Monthly Archives: November 2010

Belle is a Boy

Earlier in the month there was a blog post by a mom, writing about her son who wanted to dress up for Halloween as Daphne from Scooby Doo. The post went viral very quickly, and I hear the mom was even on the Today show.

Well, that post could have (almost) been written by me, except I have a daughter, not a son.

(Actually, I have two daughters, but this post is about my younger one, known here as Belle.)

Belle has always been very, um, active. She has one speed, and it is high. She wakes up (far) earlier than anyone else in the house and is loud, with big movements and holds no prisoners. I often have to tell her to be gentle to our (five) animals. I tell you, any animal that can make it in our house can make it anywhere!

She also looks like a boy. She has an amazingly thick head of hair. I mean, seriously, you have never seen hair like hers. When she was younger I tried growing it long-ish, but it grew out more than down and it was always pretty much just puffed out from her head. I cut it shorter when she was about 4 and it fit her face much better. Then we had the Lice Invasion of 2008 (which has repeated itself yearly since) and desperate times call for desperate measures — I finally resorted to shaving her head to save my sanity.

While her hair was pretty much non-existent I tried to dress her in pink as much as possible when we went out in public, just so people would know she was a girl. She really didn’t care much either way. Left to her own devices, she dresses very boy-ish. And the same outfit, which looked feminine on Krystal, looks far less so on Belle.

She’s six now, in first grade. I still keep her hair short. When we are out in public a cashier will say “Here you go, honey” to Krystal, and “Here you go, buddy” to Belle. At McDonalds, unless I specify, they take it upon themselves to include a boy toy for Belle in the Happy Meals. Her appearance, her demeanor, her actions all scream boy. Friends with sons her age tell me she plays like their boys do: loud, aggressive, physical.

When I was young, age 8ish to 12-ish, I wanted to be a boy. I thought boys/men had it better than girls/women and I wanted to be one to gain those advantages. Around puberty I accepted my girl/womanhood and have never looked back, even though some of the male privilege still irks me. All in all, I like being a woman. Belle doesn’t seem to want to be a boy – she just acts like one.

All of this has made me wonder about her sexual orientation. I want to say, unequivocally, that it does not matter to me whether Belle loves men, or women, or both. I only want her to love people who love and respect her, who make her happy, and vice versa.

Parenting Belle sure is an experience.


I have nothing to say.

Oh, of course that’s not really true. I’ve always got something to say. Whether or not anyone wants to hear it is another thing entirely, of course. But it’s all percolating right now – I’ll have to come back tomorrow and try my hand at telling you what’s on my mind right now.

For tonight, let me just leave you with this little nugget. I help out in Belle’s classroom on Monday mornings. As I am leaving, they head out to recess. Belle came by where I was talking with her teacher and said, “Hello Ragtop” (calling me by my real first name, obv). Her teacher called her back and said “Is Ragtop your Mom’s name?” She said it was. He said, “If I called my mom by her first name I’d be so hurt I wouldn’t be able to come to school the next day. Call your mom “Mom””. I just loved that he handled it for me. We both recognize she was just going for the shock value – totally typical of the 6 year old set. After she left he said “Kids are funny. You just can’t always let them know they’re funny.”

Honestly? This is a placeholder

I’m driving all day today, and since past experience tells me I’m going to be fried when we get home, I’m scheduling this to post so I don’t have to. Cheating? I think not, since I’m still writing this, and I did have to put effort into it.

Suffice to say, our visit with friends was fun and productive. It was a great mix of all of us spending time as a family (the kind you choose for yourself), as well as giving me some much needed adult time as my kids were off playing with our friends’ kids. Oh, and our three dogs enjoyed spending time with their three dogs too. What a crew!

BF Post Mortem

Color me surprised – I actually went shopping yesterday. In case you’re reading this anytime that is not today, it was Black Friday!

We are visiting friends, so I have built in child care, but I had to work too. So we got up and left the house shortly after 6 am, all the children still asleep.  Target was our first stop and when we walked in we saw a line forming near the entrance of the store. I asked one of the liner-uppers what the line was for, thinking it was some super-secret-special item I had missed in their flyer, and lo and behold it was the checkout line!!! I almost walked out right then, but we stayed and I bought some things on my list, and a few things not. And that serpentine line around the store? It wasn’t too bad. It was nice to shop with a friend, since we could take turns running off to find things but keep our place in line.

As busy as it was, everyone was terrific. Fellow shoppers were in high spirits and the Target crew members did their very best to manage the crowds, lines and endless questions.

