Note from Sandra:
I know chats are easier to read when names are in color, or at least bold-faced. I hope to improve this one soon. I'll improve the smiley faces, too. Soon. Maybe.

Transcript of Chat on Comparisons and Judgment

May 11, 2009

TOPIC ON MONDAY: People say "It's bad to compare kids" or "...bad to compare your family to others." People say people should consider things without judgment. Are people right?

ShannonBurton: I have to say I feel today's topic is a trick question.

SandraDodd: Shannon, is that a problem for you?
If it makes you think, that's good.

AlexPolyKow: hi all I will be mostly lurking since I am NAK -nursing at keyboard -and only have one hand

ShannonBurton: I read it and thought... if I answer it, i would be passing judgement!

Schuyler: Is that better than passing water?

ShannonBurton: and I want to know who these people are!

RVB: Or passing strange?

ShannonBurton: depends, I guess.

Schuyler: Or is there no better or worse in passing things?

SandraDodd: OOOH, passing strange water.

ShannonBurton: well, passing strange, i am very familiar with.

SandraDodd: Kidney stones are worse than water.

RVB: How about passing the buck?

ShannonBurton: sandra...time for the doctor, maybe?

MariaV: hello

ShannonBurton: passing the time?

SandraDodd: Not for me. I'm a GOOD urinater, not a BAD one.

ShannonBurton: Hi! Good lord!!!

dinamarconi: passing gas?

ShannonBurton: I'm giggling, now!

SandraDodd: Passing on the gas...

ShannonBurton: Passing out?

SandraDodd: passing away from the stones

JillP: Hi All, so happy to be here today!!

dinamarconi: hi jill

ShannonBurton: and ending up under one....while people pass over...

SandraDodd: Where have you been, Jill?
I'm leaving all those passing jokes in the transcript.

NOTICE: There will be a transcript. So don't say anything horrible. Or nothing horrible that you don't want read again later.

RVB: Okay. Mum.

JennyC: or incriminating

MariaV: in response to the topic, I would say that it depends on what you do with the "comparison information" and how much your ego is involved in making judgments

ShannonBurton: "anything horrible.' always did like to buck trends.

JillP: Traveling and getting situated in San Diego

ShannonBurton: Maria...nice!

RVB: Oh, really, Jill?

JillP: yes, here to help my sister with her dog rescue for a few months

JennyC: are you just "passing" through ahh yes, now I remember

RVB: You and the kids? Or everyone?

JillP: me and Addi and Luke, Steve stayed home. Skype has been great, we feel kinda like we're stil in the same house.

ShannonBurton: and an awkward silence descended...hope it passes.

SandraDodd: Jill, you should stop at my house on the way home (if you drove)

JillP: I did drive, and that's a great offer, I'd like that.

SandraDodd: Maria, what example were you thinking of when you wrote "comparison information"?

MariaV: the result of the comparison

SandraDodd: WHAT comparison? Give an example.

MariaV: so, you compare two apples and one is bigger than the other... doesn't that make the bigger one better?
Not necessarily

JennyC: only if bigger is better

ShannonBurton: Not if the smaller one tastes better!

Schuyler: Or if you don't like bramley's but really like Fujis

RVB: Or one is a crab apple and the other a Pink Lady.

MariaV: right

ShannonBurton: or is better for the planned use...eating, pie, sauce?

SandraDodd: Or if you have a small lunchbox.

Schuyler: And yes if you are baking a pie and only want to use one apple

reneecabatic: or if you want it to cook faster

RVB: Or you want to make a baked apple from one and eat the other raw.

SandraDodd: None of those thoughts can be processed without comparison and judgment.

reneecabatic: not in pie--just whole baked apple

Schuyler: Or if you are a teacher and you judge a student's affection by the size of the apple

MariaV: exactly

SandraDodd: If you were an apple dealer and needed to decide whether to sign a contract with a certain orchard, how would you decide?

RVB: By comparison and judgement?

ShannonBurton: Some judgement's necessary to function in the physical plane!

SandraDodd: If you were an apple dealer and wanted to decide whether to contract with a certain co-op or buyer...?

JennyC: taste and convenience

SandraDodd: Shannon, why just "some judgement"?

JennyC: and price

RVB: Reliability and honesty?

MariaV: you'd have to make judgments

JillP: Better will be relative to what you value.

dinamarconi: so judgements will lead to decison?

SandraDodd: The statement that started this I think was about not comparing children.

JennyC: yes

MariaV: right

SandraDodd: Not comparing children within a family, or not comparing them to other children maybe, but we can expand that to not comparing them to "ideal" or average children.

ShannonBurton: Well, in my family of origin, there is a great tendency to pass judgements...

dinamarconi: which seems SO much different to me than comparing apples and i don't know why

MariaV: well, I have 7 siblings, and there was a whole lot of comparing going on - even though my mother's motto was "comparisons are odious"

JillP: Was the person saying, don't compare children? your own children or your children with others?

MariaV: I also only have one child, so I haven't had the opportunity to learn about comparing children

RVB: Hey "comparisons are odious" was a term I learned from the first unschooler I met!

ShannonBurton: my mom definitely judges the grandkids. her basis is how much of what she likes appeals to them.

JennyC: I was thinking that if you have 2 kids, it might not be such a good idea to compare their drawing skills, and claim one good and the other not so good, perhaps different would be more accurate

Schuyler: But you can compare your child with other children

JillP: Luke and Addi have some different qualities and we all go to whoever has the quality we need for certain help.

adreanaline: I've made the mistake of correcting one kid who's taking on the annoying behavior of another as "You're not (name of original kid)!" It's family genetics. If I picked my nose a certain way when I was a kid, they're going to too.

Schuyler: But if one enjoys drawing and the other doesn't...

RVB: She talked about it in terms of how kids learn. Like one reads early, one reads later. And so what?

adreanaline: I may not have eaten it but I can at least let them know the social principle of it without bringing another kid in the mix.... ..

JennyC: it was brought up within the context of school and grading and comparisons of that nature

ShannonBurton: I've found it works best to connect things to their interests....

SandraDodd: "To pass judgments" (Shannon wrote)... let's look at that phrase, please.

JillP: ah, thanks Jenny

SandraDodd: Can you rephrase it?

LauraG (Guest92): It is difficult in many ways not to compare the kids, since they are so competitive with each other about some things

SandraDodd: Maria, you've never compared your child to another child?

ShannonBurton: wait...need to scroll back...a lot was happening here just then...

MariaV: yes, I wrote the wrong...

SandraDodd: Robin, slip me a note on the side.

ShannonBurton: I lost it....

MariaV: I meant that I don't have another child to compare my own with

SandraDodd: I think I'm a better unschooler than whoever told you "comparisons are odious"

ShannonBurton: sorry.

RVB: Okay. BRB. Michelle needs my computer for a sec.

MariaV: LOL

dinamarconi: i only have one child and find myself comparing him to other kids all the time

JillP: "To pass judgements" is that to lord over, or that the judger can boss others around?

ShannonBurton: maria....why would you need one?

MariaV: but now I'm wondering what the purpose of comparing children is?
I don't, shannon

Schuyler: It depends on what you want a child for, I guess.
If you want a child for baking in a pie it would be different than one for eating raw

MariaV: LOL

dinamarconi: LOL

SandraDodd: Before we can talk about "comparing children," though, we need to figure out what the problem might be with "comparing" (or "passing judgement"). I think there are damning phrases that are used without thinking.

AlexPolyKow: ROTFL

Schuyler: passing judgement is like sitting in judgement, right?

ShannonBurton: aria...maybe only to test norms or things about development that might concern you...jeremiah had a significant speech delay when he was younger. by comparing his speech to other kids his age, I realized i understood other kids better than my own...

AlexPolyKow: when you compare you are passing judgement...

SandraDodd: If I were a judge in juvenile court, I would need to compare children to decide which go to the juvenile detention center and which get to go home with their parents.

Schuyler: So it is about assuming that you are an expert who can pass or fail someone or accurately assess someone's ability to be a child...

SandraDodd: but don't use the word "passing judgement"

adreanaline: with comparison, isn't it human nature to look at it using a vertical scale

SandraDodd: It's a phrase that conjures up something big and inflexible and frightening and wrong.

ShannonBurton: In my above case, comparing led to getting needed help so we could communicate effectively...brb.

MariaV: but if you were said judge, wouldn't you want to see what would be best for that child not in comparison to other children?

Schuyler: I got irritated at an academic conference where the professors were arguing that they shouldn't grade students. They didn't feel that they could truly judge the merit of someone's work over another person's If I signed up for a class I would want a professor to be able to tell me how to get better at what I was doing

LauraG (Guest92): I think I see comparing children as in one doesn't measure up to the other, because we perhaps prefer one character trait over another for example

SandraDodd: Maria, IS there such a thing as not comparing, when one is a judge? One kid will be the worst one to come through that day.

MariaV: I don't know

SandraDodd: Another day, a much lesser crime might be "the worst" of the day.

JillP: I could communicate with a toddler that only said, "ujh"

SandraDodd: A kid's first offense will not be the same as a fifth offense of another kid.

MariaV: you got me stumped

JillP: that was in response to ShannonBurton above.

MariaV: then wouldn't it have to do with the overall goals of the institution/system?

SandraDodd: If a kid has parents who are defiant and hostile, or seem to be of low intelligence, should a judge release a troubled child to them just the same as he would a kid whose parents seem totally sharp and cooperative?

JennyC: ok, then let's talk about the difference between being "judgemental" and making judgements

JillP: Schuyler is that the same as grading though, to get info to improve?

adreanaline: one is a recurring event and the other a single action trait that is

MariaV: if the goal is to make sure that all children are safe, then there's definitely going to be a comparison between environments/people that will provide that and ones that don't

Schuyler: I think it can be, I think in a large class it is hard to come up with alternatives I know there are schools that don't use grades, but I think they tend to not have large classes The problem was that they were arguing that they couldn't judge better or lesser work

JennyC: and they make decisions based on other things

Schuyler: I couldn't figure out what the point of them working in a university was then

JillP: That's what I'm sitting here thinking.

