Friday, April 25, 2008


I am feeling it this semester. Six classes, two very active committees, Will going through potty training and communicating almost entirely via high pitched whines. Add the computer issues at school which are making my work exceedingly difficult, and the general lack of sleep and I am feeling "creve" (a great French term, literally "flat" as in Flat Tire.) Clearly my grammar is suffering as well.

My hope is that in two weeks, I will get a rest, and things will be easier during the summer session (one class only). I need to recharge the batteries before 3 enters the picture or I am in trouble!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Potty Training Blues

Our original plan with Will, was to get him some underwear, make it known to him, and let him decide when he was 'ready.' The plan seemed to be working like a charm, he was excited about the 'panties' and even sat on the potty a couple of times, even at his school interview. But then, things slowed down, he started to get more clingy, and we haven't been able to so much get him to consider it.
So we decided to go 'cold (wet) turkey.' No more diapers (except at night). He puts on his underwear and we do our best to get him to a potty as often as we can. he is very resistant to the prospect of going there, but usually once there we can get him distracted enough to eventually stop crying and pee (fergawdsake).

In related news, these trips have afforded Will opportunity to check out that bit of apparatus between his legs. The verdict? That thing is fun! You can do all sorts of stuff with it, and if your play with it long enough it grows! Wow!

Carly relates this tale of a recent trip to the potty:
So he is sitting on the potty, because he said he needed to pee (not because I was making him). And he is playing with himself. To which I say, "Will, you can't make a pee pee if you are playing with your penis, please just point it down." His response, "Wait wait mommy, watch this first" he then pinches his penis about half way down and wiggles the top half back and forth, and then laughing says: "That's how a hippopotamus dances!"

So true.
Will was 2 for 3 today. One accident, but 2 successful trips to the restroom!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Look kids a Hawk!..... eating a squirrel.... what a great educational opportunity

Yeah. It was actually pretty interesting. A hawk was sitting atop our neighbors' swing set ripping apart the fluffy rodent. Here is a some trivia for you. It takes a remarkably long time for a hawk to eat a young squirrel. Mercifully, the swingset is a good hundred feet or so (fifty?), so while we could clearly see what was going on, we were spared the gore.
I did call the neighbors to warn them before the kids went out to play.

Genderization, Genderfication, Gendermaking

"Girls like Pink
Boys like Blue (and Pink)
Girls like dolls
Boys like airplanes"

We've made a pretty conscientious effort not to promote gender roles with our kids.
Will dons a tutu to dance along song Sophie. Sophie enjoys soccer and playing with the toy airplanes (to a point). Our stories are selected to avoid reinforcing stereotypes. The kids do not watch commercial TV. In short, we do everything short of taking things out of our kids hands, or forcing them to wear or play with something. Well almost nothing. We do tend to buy clothes in the "gendered" sections. Sophie has dresses, Will does not. We let Sophie's hair grow long, Will gets a shorter crop, so we are not perfectly neutral. But we do try .

Of course, they are exposed to other kids, and get a lot from that. And there are still the unavoidable adverts in stores and billboards and the like.

I've noticed an acceleration of this lately, Sophie is less interested in cars and trucks, or planes. Will will play with stuffed animals, but doesn't much care to play "mommy" anymore. (His 'I'm a mommy possum' was one of the cutest things of all time). We still do our best to renounce stereotyping of "boys do this, girls do that" sort of stuff, and make an effort to promote examples of girls interested in science and sports, and boys cooking and caring, but there is a leviathan of resistance.

I am not overly worried, but it is interesting to watch how insidious the gender-roles can be.