Category Archives: my son

An Exchange With My Son

Cakie:  Mommy, Sihad says the number infinity-nine doesn’t exist.

Me: Well, technically, he’s right.  Infinity is like all the numbers in the world.  It keeps going.  You can’t really add nine to that.  What do you mean by infinity-nine, anyway?

C: It’s the last number in infinity.  You know, like twenty-nine, thirty-nine.

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I don’t know why I did it, but I feel like I made a gay parenting mistake.

My son, Cakie was talking about when he was in my tummy.  I told him he had been in Mama’s tummy.  Now he thinks I’m the least important mom.

My honey says not to worry, that all kids play favorites.  But not all kids have two wombs from which they could have sprung.  And not all kids are a cut and dry as Cake.  When he decides something, that is the end of the story.

So now I’m Trucker’s mom and A is his mom.  We keep trying to explain it to him; he keeps rejecting our explanations.  I spend much more time with him than A does.  We walk to school together.  I pick him up and entertain and feed him until A gets home.  He misses her.  So maybe he just wants to connect with her.

It doesn’t help that Trucker is a complete cling-o-rama on me.  He won’t let A read him a story.  Only me.  So when I try to read with Cakie, Trucker slides in and tries to take over.

They are both latching on to their bio moms.  It makes me feel weird.

Sorry I’ve not been blogging much.  My life feels a little like a hamster on a wheel.  Except I’m not getting any exercise.

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Half-Assed Housewife’s Handy Tip #3 — What to Feed the Children

Here’s my tip.  Are you ready?

When you can’t think of anything to cook for dinner for your kids besides fishsticks, ask a 24 year old.  Yes.  I know one of those.  My new co-teacher actually just turned 24.  So she’s pretty much 23.  Which means she still has braincells.  So when I worried out loud about being the only one in charge of dinners pretty-much now that my honey has her fancy happy job far far away (for which I am extremely grateful, because it saved her from an awful situation and it is actually fulfilling and important), and how I didn’t want to fall into the frozen food abyss, yet I don’t really have much time to cook for the poor dears, this young thing (bless her braincell-filled soul) rattled off about fifteen ideas.  Let me just clarify that I must be able to assemble these dinners very quickly, as my dear little Trucker is a bit of a clingon. As much as I like to hang out in the kitchen and cook, that is not much of an option when Mama isn’t home.  Was my dilemma something she had been thinking about at all at any moment in the previous year?  No.  Youngins are so neat.

Of course, I not being 23/24, don’t remember all 15 ideas.  But what I do remember, I will share with you:

  • Quesadillas!  Duh.  You can put some veggies in, too.
  • Grilled cheese, or — she claims she ate this when she lived in Tanzania — grilled PB&J.  That actually sounds delicious to me.
  • Pizza bagels.  I did try to make these once, and Cakie did not approve.  But I tried them this week and they were a hit.  A smash hit.  He asked for seconds, which is unheard of in these parts.
  • Tuna and celery.  Dip tuna into celery.  Fun for the whole family.
  • Dip night.  Get several dips like bean dip, hummus and guacamole.  Then offer veggies cut into dipping sticks and whole grain crackers.  Fun fun fun!
  • I actually had my own idea.  I know, right?  I bought a whole roasted chicken on Sunday, and used it for the protein in several of the dishes.  There was chicken on the pizza bagels and chicken in the quesadillas.  And of course, one night we had… chicken.
  • Quiche.  Yum.  With veggies.  And… chicken?
  • Uh.  I only remember 6 ideas?  Ugh.
  • I bought a tasty soba noodle prepared thingee at my food coop.  It worked as a side dish and a main dish — with chicken.
  • I also whipped out the old Ge0rge F0reman Grill that we bought at the Dollar General several years ago and has been living in the closet.  I’m thinking I might be able to either think of some kind of panini situation, or grill something (other than chicken) quickly.

All of these meals are to be supplemented with veggies on the side.  Cake eats them first.  Trucker ignores them like they’re pork.  But I keep trying.  I will allow myself one night of real pizza a week.  And one night of fish sticks.  But just one, ok?

That brings me to lunch.  Because now that Cakie is a big kindergarten boy, I need to pack him a real lunch.  Now I really ought to ask my co-teacher about this because I’m sure she’ll have at least fifteen ideas.  And I need to whip out a recording device when I ask her, so I can remember more than 6 of the things she says.  But here are my ideas:

  • I have made the run-of-the-mill sandwich for Cake several times in the week.  He likes the turkey salami from the food coop.  And he likes peanut butter.  Though I feel guilty packing the nuts, because I don’t want to harm any allergic kids.  On the other hand, my school is not nut-free.  The cafeteria actually makes PB&J for school lunches.  So… I just packed it.
  • One day I gave him hummus and crackers instead of a sandwich.
  • I’m thinking of making a (I hate the real thing) healthy version of Lunchables.  I’m going to cut up the cold cuts into cracker-sized bits.  Then I’m going to put in crackers.  Then I’m going to put in a stack of cheese the same size.  And I’m going to put them in little cupcake papers.  And I’ll put in something sweet (yogurt or dried fruit), too.  It may be a success.  Or it may fall apart all over the place and be a big mess by the time he opens it.
  • I’m going to make the same old sandwich and cut it into shapes, a la Kevin Henkes’ Lily.
  • I’m going to make the same old sandwich and roll it into spirals, then toothpick together.
  • I’ve thought of soup in a thermos, but he generally does not eat soup, so I’m not sure how it will go over.

