Category Archives: babysitting request

What does being kinky mean anyway?

I feel like I’m in such a weird place in my body and in my mind. Yes, pregnancy is weird… but this predated the pregnancy. This got started over a year ago.

I still like the idea of being tied up and hit. When it happened last year I still liked the reality of it. But this is compounded by the fact that I don’t have a lot of childcare and when I did… it was not really during hours that were conducive to kinky play. I know that most of my friends have had a “Whoops the kids walked in during sex” story but I don’t. My sex life is off. fucking. screen. My children do not walk in on us having sex. And I don’t think they ever will. I have sturdy locks all the fuck over my house to prevent such a mishap.

Because given my background having my children SEE me have sex is a major violation and one I won’t be able to shake off.

If I could forget the sight of my mother and my sister fucking people maybe it would be different. My children will not learn from me.

Things with Noah are complicated for a lot of reasons. I have a strong sense of debt. Noah didn’t rescue me from the streets, I did that for myself thank you very much, but he did rescue me from being alone and that’s a big damn deal. Noah gave me a forever home that he’s serious about. If we divorced he would probably want me to have the house and he would leave. I’m a stubborn piece of shit and I wouldn’t accept but that’s different. Noah gave me a family. He didn’t share his family I’m still basically a non-person there (except with his grandmother and his aunties–I am glad for those women) but he gave me children. He helped me create a family where we both get to belong.

I owe Noah a lot. Noah has cared for me through several periods of time when I was all but nonfunctional. He feeds me. He makes sure I take my meds. He asks after my appointments and reminds me to go. When I express my overwhelming shame at stealing so many resources for my health he tells me over and over that keeping me alive and healthy is the point of us having money.

And the primary thing Noah wants from me as a demonstration of love is physical contact. Specifically, sex. The talking is awesome. The snuggling is great. He really gets a lot out of the sex.

My body is complicated though. I arrived at this marriage with sexual dysfunction in place. I arrived in his life with scar tissue and pain through my nether region. It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t cause any of the damage. But it’s there and I have to cope with it.

In my brain I want to be available for sex at any moment because that would be hot and fun for him and it would make him feel really loved. I tried to meet that standard for years. I hurt myself in the process and I damaged the trust in my marriage.

It isn’t Noah’s fault that I did that. He was negotiating in good faith. I was doing the best I could and I fucked up.

The thing is… I’ve been hurting myself for almost 30 years. This was just the latest incarnation and in some fucked up ways it was a healthier way of hurting myself than most I have tried. I still need to change it. But I also need to acknowledge that I am not as pathetic and back sliding as I feel.

This is complicated.

I feel like I don’t count as a kinky person anymore because in my mind kink is associated with exhibitionism and public play. The fact that I call my husband Daddy when he’s fucking me is just kind of meh, whatever. Basically vanilla people do that too.


I may have some weird assumptions here and there.

It doesn’t help that when I got into the scene there was a lot of nasty back and forth in email lists about how having a strong focus on sex instead of just the SM part of bdsm meant you weren’t really kinky. And I like fucking lots of people so I’m more of a swinger, right? Only at swinger parties I have to ask humbly for exceptions to the rules because I really want to make this person cry while I’m sucking his dick.

Ok I didn’t actually make him cry. He’s really tough. But he made lovely noises.

I don’t fit in a community. I’m too sexual to feel properly “kinky” and I’m too kinky for most of the sex-only spaces.

And it doesn’t help that my behavior in private is way more timid and unwilling to set boundaries than I am in public. In public I am responding to the crowd and crowds take rock solid boundaries. I have to protect myself. At home…. I don’t want to. I don’t want to say no. I don’t want to set limits.

Which is incredibly fucking stupid and creates problems all over the place. I know.

Playing at home is complicated because the kids are always god damn here and I don’t want them hearing or seeing anything. Ever. Period.

