Author Topic: Special Snowflake Stories  (Read 5079040 times)

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Jones

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22410 on: July 23, 2013, 05:09:51 PM »
I grew up that way, minus the sheepdog. And we aren't talking about toddlers here, but boys 8+ years old, perfectly capable of walking to school alone or crossing the street to a friend's house; much more dangerous really, but socially acceptable.

artk2002

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22411 on: July 23, 2013, 05:14:21 PM »
Trying to decide if my friend Sarah is an SS.

Background:  Sarah lives on a five-acre farm.  She bought a sheepdog, not because she has sheep, but to help watch her two young sons (ten and eight).   Spot is an excellent sheepdog and is very good at shepherding the boys away from potential danger, such as the creek that runs through their property.    Another mother, Jane, recently brought her sons over to play and left for a while.   When she returned, she asked where the kids were.   Sarah said "Not sure, but I hear Spot barking, so they're not far."   Jane, appalled, said "YOU'RE not watching them?"   "No - Spot is.  She's very good at it.   The kids will be fine."    They WERE fine, but Jane gave Sarah heck and left, vowing never to let her kids play there again.    Sarah was alternately amused and indignant, saying that Jane was being ridiculous.

Thing is:   I'm kind of on Jane's side.   I'm sure Spot is amazing, but I wouldn't have been too happy if MY kids were roaming around a five-acre farm without an adult close by.   What do you think?

I think Sarah is doing just fine. Google "Free Range Kids." Being over-protective is just as bad for kids as being under-protective. Frankly, the sheep dog isn't even necessary. An 8yo and 10yo can keep themselves safe just fine without constant hovering.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Iris

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22412 on: July 23, 2013, 05:50:04 PM »
Trying to decide if my friend Sarah is an SS.

Background:  Sarah lives on a five-acre farm.  She bought a sheepdog, not because she has sheep, but to help watch her two young sons (ten and eight).   Spot is an excellent sheepdog and is very good at shepherding the boys away from potential danger, such as the creek that runs through their property.    Another mother, Jane, recently brought her sons over to play and left for a while.   When she returned, she asked where the kids were.   Sarah said "Not sure, but I hear Spot barking, so they're not far."   Jane, appalled, said "YOU'RE not watching them?"   "No - Spot is.  She's very good at it.   The kids will be fine."    They WERE fine, but Jane gave Sarah heck and left, vowing never to let her kids play there again.    Sarah was alternately amused and indignant, saying that Jane was being ridiculous.

Thing is:   I'm kind of on Jane's side.   I'm sure Spot is amazing, but I wouldn't have been too happy if MY kids were roaming around a five-acre farm without an adult close by.   What do you think?

8 and 10 year olds with no developmental delays on my own property? Wouldn't even OCCUR to me to watch them. I wouldn't even bother with the dog, although it's a great compromise and a cute story.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22413 on: July 23, 2013, 06:12:33 PM »
SS aunt:

DH and I missed out, but this last week there was a family reunion of sorts at my grandparents' lake house.  My grandparents aren't in as great health as they used to be anymore (they're both in their 90s) so everyone tries to help out as much as possible, but grandma just can't let other people do the cooking/dishes/whatnot, so she putters around the (not all that huge) kitchen trying to help while other family members do the actual cooking.  In short: mealtimes are busy, crowded, and a bit crazy with eleven people all there at once:

Grandma and grandpa
My parents
My sister
My brother and SIL
My aunt, uncle, and their two boys (~8 and ~10)

SIL is allergic to peanuts.  My parents made sure grandma and grandpa knew this ahead of time, and even though they're not used to working around allergies (it just wasn't a thing for their generation), with my parents' help they were able to plan a menu which wouldn't involve peanuts or ingredients processed near peanuts.  This takes a bit of foresight and some specific brand-hunting, but it's doable.

Enter SS aunt: every time we see her she has a new "medical condition."  None of these conditions are ever diagnosed by a doctor, and they're usually reflective of whatever public health fear is going on at the time.  I'm not going to say that they're all imagined, but I will point out that the probability of the miracle-cure-of-the-month actually coinciding with her medical needs this often is probably pretty low.

Anyway, SS aunt waits until she gets to the lake house to announce that she no longer will consume gluten.  Except she "doesn't want to be a bother," so she doesn't want grandma to know.  She then does her own shopping trip (throwing off some other family plans in the process) and proceeds to stake out half the kitchen preparing her own not-at-all-related-to-the-menu meals every time the family is ready to eat.  Since it's not a large kitchen, this means that grandma and one or two other cooks are preparing food for 10 people in one half of the room and she's preparing food for just herself in the other half.

