Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mood Swing Whiplash and A Little Humble Pie

Good mood alert! It's currently 71 glorious degrees and rainy. I actually almost feel cool. One of the few good things about the third trimester is food tastes amazing. As I was eating a nectarine a few minutes ago I was thinking it was the best nectarine I had ever put in my mouth. God, I adore food. But the really good news? That would be the call I received from T's pediatrician letting me know that his lead level was only 3.5! It needs to be under 5 to be considered normal, so he more than qualifies. Woo fucking hoo! I am so incredibly relieved. And happy.

So clearly I overreacted to the great lead paint scare of '11. But we are going forward with contacting the Lead Abatement folks. And in a way I'm really glad this happened. It is an issue we needed to deal with that got lost in the craziness of the last two years. We will be able to find out how much lead is actually in the house, and we will hopefully be able to take steps to correct the problem. And the doctor was totally cool with retesting him in a year if a lot of lead is found in the house. Bottom line is T is perfectly fine. Which is the real reason I'm a happy camper today. The other stuff is just the cherry on top. 


T and I ventured out in rain to pick out sheets for his big boy bed. We ended up at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and they didn't have a real kids section. But they did have cheap bright colored sheets for college kids. I told T he could pick out the color. The first thing he did was point and say, "Pink!" Yup, he wanted pink. And this was neon pink. I sort of had a headache just looking at it. Now Z and I pride ourselves on our progressive thinking when it comes to gender roles. T loves to play with dolls, he loves to play with tools, he loves to play with kitchen stuff, he loves to play with trucks. We are naturally introducing him to stuff that we love (tools, kitchen stuff), but we are trying not to direct him toward traditional boy stuff. He gets to choose what he likes. 

So I am deeply ashamed and kind of confused to say I didn't want to get him hot pink sheets. I can try to justify it by saying he has never gravitated toward pink. Or that I've always sort of had a problem with pink. It's a charged color when it comes to gender. But the bottom line is I didn't want him to have the damn sheets. We talked about blue, we talked about green, and then he saw the purple. If T does have a favorite color at this point it has got to be purple. He wanted those sheets fiercely. He wanted to hold them on the way to the register. He fell asleep holding them in the car. Yup, for some reason I was totally fine with the purple. Maybe because he has a history with it, maybe I'm justifying again.

Z and I tend to feel very self-satisfied with our liberal parenting ideas (for the record he wanted to know why I didn't just get the hot pink sheets), and frankly with the way we run our marriage. Why just this very morning on FB I poked some gentle fun at the grad students he is teaching this summer who were shocked that I don't make his lunch for him. I hold tight to the idea that no tradition or person is going to dictate my role as a wife. And yet, I've realized there are tons of things I do in our marriage that would be considered traditional wifely duties. Hello, I'm a stay at home mom. I also do almost all the cooking (and I don't consider sandwich making for lunch cooking), except for grilling. Z grills. Z takes out the trash, Z snow blows the driveway, Z mows the lawn. I could go on all day. 

I'm fine with the choices we've made and how we divide responsibility, though. We take on the tasks we don't mind doing. I love cooking. When Z cooks I inevitably take the knife right out of his hand and do it "the right way". I'm a little insufferable. I don't grill because the grill scares me. I just have no desire. And the stuff we both hate? We either don't do it (it's frightening how infrequently the toilets in this house are cleaned) or we share (the dishes...grudgingly). I'm grateful that none of the jobs fall to either of us because they are "supposed to" be men's or women's work. Like ironing. Ha. I don't iron my cloths, so why the hell would I iron Z's? If he wants his shirts pressed he does it himself. We approach our relationship and our parenting as a team. There is no leader, we are equals. And that is exactly how I like it. 

So what was my problem with the pink sheets?

He was desperately trying to open them.

Passed out. Yes, he's still rear facing. I know he turns 2 on Saturday, but it's indisputably safer. And I don't think it's doing him any psychic damage. 

Swinging with Daddy last night. 

He didn't want out of the swing, he just wanted to hang there while Z mowed the lawn. 


  1. I think it was when I was calling my husband in from the backyard saying, "Honey, lunch!" and he had been mowing the lawn, that I had a June Cleaver moment. We kind of fell into that as well. But I'm the one to get rid of rats, spray bleach on mold, etc, because I'm the one who wants them gone the most. He'll pick up the stuff that accumulates 'cause it bothers him, I vaccuum because it bothers me. (But I always leave the vaccuum out.)

    When my mother asked me what I would do if I knew my husband's job depended on how he looked. (i.e. whether his shirts were pressed or not) I told her I'd make sure he ironed his shirts or that I'd take them to a dry cleaner. My mom ironed my t-shirts and jeans as well as my dad's Air Force uniforms for 28 years. Not. My. Job. (KimR)

  2. Hot pink sheets? Are you raising a drag queen? Ru-Paul would be so proud.

    I had Princess Leah sheets and I'm perfect. I'm sure you can find him some Hans Solo sheets online.

  3. J-If I am raising a drag queen my hopes are when he is a teen he'll sit me down to have a serious talk with me about my sad lack of style and then take me shopping to correct the problem.

    And about the sheets-Pottery Barn ( http://bit.ly/ped7NC )
    is reproducing sheets from the original Star Wars. They are the same print that Z had on his bed growing up. My mom got them for T for Christmas, but we didn't have room to get them back up here. She is driving them up because my folks are coming to help with New Guy. But we want to get him in the bed now and we'll need at least 2 sets anyway. Although there is an Empire Strike Back set available now. He might be asking for those for Christmas this year...