Tag Archives: motherhood

Sex Positive Parenting: What Does Good Girl Sexuality Look Like?

A couple months ago, my girls stumbled on a Bratz Babys movie and I let them watch it. I had to suppress the urge to rip the remote out of Robin’s hand as the infant versions of the Bratz dolls — dressed in lowcut shirts and no pants — gyrated and sang “I’m hotter than hot, more often than not” in front of giant lipstick tubes. Words can’t describe how sick I felt watching this plotless disaster of a movie in which toddlers (who apparently still drink from bottles and wear diapers, but can also wear platform shoes and do karaoke?) learn valuable lessons about friendship and sisterhood while finding a lost dog in a mall and talking a lot about “style.”

They loved the movie.

I tried to put into words why this made me so uncomfortable, so borderline homocidal, so sick to my stomach. In my mind, it was the fact that the film was borderline porn, putting baby bodies on display in a manner that was so adult it wasn’t even appropriate for the tweens to whom the regular dolls are marketed or the teens the dolls apparently represent. I told Robin that the show was “inappropriate” and she gave me this deeply resentful glare that told me exactly how completely uncool I am. What does “inappropriate” mean to a 5 year old who genuinely — I mean, it is part of who she is — loves shiny, colorful, beautiful things? To whom long hair, makeup, and sparkly shoes let her express who she is to the world? I asked myself how I could talk about Bratz without slut shaming. Without telling my daughters that girls who dress like that hate themselves, are brainwashed, are bad. Without sending mixed messages about their bodies and their sexuality, which isn’t that far off from coming into being.

I’ve often read and referred to the website Pigtail Pals on matters like this, and recalled some language she used with her daughter about the Monster High dolls:

What I said to my 5yo was that Monster High dolls were dressed in a way that I felt was inappropriate for children, that their faces looked mean not nice, and that their bodies sent our hearts unhealthy messages. We talked about different colors of hair and skin being really cool, but that these dolls made little girls focus too much on being pretty for other people and being too grown-up and that is not what kids need to do… I told her that Monster High dolls have the kind of bodies that can make girls sick, because a real person could never have a body like that, and that I loved my little girl’s healthy body so much I would never want her to have something that would make her think her body wasn’t amazing. And when she kept pushing about the clothing, I told her that girls who dress like that often don’t have full and happy hearts, and they use clothing like that to get attention and make themselves feel full… I want to teach them to use their intuition and common sense when it comes to hard decisions. It is what I do when I tell myself there is no way in hell that dolls like Monster High or Bratz or hooker Barbies will end up in my home. I respect my children far too much to feed them a diet of garbage like that.

And I love about half of that. I like talking about their facial expressions (which are mean). I like the idea of talking about how limiting that kind of clothing is for things that are fun (she talks about that in a different part not quoted here). I like talking about how we dress as a way to express ourselves that is for us, and not to appear a certain way to other people. My go-to line with Robin when she wants to wear something that seems over-the-top fancy to me is, “How do you feel when you wear that?” because I want her to focus on the way SHE feels about herself and not what others THINK of how she LOOKS. I’m talking a lot more about how great I feel in the clothes I wear and how beautiful I feel in my body, because no one else is going to teach my girls to value themselves in this crazy world.

But half of the above message gives me pause. The line about “hooker Barbies,” or the one that says girls who dress like that don’t have happy hearts… that bothers me a lot. There are underlying lessons being taught there: that only bad, sick, sad girls dress like that. I won’t have bad girls in my house. You are a Good Girl. You aren’t like that. It treads closely to the good old virgin-whore binary and I think that makes for real problems when our daughters do come of age, and have to grapple with wanting to feel sexy and wanting to have sex, but not having models of how to do that in a healthy way. They will get great lessons about how to be healthy, happy, embodied children, and I love that. But what will they feel when they hit their teens and have to grapple with wanting things that they’ve been taught only bad girls want?

