Monday, May 25, 2009

I am woman, hear me roar....or something.

Veronica has a stunningly funny post up. It isn't comically funny, it is funny because she takes on a feminist who takes herself too seriously, and yet somehow doesn't think that mothers who talk about motherly things should be taken seriously. Unless those mothers talk about Proust. And I commented on that post, but then realized that I had a lot to rant about on the subject. So, some of it is there, and some of it is here.

And then I realized that even more humorous was the fact that I have been composing a post in my head over the past week that is TOTALLY about my children, mostly how I wear them. Maybe I will do a 7 Quick Takes just about that. Because I have nothing else to talk about. So I must be uninteresting. And a traitor to feminism.

Beck had an interesting comment to Veronica's post. In part, she mockingly referenced the article, and said, "Being interesting means being ... full of academic interests and Man Style Achievements." And that, I think, is true for the author, much as she would protest. She rudely describes a dinner party in which she is "stuck" with the moms and at the other end of the table the men are engaged in a scintillating conversation: "This could in fact be a 19th-century novel where the men have retired to a different room to drink brandy and talk about news and politics." I think she has revealed herself. She wants to be with the men. Because THEY are having the interesting conversation. About things that THEY are involved in. Though today a "male" conversation seems to frequently center on sporting events rather than news and politics, but whatever.

The assumption that the "news and politics" is more important or objectively interesting and therefore those -- mothers -- who do not participate in those conversations are not, objectively, interesting, is irritating. Frankly, we all gravitate toward those whom we have something in common. If a woman is single, has no significant other, and is in a high powered career, she will have more in common with those in her same situation.

I worked on a presidential campaign for a while, years ago. In the middle of the seven day workweek and 12 hours days, I found a couple hours to go to dinner with some non-campaign friends. It was the strangest experience. They were talking about movies, and music, and boyfriends. I felt like I was underwater, hearing their voices in a muffled, distant way. I could not have POSSIBLY cared less about what they were saying. But I didn't assume that they were ignorant nobodies. I knew that I was a bit tunnel-visioned at the moment, and that it was better for me to just hang out with others who were as focused as I was. That time was going to pass, and I would shift into a different phase of life.

The same thing, I think, was true of those Victorian drawing room discussions. Women were as uninterested in the brandy and cigars as the news and politics. I don't know that they felt "banished" to the embroidery circle. They had important things in their lives to talk about with other women. And frankly, "feminists" who criticize mothers for talking about their children should perhaps be better served criticizing fathers who do not.

I talk about potty training, and breastfeeding, and babywearing, and discipline, and sleeplessness, etc, with my "mommy friends" because I want to tap into their knowledge base, and to feel not alone, and to be able to vent a bit. I don't tend to go where children aren't welcome because they ARE a part of me. They ARE my life right now. To pretend otherwise is a fantasy. My cousin got married and the invitation said, "adult only reception". And it was out of town. And my child (we only had one at the time) was still nursing. So we didn't go. No problem. It is a stage of life. And ONLY my childless, single friends even ASKED the question, "well, couldn't you just find a babysitter?"

So we don't go to dinner much. And we don't go to the movies much. Or to weddings. And it is a bit sad, but we have two precious ones who take up too much of our energy to really be upset by that.

But I was really happy to get a wedding invite from one of my husband's friends which said, explicitly, "children of all ages are welcome at the ceremony and reception." NICE!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Things to remember

Isn't this the cutest little picture of Thomas? Look at his little head, pillowed on his little arm:

I was volunteering last Saturday morning to get breakfast and lunch ready for a meeting we had and I couldn't work with him in a front carrier like I usually have him in. So, my friend Sherri lent me one of her woven wraps and we put him in a Tibetan High Carry on my back. NOT to be done without a spotter. It did take the two of us to get him in it. But he loved being there. Talked and jabbered, and drooled and finally fell asleep.

This is a better idea of what it looked like:

And that afternoon, his two bottom teeth broke through. And the next morning one of his top front teeth came in. Three teeth. At four months and one week. Wow. And, just for posterity, 13 lbs, 5 0z. 27" at his four month checkup. And he likes to stand (with help). And laughs belly laughs at his big brother.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Seven Quick Takes

Thanks again to Jennifer from Conversion Diary for hosting 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1) For those of you concerned about the fate of the stroller, it arrived somewhat directly the following morning. With just a few scrapes and bruises.

2) Spring has come!!! And we have had a couple really nice days here, amidst all of the heavy rain. But thankfully the 90 degree days that we had about three weeks ago haven't come back yet.

3) Ok, tips for traveling with an infant and a toddler: Have little "presents" wrapped for the older child to open during stressful times. Lots of snacks that take a long time to eat, like those little tiny "toddler dried fruit." And a water sippy for the child to drink from when taking off or landing. We brought a portable DVD player. It was useful, for a brief time, but don't rely on it. You can't use it during takeoff or landing, and if the captain has asked people to put away electronic devices, and then you sit on the runway for a while, the DVD player wouldn't help. Don't bring too many books, just a select few. Take more than one form of kid transportation. I have never been so glad to have thrown the ergo in the luggage at the last minute. Nurse the baby, if you can, during takeoff and landing. Helps with the ears.

4) It has been raining here for weeks. Which is good considering we had sod put down a week before we left for vacation and said sod is supposed to be kept "soaking wet" for four weeks after it is put down. On the other hand, all the rain brought down all the seed pods and our gutters are clogged. Which means that the water overflows over the side and not down the pipes unto the french drain which is supposed to help funnel the water away from the house and make the yard less soggy. Which is why we had to have the sod put down. A great big circle of problems.

5) Baby Thomas is teething. Enough said.

6) I love looking at cloth diapers. I don't use them. And I hate doing laundry. So I really SHOULDN'T ever start using them. But still. I am drawn to them. Like a fly to honey.

7) Need to cook with beans more. Need recipes that disguise the fact that they are, in fact, beans. Because my toddler will not eat them. Anyone have any good, mushed-bean, recipes?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Moms can do anything

So, what do you do when you have two small tired children who have been traveling all day and the airline loses your stroller?

This is what you do:

For those of you keeping track, the 13 pound four month old is in the Moby on my front. The 32 pound two and a half year old is in the Ergo on my back. It wasn't fabulous because the Ergo chest strap wasn't fastened. I couldn't be bothered to redo the Moby, so just slapped the Ergo on (sortof...I did have help getting the big kid up there) over top of the Moby. It all wasn't planned, because, well, we were supposed to have the stroller for the big boy. ANYWAY.

We had a good time away, but the going and the coming sortof negates the goodness of the trip. Sigh.