Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Newsflash, Designers: I’m Not Pregnant

I hate shopping.

It’s not because I’m one of those “question consumption” hipsters who believes that malls are evil (although I do aspire to be that cool one day). No, I hate shopping because once I find styles that flatter me, the fickle fashion winds change — often blowing in a bad bad direction.

Case in point: the empire-waist shirt.

Seriously, how long will this trend last? No sooner had I popped out Rowan than the fashion world began dressing every woman in maternity clothes.

The "tight around the chest, loose around the belly" silhouette is not flattering on most women, and it’s causing countless avoidable faux pas. (When are you due?) Even the size-zero model pictured above looks like she's sporting a bump.

As a woman who has been pregnant — and has thus seen irreversible changes to her waistline ― the last thing I want is excess volume around my middle. So please, let’s just stop this trend right now.

(Who is oh so disheartened by the empire-waist sweaters she’s seen for fall. Seriously? They’re adding bulky fabric to the mix now?)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The "Hole" Story

We visited my Grandma Adeline a few weeks ago. My sister had brought something or other in an Abercrombie and Fitch bag. The model pictured looked so androgynous that I wondered aloud, “Is that a boy or a girl?”

Rowan’s response — and the brief conversation that ensued — caught me off-guard.

Me: “Is that a boy or a girl?”
Rowan: “Well...does it have a hole?”
Me: “A hole?”
Rowan: “Yeah, a hole. Like a butt hole.”
Me: “Um…everyone has a butt hole, Rowan. Boys and girls.”
Rowan: “Then I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. Probably a boy.”

Where did this come from?

I told the story to several people before I remembered that I had, in fact, caused the “hole” situation. It started with an innocent question during the early days of potty learning (more on that later). Poised on his Elmo potty seat, Rowan had asked, “How do girls pee if they don’t have a penis?”

His question threw me. After all, it's the penis-vagina dichotomy that gets all the attention. That comparison, however, means nothing outside the context of sexual reproduction — something 2-year-olds don’t need to know about, thank God.

So, I stumbled. My response, as I recall, went something like this:

“Um…girls pee out of urethras. But…I guess…actually…boys have urethras too. They’re just inside of their penises. So…girls kind of just pee out of a hole.”

A hole. Suddenly, it all made sense.

Why does the female anatomy have to be so complicated, anyway? Or maybe it’s the male anatomy that’s too complicated. I mean, each female part has a pretty specific purpose, right? The penis, on the other hand, has a dual function that makes direct comparisons difficult.

I guess it doesn’t really matter. According to my kid, boys have penises, girls have holes, and I would be the worst anatomy teacher in the history of the world. ‘Nuff said.

(Did I mention that I’m a writer at a hospital that performs tests like voiding cystourethrograms? Sheesh!)

This brings me to Rowan's progress on the potty-learning front…

I say potty “learning” because it’s apparently no longer acceptable among enlightened-mama circles to say potty “training.” You see, training is for dogs. Since children are not dogs (and — let’s admit — much harder to train than dogs) proper decorum mandates that we use the term learn.

(Don’t ask me what animal-rights activists think about this distinction. I have enough to worry about.)

Anyway, after several months’ refusal to pee on the potty, Rowan is now a well-learned boy! He wakes up dry and can stay dry throughout the day. The catch? He doesn’t always tell me when he has to go. My best bet is to take him to the potty at regular intervals.

But I’m happy with our progress. Poop flushing down a toilet is a huge improvement over poop smeared all over a squirmy behind.

Life is good.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Us, Online

I started a Facebook page. I know, not exactly cutting edge, but I’m a girl who only recently got a cell phone and still watches the television she got for her thirteenth birthday. It’s kind of a big deal.

In the process of building my page and recruiting friends (ugh), I’ve been thinking about our family's “online persona.” I've kept a family blog since Rowan was born. It’s a baby book of sorts that shares Rowan’s growth and development with family and friends. Looking back on it, though, I have to laugh a little. The blog projects an idealized portrait of our life. Brilliant kid. Organic food. Days filled with brain-stimulating activities for mother and child.

Where’s the super-puking (Rowan’s), chocolate binging (mine) and boredom-induced crying (ours)? Gone. Edited out of our online lives. The consequences became clear to me when a friend asked if it was OK that he didn’t have anything organic for Rowan to eat. Confused, I thought, "My kid ate an M&M cookie for lunch. Conventional hamburger buns should be fine." But having related to us for months through our blog, he had come to see us as nutrition zealots.


So here’s to a new start on a NEW blog. We plan to be a little more real and a lot more present -- time permitting, of course (famous last words).

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