When your son likes the color Pink.

"Mommy! Watch this!" I love those words. "Mommy! I show you!" I love those too. All of them melt my heart at least 1,000,000,000,000 a day (I'm not being facetious) . Ever since my son had his adenoids and tubes taken out, his vocabulary and hearing have become universally better! He uses sentences that contain 5-10 words. Now, they may not all be in the correct order, but you know he is trying.

Let's get to the topic of the day: When you 2-year old boy likes pink.  

You may be thinking, "My little boy is NOT going to be liking the color pink in ANY way." But there will be some of you out there that say, "What's the big deal?" 

My response: "It isn't."  *sigh*

He is the epitome of little boy. It is all about CARS, TRUCKS, TRAINS, BASEBALLS, SOCCER BALLS, BASKETBALLS, CLUBS, BATS, BLOCKS, BARNYARD, AND...YEP, EVEN MUDDDDDDDDD!!!  

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However, as a single mom, my little boy also knows how to be sensitive, he also knows how to powder his face with cinnamon and wear high heels. You see, there are no men's clothing or shoes around our humble little abode. Really, I haven't had a man come to my house since my brother and dad stepped in last week to view my latest paintings. I haven't dated, so there isn't someone I wouldn't let into my sacred living area for my son to try on the male garb, and strut his stuff around the rooms.

Most mornings, he goes straight for his rain boots. It doesn't matter if it is raining or sunny, he loves his boots! When his uncle recently picked up a pair of big brown boots, my son was ecstatic! He paraded around with his boots while my brother wore his new boots. However, there are some mornings where I will hear the "clunk! clunk!" sound of my shoes walking down the hallway. Normally, he has the 3 sizes too big flip flops, but occasionally, I look back to see the "glowing face of pride" smile as he wobbles around in my high heels.

It's very humorous actually. He may or may not make it all the way down the hall before he trips, falls, or gives up. You can bet though, he will try again on a whim the next day! Does he think they are his shoes? No, he always shouts, "Mommy! Look! I wear your shoes!" The twinkle in his eye tells me that the innocence hasn't budged a bit. I smile and laugh, and then go about the day. 

It's not just the shoes that other moms may balk at, but the response when you ask him his favorite color. "Pink!" He will respond proudly.

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He hasn't grown up around many pink toys, mainly it is just the Play-Dos and the finger paints that incorporate the pinks. However, if you think about the color pink, it is an enticing color. It's bright, strong, and 'mommy wears it almost all the time!'

Historically, even starting a century ago, pink was the chosen color for boys. If you read in the Smithsonian magazine article: When did girls start wearing pink? , you will read that pre-WWI, "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.‚ÄĚ As I said, it's a strong color, and pops more to the eye. Gender-specific colors didn't become an issue until the 1940s.

This just keeps growing doesn't it? Well, besides the pink, my son will also have fun with mommy in the morning by brushing my make-up on. Of course I don't let him have a brush-full, but it doesn't bother me because I don't have store-bought make-up. I make my own. My foundation is a combination of cornstarch and cinnamon. Because of my acne-prone skin, I decided to place natural products on my face. As a facewash, I use raw honey, as a spot treatment, I use mixed oils. But, we can get into that on another day.

Now, during these times, I will remind my son that only girls wear make-up, but it doesn't bother me that he finds it fascinating. I like to see it as a gender-learning experience, and that he will make some woman very happy one day!

I did not write this toward any issue. This was not to discuss homosexuality or gender equality. It was an innocent blurb about why having a little boy who likes pink is ok, or that being a single mom with a little boy who wobbles around in her high heels is ok, or why he is curious between the difference between mommy and himself. He is at a curious stage, and it is wonderful! He is so excited very single day, and he will express is above and beyond. 

Oh, my son also has great rhythm. He will hear a tune and start tapping his foot, or bobbing his head. I have considered dance...and why not? There are a number of men out there that contribute the ability to dance to their growing skills in athletics and academics. Livestrong,com has a simple, yet good article: The Benefits of Dance for Kids

As a female, I always thought I had limits because I was a female. However, raising a boy, I see that more social limits are placed on boys. Boys are needing to seem "manly" and "strong", if they aren't they are wimps, nonathletic, pansy, and so on. I am an artist. I feel that empowering your sons to pursue their creative and imaginative sides does not encourage them to be nonathletic or nerdy, it simply gives them skills that many overlook and don't acquire because of social constraints. I have no doubt that my abilities in the arts and his endless exposure to the world of art history will inspire him to explore that world, but I also know that he will want to play sports and get dirty, rough, and tough. 

