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Monday, June 28, 2010

Granny's Cigarettes

Does every little girl go through her mother’s belongings? I know I did… but first I’d already snooped through my Granny’s belongings. Her bedroom was a sentimental place for a woman not many considered to be sentimental. She was gruff in her speech, sometimes a cigarette hanging from the corner of her mouth, which seems completely out of character for a Granny - but people are who they are. My granny smoked Lucky Strikes. I remember this clearly; they were the first cigarettes I stole.

In my grandparent's farmhouse kitchen, to the left of the coal stove stood a floor-to-ceiling built-in cupboard - painted pink, like the rest of the kitchen. Solid wood doors hid the treasures on the bottom. Grandad’s riveter was in there. That’s all I knew of for certain - it was dark enough in there to easily hide a sneaky spider or two - and that made it completely uninteresting to me. G lass panes on top gave view to oatmeal (which we called Mother‘s Oats*) as well as my grandmother‘s carton of cigarettes... no spiders.

So, I stole a pack of cigarettes from her carton, found some matches in the junk drawer, and snuck outside. I must have been a sneaky child, because I remember many sneaking incidences… I could probably write a book on sneaking. I picture it being banned and burned at large bonfires by caring mothers. If I hadn’t any morals, I’d probably have become a criminal. Sometimes God saves us to do wonderful work in His name… other times, I think He might save us to prevent the horrible things we might do in our own names. Back to the story… it was a summer day, and I took my stolen cache to the back yard, past the little playhouse and the small fruit orchard to the next big grassy opening.

The back yard was bordered by brush. My grandmother did the mowing, and one area must have had only small plant growth because she’d sculpted out a little cove in the brush that was probably only 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep, but to a little girl… it seemed larger. I headed out there with the cigarettes and my matches. Because it was offset from the main lines of the yard, I couldn’t be seen from the house windows. I lit a cigarette and got a mouth full of tobacco. Lucky Strikes were filterless. It was disgusting. I tried once more and confirmed that this wasn’t exactly the thrill I thought it would be. But a campfire would be! I gathered some little leaves and twigs from under the brush and started my first campfire. It was probably the size of a dessert plate, and not as easy to start as I’d expected. I learned lots about life in my sneaky moments… trial and error of so many scientific concepts more easily, but less interestingly, available in books.

The one lesson that was glaringly obvious was that Granny knew everything. As sneaky as I was - she was even more perceptive. She always credited ‘a little bird‘.

“How did you know I was out here?” with cigarettes hidden under the leaves and matches out of sight as well.

“A little bird told me. Now where are my cigarettes and the matches?” She was amazing - truly amazing. She always caught me. She really understood my sneaky side, and there was no bluffing my way out of anything with her. Daddy was a different story - but Granny knew… and still loved me.

My Granny impacted my life in so many ways. She had time and patience, or perhaps she was just too tired to get riled up. Some would believe that this was a potentially dangerous situation - matches, twigs, cigarettes, and an unsupervised 10 year old - actually, when I put it that way, it sounds terrifying. Fortunately, Granny didn't have the benefit {or curse} of 24 hour news channels and Nancy Grace.

*The Mother's Oats company was acquired by the Quaker Oats Company in 1911.

*I called my grandmother 'Granny' as a direct result of my mother's instruction. I didn't know until many years later that the Beverly Hillbillies played a part in this act.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are Government Agencies Undermining the Innocence of Our Children

If a child molester believes there is nothing wrong with children participating in sex acts, shouldn't we be attempting to discredit that? Instead, it's propagated by our government when they make condoms available to children in elementary school. Apparently, your child is sexual at the age of 9. Your government says so, it provides tools used only in the act of sexual intercourse to children of any age. Hard to believe? Provincetown, Massachusetts provides condoms to all children of all ages upon request. Parents are not permitted to protect their kids from this age INAPPROPRIATE possession of items intended for use in sexual intercourse. What is next? That question terrifies me, as there shall certainly be something nearly or more offensive in the near future.

If your 10 year old child is busy riding her bike. not at all interested in penises or intercourse, she is the bystander victim of a society that is being told that children are indeed sexually provocative. We want them protected, just in case they decide to have sex on the spur of the moment. Especially if the 13 year old boy down the street decides that no means yes if you nag long enough, or simply disregard the word NO when used in your direction, (see my previous post on not teaching children to accept no for an answer - i.e. Children gone amok)... your daughter has become his fixation, and the school has provided him with condoms. Oh yippee skippee!

If she has been molested, she may, in fact, be more sexually aware and inappropriate for her age. It's like a circle... tell the molesters she's sensually provocative and responsive... the molesters believe they aren't hurting anyone... the child acts out from her rape, and we say... give her condoms! Make sure all the older boys in her school have them too, because we just cannot victimize the innocence of our children often enough!

