Monday, April 28, 2008

Re-Cap of the Past Few Days

  • After my parents left on Wednesday we were back to our usual fending-for-ourselves in the dual-career-couple-with-young-children craze that we call our life. We try not to complain because we embrace the challenge... but... it is not easy-- this set-up that we've got going on. Anyone trying to juggle the dual-career+family thing knows exactly what I'm talking about. But throw in the no-family-anywhere-close-by thing and it just makes it even more insane. The world is not set up for people like us. The vast majority of our social structure operates in opposition to us (sorry, sometimes I can't help but to slip the sociology in). So the fact that we usually feel like we are swimming up stream is no surprise. Anyway... with the boys out of school for April Break, and me with my last week of the semester, and Braydon with his usual 2-full-time-careers-at-once (don't forget folks, he's got a huge corporate career and an independent business that he's trying to get off the ground), plus add in that I'm 9 months pregnant and our boys are -- um, shall we say, active -- well, it was just plain a heck of a week. Alex is a lifesaver of a nanny. She keeps us afloat. But it was just a heck of a week. I was out for work functions/dinners/events 3 out of the 5 days last week (and it would have been 4 out of 5 if I hadn't insisted on cancelling one of the nights in order to get some rest). Thank God my parents were here Fri-Wed or we would have been in very bad shape.
  • Friday afternoon the boys spent a couple of hours on campus with one of my black students that they adore. She took them to a cookout with a bunch of other black students. They liked going to the cookout, eating hot dogs, etc... but most importantly K & O got to hang out with some very cool college students -- or so we hear. Apparently there was some "very good" music "playing loudly" at this cookout and the "big guys" were hooting and hollering with the tunes because Kyle has been imitating it off-and-on ever since. So cute-- but truly impossible to describe here in words how he's been doing it. Owen was proud to report that one of the guys had: "beautiful dreadlocks just like me and Kyle!" and that the dreadlocks were "the same but different - the same dreadlocks but longer!" These times are very good for the boys. The key seems to be for Braydon and I to give them these chances to hang out with black folks without us around. When Braydon and I are added into the mix the entire dynamic changes. Those times are good too. But there is something very special, and I think very important, about K & O getting to be surrounded by black communities without B & I present. At this age they are definitely starting to connect themselves to being a part of a group of people -- black people -- that Braydon and I will never be able to be fully a part of. It requires us letting go, but I feel really strongly that our letting go in this sense is actually our way of embracing our boys tighter. It is a strange and ironic aspect of our cross-racial parenting.
  • Saturday Alex babysat all day so that Braydon and I could attend our one-day-intensive Lamaze class. We got a lot out of the class and we are so glad we did it. Despite having both already read many many books (including the classic Lamaze book cover to cover), we learned more from that one class than from all of the books combined.
  • Sunday was a Family Day to try to re-bond and re-connect after an over-the-top week. We did our favorite day trip: New Hope. And did all of our favorite things there: fed the ducks, ate lunch on the porch at the Logan Inn, luxuriated in our favorite French Bakery (the boys chose a "chocolate cup" -- an entirely edible cup made of chocolate and filled with chocolate mousse), took a beautiful spring ride on the New Hope - Ivyland train (major highlight for K & O), and shopped for Baby Sister at our favorite New Hope baby boutique. It was a near perfect day for us despite the fact that the weather was overcast and unseasonably cool.
  • Today the boys went back to school. When Kyle stumbled into our bedroom this morning after having just woken up he said, "Today is a school day?" And I said, "Yes." And he said, "Yiiipppppeeeeeee!!!!!" and threw his hands up into the air. All I could think was, 'Please dear Lord let him still feel that way about school ten years from now!'
  • Updates: Owen's belly button is totally healed and looks great-- he is beyond thrilled with his "innie." Kyle is sleeping with no pull up and is making it through the nights dry with only rare accidents-- he is so proud of himself. Braydon and I could not be more delighted that as long as all continues to go well we will only be continuing to buy Pampers for 2 instead of 3 (diapers for Baby Sister and night-time-Pull-Ups for only Owen).
  • Speaking of Baby Sister... the boys are getting very excited for her arrival. She's probably mentioned at least 20 times per day. The latest is that they want to know "how many more sleeps until she is born?" I wish we could answer that question conclusively for them-- it is very hard for them to understand why we can't give them a number. We continue to get more and more set for her arrival. The to-do list is getting shorter and shorter (still long, but much shorter!). Due date = 2.5 weeks from now. Wowsers.
  • Everything is now in high-gear for the boys' 4th b-day party. The party is this Sunday, even though their actual b-day is May 8. Big happenings here in preparation for all of their friends to come for the big bash. K & O are very specific about it all -- my job is simply to make all of their dreamy party details a reality. It is fun fun fun.
  • K & O are in an intensely twinny-twinny-same-same-match-to-match phase. They want everything identical. They conspire together at all times to ensure that everything is as "match-to-match" as possible. They want to wear exactly the same outfits. They want the same exact food to eat at every meal or snack. They want to play the same thing as each other all day long. They want their b-day cakes to be identical. It drives me nuts and I try to get them to choose different things and express their own preferences. Problem is that their preference is "the same!!!" always. They conference in together before they answer my questions-- i.e., "What do you want to drink? Milk or Juice?", then the two of them huddle face to face and discuss the question as if it were a U.N. conference on major world issues, then they pop up out of their huddle and announce their decision in unison. Bizarre twinny stuff folks. Just bizarre. The same-exact-birthday-cake thing really has me spinning but Braydon keeps me grounded and reminds me, "It is their birthday, if they want the same cakes, then they can have the same cakes." He's right. But really, it is just weird to watch twins like these sometimes.
  • The other night Kyle explained to us that "God paints" people the colors that they are. I.e., God "painted" K & O brown and "painted" Braydon and I white. He went on to explain that, basically, God can re-paint people to "switch their color skin." I.e., "if Alex wants to be brown then God can paint her brown." Interesting, interesting stuff. Especially given that we have been very explicit (especially lately, with Baby Sister's impending arrival) about the reality that people's skin color is determined by their biological parents' skin color. We have tried to figure out where he got this 'God painting' idea. Turns out he has come up with this entirely on his own. He's not quite on track with accuracy. But the boy is a little theologian -- you heard it here first.
  • Ever since MorFar was here Owen is obsessed with baseball. He plays for hours in the yard hitting the baseball by himself. He throws the ball up in the air with one hand while holding the baseball bat in the other hand, then swings at it. At least half the time he hits huge hits this way. When he's doing this out in the yard he looks like a 12 year old, not a 3 year old. He says he wants to "hit the ball so hard just like Manny Ramirez." He's got a long way to go to make it to the Red Sox. But the boy is a little athlete -- you heard it here first.
  • The lilacs are now blooming. There is nothing like the smell of lilacs.

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