What I Wore Wednesday… On a Thursday

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My outfit of the day yesterday was a bit out of the usual for my Work Wear Wednesday look. Maybe you noticed. I mean, I may be a big slob, but I still don’t typically wear baggy dude jeans and a friggin hoodie to work. I recently discovered, however, that this IS my outfit of choice when my kid gets suspended from school for a day.

Yeah. You read that shit right. I knew I wasn’t in the running for mom of the year, but geezus, suspension wasn’t in the playbook either. Tuesday afternoon I was trucking along at work and getting stuff done. Cold calls, follow up, the whole thing and feeling pretty darn good about it. After one such appointment I was checking my email while still parked and received a phone call – from the elementary school principal. I wasn’t actually too surprised to see the school number flash on my phone. S seemed off that morning. I just knew she was coming down with something. As it turns out, it was less flu-like and more Feral Child Syndrome-esque. The principal went on to tell me about how at recess S was caught tackling a kid on the playground with limbs flailing and hair-pulling. More or less a flat out bar brawl. Nice.

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My little sunshine this summer

I’m the first to admit S is a very emotional child and often her feelings and strong will get in the way of five-star manners, but seriously, full on tackle and hair pulling?!?! It took me some time to process but after hanging up, I went back to checking my email. My boss had emailed to let me know the principal called the studio number, and she had given him my cell. Awkward, but since she already knew something was going on it made it easier to go in a ask to work from home yesterday. Thus the outfit.

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Same kid and her expressive face…

Long talks were had with both S’s dad and Terra. Despite S’s previous offenses, this was and is uncharted territory. We’ve looked at everything from emotional issues with the divorce and all thereafter, to her just actually being ill and tired that day, to other concerns such as behavioral disorders. Finally I got the chance to just be home and talk to S privately. I told her to write and draw me a story of her whole day. She told me how in the morning she was so upset that she just hid under her desk. The managed to “turn her attitude around” but had some “not-so-good stuff” at recess.  Here’s her story:

We were on the playground and two kids were playing with a football and I wanted to play with them and they said I could. But then we were gonna play dogs and I was a dog that loved balls and so I pounced on the girl with the ball and tried to get the ball from her and we were playing and I accidentally pulled her hair and we all got in trouble.

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Sassy for sure.

I wasn’t really sure what to think of all that. She’s such a weirdo. 😛 I turned it into a conversation about bodily autonomy and how she shouldn’t touch anyone without their permission, even nice touches like hugs. Nor should anyone touch her without her permission. She spent the day grounded and suspended, missed the one sunshiney day of the week,and “specials day” at school. Stayed tuned. This is far from the last crazy situation I will find myself in with this one.

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Blended, Lesbian Family

When I knew I was separating for my ex-husband, there were a lot of unknowns. All kinds. Was I really THAT gay? How would I meet women? How would my ex-husband and I schedule and share the kids? How would they do? Where would I live? The list went on and on. I even asked myself how I would feel when baby daddy moved on and added to his clan and gave my kids step or half siblings. I assumed he’d eventually have more kids or get with a girl who had her own. One thing I absolutely never considered was me settling down with some cute single mom.

At the time I was certain I was in the severe minority of lesbians. I mean, I married a dude and had babies with him. Kinda silly to worry about, but that’s where I was. Now, I’d say I know more lesbians that have dated, married and/or even bred with fellas, so yeah, lesbian single moms of all sorts of backgrounds are a thing. Duh. I’m one. My gf is one.

With that in mind, together we are tackling the thing that many fear, and neither of us planned for or expected at all – parenting together all blended family style.

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The idea of it is positively daunting. Terra’s oldest is in Jr. High. Once she hits High School, we will consistently have a kind in high school for the next 12 years consecutively. My youngest is in Pre-K now. That means 13 more years of packing lunches, homework, field trips, fundraising, and PTA. We just finished football season for one, but now he’s started chorus, and another is about to begin basketball. Spring will bring soccer and baseball and lord knows what else. We literally have decades of little league and recitals ahead of us. Plus they are all feral and can NEVER all be satisfied with the same meal, on the same day.

To re-cap, two sane-presenting, lesbian mothers decided to shack up after only months of even knowing each other to accomplish shit that is already a struggle with four of the strangest, sassiest little darlings on the planet. Go us, amirite?

The reality is it’s really fucking amazing. I mean it. Sure two days ago I had to put the kibosh on some outdoor activities because one threw a baseball at another (unprepared) one, and kid b strongly considered choking out kid a…. Well, until queen of the children decided this was not acceptable and with the help of her loyal maiden shut it all down. But then yesterday one of the troublesome brothers insisted on helping his “little sister” with all of her homework. I walked in to see this. My heart melted and I once again knew we were all in exactly the right place.

