ten things on a Tuesday night

1. This morning I got injected with barium contrast dye and had pictures taken of my brain. It took the tech 4 tries, a bunch of bruises and calling a second person in before the IV made it into my arm, which was absolutely the worst part of the experience. Results should be sent to my neurologist by tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll hear back too. The vascular ultrasound isn’t until June 2, so there is still waiting to be done. But this test looks for aneurysms which is not the cause of this fainting business but is a constant fear in my life so at least that will be out of the way.

2. Last night Ansel woke up wet – he’d leaked through his diaper, something that’s been happening more regularly now, unfortunately – which necessitated a change of clothes and bedding, which then made returning him to sleep a much harder task. It took some time and L got the last pass, after another devil-inside-him screaming fit, and found him . . .out of his crib. He was pointing to his head saying, ‘hea’, hea'” so we were a little nervous to put him back down, but did, and he went to sleep very quickly. We hoped that maybe the head bump with the escape would keep him from trying again. Alas, this morning when I went in to retrieve him following his “mama, are you?” I found him waiting for me at the door. So, we decided since he’s 26 months to just got for the toddler bed. Of course we had managed to purchase the full bed rails for our convertible crib but not the toddler rails, so this necessitated a trip to Buy Buy Baby for a toddler rail. He took a decent nap this afternoon in the new ‘big kid bed’ but he fell asleep in the car and was transferred, so it wasn’t actually an accurate assessment. We just put him down and . . .all things crossed . . .it seems to have gone well. We stuck to the routine and it took two extra rounds of “You Are My Sushine” but otherwise he seems to have handled it quite well. Say prayers to whatever you pray to that this continues.

3. Ansel is both talking and understanding things at an astonishing rate right now. He basically repeats everything we say (guess it’s time to start limiting the fuck words, huh?) and has picked up on things I wasn’t even aware we said a lot. Like . . .tonight on the way to his bed we said, “You get to sleep in your new bed!” and he replied, “Oh boy!” Which, I mean, he’s obviously heard before but OMG are you kidding me?! Yesterday L told him to come tell me he needed a new diaper and he walked into the bathroom and said, “I ‘tinky”  . . .He regularly asks Hilda (“his” bulldog) if she wants to play, has started doing a lot more pretend play with his animals or cars or other things interacting. He also is clearly paying more attention when we are talking to each other and we have to be much more careful about talking about things – like discussing dinner plans and mentioning pizza and then not being able to keep him from demanding pizza for the next 20 minutes.

4. A co-worker of mine connected me to a friend of hers who lives in Tacoma so we could get a bit more of an inside scoop on neighborhoods. We’ve been e-mailing with them for a while but drove down this past Sunday to meet up. It was SO GREAT. For one, I feel really confident that we are going to be friends with these folks. We connected really easily, they seem to have similar culture and politics as us, and even though they don’t have kids, they were super understanding about our attention being split and so engaged with Ansel. I also feel way more excited about moving to the City of Destiny. They gave us some ideas about neighborhoods and recommended some Tacoma specific realtors who are also doing a lot of work to boost the city in a lot of other ways. We decided to fire the realtor we’d met with earlier, in part because she kept really kind of pushing us to the suburbs and not seeming to understand that ‘safe’ for a queer family is likely very different from ‘safe’ for a hetero couple. It just wasn’t a great fit. But, we are meeting up with a different realtor this weekend, and I feel way more comfortable with her. We also toured some open houses and got a better sense of some neighborhoods we’d like to look in. As a top off to the otherwise lovely Sunday, we definitely got homophobic-shunned by the listing agent at the last open house who basically did nothing to welcome us but was happy to show the cute male-female couple who came in next around.

5. Tiny is moving like crazy, according to L, and I’m like dying to be able to feel him from this side. Being the not-pregnant one is hard in a lot of ways that I could have guessed but didn’t fully appreciate. Not being able to connect to the baby before he’s born is one of them. I just feel checked out, but I’m not sure how to be more connected. I can almost understand why some dudes get overwhelmed and weird and freak out when babies are born because they just didn’t understand what was going on . . .almost. Do any of you more experienced NGPs have ideas about this? I think I feel especially frustrated because I sort of know what I’m not experiencing, so I feel sad. Of course, as Tiny (and L) grow, I’m at least more regularly reminded of our impending second child but I want to be able to connect to this kid.

