June 26, 2012

Thirteen thousand three hundred and eighty-eight days ago, I was born.

Six thousand six hundred and ninety-six days ago, I met him.

Six thousand six hundred and ninety-four days ago, we knew it was something special.

As of today, I have spent exactly half my life in love with the most wonderful person I have ever known.

To my true partner, my true equal, my true love, Happy Half Day.

Thoughtful Thursday

I like to root for the underdog. I don’t have a lot of sports allegiances, but the teams for whom I do have any affinity are those to whom I either have a personal connection (went to that school, lived in that city, know someone who played for the team) or they are lovable losers. I would never root for a powerful team like the Yankees — just not my style. The team to whom I have the strongest allegiance became a championship team, but it’s okay because when I started following them they were terrible.

I also like to root for the underdog with my children. Burrito and Tamale have very different strengths, and luckily they are both great at some things, rather than one or the other always being ahead as happens with some twins. They seem to alternate their firsts. One was first to walk, then a few weeks later the other was first to talk, etc.

I want both of them to succeed, of course, but for each accomplishment, I secretly root for the underdog to do well, especially when one is far ahead of the other.

My preference for underdogs is odd considering that I don’t think I could be considered an underdog in any aspect of life, at any time in my life. I have often been considered a frontrunner, in many ways.

Except family-building. I have definitely been an underdog, and then some, at fertility.

Do you root for winners or underdogs?

Thoughtful Thursday

I had my first real instance of a stranger trying to parent my child. Burrito took a toy out of a 4-year-old girl’s hand, and she burst into tears. As the girl sobbed, her mother stepped in and told Burrito that he needed to ask before taking something.

On the surface, the content of what she said was reasonable, except for a couple of things:

  • Her tone. Because of her cultural background, it came across much, much more harshly than it could have. No one has ever spoken to Burrito with that tone before.
  • Her expectations. I flashed back to a blog post that Dresden did a year ago about her then not-quite-2-year-old looking like an asshole because he’s so big for his age and therefore looked like he was 3. Burrito and Tamale are the same height as an average kid a full year older. It’s reasonable to expect that they have the capacities of 3 1/2 year olds, but they don’t.

Burrito looked at the woman, then looked at me, then burst into tears. He was inconsolable for a long, long time.

Into his 4th minute of sobbing, she looked sorrowfully at me and said, “I just told him that he should ask before he takes things.”

I replied, “He’s only 2. He doesn’t have the language to say that.”

Her eyes got big and she said, “Oh. Sorry.” And then she wandered off. Several minutes later, after a lot of processing the event, Burrito calmed down.

I have plenty of opinions about what other people’s children should be doing, but I rarely intervene. If I do speak up, I tend to do one of two things: either I give gentle reminders as a bigger kid is endangering my child, like “Be careful, there’s a little kid coming down the stairs,” or I passive-aggressively talk about the child to my kids, such as “I know you were having a turn with that, but that boy is choosing not to share.” I have little, or more likely no, influence over anyone else’s children, so all I try to do is keep my children safe and teach them how the world works.

What’s your stance on “guiding” other people’s children?

Never Change

June 9, 2012

This afternoon we decided to take Burrito and Tamale for Indian food, then go to the market afterwards.

Last time we went out for Indian food, I had to run Tamale’s jeans through the washer four times to get the tikka masala stain out.

So, today I made a point of wearing dark-colored clothes that I didn’t care about getting stained. It was 95 degrees, so that left out the long-sleeved part of my wardrobe. I grabbed an old dark purple t-shirt; it’s in perfectly fine condition, but I’ve had it forever. Also, there are giant dolphins on it. My mom bought it when I was at the height of my dolphin phase, when I was 16 or so. I normally never leave the house in shapeless graphic tees, even to work out, but between the heat and the potential for permanent stains, I thought, who cares.

We enjoyed a delicious Indian meal, and finished with no stains — on me, anyway. Tamale’s doll is covered in all sorts of curries.

