Archive for May, 2008
So going to get my hair cut right this minute.
Will I get shorty bangs or will I chicken out?
Photo to come
Riley’s final tee-ball game was last night. This tee-ball league is a- you don’t take score-no strikes-no outs-everyone gets to hit the ball kind of league. It welcomes parents to run along with their children and expects parents to go on the field at least when the little siblings allow. The youngsters (many as young as three) go through the motions of playing the game, but when they get tagged out, they don’t leave the base. They keep running. They get to continue the illusion that they are not out. They continue the fascade by jumping and yelling when they finally get to home plate. This was and -I will admit – continues to be difficult for me. I don’t see myself as the ultra-competitive type. Never mind. Yes I do. And when you don’t take score, HOW ARE YOU TO KNOW FOR SURE WHO WON? And when you don’t count outs and strikes, how is a child REALLY going to learn the game? I know I sound like a jerk and this is what’s wrong with sports, and yes, my girl has told me this a lot which is why since the incident she’s been the one on the field directing Riley in tee-ball and I’m the one at the sidelines with the two-year-old crawling all over me and sticking his –DIRTY-fingers in my nose and ears and laughing.
What incident you may wonder? Not that huge of a thing really. I was simply trying to instruct Riley why it might make a little bit of sense to get off the baseline while playing first. But no, he decided to argue, giving me lots of incorrect reasons why when playing first base, he’s expected to touch the base at all times. I calmly went over one of the very few things about baseball that I actually know and that is that one does not stand on the baseline while playing first base or one will end up as a pancake on the baseline with a runner on second base. How do I know this you wonder? Some memories never fade. Riley responded. And by responded, I mean SCREAMED at the top of his lungs. “YOU CAN TAKE THE FUN OUT OF DISNEYLAND.” I don’t even know where he heard that one. The child has never been to Disneyland. I simply replied, “I will take the fun out of Disneyland by grounding you from it for the rest of your life.”
“Really?” he asked.
“Yes.” I responded.
This makes me want to digress into a subplot where Riley is an old man wanting to take his grandkids to Disneyland but is not allowed. He couldn’t. For he was still grounded. But I don’t have the time to go there. I still have to get to the point of the post which is this….
Without outs, innings go on until every batter bats. This can be an incredibly long time as evidenced last night and makes for about a one-inning game. Anyway, last night Riley’s team batted first then his team took the field. He fought for the coveted pitcher position but lost so he ended up playing short stop. His teammate on second base started the pee-pee dance before the first batter was up to the plate. By the time there was a runner on first and second, the baseman gave up and peed his pants. The coach – may the goddess bless her patience- sweetly returned the child to his mortified father who graciously took the child to get a new pair of pants. The coach asked Riley to cover second base and he obliged.
Only Riley, somehow oblivious to the previous events, suddenly became very interested in the soaking wet second base. Kim informed him to leave it alone because there was urine on it. He went about telling every runner coming to second base to be careful because there was pee on the base. Then while the next batter was at bat, the runner on second would ask Riley why he peed on the base and Riley would inform the runner that it wasn’t him that it was his teammate but he wasn’t going to tell them who because it doesn’t matter and because everybody has accidents and he didn’t want his friend to feel bad.
Riley was drawing so much more attention to the pee and the accident than would ever have been noticed otherwise, but one thing I know about Riley is that if I corrected every annoying thing he did, he’d be in information overload and reject it all, so Kim and I continued our laissez-faire parenting and Riley continued pointing out the piss to passersby. At one point after his announcement, the runner got so disgusted that she refused to tag the base which made Riley yell at the pitcher, “Hurry. Throw me the ball so I can get her out.”
I’ll be damned. The kid’s learnin baseball after all.
I actually saw that on a blog or a t-shirt or something, somewhere. I hope it’s not copyrighted because I’m taking it. I feel like I am honing in on my co-worker’s territory by blogging this. I mean, she is the boob blogger, who am I to infringe on her turf? But I have a particularly compelling boob story to share.
I make milk. And I do this very well. I’ve now made milk for 6 ½ years despite only nursing my children for a total of 2 of those years. I can’t seem to STOP making milk. A few years ago, upon hearing this information, my OB got concerned by this milk-making. She ordered tests to confirm that my thyroid was doing its thing. It was. I just make milk. When I was nursing, I made enough for my son and extra to pump and pass around to my friends’ child. I made the mistake of trying to nurse him directly once. I still don’t think he’s forgiven me. I know I digress.
This milk-making gets particularly troublesome when I am around babies as I have been lately. I feel the itching in my armpits that always starts my let-down process. And then wham…the flood. If I get enough time, I can usually press the infant I am holding directly into my chest, or I can pass the baby off to someone else and compress my breasts with my arms to minimize the leak, the embarrassment, and well, additional laundry.
