Friday, June 8, 2012

Rules, schmules

It has been around since the beginning of time, but I'm not sure I ever gave too much thought about it until now.  I wasn't raised with the idea; I guess it never occurred to me to think twice about it.  But since becoming a mother, I have finally realized that the world is wrought with double standards.

Men are tough; women are shrews.  Women are sensitive; men are weak.  Girls can play with cars; boy shouldn't play with dolls.  Seriously?  Utter nonsense.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately because of something that happened this week.  Lottie and Dallas were playing dress-up one afternoon, and they decided to play a hilarious trick on me.  They dressed up like each other; in other words, Lottie dressed like a fireman and Dallas dressed like a princess.   They both thought it would be funny to make me think they had traded places, and I did get a good laugh out of it.  I took a picture of the end result, of course, and I thought it was beyond adorable.  I shared the picture with some other people, though, and I was surprised by the response.

Everyone thought it was weird.  A few people thought it was cute and weird, and a few people thought it was bizarre and weird.  The undertone of the second group was that there was something inherently wrong with it.  As a parent, I don't think anything is wrong with my kids; they're absolutely perfect.  Lottie is a daredevil who isn't afraid of anything.  She'll climb a tree, jump into a pool with wild abandon, pick up a worm after a rainstorm, and cover herself in dirt from head to toe.  She also has a heart of gold and worries about everyone and everything.  Dallas is afraid to try new things, likes to play by himself, hates to be dirty, and loves to spend time with his mama more than anything in the world.  He also loves pirates, pretend weapons, and wrestling with Daddy.  They both love things that are usually reserved for the opposite gender, and neither one of them seems to notice or care.  Lottie is just as comfortable wearing a princess dress as she is wearing a pirate costume.  Dallas loves to be Captain Hook, but he also spends time with Lottie's dollhouse.  Trevor and I bought Dallas a play kitchen for his big Christmas gift, and he loves to cook in it, especially for me.  I refuse to see any of that as weird or wrong; that's just who my kids are.  So my three year old son dressed up like a girl on a lark one day.  So what?  Lottie was dressed like a boy, and no one seemed to care about that.  Sure, there are women firefighters, so that's perfectly acceptable, but she was dressed like a male firefighter, a fact she was quick to clarify.

I want them to grow up in a world where they can do whatever they want to do and be whomever they want to be without fear of repercussions.  Of course, I want them first and foremost to be kind, loving, productive human beings.  Other than that, I don't care if they dye their hair purple or wear their underwear outside of their clothes.  I don't care if Lottie brings home girlfriends or Dallas brings home boyfriends.  What I do care about it not who they turn out to be, though.  I worry about what other people's reactions to them could be, and that scares me.  I don't want my kids to be hurt or maligned because, let's face it, some people are cruel.  There was a story online last year about a photograph of a little boy wearing nail polish in a J. Crew advertisement.  Some people said the thought of a little boy wearing pink polish was "disgusting" as were the boy's parents for allowing it.  There were others who were more accepting and believed that kids should be allowed to explore.  I hope that my kids meet people from the latter group and not the former. I hope that as Lottie and Dallas grow and mature, the world grows and matures as well.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Packing and dragging

I have been just the teensiest bit busy lately.  Go figure.

The kids are out of school (boo!) but summer school starts a week from Monday (yay!).  Don't get me wrong: I love them and love spending time with them.  However, trying to get the house packed with them around is a Sisyphean task, and the time is drawing closer to The Move.  Things have to get done, and they need to be done soon.  I want to pack as much as I can now so I can have at least a little bit of time before The Move to have fun in Lexington with the kids and see some friends as well.

All of this is made more difficult by my own fatigue.  Since I had the total thyroidectomy a couple of months ago, I have been really tired.  I don't mean the normal end-of-the-day tired; I mean I-can't-make-it-through-the-day-with-a-clear-thought-or-without-a-nap kind of tired.  Having two little kids running around makes the nap situation impossible, and loads of caffeine haven't helped, either.  I wake up after a full night's sleep feeling utterly unrefreshed and unwilling to start the day.  I have never been a morning person, but it's really getting ridiculous.  My follow-up appointment with my endocrinologist was scheduled for the first week of July, but I knew I couldn't make it that long without seeing him.  I was able to get an appointment to see his Physician's Assistant, and when I got off the phone, I wept with relief.

As soon as I got to the office the day of my appointment, the nurse took a blood sample and sent it off to the lab.  I had to wait an hour for my results before I could see the PA, so I was glad I had my Kindle with me.  (And, by the way, what's up with that scheduling?  My appointment was at 1:00: shouldn't I have arrived at noon for the blood test so my appointment could really be at 1:00 instead of 2-ish?  Call me crazy, but that just might have worked!)  As soon as I finally saw the PA, she asked me to describe my symptoms.  That wasn't difficult because there were almost too many to list.   After my litany of complaints, she told me that a normal TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) level is 0.4 to 6.0.  The doctor is actually trying to keep my level to the lower side, around 0.4, because too much TSH in my system could trigger regrowth of the cancer.  The PA studied my lab results and let me know that my TSH level was at a 42.  So, yeah, things were pretty out of whack.  I cried then, too, because I was relieved that the fatigue wasn't just in my head.  The PA upped my dose of Synthroid immediately, but the meds take a long time to work.  She said it could be months or even over a year before I feel like myself again.  Hey, thanks, PA.  (There may have been more tears at that point, but I don't want to embarrass myself further.)

Synthroid, cruel mistress of my fate

I totally understand that my body has been through a lot, and as my awesome hairstylist Justin said this morning, apparently the thyroid just isn't something to mess around with.  Logically, I know it's going to take time and adjustment to get me to the level where I need to be.  Emotionally, though, I am totally OVER it.  I don't have time to be exhausted: Mama has a house to pack.  I want to see my friends before we move, get pumped up for my niece's graduation party (and have I mentioned she's going to play volleyball at Purdue next year?  Squeeeeee!), finish packing, play with my kids, and not feel like I'm living in a dense fog every moment of every day.  This isn't who I am.  I do everything at warp speed, and I love crossing things off my daily to-do list.  I do not love feeling sub-par at best.  I had faith before that everything would turn out okay after the surgery, and I have faith now that I'll return to normal again someday.  But, man, I really wish that someday could be today.

Okay, I'm done whinging.  (That's a little Harry Potter reference for y'all.)

By the way, does anyone out there want to buy my house?  Please?  :)