Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bad Mood Part II: Nice to Be Reminded That I am Not Normal

Yesterday, I was on my way out to Long Island, and I was checking my voicemail while stopped at a light on 9th Avenue, in stop-and-go traffic, when someone knocked on my window. Of course, I usually ignore such disturbances, as they tend to be not very savory people, but out of the corner of my eye I see the uniform. I roll (roll?) I mean, power down my window and Mr. License-and-Registration-Please opens with “On the cell phone, and you have a kid in car no less!!!” Actually, I told him, there are two kids. And I passed him my license and registration and patiently explained that yes, the car is registered to Nicole, but yes, it is my car too, because we are married. Always fun to see the pallor of lesbian-recognition cast onto another’s face.

Fine, give me the ticket. I broke the damn law. But really? I was at a stop light, meaning I was stopped. And not talking, just listening to voicemail. Me listening to a voicemail that I was about to switch to speaker phone at a stop light is not so dangerous. But whatever. I broke the law and I will pay the ridiculous fine ($130) and hope that my pullover and wasted minutes was the universe in action: Maybe if I wasn’t pulled over I would have rear-ended a truck on the LIE or something. Maybe there was a reason for this waste of time on the side of 9th Avenue beyond what I could possibly know.

Last night, Madeline refused, as usual, to sleep in her crib. I let her cry it out for about a half-hour, and then, when she was on the verge of hyperventilation, I went in. I took her out of the crib and put her and her pillow and blanket on the floor. And she was fine: She stopped crying and settled down instantly. Of course, this got Avery’s attention, who immediately gophered up and she started bellowing “I need floor, too.” So I settled Avery on the floor as well. I left the room, and they were fine. They would have fallen asleep lickety split is Avery wasn’t so excited to be free-range. She kept sliding over to Maddie and talking with her and engaging her, and when I approached the room, she would scamper back. But Madeline did not move AT ALL. It took a while, but both eventually fell asleep. I scooped up Avery and put her back in her crib and let Maddie sleep on the floor. She slept for a couple of hours and when she woke up, I picked her up and brought her to the couch and slept with her there. I could have resettled her on the floor but I was so tied and didn’t want to.

Besides, there is a new plan, culled from your various emails and comments: We are officially removing the front piece of the cribs and making the Stokke cribs toddler beds. This will be a celebration. We are having balloons and cupcakes (I made them this morning) and candles and presents and dancing and laughing. A new routine will be established, one we can stick with (I think it will be each picking one book to read together before lights out.). I have a feeling this really is what Maddie needs. She proved it last night by sleeping alone on the floor, and not in our bed or with us on the couch. It is not us she wants, it’s freedom. Avery, I have a feeling, will be the child we will need to lead back to bed 100 times an hour. But I am ready to get this party started. Wish us luck, and stay tuned for details.

And now, on to politics. Massachusetts just elected republican Scott Brown, the sure-to-be health care bill-killer. Health care reform has been destined to fail from the get-go. What gets me is not his party affiliation but rather the things he says. Take this, for example: “the idea of two women having a child is “just not normal.” You know what I think? I think people who think vile things like that are just not normal. How would you feel if someone called your family “not normal?” It makes me sad, then embarrassed, then angry. Very very angry.

Actually, I a beyond angry I in the realm of fucking pissed. Of course, this sort of stuff bothered me before, but now, these evil thoughts and opinions directly impact my children. Look my kids in the eye and tell them that they are products of a not-normal family. You be the one to tell them that they don’t deserve the same rights as everyone else, unless they grow up and can prove that they are card-carrying members of the “I Love The Opposite Sex Club.”

I am probably preaching to the choir and screaming in the wind here, but I just don’t understand how we are able to get away with saying things like that. Yes, I am all for freedom of speech, but the fact that people can say things like that and get elected say SO much about us as a society. How can we let this happen? I can’t fix this. I can’t make this better for my girls. I just wish for a better world for them.

I would love to write more but my not-normal self has to make frosting for our not-normal cupcake party and then go pick up the dry cleaning, go to the post office and stop at the book store to buy a special not-normal book gift for the girls. You know, all sorts of subversive and not-normal activities like that.

Oh, and I am keeping my eyes peeled for a baby backpack for another not-normal couple I know who are expecting a daughter in June. The kind you can hike with. If you have one and want to sell it, leave me a comment!

Pictured above, my not-normal wife and our daughter pursuing yet another not-normal activity: Learning to shovel snow. And our not-normal snowman. Our lives just scream not normal.


K J and the kids said...

DAMN...I'm sorry about the ticket.

YAY about the new move with the toddler bed. Maybe you'll be surprised. My boys stayed in bed better than I thought. I thought for SURE they'd be all over the place. It's taken Cam a year to wander the house.
Just make sure the dead bolt is on :)

As far as your not normal family.
I love it :) Preach on sister friend.

Hope said...

Jen, at the risk of sounding sarcastic- you are in a society where it has been stated that more than 50% of all marriages fail, the two of you are together & happy & loving, and demonstrate a very solid & healthy relationship.... that alone makes you not normal! Remember the tee-shirt that was popular way back in highschool? WHY BE NORMAL? Time to go find that shirt in sizes for 2 adults and 2 children!

I can hear the hurt & frustration in your writing, and I'm sorry for it- just remember that you've found a happiness & security that so many of us in or seeking "normal" relationships have yet to find.

Anonymous said...

…what is normal? Well to I guess to Scott Brown…my dad and his 3 wives the last one which is only 3 years older than I am….is “normal”. Or the fact that his first wife (my mother) took care of his biological kids…so he could “raise” his other wives children….that is “normal”

I agree with Hope. Jennifer, you and Nicole, have a wonderful family filled with love, laughter, and the promise that you will work everyday to give your girls and yourselves the home every person deserves. Nothing is guaranteed in this world but the two of you seem to be doing a damn good job, better than a lot of “normal” couples I know or read about.

When I hear things like “two women having a child is just not normal”…I want to ask the ass….how many women in Massachusetts are raising children all alone without the men, who decided to have a child with them and have now walked out on their responsibilities. Is he going to personally make their lives “normal” again?

Okay ….off my soap box…sorry.

I’m so glad to hear you are going to take the side off of the girl’s beds. I hope it works out, there will be a different set of challenges, but for Madeline, it seems the time as come. Keep in mind…Avery may not be ready for you to take the sides off…but with the party you are planning she can’t help but be excited. Please share pictures of the festivities. As always…thank you for sharing your view on things. L

CD and SP said...

jeesh, you really are social deviants!

Kerry Lynn said...

I'm so glad I didn't vote. I hate that I have to choose between wanting equal rights or less taxes.
I think we should just vote on individual issues and fuck the politians.

toddler beds went better than expected with us too but the key was to put a door knob un-open-upper on the inside of their door so they couldn't get out. Once they realized there was no hope of escape they would definitely get out of bed but eventually made their way back in and fell asleep. I think the other thing is to explain very clearly that you are leaving and not coming back in. they might not like it the first few days but will eventually learn.

Shelli said...

in theory, he backpedalded that comment, but sadly, he did vote to NOT allow out of state same sex couples to marry in MA. He also is in FAVOR of DOMA. And will vote as such. Much more terrifying than the stupid shit that comes out of his mouth.