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Archive for February, 2008

So, you know when you’re pregnant, and you decide to try to cut out doing so much of what you really aren’t required to do until you stop getting sick quite so much to see if that helps?

But then you meet this very impressive woman–a friend of a friend–and during the course of a night’s conversation with a group of, actually all quite inspiring women who happen to all be mothers of broods of tiny children, you learn that this particular woman, an ob-gyn, while literally in labor with her own child, performed a major surgery, which happened to be on an HIV-positive patient (apparently her partners at the time would not have taken kindly to her leaving the patient for them to take care of, so she felt like she had to do it before going off to have her baby,  but that’s another story)…and you think, well, then…

So the next day, you paint your kitchen, take your children to 37 places that they have been wanting to go, write four (pretty bad, yet finished) writing assignments, and post on your neglected blog, all of which could wait, and none of which was  major surgery, but still.

And, sure, maybe you throw up a little more, and eat a little less, but, somehow, feel a little more industrious and a bit more balanced and more like yourself…or is that guilt?

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Men Can Be Doctors, Too.

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Above picture from Marketing Alternatif

After Martin’s last dentist appointment, I complimented his behavior. He replied, “Yeah, I was really good for the dentist. And for the guy in the dog mask.”

The “guy in the dog mask” was, in fact, the dentist. His surgical mask, not nearly as creepy as the ones above, had a picture of a little dog face on it. The dental hygienist, a young woman, did the work of the cleaning and x-rays, so he assumed she was the dentist.

It may be more than that–his doctors and mine are all women, and all relatively young. So, as I’m paying close attention to how he’s seeing and figuring out gender, with the aim to dismantle stereotypes, I suppose I need to remind him that men can be doctors, too. He might not believe it until he sees it, though.

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Two year old Chris talks to everyone, all the time; whether the person is already talking, sleeping, or it’s not a person at all. He’s more intent on being understood and understanding us now, too, and doesn’t give up until it makes sense. But I could swear, sometimes, that he might be messing with us.

Me: “Oh, no, don’t drink that, honey, it has caffeine.”

Chris (aghast, yet somewhat thrilled): “Cat pee?!?!”

“Caffeine.”

“Cat FEET?!?!”

“Ca. Feeeennne.”

“Cat PEE?!”

“Say ‘Ca’.”

“Ca.”

“FEEN.”

“FEEN.”

“There you go! Caffeine!”

“CAT POOP?!”

“Hmmm. Yeah, cat poop. It’s gross; don’t drink it.”

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This is a day of failed hopes and dreams, and near-tearful disappointment.

Sadly, somehow, my talk of going to “vote” has been (mis)understood by my two year old as going out on a “boat.” And somehow, his talk of the “boat” has been more successful than my talk of the “vote” at convincing the four year old that this morning we are due to go out sailing on a river instead of to the elementary school down the street to cast our ballot.

I’m still sorting through the details; there are indications that they believe that Hillary Clinton will, indeed, be on the boat with us. They had a far more interesting day planned than I did.

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We were waiting for my husband to meet us for lunch, and watching the people go by, looking for him under every umbrella and baseball cap . . . or floating in the pond or hiding on a rooftop.

Oh, there’s Dad balancing on the lightpost! 

No, there he is on the roof of that car!

An eagle just flew by carrying Dad!

A college student walked by, and I said, “Hey, is that Dad?” Martin replied, “No!  That’s a girl!”

“How can you tell?”

“Because she has long hair.”

“But our friend Joe is a man with long hair.  And Julie is a woman with short hair.  So how can you tell if someone is a man or a woman?”  I’ve been wondering a lot lately about what they’re picking up about differences, real and imagined, between girls and boys and men and women.  And now–will this authentic experience give me dazzling insight into how gender is being constructed in this young mind?  I waited with bated breath . . .

“Well, first I look at the head.  And then I look at its uterus.”

Aha.  All my questions answered.

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