we’re clearly fucking up

last night, we were reading a story to ruth entitled, “i’m a big sister”.  greg, tired of being slighted as the dad figure by advertisers and the culture at large, always takes the opportunity to point out when daddies are taking care of babies.  it just so happens that in this book, the dad answers the new baby’s cries and changes it and feeds it a bottle and, on this particular page, the mom is nowhere to be seen.  greg jumped on his chance and said, “see, ruth?  the daddy is taking care of the baby.”  “yeah, ruth,” i chimed in, trying to bank on this moment as much as possible, “and the mommy is at work.”  well, i was a bit surprised at the ferocity with which ruth said, “NO!  she’s cooking!”  “what?!” i said.  how could this idea be so deeply embedded already in her tiny head at three years old?  “no, ruth,” i said, “she’s at work.  she’s a high-powered executive.  she has a phD.”  ruth got even more upset, so much so that she threw off the covers of the bed, stood up and yelled, “NO!  SHE’S COOKING DINNER!

i looked at greg and said, “shit, we are failing her.  i need to get a job.  now.”  (who wouldn’t hire an eight month pregnant woman?  right?)

jesus.  how did we get to this point?  the other day, ruth was making a doll talk and said, “i wear a bow.  that’s why i’m a girl.”  can i blame the grandparents for this one?  i mean, i’m clearly not that great a role model as i tend to throw things when i get angry, use sarcasm to express my dislike of things, have intense anxiety over simple every day occurrences like if there is enough juice in the fridge.  i look in the mirror too much.  i am too concerned with dusting under the couch, am really bad about calling people back, and, worst of all, i pick my nose.  but, do i really have a daughter that doesn’t think that women work?  that thinks dads can’t cook and clean?  we don’t have a tv so i can’t blame commercials or tv shows.  it’s clearly a modelling thing.

what can we do to rectify this situation?  greg needs to cook, at least one night a week.  and do some type of cleaning.  i need to either get a job or do something that qualifies as work outside the home.  does this blog count?  i need to stop looking in the mirror.  i need to cut my hair short like a man.  greg should wear more pink.  i dunno.  fuck.

and now we are adding a boy to the mix.  oye.  a girl was hard enough.  now we have to battle both groups of gender stereotypes.  it’s too much pressure for one couple.  we have to empower ruth as a woman and be careful not to set up dangerous thought patterns about lessened social status, body image and the like.  and now, we have to make sure not to over-masculify (not a word) joel, to not dress him all in trucks and army fatigue patterned shit and tell him he’s too tough to cry.  how to navigate this rocky terrain?  not having a tv is the first step.  living on a farm and homeschooling would be taking it all the way.  what?  i like sheep.  and i can piss in an outhouse, i’ve no qualms.

 

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Author: Terry

Welcome! I am a Waldorf and unschooling-inspired homeschooling parent of three, ages 2, 4, and 7 living in the Lansing area of Michigan writing from the front lines of parenthood. Join me as I try to navigate homeschooling and bask in the craziness of life with young ones. Feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by!

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