1. It is estimated that as many as 40 million Americans, one in six people, experienced (or will experience) sexual victimization as children.
• 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually victimized before age 18.
• The most common ages of children when sexual abuse occurs are between 8 and 12.
• Child sexual abuse is seldom a one-time occurrence, and lasts and average of 1 to 4 years.
• 75% to 80% of all children assaulted or abused were victimized by someone they knew.
• One of five rape victims is under age 12; 10% of all are under age 5.
• Over 80% of offenders first offended by the age of 30 years.
2. I do not feel comfortable with someone, whom I've never met before, picking up my child and driving them somewhere. Moreover, I do not think that a Monday is the most ideal time for a birthday party. Since Charlie was tied up with other activities, I do not think it is plausible for me to take a day off of work so I can accompany my child to a birthday party at noon on a weekday.
3. I do not think that a parent should feel like they have to participate in EVERY function that their child is invited to. My life will not orbit my child's social life. We will participate in play dates and parties when it is convenient for the family. I'm not at all afraid that in refusing one, two, or perhaps three or more functions in a row, that I will in anyway black list our family from future gatherings. If I do, oh well. We'll probably be moving again in a few years, anyway.
4. Just today, Carolyn and William notified me that they have been invited to a birthday party, but Elizabeth wasn't. Guess what? NONE OF THEM ARE GOING. If it was just William, perhaps. If it was just Carolyn, perhaps. But to me, it is WRONG that two out of three were invited and one was not. And quite frankly, I'm not sure what a parent, who knows of our family situation, was thinking when they sent out the invitation to 2/3 of a kindergarten-aged triplet family? When the children are older, perhaps they'll have a tougher skin to handle this kind of exclusion, but at six years old, they don't. In my opinion (and that's all that really matters in the world of me), it would severely undermine a young child's budding confidence if they were intentionally excluded from a party that their siblings attended. Sorry folks, sometimes, we ARE a package deal.
5. My children will be allowed to go on solo play dates, when the time is right. The time is not yet right and might not be right for a while to come. At the moment, I'm comfortable with the notion of other children coming to OUR house to play, or, if our children attend a play date at some one else's home, either their father or I are with them. The only people I fully trust to be alone with my children are myself, my husband, my mother and my Aunt Grace. Does this make me uptight and overprotective? So be it. I'll proudly don that title. Refer to #1, above.
6. I like to think that I am confident enough in my decisions that if I don't feel comfortable doing something, I'm not going to do it. I do not succumb to social pressure, especially when it comes to my children. I am not all concerned that parents within our children's kindergarten class are going to label us as the "reclusive, overprotective family that never lets their children out of their sight." With time, our children WILL develop their own friendships, and we will help foster that in whatever way we can.
7. Once we get a little more settled and our basement is finished, Charlie and I have every intention of hosting a series of parties, over the course of a quarter, for every student in our children's kindergarten class AND their families. We are anticipating a series of drop-in style gatherings where the kids will have an opportunity to play and we will have an opportunity to meet the parents and size up the origination of the little hooligans that are attending school with our children. (Of course I mean that in the kindest way, possible.)
8. When I was pregnant with our triplets, I joined a triplet support group. As fate would have it, I became friends with three other women, who just so happened to have triplets that were born within three months of my own. Since the time that our children were infants, we routinely got together for play dates, until the day before we moved. Our children have been exposed to children outside of our own family and they will continue to be exposed to children outside of our family.
9. Charlie was the President of the Geology club in college. Two years later, I was the President of the very same Geology club. The reason both my husband and I were the President of this prestigious organization is not because we were outstanding scholars of geological science. Well, actually we were. But more importantly, we were very social and we knew how to throw great parties. Everyone who voted for us was well aware of this critical fact. Just ask my Vice-President, Lorie.
10. Charlie and I were very involved in our community in California and although we have only lived in our new neighborhood for two months, we know every single person on our street. We have baked more than half of them apple crisps. Once we get more apples, we'll bake crisps for the other half. I've volunteered at four school events and have met numerous parents. We have been invited to, and attended, three dinner parties and one block party. We have been invited to, and attended, several churches and are already making plans for ski vacations with our "new friends", next year.
11. When a child is born to parents who stay out until almost midnight on Halloween, mingling with everyone in the neighborhood, they have a significantly decreased risk of social retardation.
12. Even if their mother still tries to carry them around like this.