Love a Tree, Read an E-book

Posted & filed under Personal Posts, Blog Hops.

JustRomance.me BloghopsSometimes I’m a terrible parent. [Bear with me; this is about saving trees.]

In my defense, I don’t have much experience at it. My husband and I began fostering two girls, now ages 5 and 7, last summer. It’s been a life-changer. Sometimes we get it right with what we call a “pro-parenting maneuver.”  When we REALLY get it right, it’s a “next-level parenting maneuver.” Most of the time we’re just trying not to suck at it. And then, sometimes it’s a “Parent Fail.”

I’ll let you make the call which one this falls under because I have no idea.

For months, the five-year-old had problems with accidents, like many children her age in the foster system do. Something about all the trauma they’ve endured devolves a child back a few years, and potty training is often the first to go for kids in her age range. I hit every parent forum I could find and tried nigh about everything anyone suggested. Nothing worked. She said she cared, but it sure didn’t seem like it to me. Two months ago when I figured out she actually liked wearing pullups and was peeing on herself more often just so I’d put her in them, I nearly snapped.

She’s very into plants, particularly flowers, but anything green and growing fills her with joy. (I’m so excited to finally have a gardener in the family, as I somehow managed to kill mint. I know. How do you kill mint?)  She’s also terribly sensitive about plants dying. So I whipped out my phone and looked up pictures of landfills. As the internet chugged away, I asked her where the trash, like her pullups, goes after we throw it away. She proudly stated that it was taken away every week. I pressed on, asking where it then went. She thought about that for a moment and couldn’t come up with an answer. Ye Olde Google Image Search having done its job by this point, I saw that the second picture on the list showed something that looked like a meadow with trees and flowers right next to a dump. I flipped the phone around and showed her that.

Not the picture I showed her, but it was something like this with plants and trash. [Dump yard near Rybne by Andy Shustykevych]

“See, this whole place used to be green with trees, but people threw too much trash away, and look what happened.”

“They killed the trees?”

“Yes. Because there was too much trash. It has to go somewhere.”

She burst into tears, I’m talking shaking, sobbing, hysterical tears. At this point I wondered if I’d done the wrong thing in showing a (then) four-year-old pictures of a landfill. I held her and rubbed her back as she wailed, “I don’t want to kill trees! I don’t want to kill trees!” I calmly reminded her that if we don’t waste, we won’t kill trees. Eventually she calmed down, and life went about it’s merry way–now with me wondering if I’d further traumatized an already traumatized child. I also wondered if it was going to help or just upset her.

And then at lunch time, she realized she had to go to the bathroom. Bolting up from her chair, she announced this to everyone and took off running for the potty yelling, “Save the trees!”

For the record, she no longer has accidents.

TotU-minibanner002In honor of my daughter and her save-the-tree efforts, I’m offering e-copies in the winner’s format of choice of the first two books in the Tales of the UnderlightHow Beauty Met the Beast and How Beauty Saved the Beast to a winner drawn by the hop. I hope you enjoy! And if you have any tree-saving habits you’d like to share in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

58 Responses to “Love a Tree, Read an E-book”

  1. Carin

    I think that was a smart move as a mom, It is important for our kids to know the effect our actions have what ever the situation. I don’t know that I do anything that “saves” trees as much as I just try to make sure to reuse anything I can I have up-cycle things like old t-shirts, sheets and the like to make rugs, baskets, purses and I even found a whole site devoted to using old plastic bags for the same thing. Good luck with your little one. Carin
    mawmom at gmail dot com

    Reply
    • Jax

      Thanks, Carin! This whole parenting gig has turned out to be a lot of improvisation. Sometimes it works better than others. Heh… Up-cycling is awesome! I don’t do enough of that. Austin has a pretty good recycling program, so that I can handle, but up-cycling is even better. You’d fit right in in the Underlight. 😉

      Reply
  2. Beckey

    That is an awesome story… Congrats on the potty training… Some kids are harder than others and you just gotta figure out what works for them as a person (that is why we call each others individuals cause we are all unique beings) 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the great post

    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

    Reply
    • Jax

      Thanks Beckey! It’s been quite a journey learning how to do this mom thing! And the two girls are so different, too. I mean, I know my sister and I are totally different people, so that makes sense. But dang. Trying to juggle “fair but not the same” has been tricky indeed.