Mostly, I’m happy that thus far, he has chosen my food over the cafeteria food.  I’m not sure that he knows that he has a choice.  But I’m going to run with this while I can.

So, do any of you have any brilliant lunch or extremely easy, but healthful, dinner ideas to share with my teeny-tiny readership?  Do tell.

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Married? I Know About Married.

My four-year-old knows everything, by the way.  If he asks you a question and you tell him the answer, it is usually followed up with a “I KNOW that, Mommy.”

Which is why it threw me off guard when he asked me one of those questions I had been dreading:

Mommy?  If you love Mama, why aren’t you married?

All of my possible responses came flooding into my head:

I would love to marry her, but I can’t? No.

Some people don’t think we should be allowed to do that? Uh-uh.

Why don’t you ask these schmucks? Nope.

I don’t know!  I don’t know!  It isn’t fair.  I hate the world.  [Kicks and beats floor with fists. Melts into a pile of clothing like the Wicked Witch of the West.] Not a great idea.

Oh, I plan to marry her just as soon as I can, sweet boy. That’s a possibility…

I didn’t have an answer for him.  It may have been the very first time he asked me a serious question and I did not have a good answer for him.

Then he looked at me with his big brown eyes and said, “Can I watch my icey penguin movie?”

Yes.  Yes, you can.

At least I had an answer for something.

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The Donor Mark

My son has the likes-to-watch-sports gene.  He did not get this from me.

I don’t plan to point things like this out to my kids.  There’s this unspoken fear of the moment when we will need to address the fact of the donors in our kids lives.  There is also this urge to pretend since we don’t know who the donors are, that we can make them go away.  Part of me wants my honey and I to be the only important people in the creation of our kids.

The other part of me knows that the donors are important.  Not only are they important, but I feel like even though I don’t know their names or their adult faces, I feel like we live with them.  We know them better than we know our good friends.  I’m so glad for them.  I’m so glad for whatever circumstances lead to them walking in to the cryobank, filling out all of those forms, walking uncomfortably into a little room and producing for us the ingredient that would eventually become our sons.  I am confident that wherever he is, Trucker’s donor is either thinking about throwing or actually throwing a ball.  Cakie’s donor is charming someone at this very moment.  I’m sure of it.

The discomfort comes from knowing that the donors are a question mark.  Will the boys be driven to try to identify them?  If they do find them, will these men disappoint my sons?  Since I have two different donors, will the boys have two uncomfortably different experiences surrounding their donors?  I am sure that they will want to know them, even if we down-play their role.  Once they take a biology class and see the fruit flies and their eye colors,  once they read a study on identical twins, or venture into my grandfather’s meticulously researched geneology of his side of my family, they will want to know.

I know this.  But I wish I could take that donor question mark and stretch it straight into an exclamation point.  A sure statement, showing a strong emotion.

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Filed under family, IUI, LGBT, my second son, my son, sperm shopping, Trucker

What We Wear

I often look for myself in my children.  There are some things about one’s self that one does not want to see.  Your faults seem so magnified when your children have them.

Neither my honey nor I are good at making decisions.  I always change my mind about things, then spend a good amount of energy regretting the fact that I changed my mind and wondering what would have happened had I not changed my mind.  It is annoying.

This is what my morning looked like:  I asked Cake if he’d like to choose his own clothes, or if I should pick them out for him.  He wanted to choose them.  Then he changed his mind.  I should choose them.  When I came out with a striped tank top and brown shorts, he regretted not picking out his clothes himself.  Then he went back and chose another shirt after bickering with my honey about if he was allowed to choose another shirt, since he did say that I could pick out his outfit.

When it was time to go, he went to put on his blue sneakers.  He was initially going to wear his new brown shoes that I got on sale.  I told him if he did not want them, I could return them to the store.  He wanted them.  He wanted them, but he didn’t want to wear them.  We said, that if he didn’t want to wear them that was fine, but we’d need to return them if he had no plans to ever wear them.  So he put them on.  I grabbed his visor, which he had wanted to wear yesterday.  He got his helmet and scooter.  Trucker, who had been waiting patiently while all of the shoe fuss was happening, already had his helmet and was ready to go. We left for daycare.  When we got downstairs, Cake said he didn’t want to wear his brown shoes.  Normally, I would have just said, “Oh well. Too bad, Kiddo.”  But I noticed that they looked a little big.  So I offered to go back up and switch for the blue.  Of course now, I won’t be able to return them.  The key didn’t work in the lock, so we walked over to the other door.  (Trucker scooted.)  When we got to the other door, Cake said,  “I’ll wear them.”  Ugh.  Ok, so we set off for daycare.  But first Cake stopped, got off his scooter, handed me his helmet and grabbed his visor.  “I thought you wanted to scoot.”  “No.”  So we start to walk, but by this time, I’m really annoyed.  And I don’t know why I was carrying his scooter.  I should have made him do it.

