Please, stop being mean to your kids in public. I don’t care if you are a redneck in Wal-Mart or picking up a espresso in Starbucks. You look and sound like a witch when you are rude or snarky to your own child in public. Mean moms are the worst.
Seriously, do you think anyone wants to invite you over for a beer or a spin class when you treat your child with absolute disdain in public? Do you think the cute 26 year old guy with sideburns and massive biceps wants to spend any time with a woman who is mean to her kids? Here’s what he’s thinking, ‘if she’s mean to her kids she’ll probably be mean to me too”.
And consider this, when you are mean, tense, rude or short with your child, I’m pretty sure, you look at least ten years older. It’s true, mean people looker older than nice ones.
Don’t yell at your three year old, don’t roll your eyes and hiss at your six year old when they touch the gum at the grocery store, don’t swat them on the back of the head or I’m going to inject myself into the situation. That’s right, I’m going to call you out in public and you’re going to get even more angry.
Ok, so you’re busy texting and talking and trying to decide what shade of hose you really need. Yeah, that stuff is pretty important, but don’t act like a spoiled thirteen year old when your child interrupts because he really has to go to the bathroom.
Smile, for God’s sake. He needs you. And don’t make the “I’m such a martyr ” sigh. Don’t make that noise that tells the world you are overworked and exhausted. Lot’s of moms seem to specialize in that noise. Cut it out.
Kids are irrational, moronic they don’t understand anything, they need everything, they are demanding and rude and pushy and insane….cause they are babies. They are supposed to be that way.
And here’s my final tip, don’t spank a crying child and expect him to stop crying. She’s going to cry more if you hurt her. And again, you’re making your self look bad and everyone standing close to you is thinking that poor kid has such horrible, mean, stupid mom.
Tags: babies, kids, mean moms, parenting
If your nine year old rolls her eyes and sighs constantly. If she treats her father like he’s an absolute moron, easily tricked by a bad costume or fake sneezes, she’s probably been watching the Disney Channel. If your daughter has become excessively bossy and prissy as though she’s suddenly become a member of the Royal Family blame it on the Disney Channel.
If your fourteen year old daughter dresses like Kim Kardashian on LSD and tosses her like a parade pony. If she’s a drama queen, and I don’t mean a run of the mill drama queen, I mean the kind that turns every issue, like unloading the dishwasher, if she turns every conversation with a boy, every B+ instead of an A, into the North Korean Nuclear Stalemate. If she’s snotty, disrespectful and treats your Maid, Butler, Nanny or Baby Sitter like leftover Taco Bell trash…she’s probably watching too much Disney Channel.
And then there are the Disney Boys. Most of them are stupid. They all seem to be overly feminine, bordering on gay. They are afraid of everything, dark rooms, spiders and especially the girls who yell at them all the time. Disney boys tend to be weak , indecisive and easily led astray by the loud and very demanding girls. And they scream a lot, like little girls.
If one of my children acted like the kids on the Disney I would be horrified. I would also lock them in their rooms until they developed a soul or back bone. I’d rather have my off-spring act like the kids on Saved By The Bell, Welcome Back Kotter, The Cosby Show hell even Married With Children, Modern Family or the Simpsons would be an improvement. Because today’s Disney kids are so annoying.
So, if you find yourself looking for any place to go after work, instead of heading home to your family, you might need to cancel the Disney Channel. Of put a trailer on the front yard until your kids graduate from high school.
Today I read an Associated Press article from Seattle encouraging parents to change channels if they wanted their kids behavior to improve . But they wanted parents to switch from violent show to educational.
Tags: bad manner, disney, kids, Nannys, televisin, tv and kids
She knows, when I was little my family was pretty close to being rich. We were in the neighborhood. We didn’t have “old money” like the Kennedy’s or Rockefeller s But we lived well, very very well.
I went to private schools. We had memberships in all the golf and tennis clubs in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Boca Raton, Florida. We always had maids and even took them on vacation so my mom didn’t have to watch me all the time. I took English horseback riding lessons so I could compete in dressage and we had a reserved box at the Boca Raton Polo Club. I had a boat when I was 13 . I was a debutante and traveled to Europe several times before I was 21. We had a place on the lake and my grandmother’s big family house on Prospect Avenue in Hot Springs.
We had some money.