      Reply
  3. kat

    I think it was just fine. Landfills are sad and sobering images, sure. But not violent or grotesque or age-inappropriate. Don’t worry about whether it was “pro” or “fail” — just file it under “worked” and move on. 😉 Go Mom!!

    Reply
  4. Rebe

    I love the “Save the Trees!!!” comment! That’s adorable! And I’m not sure anyone could have anticipated the tears at the sight of the landfill. Who knew? It sounds like you’re the best you can. Good luck!

    rwschwarz11ATgmailDOTcom

    Reply
    • Jax

      Thanks Rebe! We’re trying. Sometimes what we do works better than others. But I will never forget the fire in her eyes as she ran to the bathroom with her unexpected rallying cry. It was pretty awesome. 🙂

      Reply
    • Jax

      Thanks Alana! She is a sweetie. They’re both really great kids! We’re really hoping we’ll get to adopt them.

      Reply
  5. Renee B

    What a wonderful story. It sounds like you did just fine. Don’t worry so much about whether you pass or fail. Just do the best you can. That’s all anyone can do. My grandmother always told me “Nothing beats a failure like a try” meaning if you don’t try, then you’ve failed. If you’ve tried your best, you’ve won; regardless of the outcome.
    Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    Reply
    • Jax

      You’re welcome, Renee! I love your grandmother’s phrase. “Nothing beats a failure like a try.” I’ll have to remember that one!

      Reply
    • Jax

      Thanks Jeana! As for sharing, I have to watch myself or I think they’re all I talk about! 🙂 Hehe

      Reply
  6. Sasha Devlin

    That is a win! I cheered at the end of that story. So often with kids, it’s whatever gets through to them and you did that. Also kudos for you and the hubs for fostering. That’s amazing.

    sasha(at)sashadevlin(dot)com

    Reply
    • Jax

      Thanks Sasha! It’s been quite the experience, that’s for sure. Last time I asked my mom how she did this whole parenting thing without going crazy, she told me, “Well…infants are portable and don’t talk back. It gives you some adjustment time before you’re full throttle.” I laughed. But at the end of the day, even bad days, we’re really glad we’re doing this. We love those girls so much!

      Reply
  7. Belinda G

    I applaud your dedication and commitment to a cause that is often overlooked. I agree ebooks are the way to go to do a smart part in helping our planet. Thank you!

    Belinda G
    belgre AT comcast DOT net

    Reply
  8. Alianne

    I think that was a brilliant maneuver. Kudos! My dad told me once his older brother used to have accidents. His mom was at her wits end too, didn’t know what to do about it (this was back in the day… my dad is in his upper 50’s now). Then their upstairs neighbor decided to lend a helping hand and lowered a bucket out of his window to my grandma with a bunch of stinging nettles to spank my uncle with. And she did. He never had an accident again. I think your way was better ^_^

    Reply
    • Jax

      Ha!!! Wow. Things have certainly changed. 🙂 As foster parents, we had to sign a contract not to use corporal punishment with the children. So many kids in the system have been physically abused or witnessed physical abuse that it’s psychologically confusing and often reinforces the violence cycle because at their age they don’t understand the difference between “Mom got mad at my behavior and I got spanked” and “Dad got angry at Mom’s behavior and Mom got punched.” Pretty creepy, I guess, when phrased that way, but there you go. No spankings in our house, that’s for sure!

      Reply
  9. Jeannie Platt

    I know that had to be hard for you… I have two boys 9&3 and know how frustrating potty training can be… my oldest was easy… 3 year old its a challenge…My family is big on recycling it… I try and fix things before tossing or find new purpose for things.

    j.m.platt83@gmail.com

    Reply
    • Jax

      Good luck with the latest round of potty training! If I never smell peed on underwear again, I’ll be juuuuuust fine with that! Heh.

      I’m trying to get better about fixing and repurposing. I’m so not craft-y; can’t sew to save my life. But I’m working on it!

      Reply
    • Jax

      I prefer ebooks at this point. No more book stacks around my house, and I can tote as many as I want everywhere because I always have my phone with me!

      Reply
  10. LeanneGagnon

    I think that was top notch parenting 😀 You gave a reason besides because you have to and taught your child a responsibility towards saving the planet. WTG!

    leanne109{at}hotmail{DOT} com

    Reply
    • Jax

      Thanks Leanne! Some days I manage to make up something that works. Although when she was midst hysterical tears, I admit I wondered if I’d done something horribly wrong! (Although the youngest, bless her, cries at EVERYTHING. Petals fell off the rosebush after the rainstorm. She bumped her arm with zero signs of injury. Nothing happened but she wants to get her sister in trouble.) But I do think this one worked out well in the end!