The kicker is, if she had only let someone know ahead of time, my parents and grandparents would have happily worked gluten-free options into the menu as well.  (There probably WERE plenty of gluten-free things, but she was doing all her own meals entirely from separate ingredients - it's not like she was willing to eat the meat but just substitute in another starch, for example.)  And in "not being a bother" and buying her own groceries, she made things much more difficult for my SIL, who no longer could assume that the kitchen was peanut-free.

My parents left over the weekend, but another of my cousins was coming up yesterday - and she's allergic to gluten too.  Except she's open about it, she called ahead of time to make sure it wouldn't be a problem, and Grandma is expecting to be making gluten free alternatives (for one) each meal.  Mom said she had a word with SS aunt before she left, suggesting perhaps she should actually TELL someone about her dietary needs, so Grandma would know to make *two* gluten-free portions each meal and would stop assuming SS aunt is hogging half the kitchen just to be SS.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22414 on: July 23, 2013, 06:24:55 PM »
I totally agree with Sarah about the farm and the sheepdog.  In fact, like another poster, I don't even see the sheepdog as being necessary.  10 and 8?  They should really be able to avoid dangers like the creek on their own by those ages!  If Jane's kids were close in age, I'd think she was totally overparenting.  That said, if Jane's kids are much younger, say, 2 or 3, I can see being a bit uncomfortable having them in the care of a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old that she doesn't really know, along with a sheepdog.  But if they were 4 or older, I'd think they would be fine.  But then, we're much more on the "free range kids" end of the scale.  :)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22415 on: July 23, 2013, 06:30:52 PM »
If Jane's kids are a similar age to Sarah's kids, they were totally fine with Spot in charge.  And Jane over reacted, big time.  If Jane's kids were quite a bit younger, I'd cut her a bit of slack.

I would have loved to have Spot when my youngest nephew was a toddler, let me tell you.  He'd look to make sure you were watching and then run right towards something or somewhere he knew he shouldn't go!  Little brat...  Who has grown up to be a fine young man of almost 19.  In fact, he's heading off on Saturday for a week to volunteer as a councillor at a not-for-profit wilderness camp.
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mmswm

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22416 on: July 23, 2013, 06:40:47 PM »
Trying to decide if my friend Sarah is an SS.

Background:  Sarah lives on a five-acre farm.  She bought a sheepdog, not because she has sheep, but to help watch her two young sons (ten and eight).   Spot is an excellent sheepdog and is very good at shepherding the boys away from potential danger, such as the creek that runs through their property.    Another mother, Jane, recently brought her sons over to play and left for a while.   When she returned, she asked where the kids were.   Sarah said "Not sure, but I hear Spot barking, so they're not far."   Jane, appalled, said "YOU'RE not watching them?"   "No - Spot is.  She's very good at it.   The kids will be fine."    They WERE fine, but Jane gave Sarah heck and left, vowing never to let her kids play there again.    Sarah was alternately amused and indignant, saying that Jane was being ridiculous.

Thing is:   I'm kind of on Jane's side.   I'm sure Spot is amazing, but I wouldn't have been too happy if MY kids were roaming around a five-acre farm without an adult close by.   What do you think?

If she's an SS, so am I.  I rely on my dog to alert me to any problems the boys might be having while they're outside. The property isn't as large as Sarah's, but it's still several acres and large enough for the kids to be out of sight. The kids are older and deserve to have a bit of freedom to play without parental hovering. 
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

rose red

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22417 on: July 23, 2013, 06:43:04 PM »
Went to a restaurant where you bus your own table.  Prices for wonderful fresh food stay low and you don't tip.  I saw several tables that not only left their plates and trays on the table, but left a mess of food, napkins, wrappers, and crumbs all over the table and floor.  Gross.

To be fair, it's sometimes hard to tell at counter service restaurants whether you're supposed to bus your own table or not.  I wouldn't be surprised if I've left stuff on the table in places I shouldn't have, just because I looked around and didn't see a trash can and made an assumption which may have been incorrect.

It's very obvious you're suppose to bus yourself, but even if you don't do it, the mess I saw today was very extreme and disgusting.  Never saw such a mess at fast food or full-service.

You may think that there is a requirement to bus a table but in many cases its just not true.  A few years ago there was a story on the news where a teenaged worker at McDonalds told a man that he should clear the mess at his table.  The man complained to corporate, McDonalds sent out a press release stating that clearing your own table is not required at the Golden Arches. 

I bus my own table to be polite, but unless there is a sign stating that it is a requirement, it is not.