Because sex, in this conversation, is located entirely in the bad girl model. The Good Girl is devoid of sex. Innocence is preserved, and sex is designated as appropriate to learn about later (and later, and later, depending on who you are — there’s a time and a place for everything, and that’s called college for some; for others, it’s marriage). So what’s a Good Girl to do when she is 16 and horny?

I was a Good Girl in pretty much all the ways one can be a Good Girl. I learned about sex mostly from a book my Mom bought me when I was 9. She gave me the talk and left the rest to Lynda Madaras, and I read that book cover to cover to cover. I learned all about menstruation and masturbation, so I understood that everything is normal and okay and natural and healthy and never felt bad for being a horny kid who got her period at age 10. For a long time, I thought my parents were kinda groovy and hip for being so up front about that stuff with me. But looking back, I was receiving very mixed messages about sexuality. My parents never talked to me about safe sex or birth control. I found a copy of Delta of Venus hidden in a giveaway box in the garage (which I smuggled inside and read cover to cover to cover – and WOW did I like it). Later, I found The Joy of Sex set (the original ones) in my parents’ bedroom and smuggled that to my bedroom, too. I was humiliated when my Dad discovered it under my bed and, in front of me, confiscated it and returned it to the closet. I mean, THE CLOSET. Could it have been more symbolic?? So, my body is normal and healthy and ok, but SEX IS NOT. SEX BAD. GOOD GIRL NOT HAVE SEX.

I’m raising Good Girls. They respect adults. They love to learn and play. They are sweet and kind and smart as hell. They don’t take no guff, even from Moms who find Bratz Babys “inappropriate.” They’re great, and someday they are going to want to have sex. Just like I did. And what if they want to wear a bikini at age 10? Or at 14, wear a lot of eyeshadow? How can I teach them to embrace and express that aspect of themselves in a world that believes girls who dress like that are asking for it? Are inviting men to treat them like trash, and that they are therefore trashy? It’s really confusing to tell a girl, “Those clothes are for grown ups and you can’t have that HOOKER BARBIE.” It’s kind of a cop out to say that grown up women can dress like that but not children; and then once they are grown up to tell them that, well, the only women who chose to dress like that have sick hearts.

As a sex positive feminist, I don’t want my kids to feel shameful for wanting sex. Beyond that, I don’t want them to feel shame for liking sex, desiring lots of it, being queer, being horny, or being kinky, if they are those things (I have no expectations are assumptions there). I get really irritated when feminism starts preaching to people and saying that they don’t really like what they like and that their desires are a product of patriarchal brainwashing. I encounter these comments a lot on some of the amazing sex positive blogs I read, like Clarisse Thorn and Pervocracy. Some of the most complicated and unhappy times in my life were the times I was simultaneously sexually active and a budding feminist, because I was horrified at what I desired and yet I couldn’t change that about myself.

So if my kids want — really, really want, for a long time and not just as a passing whim — to have a Barbie, or a Bratz doll… I might be ok with it. I certainly don’t want to teach them that girls like that are gross. I certainly don’t want to teach them that wanting to feel beautiful in their bodies is a sign of sickness, even if it means they do end up wanting to wear bikinis or pants with words on the ass (or shaving their head, or piercings, or being butch, or whatever). I still have a lot to grapple with and a lot to learn, but I do think that a fundamental aspect of healthy “Good Girl” sexuality is being able to want what you want, free from judgment. Understanding your own desire is fundamental to consent, and as a sex positive feminist, I do believe that all sex that is consensual is fine. If I want my girls to have a healthy sexuality, to be able to give and receive consent among equal partners, then they have to know what they want, love what they want, and believe that their desires are worthy of respect and fulfillment. I think that message can start now.

Life’s What’s Happening!

m4s0n501

I’m an auntie, y’all. My sister gave birth to the most beautiful, sweet baby boy two weeks ago and I spent last week visiting her and helping out. It was the longest I’ve ever been away from the girls and it went very well. B. handled solo parenthood like a pro, and I slept in until 8:30 two days in a row! Honestly, I thought it would be harder to be away but it was mostly wonderful. I was glad to come back, but I was glad to be by myself. More vacations for me in the future.