On Saturday I noticed a lump. I was reasonably freaked out. I mean freaked out like I am always freaked out when I notice a lump but not TOTALLY freaked out since I have had to remove lumps 3 different times already and they’ve never been cancerous and it seems that besides making milk, these puppies also make lumps so while I noticed it, and even worried about not having insurance at my new job until August 1st, I moved on.
I’ve treated the area with moist heat now for 2 days and while it’s not worse it’s certainly not completely better. No more babies people. I love you little nephew but I can’t be around babies until the boobie stops misfiring.
Inspired by the film Ratatouille and in an effort to become the youngest chef ever, my son created his first recipe all by himself. He even typed it in “Kids Pretending to Spell” also known as Microsoft Word. Yes he did this all by himself. And then proceeded to cook the recipe all by himself. He, however, drew the line at eating the stuff. I, however, thought it was good, or at least better than I could have done at his age.
Riley’s resapy (recipe)
Tmado soos (1 can tomato sauce)
Milk (1 cup milk)
Broth (½ cup chicken broth)
2 wodor (1 ½ cup water)
dIst unyins (½ cup diced onion)
chopt selry (½ cup chopped celery)
gorlic (1 clove minced garlic “a little goes a long way”)
catschup (2 squirts of ketchup)
drekchuns: cuk than eat (cook then eat)
I know that most kids learn to read. I know that most parents think it is just the cutest little thing when they do, and I know that most kids spell things wrong and that most parents think it is just the cutest little thing when they do (at least when the child is six.) And now you have 2 posts in a row of me thinking this is just the cutest thing in the world. I’ll lay low on the Riley spelling in the weeks to come, but I couldn’t help but post this. Chalk this post up to something I want to remember about this little guy in 10 years. After all, I think he is just the cutest little thing.
My dear gay friend – we’ll call him E. because my dear straight friend C. told me a terrible story about internet stalkers and now I don’t know what names I should say and which ones I shouldn’t- came over the other day. Riley was up to his typical antics. He wrote me a letter and sneaked to the mailbox to drop it in. Then made a big dramatic production about how I must have missed a letter when I checked the mail. It was very cute. (The letter was full of how much he loves me.) He then asked E. if he was jealous because he didn’t get mail? E. pretended to be slightly jealous and we went back to talking. We went back to talking about men, liking men, dating men, etc. Okay, lets be clear here. HE went back to talking about men, liking men, dating men etc. and I went back to listening to him.
Then, mid-conversation Riley runs back up and produces a letter, announcing, “E. I have your fortune.”
Through peals of laughter, I explained how the “mail” he meant was spelled “mail” not “male.” But I couldn’t bring my self to address the next word.
Oh, and the drawing on the side of the fortune, that is a firework or some kind of explosion. Of course there’d be an explosion, there’s male cuming soon.
One thing I did not mention about the dance competition the other night was that it was hot. As the night progressed, the bodies of the hundreds of spectators became stickier and smellier. Casey was sweating profusely by the time he threw the temper tantrum – screaming that he wanted “bopple jue.” Apple juice was nowhere to be found. Riley too was a ball of red-headed sweat.
That night before bed Riley lamented that he did not want to continue to grow out his hair, that he wanted short hair, and that he was tired of having a sweaty neck. He cried. He was so sad. He wanted to be able to donate his hair to Locks of Love but he just didn’t have it in him any longer.
We spent Saturday morning canvassing a neighborhood getting folks to register to vote and while we walked, we talked about the different ways he could cut his hair. He liked spikey so Saturday afternoon when we walked into the salon, I fully intended him to tell “the lady” that he wanted a short spike. However, he had changed his mind.
I was busy with another “lady” trying to assist her in getting my toddler to hold still enough that she could take a stab at his head with her clippers when I overheard Riley describing the cut he wanted.
“I want it short and spikey on the sides and the top. And I want you to LEAVE IT LONG ON THE BACK.” And as I was processing the fact that my son had just requested a mullet, “the lady” called me over.
“Umm. He wants a mullet. Want me to give it to him?”
Now my parenting style is intentionally lax. I very strongly believe that children should be able to make as many choices about their lives as possible. That’s why my son is known to wear size 4 black and pink stretch pants in public. “Let them make as many of their own choices as possible. Children already have so little choice. Let him have choice where he can.” I heard the voice of my past echoing in my ears. But I just could not allow a mullet. I couldn’t. It wasn’t just the teasing I thought he would face. It wasn’t just the footage of Cleve Pike ordering a hot breaded veal that flashed in my head from 15 years ago. What it was, I can’t quite name. But it was wrapped up in its own (internalized) homophobic package I’m sure. Something having to do with people thinking I’m mulleting my children in an attempt to “turn” them?
