Monday, January 28, 2008
Despite all of this the act of purchasing my ticket, which I did today, has made me a little sick to my stomach. I will be away from Wild Man for at least two nights and possibly three. This is the first time I will have been away from him overnight since he was born. I know that C is perfectly capable, and I know they will be fine together on their own. In fact, I'm quite sure they will have fun without me. After all, Wild Man and I generally manage to have a good time when C has had to travel. I also know that I will get more out of the conference than I did last year when I had C and Wild Man in tow. But I know that some part of me will be a wreck without my boy, even for only two nights.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Wild Man received this injury when he decided to walk down the small sliding board that is in his classroom. He, of course, fell and hit his nose. Not only did he give himself a nosebleed, but he also has a nice bit of carpet burn right down the middle of this nose.
On Monday, Wild Man's school was closed, and in an attempt to keep him amused, C & I decided to finger paint with him. Wild Man quickly decided it was more fun to paint his face. Check out the crazy look in his eyes. I think he looks a bit like a Mad Scientist myself. Regardless of the mess (and there was a big mess!) he had a ball.
*In keeping with my agreement with C about posting pictures, I will only leave these up for a few days.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Don't get me wrong--I'm perfectly happy with my body. I'm petite, and I have a really high metabolism. I rarely have the time to work out, and I can eat mostly what I want and don't have to diet, not even to lose my pregnancy weight. I'm small chested, and I've always been happy with that. But it was really nice to have some cleavage for a while! I enjoyed having something to fill out the v-neck tops that I prefer. I don't want the double-Ds that came home from the hospital with me, but I would have preferred not to lose a half a size as a result of breast feeding either.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
- Arrive at school and cross the parking lot to the building, with Wild Man in my arms. I occasionally let him walk, which generally makes the walk about 15 times longer because he has to stop and touch every rock and blade of grass we encounter.
- Enter building.
- Say hello to the fish in the school's fish tank--"Hi, hi, hi fissies!"
- Go to classroom and wriggle out of my arms to say "Hi, hi, hi" to Miss Manna (also known as Miss Amanda) and to Miss Key (aka Miss Kelli).
- Refuse to stand still so I can take his jacket off.
- Distribute his things to the appropriate places while he finds his BFF.
- Hug BFF while screaming her name with glee.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
On a different note, I have written over 35 pages for my Wharton chapter, and there is still no end in sight. I realize now that I could devote my entire dissertation to this novel. To put an end to my writing I'm imposing a deadline on myself: I must submit a complete draft of this chapter to my advisor by Jan. 30, 2008. After all, I've got to move on to other chapters. . . right?
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
"When I walked into the office Monday, people were clustering around a computer to watch what they thought they would never see: Hillary Clinton with the unmistakable look of
tears in her eyes.
A woman gazing at the screen was grimacing, saying it was bad. Three guys watched it
over and over, drawn to the 'humanized' Hillary. One reporter who covers security issues
cringed. 'We are at war,' he said. 'Is this how she’ll talk to Kim Jong-il?'"
Come on!! Why include this blatantly sexist quotation? I mean, George Bush cries all the time and no one questions his ability to handle foreign leaders because of it. (Keep in mind I do think we should question his ability, but not because he cries.)
As I wrote yesterday, I'm seriously annoyed with the media's coverage of Hillary Clinton (and yes, I'm very pleased she won the NH primary yesterday!). First they criticize her for not being emotional enough, a criticism she has addressed herself, which Dowd quotes
“'If you get too emotional, that undercuts you,' Hillary said. 'A man can cry; we know that.
Lots of our leaders have cried. But a woman, it’s a different kind of dynamic.'”
I want to say a few things about this quotation. First, Clinton is absolutely right--men can cry in politics. When they do, we see them as human, as moved, and as genuinely concerned--again think about all the times George Bush has cried. As far as I know, we haven't ever questioned his motives for shedding tears in an emotional moment. But, as Clinton correctly points out and as has happened to her, if a woman cries, she is immediately seen as emotional, as out of control, as--gasp!--irrational. Yet, in Clinton's case, the media also chastised her for not showing any emotion. She can't win for losing. Second, why does Dowd refer to her as Hillary? She never once refers to Barack Obama or John Edwards by their first names. Why is she so disrespectful to Clinton? She refers to her by her first name because she is a woman, plain and simple. And before someone comments that perhaps Dowd refers to Clinton by her first name so as not to confuse her with her husband, I don't believe that is the reason either. I mean those of us who take the time to read the NY Times opinion page (yes, I am being a bit elitist here) realize which Clinton is running for president. Dowd is being as sexist--and yes, a woman can be sexist towards another woman.One more thing: I'm sick and tired of the likability issue. I for one don't give a fig if the president is likable. I want a president I can trust to do a good job. I mean, look what likability has gotten us in the past 8 years.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I first want to say that I've been sitting at my computer reading emails and checking out the few news sites I visit every day, trying to talk myself out of writing about a phone call that C received from my SIL last night. I really don't want to be the person who never says anything positive about my in-laws. But then as I almost had myself talked out of writing about said phone call I heard a little voice in my head say "M, she never has anything positive to say about you and she specifically called last night in an attempt to start an argument with your husband, which would have resulted in an argument between you and C." Bottom line, I'm pissed, and I'm blogging about it.