BeaMantovani: >> Schuyler: but a professor could just make comments on a paper without grading - that would still be judging though, I agree with your point there

JennyC: well, in art, that might be true, but even some artists would disagree with that

ShannonBurton:'s not that we couldn't communicate at all. but he was growing more abstract in language and thoughts, and couldn't express himself well....lots of errors in any many sounds.

Schuyler: If they couldn't assess someone's work because they were caught in the kind of argument that came up on Always Learning today.

MariaV: I love how I thought I had the answers the more we chat the more confused I'm becoming

JillP: But grades are an easy way to say your work is good or not, in a large university class, I think was Schuyler's point;.

ShannonBurton: many many. 14 months with a wonderful therapist here, and he went from being incomprehensible to strangers to being referred to as well-spoken....i cried that day!

SandraDodd: which is recurring, though, being judgmental or judging?

MariaV: in a school setting, don't grades assess how close you are to achieving the teacher's goal?

SandraDodd: Don't worry, Maria. We won't lose you.

Schuyler: I judge things all the time.

JennyC: that was my thinking Sandra, because of someone's mother, who's harsh judgement has caused pain

AlexPolyKow: How old was your son Shannon?

ShannonBurton: Sandra...i see judgemental as passing judgement always. i have family like that. and they see their judgements as fact.

SandraDodd: I bet it wasn't her judgment that caused pain. I bet it was her actions. What did she do that other people called "passing judgment"?

ShannonBurton: He was 3.5. Not drawing or writing well enough for that to be an option. many first sounds, and all blends, were replaced with "h".

RVB: It seems to me that judgment has come to mean "declaring something as bad."

JennyC: she's very religious, and their church endorses the idea that as long as you behave and dress a certain way, then everything is A Okay

ShannonBurton: Hair might mean hair, fair, chair, was constant decoding.

BeaMantovani: I think pain comes from being told in your childhood "look at your brother, he's so much better at..."

JillP: I like comparing, and seeing outcome, and guessing outcomes, and judging for myself which direction I want to take with things.

MariaV: in general, I have to go with [what] RVB just said

SandraDodd: Robin, that's what I wanted to talk about... the misuse of the word "judgment"

Schuyler: Judgment is a good thing.

SandraDodd: Well, Bea, then that's a mother being tacky and rude and inconsiderate.

JennyC: right Robin, that is a common misconception, and one that is used when calling someone "judgemental"

ShannonBurton: we need judgement....but do we need to judge each other?

SandraDodd: Without "judgment," how on earth can someone "use good judgment"?

RVB: Yes.

JillP: Maybe so Robin, which is too bad, because people think judging is bad, and the people I've seen do that come across as very wishy- washy to me.

ShannonBurton: Or get through the day?

RVB: One can judge something as "good."

adreanaline: ok so if people say others should consider things without passing judgment they really mean people should consider things without being negative?

Schuyler: I judge other people, I don't know if I "need" to, but it is among the things I do

SandraDodd: If we're in Santa Fe in January (which I hope some of us will be) and I give one of you $200 and the keys to my car to go and get something, I will hope you use some judgment.

AlexPolyKow: Shannon, My sister's younger was the same way and he just turned 5 on march 30th and we now can pretty much understand all he says and no therapy. But he never felt bad about it .

MariaV: perhaps judgment is bad when it is used to take power away from people or to make one feel more superior?

ShannonBurton: Adreanaline: Or maybe reserve judgement until all the facts are out and understood...

Schuyler: Actually, yeah, I need to judge people
I need to know who to trust in certain situations

SandraDodd: Adreanaline, do you think "you're judgmental" means "you're negative"? Maybe so.
Absolutely, Schuyler. If someone says they never judge people, how will they know who should watch their kids for an hour?

MariaV: I agree

SandraDodd: Maria...

MariaV: or, if they're safe while driving?

adreanaline: I'm not sure if judgemental is the right word

SandraDodd: If someone's hitting Holly I should judge that a bad thing, and try to take his power away

AlexPolyKow: hey I am the violent one here because I think some moms are bad moms!

ShannonBurton: Alex: Jeremiah called himself stupid. He was frustrated with us when we didn't understand. we were frustrated, too. he had an amazing therapist he still talks about. It really helped, and she came here.

MariaV: you're right Sandra...and that wouldn't be a bad thing

Schuyler: Sometimes all the facts won't ever come out

SandraDodd: If someone else is being a CRAP mother, and I think for a moment that I'm glad I've overcome my own upbringing enough to be a better mom than that, and I feel superior, is that bad?

JillP: Shannon, 3.5 is very young. People were asking me what Luke was saying up until he was 8, he's now almost 11 and speaks clearly and shares his bright ideas!

Schuyler: Sometimes waiting to judge is not among the options

ShannonBurton: JillP: perhaps it was young. But his thoughts weren't. And we could not always interpret. We have no regrets about the route we chose.

AlexPolyKow: Shannon that is why I said my nephew was not bothered by it but I see if a kid wants help we should help

adreanaline: I don't think it's possible to compare kids without bias

MariaV: but what is the purpose of feeling superior?

SandraDodd: So Shannon has a three year old and when comparing him to other three year olds she knows, she's thinking he's not speaking plainly. But if she compares him to other kids who weren't speaking well at that age, she might feel much better!

Schuyler: If I am judging what someone else is going to do with their car, turn early, drive fast, I have to make an assumption based on a lot of things, including what kind of car they are driving

ShannonBurton: We judged it was the way to go, and, for hi, it did wonders....therapist is a pretty lady, and he loves pretty ladies!

SandraDodd: The purpose of feeling superior to one person and lacking in comparison to another is so you can tell up from down.

Schuyler: Maybe feeling superior helps her to keep making the better choice as a mother

adreanaline: Sandra what about left and right?

SandraDodd: FEELING superior is not a sin. Saying, "HA HA, you SUCK!" is wrong.

MariaV: good point

BeaMantovani: >> SandraDodd: I think that's what a lot of ppl are missing

SandraDodd: If a mother wishes all her children were like the one she likes best, that's okay. If she shames the others with words, that's a problem.

reneecabatic: feeling superior may not be a sin but it doesn't feel good to me

ShannonBurton: had much ore to do with his emotions...he was clearly suffering. We judged that he wasn't communicating in a way he found effective, and that waiting wouldn't best suit his needs.

MariaV: and I was just going to ask about that, Sandra

JennyC: I know without a doubt that I make better choices in parenting than my neighbor, but she certainly doesn't think that's the case

adreanaline: wouldn't that come through in some of the mother's actions? My mom said once that all of her sisters know who's the favorite

MariaV: (yes, I have some baggage with that)

adreanaline: it wasn't her my mom has self-esteem issues :/

JillP: Then you don't want to be her favorite.

SandraDodd: Renee, Tell us more about that. You never feel at all satisfied with having done something better than you might have a year before, or having handled a difficult situation well?

Schuyler: Is it feeling superior or feeling smug that feels bad?

BeaMantovani: I think feeling superior should not be the same as acting superior, though

ShannonBurton: Jill: amen. My mom, too,and for years I was her favorite...a very difficult job I thankfully no longer have.

JennyC: that's where be modest is nice

RVB: Are you thinking in terms of comparing yourself to someone else, Renee? Not to your previous behavior?

adreanaline: I don't think it's possible to divorce feelings from actions

reneecabatic: I like feeling better than I felt before but I feel guilt if I feel like "haha I am a better Mom than so and so"

MariaV: Shannon - I've come to have sympathy with my sister who was the golden child...

SandraDodd: Adreanaline, do you mean that if someone feels something they might as well act on it?

Schuyler: I don't know that I feel "haha I am a better Mom than so and so"

ShannonBurton: Schuyler....for me smugness, hands-down. It coats achievement with a yuccky, slimy feeling.

SandraDodd: If I'm angry I might as well hit?'

Schuyler: haha doesn't come into it

JillP: Yes, Renee,

SandraDodd: Or anger is as bad as hitting?

JennyC: Renee, that's interesting because I feel great for my kids, knowing that I'm a better mom than another mom that I find not so great

SandraDodd: You guys are talking about humility. Humility is good.

Schuyler: it often is tempered by the fact that it isn't doing the children of the other mother that much good to have a worse mother for me to be saying haha

adreanaline: Sandra -- you make a good point . I was thinking that if suppose one kid was a "favorite" then what you say and what you do towards that kid would be different than the others

ShannonBurton: isn't an easy thing to be. Any mistake I made seemed enormous to her.

reneecabatic: yes-- I feel so happy for my kids when I compare them with others

Schuyler: but smugness doesn't have to go with superior

RVB: I end up feeling sorry for the kids, more than feeling guilty about feeling superior.

JillP: When I feel smug, it is pleasurable with a tinge of guilt.

SandraDodd: I think what a mother says and does toward EACH child should be different from the others. Trying to treat all children "equally" causes a ton of problems.

ShannonBurton: maybe, when we get that "better mom" feeling, we could try to find ways to model where we feel we shine?

reneecabatic: yes RVB--same here

RVB: But I don't feel superior often, because I'm working on being a better mom and I don't want to compare what they are doing.

SandraDodd: I felt smug today on the list.

JillP: Yes, I've seen it create a competition in the kids that wasn't there before.

SandraDodd: It was kind of amusing. Not mean.

RVB: Heh, heh. How so Sandra?

Schuyler: I watched a show the other night where a woman did blacksmithing for the first time in her life and she pouted a bit that hers wasn't done as well as the blacksmiths

SandraDodd: I'm over it.

ShannonBurton: sandra: absolutely.

Schuyler: he said "I've been doing this for 20 years" not smug, but superior

RVB: An explanation, then.

Schuyler: not just an explanation a statement that pouting was silly, too

MariaV: so should we embrace our superiority? I mean, I'm always thinking to myself, "They're doing the best they can, with what they have" I making excuses for them?

ShannonBurton: Schuyler...Lise is like that...wants to be perfect the first time, every time. needs frequent reminding that others have had much more practice.

MariaV: the mothers, I mean

RVB: Yes. Perfectionists trying to do something perfect the first time.

