Posts tagged ‘parenting pre-teens’

January 10th, 2013

The Know It All Yogini and Other Stuff

This is not much of a post folks, it’s really just a few quick updates. First of all, I am adding a new section to The Know It All Mom site called Just Breathe, chronicling my life as viewed from the yoga mat and my pending quest to complete yoga teacher training in the year 2013. Stay tuned. Yoga has a way of making me think differently…who knows what might come out! In the meantime, take a quick glance at http://theknowitallmom.com/just-breathe/ and about some of my past yogic revelations.

Second, I am still accepting guest blog posts. If you have an article or an idea you’d like to publish, let’s chat. Contact me: tkiam@theknowitallmom.com. I am nice. I want your stuff. I promise to be kind.

Finally, I would love your feedback. The Know It All Mom is being revamped, enhanced, updated, etc. Your suggestions are welcome. Let me know what you think. :)

January 3rd, 2012

Get Published by The Know It All Mom

Recently, I have received many inquiries about guest posting on my site. The Universe is trying to tell me something. The message: Get back to the beginning. When I started this blog, my intention was to create a forum for parents everywhere to share their experiences, ideas, challenges, successes, frustrations, questions and concerns. But I am not good at delegating. I have tried to carry the blog myself, which has lead to months of fervent activity, followed by periods of complete inactivity. As I freely admit on my About Me page, I don’t actually know it all, but I’ve always believed that together we can figure it out, sharing a few laughs, and maybe even a few tears, along the way. So let’s share.

Beginning, in January, 2012—that means NOW folks, for all of you writers and wannabes out there!—I will be accepting submissions for publication. If you would like your creative non-fiction writing to be considered for publication on The Know It All Mom, here is what you need to do:

  1. Email your story ideas or completed pieces that have NOT been published elsewhere to tkiam@theknowitallmom.com.
  2. Type the word SUBMISSION and your word count in the subject line of your email, please, otherwise your work might just get lost in the plethora of email that finds it’s way to me, and that would be sad. :( Submissions must be creative non-fiction. Although I love to read poetry, short stories, and most genres of fiction, the Know It All Mom is not the place for these children to find a home.
  3. Keep submissions under 500 words. Longer pieces may be considered, but only if the content cannot possibly be covered effectively without saying more.
  4. Expect to be edited. This is in no way an indication that you are not a talented, gifted individual with the literary genius of Jane Austen, but rather a simple fact that it’s my blog, I like what I like, and I reserve the right to post things only after I am 100% satisfied.
  5. Do not send attachments. Please copy and paste your submission into the body of your email. Attachments can be cumbersome. They don’t open, they lose formatting, and are generally a pain in the butt. Pasting text directly into your email simplifies everything. Attachments will not be opened. Thank you in advance.
  6. Make sure your work is thematically consistent with the Know It All Mom. To understand who I am and the mandate behind my blog, the About Me page is an excellent place to start. Note that I prefer anecdotal, personal stories of life as a mother/woman/wife/daughter/sister/friend/parent. Itemized How-To or Top-Ten-type lists are NOT my favourite. I’d rather read how you developed the list than the list itself. I like honesty. I like writing that comes from the heart with a straight-forward, no-nonsense approach. I do not like self-indulgence. This is a fine line to walk, I know, I tip-toe along it every time I sit down to compose something. Still, it must be done. I like people with opinions, even opinions I do not share. Disagreement is essential to dialogue, so take a stand and tell me what you think. If you can make me laugh, great! If you can make me cry, that’s good, too. To familiarize yourself with the type of stories I am interested in receiving, read some of my posts, e.g., Confession Time, Coming from a Place of Yes, or One Joint is One Too Many, or better yet, read some of my published pieces found here: Writing. If you are still in doubt, email anyway. The worst that can happen is that I say, “No.”
  7. Do not expect an immediate response. I will respond to you, I promise, but as we all know, “Life is what happens while we’re making other plans.” (John Lennon said that, I think…anyone know?) In other words, I plan to get back to everyone as quickly as I can, regardless of the outcome of your submission, but only after the realities of my day-to-day life as a wife, mother, chauffeur, chef, laundress, etc., have been managed.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from you very soon. Happy writing!

