Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who's raising baby?

One of the standard arguments against gay parents is that "children need a mother and father in their lives." Taking out the percentage of kids raised by single parents, I realized the other night that this still doesn't make sense.

I may be totally off in my chain of logic, but this is how it sounds to me:
Children need a mother and father, as in, they need one parent of each gender in order to give them proper role models and input into their lives. This implies that there aren't any other significant people in their child's life. Doesn't it? The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child seems to fly out the window. If a village were involved, would it matter so much whether the child was living with two women or two men, since he or she would have an entire village of people at his or her disposal?

I'm confused. When V and I have a baby, or more than one, we want men in her life just like she'll have us. We want strong "uncles," or whatever we decide to call them. (Side note: I always use "her" when talking about our future baby. Power of positive thinking?) She'll have lots of close relationships with men, in a way having more than one father (just without the title and living arrangements, which frequently don't exist anyway), just as she'll have more than one mother. She'll have other women beyond us, too, because everyone knows sometimes you need someone other than your mother(s) to talk to.

Am I anywhere near right in thinking that the idea of raising a child with one mother and one father as the only way is exclusionary to everyone else in the child's life? Yes, our baby will live with us, and we will pick her name and her school and her first Halloween costume. But she will be surrounded by other adults, of any and all genders, who love her (almost) as much as we do, and are just as invested in her life.

I'm tired

On a normal week, I watch Patrick and Lilly three times - usually Monday, Thursday, Friday.

This week, it's been Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, today, and tomorrow.
This week also coincides with them hitting terrible twos.

I really don't want to babysit tomorrow. Really. I'm good with not seeing them for a bit. Love them, but not now.

At least I limit myself to seven sentences of complaining? Some of which aren't even sentences.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The past few days

The twins were getting on my last nerve this morning. My very last one. The kind where I just stare at them, then walk out of the room for a minute until I no longer feel like kicking something. (I said something. Not someone.) I watched them Monday, Tuesday, and today, and I have tomorrow and Saturday. They can be such two-year-olds!

As I was driving around with Timothy and Tessa today, we passed two moms, one with a full double stroller and one walking a dog, with two more kids trailing them. Timothy made a comment about how that was a lot of kids, and I said it was probably two moms with both their kids. His reply was, "Or they could be married." Did I mention that T&T moved here from Vermont? Love them. Told their mom about V's and my engagement the other day, and she gave a resounding "Good for you!"

Oh, strep returning... Well, only sorta. Timothy came down with it on Tuesday, but seemed to make a full recovery by that evening, and today shows no sign. Good thing, because the family is going to Disney on Sunday for a week! I'm jealous.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I need to update

And I will. But for now, V and I are trying to figure out where to go to dinner. It's been a lovely day of puzzles and pajamas, printing off contracts, clearing off the kitchen table, and now going to dinner.

All of which has nothing to do with kids. So, later, I will write about yesterday, and the Return of the Strep.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Leaves, nature's greatest toy

There are few cuter sights than a two year old boy and girl tromping around in leaves. We played outside for almost an hour, throwing leaves up (they made great faces), moving them across the driveway (their idea; I call them the reverse leaf-blower), and ripping them up (finally, something they can rip up, unlike their books).

And that's all, because I'm exhausted. But I told the twins' dad I could watch them tomorrow morning as well. Weddingcartravelloans.

Thank heaven I have a bathtub.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day Off

Dishes done, clothes put away, puzzle finished, internet scoured, breakfast eaten, kitties entertained, phone call made, daydreaming completed.

Bring on a date with V!

I made a friend!

My CPR class was much better than I thought it was, mostly thanks to the awesome and adorable pregnant twenty-five year old who I chattered with and went to lunch with. She wants to be a lactation consultant; I told her that V is interested in being a doula. She has a two and a half year old, and I want to see her again. We had fun in class, which is definitely more than I thought I'd say.

After a two hour break, one of which I spent seeing V at her job, I watched Seth and Isabella tonight. I love those kids. They're happy and relaxed and Isabella has the most amazing grin. And they both can say my name!

So now, I'm exhausted. I have a day off tomorrow. Halle-freakin'-lujah.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My afternoon

Timothy and Tessa have two very, very, very hyper puppies, who just so happened to break free of the constraints that hold them and, well, as I was holding two collars trying to corral them back into the fenced-in yard, I bit the dust (which ironically is a phrase I explained to Timothy today as he sang "Another One Bites the Dust" in the backseat). My hip now looks like this:



It's going to bruise, painfully. And of course it's right where pants sit, so they hurt. On the upside, we went to Michael's and Target, and got crafty! This little fellow came home with me:



CPR class in the morning. Six hours straight. I'm not looking forward to it. Sunday, I sleep in!

