Tuesday, October 30, 2012

VERY Inappropriate Halloween Costume Contestant #11

And now for our final contestant..........

Clearly the father has no discretionary intellect............

Inappropriate Halloween Costumes for Kids Contest

Head over to facebook to cast your vote (under the link to this post) and see if the one you think is the MOST inappropriate is the winner!!

Much thanks to all who played along and enjoyed the inappropriateness as much as I.

Here they are, all 11 contestants,  in their Inappropriate Glory!

Contestant #1 - Hannibal Lector Lives!

Contestant # 2 - Baby Marlboros

Contestant #3 - Harem Girl

Contestant #4 - Mari Juana

Contestant # 5 - Chicken Alien Baby

Contestant # 6 - Stripper Baby

Contestant # 7 - I pity the foo - Mr. T

Contestant # 8 - Baby Hitler

Contestant # 9 - Wheelchair Superman

Contestant # 10 - Terrorist

Contestant # 11 - Little Mermaid

There you have it folks!  Cast you vote on The Inappropriate Homeschooler's facebook page!


And may you and your family have a safe and fun (and only slightly inappropriate) Halloween!!

~Mari B.

What to Blog About? Otherwise Known as Inappropriate Ramblings...

As one who now feels a certain responsibility to keep my blog alive and well, I find that the question that parades through my mind almost as often as “What to have for dinner?” is “What should I blog about?”  Yes, I end sentences in my head with prepositional phrases.  That reminds me of a joke.  It’s inappropriate, so you’ve been warned.

Northern lady and Southern lady are sitting next to each other on a plane. 
The Southern lady says to the Northern lady, ‘So, where y’all from?’   
The Northern lady looks disdainful as she replies, “I am from a place where we do not end our sentences with prepositions.”   
Southern lady is silent for a few moments and then she leans over and says, “So, where y’all from bitch?”
I’m from the North and it makes me giggle each time.  But back to blogging………

There’s been a lot going on in my life lately, mostly emotional ‘stuff’.  The situation with my parents has moved into even more serious territory.  They have been forced to evacuate their home and seek temporary residence as a result of my mother’s auto-immune illness and that the house is literally poisoning her.  My folks are 78 and 81 years old and insist there isn’t anything I could do by going home.  I straddle the fence daily of ‘go home’ and ‘wait and see’.

Punky is back in rehearsals and those rehearsals are later at night since this not a kid show.  Leaving the house at 7pm and arriving home as late as 10:30, is not something I enjoy really.  By 7pm at night I’m ready to hunker down and be home for the most part.  Those hours will get later and later as we get closer and closer to the opening of the show.

My husband will be deploying, again, but this time he’ll miss the holidays.  This will be the first year ever for Punky to not have Daddy home during this time of year.  She’s tough, but I know she has moments where she breaks down while he’s gone during ‘routine’ times of the year.  I am certain his being gone during the holidays will make it all the more hard on her and me.

I’m sick and tired of the campaign.  This is the worst time to be privy to every person’s thoughts and opinions, especially on facebook.  A lot of folks just can’t seem to have a rational conversation about the issues or candidates without turning it into verbal insults.  I’m not happy with either candidate – lest you think I’m getting ready to pitch for one or the other of the candidates.  I’m also a big believer in the fact that it’s the Senators and Representatives who make up the bulk of the troubles in our Nation today.  I’ll tell you why; you know, so I do have something to blog about.  
 My husband recently transferred from one Supervisory position to another.  In this new position he supervises more folks than ever before, but he will only be in that position for about 1 ½ years.  When he began the prior Supervisory position, he spent a lot of time learning the ropes and then ‘whipping’ his crew into shape, so to speak.  This time he has said, “I’m only there for 1 ½ years and this group runs well, for the most part.  They are mission successful.  I see my job as making sure that things stay good and offering insights for improvement if I see any.  Other than that, I just stay out of their way."

