Monday, February 26, 2007

S and the bottle

S continues to improve with the bottle. As Supadiscomama predicted, he began to take the bottle when he started daycare. Being my kid, however, it wasn't easy. For the first week, I would prepare 2 bottles every morning, and when I picked him up, I would take home 2 bottles, minus 1 ounce of breastmilk. As soon as I got him home, he would nurse for over an hour to make up for what he had missed in the 4 hours we were apart. My stubborn boy would take drink just enough milk to take the edge off of his hunger, and then he would wait for me. The one of his teachers decided to experiment with nipples. A breastfeeding mother herself, she tried a type of latex nipple that her own son preferred. As soon as she put the bottle in S's mouth, he downed the entire 2 ounce bottle and then ate the other. The next day, I prepared bigger bottles, and today, he drank a 5 ounce bottle. He still nursed for an hour when we got home, but I now choose to believe it is because he missed me and our snuggly time together rather than because he was famished. C was home with us today, so he got to experience the marathon nursing session first hand. He asked me if I minded that S wanted to snuggle and eat that long, and I assured him I didn't. I've come to think of that hour (and sometimes longer!) as our special time together. I quickly realized that C was a little jealous of my time with S, so as soon as he finished nursing and his short nap, I passed him over to his dad for some serious playtime. I spent the next hour watching them play together.

I have to say that although I still hate that I have to take my son to daycare, I no longer feel guilty about spending so much time with him. After my four hours of work, I'm more than ready to spend the rest of the day with my little guy.


Before I begin, I must confess that I contemplated trying to title this post like the David Bowie song of the same name, but I'm not sure how to express phonetically. . .

My life is changing. C is currently on the job market; he recently had 5 interviews at his field's equivalent to MLA. All the interviews went well, and now he's anxiously awaiting the call for on campus interviews. I really want him to get a job, and not for all the normal reasons. Yes, the increased income would be nice, and yes, I want a bigger apartment. But I really want him to get a job because he has had a hard year. Basically, he deserves the validation that I know will come with a job offer. He does great research in a very interesting and understudied area. He also sacrificed a lot for me to work on my doctorate while he was still working on his. When we moved for me to begin my program, he had to get a job as an adjunct instructor, and he effectively lost a year. Since then he has faced lots of other challenges, and he's overcome them all. I really don't want to move because we have a great group of friends, I have a support system of other academic mothers, and I'm really happy with our life here, despite the obvious drawbacks of small town life. But I want this for him. He deserves it, and everyday I check our answering machine with fingers crossed hoping this is the day he gets a call about a second interview.

To blog or not to blog

Since S started daycare 2 weeks ago, I've felt less of a need to blog. I now have four hours every morning to work, and thus far, I've made good use of that time. I now have creative and intellectual outlets; I don't have to rush to get something done or hope he'll nurse long enough for me to get out a blog. That said, blogging simply hasn't been on my mind lately. I've had plenty to write about, but just not much inclination. Not surprising--I've always journaled on a whim, and since I think of this a journaling, I'm only doing in when the mood strikes me. I do, however, miss the community aspect of blogging, so I'm hoping to get the inclination more.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Politics, Potential Presidents, and Roe v. Wade

I definitely don't want anyone in the White House whom people are comparing to Ronald Reagan. I had thought John McCain might be the least detrimental of the potential Republican candidates, but after reading "McCain says Roe should be overturned" I'm not so sure.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A new baby and daycare

Yesterday I acted as a doula for my good friend and happily helped her and her husband welcome their beautiful baby girl into the world. I have to say birth is an entirely different experience when you're not the one giving birth. It was so thrilling to see Baby J crown and to encourage her mother to fulfill her goal of unmedicated childbirth. I was deeply honored to be there and very, very happy to return the favor, as Baby J's mama acted as my doula at S's birth three months ago. As I was with my birth experience, I was deeply awed by the strength of the female body. Welcome to the world Baby J!

After such a great day, I woke up this morning not feeling so great. Today is the first day I take S to daycare. I will be with him the entire time as we're spending this week transitioning. Tomorrow C will take him, and on Friday, we will take him together. We've talked about this endlessly, and while I know it is the right decision, I feel horrible. I'm going to be a complete wreck next Monday, the first day I will leave him by himself. As I reread that sentence, I know how preposterous it sounds. I am not leaving him by himself. I'm leaving him with capable caregivers whom I trust and who were highly recommended by two good friends. I know I'm setting myself up to feel like a bad mother, whatever that means, but I really feel like I'm leaving him all alone.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sexuality, Gender, and My Son

After Sarah's post on RB and the infamous Judith Butler, I've been thinking a lot about S, gender, and sexuality. For several weeks now, C and I have been commenting on S's fascination with women. My 3-month-old son will bat his big blue eyes and flash his charming smile at any woman he sees, but he will only smile for C and a few close male friends. He really seems to prefer women. Yesterday a good friend and I took S to a coffee shop, where we sat near a pretty undergrad studying macroeconomics. S immediately began smiling at her and "talking" to her; he only stopped when she finally acknowledged him. For the entire 45 minutes we were there, he made eyes at this attractive young woman, and quite honestly, he gave me the dirtiest look when we left. Does this mean anything? I certainly don't think so, but when C relayed this story to his mother last night, she expressed relief that "S isn't gay." Apparently since her youngest grandson is growing up with academic parents who vote Democrat and don't go to church regularly, she feared he would be gay. When C told me of his mother's comments, I rolled my eyes and went on with my nightly routine. But the comment bothered me. Frankly, I couldn't care less if my son is homosexual or heterosexual or bisexual; he can be whatever he wants to be so long as he grows up to be a caring, thoughtful individual who is considerate of other people. So why is my son's gender and sexuality so important to so many people?

I don't believe S has a gender right now, and I've read enough theory (and more to the point, I actually buy into a lot of the theory) to know his sex can change too. But to be honest, I'm not so progressive that I dress him in dresses or put bows on his head. I buy his clothes in the boys' department, and after he was born I was very happy to be able to do so rather than buying one more yellow sleeper, as yellow is apparently the only gender-neutral color. That said, gender seems so irrelevant at his age. He doesn't know the difference between a truck and a doll (and yes, he has both, and right now, he prefers the doll, although he doesn't know what a doll is), and he won't know the difference until C and I explain it to him. So why did my mother wait to begin making him a baby quilt until he was born? She wanted to know if she could use pink or blue. Why did my mother-in-law put aside the Madame Alexander catalog once S was born? Boys don't like dolls. If RB can realize that gender is malleable and ever-changing, why can't most adults? I think I'll invite RB over to play with S so she can begin to explain the complexities of gender to him.