Happy moments

When I put the twins down for a nap, we follow a pretty set ritual. I pick up Patrick, give him a hug, kiss his cheek, say, "I love you, sleep well," and lie him down in his crib. Then I do the same with Lilly. I've been doing this for awhile, but it's only lately that they've really caught on.

It's become one of those moments in the day that I just pause to breathe and relax. I pick Patrick up, he squeezes me around the neck, I tell him I love him, and he said "Uv you too." After setting him down, I pick up his sister, who gives me an equally big squeeze and tells me she loves me.

Regardless of how they've been acting the previous four hours, at that moment, they're some of the most wonderful, precious creatures in my life.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Musical taste

As I mentioned a little awhile, Rock Band has introduced Timothy (and Tessa) to a variety of songs that make me pleased to know him. We've had a Queen singalong, he's spouted off the Offspring to me, and we've had a small conversation about White Wedding.

However, when I turned the car on today and heard "Don't stop, make it pop, DJ blow my speakers up," followed by Timothy exclaiming, "I love this song!" - a small part of me died. I told him it drove me crazy and I thought it was annoying.

His voice from the backseat was incredulous. "You don't like Tik Tok??" He sang along.

Sigh.

Angels in the park

I was going to write about seeing the twins again (they were sleepy all morning) or driving to soccer practice with three kids in the backseat (Timothy had a friend over) imitating Indiana Jones driving a tank off a cliff (I think). But then I talked to someone for forty-five minutes at the park during soccer.

We'd chit-chatted before, during other practices; she's there every Thursday like I am. I'm not sure why, since her boys are 4 and 6, but it's when they come play. I'd told her a little about V and me, and how to make granola (she'd asked, when she overheard me tell Tessa that I made the snack I carry around in a jar everywhere). We struck up a conversation again today. She ranted a bit about how she's usually so organized but everything seems to be falling apart--"Just faceplant and get a bloody lip," she called in the direction of her four-year-old, "It'll just round out the week perfectly." I told her about the school I graduated from, and meeting V, and our process of learning that love was more important than theology. I told her that all I wanted from people was not to be judged based on who I happened to be with. She listened. I talked about growing up with responsibility, between my half-siblings and being a pastor's daughter, and she said that didn't leave much of a place for childhood. I told her that I craved responsibility, though; she couldn't believe I'm not yet twenty-two.

She asked if she could give me a hug, as she was rounding up her boys to head home for dinner. I almost cried. She told me that she appreciated my willingness to talk to her, and didn't think it was an accident we were at the park together. I'd given her my email. I came home to--"If you ever need a friend/older sister, I would be happy to listen. I would love to be here for you if you need to talk. Sounds odd, I know, but I mean it. I don't think it's an accident that we met at the park!"

I guess I just postponed the crying till now. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and awe. And I think I want an older sister.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And if that diamond ring turns brass...

For those who aren't aware, my lovely and amazing V proposed to me two and a half weeks ago, and now we're in the thick of wedding planning. It's going to be a tiny ceremony with our closest friends, so the planning isn't stressful at all (aside from money). I'm loving researching cupcakes and B&Bs and recycled metal jewelry and (dirt cheap) photography. And, it's distracting me from baby obsessions.

I almost convinced V to let me put something baby-related on our Target registry, but I couldn't find anything perfect. She was going to let me, too - after all, she put down alphabet magnets. Friends have already joked not to let me register at Babies-R-Us. As if I would! That will get its own special registry when the time comes. Along with Buy Buy Baby and Land of Nod and...

Anyway, life goes on. Wednesday is my day off, as usual, and as I don't seem to be sick, I'm doing what I love to do on days off: stay in bed absurdly late, then go to thrift stores. Tomorrow I see the twins again! (They're going to be so cranky with their schedule all messed up.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oops

For the first time, I skipped more than one day blogging. Oops! The twins' dad, who is in real estate, asked me to take some pictures of various properties while they are on vacation, and so I've been running an hour away most days since Friday. But, I get to drive his Saab when I do it, and I love that part!

Risks of the job: I'm not with Timothy and Tessa today, because I woke up to an email from their mom saying that Timothy came down with strep. Being the type of paranoid person I am, I told V that her job is to tell me I don't have strep. The change in the weather is messing with me a bit, though, so I haven't been feeling 100%.

That's all for today. No kids in my life. The twins get back from vacation tomorrow, so Thursday I'll see them again. This Saturday is a six hour CPR class, then to babysitting. That's all the current excitement in my life.