As I was going over the pros and cons of allowing the mullet, I was flashed back to the present by my son’s insistence, “YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME.” Turns out, he just wanted a little piece of hair left long in the back. A tail. Short on the sides and top and a tail in the back.
You don’t have to like it. But you do have to acknowledge that it is better than a mullet.
Thursday night was Riley’s hip hop dance recital. He’s been practicing with his dance crew since January and parents are banned from rehearsal so we had no idea how it would go. Each week, he’d come home from his rehearsal and I’d ask him what he learned and he’d say, “I don’t remember” or “nothing.” These are also the answers I get when I ask him about school. But the recital went amazingly well. He’s the cutest thing on the planet. He even has the hip hop attitude that makes the style just that much more fun. As the only boy in the troupe, he also had a couple of solos. It was a great night. There were kids of all sizes on that stage. And for the most part they wore jeans and a T-shirt and had reasonable hair and didn’t wear makeup and nobody was THAT good and it didn’t matter anyway.
On Friday night Kim and I caved in and told Riley we could go watch his cousin in her dance competition. She’s 10 and a tiny little peanut. We showed up at the school auditorium and the first thing I noticed were all the little girls dressed up like baby whores. I know that sounds TERRIBLE to say, but there were these little girls – as young as about 4- all dressed up with nail polish, gobs and gobs of make-up, their hair pulled up, and the skankiest of all possible outfits. These pre-pubescent dancing girls were moving their bodies like they were trying to be sexy. And they blew kisses at the judges and walked these dance walks that – though I have never been – I am sure you’d see in the red light district. I know one shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but it was like a JonBenet festival. Belly buttons hung out, thighs were exposed, v-neck tops exposed skin-colored material. It was really over the top.
I felt uneasy being there. I was uncomfortable with the exploitation. And, since there were folks there from my hometown – folks who know I’m a lesbian – I was uncomfortable that they thought I was there to CHECK OUT these little girls.
Anyway, Roo, who – by the way – was NOT skanked out, danced her heart out in the solo competition. Her choreography was skillful and professional and her attitude was sassy but not slutty. She was great. And while theoretically, I hated that there were no normal sized role models there for her to look up to, I had to admit, I liked watching her skinny little self dance. I thought she was amazing.
Afterward, a stage mom appeared where my sister was sitting, and she pointed out each of Little Roo’s mistakes. She harped on the fact that Roo got too close to the judges, and she told Roo that second place was out – she’d be lucky to get third. Okay, that makes my sister sound harsh. And she really isn’t. Though stage parenting may run in our family. She wanted Roo to learn from her mistakes and she wanted her to be prepared NOT to win so she wouldn’t be so disappointed at the awards ceremony when she was in front on everybody. Despite my sister’s insistence that this was not Roo’s best performance, she was – for the first time in her dancing career – crowned. Queen! As in FIRST PLACE. (so sister – na na na na na.)
After the dance competition we were all hungry and decided to eat at a nearby hamburger joint. Roo still wore her dance leotard and skirt complete with fringe and sequins only now she also wore a tiara and a sash. As we were waiting to be seated a father and his daughter were leaving the restaurant. The little girl was staring at Roo with admiration.
Daughter: “Look Daddy.”
Father: “Yep Sweetie, a real princess.”
Roo: “Not a princess. I’m the QUEEN!”
Accordingly, we conclude that the right to marry, as embodied in article I,
sections 1 and 7 of the California Constitution, guarantees same-sex couples the
same substantive constitutional rights as opposite-sex couples to choose one’s life
partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized, and
protected family relationship that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents
I was taken back to childhood today and not in a good way at all. I was taken back to the vulnerability and powerlessness of childhood. I hope I don’t perpetuate this in my children.
I linked to a Deseret News article at work today and in the corner of the page was a “Utah news” box announcing Major Oilfield Fire Burning in Uintah County. Oilfield – that’s where my dad works. Uintah County – that’s where my dad works. The headline could have read “Deadly fire kills all of QweirdUtah’s Family” for that was how I reacted.
And it was like it was yesterday when my uncle was killed in a oil field accident. It was like yesterday that I would hug my dad goodbye as he went off to work worried every time that he might be hurt or killed. It was like yesterday that my dad was brought into the ER – injuring his leg in an oil rig accident. It was like yesterday that another uncle almost lost an arm in – you guessed it – an oil field accident.
I totally freaked out. I called my dad. Nobody home. I left a message. I called Mom’s cell. Nobody answered. I called my sister and freaked her out because not only WHAT IF DAD WAS HURT but she also had to contend with WHAT IF HER HUSBAND WAS HURT? Luckily my mom walked into my sister’s house, informed us all that Dad wasn’t even at the fire, that sister’s husband wasn’t there and that everything is okay.
It wasn’t logical. It wasn’t rational. But it was downright scary.
I love you Dad.