Where I Was…

This won’t be long.

I was only 12 years-old. I was still in foster care. I sat on the floor of my bedroom looking up at my T.V., tears streaming down my face. I hated this place, the system, the government. I could understand why someone would go into a social services building and blow it up: they facilitated child abuse. In fact, I prayed for it daily. So when I saw an real act of terrorism, I couldn’t understand. These were children, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives. These were innocent bystanders. These were fire-fighters, soldiers, police officers. These were people who were in love. And I was a little girl at home, hundreds of miles away, feeling like the rubble was crushing my body. Feeling like it was me that I saw jumping out of the windows. I don’t remember the news channel I was watching. I don’t remember the name of the family I was with. But I remember sitting on my heels in front of the dresser that held my T.V. I remember wishing I could hug my mother, because she would have never let me see this, or know about this until I was older. I remember the overwhelming feeling. I didn’t know anyone from that horrible day. But I know that a girl that died could have been my best friend, one of the boys might have been my husband, one of the women could have been my mother in law, one of those fire-fighters might have fathered my future daughters in law. That’s what I thought. I felt like part of my life was being stolen from me and so many others before we ever knew it was ours. My heart goes out to those who lost someone. To those who lost many. I know my husband puts his uniform on everyday so that this never happens to us again. I know I was a little girl that day, with no connection to anything, but know that day, and today, I was with you; I am with you.

Advertisements

Spanking vs. Beating: Where is the line?

Most people my age and older came from a household where spanking was allowed. For me, the two-and-a-half years in foster care and the subsequent butt-kickings from boyfriends have me completely “pro-peace.” I am almost incapable of spanking. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried it out on Jermahl. When I was raising him with his pothead father (who Jermahl was named for so we’ll call him ‘Druggie’ from now on), Druggie said you’re supposed to beat your kids. How else are you going to teach them? Mind you I was 15 when I got pregnant, and I thought, perhaps, there might be a difference from what I experienced and what he was talking about.

So if Jermahl was acting bad, I would pop him on the hand or the butt. Just once. But Druggie would slap him in the face or kick him. And God forbid I protested, I would get the same in kind. Well, one day, I was out with a friend going to the market. Jermahl just broke out into a tantrum in front the Food Lion market it was sooo embarrassing and I was getting mad. I kept telling him to be quiet and he wouldn’t so I popped his mouth. But he fell over and he bust his lip. I bawled in front of that store telling my baby how sorry I was. I probably looked like a crazy person, hugging him and crying.  I will never know if my anger made that ‘pop’ a ‘slap’ or if he just didn’t have the balance (my friend tried to convince me it was the latter), but I refused to spank or pop him for a long time after that.

When he was about 3, Chris (sperm donor #2) and I moved to Houston together. Jermahl was out of control because he had been living with Druggie who doesn’t believe in teaching, just beating. So we tried to just show him love whenever he was acting out. Eventually, it got to be too much, and we decided maybe spanking should be part of his discipline. So we sat him down one evening and told him what would constitute a spanking (screaming, hitting, not listening for the umpteenth time, things like that). Well, Chris’ father used a belt, so he thought we should, too, and I figured, as long we didn’t hit him hard, or directly on his skin, just the idea of it would be effective. The belt terrified Jermahl, though, and it wasn’t teaching him anything but to be afraid of his parents. So we used it about three times and retired it.
I had to come up with more creative ways to punish him. We made him stand in the corner, took away his favorite toys until he earned them back. It all depended on the offense. We found something appropriate for his age that he would understand. But I never spanked him again. Recently, he’s been having trouble with lying. So every time he lies, we have him hold a phonebook up for a few minutes. Depending on the severity of the lie, and how many people he could have potentially hurt, determined the size of the phonebook he was holding up. And I explained to him the reason he was holding the phonebook up instead of being spanked, is that spanking doesn’t teach you anything, it just hurts; but, even though holding up the phonebook hurts, it also builds up his muscles and makes him stronger.

At his house, his dad just gets angry and beats him, punches him, hits with random objects (don’t wory, I’m working on getting him out of there). At school, the kids tell Jermahl he’s a weakling because he doesn’t like to fight. So I told Jermahl, and I truly apologize to anyone this offends, anyone who needs to hit or use violence to get their point across is stunted and stupid, and no one taught them how to use their brain to express themselves, so instead they have to use a fist or a belt or mean words.

Jermahl, who is now seven, remembers the 3 times I used a belt when he was three years old.

I choose to discipline with love and until recently, I’ve been under the firm impression that hitting your child is not love. However, a lot of my close friends use spanking as a punishment for their kids.

One of my girlfriends said, “The corner is all fine and dandy, but my kids will stand in the corner and make fun of me because the punishment means nothing to them. Spanking actually resonates with them and they realize they’ve actually done something wrong.”