Next week is Kindergarten roundup for my oldest daughter, which is unreal and amazing to me. Holding my nephew, I was struck at how quickly his life will fly by. How I’ll turn around and he’ll be in a photo on the porch with an owl backpack and a lunchbag, just like my newborn baby, born in a wintry spring what seems like yesterday. He has dusky skin and brown hair, like the baby boy I fantasized I might have but never will. I love him like my own.

Here’s the thing about LIVING. I mean living as in, embracing life, staying busy, and connecting with people face to face. It takes time. It’s not that I don’t want to write. It’s not that I don’t have some deep insights to share, great moments I want to capture, or questions to ask you guys. It’s that with a full time job and children, I have to chose between LIFE and WRITING and right now LIFE is winning. I’m going to have to set aside writing time daily or weekly because I hate that I’m not getting stuff down on paper,  but I am having so much fun! I’m experimenting with voice-to-text for this reason. Maybe my morning commute will be a good chance? Sigh!!

I just want to point out what seems to be obvious, but here it is: I would never be having this much fun if I was in grad school right now. I wouldn’t be blogging. I wouldn’t be staying up late on school nights. I wouldn’t be watching Supernatural marathons with my sister and her snuggly baby (and cats, the poor neglected cats!). I would be stressing about jobs, stressing about summer money, stressing about the progress on a dissertation I wouldn’t be making, grading midterms, prepping for finals. I had no idea how much fun life could be as an adult, y’all.

What’s happening in your world? What are you excited about on the cusp of spring? What music are you listening to? What book is keeping you up at night?

Sure sign of Spring - Robin - Bird blmiers2 via Compfight

Bread Crumbs: Thinking about the one year anniversary of Mama Nervosa

When Lauren and I met a year ago, we had a couple obvious things in common: we are both grad school quittas, raising young daughters who are close in age. We are feminists who love pop culture.

The more we talked, the more connections bubbled up: We are writers who didn’t have writing as a primary part of our identity or daily life. We have had intense relationships with music, fan communities, and hippie boys. We love reading and teaching young adult novels.

Mama Nervosa was founded when Lauren and I were saying goodbye, standing across a kitchen counter from one another: we should blog together, Lauren said, completely casually, as if this were not the most awesome, amazing, generous offer anyone could have made to me at that moment. Seriously, she could have handed me $100 and it would have been less awesome than an invitation to blog together.

Over the course of the past year blogging together, we have had several conversations about what exactly Mama Nervosa is: Are we a mommy blog? A feminist blog? A post ac or alt ac blog? Are we writers? But we can never seem to narrow it down to a single category or check box: we are messy, overlapping, we don’t fit.

Mama Nervosa is motherhood and memoir, quitta and adjunct and post ac, feminist and funny. We are not a reliable product: we have no posting schedule, no length requirements, we begin regular features and wander away from them.

If we have a narrative throughline, a recurring theme that links our posts on topics as varied as loving Neil Young, growing up in Tulsa, quitting grad school, teaching Adrienne Rich, missing the ice cream truck, and falling in love, it’s our willingness to expose the process. If Mama Nervosa has a core belief it’s this: if there is grace to be found in this world, we are more likely to stumble into it along the way than to see it shining brightly ahead of us at some mythical finish line. I’m writing it down as I go, trailing blog posts and cheerios behind me, grateful to be here now, even if I’m not sure where I’m going.

self portrait

Self portrait: blogger smooching baby. I looked for a picture of M and I around the time of the workshop last winter, and found nothing. Resolved: more self portraits in the new year.

Secular Christmas — It’s Merry!

It was about this time last year that I decided that, yeah. We’re raising our daughters as non-believers, or, more accurately, free thinkers. We’re not going to teach them that there is a God (how my husband was raised), nor are we going avoid teaching them so that they’ll tacitly come to understand that there is a God (that’s kind of how it worked for me). It was a Facebook argument about Elf on the Shelf that finally did it.