The President only has four years – with a shot at eight.  Yes, he (hopefully someday she) has insights and ideas about where this country needs to be heading and how to get there.  Some of them are quite good; others, not so much.  *IF* Congress would do their damn job, then the President could come in and oversee it all, make corrections where needed and offer insight and guidance - you know, a real leader.  Alas, this is a pipe dream because every President that walks into the Oval Office has an upward battle on his hands because Congress is just so jacked up!

There.  That’s my only political rant.  People should focus MORE on who they put into Congress.  Well, that and stop assuming that everyone who disagrees with them is an idiot.

Of course, Hurricane Sandy has wrecked her havoc and I have friends, friends of friends, and family who have been affected by the storm.  That’s serious stuff and I find myself in a somber mood, to a degree, as a result.

There’s other stuff going on, but I’m not ready to blog about it yet because I still don’t have full understanding.  I’m not 100% sure what happened or what I’ve learned from it and so rambling on about it on my blog would just make me appear insane…..God forbid.  LOL

I guess basically what I’m saying is that right now I feel a bit like an empty well.  I don’t have much to offer up right now except ramblings and oh, yeah, the cool ‘Inappropriate Halloween Costumes for Kids’ contest on my facebook page!  But, I did want to ‘check-in’ on my blog and let you all know that I’m alive and constantly searching for the next inappropriate topic about which to blog!  (See what I did there?)

~Mari B.

Really Inappropriate Halloween Costumes


Head over to The Inappropriate Homeschooler's facebook page and check out the inappropriate Halloween costumes for children!  After they've all been submitted (shared) I'll post each one on my blog and the one with the  most votes will win!

(This is just a little inappropriate countdown to Halloween fun - not a real contest, ergo, no prize)


~Mari B.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Equal Parts Scary and Funny - All Inappropriate

So, Punky and I were driving home last night from her rehearsals.  We were engaged in a very engrossing conversation regarding the show ‘The Walking Dead’.  For those who are thinking ‘Surely she doesn’t let Punky watch that,” let me just say:   first, don’t call me Surley and second, yes, yes I do.  Remember, I’m the inappropriate one!  But in all honesty, I watch episodes ahead of her and make her skip the parts that contain sexual content.  She’s fully aware that the parts that we are skipping contain sexual content and she is totally OKAY with skipping them.  The gory stuff she thinks is totally cool.  But I’ve digressed, again.  Where were we?  Oh, right…..in the car driving home. 

I am driving down a road we go down several times a day, chatting away with Punky regarding the language that can be heard on the show.  She readily admits that there is nothing she has heard on the show that she hasn’t heard in real life already (i.e. our home – yes, I say bad words).  I am using this conversation as a ‘teaching moment’ to explain to her how it is only because she has shown the maturity and responsibility of NOT repeating that kind of language that she is allowed to watch a show that contains that kind of language.  I’m going on about how now that she is older, that is how things will continue to go – as she shows us maturity and good decision making skills, she will be granted more and more freedoms or liberties, if you will.  It really was a great conversation we were having. 

Punky had *just* finished telling me about how when she gets hurts she often says the ‘SH’ word or the ‘SOB’ word in her head, but that she tries very hard to make sure to not say it out loud.  I say to her, “Well if you ever slip up you can always just say, ‘Son of a Biscuit eater!’”  She giggles at this and I swear to you, her giggles were still floating in the air when out of no where a car runs through a stop sign and I have seconds to do something to avoid T-boning this car and having a *major* accident.  By the grace of all that is good in the world, I manage to swerve and skid, literally, (there were marks) my way around hitting this car.

  It was as major as it could be without actually hitting the other car, let me tell you.  Crap went flying, skid marks were visible on the road, and both Punky and I had adrenaline surges that had us tasting metal in our mouths.  Now, the real kick in the pants was I came to a complete halt after barely missing this yahoo in the white car, in part because I wanted to see if everyone (including the yahoo) was all right and because my hands were shaking, my knees were weak, and it was a good thing I was already sitting down.  Said yahoo…..yeah, well s/he just kept right on going.