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Allow your children to explore the world without limiting or constraining based on your biased and tainted opinion of society and it's norms. Their innocence will not hinder their growth, but let it soar to new heights and possibilities. It will open doors that they otherwise may be too afraid to open. Don't let your first impulse be to balk at their decisions. Stop, take a look at how they are trying to explain it to you, or how they may see it through their eyes, and you will understand that the world does not control the growing mind. Knowledge is an experience and a gift, not all thirst for that. It is ok to let your children explore beyond their own understanding (in a safe environment, of course) because that is how they will ultimately form their own opinions and ideas. If too much stress and constraint is placed on them before they are allowed the discover, they are hindered in their growth and potential for greatness in all areas of life, not just the socially correct ones. 

Much to our chagrin, our children are not "us". (No matter how many times we hear, "He's just like you when you were that age." or "He is like a little you!") They are their own person, their own individual, their own hinderers or encouragers. They can be taught to see the world the way you do, but they need to know that it is ok to become their own person also, as long as it encourages the positive growth of their place in humanity, finding themselves as individuals and a part of the ever-changing universe. 

Like stars, we have potential to shine through the darkness, reaching to depths unknown, and carrying on our legacy for eons to come. 

Despedida

 

I'm a single parent.

This is for the single parent. I am not saying my situation is any different from those who are single parents, we all have something to inform any who will listen. As you may know, (and if you don't yet, you might someday) parenting is hard. Fortunately, I was blessed with one little trooper! From the day he was born, he has been a great eater, sleeper, and pooper. He has a pleasant disposition, and always wakes up with a smile on his face!  

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I have one, and he is my world. Until recently, I was able to work as a paraprofessional or substitute. I normally have a job, but up until two weeks ago, I decided that the near panic attacks I was having, were caused by the stress of going back to a job that could not pay my bills. Daycare alone was taking over 3/4ths of my paycheck, and I would bring home pennies.

Mind you, my situation was by choice. I chose not to marry my ex, and with it, I do not receive child support. Most of you may be thinking, "Are you out of your mind?!" No. I'm not, because I would never trade my situation for what "could have been." I love being the single parent to my sweet baby boy. Yes, at times it gets lonely, but I have settled too much in my lifetime to have anything less than "perfection." That definition, of course, not being the exact dictionary definition.

It irks me, though, that I have a BFA and a MAT, and I still can not get a viable job. Being the sole provider, and the only parent my son has, I have always needed to have a job which allows me to bring home enough to feed my child, pay my bills, and then spend at least 4 hours with him before he goes to bed. I want to help shape and mold his growth. I finished my Masters while pregnant and HAVING my baby...yeah, I know how to multitask. 

It's unfortunate though, because no one wants to hire anyone without experience. However, how am I supposed to get the experience without being able to work?! I have been out of undergraduate for 5 years. 5 years! And I can not give you a set amount of experience in my Graphic Design area. I even began tacking on certifications in the hopes that someone would see how versatile I am. No one wants to hear of your troubles, though. Unfortunately, I can't help expressing them when someone inquires what I have been doing for the past 5 years.  

Many of my friends have recently decided to be "stay-at-home" moms. How lovely. It's a privilege when you are in the position to stay home with your children while your spouse works. After being raised by an amazing mom who has stayed at home with all 5 kids, I know the hardships, struggles, and negatives that can come with being a "stay-at-home" mom.  And as a mom, I know perfectly well what comes along with having a child hanging on your leg (pretty much) 24/7. It bothers me when I hear many moms say, "I don't know how you do it." (referring to working while having kids)...and my answer is usually to yell back in my head, "Not every one has the choice!" It's not in a spiteful, or rude manner, but to those of us who want the privilege, it just sounds like they are rubbing it in.

Unfortunately, though, in all of this venting, it hasn't changed the fact that I have a dwindling bank account and a shortage of wipeys. Call me a scrooge, but the next time you want to tell me, "it's not so great all the time being a stay-at-home mom," put yourself in the shoes of single parents you know that are unemployed, void child support (whether by choice or not), and working to make ends meet and BARELY seeing their children before bed time.

Maybe my life is like an arrow right now, you have to be pulled back, in order to be released to soar great distances. I continue to do what I love most, playing with my child, painting, writing, and working toward my PhD. I have hopes and dreams, a lot that may seem unattainable, but not lost. If given the choice, I would choose to stay-at-home with my sweet baby boy until he begins to grow out of his "I don't need mommy so much stages." It makes me tear up thinking about how fast time flies. I work on being the best mommy I can, without giving him the inclination of the adult hardships I live with every single day. To him, life is like discovering a new color every day and finding out you can paint the world any way you want.  

There is always going to be someone worse off than yourself, but that it no reason for you to be overlooked. Whether it's emotionally, mentally, or physically, every thing you can do to help someone know they have a friend, is a wonderful feeling. A recent change I made in my routine is to speak aloud that things I am thankful for, instead of saying the things I "need". Whether you pray or not, the world responds to positive feedback, and it is to everyone's advantage to talk about the things they are thankful for. It was a revelation that had been spoken to me many times before, but I never truly appreciated it's integrity until I began to do it myself. It makes you think about the most precious parts of your life that you want to hold onto most.  

