Readn’, Writin’, Rith-ma-tic and the meanest Mom Ever

I had a brief e-mail conversation with my dad the last couple of days regarding our recreational soccer league’s rule about no score keeping and no winners/losers.  It was interesting to get the different, more conservative values that he brings to the table.  I always thought my dad to be conservative, but in a liberal kind of way (if that makes any sense).  But I think the truth is that he is conservatively liberal.  Or…liberally conservative?  I don’t even know.  I don’t even know how to qualify myself…

He commented to me that he wasn’t sure he supported that position.  His thought is that we need to be teaching our kids that winning and loosing are part of life.  That it’s OK to be a winner, and if you loose then you try harder the next time.  He said that he had just finished reading Glenn Beck’s book, “Arguing With Idiots” in which Beck points out that there is a progressive philosophy dictating the “feel good/don’t upset the child” attitude of teachers in parts of this great country.  Beck writes that in many places in America, schools are tailoring their teaching  to the “needs” of the students…their emotional needs, their psychological needs, not so much their academic needs.   He highlighted a couple of examples, like not using a red pen because it scares the child, or putting everyone’s paper on the wall so that none feel left out, and eliminating the letter grade since it makes poor performers feel bad.  From that perspective, I see his point.  If that’s what’s happening, then yes, we are raising a generation of mediocre performers who will someday be in charge of things like, war, peace, senior care…

Well, today it’s cold and rainy here in the north east.  So when it was time, I bundled my girl up in her warmest coat, admonished her (strongly) to leave the hood up, and sent her to the corner (right in front of my house) to wait for no more than 2 min  for the school bus.  While she was there, the mom in the first car in the line of 3 that were now waiting with their children for the same bus, offered to let Mary wait in the car with them.  Mary did the right thing by looking for my approval, which she didn’t get.

(dramatic pause)

Why?

(another dramatic pause)

For the very reasons stated above.  There is no reason that my child, with the proper attire, cannot wait for 2 min in a cold rain for a bus.  NONE.  Not one.  I can’t think of ANY reason that my daughter can’t stand in front of the house for the brief time it takes for the bus to arrive.  I don’t send her out a half hour early.  I don’t send her out without the proper clothing or outerwear.  I’m amazed that in this neighborhood, small as we are, that there would be parents who think it too cold, too rainy, too…whatever…to allow their child to stand in it for 2 or 3 min.  And yet, that’s exactly what they do.  For generations, children walked to school.  Then for more generations, they walked to ONE bus stop to wait for the bus.  Now, the bus stops at every corner, and here in this neighborhood, it stops at the end of one driveway (that and 2 other stops in our sparse neighborhood of 18 homes).  And yes, I do understand the safety reasons behind the frequent stops and I’m not against that one bit. (Thank you child molesters and kid-nappers for that little bit of insanity)  But when the bus stop is not 200 yards from your house, to DRIVE HER to the stop is, in my opinion, the act of a crewel and compassion-less parent.  What is going to happen to that child?  Are they going to melt?  Freeze to death?  Catch the death of cold?  I’m sorry, but seriously.  Is it necessary to spoil your elementary student to that extent?  I’m not trying to be mean to my daughter by not letting her wait in the neighbors car.  I love her to pieces.  But I want her to learn how to do some of the tough things in life, like waiting for a bus in the rain, or loosing a soccer game, or getting a red letter grade on her paper at school.  At the same time, I understand the philosophy behind the soccer league rules…and it keeps kids outside…rain or shine no less…playing.  Different from being driven 200 yards to the bus stop…

I’m just sayn.

But, in the minds of my neighbors, I am, certainly now anyway, the meanest mom on the block.  Mary still say’s I’m the best.  I think I’ll listen to her.

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