just remember, it’s a real person in there

Certain things in life carry long term consequences.  Defrauding the government.  Murdering your ex-wife.  Maxing out then defaulting on six credit cards.

When it comes to kids, though, they’d argue that the name you hang around their neck affects them for life.  No pressure but, you know…tread gently.

“So without further a-doo-doo, here are a few baby names that maybe you shouldn’t name your newborn:

NEVAEH

When your baby won’t sleep more than 16 minutes straight and she’s sinking her piranha jaws into your calloused nips and you feel like you’ve entered a hell you never knew existed, suddenly it might dawn on you that naming your newborn “heaven” spelled backward was the opposite of brilliant.  Here’s an idea, maybe you should have named her lleh.”

A few baby names you probably shouldn’t choose, just sayin’ : Baby Sideburns

from the mouths of babes (comes bizarre commentary)

Welcome to another episode of Kid Quotes, land of the wait, what was that? moment.

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Bear, upon her return from camp and the family’s trip to California:  “I haven’t had sweet tea in TWO WEEKS.  TWO WEEKS, people.  We gotta fix this now.”

“You guys are weird.”  From both kids.  All the time.  Without any provocation at all, I swear.

T-man:  “Is this racist?”  We were watching a sidewalk show on the San Francisco pier and performers were ripping jokes on all the volunteers pulled from the crowd.  (BrightSide proudly represented the “middle age white guy” population.  Bless.)

“All your music sounds the same.” says the girl who listens to Top 40 stations where all the music sounds the same.

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Forever Family: odds and ends #4

 

One of the parts of parenting I struggle with is the spectator aspect.  There’s lots of hands on activity to be sure, but we seem to be in a season of watching our young-ish ones test their wings (aka waiting to see if they crash and burn).  Watching and waiting is hard.  And watching when you know the crash and burn is inevitable?  Hell, that’s the hardest part of all.

And self esteem…oh my lawd, the self esteem.  How is it I know to the depths of my soul the innate worth of these children, but they just don’t seem to get it?  One of mine will go back to kids who are disrespectful and outright cruel over and over, calling them “friends” until they act like turds again.  You deserve better.  You deserve better.

This week brought the delightful moment when I found myself explaining to one of my children why we never, ever, ever joke about how much the other kid cost.  A) We don’t buy and sell people because that is i-l-l-e-g-a-l.  B) We should strive to be our best selves, and that comment is nowhere close.  C) Sadly, it cuts a little close to the bone.

It took about a month but I finally told T-man why I stopped responding to a certain parent’s texts.  I thought I was protecting him, but he’s thirteen and deserves to have all the information when choosing whether to go to someone else’s house.  Be friends, don’t be friends, whatever…but you should know his dad made a comment about shielding his daughter from ebonics, so I’m not feeling real cool about the parental aspect over there.

We shared some John Oliver episodes with the kids this week.  Sure, some of you might be thinking we’re nuts watching a late night comedian who drops the F bomb, but things get pretty real around here.  And it’s been good for them to see an adult stand up on national television and call out what passes for bullshit in this country right now.  The episode Oliver did on the Confederate flag was particularly timely.

On a side note, this isn’t adoption related, but the kids’ commentary on cheerleaders at Wednesday’s pep rally was downright hysterical.  Boobs, a twerking motion, and those ridiculous skirts all came up.  (BrightSide dryly noted that cheerleaders enjoy a rather lax dress code exemption.)

And those are the odds and ends for this week.

when you set a goal and God throws down

“When it comes to technology and the kids nothing promised is permanent, nothing is etched in stone.  We try something and if it works, great.  If not?  Well, we try something else…

Which brings us to our latest shift.  It seems even our best efforts can’t get the kids enough non-screen time altogether, so BrightSide came up with the radical idea of no screens on Sundays.  I’ll repeat that.  An entire day without technology.  None.  At all.  Every single week.”

The goal of Friday’s post, basically, was the hope that sending good thoughts out into the universe might bless us with a semi-peaceful attempt at living tech-free for a day.  I wasn’t looking for Ghandi-like enlightenment, just sixteen or so hours with limited squabbling.

Here’s how it went.

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gunfight at the O.K. Corral (aka mamas, sons, and the battle cry)

Last week I took Bear to get her hair trimmed.  I’m not winning any awards in this area – I’ve been known to go an entire year before remembering Bear needs a haircut, and since she isn’t really styling it I just take her to my own hairdresser.  Now, Penny is awesome and does a good cut, but she’s a white gal from Boston who mostly works with senior citizens.  Not exactly a cultural experience for Bear.  Then again, Penny’s scrupulous about getting the haircut right so I guess I could be doing worse.

But I digress.

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technology trial and error

Life around here is one long experiment.  When it comes to technology and the kids nothing promised is permanent, nothing is etched in stone.  We try something and if it works, great.  If not?  Well, we try something else.

I’m sure the shifting ground rules irritate T-man and Bear, but it’s the best we can do.  And isn’t that the truth for parents everywhere?

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Forever Family: voices around the web

After A Traffic Stop, Teen Was ‘Almost Another Dead Black Male’ : NPR

“Alex Landau, who is African-American, was adopted by a white couple as a child and grew up in largely white, middle-class suburbs of Denver…

“I thought that love would conquer all and skin color really didn’t matter,” Hathaway says.  “I had to learn the really hard way when they almost killed you.”

That was in 2009, when Landau, then a college student, was stopped by Denver police officers and severely beaten.”

Adoption Stigmas: A WAP attempt to talk about White Privilege and Transracial Adoption — 2 Peas from Different Pods

“So, what does white privilege have to do with adoption, specifically transracial adoption?  Matt and I stepped into the adoption world extremely quickly.  In fact, it was more like a dive.  I didn’t have time nor did I realize how much I still needed to educate myself.  Basically, I did everything backwards from how I wish I did it.  So for my friends that are looking and in the process to adopt, here are some things I wish I would have known about transracial adoptions.”

parents, please educate your kids about adoption so mine don’t have to: Rage Against the Minivan

“I took the kids to the park the other day, and I was seated just close enough to the play structure that I could faintly overhear a conversation that occurred between Kembe and several older kids.  At first, I had a hard time understanding what was being said, but something about Kembe’s posture caught my attention.  Typically, he’s a relatively cocky over-confident kid with a lot of swagger, even around older kids.  But in this setting he looked . . . almost cornered.  He seemed intimidated and a bit helpless.  As I strained to hear, I though I heard one of the kids saying, “That is NOT your real mom.” “

Continuing on from: Hey, that’s how I’ve always felt… – The adopted ones blog

“Some things are easy to identify with being adopted, things like being little and hiding away crying because I wasn’t kept, and that there had to be something terribly wrong with me that others could see, but I couldn’t.  Those type of feelings that are specific to being adopted are what people not adopted seem able to accept…

What people can’t seem to grasp are the more subtle connections to being adopted that they dance around, try to explain away, can’t accept it could possibly have a basis in that event that happened when we were mere babies.

But it does, perhaps only in part, but nevertheless, it is related to being adopted.”

The “Where’s Your Mom?” Microaggressions: Okayest Mom

“It happened again.

People who know us forgot that I was his mother.

I am white.  My son is Black.  This is a tremendous invisible burden for him.  Being asked to explain yourself or justify yourself as an adoptee is called “narrative burden.”  It’s not fair to him, but it is his albatross.”