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A Little Bit Country

As you may have caught on, I like cities. My heart belongs (mostly) in Seattle. I have no intention of ever living anywhere smaller than my current community. It’s no city but with about 50,000 people, we have enough restaurants,  entertainment, bars, events, shows, and shopping to keep me living my preferred life, all with a small enough population to feel family-oriented and safe. That said, there is something you have to love about the country life, or at least in doses.

This weekend GF and I took my littles to our friends’ ranch. GF has known Kirsten and Marie for many years, and their three year old son since he was just a baby. My daughter just adores it out there. They have everything she wants in life: horses, cattle, dogs, cats, wildlife, and wide open spaces. Look at this joy!

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My son in all his 4 years of glory is a tiny gamer and doesn’t particularly care for animals much at all. But look at him go.

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I am so thankful that Kirsten and Marie continue to open up their home to all of us and let my kids experience so much more than I could otherwise offer them. Not only a peak at the ranch life, but the chance to see a beautiful lesbian family. Neither of my children really said anything about it on the last trip, but this time my son, G, brought up how Colton has two moms several times. And he was excited about it. He told GF that he “yikes” two moms and that he loves her. And that it was like he has two moms because she likes me. I’m just retelling what he told my GF, but you get the idea. He does have kids with lesbian mothers in his daycare class, but I don’t think he really ever picked up on it. It’s beautiful to see that he can love his daddy, love his mommy, and still love this new relationship too. He’s both the sweetest and the cutest. Well mostly. Take his shit and he may try to punch you. We’re working on it. 😛

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I’m working on trying to be less helicopter-y in my mothering. The kids are older and love to explore. This weekend I even let them sit (without keys) on a 4-wheeler without me. Baby steps.

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The pure joy and sunshine in their faces from just running and playing and being just as dirty and happy as they please is a delight. I’m really just sharing all these pics so I can remember them always.

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Oh yes and a view and a Sunday morning Bloody Mary for each grown up doesn’t hurt.

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Cheers.

A Parenting Win for our Non-Traditional Family

Starting at a new school can be an intimidating, difficult transition. Particularly if you have never attended a real school before because you are a just a tiny little kindergartner. It is even more difficult if you don’t know anyone who is going to the elementary school to which you have been assigned. And I’ve never been in this predicament, but I would assume if you happen to be a five year old dealing with all that, while also adapting to your parents splitting up, your mom (and consequently you and your little bro) moving to a new apartment, and your mom getting a new girlfriend within the same time span, life could be stressful. With that in mind, I was calmly cautious about my first ever parent-teacher conference for my daughter, S. The ex-husband and I were to be there together and neither of us had been to any such thing before. I know my daughter is fiercely independent and strong-willed, even if a kind and compassionate soul. It can really be hit or miss when anything is amiss in her world.

S at the children's circus summer 2015
S at the children’s circus summer 2015

Ex-husband was nervous. Really nervous. I wasn’t, but at the same time, I had no idea what to expect. The first words out of teacher’s mouth were, “Well we have a very strong-willed young lady on our hands.” *Pause.* I don’t love “strong-willed” as it seems to have negative connotations in line with the bossy v. leadership skills debate. I straightened up in my seat ready to hear out whether this was a complaint, compliment, or simply a fact. I’ve heard it as all three.

Walking to Kindergarten
Walking to Kindergarten

It was simply a fact. My S is strong and independent.  Mrs. R went on to give us more details about S’s classroom behavior. She both tests and respects boundaries, especially once she knows the boundaries are there and why. She is a leader among her classmates. Her marks in all scholarly categories were above average. (Although frankly, I don’t care. She’s five. I’d rather have a kind, strong, helpful, creative and self-aware kid than some kid who is already proficiently reading.) She engages in all aspects of the kindergarten curriculum from phonics to computer lab to phys ed, and as per usual, she is (typically;)) a delight to be around. AND the teacher with a good 20+ years of experience repeatedly praised us for being attentive, involved, good parents working together to raise a great kid. BAM, bitches.

First day of school and posing with erh scrubby little brother... not his first day of school.
First day of school and posing with her scrubby little brother… not his first day of school.

So there you have it folks. So far, so good. Despite what you may have read,almost-divorced, lesbian moms actually can raise well-adjusted, kind, intelligent, and all-around kick ass kids.

Pre-K Graduation
Pre-K Graduation