I was going to take a break this week from blogging since it's Thanksgiving week and seems like the perfect time to take a break, but I couldn’t resist the Listicles. I'll be taking a break the rest of the week. Unless I come up with something really great to talk about. Which means you probably won't hear from me again until next Monday.
This week’s list is 10 Things I’ve learned in 2012, suggested by Kerstin. Check out the other lists at www.northwestmommy.com.
So, here's what I've learned...
1. I learned that our children consist of a Bossy-pants, a Bully, and a Drama Queen. While one might expect these to be in the order of girl, boy, girl, all our children break the gender stereotypes these labels carry (Boy 1, Girl, Boy 2).
2. I learned what it's like to take my child to a Chinese emergency room. And I learned that I never, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER want to do it again. I saw the in-hospital smoking, the tiny open-air plastic trash cans containing bloody what-not, the complete lack of privacy, and don’t get me started on the misdiagnosis of my son, which could have been determined with a simple throat culture and resolved with some antibiotics. Some may consider me to be a spoiled American over this. I’m cool with that.
3. I learned that eight minutes is too long to be at the library with my three year old daughter. By minute seven she has already banged on every computer keyboard she has passed, run behind the front desk, into the librarian’s office, gotten lost in the stacks while I've bent down to retrieve the six board books she threw on the floor, after she hit a kid on the back that took back the plastic cow she originally stole from him, all while using her “library voice” which really should be an “I’m at a Justin Bieber concert and I need to scream for you to hear me” voice.
4. I learned how using Twitter is akin to starting junior high. I felt myself wondering if someone could hold my hand and be my cheerleader as I sent out my first 10-ish original tweets, like on the first day of 7th grade, when my dad took me in to my class because I was scared. It was awkward for me starting out on Twitter because I began to follow all these really smart and funny people and I could see all the less-than-140-word masterpieces they were tweeting. Then some of them started following me back (pity follows, perhaps?) and I suddenly realized they could all see me and were watching me tweet, so I didn’t want to screw up and misspell something or worse, say something dumb or not funny, like the tweet where I called myself a butt-hole to backpedal from a previous dumb tweet, but just ended up making myself look worse (and you can't untweet - once it's tweeted, it's there for anyone to find and ridicule you). Then I got jealous of all the really funny blogger-tweeters who are all friends with each other and I wanted to join their clique, so when I saw them tweeting, I would tweet my best stuff, but as they continued to tweet with each other, my tweets just sat there flat and stupid on my little TweetDeck, all lonesome and stuff, and were being ignored. So, then it was like being a wall-flower at that first junior high dance, watching everybody else have fun, praying somebody would ask me to dance.
After a few Twitter weeks (which is like two days in real time) I found a few friends that I depend on to hang out with at the wall and sometimes one of us will venture out on the Twitter dance floor and we applaud each other’s dance moves with retweets and "favorite" marks. And not just for the sake of encouragement, but because they really are great tweets. My BTFF (Best Twitter Friend Forever) is Mommy, for Real. She’s a great writer, hilarious, and she’s a Twitter novice like me. She recently wrote about how Twitter is like middle school here. Actually, another good post comparing blogging to middle school is by Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms, and that's here.
5. I learned how hard it is to get people to read my blog and that it takes as much time to market it as it does to write it. The good thing about this is that my audience is still small enough that I don’t embarrass myself too much when I write something that I think is great, but is actually crap. And don’t be leaving me a comment that says, “Crap - like this post.”
6. I learned that amusement parks suck when you take seven, six, and three year old kids together with you, all at one time.
7. I learned I'm middle-aged. I mean I see it every day when I look in the mirror - I should just break that thing - but I never thought I qualified as being middle-aged. As I think I've said before, middle-age is defined as whatever age I am now, plus 10 years. This truth hit me hard.
8. I learned that male giraffes fight each other for dominance by standing closely, side by side, and then beating on each other's necks with their necks. One will fling its neck around and slam it into the other male giraffe's neck. Have you seen this? It's kind of awesome. I saw it on PBS today (that's what I do, I relax by watching PBS), but you can watch a fight in this clip too.
2. How to properly use a hashtag on Twitter. For non-tweeters, hashtags (#) (I always thought this was called “number sign”) are used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet, created as a way to categorize messages.
Here are a few I've used that probably haven't been used properly: #stinkytweet, #baddermommy, #slowwit, and #nolongersmelllikeaworkingmansarmpit. I’m sure that last one is trending high. Actually, they probably all are. Try writing a tweet that fits one of these.
So, what have you learned in 2012? Leave it in the comments.