Girls love #dinosaurs too!

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Two girls looking at dinosaurs

I was shopping online for nap mats. I thought Georgia (3 years old) would love one with a dinosaur theme, so I showed her one. I wanted her to pick it out, thinking she might like it more if she did. Sugarpie has opinions.

Me: How about this (light blue dinosaur themed) one? Do you like this one?

Georgia: That’s blue for boys. I need a pink one for girls.

Two things. First, we are pretty girly and I love it. But we aren’t so pink-all-of-the-time girly. Obviously we absorb these gender “rules” just from living in our culture, I get it, but this was so sudden. So matter-of-fact. It was as if someone sat her down and laid down the gender law when I wasn’t looking. It just makes me a little sad that she would limit herself in any way, for a color.

Which brings me to my second point. Why is it that only boys get to wear dinosaurs? I would happily put a dark blue t-shirt with a T. Rex on my daughters, I don’t care. But SHE DOES. Now she does. Since she has intuited that girls don’t wear blue, she might refuse even the cutest velociraptor shirt.

Where are the stegosaurus dresses?! CAN A GIRL GET SOME TRICERATOPS JAMMIES PLEASE?!!

If we are serious as a society about getting more women into STEM careers, shouldn’t it start here? The implicit message is this: Girls, you don’t like science.

Paleontology, not for you!

Engineering, there’s a whole lot blue! Look the other way! (When is the last time you saw a pink shirt with a cute cartoon robot?)

Astronomy, that’s for boys! (Anything space-themed is inevitably shrouded in “strong masculine colors.”)

Can someone out there start catering to our daughters’ interest in science-related themes? Can we start telling them that girls can love science too? I know that we say this with our words, we just need to show it in all of the ways that our children understand.

Because right now, I’m afraid, they’re getting the message.

A cure for SIDS?

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That’s my Sugarpie. I used to hover, terrified of SIDS.

Wow, wouldn’t that be the most incredible thing? Every parent I know, to one degree or another, fears SIDS. How many of you first time parents out there sit next to your sleeping baby worrying over EVERY SINGLE BREATH?

What an unimaginably horrific tragedy it must be to lose a sweet little child for seemingly no discernible reason. A sainthood on the order of Jonas Salk will surely befall any soul who wipes this cause of death from the face of the Earth.

Such a man has recently made headlines. His name is Daniel Rubens and he is a pediatric anesthesiologist. Basically, his theory is that SIDS is due to an inner ear dysfunction. He thinks that babies who have this malfunction cannot wake themselves to escape the build up of carbon dioxide and lack of oxygen and reposition themselves for a life-saving breath.

He hopes to create some sort of screening process for this problem.

Wouldn’t that be marvelous? Please read here for the full article and a much more articulate scientific explanation of it all.

God speed, Dr. Rubens! We are all in your corner.

The Brontosaurus is BACK

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Oh you friendly guy! An illustration by Charles R Knight, 1897

But I really just discovered it was gone. My Sugarpie loves dinosaurs. When I was a girl, my favorite dinosaur was the Brontosaurus. It was a gentle giant, and it taught me what the word herbivore meant.

Then I realized in all of our fact finding about dinosaurs, I hadn’t come across the brontosaurus. Only about 2 months ago, I discovered that it was really called the apatosaurus. WHAT?!

I dusted myself off and decided to call it (begrudgingly) an apatosaurus. Life moved on.

Until now! Our friendly and oh-so-retro Brontosaurus has been revived! And the wikipedia page is already updated.

Check out the article in the New York Times for yourself! Children of the 70s, your Brontosaurus back.

 

#BreakingBad with my grocery cart

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Ever feel like this?

For the last entire 3 months, my children have either been coughing or had the flu, or at the very least are usually leaking radioactive snot from their sweet little baby noses.

So every time I go to the grocery store and dutifully wipe down the cart with those “hanna-tizer” wipes (that’s what Sugarpie calls them), all I can think about is Walter White and his most famous monologue.

I look at my sweet little snot bags and say…

I AM THE DANGER.

 

A Farewell to Nursies

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This photo might cause a letdown. Proceed with caution.

The time has come, and I am no longer a nursing mother. Just like that.

My breasts have been in full production mode for more than three years, and though I had never nursed a child for my previous 36 years of life, this had become such a deep part of my identity that I almost feel like I’ve lost a bit of myself.

But I’ve also gained. No longer obligated to wear a nursing bra, I might be able to have one that actually fits me now. (No one ever talks about this, but apparently nursing bra designers think that only women with large ta-tas breast feed. I am here to advocate for all of the Bs out there, we need bras too! I digress…)

Dresses and shirts that promise no easy access will now be worn again!

My body is my own again, I can eat and drink what I choose, and apply topical creams at will!

So I guess as with all things in motherhood, we trade one phase for another, full of ambivalence. While every step toward independence brings some degree of relief, it also forces us to realize that our children need us just a little less.

This is as painful as it is glorious.

No one ever said that motherhood wasn’t heartbreak and joy in equal measure, but this, this one is difficult. It’s final. The last two times I nursed my little Lila Jane, I was reminded WHY I WANTED TO WEAN.* In all caps.

In December, Sugarpie weaned completely (Yes, she was almost three). Two months ago, I cut Little Sugar’s sessions back to mid morning and early evening. Two times a day, that was it. Surprisingly quickly, she would go all day and not ask for it. I went with it, but wondered if I was really ready for this. A missed session turned into a missed day, then a few, then a week. Here we are.

But I didn’t want to let go, even though it had become unbearable in the most compelling way. I thought, the last time should bring that feeling of peace, love and oxytocin. But it didn’t. My body was done, even if my girl wasn’t. That much had been proven. So I tuned out the irritation, looked into her beautiful big eyes one last time and knew that this was it.

Now, onward we go. I am no longer a nursing mother. I am no longer the mother of a baby. Before I know it, I will no longer be the mother of toddlers, I will be the mother of school-age children, then teenagers, and so on.

But I am so lucky, because I still get to be their mother.

So to my no-longer-nurslings Georgia and Lila: let’s celebrate this new phase. I have grown you in my body, fed you from my body.

We will always be connected in a way that is profound beyond comprehension and because of you, it is lovely beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

 

*Nursing agitation, it’s a thing. Read about it here.