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Thursday
Oct192017

Not Sure That I Approved All This Growing Up

"Alexis, how was your day?" Mila asked. It's a question I ask of both girls every day, so it makes sense that Mila would use it to prompt a conversation.

"It was good. How was your day?" Alexis retorted.

"It was good. I played outside and there was a baby spider in the house," Mila replied. "Did you play outside today?"

"No, I had to go to class today," Alexis replied.

"Oh, that's too bad. It was really nice outside today," Mila said. "Did you go swimming today?"

Alexis answered and they went on and on and on and YOU GUYS. MILA CAN MAKE SMALL TALK. I mean, she's better at it than I am. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

It's as if she's a real person or something.

October17 047

Wednesday
Oct182017

Oh My Gosh

I'm not entirely joking when I say that my Q4 Parenting Strategy is to just mutter "Ask Santa" under my breath every few minutes. It works, you guys. The girls ask me for all of the things, I refer them to the fat guy with the beard, and we're all good. Half the time I don't even hear what they are asking for.

(That might become a problem come late December, but I've decided it's worth the risk.)

Alexis has already admitted defeat. She caught on to my strategy years ago, so once October rolls around, she gets REAL careful about asking for things. She tries to be strategic and only ask for things she's hoping will be under the Christmas tree because she knows I'm ignoring her. I don't bother to try to hide it.

Mila, though. Mila is only three years old, so she doesn't have a lot of experience navigating my various brands of crazy. The poor dear actually believes that whining will get her things. It won't, by the way. In fact, whining is a good way to make sure you never EVER get your way with me. I can't deal with whining. Which, LOLZ. Alexis doesn't get anything and doesn't ask and Mila doesn't get anything because of how she asks. If those two were to compare notes, they might just conquer the world.

OH. WAIT. TOO LATE. MILA ALREADY HAS.

I really super like taking Mila shopping because she's hilarious. She'll pick up an object or two and try to convince me that I want to pay for them, but mostly she's just well-behaved. We're in "Ask Santa" territory, though, so that "well-behaved" thing is open for debate. Mostly she just randomly asks for stuff and I ignore her these days. IT'S GREAT.

Except for when Mila cheats.

We were taking care of a few errands during Alexis' tumbling class when Mila saw it. I thought she was going to jump into a typical whiney beg-fest when she laid eyes on it, but nope. Instead of doing something annoying, Mila gasped, covered her mouth, and said, "Oh my gosh. It's  so beautiful!"

She was referring to the Wonder Woman dress.  Because of course she was.

How in the world am I supposed to say "no" to a little girl who is completely enamored with this? HOW?  And who asks sooo nicely? It can't be done.

Mila has figured out how to get me to buy her things, even with my Q4 strategy in play. Uh oh.

October17 020

Tuesday
Oct172017

Good Job, Boy Scouts

"You should go to this training!" It wasn't a horrible suggestion, but I have been to that training. I have literally written that training, led that training, attended that training, and all of the things in between. If we're talking about the subjects that make up how to be a female leader in the business world, I've got it in aces. I've been to local "Women as Leaders" sessions, state ones, and even national conferences centered on the conversation.

There are some things they don't teach you at those trainings. You don't learn how to sit quietly and respectfully while someone mansplains something to you, the expert in the room. They don't teach you how to deal with men interrupting your every word in meetings. They don't say how to handle the moment when a manager says to stop "being so emotional."

You guys, I'm the least reactively emotional person around. I function on a 24-hour delay when it comes to showing a reaction. Ask my kids. They'll tell you that the silence is deafening because the fury comes the next day.

And so, I'm not going to the training. I'd rather wait for the training where the men learn how to recognize their own misogyny. I'll patiently explain why calling me "Sweetheart" in a business meeting is inappropriate. I'll help edit written summaries about co-workers and explain why a female co-worker should never be referred to as "lovely." I'll help to describe all of the ways a dress code can be written so that it doesn't specifically target women as sex objects but rather fairly sets boundaries on professionalism. I'll even happily explain why men don't get to be mad at women when they get fired for looking at porn at work.

Does that training exist:? I'm kind of serious. I would really like to sign a whole bunch of men up for training on how to be less jerktastic. I honestly don't think they all realize they're being jerktastic. It takes a level of self-awareness that isn't always there.

Which is EXACTLY why I'm ecstatic that the Boy Scouts has decided to start allowing girls to join. Let me be clear - the Girl Scouts and other organizations centered on empowering girls and women are vital. We need those safe spaces for our girls to learn and grow just like we really do need those women as leaders training programs. Until women are paid equally in the workplace, we're going to need to keep learning those skills in ways that are exclusive and powerful.

But we need the men and boys to start learning how to include us, too. The boys need to learn how to co-exist without being jerks. If they need a safe place that's just for males, they can go to just about any Fortune 500 boardroom and hang out with all of the other males. Until that boardroom represents the population, the boys need to come on over and invite the girls into their little clubs.

Baby steps, you guys. Baby steps. I look forward to the day when more than just the Boy Scouts figure out that purposely excluding females is a mistake.