Who defined family anyways?

This is an article I wrote for Birthing Magazine, and I thought I’d share it here too. Get rid of your preconceived notions of what it means to be a family… and let me introduce you to mine:

It’s a Tuesday afternoon and I just finished putting my dayhome babies down for a nap. The remaining two children in my care take up some colouring on the dining room table as I prepare a snack. My step-daughter is quietly reading in the living room, and for a moment it seems very peaceful. A short half hour later my two youngest children burst through the door and start telling me all about their day. Not even 10 minutes later, my partner Lindsay comes home with the groceries. She battled the crowds at Costco; she is my hero. We spend the next while talking about what we need to get done over the next week, what we should have for dinner, and how we wish we could do more yoga. It’s a spaghetti and meatballs kind of night, a kid favourite around here. Shortly after 4:30 my two teenagers drag themselves through the door and try to avoid any sort of conversation — they are teens after all. The house is now pretty busy: the dayhome babies have woken up and are getting ready to leave, dinner is almost ready, and in comes Justan, our other partner. He comes bearing wine and some much needed comic relief. And we all sit down for family dinner.

I never imagined my life would end up like this. In fact, if someone had asked me 20 years ago what my life would look like, I would have told them with much certainty that it would look like anything but this. And that in itself is a weird thing to accept, how something that had once never crossed my mind ended up being my entire reality. Well, it is, and I would not change it for the world.

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I met Lindsay in 2006 at a playgroup here in Calgary, even though I lived in Lethbridge at the time. We had similar interests, we were both in the process of starting natural parenting stores, and we were both seemingly straight. Now, we definitely weren’t straight, but for some reason, we both assumed that of each other. That is the epitome of heteronormativity.

Over the next six years, Lindsay and I kept in touch through Facebook and a fondness grew between us. We actually both had a crush on each other, although that wouldn’t be known until I moved back to Calgary in 2012. Close to a year after that, following some flirty Facebook messages, a handful of playdates with the kids, and one awkward night at the movies, it was pretty obvious how we felt about each other. That was nearly four years ago now, and we still laugh about how we ended up together and how incredibly awkward we were.

So here is where the story gets interesting. I had been a single mother since 2009, and even though I dated another woman for a couple years, I was still very much a single mother. Lindsay on the other hand was the exact opposite— she was, in fact, married. Lindsay and her husband Justan identified as polyamorous and both dated other people. Take a minute to think about that one.

In the beginning, I didn’t think our relationship would be long term — neither of us did, really. I assumed that because Lindsay and Justan were married there was no room for more love, and how could there be? I mean, isn’t it illegal anyways? So for the next four months, we both fell more and more in love while preparing for the end. Well, as you likely already know, the end didn’t come. It turned out that Justan and I actually really enjoyed each other’s company as well, and we decided to expand our relationship into a triad. We all have our own relationships with each other, but then also as a three-person team. It wasn’t, and still isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

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For the most part, we lived in two separate houses for the first year or so, but in 2014 we decided to merge our homes. Lindsay and Justan brought to the relationship one daughter, who is now eleven, and I brought with me four children, now aged nine, eleven, fourteen and sixteen.  In our home, there are three adults and five children, and it is exhausting. We live in a 1700 square foot bungalow, with three bedrooms on the main floor and three in the developed basement. The space is small, but has a good energy to it, even with all the people.

I’m not sure I knew at the time how challenging it would be to blend families. I had been in relationships where my then-partner accepted my children and that was that, but I had never been in a relationship where another child was involved. The dynamics change significantly when children are brought in from both sides. It was quite the transition for all the children. For Lindsay and Justan’s daughter, as she was an only child up until that point, she had to get used to sharing the time with her parents, and also spending so much time with other children. For my kids, they had to get used to sharing my time with the other adults, and also had to learn to get along with a new sibling.

 

IMG_8280There are some great things about blending a family such as ours. First, we have three parents. Yes, this varies from the norm, but the way we function is not all that different from a typical two-person relationship. We all take care of the children the best way we know how, we rotate cleaning, we express love and concern, and we communicate without yelling. I have to stress the “without yelling” bit, because I admittedly have always been a yeller. It’s not something I am proud of, in fact, I am deeply ashamed of it. Yelling is not even a part of our household discourse at all anymore, and I think it likely has to do with the number of helping hands in the home.

