Monday, August 24, 2009

Its not that I have nothing to say...

...I just truly cannot seem to make the time for it lately. So much has transpired this summer, with the biggest things being my depression and getting on medications, and the death of my mother. We decided to "start summer" on August 4th, the day after her memorial service. That was her birthday and also Casey's...I didnt even make a happy birthday post to my sweet home born baby! Ack! HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRECIOUS CASEY ANGEL!

The memorial service was just supposed to be a little something me and my sister threw together at our step dad's home. It turned into a huge huge poorly planned crowd, and her and I had 8 children of our own to deal with, with seemingly no one to greet, help mingle, even get the door! I remember a sweaty, stressful house party with no cohesion, no point. I felt helpless to gather anyone to even come look at the candles and photos we set out of my mom, but people did look. I wanted to have a time where we spoke about mom, I bought an expensive journal for people to write in...I just dont know. My husband had to work so he wasn't there, and so I had to do it all while carrying Eska on my hip (fancy house, glass, stairs everywhere)almost continually from 3pm until 930 pm. I had elbow and hand problems for 2 weeks afterwards. I forgot the playpen, the babygate didnt fit their stairs, it was hot....

I hope people got something out of it. I felt horrible the next day, just in a haze of sadness and exhaustion. But we decided to start summer and we have. We bought a pool, 15 feet across by 42 inches deep from Target, mega clearance due to it being mid August,and it is great. The kids love it, Charlie stands next to it on a step stool and squirts us, he will come in but only on my lap on a raft, it is over his head and he is scared. We have done Homeschool Park Day a few times recently, we went to a friend's beach birthday, and we are trying to plan camping. I am not ready for homeschool, not even in the slightest. The only thing I have done to "prepare" is put some great bumper stickers on our van!

We are in a co-op that starts in 3 weeks. It meets on Fridays and I am teaching a class for which I have prepared nothing. Not only do I work well under time pressure, I am kind of only able to do so! The class is called Circle Time/Show and Tell and it is for kids 3 to 6. I am going to do some songs and games, just happy little nursery kind of stuff. Maybe some silk play-scarves, hot potato, whatever. I know it will go well, I used to throw ELABORATE birthday parties and the kids would just play and play with me and before I knew it like 3 hours would have passed, so this 50 minute class twice a month--Im not sweating it. Perhaps I am insane or overly confident but I think it will be fine.

Charlie and Casey are going to go on just Mondays to a home day-school. It is run by a sweet sweet lady who follows Waldorf principles and seems to be a very gentle spirit and I joke that either it will be verrrry good for them or they will get expelled! LOL. It is from 830 am till 1 pm.

Casey is doing AMAZING on his medication. He takes a tiny little 18 mg pill called Concerta and he is polite, funny, articulate, patient, reasonable, talkative, insightful, inquisitive, focused, considerate, kind, communicative, and totally awesome for about 10 hours, and then he falls on the floor and breakdances and makes barking noises and whines and kicks and seems out of control, confused, rude, and possessed. (This is when the pill apparently wears off!) He is back to his old self, but it seems "Worse". Perhaps in direct contrast to how he acted all day, or maybe being off the pill is worse than never taking it. We are happy with this pill and I feel like I am building a true deep relationship with my son that I was never able to in 6 years. Perhaps the barking and kicking and backflips had something to do with it?

Not everyone knows this, but we got THIS close to moving to a big house. As in, we were ready to sign the lease, write the check, and a flukey series of events happened and we had a *big talk* and we have decided to stay and make this work. We love our tiny house, we love our town, we need to lay down roots and settle in, and yeah, sharing one toilet sucks, but only a few times a week do esit seem like we all need to "go" at once. I feel good like we are doing the right thing, and we are working hard to come up with "Solutions" to help it be more liveable in here. I am proud, a little disappointed, alot hopeful, and very impressed with my husband's attitude about alot of things. We have a small sunroom thing on the side of our garage and now might be the time to seriously fix it up for play space.

Yesterday was our 13 year wedding anniversary! Very cool. We didnt do anything special but hope to tonight, maybe have a little "date" on the couch. I dunno. Our house is all taken apart for the house-reconfiguration, I am kind of sick to my stomach from antibiotics from an infected tooth, and the romance just wasnt happening yesterday.

So, lots going on and nothing profound to preach. As soon as I get in the homeschool mindset I will let you all know! Enjoy summer!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Girls Don't Brag.

Inspired almost simultaneously by what I read by Jill at Keyboard Revolutionary AND what I am really noticing "on the playgrounds" this summer, I would like to discuss the phenomenon of Bragging,/Telling, Boasting/Describing and the role it plays in our social interactions. Especially us women.

