Teens #1 Complaint About Their Parents

I was poking around on Twitter and found the category/hash tag for “I hate it when my parents…”. In Twitterland it looks like this#ihatewhenmyparents.

As far as I can see the number one complaint from teenagers and kids seems to be when we ask who they are texting. First, I kind of want to tell all these whinny kids to shut up and stop bitching because I’m paying for your phone, but that won’t really help.

Instead, I will say this. Kids, you need to understand that cell phones are very new, and texting is even newer. The first text was sent in 1994 and it was really slow catching on. Now all teens text all the time.  You keep your cell phone clutched in your fist like the  Bald Eagle keeps his deadly talons  wrapped around the American flag.  God forbid anyone try to remove that cell phone from you fist.

As an adult, I can tell you,  it seems as though you are having a bunch of conversations with people we can’t see or hear, right in front of us. Wait, that’s exactly what you are doing. And it’s really really rude. I know you don’t see it that way because you grew up with texting. But we don’t know who you are talking to or what you are talking about. And that’s creepy.

For all I know my beautiful fifteen year old daughter  might be making a deal with a pimp to buy hookers for her boy friend along with an ounce of Purivian cocaine…and she’s doing all this while she is eatting a Pop Tart in the kitchen with me.

You wouldn’t sit at the dinner table with me, eating Thanksgiving dinner, while having a detailed conversation on the phone. You know that would be rude because you are a smart kid.Well, texting is the same thing.And at least, when you are on a real phone, we get the general idea that what and who you are talking to. I’m able to tell you are making plans to go to the movie with your friends and you are not discussing the rising prices of condoms or how to buy Jack Daniels without an ID.

When you text in front of us, we don’t know what the hell you are talking about or who you are talking to. Don’t get mad when we ask, be grateful you have a parent that cares.  I know a lot of kids who don’t have any adults in their lives who care what or who they do.

So we ask, “who are you talking to?” Answer politely, unless it is a Colombian drug lord, and stop texting while you are hanging out with us. We love you and don’t really want to take your phone away. And when you grow up, if you text in front of your boss, he’s probably going to fire you.

The second biggest complaint about parents on Twitter seems to be “I  hate it when my parents come in my room, then when they leave they don’t close the door.”  Hey, grown ups, close the door when you leave your teenagers room! Good Lord, thats just common courtesy…so they can text bad things about you in peace. Just kidding.  I don’t think they are actually interested enough in our lives to spend much time texting about us.

Please let me know what you think, write to me at hampoland@gmail.com  or leave a comment. You can even text me if your really need to.

 

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Give Me A Little Kid Coat, Please

This morning I couldn’t figure out of Sandor should wear his leather coat or the camo coat. I bitch all the time but the truth is, we are blessed: we have lots of coats. But tons of kids in Hot Springs don’t have the luxury. They go to school cold and act like it’s no big deal. That sucks.

Hampoland and my radio buddy Dick Antoine are have a Little Kid Coat Drive.

So, give me a coat in the next two weeks. I don’t care if it’s new or used. Just take the Kleenex out of the pocket please. Size 1-14 or for teenagers, we’ll take small and medium adult coats.

You can drop them off at Fountain Lake Martial Arts, bring them by the radio station or call me and I’ll come pick them up. My cell is 501 545-8372. Wait, I’ll pick them up if you live close to Hot Springs, AR. Don’t call me for pick up if you live in Nebraska.

Seriously, we need coats. Once we collect a boat load we will give them to The Jackson House because they don’t have enough coats for little kids. I can’t imagine what it would feel like if I couldn’t keep my kids warm. It would break my heart so please help us out.

Thanks, Diana Hampo

 

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A Sweet Boy Turns Into A Bad Ass

Kids change.  They start out one way and ten years latter are entirely different creatures.

When Jack was a little boy he was beautiful, soft spoken, kind and gentle. He wasn’t shy or weak but he was so sweet and loving. Jack was so sweet in fact, Alex started wondering if he was gay.

Sometimes he cried when his dad beat him in basket ball.  Jack was the little boy who tried to take care of everybody, especially his sister Mary and a hopeless mamas boy. We couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful son but seemed to lack in natural aggression.

We constantly wondered if the world would eat him up. We worried that he would get picked on, girls wouldn’t like him, and the universe would just steam roll our son because he was too nice and gentel. 

Alex had a tough childhood, and  was literally afraid for Jack.  We tried to figure out how to make him tougher, for his own good. But it was hopeless. Jack was a sweet heart.