August 31st, 2010

The Fire Thrower

In the hazy remnants of the dark of night, in the final moments before dawn when even the birds have yet to open their eyes to sing the world awake, I jolt upright in bed. My husband is out-of-town and I’m alone, save for the two cats that slunk, with the stealth of cat burglars, to settle beside me during the night. They are disturbed by my sudden movement and, with haughty indignity and a disgusted chorus of “Meows”, they saunter away to rest without further disruption. I cannot. Something unsettling has been unearthed. Unacknowledged in the light of day, it was dredged from the shadows of my subconscious and presented to me in vivid, HD imagery, while I slept. Something difficult. Something inevitable. Something that my tense chest and weighted sighs indicate I would prefer remain concealed.

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August 17th, 2010

Confession Time

“Moooommm…”

The call slithers towards me down the long corridor between where I sit and my daughter’s bedroom. It starts quietly, softly, a nighttime whisper hissed from the shadows of the retreating day.

Before I can respond, it comes again.  “Mooommmmmmm…” A little louder this time.

I have just, not more than ten minutes ago, tucked my 12 year-old Little Miss in for the night and retreated to the sanctity of our living room. Enveloped by the golden hues of the streetlamp just outside our window, I’m ready to relax, a good book held in one hand, a soothing cup of Zen herbal tea in the other, and the companionable silence of my husband working on his lap top beside me while our two cats sleep the deep, deep sleep of lazy felines. Ah, the end of a long day.

But I know this call. I’ve heard it before. In the quiet, lonely darkness of her room her mind races. The challenges of twelve-year-old-life loom large when illuminated by moonlight and Little Miss needs to talk. It is confession time.

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July 29th, 2010

Calling All ‘Fun Moms’

On July 28, 2010, Sharon DeVellis, blogger at the Yummy Mummy Club, wrote an honest, heart-felt portrayal about the realities of being a WAHM. You can read her post, and I suggest that you do, at Ya…I’ve Got No Title For This One.

What’s a WAHM? WAHM is the acronym defining that growing segment of women who choose to be Work-At-Home-Moms. I am a long-standing, card-carrying member. We are a well-established, successful group, trying to find that delicate and elusive balance between working from home so we can be there for our kids, and still working. Working hard, I might add, with all of the responsibility and focus and commitment and yes, time, that entails. It is no easy balancing act.

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June 14th, 2010

The Mother Spider’s Reward

http://headacheandmigrainenews.com/news-images/the-spider-web.jpgThe sun was high in the June sky despite the early morning hour the day we saw it. It was perched precariously atop our car antenna and neither of us—my husband, my daughter nor I—was sure what it was. The consensus: Garbage. In the midst of grabbing a tissue to swipe it away, with my stomach in turmoil and my nose upturned, it moved. It was subtle at first but unmistakable, and the motion increased with the intensity of our stares. It was an egg sack. It was small and silken and perfectly shaped, and in the nascent stages of presenting to the world its swarming contents. As we stood transfixed, thousands of minuscule golden spiders wriggled their way free, crawling over each other in mayhem, uncertain as to what to do next with no mother near-by to guide their way. But quickly, like a scene from the ending of Charlotte’s Web, instinct trumped chaos and they departed, en masse, floating away on the ends of fine, glossy filaments to face the world alone.

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June 10th, 2010

Starbucks Should Be Licensed

Please enjoy this short little piece, posted today, June 10, 2010, on the Sweet Mama Guest Blogger web site.

“I’m gonna need a more complicated drink,” exclaims my 12-year-old daughter, her Grande, non-fat, Chai-tea latte with just a hint of cinnamon clasped carefully in both hands. I look sheepishly at my own Grande dark roast, black, clearly far too simplistic to meet her standards, and wonder what the heck she means.