Now the children are another story — they have no problem yelling. Usually at each other, during a disagreement over chess or Exploding Kittens, but always as an attempt to let the adults know the horrible injustices they have been dealt. You know, in chess. They are fairly typical children. They play, they laugh, they hold hands while walking to the lake, and they fight. My own children fought before blending families, and they continue to do so afterwards. This is typical, and not a result of blending families, although now the children just have more options of who to argue with.

A topic of importance, and worthy of a conversation when blending families, is deciding who will be disciplining whom. We decided that it’s best if we all just discipline our own children, or at least for the day-to-day discipline. No one wants a step-mom or step-dad to come into the picture and just start doling orders out; it can become quite abrasive. Naturally, children will have their guard up a little bit with the new additions to the household, so try to not make the newcomers the “bad guys.” Of course, there are situations where the step-parent will have to step in and make an executive decision or enforce a rule or two, but it really is best to leave the nagging to the original parent. You see, my children HAVE to love me. They may not like me at times, but they will ALWAYS love me, as I will always love them. This is not the case for step relationships unfortunately, so spending time building a relationship of positives rather than negatives is key.

The other side of this coin is spending quality time with the step-children. Each of us parents has our own unique interests, and we make an effort to include all of the children in those. Well, all of the willing children anyways — we have teenagers too who do not particularly love hanging out with any of the adults for any extended period of time. I believe that to be fairly typical of their ages though, and try not to force anything. We find other ways to include and bond with them, like going to their soccer or football games, taking them out for coffee or lunch, and generally just showing an interest in their very complicated lives.

For the younger three though, we have ways that we all connect with them. I coached my step-daughter’s roller derby team last year, and this season my youngest has joined us. So once a week, the girls and I strap on roller skates and spend an hour skating, learning, and having fun. Lindsay enjoys reading, so she is the designated reader. Every night before bed, the three littles snuggle up in our king-sized bed (and I sneak in there sometimes too) and listen to Lindsay read. I know most parents read, but you should see the books Lindsay reads to the children. She reads books that they may not be able to read on their own, like “A Wrinkle in Time,” or currently, “The Golden Compass.” The books take a long time to read, and keep the children invested. They love their time reading with Lindsay. She also loves hiking, so will often arrange a nature walk or a mountain climb for the children and myself. This summer we climbed to the top of Prairie Mountain. The kids were so proud to reach their first summit.

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Justan enjoys Lego, boardgames, and gaming in general, so that is his role with the children. He gets to be the really fun one. When the kids get complicated Lego kits gifted to them, Justan is the one who will spend hours (and I mean hours) with the children helping them put it all together. He is also the one who will teach them to play a new board game, or help them with any of their gaming needs. They love Pokemon and Minecraft, and I think they like having an adult on their side with that stuff. Justan is also very fun in general, and can be quite silly. All the children (even the teenagers) can appreciate that side of Justan, and they are typically grinning ear to ear when he is engaged.

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It’s not easy. It takes so much more work than you might ever imagine to make a blended family run smoothly, particularly when adding the extra dynamic of polyamory. There will be problems, just like any family, but there will also be great successes. I know that I am teaching my children to be accepting, non-judgmental, loving and expressive, among other things. They will not, and do not, live in a bubble accepting whatever media decides to throw their way. They think critically, and ask questions instead of making assumptions, and that will help them later on in life.

I believe that it’s important to remember that it’s a long game. The successes may not show up until later, when the children are at an age that they can recognize them. But they will show up, I’m holding out for that.

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Truth Bomb: parenting is so much more than hard

I have a major truth bomb for you, and I am relieved that I am not the only one to feel this way to be honest. We’ve all heard that parenting is not easy, and no one really expects it to be, but have you ever considered that it might not be worth it? I can tell you with much certainty, that if I knew how hard parenting teenagers would be, I may have reconsidered the entire parenting gig all together. If I knew that I would spend years on end in survival mode, peeling myself out of bed and getting through each day like a robot mom, I’m just not sure I’d do it.

I can’t admit this to my kids. When my youngest asks me if I love being a mom, I say yes. When she asks me what my favourite part of parenting is, I tell her cuddling her. That part it true, my favourite part of parenting is the snuggles. But that ends. I won’t tell her how hard I have found being a parent, because I don’t want her to feel any sort of guilt. It’s not their fault really. It’s my naivety, thinking I could mother four children on my own, that’s just crazy.