First some background: C grew up in a very small Southern town (the former cabbage capital of the world), which I've said before. But he didn't grow up in some backwater place; it is 40 minutes from a city of 1 million people. Said city isn't a booming metropolis, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is the most liberal city in our Home State (and that is actually saying something). My point is that while Cabbage Town is very small the people in it live very close to a big city, most of whom work in the big city or at least visit the big city at least once a week. These are not people who have lived exclusively in a small town and know nothing of the world. While they are conservative politically and socially, they are, by and large, educated individuals, most of whom defy the stereotypes surrounding small town individuals. That said, most of them, especially the mothers, do fulfill one stereotype: they expect their children to stay in the same small town. It is expected that the children of Cabbage Town will marry other children of Cabbage Town. When they marry outside of Cabbage Town it is expected that they will either live in Big City close to Cabbage Town or move their families to Cabbage Town. C did neither of those things, and he is constantly reminded of this. Usually the reminders come in the form of a phone call from Yetta. The phone calls almost always go something like this:
Yetta: Do you remember X, the girl you once held hands with on the playground with when you were 4?
C: Um, no, I don't remember her.
Yetta: Well I ran into her mother yesterday at the Piggly Wiggly, and she asked about you. I always thought the two of you would have made such a cute couple . . .maybe if you and she had gotten together you would live closer to Cabbage Town.
C: I have no idea who you're talking about; how do you remember this stuff?
Last night the phone call was from C's sister, whom I am henceforth affectionately calling Pita (as in pain in the ass).
Pita: Mom is buying some furniture from the store in ritzy suburb of Big City.
C: That's great. I know she's been wanting to get some new things.
Pita: Did you know X works there now?
C: Um, X? I don't think I know her.
Pita: Yes, you do! You dated her when you were a sophomore in high school!
C: Um, I did? (Pause as he tries to remember.) You know that was about 15 years ? X? Oh, yes, I remember her. We went out two or three times. How is she? (at this point he looked at me with the "please get me off the phone look." Unfortunately I was putting Wild Man to bed and couldn't help.)
Pita: Wasn't she the girl who said she was pregnant while you were dating? What was that about?
C: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Pita: Were you such a slut in high school that you don't remember this girl? How many people did you sleep with? Does M know about this?
So what was she talking about? C has carefully reconstructed his past in an attempt to figure out what the hell his sister was getting at. C did have a brief relationship with this woman when they were teenagers. Was she ever pregnant? C has no idea, but apparently years later (about 5 years well after they stopped seeing each other and no longer spoke) a friend of hers told several people in Cabbage Town that she had been pregnant in high school. This got back to Yetta and Pita, who at the time interrogated C about it, who knew nothing about it. He was urged to contact her to get to the bottom of the rumor--and to satisfy their warped sense of small town curiosity.
Pita apparently continued with the questions for a few more minutes until it became clear that she was not going to provoke a response out of C and then she abruptly ended the conversation. C and I didn't have a chance to talk about the entire conversation until this morning, and as he told me about the conversation (and the past events) I got more and more angry. Here is why I am angry:
- Pita only called to try to get a rise out of C; once she realized she couldn't accomplish that, she got off the phone.
- These phone calls are pointless, annoying, and completely disrespectful of our marriage.
- I feel like she called to start an argument between me and C.
- And finally, I pissed because in a weird way she succeeded. C and I didn't have an argument, but here I am so pissed that I'm blogging about it.
