Kicking and screaming

December 26, 2007

Watching the snowstorm

It goes without saying that I think my kid hung the moon. And I’m prefacing what I’m about to say with that because the last time I wrote a post similar to this I got a nasty barbed comment from someone who seemed to think that it was disturbing that a parent could be frustrated with their child. So if your response to this post is along those lines, I will say: I really hate to delete comments, so please go tell it to someone else.

That said, can we discuss the tantrums?

The tantrums – or as NSG calls them, the “opinions” – are KILLING me. Yesterday there were no fewer than four tantrums from the time we shut the door of our second-floor condo to the time we reached the sidewalk. It’s been constant over the past week. I know that this is why people talk about toddlers being so difficult, but we’re a little ahead of schedule and I wasn’t quite prepared.

He also has an intense case of the mamas right now, and he’s all about NSG. Everyone loses in this situation: because she’s a daycare provider and is with him all day it makes her feel like she’s parenting 24-7; he feels like he doesn’t get enough from her, and I feel rejected by him because if the three of us are together and I want to spend time with him I have to peel him off her leg to do it. When it’s just me and Roo we’re great, but if it’s the three of us it’s all about Mama, Mama, Mama.

I’ve heard from more than a few people that this is normal too, and that most kids switch back and forth between parents. But we’re still waiting, and it’s been a while, and it’s getting harder. This new tantrum habit is making it that much more difficult, because it feels like I set him off every 5 minutes (NSG usually gets all of 10 minutes between tantrums). I’m so freakin’ frustrated, and I know he knows it, which Im sure is making things so much worse.

It feels awful to admit it, but other than a really lovely 10 minutes here and a half hour there, parenting him has really not been a pleasure over this past week. I’m trying to keep it in perspective – he has a cold, I was out of town without him recently, all 3 of us had a stomach bug this week – but it’s very hard to keep it in focus right now. I know that I’m the grownup in this situation, but I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly how I can use that to resolve some of this.


The un-post *updated

November 7, 2007

I’m fried today. I was okay until yesterday afternoon and then I got really, really anxious about this surgery today.

I’ve been sitting all afternoon with a report on the computer screen in front of me. I’ve written about 10 sentences, most of which make no sense. But I give myself a pass today.

So the un-post – a justified fallback, since a couple of you asked for more knitting posts interspersed with the ceaseless yammering that is NaBloPoMo chez Round is Funny.

Here’s my Buttonhole Bag, from a free pattern from Mason Dixon knitting (the colors came out a little strange in the photo – can someone help me figure out how to take pictures of yarn without screwing up the coloration?). It’s the first thing I’ve ever made for myself, and the first thing I’ve ever felted. I love it, love it, love it.

It’s a little small for work but I cram everything in it anyway because it makes me very happy, especially when I get a compliment on how cute it is and I get to say, with all modesty intact, “I KNOW!”

(Click on the photo for info about the pattern and the process).


ETA: He came through okay. He’s got a long way to go, but the surgery went well, and the cancer was right where they thought it was and nowhere else – the best news we could have gotten today. Big breath.

Protected: My actual life, this time

August 14, 2007

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Protected: I want to be this tough when I’m 90

August 13, 2007

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Protected: Teetotalling

August 1, 2007

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Definitely one of our finer moments as homeowners

June 26, 2007


Who knew that liquid dish soap can’t substitute for dishwasher soap?


Clearly, not us.


May 9, 2007

I’m a little mortified. I did Roo’s hair this morning with his fancy hair product, and scrunched it so it was all cute and curly. And then he fell asleep in the car and woke up with what my Dad describes as “hair akimbo.”

NSG took him into the grocery store, and a black woman approached her and, not unkindly, told her he needed product in his hair.

We’re both embarassed. We’re trying. Clearly we’re still learning.

When we started on the path to transracial adoption, knowing that we would most likely adopt a black or biracial black/white child, we talked to a number of our black friends about it. The question we asked – only of those with whom we have real trust, obviously – was: if you had one piece of advice for white parents adopting a black child, what would it be? The answer, unfailingly, was HAIR.

When Roo was about 2 months old we emailed a picture of him to a  bunch of friends. Our friend J., who is black, called us immediately and said: we have to talk. His hair, which we had perceived as baby bedhead, was unacceptable. If she saw us on the street and didn’t know us, she would think we knew nothing about parenting a black child because we didn’t even know how to do his hair.

We were glad she called us out – better a friend than a stranger – and got to work. We’re getting there, and the stuff we put in his hair now is much more expensive than anything either of us has ever put in our own hair (but it has lemongrass in it so I can’t stop smelling his yummy head). Today was bad, even though the woman in the grocery store was nice. I really, really don’t want to be those parents.

I’m in the middle of reading Barbara Katz Rothman’s Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption. One of the things she talks about is how, in the context of a consumer culture, we show value through the kind of money we spend on our children. This goes for pretty much all U.S. parents, regardless of social status – a new outfit for a holiday, karate classes, and so on.

But she makes the case that the way we spend money on our kids is even more loaded when we’re white parents with black children, and again on another level with children who are adopted – since, for a million reasons, we have a cultural perspective that black children are less valuable than white children, and that parents who adopt must be doing so out of generosity and compassion because these children were “unwanted.”

It’s fucked up, right? But I don’t think she’s so off-base. She says that one of the main ways that white parents of black children, and to a lesser extent any adoptive parent, shows the world how much their child really is valued, is through material things like fancy hair products. She has two white children who she gave birth to, and one black child who she adopted. She talks about how her own mother never, ever got on her case about her white children’s appearance, no matter how messy or raggedy they looked, but never let it pass without comment when her adopted daughter was anything less than perfectly groomed because she was scared to death that anyone would ever think the adopted daughter was a charity case. (She doesn’t get into it, but I would think this would also be the case for parents who aren’t automatically seen as being “fit” – like teen moms).

I get what she’s saying. I don’t dress Roo in the morning with the idea that people shouldn’t see him as a charity case, obviously. But of course there’s something reflective on your parenting when your child is neat and clean and in unstained clothing (how the hell does anyone keep their baby’s clothing unstained, by the way?), and then there are all these other layers of being such a conspicuous family.

What do you think?