SandraDodd: Those kinds of things are sometimes fishing for compliments and sometimes trying to make the experienced blacksmith/musician/artist feel guilty. It's not courteous.

Schuyler: If I'm a better mom than a woman who is more concerned with being an artist than being a good mom than that is as it should be

SandraDodd: Good point, Schuyler.

adreanaline: so we should have a frame of mind with our kids that each kid has their way of being -- and their way of connecting with us

JillP: That is what I tell kids when one is jealous of the other about something....that one has more experience in that particular thing, or more propensity for it. So far so good, they haven't been jealous of each other, but seen the qualities of each other.

RVB: Yeah. People should keep that kind of whining to themselves.

adreanaline: we can look at other kids to test that frame of mind but not make it lesser?

SandraDodd: If the neighbor feels she's a better mom because her kid is in sports and her kids are in bed at a certain time every night, then that's fine. Those aren't my goals, so at those things she IS better than I am.

RVB: About the fishing for compliments thing.

ShannonBurton: JillP: Yes, I do that, as well...and they are as apt to mention each other's talents, and use them, as I am.

Schuyler: It was a flirting thing which had worked with a lot of the other artisans she'd done things with I liked his response, his snub

adreanaline: that's flirting?

RVB: Oh. Flirting. Sheesh.

ShannonBurton: sandra: my sister feels superior because her boys' hair is neat and their socks white. my kids are generally rumpled from exploring their world.

MariaV: I'm thinking in situations when the mother is saying things to their child that make me go, Whoa! Lay off! While I'm breathing and talking sweetly to my child.

JennyC: a lot of girls do that, Chamille points it out, so I notice

LauraG (Guest92): I have one son (a middle on if that matters) that compares himself so the others much more. He often gets his feelings hurt. Doesn't like to take chances.

Schuyler: Well, if that is what is important to her, neat clothes and tidy hair than she should feel superior You can feel superior about the things that you value if you want to

SandraDodd: Laura, do you point out things he does well? That's what I did when Marty was feeling that middle child angst.

ShannonBurton: Maria: the grocery store.....i want a muzzle for some of the moms there....especially the ones who only take their ear from the cell phone to snap at the kids to hurry up.

LauraG (Guest92): I try to point out his strengths

Schuyler: And your comment "my kids are generally rumpled from exploring the world" suggests you do Do you point out his strengths at moments when he isn't feeling down?

MariaV: I hate the ones that won't let their kids explore anything... ok, hate is a strong word...I'm annoyed with

SandraDodd: I think my objection to statements such as "I don't like people who are judgmental" or "Comparing kids is bad" is that they're said without thought or awareness. They're like holding a wooden cross up to see if someone else is a vampire, or something

LauraG (Guest92): I feel kind of smug when my kids are rumpled and obviously having fun

MariaV: ah, that's a very good point Sandra

ShannonBurton: Schuyler...yup...In my mind it is a good joke. weird because she wants me to be judged by her standards.

RVB: Ooh, is anyone here a vampire? Edward Cullen? Sorry, very OT .

Schuyler: Well she can judge you by her standards

MariaV: it's sort of like being self-righteous and quoting: Judge not lest ye be judged"

JillP: The rumpled kids, and neat kids example is what I was saying before. You judge for what you values exploration, and one values tidy kids. Both moms feel superior. I wonder what the kids feel?

Schuyler: There isn't any way to stop her from judging you

adreanaline: if someone's pointing out our kids are rumpled and having fun in a negative way and we take issue with it, does it mean it's more our issue than theirs?

SandraDodd: People say things without thinking. I just don't like to have them to it on the Always Learning list. BUT... if you say "My sister (or neighbor) is judging me," that also means she's judging herself. She making a comparison. And I think comparisons are good.

RVB: In the right context!

MariaV: which requires judgment, Robin

ShannonBurton: schuyler...good thing she can, because she does. It bothered me a lot more a few months back. now I see all my rumply kids are doing instead of my primping them, and smile a secret smile. she seems to be lacking a lot of the joy of having her boys.

RVB: Yes. Schuyler: Surely it isn't the comparison that is the problem, but how you handle the information you derived?

SandraDodd: Nothing makes me judgmental like someone saying "YOU CAN'T JUDGE ME!"

SandraDodd: My next thought is always "Idiot."

JillP: lol

SandraDodd: So clearly the word "judge" has a trainload of baggage.

RVB: How judgmental, Sandra

ShannonBurton: Sandra: yes. I don't like being told I can't either.

reneecabatic: I have said those words exactly to my brother when he tells me I am going to hell.

adreanaline: Schuyler that's true

JillP: Schuyler, or what the mom does with the comparing. how she treats her kids because of it.

ShannonBurton: In my experience, people who judge quickly and on appearance are often inflexible and not much fun...but then, that's just my judgement.... ..:-* ..

MariaV: the response to that might be, "Yes I can, and I just did!" although that might be a bit of a fight starter

RVB: I wonder how long "judgment" has been used pejoratively? I think I'll look it up somewhere.

JennyC: Chamille experiences that sort of quick judgement because of how she looks

Schuyler: I judge Simon and Linnaea all the time. I don't compare them very frequently, but I get a lot of information about them and how they are and buffer them accordingly and as need be, from my judgement and comparison with previous situations

SandraDodd: Renee, he said you were going to hell and you said "Idiot" or "Don't judge me?"

JennyC: I'd have said, well, only god can make that judgement, you mere mortal

reneecabatic: "Don't judge me!"

ShannonBurton: Maria...i love that! Or you could just keep it in your head and feel superior that the other party has no idea they've been judged!

Schuyler: Oh, you could send him the Bastard Fairies song We're all going to hell

JillP: When I'm thinking my kids are as good as so and so about something, I'm not honoring my kids for who they are, I'm wishing they were something else. And my focus goes away from my being with them and helping them on this planet.

AlexPolyKow: people often say they are not judging others and they go on to say something that clearly shows the opposite ( like what happened in the list today)

ShannonBurton: I'm going to have to finish reading the list to know all this is about, aren't I?

SandraDodd: Jill, do you ever relax, though, seeing your kids happy and busy?

Schuyler: will get you the album for free

JillP: Absolutely.

RVB: Renee, you could tell him you're going to handcraft the handbasket you're going to hell in and your kids are going to decorate it.

MariaV: good point Jill

SandraDodd: but that's comparison and judgment so I don't understand your statement about helping them on this planet.

JillP: Did that come across weird. or did I imply something I'm not seeing?

SandraDodd: (was it about fairies or hell? )

JennyC: when kids ask me to be a judge for their art contest that they've created, I give them all an award like, you win for best use of color, and you win for best use of lines. They don't like that, they want to know that there is a clear winner

JillP: ummm.

RVB: If you joke about it, he'll be able to tell that you don't take him seriously.

Schuyler: Hell, not fairies

MariaV: ROFL

reneecabatic: I told him I wanted nothing to do with a heaven filled with people like him.

JillP: When I wish my kids were as cool as Kirby, or Holly or Marty or Simon and Linnea, or the kid who build robotic legos...

Schuyler: is the video

SandraDodd: OH.

RVB: That's assuming he's going to heaven, Renee.

ShannonBurton: And in my basket are lots of not so white socks...for cushioning, and for the dog to eat!

BeaMantovani: If I understand you guys correctly though, you have trouble with the use of the word "judgement".

SandraDodd: I wish my kids were as cool as Pam Sorooshian's all the time.

JillP: then I'm not paying attention to Who They Are. and enjoying them for themselves.

Schuyler: I tend to hope that my kids are as happy and less that they are as cool.

SandraDodd: Rosie Sorooshian texted me "Happy Mother's Day" yesterday, but Marty never said a word.

ShannonBurton: i wish my kids were quiet when i have a migraine or a phone!

SandraDodd: Marty sucks.

RVB: Yeah, right.

JillP: Cool....happy, fun outgoing, poor writing skills....hopefully improving.

Schuyler: But that isn't a comparison, wishing they were quiet

JillP: lol.

ShannonBurton: SANDRA: I confess...i did not see or call my was a wonderful day, here, and her energy is so often very negative.... quieter?

JennyC: i called my mom the day before and told her that was her mother's day call

MariaV: I didn't call my mom either

SandraDodd: I dreamed a bad dream about my mom last week.

ShannonBurton: Sandra: i am sorry.

JillP: I want to start listing how awesome Addi is. She's amazing with the dogs here.

SandraDodd: Alex, I'm sorry. Usually lately links haven't taken people out. Maybe it's a setting in your own preferences?

JennyC: i left a message for my mother in law

RVB: My mum died just over a year ago. Wish I could call her.

ShannonBurton: Jim called his mom in Oregon.

AlexPolyKow: I think it was something with my laptop

LauraG (Guest92): Sometimes, I just feel a little overwhelmed by them all at once, it is hard to see them all for themselves and their individual qualities.

RVB: I sent flowers to my mil.

ShannonBurton: mine is here in NY, just down the road.

SandraDodd: I said LOUDLY in my sleep "MOM" (in the what are you doing here, what are you saying to Holly" tone of voice. I woke Keith and me both up.

AlexPolyKow: Can you post that link again Schuyler (or I can wait for transcript to)

Schuyler: or the one for the album?

AlexPolyKow: thanks it worked!

ShannonBurton: sandra: I dreamed Lise drowned a few weeks back. Could not shake the dread all day...was a bit afraid to take her swimming for a bit.

SandraDodd: Before Kirby was born I dreamed I had a hamster and it would run along the baseboards and I kept trying to catch it.

AlexPolyKow: I have had those dreams Shannon

SandraDodd: Dreams aren't binding. But they CAN be scary and I felt a little guilty about yelling at my mom. And Holly reminded me, when I told her, that I had dreamed my mom faked her own death. (I didn't see the body, in real life, and dreamed that she was not really dead, and it wasn't a "Oh good!" dream)
So I'm comparing my mom to good moms.
To my friends' moms.
To moms who didn't lie and drink themselves to death.
I'm so judgmental.

ShannonBurton: Sandra, they aren't, and that's true. but i am a mom who had a very traumatic experience, when Elijah died. I know that is where they come from (she's younger than he would be by a year), and the feelings are known and intense.