When he tried to play sports he just couldn’t find that part of himself that wanted to beat other people down. Jack wanted everybody to win and be happy. When a pee-wee foot ball coach yelled at him on the field and said, “Don’t you every want to hit somebody Jack, just put them down?”

 Jack shook his head, “No, not really.”

The coach nodded, “Go sit on the bench.”

When I look at Jack now, I can still see and feel that gentle and soft little boy. But he’s not the same person. He’s a different creature. He’s a big swarthy, tatted up musician. I listen to his CD, yikes, he’s a bad ass. He sings about whiskey, and guns and he takes his shirt off while he plays drums. Sometimes he gets so worked up while he’s on stage he ends up performing in his boxers.  When he performs, beautiful hot girls crawl all over him…even though he’s standing with his mother! Seriously.

 Jack is a bouncer in a big city rock and roll bar. He called yesterday to tell me he had to break up a fight, “Well,” he said, “I just yanked one dude off the other then threw them both out.”  Yes, he’s got a degree in French and film, but he really loves a good fight. 

Kids change. The brat turns into a wonderful teen aged girl. The ugly boy grows into a handsome man. The laziest kid finds something he wants to work for. So you can’t ever give up on them.

 Jack is still a smiling, sweet mamas boy, he’s still a family man.  But the little boy who cried playing basket ball with his dad hasn’t been seen in a long, long time.

I love you, Jack!

WRITE TO ME!…I get lonesome. hampoland@gmail.com

 

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Signs of Christmas at Hampoland…A Headless Lizard

The tree is up and looks lovely. Yesterday we started hauling Christmastubs out of the shed and I realized there are several signs of Christmas in Hampoland.

Some of them happen year after year others just started this year.

1. Before the first light is plugged in Alex and I start bartering and haggling. Is it a tinsel year? Is it a flashing light year? I hate both and he wants to make our tree flash like a gawdy landing strip. If Alex were allowed to decorate on his own, I promise you, our living room would look like an Elf threw up after eating Skittles.

2. We all look at Theo, our great big (100 pounds) old dog, and think about putting a Santa hat on him. He’d look so funny and cute with a Santa hat. But he give us “that look” and we know he will eat our arm and be embarrassed.

3. Lex will find our “Striper Angel”. She used to look elegant now she’s just tawdry and she has somehow outgrown her angel gown.  Lex spins her around, “see, her but hangs out of her dress”. How did she gain wait in the Christmas box?

4.This year I bought a new lighted ornament. It’s a four foot lighted lizard, holding a Christmas package.  But he keeps falling over, then his head pops off so the new member of our Christmas family is a headless Gecko. I still like him.

These are just a few of the signs of Christmas in Hampoland. I promise you, there will be more.

*Hey, send me a note, tell me what’s going on at your house, or e-mail me Christmas card! hampoland@gmail.com

 

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Eating While Texting…That’s Dangerous!

Of course driving and texting is a deadly combination. But texting tragedies don’t just happen on our highways and dirt roads.

We are  surrounded by texting fools who are putting us all in harms way! And sometimes we are the fools.

Last week I made the mistake of trying to text with my left hand while I was eating a salad with my right. I stabbed myself in the face with a fork. Not only was it embarrassing, it really hurt and I got Ranch Dressing all over my shirt.

We must all be careful in Wal-Mart and K-Mart now. Crazy kids and soccer moms stare at their phones, texting their bffs and moving like zombies. They inadvertently run over old ladies and small children. They are so engrossed in their texting they don’t even feel the cart as it bumps over the flailing arms and legs.

And of course the newest danger in the gym…idiots who try texting while running on the treadmill. Runners loose their balance and footing while texting “LOL” to their super hot girlfriend. In a split second tragedy strikes. Runner Dude flies off the back of the treadmill. New Balance running shoes sail across the room and hit the people on the elliptical. His phone crashes to the floor, the battery pops out and all communication is lost.

Texting is a serious threat to us all. It’s a cruel world so be careful out there.

Talk to me!  leave a comment or e-mail me at hampoland@gmail.com, just don’t text me. I care about you too much for that.

 

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Friday Night American Warriors

It’s just Wednesday but I’m already thinking about this weekend. I’m starting to twitch.The Fountain Lake Cobra football team is in the semi-finals.  They weren’t supposed to be. I want to thank them for thrilling me all season.

Friday mornings…are  awesome.On Friday mornings when I drive around the school I get to see all the senior high players in their big purple jerseys. They stand together, they swagger together. The girls bump up against them and everybody laughs.

If it’s a home game the colossal lights will be turned on in the afternoon and the field will glow as the sun sets. School busses from other towns will roll onto campus. They are strangers and they don’t wear purple. The stadium is beautiful and pristine, waiting for the Friday night warriors.