In the silence of the car where nothing could be heard
but the frantic beating of two hearts

Punky says quietly, but with force:

“That Son of a Biscuit Eater!”

The uncontrollable giggles commenced!

That’s *my* girl and thank all that is Holy that she was okay, because if she hadn’t been it would have gotten dramatically inappropriate in the car!

~Mari B.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Letting Punky Fly

Punky started rehearsals last night for the next show she was cast in, ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’.  This is an adult community theatre show and she is one of only three children in the show.  To tell you the truth I’m a bit surprised she was cast.  She is in the ‘ensemble’ or chorus, if you will.  She is the only child in the ensemble.  The other two children were cast as the younger sisters Agnes and Tootie (for those familiar with the musical).  It makes total sense that the other two girls are there, they are fulfilling roles that are *for* children but Punky is not.

Every other person in the cast and ensemble is an adult.  I am not sure what this means, if anything.  Perhaps the Director really wanted her in the show but by not casting her in a speaking role, put her in the ensemble?  It’s just odd to me.  Punky isn’t one of those 11 year olds who look 14.  She’s short (much to her disdain) a fact that I blame on her father since no one in his (Asian mixed) family is taller than 5”10’ – and that’s a male.  She also still carries the look of a young girl, not a teen.  She has chunky cheeks.  She has a stocky frame, that while is clearly athletic, is not long and lanky.  I say all that to demonstrate that when you look at her she looks like a kid!  Yet, there we were last night with her standing with all the other ensemble members, Punky the one tiny child in a large group of adults.  I had my moments of doubt.

I wasn’t permitted to remain at rehearsals after opening announcements and schedules were passed out and so I left her in a room full of mostly strangers and waited downstairs.  My protective mother instincts were kicked in fully.  It’s not that I feared that someone was going to hurt her, touch her, or snatch her.  I would never let her be involved in anything if I had those kinds of concerns.  No, my motherly instincts were more about how she wasn’t with the other two children.  She was going to be rehearsing with experienced adults who know how to read music, have had proper voice training, and more than anything else, are confident to raise their hands and say ‘Wait, go back – I’m confused here – What do you want us to do again?’  I saw my little girl drowning in a sea of ‘lost’.

I waited downstairs for the remaining hour or so of rehearsals and as I watched Punky come out the door I could see equal looks of joy and trepidation on her face.  “How’d it go?” I asked.  “Good.  Hard.” she said.  On the car ride home she talked extensively about her struggles working with the ensemble group.  She doesn’t read music (a fact I now strongly believe we’ll have to remedy if she is going to continue in her musical theatre pursuits).  She talked about things that rang a *faint* bell for me as once upon a time, for a brief moment, I played the piano.  She told me how a very nice older woman in the ensemble helped her and how she thanked her profusely.  I could tell that Punky was equal parts thrilled to be there and terrified.  My motherly instincts were correct.  She *had* been ‘lost’.

 This hurt my heart, just a bit.  On the other hand, I was proud of Punky.  She never once said to me that this was going to be too hard to do or that she wanted to back out.  She didn’t go on and on about her struggles in a way that was complaining.  She was simply explaining to me what happened in an effort to articulate what exactly she didn’t understand as if she were assessing the situation in order to remedy it.  I found her response to the situation to be very mature.  We brainstormed on the way home how we could remedy the situation in both the short term and the long term.  The long term solution is obvious – we need a good voice coach who can teach her the foundations and move her into the advanced.  The short term solution is – we need a good voice coach who can teach her the foundations and help her with her immediate needs for this show.

I am a big believer in the idea that when you make up your mind to do something, something that is *meant to be*, the Universe conspires with you.  It’s one of my forms of praying.  I received a phone call this morning from a friend who asked how Punky’s first rehearsal went.  Long story short, she had the name of a woman who is said to be a very good piano and voice teacher who only takes on serious minded students.  Ta-da!  Hopefully this will be the answer to our current need.  In the interim, another friend, who has a daughter that is an advanced pianist, has offered to have her daughter coach Punky before her next rehearsal in the basics of reading the sheet music for the show!