It isn’t that I will never be “out” with my children. It’s that my sex life will always be off stage and kind of a mystery. I’ll hint. I’ll answer some questions in broad ways. That’s it. I will never discuss my kinks with my children. They know I have not been monogamous all my life. They know I went out with a lot of people before I got married (How are you supposed to know if someone is right for you without trying out lots and lots and lots of wrong people first?!) and they know I’ve been on dates since getting married.

I think that’s plenty.

I’m ok with talking to my kids about sex in the abstract or in ways that will increase their future safety… they don’t need to learn how to have sex from me. My way is kinda fucked up. Like at one point my daughter asked if there is one kind of sex (or something very like that question) and I said, “Oh no! There are lots of kinds of sex. There’s manual sex (with fingers/hands); there’s oral sex (that involves a mouth and a set of genitals); there’s anal sex (playing with a butt–can be with fingers or a penis); and vaginal sex (can be with a penis or with toys).”

My daughter’s response was to raise her eyebrows and kind of say “hunh.” We didn’t keep talking after that. It wasn’t a conversation that needed a lot of in depth follow up at that point.

I just will never have a child who is talked into anal sex because it “doesn’t count”. What bullshit. Also: a huge swath of teenage girls these days are being pressured into oral sex because it “doesn’t count” and it’s a way to keep from having “more happen” and oh hell no.

My children will have language about sex and about their body. They will know what they are saying yes to and what they are saying no to. And I’m pretty damn sure my kids are growing up with the idea that sex is a super fun thing to do when you are ready and with the right person(s) but until you are ready it’s a problem.

And that all feels weirdly tied up in my kinky. Because I still struggle to set the boundaries I want them to have. I still struggle to say out loud “I want _____.” I can ask for abasing things very easily. Not affirming things.

I still struggle with the idea that sex is supposed to feel good for me. When the first several decades of your sex life is incredibly painful… that’s a hard thing to rewire in your body. It is hard to change my expectation.

What does being kinky mean?

Random thought: this weekend is Folsom. I haven’t been much in years. I am deeply amused by the idea of going pregnant because it squicks people so much. Uhm. Is there a chance anyone wants to babysit on Sunday? I assume the answer is no. But it seems worth asking because folks periodically say “I wish you would ask.”

I think it is funny that my current M/s relationship has been going on for 9 months and I still don’t think I’m that kinky. Even though I have rules around my body and my sexuality that I follow.


This sucks.

I have had so much diarrhea in the last 24 hours that it is kind of horrifying. It burns and burns and burns and burns. Based on the color of things coming out of me, the blue jello went through me in under an hour. I would guess that the extreme burning is stomach acid coming through with the poop.

Noah and I had a very unfun conversation about “support” and medical procedures. Namely: that begging on my blog for a friend to come with me is how I get support during medical procedures and I’m not all that happy about that. He agreed that it kind of sucks. That said, we both think DSH may be slightly more useful in managing Kaiser anyway.

Basically I said, “Remember me begging for you to be more involved in Calli’s pregnancy and you remember how you didn’t do it? Yeah. At this point begging other people for help seems more productive so I don’t waste my breath asking you any more.” That can’t be fun to hear.

When my family sat down to a lovely dinner I wanted to go in the bathroom and cut. I didn’t, but that was all I could think about. Not being able to eat is becoming a real problem for me. Psychologically this is getting really bad.

Yes, I know that I was going to have nasty diarrhea right now by design. They made me take a fucking laxative (as if I need help causing diarrhea) and I’ve had no fiber in four days, going on five. Apparently no fiber also causes me major diarrhea. So I’m going to have diarrhea right now. This is for a medical procedure.

But my poop book is an exercise in crying and feeling bad. I have a few days in a row that are ok then I’m back to diarrhea and I haven’t cheated on wheat or dairy in a while. And I still have wicked diarrhea all the time. Somehow I am finding it hard to believe that wheat and dairy are the problem when I’m up to day 55 and I still mostly have diarrhea. Yes, I did cheat a few days so I suppose there are going to be people who tell me it is all my fault I haven’t really cleared my system so I can’t truly be sure. But give me a fucking break.