6. Ansel LOVES Hilda, our little bulldog. He has such a clear preference for her, which we started noticing a little when he was about 10 months old and would laugh uproariously at her when she chased a ball. Lately, it’s become so intense and adorable. The thing you have to know, which makes this cuter (IMO), is that Hilda is pretty grumpy. I mean, she’s SO CUTE and can be incredibly sweet in many circumstances, but she’s definitely the grumpiest of our dogs. Cletus, the big old bully, will lay on the couch with his eyes closed and let Ansel sit on him; Eliot the spaniel is a nervous but incredibly docile dog. Hilda has been nicknamed Hildabeast and Killda but also . . .Honey-Bunny. She’s salty-sweet. But Ansel can only see her goodness. And she, for her part, tolerates most of his advances and excuses herself to her bed when she needs a time-out. Every morning, Ansel asks, “Where DaDa?” (the irony that he calls the dog Da-Da is not lost on us), asks her to come outside with him, gives her play food to eat, puts trains in front of her, tells us to pet her, kisses her, and generally dotes on her. Tonight, he sat next to her and hugged her, then grabbed me by the hand and brought me over to the couch, “Picture mama” and then posed with her. KILL ME NOW they are the cutest. (PS- why does my kid look, like, GROWN in this picture?!)


7. Ok, so I have a lot of feelings about police, now because of all the incredibly heartbreaking instances of cops shooting black people unprovoked and then, you know, not being fucking held accountable, but also because of my own personal experiences. I’m also really aware that my white boy child is likely to receive mostly messages of police being friendly and helpful and there to protect, which will likely be true for him because: white boy. I am noticing more and more how much for very small children that is centered on cops being good (in a way that isn not true for, say, the military in this age range) – police in books, police cars in story lines, police cars as toys, etc etc. Lately, I have found myself doing things like changing “police officer” to “nice person” in Harold and the Purple Crayon, or referring to a police-type character as a “helper” or not talking about police cars (only fire engines, cause who can’t get behind fire safety?) because I don’t want to create this sort of calm acceptance of policing as a normal part of life, or equating police as an always helpful ideal, or people who we want to emulate. But, I don’t know if this is actually an effective strategy. I mean, cops exist. I don’t want my child to wholesale dislike police, I just want him to understand the complexities of policing and not grow up to be the guy who will call the cops on his brown neighbors or friends. (also, I mean, please God can we change some things about policing and race between now and when Ansel grows up? I’m trying and hoping and praying) I dunno. For those of you who have similar critiques of police, how are you handling early conversations about cops with your kids? I definitely don’t want him to grow up playing cops or glamorizing police work but I also don’t need to set him up to hate them.

8. OMG also how do I stop my kid from only wanting to eat ketchup? It’s the only food he regularly requests. I can’t stand the smell anymore. It’s so gross. Send help.

9. L is finally feeling well enough to have cravings. They are meat. all the meat.


10. I’ve determined that I feel really ok with the weather here in Seattle because it’s really like extended spring and fall, with very short winters and summers. That said, it’s supposed to be sunny and 70 degrees tomorrow and I am psyched.


9 thoughts on “ten things on a Tuesday night

  1. My kids are all shades of brown, one looks black, one looks mixed with something but definitely not white, and one looks exotic but pretty white. Of course I’m concerned about how they will be treated by everyone, especially cops. I already experience some racist stuff while out and about with them, so far they are too young to notice but they won’t always be. As for cops, they are the good guys around here. We play up how they help people and how they are the good guys. Right now at 2 and 3, they wouldn’t understand the complexities of the situation, that’s another conversation for when they are older. Guns, on the other hand, are absolutely taboo. They don’t have any toys that even remotely resemble guns, including things like squirt guns or whatever. They aren’t allowed to play with them at other people’s houses either, and we talk about how guns are bad and hurt people. I know the day will come when I won’t always be around when they play, and I hope they make choices that minimize their chances for getting hurt.

  2. Those pictures of Ansel with Hilda are aDORable!!!!
    No advice about your question about police, but it’s something we’ve struggled with as well. Tadpole (age 7 at the time) wanted to be a police officer for Halloween last year. He was in a phase of being super into “good guys” and “bad guys,” and it was really clear how much he had absorbed the idea of police being “good guys.” I wasn’t comfortable with a police officer costume, especially trick-or-treating in our racially integrated neighborhood. This led to some interesting conversations along the lines of “some police work hard to protect people, but some police make assumptions about certain kinds of people being bad.” But that was with a 7-year-old, and we could build on other conversations about prejudice and injustice that we’ve had in the past. It’s harder with a littler kid–as you say, the topic is complicated and little kids aren’t so great with complexity.
    I’m glad L is feeling at least a little better, and hope you get lots of reassuring news about your brain.