Another friend said, “You don’t just start off beating the crap out of them. For my son, when he started crawling around 7 months, that’s when I took 2 fingers to pop his hands when he touched something he shouldn’t. Now that’s he’s almost 2, I pop his butt a few times when he does something he actually knows he shouldn’t. When he’s a teenager, I’m going to punch him the chest. I’m not going to actually punch him the chest, but the sight of my fist coming towards him is  going to hurt way more than when I actually touch him.”

My sister-in-law says that with her 1.5 year-old nephew (whom she’s raising for now), when he touches something he shouldn’t, she says no, pops his hand and moves him. And she does this over and over until he gets the idea.

So what do you do? How do you discipline your children? When do you start? If you spank, how do you know you’re spanking them to discipline and not just because you are angry? Obviously, a punishment needs to happen immediately for a child, but if you are angry at the same time, is the discipline as  effective? And how do you show your child you still love them after a punishment?

I’d REALLY like to hear everyone’s opinions on this this. What is the difference TO YOU between spanking and beating? And should it happen at all?

Weekend Woes Pt. 1

I had surgery this past Thursday. I developed a hernia above my navel when I got pregnant with Jude. After I had him, I decided I was super woman and did too much, giving myself yet another hernia…this time directly behind my navel. So, yeah, I had to get them repaired before they got worse (which was happening).

It’s always a hassle for Jesse to get time off. Jude was c-section, which means Jesse was supposed to get an automatic 10 days off. I had to deal with going allll the way above his superior officers heads because they didnt want to give him his time off. :/ Having this surgery meant another 10 days. It was a hassle…and they only agreed to give him his time off he promised to come to work Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I love the military but sometimes I hate his installation.

Anyway, Jesse is supposed to get time off because I can’t do anything for myself. I’m not even allowed to pick up the baby forat least a week. These 10 days are supposed to be me being able to drown myself in pain meds and not do anything. Because that’s pretty much what I’m supposed to do. I have Percoset. It makes me groggy; I pass out at random times, my vision is totally blurred (I’ve just been a typist for years so I can do this with my eyes closed). So, yeah, Jesse is supposed to be helping me like a good husband, right?

Day 1: Surgery…he wakes me up, I kiss Judas good-bye and leave with my friend Miranda, he drives me around the world because I lost my wallet (in my Miranda’s couch) and then takes me to the hospital. He drops me off at the door so he can park and smoke and I can check in. He doesn’t come in for like 15 minutes. That’s fine. When he does come in, he sits with me. When they take me up and I have to wash, he opens my socks for me…which I thought was really cute. We go to the pre-op room, and we talk and laugh and he tries to calm me down because I really thought I was going to die. He was great up until he needed to be calmed down because he wanted a cigarette so bad and they were taking too long to come and get me. So, he stood outside my curtain practically flagging down anyone with a hospital badge on, like, ‘Are you gonna take her yet, or what?’ LOL.

My fall risk and allergy bracelets 😛

They came and got me. I barely remember the anesthesia kicking in. They put something in my I.V., we went into the elevator, I woke up in the recovery room. Alone. Because he left to buy me a stool to get in his super-high truck and was still outside smoking. And no nurse could get a hold of him. So I called him, told him I needed him. My surgeon never came to talk t

o either of us about how the surgery went. They just discharged me when I was lucid enough to stand. I was really high. It felt extremely strange. I was in a lot of pain. Jesse put my clothes on me. All of them. So sweet.

We went back to Miranda’s. She and I talked a lot. Jesse helped me move around a lot. He super sweet about taking me to the bathroom. When we got home, he helped me inside. He changed Jude’s diaper (he rarely does that). He was just amazing.

Until he got sleepy. After that I was on my own. He is not a mo

rning person. He hates being woken up…But neither am I. I still have the common sense to not be a blow-hard at certain times. He was pissed he had to make the bottle. He was pissed he had to keep getting up to help me go to the bathroom. He was pissed he had to hold the baby. So I had to wake up from my Percoset-induced stupor and nurse Jude, get myself to the bathroom, cry a little.

I finally got to sleep, only to be shocked awake by the glorious feeling of my drugs wearing off and the pain coming on strong. It took 30 minutes to wake him to find my pills. This is all within like the first 24 hours following my surgery. :/ Tell you more about Day 2 later today.

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Author Marva Seaton

Book Reviews, Inspirational Quotes, Commentary

ON WINGS OF HOPE

Sharing Positive Thoughts, Poems and Words of Inspiration

Jenna Summa Photography

Affordable Family Photography

Tackett shenanigans

Random excitement throughout two people's busy work lives.

Armyliving13's Blog

Just a glimpse of me...

Poets Afterthought

The Life, Thoughts Of A Poet Living With Sickle Cell Anemia