I’ve had wheat on five or six days out of the last 55. I don’t think wheat is the current problem. I really don’t. Yes, I understand that a lot of the current problem is stress (when I’m not preparing for a medical exam) and I don’t know how to get that out of my life.

Part of the problem is, if you start telling me how anxiety causes my diarrhea you spike my anxiety… and my diarrhea… and you convince me that the only solution is dying. It is my fault I suffer. The only way out is death.

Now, after several mugs of broth I know I just couldn’t do the GAPS diet. If I tried drinking straight broth daily I would throw up after a few days. Just like I can’t consistently take multi-vitamins or I projectile vomit them. Festive!

I’m scared that I am going to get to the end of this procedure and have the same diagnosis I have now–IBS. The thing about IBS, they don’t know what causes it and other than managing stress and trying to figure out which foods trigger you the worst… nothing can be done. And the foods that trigger you aren’t true allergies. You just have to play with food forever and someday something will give you wicked diarrhea and sometimes not. (Some people get constipation. The internet makes me think that I am starting to alternate constipation and diarrhea because that would explain the massive uptick in gas pain. Since starting this elimination diet the pain in my belly is 4 or 5 times as bad as it was. I *never* got abdominal pain like this from gas before the elimination diet. Sometimes I double over in pain and have to breath for a while.

Sometimes I think the gas pain is worse than labor. I think it is funny that I am developing this list of things that have happened to me that actually hurt worse than labor. Given that I had a 9 day unmedicated labor at home followed by a hemorrhage that left me unable to walk for two weeks… that really is kind of saying something.

Right now it is 3am. I woke up at 2am to drink as much as I can. Only clear fluids at this point. No liquid past 4am. Not till after lunchtime. Seemed important to tank up now. And quite frankly: when you have this much diarrhea, getting dehydrated hurts. Yay Sprite! I am drinking Sprite! Even though it has carbonation. Fuck the universe. I already hurt. I need calories. If I have more apple juice I will puke. (I’m also drinking home made stock. Which, at the bottom of the cup, makes me totally fucking gag. It’s great in soup. By itself… not my thing.)

I’m going to drink a minimum of four cups of liquid. Maybe I’ll try to force six cups into me. Phew. Now the broth is gone. Bleh. Yuck. Ew. Cover the taste with SUGAR!

We had a great interview with a babysitter last week and she no-showed last night. I looked at her profile again last night and I’m the fourth one star review saying she interviews great then never shows up to work. At least it isn’t personal? A different babysitter no-showed an interview yesterday.

I’m kind of amazed by how many people will email me telling me they want a job and they they either don’t show up to interview or they interview and don’t show up for work. It is just about impossible to find people who want to show up consistently and earn money. They want money but they think that an exchange of their labor for the money is ridiculous. Given that I pay right in the middle of the babysitting scale for my area it isn’t that I’m under paying.

My shrink keeps telling me that I have to find another babysitter. Given that I can spend 10-20 hours a week on hunting for a babysitter only to end up with no babysitter (there have been a minimum of six weeks that I’ve tried this since Shanna was like two) I’m starting to question the point of the search. I could find a daycare to drop them off at, no problem. I can’t find people who want to consistently come to my house to babysit. That’s just… onerous. (Thank goodness for the homeschooled teenager three doors down. But her parents are looking for a house in Modesto. I’m going to cry a lot.)

In positive news: we got a Christmas tree yesterday. I put up the lights and garland and I let the girls decorate the rest. So we have kind of a hilarious band of ornaments. It actually makes me feel very happy. This is the range of their current competence, neatly illustrated. so cute.

In general I feel the kids deserve medals for how patient they are being with me lately. When I start crying when I’m eating (because man my food doesn’t taste good anymore) Shanna comes and pets my shoulder and tells me, “Mom I know this elimination diet is really tough. But it’s not forever. You can get through this. We will figure out how to make you hurt less. Then we’ll figure out how to make it taste good.”