From a very early age, people like to tell about what they know. Regardless of whether the story recounted will be of interest, and wonderfully free from the notions of offending or resonating with their audience, a young child of either sex will, if you let them, happily tell you about the biggest bubble they ever blew, the highest tree they ever climbed, the most hot peppers they ever ate, the awesomest snowman they ever built, their roller skating trophies, their best drawing, their highest score on Whizzball, and, for the lucky kids who grow up in a "supportive and nurturing" culture or subculture, they will get at least their family members to listen, nod, and share in their joyful news. No matter how small, no matter how relevant to the listener, it is only...polite? accept someone's triumphant experience for what it is. Their news. Their news they chose to share with you. And then, like so so so so so many things we weirdly do to children, (and isn't it always around age 5 or so?) the genuine sharing and smiles and unwavering support turns. It turns to slight discomfort. It turns to whispered Shush-ings. It turns into suggestions that Maybe So and So Doesn't Want To Hear That, Sweetie. And oftentimes, it turns into, "Don't say that, dearie, its going to make them feel bad."...Which is right around the corner from DON'T BRAG.

And Don't Brag is the one thing that gets heaped by the truckload onto girls. by the freaking truckload. and by age 7, 8 the little boys on the playground seem to ONLY brag and boast, scarcely listening to each other, so excited to say their own braggy-boast, and the girls are deeply entrenched in the mind games involving Don't Brag, Don't Be Bossy, Don't Show-Off, Do/Don't make so and so feel bad. EVEN IF THEY ARE JUST TELLING A BASIC INFORMATIONAL TALE, THEY TONE IT DOWN FOR BROADRANGE APPEAL AND THE COMFORT THEORETICALLY GAINED BY MEDIOCRITY AND HOVERING NEAR THE MEDIAN. Don't Brag.

And this is what is happening everyday in our lives, and this is what is happening to the women who have a tale to tell about their births. Either good or bad, whether beautiful and empowering (ewww another very scary word) or damaging and completely fucking insanely illegally abusively neglectfully wrong, birth stories just are too much womanly-realm to be acceptable, period.

When bragging is wrong
and boasting is wrong
and bodies are wrong
and complaining is wrong
and calling out our assailants is wrong
and experiencing ecstasy is wrong
and being hurt is wrong
and blood is wrong
and sweat is wrong
and tears are wrong
and strength is wrong
and vulnerability is wrong
and yelling is wring
and crying is wrong
and sex is wrong
and bellies are wrong
and breasts are wrong
and vaginas are wrong
then there is no way to tell anyone's birth story. Ever.

So we must shrug off all of this, no matter how we wince inside, we have to just tell our stories. to other women. To men. Harken back to when you were really, really little, and Grandma or someone really did want to see your worm. your best worm ever. I hope you had that. And if you didn't, well, you need to tell your stories even more, so you can eventually experience acceptance and tolerance of your truth.

and in the meantime...Don't worry about BRAG. the men do it all day, and we call it Sexy Confidence!

Bebe Gloton

My great friend sends me thoughtworthy stuff all the time, and he forwarded this to me: (Warning! I am pretty sure some other stuff on this page might link you to some other stuff that is definitly rated R/(X?) and I am not guaranteeing anything beyond this article!)

So there is a breastfeeding doll. And it is seen as waaaaay wacko-sicko. Totally "out there". Like it is literally a Blowjob Barbie. Sick! Sick! Sick!, right? Hmmmm... The whole angle and assumption that THIS IS THE ONE SEX ACT WHERE I DRAW THE LINE! is deeply out of touch, first of all. Secondly, right off the bat, there is old comparison to excretory acts such as peeing and messing one's self, and then the entire thing is deemed "hellish". The anger levels in this article are extreme and quite surprising. Thirdly, it gets downright rude and starts using words like tits and the f word, all in the name of, what, good taste and decency for children?

There are SO many lame toys out there, I mean, aisles, and aisles of them--whats so weird about "nursing dolly"--many many babies nurse and many many kids see it all day--my littler ones wouldnt even know what to do with a dolly and plastic bottle---cuz they dont see that. But they might actually get a kick out of a nursing doll--for about 15 minutes, which is the fun-times-shelf-life on any of that idiotic plastic talking crap, anyhow, right? The She Really Burps Pony ends up at the bottom of the ole' toy box in a flash, and the Legos endure and endure...

I guess once anyone spends any time around any nursing moms and realize it isnt secret, exciting, or mysterious, and certainly not nasty but just a part of the day in the life of having babies around, then the shock and titillation would stop quickly. Like living in a nudist camp--the giggles probably stop on day 2. Everyone is freaking naked. Move on. Thats what nursing a baby is. Theres a baby and sometimes it gets hungry and has some boob for a few minutes. I can kinda picture a weary mother of a nursling baby telling the 4 and 6 year olds: Maybe you could give Mommy a little space for ten minutes...and go play nursie with your nursie-dolly. Make her some wooden food and push her in a plastic car---WHO CARES ALL OF A SUDDEN ABOUT TOY QUALITY? HAVE YOU BEEN TO TOYS R US LATELY? ITS ALL COMPLETE TRASH.

Babies, baby bottles, breasts, Dollies that pretend to drink orange juice out of a tiny pink dissapearing bottle, dollies that pretend to breastfeed--its just all part of play and life and its not sick or depraved or ridiculous. Maybe this doll, to some, is little dumb and wierd--but to me so are ALL TALKING ROBOT TOYS--I just dont like them. And BTW, I dont like when my own kids SLURP either--thats not a good latch and it feels and sounds yucky!

: ) What do you all think?