These days my husband and I work a lot of hours every week to hang on to our five acres and home. The house is falling down. Sometimes we have a couple thousand dollars in the bank, sometimes, when one of the kids needs an extra 100 dollars it’s hard to scrape it up. We manage to go on vacation (to Gulf Shores) every five years. We don’t have any money and we don’t have box seats to the polo matches.
So, what happened to all the money. It’s that same sad story I write about sometimes. But there’s a happy ending, so hang in there. When I was sixteen my father, who was 51 and my brother Jack who was 24 , both died tragically just two weeks apart.
My mom was a CPA, but she was so grief stricken and paralyzed with pain she could function. She made bad investment, then liquidated assets to make more bad investment. She wasn’t able to pay attention to the paperwork required by life and the IRS. And all the money was gone in five or six years. Bottom line…the IRS got most of it.
Here’s what I remember about my life when I had money. There was a lot of fighting. The people I loved the most were always angry at each other. My oldest brother, my dad and mom were constantly in the throes of battle. Everybody loved me and took care of me, but I remember hiding in my room crying because of all the screaming and arguing …and it all generally revolved around my brother’s behavior when he was a teenager , he did a lot of really bad stuff….and money.
Here’s what is true about our life today. We are here in Hampoland and we love each other. We play and joke and tease. We call each other “poop face” and “buckethead”. Mary and Jack love to lick everybody’s face when we are taking pictures. We have secret jokes and hand shakes. And we call ourselves “Team Us”. There is very rarely an argument or fight in the house.
Because we are a member of our own team we all take care of each other. Sandor, the ten year old is sick right now and Lexie offered to make him tea or hot chocolate.
We don’t have any money, we don’t go to polo matches, it’s a big damn deal when we get to go out to dinner. Sometimes we roll change and we’re late paying bills because we simply don’t have the money. My car has 237,000 miles on it.
But all the kids go to college and we love each other.
We don’t have a maid (Lord I need one) but we have joy and we have each other.
Boy would I love to get my boat back and go on a vacation. But what we have now is so much better. If my kids argued all the time and stayed in their rooms all the time just to avoided us, I would be heartbroken. No amount of money could fix the heartbreak.
I told Lexie she’ll have the education to build her own empire if that’s what she wants. Because we come from money she’ll fit right into society, if that’s what she wants. All the kids were raised as though they were semi-wealthy. They can walk into any room, shake hands and fit.
But more importantly, all my kids know how to build their own “Hampoland”. And when they do, I hope I’m there to lick some foreheads and call them all “poop face” cause that’s the good stuff.
(See, I told you this story had a happy ending.)
Tags: Boca Raton, family money, hampoland, kids, old money, polo
Jack has been a musician for years. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad (there was a song called “We Need More Hot Asian Chicks) and sometimes it’s ugly. The first time I went to one of his shows six or eight years a go he came out on stage in a tuxedo and by the end of the first song he’d stripped down to his boxers.
Now my son, who never stopped playing and writing music, is in Nashville. He has joined forces with some astonishingly good musicians..they are Natural Outlaws.
Six months ago he called me with some lyrics he couldn’t get out of his head. As I drove he read some of them to me. “I just want to make you proud. I hope you hear me I’m singing awful loud. This old moonshine’s got no decency…”
Listening to him, I was kind of lost. I couldn’t figure out where he was going with the song. All his other songs and lyrics had typically revolved around guns, whiskey and women. Pork chops and gravy music, that’s witty and evil and dangerous and makes you want to do double shots and dance with construction workers. Not a good thing for a middle aged mom, but fun.
Over the next few months he mentioned this particular song in passing. The band was working on it in the studio. Their seemingly possessed drummer Matt, who went to Berkley, and looks and plays like a red-headed Viking, sounded amazing. Dan, who has played classical piano since he was five has be “ruint”. He now had some nasty and trashy honky tonk shit working in it the song.
A couple of months ago Jack sent me the rough cut of Make You Proud. It gave me goose bumps, something that had never happened when I listened to his songs. I was stunned by the beauty and complexity of the entire arrangement.
Ryan is the bands guitarist and his music is generally very physical. It’s “boy rock and roll” verging on country brutality. And Clark’s bass work changes your heart rhythm. Most Natural Outlaw songs will land you in prison but this one was different.
This song made me stop and think and feel.I had to listen to it three or four times to understand all the soaring layers. What the hell was going on with those boys?
