Things get real in the second week.

My children are testing my superpowers this week.

My three-year-old wants to start ballet and baseball. On an all girls’ baseball not softball team, he says. And when does he get to be a girl, he asks.

“When do you think?” I counter. Bad for improv, good for parenting.

“Next month,” he says.

Good. His transition talk is scheduled for July. The oldest got the transition talk when he was Three, as well. Asked if he could take off his penis and get a vulva. I told him to talk with a physician when he is eighteen. Knows he’s supported, won’t bring it up again for fifteen years.

One down, two to go.

My foreign exchange student wants a tattoo. She asked me what I think. I told her if she talks to her mother and they both understand tattoos are forever and that they have several negative connotations in her home culture, then it’s her choice. I will let her stew and then tell her how much a good tattoo really costs.

Boom. Two down, one to go.

But the last one’s sick, poor little monkey. He’s the frustrated recipient of a 102 degree fever in addition to his unrelated broken arm. He tried unsuccessfully today to nap. Tossed and turned and whimpered. Until he asked me to squeeze into the couch with him. I did. He passed right out. And fewer than ten minutes in, rolled over and cuddled me in his sleep. Two hour nap.

Sometimes it’s good to be the mom. To a sweet little furnace, his transgendered toddler brother, and his tattooed sister.


Awesome children’s books

After reading this AP story on gender-biased children’s stories, and after hearing a compelling feminist reading of the Berenstein Bears books at the Southwestern Popular Culture Association conference a few months ago, I’ve redoubled my efforts to find rocking children’s books. (I’ve already posted about how, in our house Ming Lo’s wife has a name, not just “Ming Lo’s wife” and dads appear in stories that are only written about child and mum.)

One new title in our library, after hearing friends’ laments about princess bullshit and distress over the Barbie dilemma, is The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. The short version? Princess rescues the prince, and when he criticizes the paper bag she had to wear to get there, she heads into the sunset without him.

Between thid princess and finishing Flux, which reminded me that, though Spouse and I negotiated roles before  getting married and before having Peanut, we need to revisit the discussion to readjust the “default” setting of mom doing everything related to anything. So I’m going to hand off all the domestic duties to Spouse (haven’t told him that yet) because I’m trying to raise a feminist, and that can only happen if I do more of my freelance work and less housekeeping. (You may TOTALLY borrow that justification for yourself. It’s genuinely why I’m slacking on housework [starting now; before this I was trying desperately to do a decent job because of social expectations] but intentional transition of work avoids being shirking and will teach the whole family a lesson *only* if Spouse actually picks up the slack.  Otherwise we just become a penicillin experminent gone awry. I’ll keep you posted.)

You know it’s been a long day

…when you just can’t find the right adult beverage to complement the girl scout cookies your neighbor dropped off right before dinner.

Samoas and… red wine? Samoas and pina colada? Who the hell whips up a pina colada after their kid goes to bed, just to go with cookies? Fine. Where’s the blender?

Tagalogs with…Jack and Coke? I thought Jack and Coke went with everything (well, everything except flax and soy yogurt).  Nope. Tagalogs and champagne? Doesn’t that scream lonely housewife in Connecticut, though? (please say no please say no please say no)

Thin mints and…Kahlua coffee? Vodka Rooiboos? Hot buttered…why do people put butter in their liquor? [I know it’ll get me blog hate mail, but I’m not a thin mint gal. Don’t like ’em. Don’t really like any of the girl scout cookies, laden with toxic nonsense as they are, but, what could be wrong with charity donations for organizations that intentionally excludes members based on  gender and sells baked goods as a symbolic early entry into gender-prescribed home making roles? Sure, sure. I hear you. But there’s coconut in them…]

The only Girl Scout baked goodthat has clear pairings is the shortbread thing, and I just can’t bear to buy shortbread. It’s like asking someone to come by and pour melted butter all over your popcorn “in case” you need it.