Sensing my consternation, she sighs heavily in the manner instinctive to pre-teens who are just now realizing, to their dismay, that their parents don’t know everything, and she attempts to clear the fog.

“You know, for when I’m an adult.”

No, I don’t know, but my interest is certainly piqued.

A combination double-sigh-with-an-eye-roll follows, a move she has just recently mastered and which deserves a perfect ten, both technically and artistically. Exasperated, she continues: “For when I’m one of those ladies dressed in a nice, black trench-coat, with big, Jackie-O sunglasses, good hair and great shoes, always sipping from a Starbucks cup. I’m gonna need a fancier drink.”

In an instant, her vision of her future is clear. She sees herself out in the world, a successful, confident, stylish woman, with my penchant for shoes and a potentially hazardous addiction to caffeine. She already has the glasses. But I am not ready. I have not allowed myself to look that far ahead.

And so, with the April sunshine casting a golden halo around the face of the daughter I have spent the last twelve years adoring, I am forced to see her changing before my eyes. Until now, I have chosen to see what has come before. The hours of story telling and handholding, school concerts and field trips, birthday parties and bedtime cuddles. But with a moustache of cappuccino-coloured foam settled on her upper lip, I cosmic zoom fifteen years into the future and come face-to-face with her adult avatar. She is growing up. Her childhood is slipping away. It’s going take something a lot stronger than Starbucks to get me through this.

May 26th, 2010

Expand the Harmonious

…or, Life Lessons from my 12 Year-Old

…or, Patience, Thy Name is Christie….NOT!

I am not a patient person. I know this about myself. Lately, I have been less patient than I care to admit. My husband is away every week; my work obligations are soaring; my Little Miss’ year-end school commitments and activities are peaking in a flurry of assignments, dress rehearsals, recitals and concerts; and a beloved family pet passed on after a sad week peppered with multiple trips to the vet. I am frazzled. Case in point: Me, at the end of last week, attempting to fulfill the school-day-mom routine I preform Monday through Friday, September through June, in order to get my Little Miss out the door on time.

It went like this:

Me: Please hurry.

LM: I’m hurrying.

5 minutes later…

Me: Are you ready? Are you hurrying?

LM: Yes Mom, I said I’m hurrying.

2 minutes later…

Me: Is your bed made? Have you finished breakfast? Where are your shoes? Are you watching the time? We only have 5 minutes!

LM: (With a heavy sigh for dramatic effect) No Mom. Not yet. On my feet. Yes. I know!

Me: (Not listening) You know you need to make your bed and we have to leave and you’re not hurrying!

LM: Mom…I-AM-HURRYING!

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May 10th, 2010

My Body Image, My Daughter

I eat too many pistachios. This is the thought that repeats in my head as I stand at my kitchen counter, stomach rumbling, mouth salivating, hand immersed deep within my pistachio jar. Again: I eat too many pistachios. I look at the brimming handful of delectable, bright green nuts that I am attempting to extract through the narrow opening of the jar and swallow in anticipation, wondering if I will successfully convince myself that the mass encased within my fingers is equivalent to ten nuts, roughly, maybe eleven, close enough. Why ten? Didn’t you know? Ten is the maximum number of pistachios we are supposed to eat within a 24 hour period. I read this once in a book on diet and exercise, something related to Pilate’s if I’m not mistaken, and if I read it, it must be true.

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May 3rd, 2010

“Vicious,” or “Good Girls Making Tough Choices”

On the weekend I went to a high school drama performance. It was written by the roughly 24 grade-nine and grade-ten students performing, all of whom were girls save for the four, brave boys who chose to stand in their midst. It was a series of vignettes, scenes derived from monologues written by the students and based on their real-life, early-teen-aged experiences. The students collectively chose to title their presentation “Vicious, a representation, according to the teacher, of their perception of themselves: The average 14 year-old girl.

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