I feel so guilty for my suicidal thoughts. How could anyone want to get away from someone as wonderful as Shanna? Or Calli. Oh man Calli has been the biggest love bug lately.

I feel grateful all the time that I get to be with my kids instead of people who wouldn’t appreciate them as much. Sometimes my friends tell me they would “shut Shanna up” and I think “That’s why I’m so glad she’s my daughter and not yours. I don’t want to shut her up.”

Calli has been trying to figure out volume stuff lately. She’s experimenting with whispering voices and how close to someones head you have to be for what volumes. I think it is wonderful.

Once in a while Shanna asks me what’s wrong. I suppose at those times I don’t have a great facial expression. I tell her, “Something isn’t going right with my body or I would be smiling. You are enough reason to smile all day every day. But my body isn’t.”

Recently a woman I know was talking about her experience moving through the world with what she described as “resting bitch face”. I don’t think I have that. Of all the ways I trigger people to be more hostile to me, I at least skip one magnetic pull for hostility. I’m a smiler. Big time. Safety decision. A very long time ago I figured out that doing something other than smiling was kind of dangerous.

I feel weird about what I’m teaching my daughters. Don’t be quiet. Smiling is safer. Take up space in the world. People will protect you more if they have more of an emotional bond with you and the way to create that bond is to seem personable and friendly no matter how you feel. Your feelings don’t matter; the feelings you cause other people to have matter.

I’m glad my kids are getting to the point where they will rattle off that clothes don’t make you pretty; your behavior, or not, makes you pretty.

It has taken many many many times of saying, “I’m not going to tell you that you are pretty because you changed your clothes. I’m going to tell you that you are pretty if your behavior is awesome.” Earn it or you don’t get it.

I’ve had many people tell me over the past 15 years that I’m not one to give idle praise and that is part of why people trust my praise. I won’t say you are awesome until you are and then I will say it thousands of times.

If you believe suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems then I want to live with you for 15 years and cause you as many emotional and physical problems as I have before we have a conversation. And fuck you while we are at it.

I want to stay. I want to see my kids grow up. More than anything I want to find out what Shanna is like as a 35 year old woman. Whoa. What will Calli do with her life? I can’t guess. She doesn’t even have any “When I grow up” beliefs yet. Other than wanting to be near me.

There is no doubt in my mind that if I had not had children I would be dead. Sometimes it seems like cheating that having kids is not only as good as I hoped it would be, it is better. I could never have imagined all of the life I have now. I didn’t have the imagination. And I’m going to do some intensely cool things in the future. Even if I do have diarrhea.

My shrink tried to tell me that if I get a “real diagnosis” that means I’m likely to have diarrhea forever that will be the end of travel. I laughed. I told her that I have a travel toilet. I’m going.

My kids are going to see this country. And many others. My kids are going to find out what a range of humans exist here. My kids have so much privilege that sometimes it kind of breaks me. My kids are growing up being told that with great privilege comes great responsibility. I say things like, “There are a lot of people in this world who are so hungry they are not able to think of solutions to the larger problems. It is the responsibility of people who have enough and more to solve these problems because you have the ability to think. If you waste what you have, that is terrible. That is hurtful. You are damaging the people who cannot do what you are doing just out of… what? Not wanting to? Not wanting to deal with making mistakes and having to learn from them? You are going to fuck up in ways big and small. Try to change things. The world needs changing.”

A former student told me that Outrunning Suicide is the book she wishes she had read when she was twelve. She said she cried because of all the mistakes she made during her teen years that could have been avoided if she had read this book. I need to find the time and motivation to submit this for publication. Man it takes spoons. She described it as “It’s like The American Girl Body Book but grown up…”

She says I’m very good at presenting facts and options and not telling people what to do. *phew*

I don’t want to tell you what to do. I don’t know what you should do.