  3. I have such a hard time not commenting 10 times to the 10 things. In short, that picture of A smiling at Hilda is absolutely amazing. SO sweet. As for bed-wetting, a friend taught me this: layer flat mattress protector/pad, fitted sheet, then another flat mattress protector, then another fitted sheet. When he pees (or pukes, in our case) in the night, just rip off the top two and there is a fresh sheet underneath. Finally, lots of thoughts and prayers for good test results this week!

  4. Although not ideal to be having the tests done in the first place, I’m thankful you’ll have some piece of mind and a peak into your brain. 🙂

    As for the NGP thing, I don’t have gestation to compare it to, but I can tell you it was harder each subsequent pregnancy to bond with the belly because there was so much going on outside of it. I forgot several times my wife was even pregnant this last time and I’m the one who fought so hard for it!

    As for police, we feel the exact same way, and I go out of my way to explain to The Lord and The Lady how ANYONE can be a person who breaks the rules, including police. We even discussed how there are police who investigate other police! I wasn’t sure how much that was combating the deluge of positive policing strewn across all of their child media, but the other day we encountered a dick cop abusing his privileges (parking literally in the middle of the road to chat with a buddy and then yelling at cars to slow down because they were trying to go around him??) and The Lord explained how that police officer was NOT doing the right thing and was breaking THE RULES and I was supremely satisfied.

    All the meat is the best thing I’ve seen all day. 🙂

  5. I felt a strong bond early on when my wife was carrying our first child – I think because I was able to devote so much energy to thinking about our impending parenthood and reading about fetal development and all of that. With this second pregnancy, finding out the sex and then also the 13 week ultrasound we had a few days ago made it feel more real, and I feel more of a bond now, but still not as much as I did when my wife was pregnant with J. So despite being the NGP both times, it feels much different the second time around – probably because there is so much other stuff going on, and probably because it just isn’t quite as life changing as baby #1 was (sorry, baby #2 – we’ll still love you, I swear.)

    Also, those Ansel and Hilda photos are amazing!

  6. I love your posts. Such a great mix of content.

    First things first: adorable child and his “Da-Da” and his language explosions. I love the conversations (well, proto-conversations) at this age. But yeah, definitely need to watch what you say. Lime and I are better at it this time around, but the learning curve is steep for Clementine. Thank goodness she is finally learning how to spell things. (Or maybe not? Nah, it’s probably a good thing.)

    I don’t have much insight into your NGP situation (as you know, I’m the other way around from you) but I think there might be an opportunity to channel some of your energy into sharing the pregnancy with Ansel, and preparing him for the new arrival. Not to distract you from your feelings, of course–knowing what you’re missing out on is HARD–but to bond with him over the fact that you’re in this together, both on the outside, waiting. I felt so guilty every time I felt a wiggle and my wife didn’t–I saw how wistful it made her and I have no doubt I’d feel the same way you do if she had carried after I did. So: No brilliant insights from this NGP, just sympathy and validation.

    As for the police thing, I’ve been thinking about this as well. (I just read The Hate U Give, which I definitely recommend to others out there.) It doesn’t come up, really, in books or playtime at our house, but I do think we’re laying the groundwork for these conversations in at least a few ways. First and foremost, I strongly oppose the good-guy/bad-guy trope. Clementine pops in and out of it when she plays, but when I’m around, I make sure to emphasize that it’s not about being inherently good or bad, but rather, about making good or bad choices. We also talk about trust and power–particularly in regards to the responsibility and relationships–as well as the fact that being a police officer is a job and jobs are things people do, not just things they are. Basically, focusing on actions and impact (decisions have consequences). I like what pajamamama said above about having multiple conversations about issues and letting the connections be made at a later date, when they are specifically relevant to the conversation at hand. My list, like hers, includes prejudice and injustice, and also doing my darnedest to encourage my kids to step outside their own heads and look at situations from another perspective.

    I hope you get some answers about your brain soon!

  7. re: #5: C has told me that she was able to connect a lot more with Olivia once she could feel her from the outside. At that point she would then read to her every night and sing to her and say her name a million times over. It was pretty cute.
    re: #7: I so relate. I have no answers, but am also conscious of it. Also, I do a similar thing with books that have non-inclusive language. I almost always change ‘he’ to ‘she.’ Its so hard, I want to be able to have conversations with Olivia about complex topics and am sort of excited about it and have tried somewhat, but she will normally change the topic and then i realize i’m talking too much. They are still so young. At this point, imo, you are doing the best thing for him to move away from normalizing policing. When they get older we can have critical conversations…

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