Continue reading

The Mouse King

“Lucy, let’s play lockdown drill!”

I paused, looked up from the stack of papers I was sorting in the kitchen: recycle, art clothesline, save to show T, file, recycle. Did she really just say lockdown drill?

“Lockdown drill is what you do when a bad guy or a mean dog is at your school. We practiced today. Do you want to play?”

Lucy didn’t want to play. They moved on to another game. I texted Tyler, unsure whether I should follow up with D. I didn’t know the elementary school had lockdown drills. I tried to imagine their kindergarten classroom: where would they hide? It felt strange and paranoid. I didn’t want to talk to her about it. I was uncomfortable with the entire procedure: were lockdown drills really necessary? Was the school unnecessarily fostering a climate of fear? T and I talked about it later that night. Had she sounded scared or worried? No. Did she talk about what a bad guy might do, or why he would be at her school? No. In the end, we let it go: we respect and trust her teacher, and whatever information she had been given seemed to have satisfied her.

And then, Friday morning, news that many children had been stabbed outside an elementary school in China. Several injured, none dead.

Thank god that guy didn’t have a gun, I thought.

And then, Newtown.

I sat in my car listening to NPR, sobbing. Eventually I went in to work, talked with a colleague who has a daughter in first grade, cried some more. Graded a few feminist theory projects while listening to NPR. Wept. Graded. Wept. Graded. Thought again about D and the lockdown drill, and felt a tremendous rush of gratitude and relief for a plan and procedure I had doubted the need for just a few weeks earlier. For a teacher wise and patient and compassionate enough to have shepherded D and her classmates through that experience without creating lingering fear or anxiety.

We haven’t had the tv on in hopes we can keep the girls from seeing or hearing the coverage, but I have read much of the news coverage available online in the past few days, though I don’t know why or what I’m looking for. I have avoided looking at photos of the victims and I cannot bring myself to read their names but I have read over and over the nightmarish details of what happened in those classrooms. I cannot stop thinking about those children huddled in closets. My facebook news feed has been a steady stream of calls for prayer, for gun control, for improved access to treatment for mental illness. I am weary already of the insistence on polarizing those positions, as if I cannot simultaneously support mental health care and a ban on automatic and semiautomatic weapons. As if we might not desperately need both in this country. As if we might not need much, much more. As if there were not small children led out of their school, eyes closed, hand in hand, so they would not see the horror of what had happened there.

We went to see The Nutcracker ballet today, wearing fancy dresses and sparkly shoes. In the car, I reminded them that they didn’t need to be scared of the Mouse King or the battle: it’s all a dream, I said, Clara’s dream, and sometimes dreams can be scary or strange, but then we wake up. The Mouse King isn’t real.

When the snow started to fall on stage, D leaned over and whispered, “Is it real?”

“What do you think?”

She looked back at the stage, reached out as if she might brush the flakes with her fingertips, whispered without looking at me: It’s real.

As a feminist, I know there are many dangers in this world facing girls and women. I talk about violence, abuse, rape, harassment, bullying every day with my students. I hear their stories of survival. I am not hesitant or unwilling to face difficult issues, and I have thought a lot about how I will eventually talk about violence with my girls, how I can give them skills that will help keep them safe. But the danger those children faced in Newtown feels entirely different to me, beyond my grasp or imagination. All I have in the face of such evil is love, and I cannot imagine that it will be enough and I cannot imagine what else I might offer.

I watched the snow fall on stage, watched the dancers move with incredible grace and athleticism, let the beauty wash over and through me. I don’t know what the snowfall was made of, and I didn’t correct her hopeful assertion. I just can’t bring myself to tell her that the snow is an illusion and the Mouse King is real.

This post is part of the open grid challenge at yeah write, an amazing community of bloggers (remember when I floundered through NaBloPoMo there?). I encourage you to check out the other posts on the grid!

Wordless Wednesday: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

On the hunt for the perfect tree.

