Friday, March 30, 2012

Anatomy Lessons for a Four-Year-Old

I impressed my four-year-old son the other day, when I produced a urine sample at the doctor's office.  "Mommy, that's amazing!  You made peep without a penis.  How did you do that?"

We had a similar discussion about a month ago.  He told me, "I have a penis, and Daddy has a penis, but Mommies don't have penises."

I congratulated him on his correct observation, just before he added, "And [my sister] has a penis."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Hubby is Cancer-Free Now!

You are most likely thinking, "He had cancer?"  since he didn't bother to tell anyone.  He had skin cancer on his back. He blames his high school summer job as a lifeguard in Arizona.  And his rotten luck. 

Fortunately, it turns out that you can treat skin cancer from the privacy of home these days, without even having to miss work.  Isn't modern medicine cool sometimes? The doctor had my husband apply chemotherapy cream to his own back over a six-week period.  It wasn't at all  disruptive of his daily routine--other than hurting quite a bit and making his back look hideous. 

Today he had his post-chemo check-up and the doctor declared him cured.  All's well that ends well.  Skin cancer is the least traumatic illness he's tried so far (and he's tried lots of them).

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's a boy.

I'm a list maker.  Several months ago, I made some lists like these:

A. Reasons Not to Have Another Child B. Reasons To Have Another Child
  1. I am about to exceed the ideal maternity age range.
  2. Three is the maximum number of children that fit in the backseat of a compact car, so we would need to buy a bigger vehicle.
  3. We used up the last of our cryobank supplies with Child #3.
  4. We have a perfectly good brood of children already and another one would mean diverting more of our limited time, attention and resources from the original three.
  1. We want another child.
  2. Maybe my daughter would get a sister.

In the beginning, Option B was a long shot.  List A was twice as long as List B. Moreover,  Item A:1 was particularly compelling to me, since I had always intended to avoid the risks of bearing children after age 35 by simply not doing that.

But then Item A:3 was surprisingly easily resolved and crossed off the list.  Now List A was up by only one.  And while Item A:2 was a valid logistical concern, it seemed a bit too superficial to take very seriously, resulting in a virtual tie.

Taking a closer look at List B, Item B:1 was absolutely necessary if we were to go with Option B, but in another way, it also seemed superficial, especially when considered in light of Item A:4. 

Item B:2 is what finally swayed me toward Option B.  I have two sisters myself and I really like having sisters.  There are many advantages to sisterhood.  I wanted that for my daughter.

Of course, I knew that even if I had another baby, I could outnumber my daughter even more by producing yet another boy instead of a girl.  In fact, this would be the most likely outcome, since 51% of American babies are boys.

The fact that obtaining a more even gender mix in my family was the most logical reason for having another child, coupled with my own personal preference for having a second girl instead of a third boy, seemed to guarantee to me that this last child would certainly turn out to be a boy.

So I wasn't surprised when I looked at my baby in the ultrasound and saw that extra appendage.

But I was disappointed.

I'll get over it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Caucuses: Democracy for unemployed, childless, healthy people with cars‏

Elections have become more accessible to citizens, thanks to alternative voting dates and polling locations and the wonderful option of voting by mail from the privacy of home.

However, here in Utah, we let delegates choose most of our election candidates, instead of holding primary elections.  You can become a delegate or help choose a delegate only if you can be physically present at a caucus meeting, which is only offered at one specific location and on one hour of one specific night of the year.   If you have to work that night, or you can’t find a babysitter for your kids, or you’re sick, or you don’t have a car to get yourself to the meeting, your rights as a citizen are essentially revoked.

Proponents of the caucus system claim that delegates are more informed than the general population.  Maybe that is true.  But perhaps they are just more likely to be unemployed, childless, healthy, car owners than the rest of us. 
Unfortunately, the Utah legislators who got their positions through the caucus system have no incentive whatsoever to replace it with a more accessible, and therefore, more democratic system, so we Utahns are likely stuck with this mess for the long-term.

However, Doug Wright, a local radio personality who doesn’t appear to like the caucus system any more than I do, has been challenging Utahns to try to make it slightly less awful by turning out in large numbers so extremists aren’t almost  the only ones there (like last time).

In an attempt to do my part toward this end, I called his show and expressed my concerns about parents being excluded from the process, and was rewarded with assurance from Jim Dabakis, the president of the Democratic party, that people with children in tow would be welcome at their meetings.

Caucus meetings are not child-friendly, but they are short and noisy, so while this system is problematic for parents, suffering through this meeting with your kids is feasible.  It is more feasible than suffering through the rule of un-parent-friendly legislation sponsored by the Eagles Forum, an extremist lobbying organization that claims to speak on behalf of parents while supporting such anti-parent bills as the recent sex ed bill, which, if signed, will take away parents’ rights to choose whether their kids receive sex education in their health education classes.   (For those not in the know, current Utah law requires parental permission for teens to take sex ed and the vast majority of Utah parents opt for their kids to receive this instruction.  The Eagles Forum and the legislators they control, since so many of them are delegates, do not like this decision Utah parents have been making, so they have passed a law that would virtually or completely eliminate sex ed.)

I didn't talk to the Republican party president--he appears on the Doug Wright show today--but I hope that I can urge my Republican friends to try to attend caucus meetings tonight, even if it means dragging your kids along.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Dog Ate My AC Adaptor

I don't have a dog, so you would think that I would be safe from such catastrophes.  I ordered the AC adapter from Amazon.  It never showed, so I checked the tracking information, which reported that it had been left on my front porch.

I knew what that meant.  The house next door is not labeled with a number, so many a delivery person has assumed their house was ours without bothering to check the number on our own house.  I went over there to ask if a package for me had arrived there. A new person lives there, with a very large dog that he had to physically restrain as he answered the door.  I asked about the package.  Yes, he had seen one, but his dog had eaten it and all that was left of it were pieces of shredded plastic.

Amazon graciously agreed to send me a new one.  I asked if they could please advise the delivery person not to feed it to the vicious dog next door.  They can not make any guarantees to that effect.  Cross your fingers for its safety.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Favorite Phase Yet

My 4 year-old has been through a number of food phases.  There was the strawberry milk obsession, for example, and the hot dog craze.  I am happy to report that for the past several months, he has been obsessed with raw vegetables.  Cool, huh?  I hope he doesn't grow out of this one too soon.  In the meantime, I just let myself bask in unearned pride in my parenting skills while he gorges himself on broccoli, even though the more logical part of me has to admit that my parenting really doesn't have anything to do with this and his next food obsession could easily be Twinkies or Cheetos.