H’okay. 90 minutes since I’ve been in the bathroom and 5 cups of liquid later time to leave the garage. Have a good day, y’all.

Baby sitting is awesome

I like giving and receiving baby sitting. It helps me feel like I am part of a community. I am a trusted adult who is permitted to bond with other people’s children. What a statement of trust. This feels like a big deal to me.

i would not be able to count nor name all the people who have thought I was less than trustworthy. This is a change. I have a wonderful two year old cuddled up with me, right this minute.

i am so lucky.

I need you.

Those three words make my heart start racing like I just completed a sprint. You need me? OK! What do you need?! I CAN DO IT! This morning my baby woke up scared and needed to cuddle me. Easy peasy. I have a firm policy of waking up with a smile if my kids wake me up saying “I need you”. Ok. It’s my job to be there when you need me, so yes ma’am.

Do you know why my kids have good manners? Because I say yes ma’am and no ma’am to them for just about everything. If my kids scream at me I raise an eyebrow and say, “Try again” in a calm voice. If they scream a second time I say, “Do I respond well to screaming?” Then they visibly shake themselves off and calm down enough to ask for what they want.

Based on the dozens and dozens of books I’ve read about early childhood development the first 5-7 years of life should be spent on socialization, attachment formation, and learning to manage your emotions. I have gone through my life crippled by my inability to manage my emotions in times of stress and that is largely because I was not taught how to deal with my body. If I grew distressed I was punished.

I don’t let my kids have a lot of screen time because screen time is shown to increase emotional dysregulation. I feel it would be counter productive to hand them a bunch of emotional dysregulation during the period of their life when they are poorly regulated and struggling for basic control. I mean, they are pretty good and all… but they are 3 and 5. They are good for their ages and that means they have a lot of work left to do.

I think about this because when I babysit for other kids I learn that the short cuts I’ve worked on with my kids don’t work as well. My kids respond to “Try again”. “Will that work?” is enough to stop the vast majority of tantrums. “So what is your goal here?” is another favorite I lean on extensively. I talk them through how to get what they want without using methods that will result in escalation of conflict. That’s what I spend my days doing. I hang out with them and help them manage their emotions as they are doing what they want to do.

Other peoples children kind of look at me blankly if I just say “Try again” and that’s hard at this phase. I have to turn around and manage my own frustration and emotional dysregulation because my short hand didn’t communicate what I wanted it to communicate and so I am left struggling to find phrasing that will work which means a bunch of quick thinking. I shouldn’t complain. But man I am grateful I have been able to train my kids the way I have.

Yup, I’ve trained my kids. And it’s awesome.

I feel a lot of guilt for not actually having the control I wish I had. I feel a lot of shame for the fact that if my children were less well trained I would have a much harder time being nice. It is hard for me to be nice to other peoples kids who don’t respond to the training cues.

I *do not* yell or scream or shame or respond badly to children not understanding my cues. Instead I take a deep breathe and smile and out comes a whole flood of words that explains why I’m asking what I’m asking and I give them a whole bunch of suggestions for how to solve whatever problem is coming up.

But it’s hard. It wears my body out to emotionally flood that many times in a short period of time. I believe that the children deserve the respect so I’m going to deliver it even if it means I cry the whole way home because my body feels like shit and I’m tired and worn out. My stomach hurts so bad.

Sometimes my physical comfort is not the highest priority in my life. That’s hard. Sometimes my friends need help and I’m the one who could show up and supply the necessary help and I believe in Pay It Forward like I believe It Takes All Kinds. I HAVE to step up when friends have nowhere else to look for support. If I don’t then the ship will go down and it will be partially my fault.

No, not really. Other people having problems in their lives isn’t my fault. But if the reason I choose not to help is because it is hard and it makes me feel bad and I cry for an hour or two afterwards because of stress… that’s not a good enough reason to choose not to help in a crisis. That’s a good enough reason to not sign up for four home school outings in a week. That’s a good enough reason to not sign up for helping once a week indefinitely. But it’s not a good enough reason to refuse help in a crisis.