SandraDodd: There's where you need to know the feelings from the actions.

MariaV: I'm just wondering from a personal suffering perspective it judging is creating more suffering - like making judgments about my mother as a bad mom?

AlexPolyKow: THe other day I said how my mom used to say white lies to us and how it made me not completely trust her. She sent me an e-mail yesterday and said that she was wrong about it and other things.

ShannonBurton: When Elijah was born, I didn't see his face, as he wasn't breathing. I had phantom kicks for weeks after he died...something in me could not accept it, at first.

SandraDodd: Depends whether you have the thought and it flits on by, or whether you have the thought and you pick it up and form it into a solid and polish it and show it to people and put it on a shelf and look at it every day. There is obsession with something, and then there's acknowledging a comparison and not living there.

MariaV: That's good imagery

SandraDodd: Wow, Alex. Did it come up separately and coincidentally or had there been a recent discussion about honesty?

Schuyler: My mom got worried about a conversation she had with Linnaea. She was afraid that she wasn't generous enough. I let Linnaea read the message and replied with a lot of Linnaea's words. I like that my mom is so interested in how Linnaea feels about her

MariaV: and when I stopped talking about my abusive childhood, it was amazingly freeing - years of therapy did nothing for that

ShannonBurton: Maria; do you have to think in terms of good and bad, or is there room for balance? my folks abused us (long time to be able to write that plain.). They also taught us a lot about teanwork, work ethic, and left me to read whatever i chose.

Schuyler: I like that she is a better grandma than she was a mom

MariaV: sure, and there were a lot of good things about my parents as well

AlexPolyKow: It was a beautiful e -mail talking about all that she has learned with me and apologizing for not doing better. I told her I was still learning and that I know she did better than her mother did to her

Schuyler: And seeing her as a grandma softens the things I judged as lacking in her as my mother

SandraDodd: So Maria... it's not being judgmental, it was focussing on it and being reactive to it?

AlexPolyKow: We talked about it when she was here almost a year ago

MariaV: Yeah, that sounds right, Sandra

AlexPolyKow: or maybe over a year not sure

ShannonBurton: Alex: you are brave. I can't talk about it with my parents. Or Not yet, anyway.

MariaV: time and distance can help, sometimes, Shannon...I estranged myself from my parents while living in Japan

SandraDodd: I could tell lots of good stories about my mother, but few of them involve her mothering. She played guitar and knew a lot of songs. I know lots of those songs myself.

AlexPolyKow: I am usually a very confident person

SandraDodd: She drove me to piano lessons for years, and used to drive me to church even though she didn't go, and even though sometimes I wanted to go five times a week. She was very glad when I learned to drive.

AlexPolyKow: My mom is a wonderful woman and has many great things about her- she is very different from me but she is very loving

MariaV: so, suppose you are in the store, seeing another mother, judging her you so something about it, if the judgment you come up with is that she's hurting her children, even if it's not emotionally?

ShannonBurton: Maria...that is true. Jim and I traveled the first years of our marriage, and I felt free...sometimes living up the road, I feel the oppressive weight rolling uphill to try to pull me back in...

SandraDodd: I think sometimes when people have been wounded by judgments or comparisons (or by the actions that came from people who had decided to treat them one way or another) they will try to take pride and refuge in being "non-judgmental:" but I think that wounds them too, to go too far in the other direction.

Schuyler: I have called people on their parenting in public.

ShannonBurton: Our homeschooling bugs her....she thinks it is a judgement on her parenting. Haven't even discussed unschooling with her!

SandraDodd: I have too

Schuyler: One woman was hiding from her son because he hadn't been watching her closely enough

SandraDodd: Shannon... Rephrase, please

Schuyler: I told her that she'd miss her son when he was gone, and showed her son where she was

MariaV: I want to, but I'm too scared of getting attacked or yelled at

ShannonBurton: rephrase...which?

SandraDodd: Let's try not to use "a judgment"
"She thinks it is a judgment on her parenting."

Schuyler: She asked her husband how he could let me talk to her that way

SandraDodd: If you can rephrase it, you can think it more clearly.

ShannonBurton: I see...she has said as much.

AlexPolyKow: Another thing that I notice with myself is that when I see another mother doing something that I think is "bad" sometimes the actions bother me so much because maybe there are about things I need to get better at myself - makes sense?

ShannonBurton: in almost those exact words.

SandraDodd: Still, you said it to us.

JillP: I wish I was that quick thinking Schuyler. I just want to grouch at moms like that.

SandraDodd: She thinks it's a rejection of her parenting?

ShannonBurton: Alex: Yes! and sometimes what irritates me in the kids is something i gave to them.

SandraDodd: A criticism of her parenting?

Schuyler: I have helped mom's who look like they are about to blow, they have too much going on, so I help in some way. I've complimented the child and taken the tension out of the situation as well It doesn't have to be accostive

ShannonBurton: Sandra: i see. she's not here to defend her position, and I am not being fair (and after not calling I am judging me!)

adreanaline: Shannon- my mom has said the same thing to me before -- Sandra, it seems like that

SandraDodd: Because if you didn't criticise her, don't feel guilty about "judgment." If you HAVE considered how she parented and decided to do differently, that comparison and decisionmaking are GOOD things.

MariaV: sometimes I don't even know what to say...I only know that something's wrong

JennyC: that's the first step

SandraDodd: She probably doesn't actually expect you to do things exactly as she did, although it might feel good if you did. She could feel "like a good mom" if you copied her word for word

MariaV: and sometimes I feel like I have no right to judge because I've been that mom

SandraDodd: and act for act

ShannonBurton: sandra: Yes. she has major self-esteem issues.

JennyC: knowing something is wrong, then finding out why you feel that way

SandraDodd: "no right to judge"?

ShannonBurton: In my judgement...whoops! Slippery slope.

SandraDodd: So you guys see how these phrases are being used even in this discussion?

MariaV: Like, "who am I to say xyz?"

Schuyler: My mom took a bit of glee in my brother's problems with his daughter, she felt like it meant that she wasn't as bad a mother as she thought she might have been if he was having problems with his children

ShannonBurton: sandra...again, yes. and I was the golden child she assumed would turn out most like her. It didn't happen that way.

MariaV: but perhaps my fear/inability to intervene stems more from what happened when, as a child, I would freely give my thoughts and opinions...and it wasn't pretty

MariaV: this is very illuminating

Schuyler: She's right though, your mom (Shannon's), isn't she?

adreanaline: Maria -- were you told that your opinions were "talking back"?

MariaV: yep

adreanaline: yeah been there

JennyC: we experienced that yesterday, a kid getting grounded for "talking back"

ShannonBurton: right about? Lost track.

SandraDodd: People are different. If we were all in person somewhere and a mom was threatening to hit a kid, none of you would have to do a thing, because I'd say something.

Schuyler: you judged her parenting as the parenting you didn't want to do
as less than
as not good enough for your children
as not the parent you want to be
if you hadn't you'd be parenting as she did

SandraDodd: If we were all in a place and someone needed to swim, that would not be me. One of you would need to do it, and I bet a quick glance around might let people know which people were confident, competent swimmers, if they weren't already in the water.

AlexPolyKow: I know Sandra and you have a story in that Peaceful parenting talk and my husband listened to that and I think that story was where he fell for Sandra GOD!

ShannonBurton: schuyler....not exactly. I judged the volatility as something i don't want. i judged school as not a great fit for Jeremiah, who at two did experiments and called them that....or an approximation of that.

SandraDodd: about swimming, Alex? Or telling a mom not to hit her kid?

ShannonBurton: Sandra: I could fish you out...scuba diver.

SandraDodd: Thanks, Shannon!

MariaV: me too: ex-lifeguard

AlexPolyKow: about a mother hitting a child and you saying something

ShannonBurton: No me a chance to blow bubbles.

AlexPolyKow: another scuba diver and surfer

ShannonBurton: COOL!

AlexPolyKow: you are covered Sandra!

SandraDodd: I did get told off at Lowe's, in the garden department, last year or so.

JennyC: you have to make some pretty quick judgements being a life guard

SandraDodd: But I didn't feel bad.

reneecabatic: tell us the story

SandraDodd: I figured that mom would be nicer to her kid for a long time to come.

AlexPolyKow: tell us]

ShannonBurton: Please do!

Schuyler: So you made no judgment call on her parenting and you'd embrace it, bar the volitility, if Jeremiah had liked school?

SandraDodd: A mom with a little girl was threatening her about not acting better, and saying she would spank her. The girl was crying, but not hard or loud, just sad and bored and confused. I went over and said softly to the woman that if a man were threatening to hit her, someone would call the police, and she should be nice to her.

BeaMantovani: >> SandraDodd: I'd be afraid the mom might get pissed of at me and take it out on her kids...

SandraDodd: I gave her a full on eye to eye look and then went on to get in line.

ShannonBurton: Schuyler: I haven't ever been much into black-and-white. i judged there were unfairnesses and unkindnesses in my upbringing. There was also love and laughter and good times.

AlexPolyKow: I love you Sandra

MariaV: Ditto

SandraDodd: I guess she thought about it a while, and then came and said full voice (whereas I had spoken just to her) that now her child was afraid the police were going to come, and that I should mind my own business and something...

SandraDodd: She said she wasn't talking about HITTING her, just a little spank, and I didn't know what I was talking about. I said I had three children and I did know what I was talking about. The other people in line and the checker were more alarmed than I was, for sure.

JennyC: people can get oddly defensive when they know they've done something wrong and soooo want to be right

BeaMantovani: >> ShannonBurton: I think the point though is that you did judge the things that you didn't want from your mom- took what you wanted and left the rest

RVB: What about our own parenting? What if we are having trouble dealing with a situation with our own kids? What would we like to have someone else, especially another unschooling parent to do?

SandraDodd: I stood there and took it calmly and kept my eyes on the woman's eyes a little longer than was probably comfortable for her. That was primal primate aggression on my part.

ShannonBurton: Sandra: I'm not so brave...but I will often try to engage the child, and say something like, "you don't sound like you're having fun" to help the mom shift her focus from what she's trying to get done (if she's open, sometimes it works).

