Clinton Township Newsletter

May 2015 Issue of the Clinton Township Newsletter

Clinton Township Newsletter, Clinton New Jersey, May 2013 Issue

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1 M a y 2 0 1 5 CLINTON TOWNSHIP Newsletter ® –Julie Fl�nn "Sponge Bath" b y R u t h K e e s i n g EDITOR'S COLUMN b y J u l i e F ly n n I used to be pretty much an expert on raising children. That is, until I gave birth to my own – at which point I felt like a complete novice, and I've been trying to figure it out ever since. In this month of Mother's Day, I can't help but reflect on these past two decades of being a mom. Though we still have our baby at home (and I'll always call him that) — the baby is, at 15, almost a man and I really feel like we're in a new chapter. I now melt when I hear a small child's voice in a store saying, "Mommy! Look at this! Isn't this beautiful?!!" I look over and it's some sparkly item that the child is showing the mom (or dad), then I look at the parent and they're usually dead-tired. You can just tell they're busily going through their mental to-do list. I want to say: "Appreciate this time! It goes by so quickly!," but usually I just keep quiet. As a young mom, I was often told the same thing, but I was usually too exhausted to fully appreciate those toddler years. Sigh… So, for you new parents out there, here are a couple of things I've figured out since becoming a mom: • Parenting truly is a monkey - see, monkey - do proposition. As much as we say to them "Do as I say, not as I do." they will do as we do. So, be careful about everything you say and do in front of your kids. Easy, right? Ha. No pressure. • Remember, we're not only "raising kids", we're raising adults. I try to remember the bigger picture – for example, when my two-year old(s) said "no" they were practicing for the teen years and beyond. "No" is a very good word. • I tell my kids to try to treat everyone with respect and expect respect in return. Importantly, if we treat our kids with the respect they deserve as the pre-adults that they are, (hopefully) they will treat others with respect as well. • There's no need for perfect-y homework. My kids' teachers were happy to see my childrens' actual work, mistakes and all. We help our kids if they need it, but we let them know that their homework is their responsibility, not ours. • When I worked outside of the home, I always made sure my employer knew I needed flexibility. Trust me, I needed it. • When I stayed at home with the kids, make no mistake, I was working, even though I wasn't compensated for it monetarily. • I've kept in mind a plan for the next chapter because, if all goes well, eventually my kids will not need me (as much). Volunteer work, part-time or full-time work, hobbies – you might want to consider some or all of these. • As cool as I might have ever thought I was (truth be told, I wasn't), my teenagers find me very un-cool. Trust me on this. Absolutely every parent of teens I know tells me this exact thing, and these parents were all very cool back-in-the-day. You will never convince their teenagers of this fact, however. • When my children were small, I tried to catch them in the act of doing the "right" thing(s), and then I told them I was proud of them for it. Positive feedback is powerful. It might feel goofy, but it works... and it's more effective than reprimanding them for doing the "wrong" things. • Unconditional love goes a long way. In my opinion, when kids know that they're really loved – no matter what – by their parents, grandparents and/or mentors, they develop a thicker skin, which helps them navigate the sometimes psychologically rough terrain of the playground, school hallways and the world at large. If you received lots of love as a child, I bet you're grateful you did. Pass it on. I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day – enjoy! Don't you usually envision a sponge bath to be a quick wipe and swipe of one's body because there's no time for a shower or the power is out and there's no hot water for a proper tub bath? Not necessarily so. I recently received a "sponge bath" as a gift and it is a bath for sponges. I kid you not! Regrettably I had actually asked for this stupid thing after having seen it advertised in a women's magazine. The "quick setup" directions were so complicated I was unable to assemble it without help from my granddaughter's boyfriend. Here is a list of the contents of the packing box: tub, paddles, cap, LED light, counter stand, sink bracket, wire support frame, suction cups, 2 screws (but no screwdriver), 4 wooden screws and a sponge. All this to clean a d---sponge! Before Andrew began the agonizing process of preparing this gadget for use I noted the cautionary notices. Avoid eye contact. Keep out of reach of children and pets. If swallowed, contact a poison control center (800-222-1222) or a doctor immediately. Do not re-use cleaning solution. (Buy plenty of refills.) Dispose in receptacle out of reach of children and pets. Not for Personal Use. Luckily there are no children or pets at 29 Charlotte Drive but if a person isn't supposed to use this annoying product, who is? No idiot is going to mistake the slot as a receptacle for any part of a human body. A slice of whole wheat would fit nicely, but it isn't a toaster, unfortunately. Oh yes, the instructions were in French and Spanish as if English wasn't bad enough. There are 10 separate steps in the "getting started" menu. However, before step one you are supposed to rinse your sponge of all soap, cleansers or solids before placing in Sponge Bath. In other words, by the time you prepare the sponge for its dip in a "poisonous solution" you've already done a pretty fair cleaning job. Once you engage the paddles and squeeze your sponge it will be ready for several more steps. You press a LED button which will turn off for 30 days and blink when its time is up. By day 29 I'd be frothing in anticipation. The Kennedy Space Center doesn't spend as much time getting a rocket ready for takeoff. My daughter suggested just buying a year's worth of new sponges and tossing the Sponge Bath in a nearby garbage can. It may come to that. Even my life expectancy is more favorable than that of this ridiculous contraption. I know companies that manufacture products for "personal use" are scared to death they will be sued by some dumb consumer who spills a cup of hot Starbucks coffee in his or her lap. Therefore they go overboard on warnings. But Sponge Bath takes the cake. Actually it "takes" a gullible buyer. Of which I am one. You can't win them all! H appy M oths' D ay! Since 1982 May 2015 Jie Fly, Edit "God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers." ~ Rudyard Kipling

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