And the Natural Outlaws have finally given me permission to share it.
It’s the first song on their new webpage. http://www.naturaloutlawmusic.com/
I don’t know what will happen with the Natural Outlaws or this song. But this song does it. This song makes me proud.
Tags: Arkansas, berkley, jack hampo, kids, make you proud, matt snow, nashville, Natural Outlaws
A few days ago my son, Jack, said “growing up poor was awesome.”
I pressed him to explain what the hell he was talking about. As far as I’m concerned being poor is not awesome, it’s not even kind-of-cool. Being poor sucks and ranks right up there with having the chicken pox.
First, I want to state, we have never been poor. When Jack and Mary were little, we were clinging to the lower end of middle class but we were never poor. Jack and Mary however, love telling stories about their glorious, impoverished, redneck childhood.
When they were little, we never went on vacations. Instead, we spent almost every weekend in the summer playing in the creek not far from the house. I would pack up their friends, Bryce and Kay, some cheap red sodas and crackers. They would slide around on the little rock water fall for hours and we would catch army’s of crawdads, then then turn them all loose.
One winter we couldn’t afford to go to the skating rink in Little Rock so we tried to make one in the yard with a giant piece of plastic and the garden hose. It didn’t work but we laughed a lot.
All their clothes came from Wal-Mart. Until Jack was in 6th grade. The whole family was ridiculous proud of his first expensive pair of shoes. Alex paid $80 for a pair of And One basketball shoes. The entire team was impressed. Back then, it was a really big deal when anyone at Fountain Lake got a new pair of Nikes much less And Ones.
Ok, we were pretty broke most of the time. The kids never qualified for free lunches but I do remember, after church we would roll through the Burger King drive through and get one happy meal. One child got the burger and one got the fries and they split the drink. A two happy meal day was a really big deal.
At least once a year Alex had to pawn his 9 mm hand gun so we could buy school supplies (those cost 120 for both kids) or buy Christmas presents. But we always paid off the loan and and got his gun back. Good news now Alex has an arsenal and he hasn’t pawned anything in years.
But all their friends were in the same shabby economic party barge so they didn’t realize just how broke we were. We had food, electricity and a lot of fun. I grew up wealthy so at least once a week I had a meltdown but the truth is the kids were really, really happy and well adjusted.
The really great thing about kids who grow up on a shoe string….they are very easy to impress. Great big malls, elaborate Christmas lights, concerts and nice shoes make them so happy.
Kids who grow up with money, in big cities, are rarely in awe…of anything. They’ve already seen better. But poor kids are pretty excited about everything, they’re amazed, the recognize the beauty, they marvel and smile.
My youngest son, Sandor, still says, “Oh my goodness” when we walk into the Hot Springs Mall at Christmas time. And our Mall is tiny, but Sandor who is nine, thinks its magical. (And yes, he really says “oh my goodness”, he also plays football so don’t make fun of him.) Imagine how he’ll react when he sees Rockefeller Center or Big Ben.
Maybe Jack and Dolly Parton are right. There is a noble magic to growing up almost poor. I just hope that sense of wonder and awe stay with my kids for the rest of their lives.
Tags: crawdads, Fountain Lake, happy meals, jack hampo, kids, Mary Hampo, poverty
Of course there’s cat and dog hair but I found two test tubes full of green/gray slime from Sandor’s Dr. Demento kit. He’ been trying to find a cure for peole with gas, but in our house we call it “popping”. No luck yet.
There was some of his homework. Homework we did, but was never handed in. That explains the frowny faces from his teacher.
I found two guitar picks, a very nice empty wallet I don’t recognize. Have my kids been mugging people and hiding the evedence behind the couch? Maybe it’s a pretty good plan.
The four of clubs and ten of spades were both back there, explaining my exceptionally poor luck playing solataire this week. I thought I just sucked.
A pink bra I’ve been looking for since Wednesday.
Three nerf bullets, a single flip flop, two dirty sock, a go-gert wrapper, a checker and a pair of tongs. I can’t explain those. I also found my long lost Keb Mo cd.
I don’t know if this happens to everyone and I’m kind of embarassed to ask. If the answer is no I don’t know what I’ll use an excuse.
But I’m thinking if I wait two weeks to look behind the couch next time I might find the holy grail or the body of Jimmy Hoffa. could be interesting and maybe it’ll payoff.