AlexPolyKow: Once at Valley Fair (a theme park) a little kid did not want to go on a ride and he was crying and scared and the mother was forcing him and I said out loud for her and all in the line to hear:"If he is not having fun than why make him go?"
She was very mad at me and said that she had 4 kids yaddayadda' But everyone was looking at her and agreeing with me so she took him off.

MariaV: Yes, I'm more like Shannon
talk to the child, make them feel like they have a friend

Schuyler: In my experience judging what was lacking in my childhood has been a good thing, I judged my parents' parenting as wanting and have made very different decisions. Including valuing my marriage .

BeaMantovani: >> Schuyler: same here

SandraDodd: God, Alex, having four kids she should've learned something by then!

ShannonBurton: Bea: yes, that is it. I kept the silliness, irreverence, and fun. I left the violence, the prejudices, and being slave to a school schedule that would never suit my up-all-night family.

Schuyler: Maybe to have stopped at 3...

JennyC: like being able to go on rides together and not needing the 4th to go with

SandraDodd: Bea, if a man was threatening a woman in public I would tell him to stop it. If he hit me, GOOD! Jail for him. If he told me to shut up, I would dial 911 right in front of him.

MariaV: Sometimes I do wish someone would help me when I'm not dealing with Seth well...although I've been breathing a lot more, which helps

AlexPolyKow: That was when my son was not even 2 yet and I had not found unschooling yet

reneecabatic: I remember that story and I wanted to say something when I witnessed a Mom spanking her daughter (looked at least .8-) but I spoke only English and they spoke Ukranian......

JennyC: I've actually sat down in the corner of a store or someplace not in the way and placed my child in my lap and calmed her down

Schuyler: If I were yelling at Simon or Linnaea in a store, I'd want someone to tell me to stop it.

SandraDodd: Because Schuyler compared families and parenting and decided based on those comparisons and judgments what she thought might be "better" (as compared to "worse") and because she can describe those things,

reneecabatic: 8 not ..

SandraDodd: MANY lives are better.

ShannonBurton: Maria: I know what you mean... the breathing gives you time...I also like to really look at my kids when I'm frustrated, and remember how very much they have brought to my life.

AlexPolyKow: Same here Schuyler'

BeaMantovani: sandra: yes, I agree with you, I would too - but he might calm down there and take it out on his wife later... although since I can't be sure about that I might as well act now...

MariaV: I've also started asking myself, "What does he need? He's doing this because he needs something."

RVB: I would, too. Though I'm not talking about yelling at my daughter, just having trouble in knowing what to do in the moment.

Schuyler: And while it might make me embarrassed and ashamed-angry, flushed and furious, it would change my direction and I would calm quickly to be thankful I'd probably find the person and thank them It depends on the trouble and the moment

ShannonBurton: Maria: I shared that with Jeremiah, so he might be able to tell me...Annalise almost always needs a hug. she's still of a melting into the shoulder age.

SandraDodd: Bea, if I refrain from speaking or calling the police because I guess that maybe he might hit her worse later, I might as well go over there and hit her myself.

reneecabatic: when I am having trouble I call an unschooling friend (and she calls me) we help each other to breath

AlexPolyKow: Actually I was at the Live and Learn Conference and I was having a melt down and some moms came to ask me if they could help- my son was upset too. That did help me just to stop and take a breath and calm a little

Schuyler: I gave a woman my grocery cart the other day 'cause she had too much to juggle and a young, wandering, ambling little boy with the cutest curls

ShannonBurton: All of you are my unschooling friends.....

Schuyler: She was clearly moving toward frustrated, so I gave her my cart

RVB: I guess what I'm asking is whether it's appropriate to expect another unschooler, maybe a friend, to try to help me if I'm having a rough go. Not to stand by and what me make mistakes. watch

BeaMantovani: >> SandraDodd: I agree

SandraDodd: Holly and I had a screaming fight Saturday afternoon. She was screaming. I wasn't. She was tired and hungry and frustrated.

Schuyler: thanks Sandra, by the way...

ShannonBurton: RVB: if you've asked them to help, and they agree, that would be fine....

AlexPolyKow: I could not remember their faces to thank them later as I was so panicky when it happened

Schuyler: I would help you if I could, even if you didn't ask

SandraDodd: So I'm trying to help her and she's saying no, I don't want that I don't need that. She was supposed to walk back over to the flower shop, and had said she would take ice for drinks, and I wanted to get ice for her. She was saying no, but she needed to go, and no this and no that.

Schuyler: I'd help in the way I might help Simon and Linnaea, offer food, offer a hand, offer a drink
Put my hand on your shoulder

SandraDodd: So I just started getting ice out, calmly, and putting it into a bag.

JennyC: Chamille's done that and then huffed off to her room to calm down, then she comes back and apologizes

ShannonBurton: sandra: it both encourages and discourages me to read that.

SandraDodd: She screamed MOM!

reneecabatic: I agree with stepping in but when do I know when to step in---sometimes I can see the intensity but it isn't quite there yet

RVB: Thanks, Schuyler. I have hoped that that would happen, but it doesn't very often.

SandraDodd: And I said just do what you're doing, and she screamed. Just plain screamed.

RVB: With other people, I mean.

SandraDodd: So I took the plastic ice tray and held it up as high as I could and SLAMMED it on the floor so ice went everywhere.

RVB: Not you, Schuyler.

Schuyler: I'm not around you a lot... Even though I've seen where your dad was born

JennyC: was that shocking?

AlexPolyKow: I have helped other unschooling moms and other unschooling moms have helped me, right Schuyler? ..

SandraDodd: It was a strong gesture. It was something to do with my adrenaline. It made Holly mad (duh) and she screamed as loud as she possibly could and that's saying something.

RVB: I know. And I've only seen a picture!

SandraDodd: Not fear, just anger.

ShannonBurton: sandra: I might do that. I have done that...then i judge myself because it is something I hated growing up. That flash of violence always led to more....

SandraDodd: So Marty runs upstairs and says "Holly, stop. You're screaming like someone died. Mom, go on, I'll talk to her." So I left to get Keith to tell him he needed to go and deal with Holly.
And she calmed down and I calmed down.
She had worked for six hours at the flower shop without a break, and the boss's husband was there and he bugs Holly. She was hungry.
She was just frazzled.

ShannonBurton: Sandra: In your case, though, i'd guess that's more the exception than the norm, right?

SandraDodd: And the photos of me and her and the ivy were taken about fifteen minutes later.

AlexPolyKow: I have called Brian into the house to calm me down when me and my son where both very upset He comes and just being calm I can talk to him and calm down myself

Schuyler: I go to David if Linnaea and I have are in a fight and ask him to help her

reneecabatic: I also call Dh and say "Help ME!!!"

RVB: You know, I don't expect others to do my mothering for me. I would appreciate help in seeing things differently, noticing things like hunger, etc. (which I usually do), though, in a not-so-great moment.

ShannonBurton: I have noticed that my emotional storms are much gentler, lately. And I can stop myself and ask, "Why are you feeling this?"

JennyC: my husband is usually the one who gets all uptight, but he's done sooooo much to change that about himself to live more peacefully

SandraDodd: No, it was really unusual. But nobody got hurt and neither of us insulted the other person in words at all.

SandraDodd: Robin, what do you mean about expecting others to do your mothering?

AlexPolyKow: hi

MariaV: I was starting to get really frustrated with Seth a few days ago (incessant whining - he's 3.5) and Nate said, "Breathe!" and took over...very helpful indeed...glad he's on now he does that when I start clenching my fists

Schuyler: Hi Jude

SandraDodd: Shannon, it's always easier for me to be calm as life goes on. Age and desire and practice have helped.

JennyC: true that

SandraDodd: Holly was screaming at me for helping her. It was crazy. And her scream is horribly loud.

AlexPolyKow: She sounds like my kids specially my son

RVB: Oh, I mean I don't want people to feel they have to take over from me, for me. I would only want someone to even ask if they can help or put their hand on my shoulder (as Schuyler said she would!).

JennyC: margaux was doing that just a minute or so ago and all of us were trying to help her and she was screaming at all of us

SandraDodd: And what happened was she called work and asked if she could have ten more minutes, and they said they didn't really need her to come back if she didn't want to, so she stayed home, and took a rest and went to a concert.

Schuyler: I think helping a mom is seen as seeing a mom not capable of handling her children. Like it is a criticism of them

AlexPolyKow: The other day I told him about a story when we got asked to leave a McDonald because he was having a melt down in the bathroom

Schuyler: a judgement of them being wanting

RVB: Yes, Schuyler. But I wouldn't take it that way.

MariaV: but isn't the reality that sometimes all of us can't "handle" it?

SandraDodd: This chat is passing by so quickly I don't know what your statement's referring to, though, Robin.

ShannonBurton: Sandra; Jeremiah also has quite a set of pipes...always has. I've realized that I get more irrational when i feel trapped. It's a default, for me - I usually felt trapped, growing up.

SandraDodd: Was it about Marty rescuing me and Holly, or about me asking Keith to come and help?

AlexPolyKow: He says he does not remember. He was around 3 yo and I flush my toilet after I went to pee and he got upset because he wanted to flush

Schuyler: No, but it is hard to see someone doing the best they have with what they've got as someone who could use a little help from someone else to do better

reneecabatic: One problem is I don't like it when some Mom's try to step in and Parent in those ways I have judged as less!!! .. even when I am not at my best.....

RVB: No, Sandra. I wasn't making any reference to your situation at all!

Schuyler: Robin's talking about help she'd like in a stressful situation

SandraDodd: Let me know what, though, so when I untangle these conversations a bit in the transcript I can put it where it goes.

RVB: I was thinking of something that has happened to me, and what I might want to have happen in the future.

SandraDodd: In a stressful situation I'd like someone to distract my kid and get me into another room, if possible.

Schuyler: I asked David a long time ago to stand with Simon and Linnaea against me in a fight.

SandraDodd: Removing one person in a friendly way might be all it takes.

RVB: Yes, that could work.

