Monday, August 11, 2008

Open Book Answers PART II (by H)

Do you feel like adults/parents now or like you are playing house? Do you have any regrets with raising the twins that you want to change with raising Meera? ~Cassidy: I totally understand your question! In all honesty, I usually do not feel like an adult! I feel like I’m about 16 years old and sometimes I can barely believe it that I’m 35 about to turn 36. OMG!!! So, I don’t really “feel” like a grown up most of the time. Often I feel like an impostor and it is hard for me to believe that others think I'm a grown up (often this is especially true when I'm playing the role of Professor!) But I have to be honest: when we got K & O home and we were *parents* it really hit me that we were responsible for them in every single possible way --- and that they were totally utterly dependent on us… and us alone. That kind of made me feel like a true ‘parent’ real fast! So, I still find it hard to believe that I’m technically considered a ‘grown up,’ and that people view me as an ‘adult,’ but I do definitely feel like a parent. Weird, I know. Basically, I just *feel* so young that it is hard to believe that some people my age are actually complaining of things like achy muscles and saying stuff like, “We’re too old for this!” That is just very foreign to me. I can't imagine doing that ever, even when I'm twice the age I am now (but then again, I have a mom who is pushing 60 and tubing with her grandsons! and a dad who is [ah hem] past 60 and pulling the tube in the motorboat!!!)... so I have good genes and good role models! :) About ‘playing house’—yes, every once in a while I do sorta feel like we’re playing house. But then the bills come in the mail, or the washing machine dies, or the yard needs to be cleaned up… and it suddenly feels very, very, very REAL! LOL!!! Re: regrets about the twins to change with Meera—the biggest regret is their sleeping. We really struggled with getting them to bed/nap/sleep from that we brought them home all the way until they were about 3. It was BAD. A lot of it was completely related to adoption stuff… some of it was completely related to twin stuff… but some of it was our fault too. Braydon and I are totally committed to doing everything possible so that doesn’t happen with Meera! We’re on the right track so far (she’s a GREAT sleeper so far) and we are hoping to keep it that way!

What I'm wondering, is if you could do it all over again, would you give birth first, and then adopt, or do it the same way you did? ~Kelly: We’d do it exactly precisely the same way we did it! It has been an awesome, awesome journey and we would not change a thing!!

Where do the nicknames MorMor and MorFar come from? ~Laura: My side of the family is almost 100% Swedish. “MorMor” and “MorFar” are the traditional Swedish names for grandparents – MorMor = Mother’s Mother / MorFar = Mother’s Father

Do you belong to a religious/spiritual community? ~Theresa: Yes. We are very, very spiritual people. We are trying to raise our kids with a very spiritual dimension to our parenting. In terms of religion… We are semi-religious. We are technically Lutheran (ELCA) and are members of a Lutheran church near us. My parents are very active in the Lutheran Church. Braydon and I go through waves of going to church regularly and not going at all. Right now we’re in a not-going-at-all-phase. We’re actively seeking a new church that will be more ‘black.’ We are in the process of looking right now actually. We’ll very likely end up at a predominantly black church because we’re having trouble finding an integrated church that we like (like in terms of the actual religion part) and for numerous reasons we are not comfortable right now putting K & O into a white church. Big question you asked. Hard to write a short answer. Hope this will suffice.

So did it take you a long time to learn how to twist and loc the boys hair? Also are they "tender headed" or well behaved when you do the hair? ~Glamah16/Courtney: It took awhile to get the hang of twisting/loc’ing the boys hair. It probably took me about six months before I felt really comfortable with it. But I had been doing their hair (non dreadlocks) for a full year before I started their locs. I still love to chat with black women about hair – I love getting new tips and tricks and swapping hair stories, etc. Braydon started helping a while into the whole thing. He still struggles a bit with it (and relies on me for a lot of moral support when he’s doing the boys’ hair) but he’s actually really good! The boys are definitely not tender headed. They rarely complain. They are pretty well behaved when we do their hair (and I’m pretty tough on them when I do hair)… but then again, they don’t know any different so they don’t even know *not* to behave! They have no choice! LOL! Look here for a big post if you haven’t seen it already:

How many minutes per day do you spend blogging? ~Christina: Probably on average about 30 minutes per day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Usually I blog at night, after the boys go to bed and the house is all cleaned up and the day is done. It is my way to unwind. My current hobby. My current creative outlet. My scrapbook for the future. My journal. I've always written in a journal ever since I was about 16 years old. Now I write here. Some people exercise, some people read, some people bake, some people garden, some people knit, some people scrapbook, some people watch t.v...... I don't do any of those things- instead I blog. At least for now.
How many other blogs do you read daily? ~Jabber: The only blog I read every day religiously without fail is the Livesay’s blog -- I check it at least once a day. I look at other blogs pretty regularly (every few days), but the Livesay blog is the only one that is a daily read for me.

Can you recommend a project/charity/non-profit that helps out Haiti? ~Brittany: I get this question a lot actually. I always recommend The Livesays -- If that isn't what you're looking for be in touch with me and I can give you other recommendations.

My question is, do you intend for K & O to learn Creole/French in the future, as that is what they would speak in Haiti? ~Tasha: K & O had only ever heard Creole when we adopted them. But they weren’t speaking yet, as they were only 8 months old when we brought them home. We will not force them to learn Creole or French in the future, it won't be mandatory. But we’ll be totally psyched if they want to learn and we’ll be very supportive and proud if they go for it. That is something that will be entirely up to them.

At what point did you feel the boys were securely bounded? ~Anonymous: It took about 1 year… just about 1 year to the day! It was noticeable and striking to us.