Then we came home, I worked for awhile, and a bit later bought an item for myself online that had been sold out at Target – bonus!

Nook News

If you’re a Facebook friend of mine you may have seen me post that I bought myself a Barnes & Noble nook (yes, it’s lower case) a week or so ago. I took it out of the box when it came, played with it a bit, and then repackaged it.

I’m going to wrap it up and open it on Christmas morning in front of my kids.

They know I’ve been wanting an e-reader. Kindle or nook – I didn’t really care. I had decided the sweet spot for price for me would be $99 – whichever device dropped to that price or below first I would buy.

Well, I found a refurbished B&N nook on B&N’s eBay storefront for $99 (with free shipping!), and it was the WiFi+3G model, which retails new for $199.

I am very excited to start reading some books on it! Waiting till Christmas is proving to be very difficult!

Talking Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

We found a place to go – our friends that we’ve chosen as family. They live further away than we’d all like, but being together is what’s important to us. That and watching a football game I actually care about (my New England Patriots are playing the Detroit Lions today).

We’re enjoying the day and hope you all are too.


I’m working on several goals at the moment.

One you’re all part of – NaBloPoMo. Write a blog post every day for the month of November. I missed one day, but I’ve enjoyed looking forward to a post each day. I’m going to call it successful.

I recently bought a Nike+ transmitter for my running shoes, that connects with my iPod and tracks my runs. I’m participating in two challenges through the Nike+ web site. One is a group of women trying to run at least 50 miles during November. I’m proud to say I reached that goal on November 22, but I’ll keep going because 1) I’m competitive, and 2) running makes me feel good.

A third goal I’ve been working on is giving up soda. I’m a huge diet soda drinker. Most days I drink 2-3 cans of soda. I made the conscious decision to cut this back to one can a day with the eventual goal to drink it only on special occasions. For about two weeks I was doing pretty well, and then I slipped. I’m back to 2-3 cans a day again. Not too proud of that, but I’ll keep working.

Ninety/Ten Rule

We are up to five animals: two cats and three dogs.

Ninety percent of the time I love having them all around. I work from home most days and they keep me company as much as I do for them. They are sweet and funny and loving and adorable. All of them.

Ten percent of the time they are driving me bananas. The dogs (one in particular) is constantly ringing the bell to go outside (especially during dinner) and then barking like mad once she gets out there. They all love to bark at whichever squirrel dares climb a tree within their field of vision, or at the window when a neighbor walks by with their dog. And the cats with their night time antics, and their previously mentioned naughtiness with jumping on the counter constantly.

Oh, then there are the days where I feel like all I’m doing is cleaning up animal excrement. Three dogs sure can poop a lot in a day, and the litter boxes need to have the cat poop removed immediately so the dogs don’t eat it, and because it stinks.

I guess I can’t really complain about ten percent.

Almost Done

I am almost done doing my Christmas shopping for my kids.

I know a lot of people start early, and wrap up early (ha! wrap up! get it?). But what makes my almost-accomplishment so dramatic (in my humble opinion), is that I only started shopping on Saturday.

Yep, this year we are cutting back on the “stuff”. Each child is getting: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. See, it’s even a nice little rhyme! In past years they’ve enjoyed opening piles and piles of gifts, but then two months later I am still nagging them to put it all away. They love the getting, but don’t know what to actually do with it. Both girls have some high dollar amount items on their list this year, so that helps too. Four main things, plus a Santa gift or two. It may not look quite so dramatic under the tree this year, but at least I know each item will be used and appreciated.

You were born where?

Today I took Krystal to Immediate Care to have her fingers looked at. She and her friend were horsing around yesterday and she got her two middle fingers smashed in the bathroom door. She screamed like a pig giving birth (not that I’ve heard such a thing, but I have an imagination) for a good 10 minutes or so. We iced it and gave TLC and she whimpered about it most of the day. It didn’t seem broken to me (yes, I do have a minor in Dr. Mom) but when she was still complaining about it this morning, I decided I had to do the right thing and get her seen.

So we walked into the office and a young Asian woman was working at the desk to check us in. She took one look at Krystal and said to her, “What country were you born in?” Then she turned to me and said “Oh, I suppose I should ask if she’s adopted first?”

When I said that she was, the receptionist replied to Krystal “I was adopted too! Where were you born?”

Krystal responded “China,” and, trying to continue the conversation and show a smidge of interest, I asked the woman which country she had been born in.

“I was born here, in the US,” she giggled.


All in all I found the exchange, completely initiated by her, to be very strange! It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was so unnecessary.

Oh, and Krystal’s fingers are just bruised, not broken, thanks for asking!