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The Effinly Effin' F Word

I was getting presents for 8yo to give away when I passed a book that screamed at me.

It was entitled "Five Star Families - Turning your Family from Good to Great" by Carol Kuykendall.

I've been reading too much juvie books the past weeks so without dilly dallying I plunked it into the basket. I decided it would be my christmas gift for myself.

The book is great, Carol's mommy warmth and love oozes out of the book. She deconstructs a lot of parenting stuff we automatically try to do and puts it on the table for easier scrutiny.

I can imagine her and me at the dinner table with mugs of coffee, and she brings out a parenting value from her purse and puts it on the table. I can then touch the parenting thingy, stare at it, poke it, shake it and listen. And I can imagine her laugh at me as I consider "alien" something I strive to do everyday as I raise two completely different boys.

In the book, Carol says 5 star families have top 5 priorities -

and I havent gotten to the 5th part yet. hehe

I was shocked when I saw THE f-word.




Ah... fun.

What fun?

I don't if it's just me, but I was a tad scandalized with consciously associating families with the word "fun". Is it because I'm from a country where the prevalent religion believes "fun is dirty, fun is sinful?" (Shut up, you're not even from that denomination. lol)

But, but...

Families are not supposed to be fun.

Families are for long sermons.
Families are for discipline.

Families are for going to the market together on Sunday morning, then each one cleaning a part of a house after.

Families are for going to Manila Bay on week-ends and watch the "most beautiful sunset in the world."

Family is Mang Napo who tells my elementary sis and bro "Go to sleep" a gazillion times. Still not listening for the gazillionth time, he reaches for a broom, supposedly to swat them with, but they run away too fast. As sis and bro peek from top of the stairs to see if Mang Napo will chase them, Mang Napo apparently got the broom to SWEEP the floor, not to spank them with it. We LOL at the memory.

Family is Mang Napo teaching me how to skip rocks on water.

Family is Mang Napo teaching 4-year old me how to pump at swings so I can swing higher than anyone else.

Family is Mang Napo teaching 11 year old me how to drive while im sitting on 3 throw pillows in the car (it can be done here in the Philippines inside suburban villages).

And let's not start on siblings. They're not fun at all.

Family is for siblings bickering about and trading chores.

Family is for siblings jibing all the time and calling each other names:
- I was called "Lukot na piso" (Crumpled coin) because I was a sulky child
- "You were so dark when you were born, when the doctor placed you on top of the
brown desk, you couldn't be found.
- And the classic : "You're adopted. When mom flushed the toilet, you popped out
and she took you in."

Family is getting home from different schools at 3pm and each one asks "What's your baon? (Baon refers to packed meal from home ... but we mean jokes to share) So we fix our snack and the 3 of us eat together, swap jokes and alternately cry-laugh and roll on floor.

Family is when your sister asks "Has anyone seen my slippers?" and I say "no." and she keeps looking for about... um... 30 minutes? and she finally sees it -- "A-HAH!" because I've been wearing them all along and stifling my ROLF laugh. That's hard you know, to stifle a laugh for a joke THAT good.

Now that I'm raising two boys, what fun are you talking about?

How fun is it to watch 3 movies in a row, with endless snacks, while everybody's snug in blankies?

How fun is it to read Dr. Seuss' in different voices?

How fun is it for the boys, niece, me and my sis to have a water gun fight during easter morning instead of an egg hunt because we looked for plastic eggs only the day before and those have run out.

How fun is it for everyone to sing in the car? When my sibs were teens, we always sung "Never Let Her Slip Away" and my bro the driver would wave his arms in the air at the word Happy. Yup, during "and it would really make me HAHHHHHHHHPPY" so you can imagine the passenger's horror. When the kids were smaller (all 6 of them were together then) we used to sing Disney all together. Later on we sang more to Teen-agers from My Chemical Romance.

How fun are mealtime conversations, when it's the kids' turns to do the jibes and the name-calling and the jokes and the stick out-tongues?

Oh yeah, I still do the "have you seen my slippers?" and deny it thingy. This time with 13yo.

Now that, that IS fun.


Casey said…
Doesn't sound like you need a book to tell you how to do the family thing. You ARE a fun mom, I can tell. And you were a "crumpled coin?" WTH does that mean?
RE: "crumpled coin"

Exactly their point. ROFL

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