, the yoga pants, pink fleece pants... - and sending that off.

But I resisted. I may have cursed a bit, felt as though I was being judged as a mom, wondering if she had even MET my daughter... oh wait, those e-mails about my daughter's stubborn nature recently... maybe she had met her once.

I came to a conclusion the other day... I continually get notes about Skadi's lack of progress when tested linked to her refusal to do simple tasks... apparently she only knows 5 letters, for example. (Yet she can write her and her brother's full names and most of her sight words...)

Maybe if the teacher quit worrying about and focusing on my daughter's clothing, she could focus on teaching my daughter?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Influential to Me

So my last post was about influential music as a whole. A lot of it isn’t my style. I am not a Beatles fan (I know, sacrilege), not a big country fan (which is why I couldn’t list a single Garth Brooks album, but knew he needed to be there). So I got to thinking, what is MY most influential music? What music through my 40 – some years has moved me?
A lot comes from my parents and then from people around me. In this list I am painting a broader stroke and not listing the albums necessarily, maybe they are bands, or individual songs. Here it is… my list of 50 influential to Nuclear Mom music (attempting to hit these somewhat chronologically - honestly because it is easier that way):
Musical Foundation – The 70’s
Ted Nugent – Cat Scratch Fever (my first “favorite” song – I am sure this is courtesy of my dad)
Bert and Ernie’s Greatest Hits (And I have this cd for my kids too.)
Rolling Stones
Led Zeppelin
Janis Joplin (my mom’s favorite when I was a kid)
Bob Dylan (still resides in my top 5)
Donna Summers
The Bee Gees
Willie Nelson
John Denver
Childhood – Basically the late 70’s and early 80’s
Grease, The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Joan Jett and the BlackHearts – (a female hard core musician!)
Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
Squeeze – Black Coffee in Bed (the first video I saw on MTV)
Meat Loaf – Bat out of Hell (“On a hot summer’s night would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?”)
Pink Floyd – The Wall
The Stray Cats
Junior High – 80’s at its best
Pretty in Pink Soundtrack (worn out, thoroughly worn out)
Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill
Prince and the Parade
The Cure
Michael Jackson (oh how embarrassing…)
High School – a switch out of the main stream
Bad Religion
Social Distortion
Elvis Costello
English Beat
The Ramones
The Clash
Black Flag
The Descendents/All
Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bullocks
The Vandals
Dirty Dancing (shhh… don’t tell my friends)
Michelle Shocked – Short Sharp Shocked
The Church
Tracy Chapman
The Doors
College/Grad School – quality music/talent
Richard Thompson
Nancy Griffith
Joe Jackson
The Cranberries – Everybody Else is Doing It
The Best of Gil-Scot Heron
Marc Cohn
Ray Charles
Soul Coughing
Miles Davis
Grateful Dead
Johnny Cash
Dave Matthews
Jack Johnson

What's Influential?

A friend of mine on FB recently took an “Influential Albums” quiz – see how many of these most influential 100 albums you own type of thing. Since I trust his musical tastes – I jumped on it too. Then I suspect that others who maybe trust(ed) my musical taste took it too. And for that I should apologize. It was horrible. Awful. Really?
Of course this then begs the question of what is my list? For me then, I have to define “influential”. An influential album (according to the NM-ipedia) changed the course of music, defined a genre, was copied by others (and those others also made money/benefited from that trail blaze), and has (can be somewhat debatable) staying power – i.e., the music still sells. And you know what? I don’t have to like the music. Like Garth Brooks, really don’t care for him. But cannot deny the man is not influential!
So in no particular order here's my 50:
Led Zeppelin, Zeppelin IV
Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
Grateful Dead, American Beauty
Nirvana, Nevermind
Metallica, Master of Puppets
Metallica, And Justice For All
Ray Charles, The Genius of Ray Charles
Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bullocks
The Cure, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison Blues
Madonna, Like a Virgin
Michael Jackson, Thriller
Pink Floyd, The Wall
Rolling Stones, Beggar’s Banquet
Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers
Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed
Beatles, Abby Road
Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band
Beatles, Let It Be
Heart, Dreamboat Annie
Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Patsy Cline, Showcase
Janis Joplin, Pearl
Grease, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
James Taylor, Sweet Baby James
Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill
Run-DMC, Raising Hell
Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman
Willie Nelson, Always On My Mind
The Clash, London Calling
Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run
U2, The Joshua Tree
Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On
David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust
Elvis Costello, My Aim is True
Elvis Presley, Elvis Presley
Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues Singers
B.B. King, The Blues
Miles Davis, King of the Blues
Joni Mitchell, Blue
Aretha Franklin, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
Blondie, Parallel Lines
James Brown, Live at the Apollo
Jimi Hendrix, Are you Experienced
Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain
The Ramones, The Ramones
The Who, My Generation
Paul Simon, Graceland
48 Garth Brooks, (I have no idea which album is considered his most influential honestly…)
Black Flag, Damaged
REM, Automatic for the People