After dinner, we went to the market. In the bakery aisle I saw a woman that looked so familiar, but I couldn’t place her. She looks a bit like the wife of DH’s friend, and I know the wife’s sister lives an hour from here, so I thought maybe it was her. I was running through the possibilities in my mind, staring at her, and simultaneously she was doing a double-take and obviously trying to place me. She spoke up first. “You look so familiar. Where do I know you from? I’m Jane.”

Oh! Jane from high school! Of course. She was one year ahead of me. We weren’t friends, but we had several activities together. I didn’t recognize her because it’s been 20 years since I’ve seen her, almost to the day, and also because she is probably 20 pounds lighter than she was in high school. Then, she wasn’t heavy and wasn’t thin, like I was. Now, she’s super fit.

I, on the other hand, look exactly the same. I weigh about 15 pounds more than I did in high school, but that’s carried in my body, not my face. My face, and my hair, are exactly the same. Exactly. At the 10 year reunion, one classmate said, “You haven’t changed! No, I mean you really haven’t changed. It’s a little creepy.”

Jane and I did our chit-chat and then said our goodbyes.

We ran into each other again in the produce section. “Hi Jane!” exclaimed Burrito. A little more chit-chat, more goodbyes.

And then as I headed into the dairy section I realized: not only do I look exactly the same as I did in high school, but I am wearing the same clothes.

Thoughtful Thursday

Welcome to the JuneĀ Intelligentsia.

#32: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#28: Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV
#27: A fromĀ Are You Kidding Me?
#24: Strongblonde from Strong Blonde
#16: Tara from Turkey In My Oven
#14: St. Elsewhere
#12: Lori from Write Mind Open Heart
#11: Mel from Stirrup Queens
#7: Sara from Aryanhwy

Thoughtful ThursdayOnce, years ago, I was staying with my grandmother, and my great-aunt drove up to say hello. After a couple of hours, she ended her visit by saying (very slowly), “I’d better start heading home. I’m pretty pokey. I don’t know why everyone thinks they have to go the speed limit. Why are they in such a hurry?” A trip which would take a regular person 40 minutes took her 2 hours.

I do almost everything fast. My husband does almost everything fast. My son does almost everything fast. My daughter… well, she goes at her own speed.

With almost everything, I am fast. I talk fast — very, very fast; it can be a problem. I walk fast. I think fast. When I was a kid, my piano teacher would say that my fingers just couldn’t keep up with my brain; her solution was the metronome. Now, on the computer keyboard, my fingers do a good job of keeping up with my brain. With some work, I finish amazingly quickly. I am capable of going from being asleep to being out the door in less than 5 minutes. I just seem to be calibrated faster than most people.

I’m not fast in everything, though. It takes me forever to do a lot of things because I’m careful and deliberative: some types of work; shopping; blogging. I eat quite slowly… but not as slowly as my mother did. Even though I can get ready remarkably quickly in the morning, it can also take me forever. I drive at a normal speed, by choice. I run slowly, not by choice.

My husband is, in many ways, even faster. He’s fast in all of the ways that I am fast, but he also works quickly. He eats so quickly that if you turn your head you might miss it. Like me, he is also a slow runner, though not as slow as I am. His slowest skill is getting ready in the morning: it takes him forever.

As fast as my husband and I are, Burrito leaves us in the dust. The vast majority of photos taken of him, even by professional photographers, are a blur. But the time elapsed between waking up and being at the breakfast table can be preposterously long, because he needs to hug, then he needs to go potty, then more hugs, then try some different outfits, then read a book…

In many ways, Tamale combines all of our slow attributes. Like me, she eats sooooo slowly. Like her father and brother, she takes forever to get ready in the morning, mostly because she spends more than 15 minutes rejecting every shirt in the closet, one by one. Like both of her parents, she is a slow runner, but she has also been slow at all other motor skills. All of a sudden, though, this week she has sped up. My little snail occasionally becomes a cheetah and runs by before I can look up. She finds it hilarious to sing a song double-time. Looks like her speed genes are kicking in. Look out, world.

What do you quickly? What do you do slowly?