In order to fully appreciate the cuteness here, you need to imagine Margeaux shouting “I COMING DADDY! IIIIIIIII COOOOOOMING!”

Perfect tree.

 

What You Learn About Thanksgiving in Kindergarten

In the car today on the way to gymnastics, D says:

“Mom, say this: Raise your hand if you know the name of the ship the Pilgrims sailed on.”

“Raise your hand if you know the name of the ship the Pilgrims sailed on.”

D raises her hand. I call on her.

“The Mayflower.” Then she says, “Wasn’t it good how I didn’t just blurt it out?”

“Yes. Nice job not blurting. What else did you learn about the Pilgrims? I noticed a picture of Pocahontas in your Friday folder last week.”

“Pocahontas went to meet the king and queen. She was an Indian. She lived in India. Her dad was in charge of their area, and he didn’t like the pilgrims, and then Pocahontas got tooken to meet the queen, and then she met her husband and they had a baby and he was their son! So was that baby a boy or a girl?” (That last question is clearly an imitation of her teacher’s voice, so I answer.)

“Um, a boy.”

“Right. He was a boy.”

I wait a minute, to see if more information is forthcoming, but this seems to be the end of the story of Pocahontas. I ask a couple follow up questions, but it seems like she genuinely has no idea why Pocahontas’ father didn’t like the Pilgrims, why the Pilgrims came to North America, or why Pocahontas went to England to meet the king and queen. Since we only have a few minutes in the car, I decide to try and intervene with the most glaring misunderstanding.

“Hey D, remember when you read about Christopher Columbus?”

“Yes. In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. That’s a rhyme: two, blue. His mom and dad thought the earth was flat but he did his dream and sailed and he was right because our world is a sphere, mom! A sphere!”

“Um, right. Remember how he wanted to sail to India, but he ended up in North America, but he didn’t realize that he had made a mistake sailing, so he called the North Americans he met Indians?

“Yes! But they were NOT India Indians!”

“Right. And neither was Pocahontas. She lived in North America, near the ocean, and the Pilgrims met her when they sailed here.”

“Oh. Did they think they were sailing to India?”

“Um, no. They pretty much knew where they were going. They just weren’t very respectful about people’s names. What else did you learn about the Indians?”

“Um, some really nice people bought Squanto and set him free after the bad people taked him and sold him. There’s a special word for that.”

“Slave? They made him a slave?”

“YES. They slaved him, and it was really bad, they were bad guys!”

“Who? The Pilgrims?”

“No. Well, I don’t know. Maybe Pilgrims. Or maybe Indians. But then those other people bought him and set him free. Wasn’t that nice?”

“Yes. That was definitely nice.” Again, all my follow up questions about this gem of a revelation are met with total confusion. She does not know if Squanto was enslaved (or freed) by Pilgrims or Indians, why he was enslaved, or how this story is connected to Pocahontas, if at all, beyond her initial (mis)understanding that both Pocahontas and Squanto lived in India.

Also, at no point did she mention the Pilgrims and Indians having Thanksgiving dinner together, which I would have assumed would be the centerpiece of any kindergarten lesson about the holiday. Or maybe it was, and I have the kid who only remembers the peripheral details of interest to her: ships, slavery, conflict, marriage babies. American History at its kindergarten best.

 

3 Things About Raising 3 Girls

1.) It’s not all tea parties. Yes, there are tea parties and princess dresses and My Little Ponies. There are also dinosaurs and robots made of legos and occasional wrestling matches and hair pulling. Today, D and Lucy defeated some sea snakes in the hallway by spraying large quantities of air freshener and then fleeing for the top bunk. Rather than saying no to gendered toys, we have tried to say yes to most things ( only a few things–Bratz, Alien Autopsy kits–have been ruled out entirely) and then encourage them to mix it up. It would not have occurred to me to put the My Little Pony skirts on the dinosaurs and stage an elaborate dino ballet, but they don’t hesitate to cross gender (and species) boundaries when they play.