I know this was a personal blog tonight. My mind has been tampered by the notions of unemployment and spending time with my child. Thank you for reading down this far. I am sure there are multiple opinions running through your head. Every one is entitled to their own opinion, at least I feel better about mine tonight.  

I am thankful for my sweet baby boy, my amazing family, shelter over my head, clothes on my back, the food I have, and the talents and skills I possess. I can feel the stars commencing their alignment... 

Now into the depths of an eventful slumber. 

Bon Voyage

Up and Running!

After a long endeavor to create my website, it is finally up and running! Awesome, right? I like to think so.  

Therefore, let's talk about my first order of business: Teacherspayteachers.com, which I would very much appreciate your interest in (that is, if you are a teacher, friend of a teacher, friend of a friend of a teacher, or someone who appreciates fun lesson plans). My most recent trek in the design/lesson plan world is MINIScience. I am taking all of the CCGPS in Science (some day in all of the grades) and meshing them into a small, introductory packet of worksheets, activities, and Art/Science Connections. I currently have two up and running: Living and Non-Living, and Plants. Feel free to browse and try out!

You may be asking: Why must she BLOG about her lesson plans?  My response is: Everyone's doing it.

Yes. That's right. I'm following the pack of hungry, wild wolves. As a single mother, I am desperately trying to hone in on my skills and education in order to favor my chances of working from home. And why not? I'm a designer...I'm a teacher...I thoroughly enjoy creating fun new activities for children to do within their classrooms.  

In the meantime, while waiting on the late-night/early-morning phone calls, I enjoy painting my characters from the first novel I am writing. I will enthusiastically shout out to The Writer  blog, so that you may browse the updates on my latest painting and tireless efforts to edit my lengthy manuscript.

While I am on the tangent from my lesson plans, I am going to enjoy being a woman on here every now and then and inform, whomever is interested,  about my recent discovery of purely natural face washing and make-up. As an oily/pore person, I searched incessantly for a cure to my curse. Natural oils have become my new best friends and acne/large pores/scars have become a "thing of the past". Yippie!

Okay, back to my design skills. As I have stated before, I am looking for more freelance opportunities. It's shameful to waste 5 1/2 years of education because I have not made an attempt to promote myself. And I know that not every one is going to appreciate my work *sigh*. Fortunately, I am not here to please every one. However, I do enjoy conversing and immersing myself in the beautiful philosophical gesture of exchanging ideas.  

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If you are not already following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, those are also wonderful visually stimulating outlets of my outreach to expand my social circles beyond my small town...BWHAHAHA! Trust me, I am not The Brain (for those of you who may remember the cartoon - Pinky and The Brain). I could go either way - feel old or feel young.  

Now, I will need to go about the menial tasks of this quiet night (well, that is AFTER the Tornado Warning that put a theoretical thorn in my side). After sitting down to a nice take-out Mexican meal and turning on the choice movie of the night, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, the sirens go off. Nothing like trying to plan a relaxing evening around a ominous storm system. BAH-HUMBUG. Oh well, c'est la vie!

Ciao. 

First time.

Well, it's my first time with an official "blog". Is it exciting? Maybe. Who knows. Hopefully other's will see my hard work and sweat going into this endeavor. 

Let me introduce myself, my name is Brittany. I'm a single mom to a beautiful baby boy - well, actually toddler - but he's still a baby to me! I am a certified art teacher, who, still after two years of getting my MAT, can't find someone to give up their art teacher position. However, it is not my ultimate goal. I hope to one day get my PhD in Art History.  

I will cut to the chase - it's late, and I am dragging. I'm an artist, I'm a designer, I'm a teacher, and I'm a mom. In my "spare time", I enjoy painting and designing lesson plans. Unfortunately, my career has been very slow since graduating from college the first time around - 5 years ago. What can I say? I'm a late-bloomer. Forward on, I'm building a website full of my projects and activities from college and beyond, hoping that something may appeal to someone.

This blog is solely a personal blog. It will hopefully entertain, inform, and teach. I highly encourage the onlookers of this blog to also view, "The Writer" blog, as it will discuss my recent completion of a novel I wrote and the progression of the paintings I am pursuing of my characters. With that blog, I hope to market my book and intrigue those to want to read it more. 

Please contact me with questions, for I am searching to connect with others with both similar and different interests. I have a Facebook page for my business: diligenceNdesign, I have a Twitter account for both my business and book, and I have Pinterest, because I enjoy fun ideas.

In the chance you do take an interest in my talents, I would certainly enjoy knowing. I am searching for more freelance and commission opportunities. My ultimate goal is to be able to spend as much time with my son while he is not in school.  

Adieu.