Still think our society is harmless and helpful? Still think that I'm going too far, getting too worked up over this situation?

What kind of society permits a mother to allow her 12 year old daughter to pretend she's being raped for a part in a movie? What effect does that event have on a 12 year old's development? She has just been exposed to a sexually explicit and abusive scene that 16 year olds wouldn't even be permitted to VIEW in a theater... and she puts her daughter in the movie, under that man, and through the actions of a rape victim - and expects her 12 year old to detach from that experience and for it to have no lasting impact on her. And this isn't child pornography? This isn't child abuse? This isn't molestation? This isn't fodder for every child rapist, or fantasizing pedophile in the world? Do you really believe that a 12 year old that has experienced that is the same as she was before?

Again, I have to ask... What the hell is wrong with people?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Children Are Running Amok

Apparently children everywhere have succeeded in reaching anarchy. Piggy banks were the first fatality. After that, they overtook purses, wallets, and went A.W.O.L. in order to meet their insatiable desire for... Happy Meal Toys. They stole cars - we know this because riding their bikes or walking may have worked off some of those calories from the insidious Happy Meals, dressed up with various toys, including - recently - the 3 Blind Mice from Shrek.

Yes, McDonalds may be sued because their Happy Meal Toys are like heroin to these little 5 year olds. They lose control and become fat.. and the fault is ultimately the Happy Meal Toy. It couldn't be the breakdown of families and neighborhoods, which cause mothers to keep their kids inside where they can be kept safe from the predators that snatch children when parents let their guards down. It couldn't be the proliferation of video game controllers in the hands of toddlers - gluing them to the television sets while their Fisher Price tricycle rusts away in the back yard. (I wonder if there is even a market for those items anymore...) It also couldn't be that their parents pay no attention whatsoever to what the child eats throughout the entire day - day after day - week after week.

IT IS THE HAPPY MEAL TOY!!!! It is making the kids fat by marketing to the children. And we all know... the children who are interested in Shrek toys are in control. Before paying the bills each month, these controlling youngsters are consulted as to where mom and dad should spend their money. They also make decisions on automobile usage, grocery shopping, and housing purchases. They are quite a force to reckon with, it appears... and while she may outweigh him by 100 pounds, and tower over top of him with her height of 5'4" to his 30"... she is no match.

MSNBC Article

Michael Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, says it's the parents responsibility too, but he equates the toy giveaways to a door to door salesman coming to a family's house every day and asking to privately speak with the children.

"At some point parents get worn down," Jacobson says. "They don't always want to be saying no to their children. We feel like an awful lot of parents would be relieved if this one pressure was removed from them."'

Ultimately, it appears that the parents are incredibly burdened by this issue and cannot say no. In fact, one must wonder how many times a day a child throws a fit because he needs a Happy Meal Toy! Where do they learn about these toys? Are Happy Meals the only item advertised on The Cartoon Network? Perhaps the kids should watch PBS and parents could be relieved from all kinds of things that they are apparently too inept to be able to deny their children. Does this mean that kids no longer have bedtimes? Are they allowed to jump on the furniture because they will wear down their parents by constantly doing so anyways? Will we need to limit the number of children parents are permitted to have because they are unable to keep the 3 year old from shoving the 1 year old? Are they really so out of control?

Here's a fantastic solution... Take the kids outside. Ronald McDonald is NOT touring neighborhoods and offering free sample toys to hook your kids; they could use the exercise; they could use a little sun, as they are almost transparent because of their limited exposure to the sun - apparently only on the way to and from the minivan to go to McDonalds.

Is there any reason whatsoever for us to be surprised that when they reach the teen years, they assault their parents with knives when they don't get what they want.

When is our society going to regain a little common sense? What about me, what about me, what about me??? It makes me ill. What about our kids? What about our family? What about our community? What about their future? Parents let their kids run the streets and wonder why they pick up with gangs. If you can't say no to eating at McDonalds 7 times a week, how will you say no to letting them drink alcohol as a teenager, or drive the car after curfew, or when will boys learn that they should respect the word NO from a young lady? Can we sue the CSPI for their detrimental lawsuits removing parental responsibility until our kids are just worthless human beings... running around serving themselves to full helpings of what they WANT instead of what is good or what is right? Heaven forbid that our kids be given any teaching moments that may be uncomfortable... like the word NO. Joran Van Der Sloot could have benefited from learning to respect the word NO.

"Parents don't always want to be saying no to their children." Why does that give grounds to sue someone else. I don't want to say no, so I'm suing the bank for letting me have all these checks and not covering them when I've spent all the cash from my account. Why give me all these checks... a constant harassment to spend money! I can't bear it!

Sometimes I'm thoroughly disgusted by my fellow human beings.