Which leads back to spoon management with my kids in my life.

I have to leave enough slack all the time to absorb occasional bursts of spoon excess in one area or another. This is part of why I’ve been reading so much lately. I’m trying to build slack into my spoon usage. There are times when all of a sudden I use extra spoons on a project or on driving or on helping other people and I have to be able to continue delivering the same quality and quantity of care to my kids.

Taking care of my kids is hard but worthwhile. I’ve been doing really well post-Christmas. I am staying more level. I’m responding in the right tone of voice and I’m responding in a timely fashion instead of sometimes choosing to let them fight it out because I can’t intervene in a timely fashion in the right way. (I don’t let them physically fight things out but sometimes if they want to have a screaming match over something I will tell them that they can scream at each other in the back yard.) Mostly I try to help them work things out. It’s exhausting to be a referee all day.

So given that my focus is on socialization, attachment formation, and emotional regulation it’s kind of funny when a friend says, “So how about their academics? When do you do that?”

Err… I don’t. Not really. I mean, I read to them a lot. I read to my kids for 5-15 hours a week depending on the week. Noah reads to the kids for an additional 5-10 hours a week. As often as possible I sucker my friends into reading to the kids.

I get workbooks when Shanna is given her “school allotment” and she goes shopping and says, “I think I should practice shaping letters so let’s get a workbook”. I never indicate that she should get out a workbook and practice. But the suckers are being used steadily. I feel kind of confused by her choosing to do worksheets, but whatever makes you happy kiddo.

That said: if you go through the kindergarten standards (Which I do–quite regularly) you would find that Shanna was more or less competent on the full curriculum before the start of her “kindergarden” year. Given that the state now believes children should be fluent readers in first grade she is *not* through the first grade curriculum but I think the state is on crack for expecting that anyway.

(I mean for science: one of the many things kids should know why different kinds of plants grow in different environments. Shanna can give you long lectures on the evolution of plants and animals. We watch a lot of documentaries and I feel pretty surprised by what she knows. She designs structures so she can talk about what things work better and why. Sure a lot of her structures are meant to be froofy princess shit, but whatever. I don’t care if you are building a castle or a space station–you are building. It works.)

I will confess that I need to get my hands on a globe so we can play with a flashlight and talk about the seasons more. We’ve talked about it representationally on flat maps… but that’s not the same. I need to get off my butt.

We work on the PE skills in malls all the time. How do you learn to be aware of your body? How do you move through crowds without bumping people? How do you decide which objects you can go under or over in a public place? Or must you go around them on the side? This is what kindergarden PE teaches. We play catch and kick ball. They do yoga and go on three mile walks a few times a week. (I’ve been better lately.) Sure, Calli gets piggy back rides for over a mile of the walk… but she’s hella short. She’ll get there.

I will confess that my kids are not fully versed on the “triumphs of American history” but they do know a lot about racial issues through the history of this country. Shanna call tell you about segregation and Jim Crow laws and why Rosa Parks was important. I’m going to keep doing things my way instead of talking about how awesome Paul Revere was. (I mean… really he was a patent thief and an asshole and there was a girl riding the alarm the same night as him but HISTORY IGNORES HER. Ahem.)

Given that all of the kindergarden reading/language arts standards are “With prompting and support” yes, Shanna can do all that is expected of a five year old. She can tell you about myths from different cultures. She can tell you that a poem rhymes and a narrative tells a story in plain English. She can identify the narrator and she understands “what’s the point” as “tell me about the plot”. She can count to 100 (and beyond, I think) and add and do basic subtraction. She understands the beginnings of numeral placement. She knows her shape and can talk about what is necessary for each kind of shape.

And no, I don’t spend time on academics. I’m not going to waste her time. But what I mean when I say “I don’t spend time on academics” is I don’t ever sit down with a curriculum written by someone else and say, “Ok now it is time for school.”

