Tuesday, April 8, 2008


This weekend my sister and her family visited. My sister and I don't really get along. It's hard to say why. So it was an interesting visit. I never had an adult conversation with my sister the whole weekend. I mostly talked to her kids and a little to her husband, mostly about his boring job which he thinks is really interesting. But I did enjoy playing with the kids - a four year old boy and a 14-month-old girl. Really more playing with the boy. The girl mostly slept and cried. We're exhausted. Playing nonstop with a four year old is hard work.

I'm constantly amazed at how gendered hetero relationships are, even from people who are aware of gender differences and make concerted efforts to equalize things. Most male-female relationships we know, whether or not they have kids, has a man who works long hours and a woman who does more around the house, and this is true of my sister and brother-in-law. It's obvious just by watching them that she does more care taking. He spent a lot of time on his computer, blackberry, and phone, and she fed the kids, entertained the kids, bathed the kids, etc. And I heard so much about how much he works. He works all of the time, he works so hard. I'm sure there's generally an understanding that 'daddy's working'. Not that he's not involved with the kids - he certainly is - but not like she is.

I was also amazed at how gendered the kids are, especially the girl. She work pink every day, from head to toe - shirt, pants, shoes, socks, jacket. Does she ever where anything that's not pink? Also, she had a pink stroller and he had a blue one! It's so crazy.

The kids are really well-behaved, which I appreciate. Watching Supernanny, I always get scared that our kids will turn out that way. Being around well-behaved kids always makes me feel a little better. My sister said "How do you feel having a 4-year-old run wild in your home?" We said it wasn't a big deal at all since we babysit a 5- and 7-year-old who are much more wild than he is. He really wasn't that crazy in comparison.

One problem I've noticed with kids that I really want to avoid is creating picky eaters. I saw the parents say many times to the kids "I don't think you'll like this". Well, of course they won't if you tell them that. They live in Tampa and don't have a lot of diverse choices for food, so my brother-in-law wanted to eat food they don't get very often in FL. So we ate Thai, Chinese, and Indian - not even that diverse. We could have gone with Burmese and Ethiopian, but I guess that's pushing it on diversity. My sister fed the kids before we went out because she didn't think there would be anything for the kids to eat at these Asian restaurants. Each time at the restaurants though, the kids were given some of the food to try by dad (mom always trying to say they won't enjoy it) and they loved it. My sister was surprised, but why wouldn't they love it? Give them food that tastes good and they will like it. They didn't even have the boy try French toast! I made French toast for breakfast, but we had to make regular toast for him to eat while the rest of us enjoyed French toast because they weren't sure he would like it. Well, why not let him try it before saying to him, you may not like this? My one goal as a parent is to raise kids that want to try new foods.

Spending time with kids always reinforces to me that we can do this. Kids really like us. We really like kids. I'm the kind of person that gets down on the floor and plays with the kids. It's exhausting, it really is. But it's fun. We actually have a lot of interests in common with little ones. I pulled out all of our kids movies and the bro-in-law asked "Why do you have all of this stuff?" We have it because we like it. The boy loved Bananas in Pajamas, a tape I picked up for K in college. She fell in love with Bananas in Pajamas in high school when she visited her family in Australia who had young kids. They went to see the Bananas live and K was hooked. Well, now our nephew is hooked too. He watched the movie at least 5 times and walked around singing that song and laughing.

We will see these two again at a family reunion in TN for Thanksgiving. Hopefully at that time I will be pregnant.

The visit makes me want our own kids even more. When I checked my email today, I got an invitation to a Donor Insemination support group starting in June. Perfect timing for our June insemination. June come soon.

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