metaphortunate: (kissy emoticons)
Last month we were over at a friend's house for dinner and they had ice cream for dessert. A flavor and brand of ice cream I had never had before. I can't tell you what it was, because I tried it, and then I gave myself another whole scoop and very carefully did not look at the carton while I did it. See, at this age, it turns out I feel better if I eat sweets in a reasonable quantity and do not, say, hide in the bathroom while my kids are eating healthy dinner and scarf ice cream instead every day all week. Which is the temptation I would be fighting every day if I knew how to get more of this ice cream. And I'm not going to tell you any more about it because you will FIND IT, I know you people.

But for my birthday, Mr. E bought me a pint of it, and then he took it out of its carton and put it in the freezer in a different container, and then he told me about it. So I can have some ice cream and yet continue in my chosen ignorance. He's a sweetheart.
metaphortunate: (Default)
Welp. My trousers gave up the unequal fight on Friday. I told my boss yesterday. This morning we told the Junebug that Mama had a baby in her belly. He poked my belly and said "Baby*!" It's probably time to tell the internet.

Hypo** is due to be released in September.

So, yes: originally I didn't want any kids. Then I decided I wanted one. Now I have decided that I want two. Possibly it's for the best that the inescapable realities of aging are going to cap it there. Not that I have any desire for three, mind you; but then, ten years ago, I didn't have any desire for one.

Part of it, of course, is that the Junebug is wonderful. In fact, that's what kills me: all I want is another Junebug! This little guy is so great! And that, of course, is the only thing I know for sure that I won't get, because as every single person with more than one kid tells me, every baby is different. I know that! I do! I'm just really sad about it!

But mostly it's that Mr. E has turned out to be such an amazing dad. I mean, to be real: we talked a lot about being equal parents, before the baby came, but a lot of guys talk a good game. You don't really know what someone's going to be like until they're in the middle of it. And he's been the best. He stays home with the Junebug one day a week. He makes his lunch to take to daycare every day. He puts him to bed half the time now that he's not nursing anymore. He stays home with the Junebug when the baby is sick. (When he's sick in advance. I'm the one who leaves work when he unexpectedly gets sick at daycare. That is the Deal. Turns out these Deals can take on Jackson's Whole-level importance, when you're negotiating how to raise a little dude.) We took shifts at night when the baby was tiny. He washed all the pumping stuff when I was pumping - that's a bigger deal than you may think. One, the time adds up, and two, I have eczema, so washing dishes is painful. I am so impressed with single parents now. I kind of think our country should not only give them a stipend but also possibly some kind of medal and and free babysitting and maybe special parking spaces. I would pay more taxes for that. I would say I can't imagine doing this alone but actually I can. Oh, I can. Vividly.

And yeah, there are downsides to everything, and we fight about all the Junebug's food and stuff because we're both so invested in raising our kid. But there's no other way I'd rather do it. So, to my surprise, I could totally see having another kid with this guy. And so we're gonna.

*One of the Junebug's daycare teachers has a new baby, 4 or 5 months old, and she's brought him in for the toddlers to see a couple of times. The Junebug knows his name and when I say his name says "Baby! Baby!" I'm very pleased he's learning about babies. Specifically, about being gentle with the baby.

**Hypo is short for "Hypothetical Baby To Be Named Later". I kind of hate it as a nickname, and it really won't work well eventually. But it's what we started calling the hypothetical baby when we were in discussions about whether there would even be another baby, hypothetically, and despite my best efforts to come up with an alternative, it's just…stuck.
metaphortunate: (Default)
I was saying elsewhere, in context, that I have a job and a toddler and I just do not have time right now for personal growth and learning. I've been thinking more about that. It's a lie. Let me do myself - and Mr. E - justice. Right now we are both having personal growth out the ass.

See, we had a really good decade-long relationship based largely on extremely good boundaries about our personal decisions and understanding what wasn't any of each other's goddamn business. That sounds harsh, but it really isn't; it's based on respect and mutual trust. You might be surprised how many decisions just don't have to be joint ones, even when you live with someone, if you don't want them to be. And when we did make joint decisions, we had developed this skill of being able to tell pretty well who the decision was more important to, and having that person make the decision. I mean, as a system it sounds really vulnerable to abuse and I guess it is, but if you're both doing it in good faith, it works great. It did.

And now we have the Junebug, and every single goddamn decision about him is a joint decision. Every single decision is both our business, and we both care. We both care so much. So we're having to develop entirely new ways to talk to each other and make decisions and manage conflict and I'm so tired. I mean, and I'm so lucky. I know that. I'm so happy I have a partner who cares that much. I'm so happy I have another parent for the Junebug instead of a guy who "helps". But my Christ, are we having personal growth.