Through it all, Punky has remained steadfast to her dreams and desire to achieve her goals.  She hasn’t shown any signs that she can be taken off her current course.  She handled that rehearsal, without me, as best she could and walked away more determined than ever to find a way to learn what she realizes she needs to know to pursue her goals.  She clearly struggled last night at rehearsals, and will, more than likely, continue to struggle for a while.  Yet, she is learning so much, on her own, and I see her growing and evolving into the young woman she will become; all without me in the room.  That also hurts my heart just a bit; for entirely selfish reasons.  But in truth, I mostly delight in the fact that she wants to learn to fly on her own and she’s not letting fear stand in her way.  I believe she will learn to soar!

~Mari B.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Focus on Unlocking Their Potential

Has anyone seen the video clip of Katy Perry signing ‘Fireworks’ with Jodi DiPiazza from ‘The Night of Too Many Stars’?  If you have not, take a moment and go watch this inspiring story, here’s the link:

Jodi DiPiazza and her family’s story really started me thinking about ‘potential’.  Jodi’s family found her the kind of help *she* needed (I’m sure they thought they were flying blind at times) for her potential to be unlocked.  What an amazing experience - to aid in unlocking a child’s potential.  Stories like Jodi’s are truly inspiring, especially considering what she has to deal with and overcome to reach her potential.  While Jodi and other children have exceptional circumstances and obstacles to face that not every child does, at the core of this story is an important message for all parents, grandparents, and well, everyone else.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (because I do that), families choose to home school for a myriad of reasons.  There is, in my opinion, *no* wrong reason to choose to home school.  Whether you wanted your children out of the public school setting for one of hundreds of reasons you would or never wanted to send your children to public school for one of the hundreds of reasons you wouldn’t, the reason(s) are valid for your family.  Once the homeschooling journey begins, a lot of us look around panicked (even if we won’t admit it) with only one question bandied about in our brains, “How do I do this?”  I know veteran homeschoolers that still have moments of doubt and worry over whether what they are doing is ‘right’.  Newcomers can have hours, days, weeks, months, or even years of doubt and worry.  We worry for different reasons.  Will our child be on grade level?  Will my child learn all s/he needs to learn?  Will they have friends?  Will they learn multiplication and division before Middle School (that’s one of mine)?  And on and on.  No matter what we say our worry is though, it boils down to just one thing really, in my opinion.  We worry that what we are providing for our children is what is best for them and that it will provide them with a secure future.  Am I right?  I think I am.

That brings us back to ‘potential’.  That’s what we really want, isn’t it?  We want to provide our children with that which unlocks their potential.  I’m not sure we articulate it in that way, I know that I didn’t.  In our hearts though, that’s what we really want, wish, and pray for our children – that their potential is unlocked so it can be realized.  We wish for them to move forward into their adult lives being the most they can be:  a job they love, a family who will love them and shelter them, inner peace, self confidence, and sense of well being in the world and they reach their potential.  Well, those might just be what I wish for Punky, but every parent has a ‘wish list’ for their children that in some form or fashion revolves around their children being successful and happy – however they define success and happiness.

As homeschoolers we are always searching for the next thing that will ‘work’ for our kids:  a curriculum, resource, game, or method that they will enjoy and be able to learn all they need.  We do this because we want them to ‘get it’, whatever the ‘it’ is.  I do it.  (Remember, I’m still searching for what will ‘click’ in Punky’s brain for math.)  But what if, instead of making the primary focus teaching her a specific skill, I place the primary focus on unlocking her potential?  It’s a shift in perspective and attitude really.  By focusing on Punky’s potential both she and I will look to what is possible, instead of what is actual.  In doing research on how to unlock a child’s potential, I have come across a lot of information for unlocking a child’s learning potential or academic potential.  That’s great, but that’s not quite what I’m talking about.  So, while I keep researching and experimenting, I believe that I will start with that shift in perspective I mentioned.  As Punky and I move through our day, instead of worrying or focusing on what she isn’t getting or showing interest in, I’ll focus on:

  • Being patient and kind when she makes mistakes
  • Modeling for her how to make decisions and find solutions
  • Promoting a ‘Can Do’ attitude, positive attitude, and solid work ethic
  • Encouraging her to have patience – that understanding will come with time and practice
  • Demonstrating to her that I expect great things from her only because I know she is fully capable of producing great things
  • Openly enjoying and celebrating her accomplishments

I’m not sure where this shift in focus will take us, but wherever it leads, I’m confident we will both benefit greatly and it will be a very appropriate path for us!

~Mari B.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

And They Say I'm Inappropriate!

When I was growing up (which granted was back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth) north of the Mason-Dixon Line, there were some things that you just didn’t talk about, except among your nearest and dearest.  There were certainly things that you did not ask people!  It was considered rude to ask someone their age, how much money they made, or how much they spent on the item they purchased.  It was just in poor taste to ask someone their political affiliation, for whom they voted, or what religion they were.  It was an abomination to ask a person about their sex life.  Sigh.  I miss those days.

Now everyone talks about everything and nothing is considered personal anymore.  (Thank you facebook users for not only letting us know your every thought regarding politics, religion, and sex; but informing us when you leave your computer to get your mail or use the bathroom.)  Don’t get me wrong – I utilize and enjoy facebook, for the most part.  But in a world where I’m labeled inappropriate or controversial, how is it that so many things that I would consider truly inappropriate are now OKAY? 

Maybe it’s just here in the Deep South {shrug} I don’t know.  I’ve been trapped, err…living here so long now I am clearly out of touch with how the rest of this Nation’s citizens are carrying out their lives.  So I can only speak on this topic using the anecdotal evidence before me.  When did a person’s political views, religious views, and sex life stop being PERSONAL information??  I’m not saying that it is wrong to share your views on those topics.  Should one want to share, however, it should first be out of a desire to do so, not any other reason and certainly not because you feel you’ve been placed under an interrogation light.  Second, to engage is such conversations it would be best to do so with those that understand how to have an open discourse, rather than a mud wrestling contest over the difference of opinions.  
And please tell me, whatever happened to the innuendo?  I *love* the innuendo.  It makes the risqué joke all the more funny, in my opinion.  I don’t need my humor to be in your face filthy in order to be funny.  Part of the reason I can watch the ‘adult’ programming of yesteryear with Punky is because the risqué humor was mostly innuendo and she doesn’t understand it, just as I didn’t when I was her age.  Please, don’t get me wrong, I am not a prude.  I can tell a dirty joke with the best of them, but even *I* know to be careful depending on the audience.  The innuendo though, that’s always appropriate, to me, and if one is offended by innuendos, ah well…..I could not be less bothered by that.

At the end of the day though, I do wish the community at large would please stop assuming that my political and religious beliefs are something I’m required to dole out for public consumption; because really, where I live, it is the same as making me testify against myself in a court of law!  I should be able to plead the 5th and it is they who should be ashamed by their inappropriateness!!

A caveat, if you will:  I talk about what I believe and I won’t stop doing that.  However, I do not put labels on it.  Folks agree with me or disagree with me and I’m fine with that.  But I will not be held responsible if what I say makes someone else label me.  I am not a label. 

~Mari B.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Instead of That, Let's Do What?

We are home from yet another disappointing Home School class at a local Arts & Science center.  As we were walking to the parking lot after the class, Punky turned to me and said, “I don’t enjoy these classes, when can we stop taking them?”  About once a month, or more, I enroll Punky in some sort of class that is offered to homeschoolers by a local museum,  science or art center,  library, or other organization.  More than half the time Punky doesn’t enjoy them.  I keep signing her up though!  Why do I do that?  
 First, I do it because I want her to have the chance to be exposed to as large a variety of topics as possible.  Second, I sign her up for classes that cover topics I’m not crazy about, hence ones we really aren’t doing at home.  For example, I sign her up for a lot of science classes because I’m not exactly a science person, so this way she at least gets exposure to the subject.  Third, I want to make sure she has the opportunity to interact with other children in a ‘classroom setting’.  Now I’m left thinking:  My first reason is a good one but the other two, yeah, not so much.