      Reply
  11. Joder

    That is a great story and a clever way to get her past her problems. I admire too that you’re fostering children as there are so many in the system. My folks adopted two boys twenty years ago that were three days old and IT IS a life-changing event, but a worthwhile one.
    As to saving a tree, I’ve gone almost completely the eBook route and vastly prefer not having so much space taken up by paperbacks.
    Joder
    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

    Reply
    • Jax

      Oh my gosh, my husband is SO happy that I don’t have books taking up every crevice of our house anymore. I think he may love ebooks more than I do for that very reason!

      That’s awesome about your parents! One of the things they taught us in the class is that adopting as an infant is still adopting a child exposed to trauma because we pick up well more in the womb than we realize–plus whatever the mother exposed herself to, she exposed the children to. I’ve had a lot of people say something like, “Oh, I’d never take children; only an infant so I am their only influence.” I don’t think a lot of people realize how much has already happened by the time a child is born or how much influence other people have, regardless of whom the children biologically and legally belong to. We were also taught that, statistically speaking, six months to a year in a stable, loving environment is what it takes to turn a child’s life around. Even with children who are returned to a crazy situation, if they’ve had that time to see what life can be, they have a significantly improved chance at breaking the cycle of violence, drugs or whatever and creating a new life for themselves after graduation. Our girls’ legal battle is ongoing (keeps me up at night, I’m so worried for them), but I keep reminding myself that they’re in that window, and if they have to go back they’ve been given an example of higher expectations. I just hope they don’t have to go back!!

      Reply
  12. flchen1

    Wow, Jax–hats off to you and your husband–it sounds like you’re doing just fine in the parenting department! It’s all improv, whether you’ve got one kid or five and whether you gave birth to them or became a parent by a different route.

    And we can only do what we can, saving the world one diaper or one reusuable container or one book at a time 🙂

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

    Reply
    • Jax

      My Dad used to have a bumper sticker that said, “Think globally. Act locally.” That reminds me of what you said: we can’t fix everything, but we can be mindful of our own actions and do our part. It’s a comforting thought when the world seems to be going crazy that I’m not in charge of fixing it all!

      My friends with bio children keep assuring me that all the things I’m doing and feeling are totally normal parent stuff. 🙂 My favorite was one who told me, “There is going to be a day when you decide that you suck at this because you’re not a ‘real’ mother and if you’d only birthed these children, you’d get it right. On that day, please know that every mother has days when they think they missed something in the birthing room, some mystical connection that was supposed to happen and clearly didn’t because right now they want to drop kick their children out a window. So, on those days when you think you’re a failure, know you are exactly like a birth mother.” I laughed…

      Reply
  13. Hannah Almond

    That’s a great story! You should not doubt yourself, it sounds like your doing a exceptional job at parenting.As someone that was bought up in care myself, I can say that the fact you cared enough not to give up on her , and to help her, proves that your a brilliant parent.She is very lucky to have such caring parents as you and your husband.And she sounds like a very kind child who obviously cares a great deal about the environment.Your very lucky !

    hannah.calmond@googlemail.com

    Reply
    • Jax

      Thank you Hannah! My husband and I feel so lucky to have both girls in our lives. It amazes us how incredibly brave they are and what beautiful souls they have. I so hope we will get to adopt them!

      Reply
  14. Shelley Chastagner

    What a great story! Those are the moments you hold onto and someday, when they have children you get to repeat them. Continue to encourage your little ones love for all things green, you may have a future environmental engineer on your hands.

    Reply
    • Jax

      That would be so cool! My DH is an electrical engineer who works with an environmental research group, so that would be right in line with the family for her to be an environmental engineer! She’s a real smarty-pants, too…if she’d only quit using that clever brain to try framing her sister for uncommitted crimes (she’s done some multi-part scheming here) and start using it to correctly use they/them/their in a sentence. “Them are going to see them family.” NOOOOOOO!! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO CORRECT THAT!!!!!! 😉

      Reply
  15. susan platt

    I loved the story about your daughter! You did a fantastic job!

    susanmplatt AT Hotmail DOT com

    Reply
    • Silvio

      Wow, I think you will be a great OB. It seems like you have a real love for children, faeimils, and people in general. Sad to say that those qualities are rare traits in todays world. I believe not just anyone should be in just any job because you could be in a job that you hate and end up making everyone who comes in contact with you at work miserable. You have the joy and care to be great at your job and effect those you will be working around not only by your knowledge , but by your love for what you do.