 Most of our boys are sweet guys, they hug their moms and their mom’s friends. They throw footballs at the little boys who wear jerseys on Fridays too, hoping they will some day be able to take the field when the stands are packed and the home crowd cheers and rings cowbells. Alumni in skinny jeans and hightops and camo, faded overalls and ball caps line up, shoulder to shoulder to cheer.

The Cobra players are all just teen-age boys, all on the verge of becoming men, taking care of business, getting a job done, for their school, for their fans and for a tiny Arkansas community built around the purple and gold Cobras.

No matter what happens this weekend the Cobra football team has given us  all so much this season. They have played  hard, they have come from behind and they never quit in the 4th quarter. The boys have made everyone in the community proud to say we are from Fountain Lake.

*Please write me at hampoland@gmail.com or leave a comment. That makes my day!  This story is a re-write from earlier in the season.

 

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Why That Boy Acts Like A Boy

I recently read a blog entitled ”Why Our Sons Wear Pink”.  A mom explained why she encourages her sons to be sensitive and gentle. She thinks people like boys who are rough and jock like.  But I think things are going in the opposite direction.

 A lot of folks get mad because little boys act like little boys. They are too rough, too tough and too violent. And it’s not politically correct.

But boys are boys and girls are girls. We don’t get mad at little girls for being too “girly” . We don’t get mad at girls for wearing pink and taking care of their baby dolls. We don’t fuss at them for being too sweet or too nurturing.

But boys take a beating for being too aggressive and too violent, for pretending to shoot things and beat up dudes. I love it when my nine year old plays in his room, when he draws and listens to music. But i try to be patient when he’s a screaming, hollering crazy guy running around in the yard with his bb gun and jumping off the playhouse onto the trampoline with a foam sword.

 I’m the first parent to jump into a hot messy situation about a kid that’s a bully or too aggressive. When that happens I start calling parents and principals. I hang out on the playground. And I don’t let my kids play violent video games.

But boys and men were were made to be hunters and protectors. Girls were designed to take care of their young. Sometimes the boys have to take care of the babies and the girls have to go hunt down dinner, so a person who can do both is invaluable. But for the most part that’s how humans were designed. Seahorses and birds are different but we are humans. (I know I break the rules I’m reciting…I’ve been involved in Martial Arts for years and love boxing, but taking care of my kids is the most important thing I do.)

I agree we have to encourage our boys to be sensitive and compassionate. We must teach them to respect everybody, not just the alpha males.  Parents  need to encourage boys to appreciate the arts, music and literature. But as a society we need to stop blasting our boys for being boys. 

My oldest son, Jack is 24 years old.  When he was born I was a very tan hippie chick who hated guns.  I wouldn’t let Jack play with guns…ever.  So the boy turned everything, from Legos to bannanas, into a gun. My daughter, Mary, who is 16 months younger had absolutely no use or interest in guns.

Parents, this is on you, insist and encourage you boys be respectful and kind but don’t beat them up if they want to sword fight, wrestle, and hunt down bad guys. Let those boys be boys.

*Important Note: If your child is gay, understand God made him that way and love him just the way he is. If you’re child is mean or a bully make him stop and don’t make excuses. Don’t use the line “he’s just being a boy” if he’s actually an obnoxious punk.

Tell me what you think, comment or write to me! Thanks, diana

hampoland@gmail.com

 

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I Want To Wear Scrubs To Work

Sometimes I want things that aren’t really good for me like movie theater popcorn and pie…lots of pie.

Right now I want a job that I can do in scrubs. Ten years ago scrubs were UGLY, but now, I see cute scrubs  and  tailored, http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/. So you don’t have to look like a piece of bubble gum rolling down the hall.

And now scrubs sets , have some serious style with crew neck, v-neck and fancy stitching on the pockets. Or I could go for the cutsie look with  patterns. Because I’ve seen Star Wars scrubs, Snoopy scrubs, it’s all out there.  I think I could pull off a pair of scrubs and still look reasonably hot.  The models on the web page look super cool, like they would go clubbing in scrubs.

But I know, deep down in my heart…scrubs would not be good for me or my career. If I could wear scrubs to work, I’d eat tacos and cheese dip for lunch everyday. I’d pull my hair back in a pony tail and cut down on the make up.  After a month “Scrub Diana” would be ”Dumpy Diana”.

So I’ll pass on the scrubs…but I will have another piece of pie, please.

 

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For The Mother With A Chubby Daughter

My daughter Mary is gorgeous, shiny, brilliant and thrilling. Growing up she was all those things and chubby. She was famous for snacking then leaving candy wrappers stuffed between the couch cushions.