I read this blog post by themotherhub recently, and it was as if the author was in my head. She spoke the words that I often think but am too afraid to speak. She opens with:

I like to be honest about my parenting experience; by honest I mean telling everyone how hard it is, how tired I am, the impact it has had on both my finances and my mental health. Don’t I sound fun? I do this because I really had no idea about parenting before I had my first child, none of us really do. You can read all the books, go to all the ante-natal classes, but you can’t really prepare for this experience.

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via Feminist Friday: Is complaining about Motherhood a Feminist Act? — Feminist Parenting

I am a birth and postpartum doula, and people often assume that I’m a doula because I love babies. While I certainly did love my own babies (you know, when I wasn’t crying my face off and drowning in PPD), I don’t actually love other peoples babies that much. I am a doula because I want to help women prepare for parenthood. I want to assist in the empowerment of women right from the get go and support them through this incredibly hard transition. Birth is the easy part to be honest, parenting the hardest thing in the world. But if you start the journey surrounding yourself with support and being informed and empowered, you may just be willing to ask for help when you really need it. And then, you may just survive. Figuratively and literally.

Oh, and I have a Doula blog, feel free to check that out if you’d like.

The Worst Mom in the World

I’m not sure how it happened. I can’t remember when it started, and I have no idea how to stop it. I feel like I’m the only one, and yet I have seen memes floating around the inter-webs indicating that other mother’s share my sentiment. I feel like I may be the worst mom in the world. The worst.

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Okay, I know I’m not actually THE WORST. I don’t beat my children, neglect them, and I make sure they always have a home, clothes to wear and food on the table. But there is a part of my brain that won’t stop telling the rest of my brain that I actually suck, and that I have likely destroyed my children beyond repair.

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How, you might ask? Well, it could be the divorce and separation. It could be the fact that I have moved between two cities (2 hours apart) twice. I mean, I did get a degree out of that move, but I still likely fucked my kids up. It could be that I came out to them roughly 6 years ago and have been in two serious relationships with women since. It could be that I now have two partners and am in a polyamorous relationship, and have been for the past 4 years. Or maybe it’s the activities I did or did not sign them up for. Maybe it’s the schools I’ve chosen, or the fact that I trained them to sleep in… just so I could sleep in on the weekends. Or maybe it’s the screens!!! Oh it’s gotta be the screens… iPods, xbox, netflix… I’m sure they’re screwed because of the screens.parenthood

Did I not breastfeed long enough? Or maybe too long? Was it the soy formula I gave my first two? They didn’t have the research to warn me against using soy formula at the time, but now it’s out and I can’t change the past. Did I not babywear my older two enough? Was it because when I did wear them, I wore them face out? Oh god, their hips!! And the overstimulation!I didn’t really co-sleep with them much either, maybe that’s it!

But what if it’s that I’m too strict? Or not strict enough? Did I not pay attention to them when they needed it? Maybe it’s because I was quite short with Dakota. It was stressful when he was little. I had PPD and he would kick the crap out of his baby sister, so I was short with him. He got sent home 4 times in the first month of grade one for being violent. Maybe that’s my fault too. His ADHD has made things hard, but maybe the years of changing his diet and trying different treatments fucked him up more than anything.

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I don’t know exactly what I did, but I have a sinking feeling that I failed them. I have always tried my hardest to be a positive, strong, female role model, but I don’t know if it worked. My teens think I’m weird, that I’m too strict (after all, they “should” be able to smoke pot in the house, right?), and they’ll do anything to get out of being around me.

It could be the roller derby, I always took the kids to my practices and games even though they found it boring. I traveled to games, and made the yearly pilgrimage to RollerCon in Vegas. I just quit competitive derby last year so that I could do more with my kids, but maybe it’s still not enough.

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Photo by Chris Edwards

Or could it be the tattoos? Piercings? Pink/purple hair? Oh god… maybe it’s my hair.

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Stop brain…. stop.

I have had enough of the self punishment.

I know that I did make all the best choices I could with the information I had at the time, and I have always been there for my kids. I do love them, and I can only hope they know that. I need to remind myself of that.

But I need you… brain… to stop telling me how badly I suck. Please.