There are signs which is why it was obvious you are suppose to bus your own (I should have included that they have signs in my OP.)  The signs explain it's to keep costs low; it's also stated on the menus.  You can't miss it; please believe me it's obvious.  But I'm not so hard nosed that I think leaving a tray or a few crumbs is horrible.  It's the fact they left *such* a gross mess that makes them SS.  It's so messy that I think it's SS even at a full-service restaurant with busboys and tipping.  The self-bussing rule just makes the mess worse (IMO).
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 06:54:29 PM by rose red »

Dazi

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22418 on: July 23, 2013, 06:43:51 PM »
<snip> Something about the way they design their stores puts my teeth on edge. I don't have panic attacks or anxiety issues - except when I set foot in their stores. Sis thought maybe they used peanut oil in their food prep areas and the smell was setting my radar off. But they don't . It is is the weirdest thing. I don't have the problem in any other brand of store - just theirs.

I've had something similar happen in three different stores and I think I finally solved the mystery...each store uses some type of high-end sonic alarm.  Every time I went in there, sometimes just in the door, I would start getting nervous, jittery, sweaty, nauseated, heart racing, short of breath...it was bizarre.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





snowdragon

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22419 on: July 23, 2013, 06:44:49 PM »
Trying to decide if my friend Sarah is an SS.

Background:  Sarah lives on a five-acre farm.  She bought a sheepdog, not because she has sheep, but to help watch her two young sons (ten and eight).   Spot is an excellent sheepdog and is very good at shepherding the boys away from potential danger, such as the creek that runs through their property.    Another mother, Jane, recently brought her sons over to play and left for a while.   When she returned, she asked where the kids were.   Sarah said "Not sure, but I hear Spot barking, so they're not far."   Jane, appalled, said "YOU'RE not watching them?"   "No - Spot is.  She's very good at it.   The kids will be fine."    They WERE fine, but Jane gave Sarah heck and left, vowing never to let her kids play there again.    Sarah was alternately amused and indignant, saying that Jane was being ridiculous.

Thing is:   I'm kind of on Jane's side.   I'm sure Spot is amazing, but I wouldn't have been too happy if MY kids were roaming around a five-acre farm without an adult close by.   What do you think?

   I think  a  5 acre farm is small and Jane needs to relax. I grew up on a 200 acre farm that backed up into a 65,000 state park - free range does not begin to describe much of my childhood. Kids who are brought up on those places learn early where the dangers are, how to avoid or handle them and what do it in the event of a problem.
  The two kids who lived there, were likely fine and could have been ok even without the dog. With the dog, everyone was perfectly safe.
  If that is not what Jane wants for her kids, she is well advised to not allow her kids to go there again, but she is denying her kids some great experiences that they won't get elsewhere. I would not expect to have to watch over 8 and 10 year old, I would expect to watch over a 3-4 or younger.

Shalamar

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22420 on: July 23, 2013, 06:52:06 PM »
Interesting!   Thanks for your comments, guys.   I'm not a clingy parent, but I've never lived on a farm nor owned a dog, so I could see why Jane would be anxious.   Sounds like she was worried for nothing, though.

dawnfire

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22421 on: July 23, 2013, 07:17:19 PM »
And the bunny from Monty Python.

My driving pet peeve is when people will drive down a residential road, see someone they know coming the opposite direction and just stop their cars and carry on a conversation in the middle of the road. And not a short "Hey how ya doin', see ya later" No it's more like those conversations that are probably delving into how the fishing is, the health of the family, last movie they saw, and updates on EVERYONE from church. 

Pull over people if you're going to go into that much detail with your catching up!!

at my partner's old place you would go one step more. they would be blocking his driveway while doing it

Coralreef

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22422 on: July 23, 2013, 07:43:02 PM »
Trying to decide if my friend Sarah is an SS.

Background:  Sarah lives on a five-acre farm.  She bought a sheepdog, not because she has sheep, but to help watch her two young sons (ten and eight).   Spot is an excellent sheepdog and is very good at shepherding the boys away from potential danger, such as the creek that runs through their property.    Another mother, Jane, recently brought her sons over to play and left for a while.   When she returned, she asked where the kids were.   Sarah said "Not sure, but I hear Spot barking, so they're not far."   Jane, appalled, said "YOU'RE not watching them?"   "No - Spot is.  She's very good at it.   The kids will be fine."    They WERE fine, but Jane gave Sarah heck and left, vowing never to let her kids play there again.    Sarah was alternately amused and indignant, saying that Jane was being ridiculous.