Do you have any other nicknames for Kyle and Owen other than Ky Ky, K, and O? And how do you refer to them when talking to Meera? (i.e. your brothers, bubbies,etc)? ~Kathrin: Kyle is Ky Ky; Ky; K; Big K. Owen often calls Kyle “Kikes.” Owen is O; Big O; O-Bo. Braydon and I call the both boys Baby Boy; Big Boy; Buddy; Bud; Sweetie Pie. I often call them Sweet Potato Pie. Braydon often calls them Dude (as in, ‘what’s up dude?!’) or Man (as in, ‘yeah Man!’). When talking to Meera we refer to them as ‘your brothers’; or ‘your big brothers’; and mostly ‘your crazy brothers’! ;)


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for answering. I fell I can learn so much - especially having a newly adopted 8month old at home.
As alwasy I love the pictures.


Safiya said...

Hi Prof. J!!! :-) I LOOVE reading you guys' blog and now that we're expecting our first little one, it is all the more informative (and still uber entertaining!). I don't have a question, but I do have a tip for you.

I've been locing my hair now for almost 4 years and I recently started helping my sister to maintain my 2 year old nephew's as well. As I'm sure you know with the boys', when they're active it can feel like MONTHS go by before you get a good tight twist again.

What I've started doing with my nephew - and my own hair since it's growing like crazy from the pregnancy - is adding "knots" at the base before I actually twist. It encourages new growth to loc more quickly and keeps the tight, freshly-twisted look a bit longer.

To "knot" it you part the new growth with your finger and pull the loc through. For my nephew, I typically do this 2-3 times per loc depending on the amount of new growth. Then twist/palm roll as usual.

...just thought I'd share! Hope all is well...

Safiya (Jafari) Simmons

Anonymous said...

Hello Hello! my bff (still a lurker) and i were reading away when she couldn't believe owen called kyle "kikes" i thought it was cute but she says it's derogatory to jews. news to me, but i looked at online etymology and sure enough.. and anyway, just wanted to share in case it's news to y'all too -lol, we're discussing this at the workplace and they can't believe i just said kike outloud, as is saucer-eyed-stunned. i got shussed and everything. so, thanks for educating me, in a round-about way :) .. o no, a natural born jew just said he took offense to our conversation. i better apologize *blush/geez* should not have lol'd. very very sorry to Rob - Eden

Heather said...

Hi Eden and co-workers! I can absolutely assure y'all that Owen is not calling his brother anything that is meant to be deragatory. ;) Just wanted to be sure I set the record straight on that. ;)

Hi Safiya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats that you're expecting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay! Re: the locs... yes, that is how we do it. We actually use a latch hook to make the knots-- and like your nephew, we do 2-3 on each loc before then twisting. This is definitely a HUGE tip/help/trick for locs on active little boys --- **HUGE**! I should have blogged about that earlier. Will have to update that dreadlocks post sometime. We've been using the latch hooks to knot at the roots for exactly 1 year now (started last August), and it is a HUGE huge huge help (especially in ths summer when they are swimming in the pool every day!)! :)

Christina said...

Thanks Heather! I really enjoy blogging (although my posts are usually not as thought-provoking as yours), but since Dinkeneh came home I've been struggling to find the time. Just wondered how you managed to make it work (and also wondering if I am just extraordinarily slow :) ).

laurafingerson said...

Ooo ooo ooo! I have a late entry to your Open Book Challenge! (And here I never accept late assignments from my students....) What one summer Olympic sport can you imagine each of your children excelling in? Meera might get a waiver on this question until she is older....what about Kyle and Owen?

glamah16 said...

I love reading the answers to all these questions. I read the link and thought it great.I like how you handled the post as some people tend to get territorial with issues like these.You come across honest and wise, qualities you will pass on to your children. Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Kikie, and Kike ARE hate speech, no matter how you mean it, you cannot expect any Jews to "understand" that, if you will not teach them that this word is tainted, they will more than likely say it and offend people. I would be offended to hear your sons say that around my Jewish daughters. . .


T and T Livesay said...

But they are 4 and they are not saying something mean. My son says "kneegirl" but the way he says it it sounds like Negro ... I cannot imagine getting on him when he does not even know what any of it means.

(His baby sister had huge fat baby knees so he calls her knee-girl -- only his speech is not so perfect.)

Hmmmm. Heather?

Braydon said...

Hi - on the kikes comment and language...

I am sure that no one who reads our blog or knows us outside our blog would ever for a second think we are antisemitic in anyway, so I am not going to say silly things that people often say like "we have lots of friends who are Jewish." Doing so just demeans the discussion.

However, we are also hyper aware of how painful language can be to other people, regardless of intent, as I am also sure anyone reading our blog or who knows us outside our blog can attest.

We are sorry for not realizing that our dear four year old son, who we work so hard to raise as a sensitive kid used this word. I don't actually blame him, since he is just four and making up sounds that work well in his mouth that he likes to call his brother.

Mostly we are sorry that we didn't catch it and sorry it offended or hurt others. Honestly, we heard it as "Ky-K's" and it didn't occur to us that it might invoke another, different and awful meaning. Shame on us.

We'll keep an eye on how he uses it, and gently guide him away from it (so as to not draw attention to it and thereby increase its usage of course).

We had to do that same thing with another word that Kyle actually made up: "fugayuah" (say it outloud to hear what it sounds like), which while not nearly as offensive, is still rather problematic as you can imagine.

Often times kids mimic what they hear, but we're pretty confident that in both cases, it's simply they made up the sounds, since we don't use that language and nobody we associate with does either.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up- I was only trying to explain that if my 3 year old daughter was playing with your sons, and I heard him say such a word, I would be horrified, and not let Dinah play with them anymore. I would also assume you were aware of the meaning of the word, and that you also used it. It is a vile word. From the Jewish perspective, this word has no gray areas. . .it is always offensive.

So, now you know the rest of the story:)