      Reply
  16. Michelle Bledsoe

    I think you handled the situation just fine. Being a parent is a learning experience. Advice helps,but you just have to jump in and use your own instincts because each situation is different for each child. I applaud you for being a foster parent and a good person.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

    Reply
  17. Tina B

    I think it is hard to explain to children or to get them to understand things. I think you did the right thing by taking something that she enjoys and explaining how her accidents are having an effect on the plants. 🙂
    I read more ebooks and we also recycle. When my son started school, he informed me that we needed to save the planet and recycle. Children are so cute sometimes.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    trb0917 at gmail.com

    Reply
    • Jax

      Ha! They have been talking more and more about recycling and conserving at school. Most of the time I think it’s great–so far my experience with children says they are ready to waste like crazy!–but sometimes I’m like…look, kid, I’m doing my best. Now I’m going to throw this plastic plate away and go take a nap because you’ve worn me out. Heehee

      Reply
  18. Shadow

    Wow! Great story! When i have kids, can i send em your way for the potty training? lol Thanks for sharing and for being part of this awesome hop! Happy earth day!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
    • Jax

      HAHAHAHAHAHA. Um…no. Thanks. Right now I’m just happy the eldest is past it so I only have to do this once! 😉 Happy Earth Day to you, too!!

      Reply
  19. JoAnna B

    Great story! They teach a lot about saving the environment in schools now and my kids come home and tell me what I’m doing wrong.

    beckerjo at verizon dot net

    Reply
    • Jax

      Hahaha! Because they needed one more thing to tell you what to do? My eldest, man, she’s used to being in charge of two younger children by herself; at age 7 she knows all sorts of stuff. Some of it’s even right! Getting her to let go and not take charge of EVERYTHING is hard. Not that I can blame her, but dude. She’s going to be a kickass babysitter in a few years. Nothing fazes her, and she actually likes taking care of children. It’s sad that by age 5 she had to know how to care for an infant, but she’s quite the responsible young lady!

      Reply
  20. rbeeyswan

    Totally agree! What a wonderful gift..foster Parents U give so very much! May God always Bless U!

    Reply
  21. ScottLease

    Предлагаем полностью рабочее программное обеспечение/We offer a ready solution for MICROMINE 2016 ALL MODULES (CRACK – Dongle emulator/Custom license/Patch). Полная поддержка наших решений. Тестирование перед оплатой/Full support for our solutions. Testing before payment. Контакты/Contacts: nodongle24 /@/ gmail.com (remove spaces and /)

    Hardlock Dongle Emulator, Deskey2 Dongle Emulator, ROCKEY EPass Dongle Emulator, Wibu Wibubox Dongle Emulator, Sentinel Pro Dongle Emulator, Sentinel Superpro Dongle Emulator, Guardant Stealth II Dongle Emulator, Hardlock Dongle Emulator, Guardant Sign Dongle Emulator, ILok Dongle Emulator, Senselock Basic Dongle Emulator, ROCKEY 5 Dongle Emulator, Guardant Stealth III Dongle Emulator, Smartkey Eutron Usbdl Dongle Emulator, Sentinel Scout Dongle Emulator.

    Reply
  22. Andrewplalf

    Есть такая услуга – добровольное медицинское обслуживание (или ДМО).
    Она предполагает, что пациент платит небольшую сумму за то, что ходит на прием весь год не платя за каждый прием.
    Однако опросы показывают, что лишь 5% жителей Санкт-Петербурга знают о такой услуге.
    Почему?
    Да потому что клиникам намного выгодней брать плату за каждый визит.
    А если какой-нибудь сотрудник клиники попытается рассказать про добровольное медицинское обслуживание клиенту – это сулит ему увольнением.
    Информация о ДМО уже спровоцировала множество возмущений, после того как информацию об этом рассекретил один врач.
    Его уволили , после того, как он посоветовал ДМО своему пациенту.
    Самое удивительное, что информация по ДМО находятся в открытом доступе, просто натыкались на эту информацию единицы.
    Как отстоять свои права?
    О правилах оказания услуги и обязанностях клиник можно узнать, сделав запрос в Яндексе: “добровольное медицинское обслуживание”.
    Обязательно обслуживание, а не страхование.

    34j5c6h86

    Reply

Talk Back

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>