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A Cautionary Tale for Parents

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Parenting is hard and definitely not for the faint of heart. You will be puked on, shat on, yelled at, and you will need to deal with things you never imagined. The reward is that you will experience an unconditional love so strong, that all those awful parenting things seem worth it. That is, until you reach the teen stage.

This is a cautionary tale for parents of young children. Parents of young lovely playful children who will one day become teenagers. I am here to tell you that if you don’t start implementing some plans and strategies for their unavoidable growth and maturation, you will indeed hate your life during the teen years. Do not underestimate the power of teenagers, and don’t think for one second that your precious little angel won’t turn in to what seems to be the spawn of Satan himself during that transformative time of teenage hood. But fear not! There are things you can do to prepare, and it starts here.

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The first time Dakota stole a car, he was 14. Granted it was his step-monster’s car (it’s okay, I can say that. It’s an agreed upon term for a woman who came and left our lives within one year, leaving a trail of destruction everywhere she went… she earned that name), so it wasn’t “stealing” per se. The second time, he took his aunt’s car for a joy ride and I got a phone call at 4:00 in the morning from a friendly police officer to come pick him up, along with his younger sister who was 12 at the time. Both of my teenagers have tried DXM (a seemingly more legit name for Robitussin), smoked pot (in and out of the house), been suspended from school multiple times, been expelled from school (not both of them for this one), snuck out of the house, and ran away for days on end, all by the time they were 14. And that’s only including what I’m willing to put on this blog. Not only that, they are 100% certain that myself and all the parental figures in their lives are complete fools and know absolutely nothing.

I keep thinking about how every stage of parenthood is hard, and how we’ve categorized and named the stages to reflect the societal view of difficulty level. Most people only reference the “terrible twos,” but I have gone a step further and assigned a few more titles. Some of those said titles include the terrifying threes, fuck off fours, and fuck my life fives. The problem with the vast majority only referencing the terrible twos, it that it ignores the fact that shit does not suddenly improve when that toddler turns three. In fact, it gets worse. And when your little precious hits 13, you’ll be wishing you were in the thick of the terrible twos or the fuck off fours, when you could at least pick your darling up and put them where you need them. But what is the title for teens? It seems that “teen” is a noun and a verb, but I’d like to propose, “tragically torturing teens” or maybe “tighten my noose teens.” Something that can accurately portray the feeling of hopelessness that comes with parenting teens is hard to grasp.

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Then there are the parents of toddlers who love to give advice to parents of teenagers, so first of all, if that is you, please stop. I have heard it all. I am here to tell you that everything you think will save you from the teen years will not work. Your open communication will bite you in the ass, for even though your teen will be totally open with you and you’ll have great communication, they’ll talk to you like a friend and not respect your authority as a parent. If you think that because you were a shit teen you’ll likely be more understanding and empathetic… nope. When the shoe is on the other foot, it is awful. Who you’ll feel understanding and empathy for is likely your parents, and you may even feel the need to call them and apologize for being such an asshole. I recommend doing that if you feel so inclined. I’m holding out for my teens to realize it and apologize when they’re in their thirties. It’s a long game, this parenting gig.

What I have come to discover is that your children absolutely need to have a healthy level of fear for you, along with a good amount of respect. So while the open communication and empathy will help, if it is not paired with discipline, clear boundaries, consistency, hard life lessons, and some pretty serious consequences when needed, it will do nothing for you. At least not in the teen years. Best case scenario, if your relationship survives the teen years you may end up being besties with your kids, but they won’t see you as an authority figure.

 

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I have taken so many psychology classes (psych is one of my streams for my B.A. Soc.Sc.), including many on the child development topic, which all typically cover the four parenting styles. The optimal style is “authoritative,” but I need to tell you that there is a fine line between that and “permissive.” I have always considered myself authoritative, but I feel like I may have potentially fell in to the permissive role for a bit, and that has wreaked havoc on our household. I am not proud of it, and there are numerous factors that contributed to it, but I’ll save that for another blog post.

Whatever the case, now might be the time to put contingency plans in place for when you’re feeling a bit permissive (or as my mom likes to call it… when your head is in the sand). If you don’t have a partner to help you out, then make arrangements with a friend you can call, another family member, or even a parenting hotline. In Calgary here, the Wood’s Home has a community resource team, and they will literally come to your house and help you dole out consequences as needed. It is an amazing resource, and I highly encourage you to put their number on speed dial, or find a similar resource local to you. You may need it. We need to remember that is does take a village to raise a child/teen, and setting up that village now will benefit you in the long run.