AlexPolyKow: So my 3 year old dd gigi said to her brother that she is going to make sure I don't flush so he can next time. So sweet and funny

Schuyler: It isn't as harsh as it sounds

MariaV: I'm with Sandra...I need a physical barrier between Seth and I, sometimes

Schuyler: But it means he doesn't take my side by default

ShannonBurton: Sandra: I would love more backup. Jim works long hours, and sommetimes there is no one to take over when those moments come.

AlexPolyKow: I asked Brian the same thing.

Schuyler: The do what your mother says line

AlexPolyKow: He usually waits for me to ask him to step in

SandraDodd: Once when Kirby and I had both peed in the same toilet, he wanted to put his hand on top of mine so we could flush together. Just the other day. (No, I think he was two.)

Schuyler: David will put a hand on my shoulder

JennyC: the other day, when I was completely stressed because a mother was telling me how horrible my family was and how horrible my child was, all I could do was bite my tongue and let her go on and try to get a word in here and there in defense

ShannonBurton: The other day, I went into my room, closed the door, and screamed myself. Then I took three deep breaths, went out, and apologized.

MariaV: Shannon: same situation...Nate works and goes to school in the evenings...I found that the bathroom helps (for me, not the kid)

Schuyler: Kirby came for visit...

RVB: Reneee, I wouldn't like to have that happen either. But I'm thinking of other unschooling parents. I have felt left to my own devices, then judged badly for it.

SandraDodd: Now see? I don't think "David will put a hand on my shoulder" was about flushing a toilet. jenny, was that the runaway's mom?

RVB: Just the other day. Funny, Sandra!

ShannonBurton: bathroom...four people...gotta be my room. And I'm learning what triggers that trapped feeling.

MariaV: It's the only room with a lock, Seth hates it, but it's better than what might happen

AlexPolyKow: Brian know i don't want to scream at my kids and say things that will hurt them so when I ask for help is help so I can calm down and do better. We have talked about it.

JennyC: I guess, in those tense moments, I don't get loud and defensive, I get silent

ShannonBurton: I agree fully there.

reneecabatic: RVB---do you feel like you can ask for help--in the moment?

JennyC: and if I get really upset, I go and wash dishes

adreanaline: for some reason I though the experienced unschoolers didn't have tense moments -- I was wrong

MariaV: I clean too, Jenny!

ShannonBurton: I have found that getting rid of those old controls, though, leaves a lot less room for conflict.

AlexPolyKow: THiinking about it I have not asked Brian to step in for a while

adreanaline: but I think, it's just a matter of being open to good alternatives in every situation

ShannonBurton: I like yard work. like Mowing...can't hear anyone when i mow.

JennyC: for me, it's more of a personality thing,

adreanaline: and having a healthy perspective on it

Schuyler: Unschooling doesn't mean perfect parenting, if it did I couldn't pass the entry exams

adreanaline: ..

SandraDodd: Adreanaline, it's not about never getting angry, it's about what to do when it's coming, or during, or after.

MariaV: I, for one, adreanaline, am glad...helps me realize the better person I can be

RVB: >> reneecabatic: I think I have. I think I might forget in the moment, when I'm starting to melt down myself.

AlexPolyKow: Last time I needed some help I talked to Schuyler and have since made a decision to do better and have done better everytime

SandraDodd: All through there, there are decisions to be made.
I decided to throw ice, because I can't scream.

RVB: Or just not know what better choice I can make.

Jude: Can I ask if anyone here tends to have the default position of peace-keeper? I find that Dave can become very harsh in his words to Jess and I become the person who tries to defuse it all ... and Dave doesn't ask me to step in so it can cause resentment.

ShannonBurton: Schuyler: It is good to hear that.....sometimes I think that is the goal. I need to remember that it isn't.

SandraDodd: And I didn't want to walk out because I was pretty pissed.

ShannonBurton: I am a peace-keeper...was cast in that role as a kid, and just can't quite let it go - yet.

JennyC: me too

Schuyler: It helps to think about how short a childhood is, how little time I get with them.

JennyC: i use that thought too schuyler.

MariaV: Nate and I both have our times as peace-maker, we both have our baggage

adreanaline: if the goal isn't perfect parenting, then what is it?

JennyC: childhood is sooo short and I want it all to be as great of memories as possible

AlexPolyKow: and I think of Diana's Hannah

ShannonBurton: I will also remind myself how I felt living with that threat of violence all the time. I don't want my kids to be fearful of me.

JennyC: being better, doing better, always trying to make the better choice

MariaV: happy parenting, adreanaline? Sane parenting?

reneecabatic: RVB- I know people who call themselves unschoolers but who yell at kids and speak harshly at them for minor infractions(if it could even be called that)--I would NOT ask them for help

AlexPolyKow: Adrean - To do better everyday

RVB: Sandra, I can deal with these kinds of things well at home (intense, tense moments, maybe with screaming ). But if it happens in a group, I feel unable to use the strategies from home, like giving her a chance to cool down.

Schuyler: Peaceful parenting is a good goal

MariaV: presence is also good

AlexPolyKow: I am not perfect that is for sure

JennyC: it's harder in public, probably because of the fear of being judged

RVB: She removes herself to cool down, but in a group situation, she feels trapped. Then I probably trap her more by trying to get her to leave.

AlexPolyKow: and we are back to judging people now yay!

SandraDodd: Better parenting, adreanaline. Appoaching good. Not "perfect" but "better"

ShannonBurton: I'm finding that banking great moments - a lot of them - is letting the kids see the best of me...helps when things get tense.

JennyC: i know, i did that on purpose

SandraDodd: I'm better now that I used to be.

RVB: I *have* been judged. And I want to do better.

reneecabatic: why do we fear judgement from people who value things we don't value?

JennyC: it depends renee

Schuyler: I watched Danielle Conger sit with Sam when he was melting down because of the noise and the clamor of the cafeteria at Live and Learn.

SandraDodd: If I had thought I didn't need to be better, I might've stayed some way or another.

adreanaline: better parenting seems good -- It's easy for me to feel like a failure when I start getting into the "perfect parenting" spot

Schuyler: She needed to be as calm and as quiet and as focused as possible.
Without that Sam would have had a harder time getting to a point where he could calmly move from the cafeteria to the hallway to outside to their cabin

AlexPolyKow: She also wrote something on being or trying to be perfect

Schuyler: She had to not care about anyone else around her but Sam

Schuyler: It was fascinating to watch the rest of the world go away for her

ShannonBurton: I don't think there can be a perfect parent....children grow, their needs change. what was perfect at a month wouldn't work so well at even a year.

JennyC: some people, even if I don't value what they value, for whatever reason, i need a relationship that works with them

RVB: Yes. This is sometimes hard for me to be quiet and calm, as I feel judgment about both of us. That upsets me and makes things worse. "Just breathe" would help me.

SandraDodd: Shannon, I think if a parent really has a good relationship with a child that IS changing then that's about as good as it can get.

AlexPolyKow: the moment I start worrying about other people around its the moment I loose focus on my child and I am not present anymore

JennyC: i have a very vivid image of that happening Robin

RVB: Yes, Alex. That's true.

SandraDodd: It's like a husband. What's "a perfect husband"? I like Keith, I'm used to him, I forgive his hoiking and irritating habits because I like the good parts of him

Schuyler: Maybe seeing it as the only route to the calm outcome would help, seeing yourself as the two in the plastic bubble

JennyC: it was at the Life Is Good Conference, and it was so sweet, another mother came and gave you a great big hug and I saw you calm yourself

AlexPolyKow: Same with me and Brian

RVB: Yes. Who was that who hugged me? I have to thank her!

JennyC: so, perhaps, in those moments, you could envision a virtual hug

ShannonBurton: Sandra:Yes. But that isn't perfect, still, and, if that's all I judge myself by, I'd be forever lacking.

AlexPolyKow: You talking about me Jenny?

RVB: Good idea, Jenny.

JennyC: I wish I could remember who it was Robin

Schuyler: If I lose it, it will take a lot longer to fix things than if I figure out ways to stay calm

SandraDodd: When I feel guilty about not being a good wife, I do something sweet and good for Keith.

JennyC: no, I don't think I've met you in person Alex

reneecabatic: It is having tunnel vision---focus only on your child?

AlexPolyKow: Oh Robin OK

MariaV: Schuyler, that is so true

SandraDodd: Ooh...

RVB: It's true, Schuyler. I know it, intellectually. I sometimes can't do it in the moment. It's the same for Michelle.

SandraDodd: I just thought of a judgment problem.

ShannonBurton: Sandra: Jim is the perfect husband for me. He's not perfect. sometimes he's infuriating (forgets most of what we talk about). But then sometimes I am too.

adreanaline: where does the energy go after you're calm in the moment? That was for Schuyler

SandraDodd: If I judged Keith as bad or undeserving, I might manage to justify being less kind and generous with him.

Schuyler: It usually goes away, the energy

ShannonBurton: Yes, I see that. I've done that, to jim.

Schuyler: We got lost going to a pottery today.

MariaV: I have too, Shannon

Schuyler: David got really frustrated

JennyC: when my husband does something that really bothers me, I try to remember that he's better than that person he's behaving like in that moment

AlexPolyKow: I don't think Brian is perfect for me. He just is who he is and I love him and he is wonderful as a dad

SandraDodd: Energy doesn't have to lead to screaming or slamming an ice tray on the floor dramatically. It's good when it doesn't.

Schuyler: It was confusing and we didn't have a map and he wanted to get there

adreanaline: while you all were chatting my kids had a meltdown. Jael had taken Armand's game while he was playing it and put in his own game

Schuyler: And then we found where we were and we arrived and all the tension of being lost was gone

JillP: So if we judge our kids as deserving, it'll help us be more kind and generous with them, I think.

MariaV: that's how I feel about Nate, Alex although I do think he could work on his parenting skills

AlexPolyKow: sure Brian could work too and so do I...

adreanaline: Jael and I talked things through -- I was not happy but stayed calm. But I still feel angry after the moment

Schuyler: When things are bad they are bad when they aren't bad anymore the jittery, angry energy seems to go

adreanaline: that's why I asked

RVB: I see that Sandra. I do my absolute best to see Michelle as deserving. Perhaps I'm being judged as bad or undeserving? Because my daughter is, um, intense?