Thing is:   I'm kind of on Jane's side.   I'm sure Spot is amazing, but I wouldn't have been too happy if MY kids were roaming around a five-acre farm without an adult close by.   What do you think?

   I think  a  5 acre farm is small and Jane needs to relax. I grew up on a 200 acre farm that backed up into a 65,000 state park - free range does not begin to describe much of my childhood. Kids who are brought up on those places learn early where the dangers are, how to avoid or handle them and what do it in the event of a problem.
  The two kids who lived there, were likely fine and could have been ok even without the dog. With the dog, everyone was perfectly safe.
  If that is not what Jane wants for her kids, she is well advised to not allow her kids to go there again, but she is denying her kids some great experiences that they won't get elsewhere. I would not expect to have to watch over 8 and 10 year old, I would expect to watch over a 3-4 or younger.

I remember summers at my uncle's farm, going with my cousin fishing at the creek, rustling up the chickens, checking if the bull was loose before going into the cow field... We were about 6 to 8 YO.  No parents, a wonderful barn with hay bales and kittens, that was SUMMER!  Yeah, farm kids know what to do and where to do it. 

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bansidhe

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22423 on: July 23, 2013, 07:58:31 PM »
I usually say something like "Excuse me, may I borrow your height for a moment?", or "You look very strong.  Betcha can't lift that bag of dog food into my cart."  I'm probably not being nearly as clever as I think I am, but if it makes them smile and they help me, I count it as a win.  Of course, effusive thanks are always offered.

So is that rude on my part?  Should I only ask for help in a formal way?  Or is asking for help with a joke ok?

I once turned down the bread aisle in the grocery store to see an elderly man in a mobility scooter sitting near the middle of the aisle. When he saw me, his face lit up and he proclaimed, "You're just the woman I've been waiting for!" Then before I could respond (and I wasn't sure what to say!), he added, "I can't reach the raisin bread on the top shelf. Can you get it for me?"

I though it was an extremely effective and hilarious way for him to ask for assistance.
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AnnaT

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #22424 on: July 23, 2013, 08:04:37 PM »
Trying to decide if my friend Sarah is an SS.

Background:  Sarah lives on a five-acre farm.  She bought a sheepdog, not because she has sheep, but to help watch her two young sons (ten and eight).   Spot is an excellent sheepdog and is very good at shepherding the boys away from potential danger, such as the creek that runs through their property.    Another mother, Jane, recently brought her sons over to play and left for a while.   When she returned, she asked where the kids were.   Sarah said "Not sure, but I hear Spot barking, so they're not far."   Jane, appalled, said "YOU'RE not watching them?"   "No - Spot is.  She's very good at it.   The kids will be fine."    They WERE fine, but Jane gave Sarah heck and left, vowing never to let her kids play there again.    Sarah was alternately amused and indignant, saying that Jane was being ridiculous.

Thing is:   I'm kind of on Jane's side.   I'm sure Spot is amazing, but I wouldn't have been too happy if MY kids were roaming around a five-acre farm without an adult close by.   What do you think?

   I think  a  5 acre farm is small and Jane needs to relax. I grew up on a 200 acre farm that backed up into a 65,000 state park - free range does not begin to describe much of my childhood. Kids who are brought up on those places learn early where the dangers are, how to avoid or handle them and what do it in the event of a problem.
  The two kids who lived there, were likely fine and could have been ok even without the dog. With the dog, everyone was perfectly safe.
  If that is not what Jane wants for her kids, she is well advised to not allow her kids to go there again, but she is denying her kids some great experiences that they won't get elsewhere. I would not expect to have to watch over 8 and 10 year old, I would expect to watch over a 3-4 or younger.

I remember summers at my uncle's farm, going with my cousin fishing at the creek, rustling up the chickens, checking if the bull was loose before going into the cow field... We were about 6 to 8 YO.  No parents, a wonderful barn with hay bales and kittens, that was SUMMER!  Yeah, farm kids know what to do and where to do it.

I'm kind of on the fence about this one, especially if Jane's kids aren't used to 'free range' and are not 'farm kids'.  Its one thing to grow up around nature (and I did - we roamed as a pack during summer, out from dawn til dusk) but if you are a suburban kid that is not used to nature this can be dangerous - especially if they are not going to listen to the more experienced kids who are the same age as them. 

Things we knew to do were not to jump from the hay loft without checking what was below (things like pitchforks, metal, boxes, etc), not to get between a mama anything and their baby, not to leave a gate open, not to walk up behind a horse and scare it, etc.  These are things I learned about growing up (sometimes from painful experience) - if you didn't grow up 'free range', how would you know to avoid these situations?