It’s not that there haven’t been some of these home school classes that Punky has enjoyed, but not as many as I sign her up to take!  I think her level of interest is similar to mine.  First, the topic has to grab me in some way.  For example, I don’t care much about say… Physics, but I have read books that I found fascinating, about synchronicity that included components of Quantum Physics. So even though science doesn’t get my motor humming, some aspects or components of it do.  Second, the topic has to be relevant to me; meaningful.  I never conquered higher math.  It was never relevant or meaningful to my life.  I’m sure if I had had a burning desire to be an engineer or mathematician I would have, not only enjoyed, but conquered higher level math.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 

Punky is just like that as well.  It has to grab her attention and it has to be meaningful to her.  I don’t know (shrug), maybe all kids are this way.  However, Punky isn’t interested in the ‘mechanics’ of anything.  She is interested in the personal relationships of things.  For example, she has read the first two books of ‘The Hunger Games’ series.  All of her questions revolved around the personal relationships in the novels.  She never once asked me, ‘How did it get like that?’; but she questioned me seven ways to Sunday about ‘How did I think this person felt when such and such happened.’  Her only how is "How would feel if."  On top of that, Punky likes things that are physically engaging; activities where she is doing something or making something.  She’s not much for sitting and listening.  Even when I read out loud to her, she has to be doing something.  I know what this mean, I did the research –she is predominately a kinesthetic learner.
A large part of the reason we elected to begin home schooling was due to the fact that regular classroom instruction wasn’t engaging enough for Punky.  First grade was great (because of the teacher, I believe)!  There were a lot of games, activities, movement, singing, and creativity.  Punky did well.  By Second grade, things were getting serious (at least that teacher felt it should be so) and there was a lot more ‘sit at your desk and listen’.  I say that, to say this.  I realize, now more than ever, that she doesn’t learn in any form or fashion that looks like traditional learning.  So many of these classes that offered by various organizations, museums, and science centers, haven’t yet figured out that many, many kids don’t learn in the auditory modality and if they did they might still be in public school.  So more often than not, these classes talk at the kids, have them look at things, and perhaps give them a handout to read or a worksheet to complete.  There is just nothing in that for Punky who is a kinesthetic, social learner which means that she has to be engaged with her surroundings and fellow human beings. 

Now that I know we should not do much of ‘that’, I have to figure out what our ‘do this’ is going to be!  I’m starting my search for those types of engaging activities that excite and motivate Punky and in the meantime, I’m going to fall back on what I did when she was Pre-School age.  I’m going to pick a topic, or let her pick one, and dig up cool, fun activities that expose her to the general, underlining principles.  It won’t be enough, at some point anyway, and it might be entirely inappropriate, but it’s where we are in our journey. 

P.S. If you’ve never seen this website, I highly recommend it!  It was the ‘opening of a door’ for me in homeschooling Punky.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Last Day with a Ten Year Old

I just don’t know where the time has gone.  Eleven years ago today I checked into the hospital to give birth to my first, and only, child.  I still remember every detail as if it were yesterday.  Actually, my short term memory sucks, now, so if it had happened yesterday I would probably not remember it as well as I remember eleven years ago.
I just don’t know where the time has gone.  See, I already said that – lousy short term memory. 

I began a book of letters I write to Punky when she was born.  I haven’t always been as faithful to writing to her as I wanted to be, but I do write her on her birthday each year.  On the day she was born I wrote my first letter.  There’s one part of that letter that really sticks out for me, “No matter what twists or turns our relationship takes in our lives together I hope you will always know how much I love you, that I will always be there for you, and that you are the best thing I ever did.”  Punky is turning into a young woman.  I can see it clearly.  Along with the beginning obvious physical signs, there is an ‘air’ about her that shows me she is leaning more and more into womanhood and away from being a little girl.  Sigh.  I miss the little feet and hands (those adorable dimples).  I miss the soft texture of little girl hair, and the tiny button nose.  I miss how easily she fit into my lap.  I would think that every mother feels some level of sadness about this, but my heart aches with a pain that I cannot seem to shake.  It makes me wonder if it is because she is my ‘only’?