Comments OffTags: cleaning, Couch, Dr. Demento, Jimmy Hoffa, kids
I have a theory. If you take your kids to weird places, odd and unusual events, likegGraffiti parties, Cat Shows, crawdad cookoffs and music festivals they will be better equipped to handle all sorts of bizarre and strange situations in life. They will become more flexible and well behaved. If you take kids to different types of events, different cultures won’t make them freak out or cause them to melt down. I know so many kids who go into spoiled-kid-anaphylactic-shock when they have to deal with something unfamiliar. They point, stare and whine, they get picky, rude, grouchy and insulant.
Start hauling them around when they are just two or three so by the time they are seven they will be fun and well behaved and you can take them anywhere. They will learn to suck crawdad tails, eat crepes, smelly cheese and home made rootbeer.
Tonight, I took Sandor and Lex to the Blues Fest downtown. Sandor didn’t know if he really wanted to go, but I said get in the car. He didn’t know what to expect (he went to the jazz and blues fest last year but 9 year old boys forget everything). I didn’t let him bring an I-Pod or game because I wanted him to actually pay attention to the Blues Fest, I wanted him to listen to the music, watch the musicians, eat the yucky fried food and watch old hippies dance with bluesy abandon.
Since the kids were toddlers I’ve been dragging them to Amish quilt festivals, zydeco concerts, art galleries, documentary festivals, black history celebrations, cheese making parties, donkey basket ball games, farmers markets, poetry slams, football games and rock concerts. I do it because it’s fun and I think it’s good for them. As a result they usually know how to handle all kinds of situations. When we go out they don’t whine too much, they relax and have fun. As soon as the band started the first big blues song Lex and Sandor were up on the floor dancing together. Sandor even did his moonwalk.
So please, don’t make the mistake of keeping your kids at home just because they don’t think they want to go to the Topiary Festival or Polo Game. You’re the parent, tell them to get in the car and give it a try. Be brave, take them to stuff, weird stuff and relax. If it doesn’t work out….you can always leave. And try again next weekend.
Tags: blues, events, festivals, kids, parenting
Kids ask for stuff all they time and they ask for permission, they ask you to watch them, or listen to them constantly. Learn to say yes more than you say no.
This weekend Sandor said, “Can I do an experiment?”
“Yes.” I cringed a little becomes sometimes his “experiments” mean mixing a little bit of everything in the kitchen in a bowl (including cat food and ketchup) and the result is disgusting.
This time he wanted to do something he’d seen Bill Nye do on Youtube. “Can I empty the big bottle of Sprite into the old milk jug, fill it up with hot water then stick it in ice water?”
If we lost the Sprite I would dump two dollars worth of soda down the drain. It’s bad for us any way so I said, “Sure, go for it. But you have to try to do it all by yourself.”
He made a huge mess, used up all the ice cubes, the Sprite went flat but he was excited about science. It was worth the trade.
When he asks “can I pump the gas”, I know the stop for ten dollars worth of regular will take twice as long and he’ll ask me nine or forty two questions in the process but when he pumps the gas for me he…1. Feels like a man, 2. Learns to do man stuff, 3. Thinks about gas and mechanics, 4. He’s learning to be more independent.
It’s easier and quicker to say no but then he just sits in the car and learns how to drool then suck it back up real fast before I get back to the car.
When they ask if they can catch the lizard, say yes. When they ask if they can kiss it…say sure. When they ask if they can throw rocks in the mud puddle say yes, unless you are headed to church. “Can I try to eat this bowl of jello without using my hands?” “Yes you can.”. And when they say, “Can I roll down the window and scream as loud as I can”. Say sure…then consider joining them. It actually feels really good.
I’m not suggesting it’s ok to say yes when he asks to eat Ho Ho’s for breakfast or dig up a bunch of worms then cut them all in half. As parents we have to say no sometimes.
And sometimes I think we so “no” because it’s a reflex. We don’t actually think about the request we just understand life will be easier, cleaner and quicker if we say no….to everything. Eventually kids stop asking if they can do science experiments, they already know the answer. Instead they give up and watch tv for hours on end.
But slow down on the nos just a little. Slow down and say ‘yes”, even though it’s going to be messy and take time. When you say” yes” your child starts to understand things, when you say “yes” they begin to understand it’s ok to ask questions, to wonder and to be curious.
Great things can happen…when you say “yes.”
