Haters gonna hate.

Of course being 7.5 months pregnant I think often about how I want to raise my son. A few weeks ago we were out to breakfast and saw a mom pick up their child and then watched as the child began to smack, hit, and just go crazy on the mom. I was shocked. Of course I said to Chris “Our child will never act like that.” And — I meant it. First of all, if my kid acts out I will take them outside. I do not care if it is rainy or beautiful out, I would want to take them out of the situation and discuss further. It might even mean making the choice to leave the restaurant. There is absolutely no reason to watch a child loose control and beat the crap out of his mom. Something is not right in that scenario. Those of you who are already parents think I might live in a dream world, but let me tell you, my father might have scared the crap out of me, but I knew how to behave.

So that little rant was about the kids misbehaving, but what about parents? I just read an article about a dad who was mocked for his son loving a custom play kitchen. Now, I will tell you I have not discussed this with Chris, and so he might not agree with me — but I would love for my son to have a play kitchen. Why you might ask? Chris is the chef in our family and he is a damn good one. He does not look at it as the wife’s job. He looks at it as art. He loves his time in the kitchen and from the taste of a dish, to trying something different, right down to how he displays the final product on a plate. Now that does not mean there are nights that it does not feel laborious to him, but he loves his kitchen and I stay out of the way. Why would I do anything to keep my son away from that? Why would he spend his childhood watching his father in the kitchen (and hopefully interested enough to want to join him) and then tell him he cannot have his own play kitchen?

What has this world come to? Cooking is an art and it is not just for women. If I was the one in the kitchen we would eat like crap — just ask Chris. I have no patience, I cannot time things right, and really have no interest. Chris has the patience, loves it, and I know he will have the patience to teach our son as well. My job will be teaching him how to bake. Yes, I will.

I loved this comment from the dad in the article:

“As far as my comment on if he wants to play with a barbie doll…again, let me stress this. HE IS 2. I have seen him get excited and play with a broom. Ya’ll need to chill. Kids are going to play with what they want, and if you try to prevent them from doing something as harmless as playing with the toy they want to play with, they are going to end up resenting you.”

So damn true. Let them play with what inspires them. I would much rather my son paint, get dirty, play in the kitchen and use his mind then be mesmerized behind a video game and develop no social skills whatsoever.

What do you think?

Surprise tactics

How often in life are you surprised? Once a month? Once a day? Do people easily shock you? There is a little part of each of us that loves to be shocked and in awe. Whether it is our husband that is capable of keeping a secret, our closest friend, or sister — not having a clue something is going to happen can sometimes be an amazing thing.

I have the hardest time keeping a secret from Chris (that should be a good thing). We talk about everything, and sometimes it is hard to keep my excitement inside or hidden from him. I am crazy transparent so he can probably pick up on the fact that I am hiding something. Take for example his 30th birthday. I wanted to surprise him and take him to San Francisco for a week. I could not keep it inside and I wanted to plan the trip with him and let him research a bit of what he might want to do. A week before we were to leave I decided to tell him — I could not resist! I wrapped a box of Rice-a-Roni (you know “A San Francisco treat.”) and my secret was finally out.

Somehow though Chris loves giving me the element of surprise and he enjoys the shock value it leaves. He can easily plan things and not tell me because he knows timing can be the perfect way to surprise someone, especially me. He is good. What if the many companies we are patrons of shocked and surprised us? Many companies do not even come close, so the smallest detail could result in a surprised and happy customer. How often are you surprised by a company? It is nice when it happens. It makes the experience more memorable.

I am going to hone my surprise tactics. Just you wait, Chris. Just you wait.

My Archetype: The Maestro

I love to share good things. It feels wrong to me to keep them to myself. I wrote a blog post in December titled: “How do you fascinate?” that shared ideas from the book: “How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination” by Sally Hogshead. I have now had more time to process and contemplate this book and the personality test that is included in this 400+ page book. Let me share the turn of events. I took the test and shared my interest in this book with a co-worker. They in turn were curious and found a link online to take the test for free. It spread quickly with my team at work. We were intrigued, fascinated (no pun intended), and learned a bit more about ourselves.

You might be thinking, rah, rah, another personality test. It is, and it isn’t. I have read the 400+ page book. I have studied the 49 different results. This is not just a personality test for me. It is a new way of looking at myself and others. Why? Well the premise of her book is that we are 99% boring and 1% fascinating. The results of the test are meant to tell you more about your 1%. That 1% is what the world sees when they see you.

Take the quiz at this link: www.harperbusiness.com/you

Did you take it? I have more to share, but it might make more sense after you have taken the quiz. I promise it only takes a few minutes. Done? Okay, so here I go. My results took me a while to process. I was shy about it. I thought, really? This is how people see me? Then, I embraced it. You have an archetype that is made up of a first and second advantage, and then a dormant advantage. Your advantages are how you communicate.

My archetype: The Maestro (Ambitious, Focused, Confident, Uncompromising, Formidable)
My first advantage: Power – You lead with command (Confident, Goal-Oriented, Decisive)
My second advantage: Prestige – You earn respect with higher standards (Ambitious, Results Oriented, Respected)
My dormant advantage: Mystique – You communicate with substance (Which means hiding my emotions or opinions drains me.)

While I struggled with my results, or maybe was a bit shocked, I am everything the adjectives describe. Relentless to make things happen, focused on the goal, and all with excellence leading the way (I have a hard time completing anything that does not meet my high expectations).

Did you just learn a lot about me? I am curious what your results are – leave a note in the comments section with your results and how you feel about them.

Too young or too old?

Last night I was in a store and the woman asked what I was looking for, and if she could help me. I gave her my usual response: “I am just looking.” Unless I cannot find what I think I should be able to find, or I need a different size, I am a leave-me-alone kind of shopper. She then proceeded to ask me if I had any kids and if I was back-to-school shopping. I was a bit shocked about the question (the age for the store would be a tween store). Did she really think I was that old?

While it is completely numerically possible for me to have a tween, and even a kid in college (yikes). I believe it is the first time that I have ever been asked if I was back-to-school shopping for children I do not have. Maybe I was a bit more shocked because just mere weeks ago I was carded while out with work colleagues. When the woman saw how old I was I could see she was shocked. I then asked her how old she thought I was, and she said under 30.

While I should be flattered by her subtracting 6+ years from my life, the entire age thing baffles me. How can one individual think I look much younger than I am, and another potentially assume I have a tween. I know I am stretching the store comment a bit (and I know I had crazy bags under my eyes after a long day and week), but I am perplexed. After getting carded, I could not get over it. Those with me told me it is a compliment and I can see what they mean, but does it also mean that I act younger than I should?

Or, should I just shut up and be grateful that the waitress took years off my life and know that years from now I will look back and want someone to do that for me again?