 Our relationship has had some ‘twists and turns’ already.  We survived the ‘terrible’ twos (which really weren’t terrible) and barely made it out of the ‘fearsome’ four’s.  We made it made it through the transition of going off to Kindergarten and then into home schooling.  I pray that we make it through this next transition, into being a ‘tween’ and then later, a teenager.  Actually, I don’t just pray we ‘make it through’.  I pray that our relationship grows stronger as we navigate our way through those twists and turns.  I mourn though, a bit, for her younger days, even if that’s inappropriate of me.

I wouldn’t trade the last 10 years, 364 days for anything, not anything.  I would, however, trade time to get time back.  Impossible, I know.  Some would say, ‘Only look ahead, not behind.’  Whatever, this is how I feel.  To be allowed to go back to when Punky was about two and do it all again would be the greatest gift.  I don’t wish it so I can do things differently, although there are a few things I would like to have done differently, I wish it just so I can enjoy all those moments again with my 2 year old, 3 year old, 4 year old, and so on.  I want to delight in the ‘little girl’ she was all over again and not because I don’t delight in the young woman she’s becoming, but it is so different.  I do look forward to the time I get with her helping her grow into the beautiful, talented, delightful woman I know she will be.  I will hold her hand the whole way - no matter how large that hand is - and love her the whole way.  But what's on my heart today, this last day with my ten year old,  is this wish, no matter how inappropriate it may be.

~Mari B.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday's Inappropriate Thought of the Day

Inappropriate Homeschooling or Sanity Saving Procedure?

It may be inappropriate, but it's honest! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Inappropriate Halloween Costume

Monday was churning out to be a good day.  Hubby was off from work and we decided it was the perfect day to put on a pot of homemade Vietnamese Pho (Beef Noodle Soup) and decorate the house for Halloween.  Hubby, Punky, and I were enjoying ourselves as we hung the ghosts, skeletons, and spider webs.  Upon completion it was determined that the yard needed something ‘new’ this year so we hopped into the car and went on a Halloween quest!  We weren’t sure what we were looking for; it was just that the yard needed something more.

 As we perused the aisles of the last store we tried, there were rows and rows of Halloween costumes on sale, surprising I thought since we still have three weeks until Halloween.  I must confess that I have never in my entire life had a store bought costume.  Ever.  I had really cool, handmade ones as a little child and then as I got older it was whatever I could throw together (bum, ghost, gypsy, etc).  I am *not* complaining.  My childhood did not suffer for having never had a store bought costume.    Now, Punky on the other hand, has never had a handmade Halloween costume – if you remember from my initial post (go read it now if you haven’t yet, it’s ok, I’ll wait)………So, I am **not** that mom.  I don’t sew.  Punky has had the opportunity to select her store bought Halloween costume ever since she was old enough to clearly express what it was she wanted to be for Halloween.  I only got to pick out the first two costumes (keeping in mind Punky was born in middle October) and the decision has been hers ever since.  I digress.  
So, Punky was in minor shock when it came out that I had never had a store bought Halloween costume.  Hubby never did either.  He grew up his first 8 years in Vietnam and I’m not even sure they did Halloween.  I don’t think he Trick-or-Treated until he was in the States and I’d bet my lunch money that he and his four brothers threw together whatever looked like a costume and hit the streets.  Hubby found a deeply discounted Pirate costume last year after Halloween and surprised me by bringing it home for him to wear this Halloween.  Punky had been saying for a while that I needed to buy a costume, I just never have.  It’s not that I don’t love Halloween *I do* and I own a spectacular Witches Hat (it deserves capital letters) that I don ever year for Halloween – hey, it blinks and stuff too, ok?
This brings us back to aisles of costumes on sale.  The three of us are looking through them all and hubby and Punky tell me, ‘Buy one!’  I’m hesitant.  I think part of the reason I never had a store bought costume wasn’t because my parents wouldn’t or couldn’t have bought me one, but because I was a chunky kid growing up in a skinny world back in the 1970s.  I suspect that they didn’t make costumes ‘in my size’ when I was a kid.  I went on to be a plus size adult and later an obese adult and even with the introduction of ‘adult plus size’ would never have dared to look for a costume.  In the last three years I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and while I’m never going to be thin, I’m more in the normal size range of women now and so I began to think perhaps I would be able to fit into a costume.  After a diligent search we found a witches costume (I really do love my Witches Hat) that I felt looked like it would fit and still hide flaws I’d want hidden.  We all couldn’t wait to get home so I could try it on!

