“don’t compare yourself to her. you, are you.”

a. held up a ruler and asked “daddy, how much do you weigh” i replied “well, a. that is a ruler to measure how tall or long things are, we use a scale to determine someone’s weight” yes, i said ‘to determine someone’s weight’. a. likes to try to determine, or compare and measure, a lot of things these days. “daddy who’s the smelliest in the house?” “daddy are you better at running than him?” or “daddy why does he have a smaller nose than you.” i would be remiss if i didn’t share that h. has gotten in on this as well. she likes to hold her hands up, the way a fisher person would to show the size of their catch, to convey the “big deuce” in her diaper. now, if her “deuce”, or “rooster in the oven” as we like to call them, were really that big, i think i’d be out another $20 co-pay. don’t ask where ‘rooster in the oven’ came from, just one of those things that pops out. what are your favorite euphemisms for a poop in the diaper? we’ve digressed. that would just be me, i guess, since there is no one else in the room. except louie, and you know he is good for a few thoughts on potty.

a. is four. in our town kids start kindergarten when they are five, full days. for four-year olds, our school district uses a national program called ‘hippy’ that is designed to ready three, four, and five-year olds for kindergarten, help students who may have special needs, and otherwise introduce parents and students to the school process – teaching parents to be the students primary educators. it is not mandatory and it is a needs based program, they hope to be able to expand it to all four-year olds whose parents would like to be involved, but of course, that takes money – a whole different discussion. the program offers on-site tutoring/teaching, and for the students who may not need that much involvement, curriculum that parents can use at home with their children. a cool idea.

part of establishing your child’s needs from the program is a test. dun. dun. dun. yes, a test. this is my first official moment of ‘being on the other side’. in the event that you have not read any of my other posts or bio, i was a teacher for 9 years. i am certain that i was more apprehensive than a. this morning. in fact, she enjoyed every minute of it. i wasn’t nervous about the results. no, i was nervous that she was being tested, and that there would be results, that this was her first test in ‘the school system’, and that this test would go into “her file” (i would caps lock the heck out of that if it didn’t bug me so much – so let me say it again “her file”. did you feel how hard i pounded the keys?). obviously this test would not guide the rest of her learning in our fine educational institutions, but it is the first measure of how she tests, of her capabilities, and more importantly, how educators, counselors, and the like will view her in the future. you may think this is far-fetched for a test given to four-year olds, but there are many people in education, right or wrong, and usually out of necessity, that get to know your child through a file, and screening starts early. of course teachers who work with students consistently, step away from that file and get to know the person, but generally, if a need comes up, it is that file that they start with. i am not saying that there is anything wrong with this, in fact, it is impossible to avoid. if everyone involved with our kids could meet them one-on-one and get to know “just how special” (splattered with sarcasm) our angels are, then we would be hiring the entire city to teach our kids. hey wait, oh never mind. i wish africa, and not hillary, came to mind when i wrote that, oh well. a. came out of the test happy as could be and was greeted with a grab and almost trip down the stairs courtesy of her sister, talk about coming back to earth.

measurements and comparisons are necessary. they are necessary to build a house, describe an event, and find out how well we are doing on a given task. i remember hearing the quote i used at the start of this post many times as a kid. well, kind of, it was usually he and not she. i understand the idea behind the statement, but don’t know if i agree, and now am second guessing what i am about to say for i know what pigeon’s hole it may put me in, but i think we need to measure against other people and we need to push people to be better than others. why are we shy of this competition? why am i shy to admit that i like this competition? i say, “compare yourself to her” what does she do differently? how did she get to be better at dribbling the ball? why does she get away with saying the ‘f’ word and you don’t? why do they get 5 second time-outs from their parents and you get 10 minutes? why are you, how are you, and does it matter to you that you are different? examine, compare and contrast. how else do we know what we need if we don’t know what we are? it seems to come down to the notion that we don’t want people to feel bad about themselves, and i don’t either. i am the last person who would want to hurt someone, but hurting someone and being truthful with them so they may grow are different things. there are many observations that people made about me that i wish they would have shared sooner. perhaps if we didn’t shy away from inadequacies, differences and other items that make us who we are, we would be more tolerant of others, instead of fearing the fact that we are different from them or live angry that we are not them. perhaps we would trust one another more, trust that we weren’t pointing something out because we were jealous or angry, building resentment, but because we want everyone to excel and be better. i hate fear. i hate that we fear one another’s opinions, but understand why we do. we have been taught to think that everyone is out to get us. ahh. that’s it. we are afraid that someone will take our spot. there are just not enough chairs for us all to sit down. if i’m honest with them, and they grow better as a result, i may lose my chair.

i’ll build a new one. don’t tell me i look good standing.

we came home, ate lunch and are in the midst of quiet time. we found out our a/c is leaking freon and our stove had a gas leak. ouch. both getting taken care of.

*already processing what i wrote above.

perhaps we don’t want to discourage people by telling them what they are doing wrong. it is important to focus on the positive. in order to improve a person, mainly ourselves, it is important to focus on what we are doing right and what we need to do, not what we are doing wrong. i could yell ‘no’ at h. all day for screaming, and the behavior will continue, but if i show her what to do differently, she will learn what i think is ‘acceptable’.

another thought came to mind. we have to judge ourselves off of a system that is already created. we are measured by an already established set of rules, that we may not agree with or that weren’t designed for us. could this be another reason to reject the notion of constant measurements?