In the past year, Pita has done some fairly despicable things (including calling me and my other sister-in-law ugly, ugly names behind our backs), and I no longer trust her, like her, or want to be around her. I realize after rereading what I've written that it may seem like I'm totally blowing this out of proportion (and I have been known to do that), but I can't believe she was trying to do anything other than start something. I want to yell at her "This is the sort of thing you do when you're in middle school!!" I am sorry she is so unhappy with her own life that she feels she has to actively try to make other people unhappy too, but I am so tired of her crap.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Despite our agreement on the issue of letting Wild Man wear a dress to school if he wants to and if he feels wearing a dress is a true expression of himself, I find myself still thinking about the article and what we would do if Wild Man really wanted to wear dresses. C brought up a very good point: our geographic location will likely affect how willing we are to let Wild Man wear a dress to school. Although Hoffman doesn't say where she and her family live, based on the fact that she writes for a magazine based out of New York, I am assuming she lives in the city or in a suburb of the city (I freely admit that this assumption could be completely wrong; she could live in Small Town, USA for all I know). I am also going to assume that if she does live in such a location that the people in her community are likely somewhat more liberal than the average American--again, I could be wrong. While we don't live in Small Town, USA, we do live in Small City, USA in a very conservative state. The kids at Wild Man's school routinely wear big cowboy belt buckles and cowboy boots, and while I'm not assuming anything about their parents' political or parenting beliefs based on how their kids are dressed, I am assuming (I know, I'm doing a lot of assuming in this post . . .) that most kids and parents in our area wouldn't know what to do if Wild Man showed up at school in a dress. Given the culture of our current city, I'm not altogether certain I would be comfortable letting Wild Man wear a dress to school.
Which takes me to my next point, this article made me face some of my own gender hang ups. After reading the essay, I had to ask myself "Do I think it is ok for a boy to wear a dress to school?" As much as I've read and as much as I really do believe that gender is largely learned, I have to admit that I don't know how I feel about this. Part of my hesitation and my concern comes from the fact that in our society boys don't wear dresses. Hoffman writes about her 4 year old son wanting to wear a dress to school, and as she describes it, 4 year olds seem to be fairly accepting of such differences; none of her son's classmates really see anything wrong with him wearing a dress. The 5 year olds on the playground, however, are the ones who give her son a hard time, telling him he isn't a boy and that he is a sissy. While Hoffman and her husband did a great job preparing their son for such things and he responds positively, their experience, as positive and enlightening as it is, is limited because their son is 4. What happens when he turns 5, 6, 7, and so on. How will he be treated if he wants to wear a dress to high school? How do you prepare your child for the ridicule s/he will likely endure for wanting to go against our cultural norms? I'm worried and anxious about issues like these because I don't want to Wild Man to be ridiculed for wanting to be himself. But I do want him to have the freedom and to develop the confidence to be himself, even if that means wearing dresses to school.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Today has been somewhat harder on me though. I'm trying to work, but I keep thinking about him. Today is the first day that I haven't gone to nurse him in the middle of the day. He nursed almost every day around this time during the break, but in an effort to begin weaning (something I so not ready to do), I've decided to cut out the middle of the day session. I've reasoned that I will have to wean one day, and I'll be able to get more work done if my day is no longer cut in half. I'm not getting much done, however, and I'm seriously contemplating picking him up earlier than usual today just because I miss him!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
This Christmas, I bought my dad and my MIL gifts from E-bay Express this year, and in my naivete, I had both gifts sent to my parents' house. In hindsight, I realize I should have paid for the gifts separately and had Dad's shipped to my parents' house and Yetta's to her house. I reasoned, however, that it was easier to do a single checkout and that my mom could drop off Yetta's gift at her office, which is only about 15 minutes away from my parents' house. When I asked my mom to do this favor for me, she immediately agreed, saying she'd call Yetta and ask her when she could drop it off. Now I had these gifts shipped the week after Thanksgiving, so there was no rush for my mom to get it to Yetta. There was plenty of time to get the gift to her before Christmas. When I talked to my mom later in the week, she asked me to talk to Yetta to find out when she could drop off the gift, and I told my mom that Yetta didn't have to be there; she could just drop it off with the receptionist. At this point, I called Yetta and asked her to call my mom to figure out when they could meet to exchange the gift. I did this because Yetta is much more social than my mom, and I figured she'd take the initiative. She didn't. I finally got my mom to agree to take it to work with her (she manages a coffee shop in the local mall) and asked Yetta to drive by and pick it up. Yetta said she'd try, but given her work schedule she wasn't sure she'd make it before traffic got bad (an understandable excuse in my mind as I've tried to get out of this particular parking lot during the holidays and it has taken up to an hour). When she didn't manage to get to the mall to pick it up, I gave up. C told Yetta just to call my mom and they could figure it out. I talked to my mom a little while ago to say "Happy New Year!", and she informed me that Yetta "still hasn't called me. What am I supposed to do with this gift, M?" I took a deep breath and as calmly as I could said "Mom, the phone works both ways; you could just as easily call her and figure something out." To which my mom said, "Oh, I guess I could do that," in a tone of voice that tells me she won't. So it is New Year's Day, and Yetta still doesn't have her complete Christmas gift from us, which upsets me because I spent a lot of time thinking about what to get her and I know she'll love it. But why they can't call each other, I don't know.