We cross the street.  We’re standing on an overpass, on the other side of which is a very busy blind turn.  Trucker bolts across the overpass.  Cake grabs the scooter, and tries to start scooting without his helmet.  In all honesty, I’m sure scooting without a helmet is fine.  But we’ve pounded the helmet need into their heads pretty well, so I didn’t want him throwing it away.  Trucker is half-way across the bridge heading for the dangerous corner.  I whisk off Cakie’s visor, plop his helmet on his head and run after Trucker.  Of course, he starts crying.  When we got to the other side of the dangerous corner, Cake said through his tears, “I was just going to walk my scooter.  I wasn’t going to ride it.”  Oh.  Well, I had to save your brother from death-by-SUV, sorry I was in a rush.

Here’s the thing, if I went over this, many of the things we fought about were created by the parents.  He didn’t need to wear those shoes.  He didn’t.  Why did we make him wear them? If we hadn’t forced him, I could be on my way to the store right now to get my money back.  I’m actually strongly in favor of not forcing kids to wear clothes they hate.  I just remember from my own childhood, how miserable the wrong clothing item could make me. If I hadn’t made him wear the shoes, the trip to school would have been a lot easier.  And I could have still returned them.  I know now, that they will probably not be worn again.

Trucker survived the trip to school, happy as a sweet baby clam.  When we arrived, Cake came to me and gave me a big kiss.  And said he loved me.

I hate bickering.  I hate feeling like mornings like this could be avoided somehow.  What is most frustrating is seeing that it is this fault that he got from his moms that is making us so annoyed.  Yeesh.

Anyway.  I hope those shoes don’t hurt his sweet little feet today.

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Birthday Parties. Meh.

Let me just start this by saying that I am a big fan of the birthday. (Mine is in just a couple of days!)  I’ve always enjoyed my own birthday.  I’ve thrown countless surprise parties for friends and family.  And even though I am older and find less hoopla in order for the day, I still demand cake.

Throwing parties for one’s kids, on the other hand, is … uh.  It is a mix of fun and uncertainty.  Take Cakie’s birthdays, for example,  we’ve always taken great joy in making him a very special cake (guitar, Diego’s head, Superman).  We’ve also always had his party at home.  They have always been fun.  This year, for the first time, we are shelling out the big bucks to have his party at a place that does everything for you.  I am not excited about the big bucks.  I am excited about the does everything for you.  But I can’t help but think that we’re still going to be going crazy the day before.  I still want to make a special cake, but I don’t really, really want to, if my ten zillion dollars includes an ice cream cake.  I don’t know who to invite.  We bought the package for twelve kids.  But most of the folks at his daycare, as a rule, don’t RSVP.  And since I have been to several of these parties at the same place with the same kids, I see that people bring siblings, even when the invitations specifically say, please do not bring siblings.  And why would that worry me?  Every extra kid is another thirty bucks on top of the ten zillion dollars.  Then this morning came the expected snafu… one of Cake’s friends at daycare has the very same birthday.  So today we got the evite for his party at the same time and the same day.  My honey didn’t seem phased, saying we could just invite kids who are not from the daycare.  But, umm, I feel like we kind of need to invite Cakie’s friends.  On the other hand, maybe thirty kids won’t show up, and we’ll get to keep our home and our car instead of handing it over to the Bouncy House place.

Trucker’s birthday was last weekend.  I aimed for the number-of-child-guests-matches-the-number-of-years-old-the-child-will-be rule.  Since he was turning 2, I ended up with four child guests.  Because I’m not so great at math.  The goal was to keep things simple.  But I went overboard anyway, and cooked up a storm.  After the fact, I realized that this was probably my last kid party to which I could have just invited my-own-aged friends.  And though some of the parents I invited are my friends (Hi, sn!) I felt like I could have made it more fun for me by inviting one other baby, and a bunch of my friends.  Though I know it is not supposed to be all about me.

This is all to say that I never realized how complicated all of this is.  And I don’t know that I am making it complicated.  I think it just is.  I’ve done my best to keep it simple.  Like I say to my students when I teach math (yeah, they let me do that, can you believe it?)  I always like to find the most efficient strategy that gets me the right answer.  Because I don’t like doing extra work.

I want to most efficient birthday party strategy that doesn’t cost me the down payment on a new house and doesn’t kill the joy and creativity of having the party in the first place.  And that would be?

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