There's no personal growth from fun that I know of. You never hear people say "You know that relaxing vacation where nothing went wrong, I wouldn't give up that experience if I could, it made me who I am today." No fucking growth in your comfort zone, you have to have it in your Uncomfortable As Shit Zone. Which is where I live now. To be fair, I must admit that the company is great here. But the theme activities suck.

baby sign

Jan. 28th, 2013 08:42 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
Since people have asked, the story of the Junebug's signing:

Mr. E studied ASL for years, and though he would not say that he is fluent in it, he used to be able to "get by", though he's out of practice now. Still, he loves the language, and he wanted us to teach the baby sign. So he wanted me to take a class. He really wanted me to learn ASL so we could better teach the baby. And in a moment of weakness I agreed to take at least one semester of it. Related to something I was saying elsewhere: I had a moment of thinking, surely I will pull more organization out of my ass somehow and stretch my limits and Learn (it's good to acquire Knowledge, right?) and even though I don't want to, it'll just be one semester. Well, I got pregnant, and I was exhausted, and I was volunteering for FOGcon, and eventually I threw a giant shit fit over the fact that I did not WANT to spend a huge chunk of my last precious free time for six years or so taking an evening class in a language that I wasn't even slightly interested in. And I wasn't going to. Mr. E was obviously angry at me for refusing to do something that I had said I would. But I was angry because I felt like he had badgered me into it. And in the end I simply refused, and he couldn't make me, so there it lay.

In due time the Junebug was born. And then a friend of Mr. E's, who had had a baby about 3 months before us, asked if we wanted to take a baby sign class with them. There was this place that sort of did baby sign Tupperware parties: Mr. E's friend and his wife had six other couples round to their place once a week for a couple of months, and this guy - a hearing guy who had Deaf parents - showed up from the organization, with some songs to sign along to and some flash cards and such, and we had an hour or two of baby sign lessons. So we did it. And it was great. The Junebug and all the other babies were way too young to pick up any of it, of course. The guy taught the parents.

It was great largely just because it was a standing once-a-week social activity with other parents that we didn't have to plan or organize, and we got to see other people and their babies and how they were doing, and get out of the house, and so on. But also it turned out that in a fun social atmosphere I picked up a bunch of baby sign, and enjoyed it. So ever since then, because it became fun, I always used it with the baby, and am always asking Mr. E for more nouns, and the daycare uses it too, so the Junebug has picked up ASL nouns quite naturally. The daycare teachers are the ones who taught him the sign for "diaper".

I'm actually having a much harder time trying to get him to have some Spanish. :( Sign is easy because I don't have to do it instead of English, I can do it at the same time. I mean, I don't know the ASL for everything I say, but I can ask "Do you want some more raspberries, or are you all done with lunch?" and sign "raspberries" and "all done". I guess I could try to say everything twice, once in English once in Spanish. :( Gah, another chore to take on.
metaphortunate: (extra butter less nutmeg)
Mr. E continues in his quest to make the perfect home-made sugar-free ice cream. He thinks he's worked out what went wrong last time. The key was noticing that when he dumped the leftover ice cream in the sink, it didn't melt overnight. Too much xanthan gum, he thinks.


Mar. 8th, 2012 08:44 pm
metaphortunate: (kissy emoticons)
Me: "Did you notice he's babbling now, like proper babbling? He says 'ba ba ba' and 'ga ga ga' all the time. Like a real baby!"

Mr. E: "Yeah! Sometimes he accidentally says words! Like, the other day he said 'Gaia'! But there wasn't any thought behind it. It was just a random set of syllables without meaning, just like when any newage hippie says it."
metaphortunate: (fandom)
[personal profile] thefourthvine did a recs set of Stories That Will Make You Uncomfortable And You Will Love It. And I must second the recommendation for "The Death of Narcissa Black: A Potion." Because it is amazing and terrible. And, you know, not that it resonates or anything. hahaha*sob*

The other thing I've been reading is Fearless Formula Feeder. Cause it turns out when I'm back at work I can't pump enough to feed the kid exclusively on milk. And yes, it cost me a few tears. I honestly do not think that formula is a bad thing. But I suspect there's an instinct to feed your kid and to freak out if you feel like you can't. At least until it sinks into your brain that the kid is still getting fed.

You know, though. One of the things that blogger says is a reason not to breastfeed, is that it makes the mom have to be the primary caretaker, and that it doesn't allow the other parent to bond with the baby as well. I call bullshit. You know what makes the mom be the primary caretaker? The fact that the mom is so frequently the only one who gets leave. When we brought the Junebug home from the hospital, and Mr. E and I were both on leave, I barely changed a diaper until he went back to work. I handled input, he handled output. When I was having trouble nursing: if I was nursing and crying, he was sitting next to me on the couch, holding my hand, getting me drinks, taking the baby out of the room so I could get a break and sleep for an hour. He's always been better at swaddling the Junebug and he's probably better at getting him to go to sleep. I would not be nursing today if it hadn't been for Mr. E, he was the key to making that work. My going back to work has been 1000x easier because Mr. E was actually able to split his leave and so I have left the baby home with his dad for a few weeks, which means I know he's okay as I adjust to being back at work. And so few dads have the option of being there for their families like that.


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