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The thing is, if you wait until you are navigating life with teenagers, it may be too late. You really need to set up the framework way before they’re smoking pot and stealing cars. They need to go in to their teenage years knowing what the expectations are and what the consequences will be. Having the knowledge, understanding, and now the experience that I do, I have started talking to our younger three about what is unacceptable/acceptable in the house. They know that if I ever catch them with a vape, it will immediately be taken away. They know that they ALWAYS have to ask before using the T.V. or playing a computer game, and they are not allowed to just be on a screen to their hearts content. They are required to make their beds daily, and do small chores around the house. They can also rely on nightly stories, bedtime snuggles, a chest to cry on, and open communication. It’s all just one big balancing act.

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If I caught you in time, and you are not currently drowning in teenage angst, I hope this post might help or motivate you to go in to the teen years more prepared than you would have been otherwise. And if you, like me, are barely staying afloat and have completely gone in survival mode, I empathize with you. Please be kind on yourself, because believe me… I know how easy it is to fall in to the spiral of self hate and parenting hell while raising teenagers.

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Considering who I am (queer, poly, “single” mother, defender of equality, feminist, badass), I feel like I am constantly talking to my kids about all the touchy topics, and also modelling what we talk about in daily life. It is not enough to live a queer life, I still need to talk to my kids about why it’s okay (more than okay actually), and what they should say to bullies and how to stand up for their friends. I do need to talk to my kids about transgender issues, because even though that is not specifically our life, I will proudly wear an #illgowithyou button and thus need to explain my beliefs. I will talk to my kids about the Orlando shooting, because they need to know that people who are just like me are being gunned down for being just like me. That is NOT okay, and the next generation needs to start off better than mine did. I believe that starts with me, in my house, and with my children. I will talk to them, and then one day they will talk to their friends, or their kids, or maybe to a community, and kick hate right in its ugly face. Because they can.

We talked about the new music video by Sia, titled The Greatest. My kids have been dancing to the song for a while now, but they didn’t understand how I knew the song was dedicated to the victims of the Pulse Orlando shooting. That was an opportunity to talk a little bit, watch a music video, and feel some feels. I like to think that showing them the video, talking about music as a method of emotional expression and support, was a success, even if ten minutes later they were fighting and yelling at each other.

What have you talked to your kids about recently?

When your kids hate you

My mom used to tell me that having your own child say “I hate you” is like a rite of passage, and you hardly qualify as a parent until that happens. I always thought that was a funning thing to say, and yet I can understand the sentiment. It is true that only a parent can understand the heart wrenching feeling that comes when your beloved child utters those three awful words. And yet simultaneously, that same parent experiences a comical amusement, as it is so obvious that they don’t hate you. That is, until they actually do.

The teenage years aren’t easy, and you may find that a lot of this blog is used trying to navigate my own parental minefield of teenage angst. I love my teens. I love them to no end. But you need to know that I love them because they are my children, and if any other human on the face of the planet treated me the way that they do, I would not have them in my life. I love them, and I tell them I love them multiple times a day. I have to keep vocalizing and telling them that, even when I feel anger, hurt, betrayal and sadness. They still need to hear that I love them.

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Okay, so now that my love for my teens is not in question, let’s get real. I am fairly certain that Faith (my 14 year old) hates me. Those words that she so carelessly uttered when she was four years old seem to hold so much more weight now. Her words actually hurt, and I know she understands the meaning of hate now. It’s not just the words though; she does whatever she can to avoid being in the same room (or the same house even) with me for any given amount of time. Unless I’m dropping hundreds of dollars on her getting her nails done or buying her new clothes, she wants nothing to do with me. Anything I say gets disregarded with a simple eye roll, a heavy sigh, and a hair flip. To her, I am literally the dumbest person on the face of the planet. I have to tell you, it is hard. It is emotionally draining and no amount of red wine fixes it (I’ll keep trying though).