I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Identity (I need to nix one-word titles)

The tagline to this blog starts off, "Attempts of an early-twenties lesbian to hit snooze...," and I don't like it. I love the idea, but is all I am an "early-twenties lesbian"? I almost didn't state it like that, because it's taken me a long time to come to terms with the word "lesbian," and I'm still not sure I'm there. Besides, it comes with a whole host of stereotypes that, more often than not, I don't embody. (I even wrote an almost-poem about that. Those who know me know I won't admit to writing poetry.)

But simply putting "early-twenties girl" doesn't necessarily give enough information. A huge chunk of this blog is made of my thoughts on V's and my relationship and eventually child or children. If I don't give people a heads-up from the beginning, will they realize she's a girl? Would they still have read, if they knew? This is the part of me speaking that feels the need to keep hush about my relationship. I don't feel like I can or should put "lesbian" in the header, because it might offend people. Am I offensive?

So, I put it, originally, as my rebellion. This is my blog, and it isn't a space I should feel like I have to hide (there are enough of those). But now, I'm wondering if it's too limiting. If it announces, "I have a girlfriend! But now we can talk about other stuff." Is it necessary? Should I change it to girl?

These are the sorts of things that keep me up at night. Sad, I know--but this post has been in the works for a few weeks. Any suggestions?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Convergence

This is supposed to be a blog post about this morning, but V is curled up next to me, going to sleep since she has to be at work early in the morning. I'm tired too, but my brain is much more awake than hers, and it knows that it can sleep in a bit tomorrow.

Today was busy, the fielding phone calls from a mom I'm babysitting for tomorrow, while looking stuff up for the twins' dad, while plotting how to make it to my afterschool kids on time. The twins are on vacation, and their dad, who is in real estate, asked me to take some pictures of some properties for him. One was an hour away, which caused my worries about lateness, but he let me drive his Saab out to it, which was awesome. Though I need to stop driving other people's cars, or I won't be able to put up with mine much longer. (It's just amazing when pushing the accelerator prompts a reaction!)

Then, out to Timothy and Tessa, and detox time for me; they watched Home Alone and ate frozen pizza while I did the dishes and took a moment to breathe. Oh, and we made popcorn on the stove, for kicks.

This is a weekend I am ready for. Plus, I'm babysitting for a new family tomorrow night (as briefly alluded to), though I think the kids will already be asleep. And I have more houses to take pictures of. Other than that - bring on my weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Queen

V came to work with me today (which always makes me happy), and as we were driving Timothy to soccer, Killer Queen came on the radio. V and I both love Queen, so I turned it up and we started singing, and within seconds, Timothy and Tessa chimed in from the backseat. Awesome kids. Rock Band is good for something; who knew?

Also, I've introduced the twins to the concept of freckles. It's blowing their two-year-old minds. They point, I say "freckle," they say "eckle," I said "yes, freckle," they say "boo boo?" and I say "no, just a freckle." Repeat twenty times, and you have my lunch conversation. It's adorable.

Tomorrow I have off! And the twins are traveling, so I won't see them again until next Thursday. Which will give my arms time to recover from another grueling round of wagon-pulling.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Trends

I just realized that in my ten entries so far in October, two of them have been called "Loving my job/s."

This bodes well for the month.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eating habits

As I think I've mentioned before, Timothy and Tessa's biggest downfall is eating. They both are junk lovers, to the degree that I've already set rules for snacktime after school. Their mom has explained and categorized snacks into healthy, semi-healthy, and junk; both kids are so pro-junk that I think if I could manage to convince them that apples were junk, they'd eat four a day.

The way we operate, on the four days I'm there, is that they can have a junk snack one day, a healthy snack one day, and semi-healthy on the other two days. They pick the days, so that they don't feel like I'm controlling their lives (somewhat). Last Thursday, which was Tessa's junk day, she picked popcorn. I explained that popcorn was actually fairly healthy, and much better than the rest of the junk category - oreos, cheetos. Her reply was, "Well, I'll call it junk though, because I like it, and I like junk."

Help.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Transcript. And boobs.

My phone rang as I was driving to Timothy and Tessa's yesterday. It was V, also driving to work, in the opposite direction.

Me: Hello love.
V: I know why you want to have kids so badly!
Me: ...why?
V: I was reading in the Parents magazine that came today* about kids asking questions moms may not know how to answer, and one was why boys have nipples. Apparently they form in the womb on every baby, and it's only the girls who have estrogen later that makes them turn into breasts.
Me: ...okay...
V: So, you must have lots of estrogen, since you're so tiny but your boobs are big!
Me: [laughing] So I want babies?
V: Yeah. Maternal instinct and all.
Me: I love you. Very much. Go to work.

I do, indeed, love my girlfriend. She makes me laugh.