We returned home in just enough time for Punky and I to get our stuff together and hurry off to 4H Drama Club (which I and a couple of other moms lead).  Now, right before we left the house we had taken a phone call from the Director of the Theatre Show for which Punky had auditioned.  She’s been cast!  This was HUGE news to us as this is the adult community theatre production of ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ and Punky auditioned more for the experience than thinking she’d get a part.  She’s been cast as ‘ensemble’ and it doesn’t matter, we are *thrilled* and the adult musical productions from this theatre are FANTASTIC (says the hard to impress Inappropriate Homeschooler).  It was time to call Grammy and Poppi and tell them the big news! 

It was that phone call that brought my day crashing down around me.  My mother, who is very ill from an auto-immune illness that I can barely pronounce, let alone spell, had been in the hospital yet again and their home – which we have long suspected is poisoning her – had become so toxic that my parents had to move out.  I won’t bore you with all the details, just suffice it to say that I suddenly had a huge issue with which to deal and was going to be leading a Drama Club in less than 15 minutes.  By the time we returned home and I filled Hubby in on what had happened I was exhausted.  I jumped on the internet and began doing searches for home inspectors in Florida where my folks live as well as trying to find my mom a Pure Allergy hotel room.  My mind was a swirl of all the issues we’d have to tackle now, including finding a place for my parents to live near me so I could be more directly involved in their care.

I was *not* in a good place.  I admit it.  I can handle crises usually, but this just felt so out-of- the blue and urgent especially since my mother, who is usually so stoic, was a basket case.  I needed hubby’s support in this moment and while I’m not saying he wasn’t being supportive, he would ever 20 or so minutes ask me, ‘Are you going to try on your Halloween costume?’  After the third time he asked me I sort of flew off my broom stick and verbally jumped him with comments about how he was not being supportive, how this was not the appropriate time to be trying on a freaking’ Halloween costume, and the like.  He just looked at me and said, “Try on the costume.”  Fuming probably best describes me in that moment. So in a fit of pique, I tried on the damn costume.  “Put on the accessories, too”, said hubby.  Yep, fuming I put on the hat, the stockings, the boots, and even the crazy lipstick.
Walking into the living room in full regale, Punky declares, “Oh my gosh, you look fantastic!  But, um, it shows some cleavage, Mom, maybe it’s a little inappropriate?”  I turn and look into the large mirror and I am amazed and how awesome this costume is, and that I look pretty cool in it!  It’s not inappropriate at all, I think.  For the first time ever I am wearing a decent, if a bit sexy, store bought Halloween costume.  Hubby starts paying me compliments and cracking jokes, while wiggling his eyebrows at me saying, “It’s not inappropriate at all.”  I begin to laugh and twirl and cackle like a witch, really getting into it now.  I sit down to start removing the boots and hubby says, “See, I knew it was appropriate to try on the costume.  You needed this.  You needed a change of perspective from what was happening.”  Damn, that man.  But he was right.  It was exactly what I needed in that moment and for Halloween; an inappropriate costume.

~Mari B.