Comments OffTags: kids, parenting, science, worms, yes
Lexie has a fifteen year old friend who is very dear to our entire family. She has been part of our world and Lexie’s best friend since 3rd grade. Sadly, Julie is surrounded by adults with enormous problems. Problems with the law, problems with relationships and marriage, and as a result psychological problems. And these adults talk talk talk all the damn time about their problems and unfortunate circumstances.
Julie, is very mature for her age (she’s had to grow up fast) . She listens and counsels and absorbs all their heavy, dank garbage. She worries and frets because she’s totally submerged in all these issues all the time.
It’s summertime so she doesn’t even get a break during the day. She’s at home with the stupid adults and their problems.
The adults in her life have problems of their own making, they screwed up. And now Julie is swimming in the problem pool with them, 24/7. As a result she’s become depressed…very very depressed.
THE PROBLEMS ARE NOT JULIES! BUT THEY HAVE EATTEN HER LIFE UP BECAUSE HER ADULTS DON’T KNOW WHEN OR HOW TO SHUT UP!
Just because a kid is mature does not mean adults should tell them all the details of their stupid freakin’ issues and woes. Do not tell them all about your marriage problems. Do not tell them all about your relationship problems. Do not tell them all about your court case and legal issues and if you feel suicidal…don’t lean on a teenager! That’s not fair or right.
Julie should be thinking about cute boys, shoes, her tan line, school, her future, her phone, movies and friends. But she’s not. She’s worrying about the adults in her life because they talk AT her 24 hours a day, they blow up her phone, they text and they talk and talk and talk. She’s sitting in a vat of “other people’s problems” and she’s too kind and caring to tell everybody to shut the hell up.
I have never been more worried about a child in my life.
Tags: kids, parents, problems, teens
1. I have really great legs. Yeah, I work out a lot and do hundreds of kicks in Taekwondo ever week but I have my mother’s legs. Mary and Lex got them too. We have great definition and generally don’t get cellulite, fat thighs or big hips, even when we put on ten or twenty pounds. (Sadly though, our butts are kind of flat). Because of my mom, we don’t store fat in our thighs. And we have nicely shaped calves and ankles, no “cankles” for us or chubby knees. Our fat goes to other places and that’s wonderful because It’s really hard to exercise your ankles and hips. Our legs are a genetic gift from God and my mom and I am thankful.
2. God blessed me by making me a McDaniel. And three of my children are absolutely McDaniels too. We’re still waiting to see if Sandor develops the gift of friendly bull shit. Being a McDaniel means we can snuggle into any group of people from senators and presidents to garbage men and rednecks. We can happily visit with just about anybody, we like almost everybody. It’s very difficult to make us feel out of place, because we know how gifted and wonderful we are. Oh, and we have an absurd amount of confidence so we assume people will love us, because we are McDaniels. Generally, McDaniel’s are also magnificent story tellers. Some people say we are natural liars, but we like to think of ourselves as gregarious raconteurs. We like to put a positive spin on things.
This is where I should mention my husband, Alex. I’m blessed with a man who puts up with us even though he often times doesn’t understand. he rolls his eyes a lot and wonders what we will say next.
3. We laugh all the time. This is also part of the McDaniel blood line. We howl and giggle and hee-haw with laughter even when things are really really bad. We laugh when we are miserable and broken hearted because God blessed us with the ability to see something funny in almost every situation, from cat poop on the new carpet to family funerals. Thank you Jesus. Again I have also been blessed with a husband who doesn’t always understand why the hell we are laughing but he doesn’t tell us to shut up.
4. God has blessed me with the most wonderful and naturally happy children on the planet. They all like and take care of each other. They are all playful and respectful, smart and really really fun to be around.
At least ounce a week (I’m not making this part up no matter what I said in the previous paragraph) someone asks me how I raised such wonderful and smart kids. (so far I haven’t had to write a single check for college) I just say “thank you they actually came delivered that way”. And it’s the truth.
We have plenty of flaws. We tend to be a little vain, with terrible handwriting and none of the kids are over the top athletes. Hard work is required for their on field successes. But for the most top I am blessed beyond words.
I have a theory why God has given me four such extraordinary children. He has a good plan. But I’ll save that story for another day and just be thankful for what I have right now.
Tags: Blessed, Blessings, children, God, great legs, kids, McDaniel, taekwondo