Recently Mary sent me a college paper she wrote comparing the  dancer, Isadora Duncan and Marlyn Monroe. But the first paragraph was about Mary as a little girl. 

She wrote, “I knew  women throughout history had contributed in a variety of ways. I also knew I had never heard of an ugly woman doing great things. Aphrodite was the goddess of beauty and love, and those suffering from heartbreak would ask her for relief. In Africa, Cleopatra was a great beauty who held the power of her entire country and was a magnificent leader. Marie Antoinette was another woman I was fascinated with, at the time all I understood of her was that her beauty was so extraordinary she started wars and that she really liked cake.

However, my greatest love was not intelligent, fierce and determined like the others. My great love was Marilyn Monroe. She was delicate and feminine. She had the skin of a princess, with beautiful blond hair.

I was a chubby girl, with enormous knots in my hair, stirrups on the bottom of my grubby spandex pants and a surprising amount of hair on my legs for a ten year old.”

She also wrote, “I knew I could have looked like them if I hadn’t spent all my time watching Murder She Wrote and pretending to go to Hogwarts…..”

Now, after all these years, I know what was going through her beautiful brain.

Mary was always gorgeous. And she was so funny as a little girl, I sometimes had to pull the car off the road because I couldn’t stop laughing.

But she was a little chubby. And back then, Mary couldn’t write very well.  Boy, things have changed.

I’d love to hear from you! Comment or write to me a hampoland@gmail.com

 

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Trust Your Gut…Maybe The Mom Is A Crack Head

So,  many parents think I’m way too easy going and liberal. Others, think I’m a Nazi because I insist on kids being respectful.

But parents…when you are sending your child to some body’s house….trust your gut. Listen to your instincts. Be quiet and let that little voice in your heart speak up. Often times that’s the only thing protecting your child from something wicked.

My son, who is eight, has a new friend, Robert. He’s a little guy with pretty eyes. Robert lives with his older brother and sister, his mom and Joe, his mom’s boyfriend and three dogs.

The first time I picked Robert up  I tried to keep an open mind. But thehouse, which is a mile from any other home, was pretty rough.
I made arrangements to pick up Robert with Joe, the mom’s boyfriend. Joe was really young and tatted up, but seemed like a nice guy. He asked the right questions. “When will he be home” and “Will you feed him dinner”. The kid was lucky to have Joe, at least he was interested in the boy.

At some point during the afternoon, I asked little Robert what his mom did for a living and he said, “She mostly sleeps.” (red flag?)

As Robert was leaving, my son asked if he could give his new buddy some toys.
“Why?”
“Because Robert’s only toy is a big Freddy Kruger doll”. (He made a face that said,’pretty gross, right?’)
“Go get some toys and put them in a bag guys.” I was horrified.
The two boys came out of the room ten minutes latter with a bag full of Hot Wheels, a Nerf Gun, a plastic tank and a harmonica.

Robert gave my son a hug then said to me, “At Christmas I get toys and cool stuff from the church.”

“What church do you go to?”

“We don’t go to church, but they give us presents every Christmas. ”

Over the last three weeks Robert has come to our house four or five times. He plays, they have fun. He eats a lot and I’m working on his manners. I still haven’t  talked to or seen his mom. I always make arrangements through Joe, “the mom’s boyfriend.”

Today we picked  Robert  again. Joe “the mom’s boyfriend,” asked if Justin, the older brother could come to our house too.

Sure.

Justin hung out at our house with Robert for a few hours. During the day he told us his mom had lots of boyfriends but only Joe right now.  And neither one of them had jobs. The ultimate red flag slapped me in the face. If folks don’t have jobs, what do they do during the day? How do they make money to pay for tattoos andFreddy Kruger dolls?

I have absolutely no proof that there is anything illegal going on. I have no reason to think they are doing anything  wrong.

 But I do.

So, I told my son he must not ask to spend time at their house because I’ll say no, every time. I don’t want him to embarrass the boys.

My gut tells me there is something weird going on in that house. Both the boys always, always ask if they can spend the night. They don’t want to go home. After almost a month, I still haven’t met the mom, only  the mom’s boyfriend. But the boys tell me she is home all the time.

What should I do? 

 I know I have to keep helping the boys so I invite them over and try to teach them what I can. They like going to church with us. They like sitting down for dinner, playing board games and football.  When I give them clothes that don’t fit my kid, they try them on and grin and say thank you.

What should I do? Trust my gut, and start talking to peole. The right people. As a parent the most important thing I have to do is take care of my kids and their friends, and their friends.

 

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