Don’t call us, we’ll call you

August 28, 2013

Speaking of friends . . .

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 4:20 am

Some days I think we need an extrovert on call to understand what goes through Addison’s head. Today would be one of those, when a seemingly wonderful day — we watched “The Sound of Music” TWICE and she loved it! (except for her anger over “Ralph” going with the meanies when clearly, “Liesl LOVES HIM!”); she even told us she liked our new house — suddenly devolved into a heartrending meltdown.

“I can’t be in my room without my friends! I can’t live in this house. I just can’t handle it anymore! I miss my friends in California [she still doesn’t believe us that we continue to live in California]. I need to see Kirsten and Audrey and Lillie and Andrew! There are not so many people here! I just can’t handle it anymore!”

All we wanted her to do was play alone in her room for 30 minutes. Oy.

Which reminds me of another even more intense meltdown back in June while we were staying with my friend Victoria. One afternoon, Victoria was planning on taking all the kids (she has two daughters) to the store, but at the last minute, we decided it was best for me and Addison to stay behind. I thought, No big deal, Addison will enjoy a walk. Little did I know the ginormous firestorm that was about to erupt out of that little 3-foot-tall frame. As she watched their car drive away, she screamed. She ran after the car. She flailed when I gathered her back up. She kicked and hit. She refused to speak to me. She ran back out into the street.

I offered her every incentive to calm down I could think of, including outright candy bribery, but she instead preferred to plant herself on the street corner, arms outstretched in the direction Victoria’s car had gone, and scream, “DON’T YEAVE US! PLEASE DON’T YEAVE US! DON’T YEAVE ME IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD!” For an ENTIRE HOUR.

How not getting to go to a store with your friends could feel that soul-crushing I may never understand (despite the fact that I’m  not too far from being an ambivert). The thing that I would love to understand is whether these outbursts are largely about her being a typically nutty three-year-old or if we need to prepare ourselves for these as a permanent fixture of our people-loving, attention-seeking daughter’s life. Anyone care to hazard a guess?

As long as we’re on the subject, I got a huge kick out of this list of 15 Unmistakable, Outrageously Secret Signs You Are an Extrovert. It seemed only right after how many introvert-focused lists I’ve seen floating around lately.

August 23, 2013

“Who would be glad to hear it?”

Filed under: Personal, Teaching — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 10:21 pm

I’m supposed to be packing and cleaning right this very minute (we are mostly moved in at our new place, but still have a ton of stuff at my parents’ house — apparently, we have way too much stuff!) but instead I was reading a chapter from Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. If you’ve seen me in the last year, there’s a very good chance we’ve discussed mindsets. I’ve been lecturing about this book and Carol Dweck’s research to every captive audience I meet — my students, my parents, my friends, Neal. In September, I’ll do a presentation at a teaching conference. I’ve even outlined about eight blog posts I’d like to write on the topic. (But you probably better just read the book since who knows when I’ll get around to those.) It’s a game-changer.

While I don’t have time for an extensive discussion today (Neal just pulled into the driveway! Quick, how do I make it look like I’ve been packing?!), here’s a little food for thought:

Conventional wisdom says that you know who your friends are in your times of need. And of course this view has merit. Who will stand by you day after day when you’re in trouble? However, sometimes an even tougher question is: Who can you turn to when good things happen? When you find a wonderful partner. When you get a great job offer or promotion. When your child does well. Who would be glad to hear it? (157-158)

I had never thought of friendship in quite this way. In hindsight, I can see some relationships that became heavy in part because I was always censoring or downplaying my happy news, afraid that it would make them feel bad. Does this resonate for anyone else? Who would be glad to hear my good news, without reservation, no matter the state of their own life? Am I always happy to hear others’ good news, without reservation, no matter the state of my own life? What enlightening questions!

If you want to know how all this relates to a fixed vs. growth mindset (as just about everything seems to for me these days), read the book!

August 2, 2013

School’s out for the summer!

Filed under: Motherhood, Personal — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 4:13 pm

We got back from Neal’s 10-year high school reunion a couple of days ago, which was kind of epic. (Have I ever mentioned that he went to an international boarding school? It was a weekend full of extraordinary diversity . . . and accents!) I got my grades submitted. I am officially on summer break and have henceforth watched Project Runway, Lost in Austen, North & South. Perks of Being a Wallflower is on tap for today. Also, on Wednesday, we forgot to feed Addison lunch so she didn’t eat from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Oops. I’m also sick. (That makes the whole food oversight thing a little better, right?)

I’m not in a blogging mood right now (clearly, I’m in a movie mood), but I wanted to check in and say that now the only thing between us and our new home is a lot of packing and Addison’s final swimming lessons. In mid-August, we’ll start our new life in the forest, though Neal will be moving stuff up for the next couple of weeks.

Also, I read a couple of interesting things on the internets recently. (There’s some cool stuff out there, you should totally surf it for hours. No need to stop to feed your kids!)

A Terrible Husband  I randomly stumbled on this brand new blog by a husband chronicling his steps to becoming a better husband. As far as I can tell, he’s not really “terrible” but just realizes how far he can go to be a better husband. I liked the few posts I read because they were such simple ideas, but have a lot of power underlying them. I think he’s tapping into some things that I could do to be a better wife, even though, obviously, I’m pretty awesome already.

I Do Not Want My Daughter to Be ‘Nice’  Provocative title, no? I can see where this author is coming from, but I probably relate more to what one commenter said, “Being submissive is a problem. Being nice is a virtue. We should try to teach our children the difference.” I doubt anyone would mistake me for submissive, but nice, I sure hope people attach that descriptor to me! What do you guys think? Do you want your children (or yourself) to be “nice”? Or does that conjure baggage — wasted smiles, wasted energy, people pleasing — in your mind?

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