AlexPolyKow: That is how I am Sandra, most of the time.

Jude: Schuyler, do you think the ability to dissipate that energy comes with practice?

Schuyler: What are you angry about, the game, being interrupted, missing some of the chat

ShannonBurton: I know that, when we had Elijah, I can't imagine going through those days with anyone else. And the days after, when we were told annalise might die in utero....

Schuyler: The fact that they can never get along for however long you are away?

SandraDodd: adreanaline, did you try breathing to be calm. It never takes more than three breaths for me to be back to rational.

JillP: Robin, what about your dd's intenseness makes you bad or undeserving? others' judgement?

adreanaline: Schuyler I'm mad that Jael had the gall to take over like that it didn't help that he dropped my other computer before that

Schuyler: That's bigger than just being angry about the moment

AlexPolyKow: Sandra I need to walk in a circle sometimes to help me calm down while I breath

Schuyler: That's about longer times than that moment

adreanaline: oh

RVB: Well, I have wondered if people think it's my fault. Or that what I'm doing hasn't produced the quiet, sweet, unschooler that they have.

Schuyler: That's about history and precedent and expectation and all those layers, like an onion or a parfait

RVB: Which is all about comparisons again!

JillP: Are there quiet sweet unschoolers? I'm so glad I'm near the ocean... a match for Luke and Addi!!

JennyC: Michelle is intense, I've seen her intensity, and I've also seen how amazingly sweet she can be

Schuyler: I think the ability to dissipate that energy comes with practice and trying to see them as moments and not big stacks of behavior that will go on and on and on

RVB: Well, I think there are. Somewhere.

ShannonBurton: jill: There are loud sweet ones here.


SandraDodd: Wait. We have two minutes.

adreanaline: good point

SandraDodd: What did we decide? Comparisons are bad?

RVB: Thanks, Jenny. I know she is intense *and* sweet.

AlexPolyKow: We?

ShannonBurton: Sometimes i ask myself whether I would want this to be our last interaction.

SandraDodd: Or acting on comparisons. Yes. Vote now.

Schuyler: I vote for good


JennyC: her intensity sometimes can outshine things simply because it's sooo intense, but I'm certain that, like Margaux (a comparison here), as she gets older and older, she gets better and better about how she handles those moments

Schuyler: not voldemort

JillP: If they are bad, I'm headed to the dark side.

adreanaline: with great power comes great responsibility

ShannonBurton: depends on how you use them.

MariaV: I think it was actions based on comparisons...but I think it depends on the situation!

RVB: Depends.

Schuyler: Horde rules?

SandraDodd: Compare Voldemort to Darth Vader.

JillP: For the Horde!!!!

MariaV: Darth Vader

RVB: For the Horde!!!

Schuyler: Eddie Izzard does a good Darth Vader

ShannonBurton: Voldeort has a cooler name.

SandraDodd: For what purpose, Maria? Husband? babysitter?

AlexPolyKow: Darth Vader in our house rules!!!!

ShannonBurton: don't trust that mask....

MariaV: babysitter?

Schuyler: I haven't heard his Lord Voldemort in the dining hall

MariaV: Seth loves DV

adreanaline: darth vader as babysitter?

ShannonBurton: My kids love vlodemort.

SandraDodd: Better than Voldemort as a babysitter.

ShannonBurton: Voldemort.

SandraDodd: Kirby love Iago, in Othello.

ShannonBurton: The light sabre would be a good distraction...'

MariaV: DV better as babysitter b/c he'd teach Seth how to use the force...V would just kill Seth

SandraDodd: MARTY, I mean. Not Kirby

RVB: Jenny, I can see her getting better. But I know she compares herself to other 14 year olds and realizes she isn't like them. That makes it hard for her, knowing that she doesn't know.

Jude: Imagine the lullabies

adreanaline: lol at the thought of crooning int oa fan

SandraDodd: And I said, "But Marty.... he's the bad guy." He's a GENIUS, said Marty.

AlexPolyKow: Well I am a competitive ( or used to be) dog show handler and breeder and now shows cows so I am all for comparing

Schuyler: Voldemort for snake handler

MariaV: I like DV because he represents what anyone of us could be, if we didn't get a handle on our shit

ShannonBurton: darth Vader for costume parties.

SandraDodd: So Alex, you're looking at our kids' legs and teeth and how shiney their hair is and you're all "YES!" and smug?

MariaV: maybe if he would have taken a few breaths...

adreanaline: I don't think we can NOT compare so comparison's good

Schuyler: Udder size counts, too

AlexPolyKow: Very Smug about my kids I have to confess

SandraDodd: And are you going to hang out at conferences and make a bid on older unschoolers to breed with your kids?

ShannonBurton: well, mine have great hair and legs...teeth still coming in....

AlexPolyKow: Yes and teat placement!

JennyC: and their shiny hair

Schuyler: what about their udders though, Shannon?

ShannonBurton: Sandra: egads! not the mental imagery i wanted to take away today!

adreanaline: I really didn't like that pokemon with the udder

MariaV: LOL

SandraDodd: Sorry, Shannon.

AlexPolyKow: Brian likes to give scores to udders

adreanaline: what was its name -- milkgun?

Schuyler: I liked the episode

JennyC: that was one of Chamille's favorites

Schuyler: it was weird

ShannonBurton: although miah is a blue-eyed blonde....

SandraDodd: Adreanalines picture changed She's giving us the eye

JennyC: milktank or something

adreanaline: lolol yeah milktank

Schuyler: milktank

RVB: Cool pic, Adrean.

Schuyler: I like adreanaline's eye

adreanaline: it was interesting to watch it on XD. I think it's very effective vs those with dairy allergies .:-P

AlexPolyKow: Hey I was able to be here from beginning to end as Gigi is doing chores with dad

RVB: Not quite the "hairy eyeball!"

adreanaline: thanks .:-D I could change it but couldn't find the "normal" pic

Schuyler: I like following Gigi doing chores

AlexPolyKow: The eye helps with dairy allergies????

adreanaline: so you guys are stuck with my eye

JennyC: i'm still trying to get that

ShannonBurton: Jim entertained the kids....except that one time I reminded he and miah about Lise and rules.....

RVB: Not the "dairy eyeball"!

adreanaline: um I meant milktank

AlexPolyKow: If you guys don;t know Adrean is a big time x-treme athlete

JennyC: it's like when Schuyler was talking about needing tiny fingers for making almond milk, boy that one took me a while!

adreanaline: I am?

RVB: You are?

ShannonBurton: Are you?

adreanaline: Jenny --- how does that work

Schuyler: Almonds have tiny teats

adreanaline: lol

AlexPolyKow: hey don't you do like skate boarding and other stuff like that?

SandraDodd: Who's the biggest time athlete here? Not me.

adreanaline: yeah I tore my ACL skateboarding

MariaV: not me anymore

ShannonBurton: Not me.

RVB: Not me. Never was.

JennyC: yeah, not me either, for comparison's sake

Schuyler: Time athlete? what is a time athlete

SandraDodd: I'm a good typist, though.

ShannonBurton: Not me!

SandraDodd: bigtime athlete.

adreanaline: but I'm tame compared with that triathlon mom

JennyC: and a good mother

SandraDodd: Biggest-time.... never mind...

Schuyler: I can bounce on the trampoline and bike to the store and swim

ShannonBurton: I'm a bigtime talker.

Schuyler: but not swim at the store

RVB: I like to dance.

SandraDodd: The grocery triathlon

ShannonBurton: bigtime....i do not talk in a big tie!

SandraDodd: Trampoline, bike to store, swim....

Schuyler: Or talk up ties?

JennyC: i did that, the grocery triathlon, right before i logged on here

Schuyler: I like that triathlon

SandraDodd: Keith went for our team.

ShannonBurton: That either!

adreanaline: oooh Sandra what's the events for that? Cart racing, produce paddle...

Schuyler: Where'd you swim?

SandraDodd: Marty went and helped him carry things in.

AlexPolyKow: Well I am having too much fun reading and chatting but Gigi is home and wants to play!

Schuyler: Did he bag for him?

AlexPolyKow: Goodbye everyone!

Schuyler: I hear Marty's a bagging pro.

MariaV: bye alex

RVB: What about the Alcatraz triathlon: Run, Dig, Swim

ShannonBurton: Bye, alex!

adreanaline: bye Alex

JennyC: bye alex

Schuyler: There was a My Name is Earl episode with a bagging contest

SandraDodd: Yes, marty was a $100-winning bagger, but didn't win district

Schuyler: Bye alex

ShannonBurton: The Burton Bunch dog poop obstacle course?

SandraDodd: Dig, run swim. But I think there was never an Alcatraz finisher.

Schuyler: Dig, swim, avoid sharks, run

adreanaline: there was

SandraDodd: It was dig, swim, ...

adreanaline: three of them I think

MariaV: dig, swim, avoid getting shot at?

JennyC: what was the reward?

SandraDodd: Oh! well then. Gold, silver and bronze!

Schuyler: sew boat, dig, swim, boat, avoid sharks and bullets, run

adreanaline: they were never seen again

Schuyler: freedom not serving their time

JennyC: the best kind of reward, freedom

SandraDodd: If they were never seen again, how does that prove they didn't drown?

RVB: Ack I got bumped off.

JennyC: that has been questioned


Schuyler: Hee hee

SandraDodd: So it's real, then.

Schuyler: no digging though

SandraDodd: I'd do ferry, Bart, America West.

ShannonBurton: Need to see if Jim still plans to fish this evening....can't wait to check that schuyler link!

RVB: Funny. I think they must have taken the idea from the joke. I heard that 20 years ago.

JennyC: o goodness, thanks for all the talk today! it was a good one for sure! and yes, i did just make that judgement

Schuyler: Linnaea's asleep on the couch behind me

SandraDodd: It was okay.

adreanaline: I'm not sure we answered the question tho

Schuyler: She's so cute

SandraDodd: It asked the questions, though! I'll transcribe it, but not tonight. I'm tired of these words. I'm going to admire my yard.