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So here is my theory that I feel like I actually learnt years ago in a university psych course. Similar to when you are pregnant and you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy, and you want to be done being pregnant, the teen years are strategically and perfectly painful. Teens need to push boundaries, rebel, and find their own path. They need to get under their parents’ skin and separate themselves. And THIS is so us as parents can let them go; we can let them move out without a great deal of remorse, and likely be very happy about it. In fact, maybe there’ll be a party. It is a biological phase of separation and it needs to happen. Now with that said, I’m not sure it needs to happen to the degree that it is in our house, but it does help to remember the bigger picture.

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If you find yourself drowning in teenage angst and the nearest floaty appears to have a hole in it, remember this: you are not alone, you are a good parent, and your teens are just assholes. They will eventually get through this, and so will you. Also, feel free to join us over at Surviving your Teenager, a Facebook group I created for parents of teens. Only requirement is that you have an actual teenager. See you on the flip side all you wonderful brave parents, you got this. We all do. (just say it!)

Participaction

We live a pretty busy lifestyle, with the sheer volume of us in the house. All the kids have their own activities and all the adults have work and other activities as well. My activities have been put on the back burner for now while the kids’ activities take precedence. But what I do enjoy, is finding ways to be active with the kids. I find that there is so much pressure for our children to be overbooked in organized sport and activity, leaving little room for random happenings of activity or neighbourhood games.

The glorification of busy is a real thing, and although I have tried to avoid being too busy, it seems we are right in the thick of it. Even if the kids have just one sport each, it’s busy. There’s five of them! I try to make opportunity for unorganized spontaneous activity wherever possible.

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The kids showing me a “shortcut.”

For instance, the kids and I rode our bikes to their school this morning. And in the evening, Lindsay took the girls on a trail run while Ashton was a football. The more opportunity we have to be active WITH our children, the better. I find that not only does it keep them active, it keeps them happy and secure in our relationship with them. Transporting kids to and from sports does not have that same effect. The organized sport is good for team work, structure, and honing in on a specific skill set. I am also a proponent for sport, but there needs to be balance.

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Lindsay loves running. She’s not in any organized sport, but her activities are running and yoga. I love yoga too, and not so much the running. Years of roller derby has left my knees pretty awful, and they can’t take too much running. The kids however, have found a new love of trail running! So this is the activity that Lindsay can use to bond with the kids, and they have so much fun doing it.

I am thankful for these moments of activity that we get to share with the kids. All our stress lessens and we all just enjoy each other’s company… along with the activity of course.

 

The little things

Last year my littles lived with their father in a city two hours from me. It was only an interim for the one year so that they could bond with their new baby sister. It was one of the hardest years of my life, even though I did still see them a lot. I realized that it’s the day to day childcare that I love doing the most with my kids. I love the activities, the morning cuddles, the evening stories, and picking them up after school. The weekly routine is where I feel happiest, and last year taught me a thing or two about appreciation.


Every morning I either walk my kids to school, ride a bike with them, or they ride their bikes on their own. We live really close to the school they attend, so we are able to walk, and they are able to come home for lunch if they like. In the afternoon, I’ll often bring the dayhome babies with me to pick the kids up, and we are always greeted with big Aisha and Ashton hugs. I love that.

The other day I made lasagna roll ups for the kids (recipe here), and I must say, they were a roaring success! All the littles, and the dayhome babies, gobbled them up and asked for more. I like being able to provide this for my kids. I like that they can book it home on their bikes and have a homemade meal that
was made with love. And it motivates me to find some easy, healthy, fun lunches to make.

It’s all the little things that are taken for granted, or even resented, that I love the most.

Next up: Totoro Bento Box… not really.

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On children and grammar

Your children will speak the way you speak. If you want your children to use good grammar, than you need to use good grammar. However, when there are a variety of influences in your children’s lives (such as ours), it is not always that easy. I certainly cannot control how all the influential adults speak around my children, nor do I have any desire to. I can however control the way I speak, and make an effort to correct my littles without nagging them.

So here is my current pet peeve regarding the children’s grammar usage.

SEEN… As in, “I seen a spider the size of my head,” or “I seen that guy turn in to a zombie.” I know a lot of adults that use “seen” like this, and while I really don’t care one way or another when it comes to them, I really want my kidlets to know the difference between “seen” and “saw.” Lindsay is a writer and has a journalism degree… the amount of “seen” that goes on in our house is going to give her a hernia.

Every time I hear someone say “I seen” when they should have said “I saw”, this is what I picture:

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No, I don’t think that when children say it, but I do with adults…. mostly joking.