Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Life and how to live it

OK, was the woman at the store yesterday being rude because of race or not?

This question hasn't come up often for me, as my children rock, and we are just leaving the cute baby age where no one says ANYTHING, except, isn't the baby beautiful, AND I couldn't be whiter if I tried. So, why would I think of race first? In fact, on a plane to Oklahoma with baby man, 5 plus years ago, some sweet passenger said, he looks just like you. I screamed in my head, JUST LIKE ME IF I WERE GUATEMALAN, right!

But, almost 6 is going through a phase of contrariness and surprise hyperactivity (we call it spazzy) perhaps as an attempt to get attention after the arrival of his dear baby sister, maybe due to too much apple juice. So, here we were at the check out counter of the store he didnt want to go to and he was helping put groceries on the conveyor belt and he started tossing the food up there, a bit wildly and the check out clerk came down on him like a load of bricks. Was it because he was brown? HOW DO YOU KNOW?

Of course, I start mentally checking us out. How do we appear? We were all in our dog clothes from walking the dog and I looked at him and he had some extra smile from some miscellaneous food or beverage and is badly in need of a haircut, even perhaps a meeting with a hair-brush, and there I am in my Target Tie Dye, the baby carrier, with Miss Thing, who is BLACK and my dog clothes, so not our white table cloth best, but....if he were white, he would just have that summertime unkempt look, so Martha's Vinyard, CA style...we were just walking the dog, right?

I have read as a family of color you need to watch what you wear more. I do believe it is true.

She back pedaled, and as he was being spazzy, I didn't intervene. (Was that a MISTAKE?) We talked about it in the car and I said it had made me really mad that she told him to behave, as he was my child, but I also said he needed to think about behaving in public some. (After the conveyor belt incident, he went to tease the baby, probably in an attempt to be cure, and bit her foot...the baby cried. PERFECT timing, my kind, generous, excellent son.) I, at the time, decided that the natural consequence of the first situation was that he have to listen to her opinions on the matter, but I worry that I may need to protect him more. The natural consequence of the small nibble was to decamp and get OUT of the store.

Until I did the double take about what we looked like, I didnt even THINK of RACE. Why? Because I am white, why would race be important? But, there was something in the quickness of her snap. OK, maybe she is a snappy person at the end of her shift, but, he is just 5....and gorgeous (not that I am biased or anything), and my kid. So what if he is a bit sloppy after a dog walk, right?

Why is it always at the grocery store? Wall-Mart, Safeway, filling in your brand here....

The bummer is that there is no way to tell, was it because of race or not, but to be brown in this world (with a black sister) and have people treat you decently is not always easy. We are beginning to learn that together, but ultimately, it will be his job.

I don't want him unprepared. I don't know if I can prepare him.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

She crawls, she is on the move

Okay, old news now, but miss B crawls. She is an expert.

On the 21st of July she moved two inches forward in the morning and 2 inches in the afternoon, and was delighted and a bit freaked out. She had been going backwards for a while, but on Sunday July 25, two months after she came home, she started crawling. She is amazing. She has immediately started sitting on her heals and trying to think about being upright. WOW. Balance is a trip for her, so today alone she fell three times and cried. Oh well. That is what the cranial work is for, right?

The Cranial Massage is going great. Her head is way more symmetrical, and she has relaxed a ton. Her muscles are much less tense, I'd say a bit more than 50% of the way there and her nervous system much more integrated. She is very, very active, but she finally likes the Ergo carrier. I have used the Bjorn, but it it an old style and hurts my back.

Young Master E is sick. He got a high fever last Tuesday night and had to miss fishy camp for the rest of the week. An icky virus that wasnt strep, which is a bacterial infection. Didnt eat anything for a week. Struggled to get him to swallow some liquids, but luckily he stayed hydrated enough. A diet of ginger ale, TV and I-Pad makes a fever boy okay, I guess. He always runs a high fever, so with Advil it goes down to 101, and without it hits 103 and above pretty much right away. Sore throat, two doctor visits, and now, he STILL has a small fever. He is better, but it isnt quite done. Darn it. The doctor at the after hours clinic this weekend said if he still had a fever on Monday, he should get a test for mono. Bummer.

The plus is, MDH was home. He hung with E and I hung with missy almost all weekend. She and I slept in E's bed of all places. She is really calming down and starting to prefer me. We went to a Party for Carolyn visiting from France and B was really happy to see people and readily went to them with no obvious distress. Happy to see her auntie Beth and godfather Ed, laughed outright at Ted and loved up Kristen and was happy with Carolyn and Chris's friend Judy., she was clingy and wouldn't sleep for more than 30 minutes at a stretch. I guess I should keep her a bit closer, but she needs to move with the crawling thing. FLOOR TIME. I must get on the floor a bunch, hang out and be with her. I did today, and I also carried her when she got upset. She LOVES the new carrier and looks up, sees me, and cracks up. We went on a nice walk and she fell asleep. floor time, carry time, floor time, sleep.

A nice part about E being sick is she and I have hung out and connected, meeting just a bit more. E is an amazing brother and loves to play with her. It is hard to keep them apart. I hope we all stay healthy. Bummer is I sort of miss him, even though he is around. Just we are not as in sync.

Such an amazing experience, to have the two of them in our lives. We are so incredibly lucky they came home to us. I try to remember that when I am cranky, tired of doing the mounds of dishes, tired of playing BATMAN or BEN 10, and I dont want to clean up the cereal that I let her play with and now has hardened on the high chair. I didnt let E do that kind of thing and he hates getting messy. it almost killed me today to let her do it and I made her take a shower afterward. She loved it.

We did two activities from the OUT OF SYNC CHILD HAS FUN, and incredible book my sister lent to me, which has great ideas for things to do with all kids. Wrapped E up like a mummy, twice and did some shaving cream craziness and E "shaved" with his father. He didnt want us to post the picture, so I wont, but boy he was cute. Tomorrow, he is going to become a burrito and a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly.

E missed Andrea. So do I.

We were going to grandma's tomorrow, but I have to wait and see what the doctor says and if he has a fever still. Bummer.

I am so glad no one else got the virus as it was icky.

Found some amazing sponsorship programs today. One for Guatemala and one for Ethiopia. Here is what I found:

With the economic downturn many people are having to not sponsor their children. Help them stay in school.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures....

Finally, some pictures to you are, shots of the summer:

B's first Tea Party

Chillin' by the Pool with Mom

Dance all night

Today in the sun

And for the record:

Big and Little, Breakfast

In the play-yard with Cousin

B & E