Schuyler: Judgement is good, comparison is good, people aren't right to say that people should consider things without judgement judgment

JennyC: when margaux fell asleep the other night, I snuggled up with her and she smelled like cookies

Schuyler: Linnaea smells of conditioner and hair dye

SandraDodd: Jenny, that's sweet What color, Schuyler?

MariaV: Seth smells like strawberries

Schuyler: red and blue

JennyC: it was sweet, and it kinda made me hungry

MariaV: well, I should go, Nate just got home

SandraDodd: I smelled Marty today and held his hand for a second.

Schuyler: Bye Maria

SandraDodd: Nice. Even though he's old and whiskery

adreanaline: I better go too, need to go grocery shopping

SandraDodd: Thanks, all! Very nice chat.

adreanaline: guess can't avoid the triathlon mentality now ..

RVB: I got to smell Michelle's head, when she left me braid her hair. Yes, thanks!

SandraDodd: Jill, did you drive through ABQ on the way to San Diego?

JennyC: good bye all!

Jude: Bye too. Sorry I missed most of this chat (Jess heavily involved in a quiz game and in need of input)

SandraDodd: There will be a transcript

RVB: Bye, Jenny. Bye, all.

SandraDodd: Almost everything was great.

Schuyler: And being with Jess trumps the chat

SandraDodd: Hardly anything needs to be cut, just rearranged because it went really fast.

ShannonBurton: I will be intersted in learning more about hair dye...Lise wants to dye hers....

RVB: Oh, see you soon, Schuyler. I hear you're visiting with Ronnie, Frank and the girls.

JillP: No, Sandra, didn't go through ABQ went through Las Vegas.

Schuyler: We'll be at theirs on Wednesday

JennyC: you can email me if you want shannon, we have lots of experience with that

ShannonBurton: Bye Schuyler!

RVB: This Wednesday?

Schuyler: and then at Gillian and Craig's on Saturday this Wednesday Two days

RVB: Ah. Nice.

ShannonBurton: Cool....nontoxic, first...she's 4.75

JennyC: of course

SandraDodd: Well if it's worth doing I-10 to I-25, if that's not too far out of the way, maybe you could stay here on the way home?

JennyC: i've gotta go now though!

ShannonBurton: Bye.

Schuyler: Tomorrow then drive, potter at the airport, fly, then customs, immigration, rent a car and drive again not really a triathlon

RVB: Almost, though.

Schuyler: It'll feel like it

RVB: a

Schuyler: b

JillP: Yes, Sandra, it'd break up the drive easier to go through ABQ

RVB: c. And you won't drown.

Schuyler: or be eaten by sharkis

SandraDodd: When, Jill? I'll be gone July 17-Auugust 5 or so

Schuyler: sharks

SandraDodd: Albuquerque has a shark, y'know.
At the aquarium.
A real one.

Schuyler: She'll be here if you want to take England in on your way home

JillP: That's good to know.. hhmmm that might be the time . I'll contact you as I know more.

RVB: Yeah. Tackled and hugged by friends, though.

Schuyler: You can come visit her here

ShannonBurton: AbQ has an aquarium?

Schuyler: I'm sure it's enroute

SandraDodd: a little one.

Schuyler: It has an aquarium

SandraDodd: with a little shark

Schuyler: I like the outside bit

ShannonBurton: I like little ones. Does it have pirhana?

Schuyler: And the touching pool

RVB: I like little sharks.

SandraDodd: no pirhana

ShannonBurton: Kids love pirhana....

Schuyler: and the big hallway that opens up into the big coral reef show

ShannonBurton: Too bad. But they also like sharks.

SandraDodd: used to have fancy seahorses but they didn't love albuquerque

RVB: We have pirhana in Seattle.

Schuyler: and then the shark that swims around there are killer octopus in Seattle, aren't there?

SandraDodd: We have lampreys

ShannonBurton: seattle will be pretty close, when we move to OR>

RVB: Oh, yeah. Scary!

Schuyler: does it still have jellyfish ?

SandraDodd: yes.

Schuyler: I liked the jellyfish

RVB: When are you moving to OR, Shannon?

ShannonBurton: I like lampreys.

SandraDodd: in a round tank so it's all distorted.

Schuyler: I liked the round aquariums

ShannonBurton: About three years...when house here is paid for. Jim's from Eugene.

RVB: Should still be a Life is Good conference then! We hope!

SandraDodd: Round aquariums spook me a little. It seems like a pipe.

ShannonBurton: i hope so...

SandraDodd: I think they'll be flushed down, or shot up, or something.

ShannonBurton: makes me feel like I'm diving without gear.

SandraDodd: In Minneapolis there's a cool aquarium at the mall of america. The people are in a tube and the water's all around (sides and top, not floor)

ShannonBurton: San francisco is like that.

Schuyler: It's at the bottom, right?

RVB: There's an aquarium in Las Vegas where the sharks swim over top of you (you walk through the tank).

Schuyler: I remember going down the escalator to that one

RVB: Must be same as Minn.

ShannonBurton: There's a slidewalk in the people tube.

Schuyler: and you get on a moving walkway

SandraDodd: right.

Schuyler: and go through it I like being able to sit on the side in those kinds and watch children's faces

ShannonBurton: yup...Jim and I did that, before kids.

Schuyler: the moving walkway made that difficult

RVB: I have a photo of Michelle in that tank..

ShannonBurton: But it was good for kissing!

Schuyler: I don't know that I was that into watching children's faces when I went to the Mall of America one

RVB: Well, not swimming with them - in the tube thing-y.

ShannonBurton: (we were very newlyweds).

SandraDodd: Albuquerque's good for kid-watching. I was at the Indianapolis zoo years ago. Holly was three or four,

ShannonBurton: About to read The gas we Pass...again.

Schuyler: I have lots of pictures of Simon at and around the aquarium in Abq

SandraDodd: and we saw penguins. I had seen penguins walking in person but not swimming, And I exclaimed to just nobody in particular,

Schuyler: They are flying underwater

SandraDodd: "They swim through the water like birds!"

Schuyler: I love watching penguins swim

ShannonBurton: Jeremiah loves penguins... there's a small zoo nearby with them.

SandraDodd: I was really excited.

RVB: Bwahaha, Sandra.

SandraDodd: And a girl who was maybe nine or ten said very nicely to me, "They *are* birds."

RVB: I know what you mean, though!

ShannonBurton: So was he...annalise adores gorillas...saw those at nat'l zoo last summer.'

Schuyler: I like watching cormorants dive, they go down so fast.

SandraDodd: It was nice that the girl told me so politely.

Schuyler: They have none of the oils that most waterfowl have.

ShannonBurton: miah was pressed up to the spot where you could see them both above and below water.

RVB: I like watching them dry their wings, too. cormorants

Schuyler: Oh, and they are called shags in the UK

RVB: Funny!

SandraDodd: penguins or cormorants?

Schuyler: so that's a good laugh to go watch the cormorants/shags

RVB: Ooo, could mean something entirely different!

ShannonBurton: Or perhaps the cormorants shagging, in season?

Schuyler: Sorry, they are slightly smaller than cormorants a bit unnerving looking up shag on the internet

RVB: Like the birds that are called "tits" here.

Schuyler: like when I looked for Supersize me

SandraDodd: Schuyler, could we please go see a stately home when we're there? My friend Carolyn lives in stately-home-ville but she doesn't have a car.

Schuyler: There are great tits here and blue tits

RVB: We have bushtits.

SandraDodd: penguins don't have tits. dolphins have tits

ShannonBurton: we have titmice (titmouses?)

reneecabatic: I just came back and I am Laughing ! ..

Schuyler: Unless they are breeding cross species

RVB: Pen tits? Guin tits?

ShannonBurton: guin that...lol1

Schuyler: Would B

ShannonBurton: !

Schuyler: Blickling Hall work?

SandraDodd: udders might be guin tit tuplets

Schuyler: Anne Boleyn's ghost is supposed to walk there

SandraDodd: okay then.

ShannonBurton: over my head!

SandraDodd: thanks.


RVB: She had tits, didn't she? But no head.

SandraDodd: She had THREEE tits.

Schuyler: Or we could go to Sandringham, but I don't think you can go in

RVB: And six fingers on one hand? Mark of the devil.

Schuyler: It's where the Queen reads her Christmas letter

ShannonBurton: My husband looks like Henry VIII...a lot...i don't like the turn this is taking.....

Schuyler: Apparently she only had 5 fingers the 6 fingers was a lie

reneecabatic: only!

SandraDodd: Does he look like tall young studly Henry VIII?

Schuyler: so they could call her witch on each hand

SandraDodd: Not the TV guy. Too short and dark.

Schuyler: not only 5 fingers 10 fingers total

RVB: Ah. Three tits is much more, uh, titillating.

ShannonBurton: He looks like the portrait. Exactly. Glad i had a son first!"

SandraDodd: ah ah aaaah

Schuyler: Henry VIII blew up when he died, apparently

SandraDodd: gross

ShannonBurton: Literally exploded?

Schuyler: they hauled him around the town and the gasses built up

SandraDodd: the older henry portrait?

Schuyler: and he blew

ShannonBurton: Ick!

RVB: Ewwww.

SandraDodd: was he in a glass hearse? GROSS!


ShannonBurton: is not something Jim has much of...he leaves that to me.

SandraDodd: But those hearses had curtains, so they could quickly cover him up. Shannon, when Jim had hair was it red? And does he play tennis and write music and sing and joust?

ShannonBurton: Strawberry blonde...his dad's a redhead.

SandraDodd: Because there were some good things. Henry VIII could sing and dance. That's good.

RVB: Has he had 6 wives, though? Are you the sixth (I hope)?

ShannonBurton: He makes up dirty song lyrics...and he's a fantastic Mexican chef.
No tennis.
He doesn't dance, but has a nice voice...always forgets the words.

SandraDodd: I forgot I was going to go and admire my yard. Luckily, it's still there.

ShannonBurton: No-urp - I'm the First!"

SandraDodd: Thanks for being here, all! has more on judgment, including a couple of stories that used to be on this page.