We talk about cylinders as we are putting dishes away. We talk about the difference between a square and a rectangle when we build raised beds in the back yard. We do addition practice in the car because she starts it.

I do not direct her learning much. I don’t pick the whack job documentaries she watches, though I try to watch with her. She can talk to you about generations of animals dying out–whole species! She’s fascinated by the way animals change over time. She’s pissed off that evolution doesn’t happen fast enough for her to really watch it in her lifetime.

I talk to my kids all day long about everything I see. “Why do you think they made this bench out of wood and this other one out of metal?” “What is this made out of?” My kid can tell you the merits of using different kinds of spatulas to cook different foods.

We do science by cooking and gardening. We talk about history all the time. I’m fond of saying, “We study history because humans have been alive a long time. Almost every mistake that you will want to make has already been made by someone else. You can learn a lot if you just read about people and their choices.”

My kids are growing up in a house where “hacking” DOES NOT MEAN following directions on a kit that some forking grown up made for you. No. That’s not how life works. You are not going to spend your life just following directions that someone else makes up. You are going to have to make your own directions. How do you do that?

If you want to learn to sew (which Shanna does) I can show you the basics and I can provide you with materials, but no I’m not going to do it while you watch and I’m not going to stand next to you and micromanage you doing it perfectly. You are going to mess up and feel frustration. You are going to have to learn how to rip out your own seams and try again.

I can’t make things easy for you. I wouldn’t even if I could. Life isn’t going to be easy.

My job is to help you learn emotional regulation and help you feel like you matter in the world so that you won’t spend your life wanting to kill yourself because you believe you are a worthless piece of shit.

Everything else you can learn as you go. I promise.

At the end of kindergarden they wanted to hold me back because I wasn’t mature enough. I’d been to five fucking kindergardens, no I wasn’t as “advanced” compared to the kids in the tiny school I was in last that year. The teacher thought I was stupid because I couldn’t read yet. I picked up reading in first grade and by second grade I was testing at the 10th grade level.

I’m not worried about early asymmetrical growth. Don’t you understand that the standards were created by bureaucrats and *not* educational specialists? (Go ask education specialists. You will find a few who endorse the standards but mostly they don’t like the idea of a national curriculum–people don’t work that way.)

“The things that are the hardest to learn are often the most rewarding once you master them. You have to keep trying even when something makes you mad.”

That’s what my kids hear over and over. A far cry from “I guess I can’t do math because I’m a girl.” That’s what I believed as a child. Because I was told that math was hard for me because I was just a stupid girl. Word for word. Over and over.

When my kids try to do something that is way too hard for them they say, “Whoa. I think I need to learn a bit more before I understand this.” I almost fell out of my chair laughing when Calli said that. She was confused but delighted that she made me laugh.

I think my saving grace with children is I don’t expect them to do much or support me. I understand that the support is a one way street. I do the supporting. That means I never get disappointed and lash out at them for not helping me when I want/need help. I have internalized so thoroughly that it isn’t their job.

That said they have more and more chores. Shanna unloads the dishwasher, clears the table, and keeps her stuff tidy. When she has to clean up her toys she often says, “What am I, your maid!?” I tell her that until I start forcing her to do laundry for the whole family and do the sweeping and mopping and vacuuming she doesn’t get to claim maid status. I’m teaching her to clean up after herself which means she is being her own maid… not mine. She generally doesn’t argue much.

And now I have a wonderful girl on my lap. She says she wants to watch The West Wing with me. heh.

Searching for a helpful babysitter

But not for me! A good friend lives in Oakland, near Lake Merritt. She fairly desperately needs someone she can call occasionally for help with one or both of her kids.

This coming Monday she needs help from 8:30-12:30 with her one year old. She is the sweetest little girl and I wish I could do it. But that is my window for getting my washing machine repaired.

Is anyone else available?