Monday, January 31, 2011

The Quiet Conclusion

Potty training week trickled to a close. Sammy got sick, like throw-up sick, and Amari was certainly not performing without Sammy sitting there with her, so that was that. I don't believe that kids with diarrhea should wear anything but diapers, but once things are back to normal we will carry on.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? A Parent's Guide to Raising Multiracial Children" by Donna Jackson Nakazama

The topic of racial identity has been on my mind lately. Partly because we are now living in a very white area and I want my kids to not be racist, or think that white is the norm and every other color of skin is abnormal; and partly because my little niece and nephew are biracial being raised in a white family. I've been reading lots of blogs dealing with the issue of racial identity and I just finished reading this book about it--I just picked it out at random from the library catalog but it was good. I just wanted to share a few things:
I'm not going to raise my kids "color-blind;" to teach them that color and race don't matter. In our society, race does make a difference in how people are treated. Don't believe me? Ask someone who's not white or in a interracial marriage if race has made a difference to them. It could be an insightful conversation.
I am going to help my kids process racial differences. At this age, it will be by checking out books from the library about mixed families and books that feature children of more than one race.
I'm not going to stare at multiracial families in the grocery store and try to figure out "what" they are. Or ask them, "What are you?" Apparently this is a big problem--people see families that don't fit into racial categories in their mind and just have to figure them out. Then they ask intrusive questions.
I'm not going to make jokes or broad categorizations about people of other races.
I have more, but my child's awake so I'll cut it short there.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Double Trouble: The Thrilling Saga Continues

Day 2: Sammy impresses by peeing 3 times in the toilet, with 0 accidents. The downside: she spends most of the day sitting on the potty with Mom (me) entertaining her. And she pooped right after she went to bed. The main reason I'm potty training is so I don't have to change gross adult-poop diapers from my 2 1/2 year old. The first day we were about ready to give up on Cousin Amari, but then she peed twice in the toilet on the morning of Day 2. Success! The day went downhill for her from there though, with 3 accidents and a newfound fear of pooping on the toilet.
This day reminds me of a journal entry from right after Sammy was born: "Being a mom means dealing with poop." I never thought that as an intelligent adult I would end up so involved in my child's bodily functions: cleaning up, planning for, talking about, etc. But the sad fact is, Sammy doesn't care about my English degree; she cares about how many books I read to her on the toilet.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Double Trouble

This week I'm potty training Sammy (2 1/2) and my niece, who is two. First, we bought lots of salty snacks at Target to make them thirsty. Next, we bought lots of kool-aid for them to drink so they would have to go frequently. Also cool panties to wear and a timer. Then Eeyore put on a pair of panties and showed them how to use the potty, wipe, and flush. Mom (me) got to make pee noises. There was laughter all around.
They spent the entire morning sitting on the potty or sitting on special waterproof mats. Result: One pee accident from each child, (neither one was on the waterproof mat) two cold showers, three pairs of panties down (one from a spilled juice cup), and a nice little tantrum from my child.
But am I discouraged? No. I have figured out that Amari does the classic leg cross when she has to go and Sammy freaks out. So we'll see how this afternoon goes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Parenting, Inc." by Pamela Paul

This is the book I'm in the middle of reading right now. The basic premise is that parenting has turned into an industry that is trying to sell us a lot of crap that we don't need and that we should just let our kids go back to playing with pots and pans. It's always nice to read a book that gives you a self-righteous glow of satisfaction that your own viewpoints have been validated.
I mean, it's really true that my kids don't need most of the stuff that's out there to buy. That laundry basket full of small toys that I gathered up from the living room this morning? I could throw all of them away and Sammy wouldn't even notice they were gone. And she has a lot less toys than some of her little friends. You know, maybe I could keep playing "Princess" with her in her favorite Sunday dress instead of buying (another) official Disney Princess dress. I could keep letting her play with her bucket and cup in the tub instead of buying her all those foam letters and numbers that have been on my Amazon wish list. I could keep checking out books from the library instead of buying her those great LeapFrog movies. But the average American kid gets 40 new toys a year. I don't want my child to fall behind! So I'm off to Target. Right after we watch this educational tv show that will teach her to love reading...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Absence

I was reading the few blog posts I had before I decided that blogging was too much work and too much like writing in my journal. It was kind of fun. So now I'm going to start blogging again. And the topic of the day is: Cafe Rio Pork Salad. I made a copycat recipe last night. It tasted amazing but I spent most of the afternoon doing prep work for it and we didn't end up eating until 6:30. I think that just for two people, it would have been cheaper to just go to Cafe Rio. Sammy doesn't eat Cafe Rio but when we are out and about and we ask Sammy where she wants to go eat, she will always shout "Cafe Rio, Cafe Rio!" So someday, she will actually want to eat it, and when that day comes, I will try the homemade version agian.