*It was a $2 subscription deal. Don't judge me.

Loving my jobs

Today was one of those days where I absolutely loved my jobs. The little frustrating moments - "Lilly, drink your milk!"; "Tessa, pull yourself together or we're not going to dinner" - disappear, in light of pushing a double stroller along a sunny sidewalk, my girlfriend next to me, and tromping through pumpkins after two schoolkids glad it's Friday.

I would write more, but it's late, and I worked twelve hours today. But I needed to take a moment and tell the world how grateful I am to be able to do what I do.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Idioms

As Tessa and I were sitting at the playground by Robert's soccer field, I noticed she was chewing on a bobby pin.

Me: Please tell me that didn't come from off the ground.
Tessa: Nope! It came out of nowhere.
Me: Things can't just come from nowhere.
Tessa: Yes they can! It's like when you're in the bathtub, and your dad just appears from out of nowhere.

...touche.

If you're pathetic and you know it...

V and I have – well, they aren’t really proper fights, so I don’t know what to call them. But about two or three times a year (really, that’s it), we just clash. She thinks I’m who-knows-what; I think she’s ridiculous. We stop talking. We throw angry texts. Correction: I throw passive aggressive texts to try to get a rise out of her. I don’t know what her logic is.

All this to set up one of those moments where you feel like it’s the most pathetic moment of your life. Am I the only one who has those?

I had Patrick and Lilly in the stroller, on a gorgeous fall day, full of snacks and books for them at the coffee shop I like to walk them down to. And as I pushed the side-by-side strolled down the sidewalk of a fairly main road, I was sobbing under my sunglasses. Sunglasses which I had, in fact, put on just so people wouldn’t see the tears.

Yeah, pathetic, I know. Needless to say, we didn’t make it to the coffee shop.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day off

Wonderful day off. V was off too, so we spent the entire day together, which we hadn't been able to lately.

Around 11:30 my phone rang; it was the twins' dad. Something had come up and he wanted to know if there was any way I could come spend a few hours with Patrick and Lilly. I asked if V could come, and he didn't have a problem, so the two of us headed over at lunchtime.

Sweetest moment of the day: seeing Lilly stretch her arms up to V to be picked up, and the smile on V's face. Yes, I want children with this woman.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just when I think I've got it down...

V came to work with me today, and met Timothy and Tessa (and, briefly, their mom). They loved her, she loved them, as I'd expect. I've really been enjoying those kids! Timothy had soccer today, and at the last minute Tessa decided she wanted to stay with her friend next door instead of come with us. That threw me off, but Timothy and V and I drove to the soccer field. As he was hopping out of the car, he asked, "Ball?"

Well, that was on the kitchen counter at home. With his water bottle. Twelve minutes away.

He stayed at practice and we drove back to get it; on our return trip, I missed a call from his mom, who was meeting us at the field, wondering where we were. V kept telling me that mothers forget things all the time, but still. I'm kicking myself.

Tomorrow starts my new schedule with Wednesdays off!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Party for the two-year-olds

Last night, V and I attended Patrick and Lilly's second birthday party. While it was certainly Barney themed (balloons, plates), it wasn't outrageous, thankfully. I met grandparents, aunts, cousins, and family friends; everyone seemed pleased to get to know me and told V she had a beautiful name. During the goodbyes, there was a round of "Hopefully we'll see you again."

This morning, I received a text from the twins' mom, thanking me for coming and for helping out (because I, y'know, got the twins some milk at one point, so difficult), saying how wonderful it was to finally meet V, and joking that if she survived the party, we should all get together sometime.

Can I just say I LOVE my families?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Loving my job

Today is one of the last pretty days around here before long sleeves become a necessity (not that I mind them), so I popped the twins in their double stroller and we walked about fifteen minutes away to a little town square. I love a coffee shop there, and there's outdoor seating. I ordered a yogurt (which came with grapes on the side). Patrick munched on Goldfish that I'd brought; Lilly ate some of my grapes. And, an added bonus, the girl who rang me up and carried my plate outside (because maneuvering a double stroller (side-by-side) through a doorway is tough) was really adorable.

Good day, good food, good kids... Happy birthday twins!

Happy and sad

Happy birthday Patrick and Lilly! Today they turn two, and I'm about to go over and spend the morning with them. I wish I'd planned something fun, but this week has had too much going on for that. Still, their party is tomorrow evening, and I'm excited for that!

This afternoon marks my last day with Jacob and Caroline. Their mom is home, and we're all going to go over to a bookstore and get a snack and who knows what else. Since they just live around the corner, I'm sure I'll see them this next week until they move, but after today that's it.

More later. I have to go wake the twins up on their birthday!