2.) Having 3 is actually not that much more difficult than having 1. Because when you have 1, all you know is how to be a parent to 1 kid. And if you are anything like me, it is the most unbelievably overwhelming life-altering time suck you could ever imagine. I distinctly remember feeling that every minute of every day was overflowing with this new weird experience of parenting and sometimes that was joyful and sometimes we were all crying but there was no escaping, either way. I wrote about the intensity of those emotions earlier this spring. But once I had two, and three, I flexed. Time flexed. I parent differently. I’m less likely to read Busy Busy Pandas 100 times in a row and more likely to read it once and then say, “Now look at the pandas and make up your own story!” Or, “Go find your sister and ask her to make up a panda story with you!” Or, “Go roll around on the floor and pretend to be a panda!” Before Margeaux was born, I worried that D and Lucy would be jealous of the time I would need to devote to her. It only took a couple weeks to realize that in fact, they are so deeply enmeshed in their relationship to one another that if I left the fruit snacks and juice boxes within their reach, they might ignore me all day. And now that Margeaux is on the move, she tags along behind them and plays along to the best of her ability. Which brings me to:

3.) By the time you get to the third, safety standards seem like very flexible recommendations. When D was 1, if you had suggested that I let her go down the steps alone to jump on a trampoline with a 4 and 5 year old, I would have laughed out loud at your hilarious joke. Margeaux does this every day. In the morning, she sits on the couch with a toaster waffle and watches Ni Hao Kai Lan in her sleeper. She brushes her teeth. When I drop Lucy off at preschool, if I start chatting she’ll slip away and sneak into the classroom and sit down in a chair at one of the tables, like she’s totes ready for art center or play dough time. She can climb all the way up the ladder to the top bunk, though I try and prevent this since she and Lucy came crashing down in a sad, bruised pile last week. Today, though, I forgot to pull the ladder up because D slept in late, and when they fled the sea snakes Margeaux followed them up, lickity split, and they rolled around on the top bunk laughing and shrieking. When I reminded them that it’s not safe for Margeaux to be up so high D said, “But Mom! We were escaping the sea snakes! And sea snakes aren’t safe for babies either!” Can’t blame a girl for looking out for her baby sister.

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.

 

 

A Long Dark Weekend in My Soul, and My Living Room

Ugh. You know those weeks where it feels like you just keep coming up short? This has been one of them. Even the new recipe I tried from The Pioneer Woman was a disappointment — and that NEVER happens.

For starters, I’ve clearly fallen off the NaBloPoMo wagon, although I’m hoping to finish strong with a post a day for the next 6 days. This happened in large part because I had been counting on the hours between 9pm and midnight to squeeze out blog entries, but I had that terrible migraine, which put me under for a few days, and T was frustrated that I was blogging in our only grown up time together and then I made the crazy decision to try and put Margeuax into her big girl bed, which means that my nights are now entirely taken up with trying to get her to go to sleep and stay asleep so now I’m not blogging and there’s still no time when T and I can have conversation and beers and make secret Christmas plans or watch House Hunters International. I think in order for this transition to work M has to stop nursing, but I don’t know how to do that without dealing with a lot of middle of the night tears and agony, so we’re just muddling through, and nobody is sleeping much.

Which is particularly problematic because since T works retail, he worked overnight shifts Thursday night into Friday and Friday night into today, so his sleep schedule is completely off kilter, and I’m cranky, and the girls are tired of being cooped up but I’ve been hesitant to take them anywhere because all the kiddo hot spots (children’s museum, indoor play gyms) are packed full this weekend, and I was trying to avoid the stress of being in a crowded play area with  3 children who all want to do different things but who really can’t operate independently. But our house is small, and it’s hard for them to remember to be quiet.

Tonight, thankfully, they all took a bath and watched the Barbie version of the Nutcracker, and D and Lucy danced off to bed with no complaints. And Margeaux is in our bed with T, who works a semi normal shift tomorrow, and even though I should just go to bed in her bed so I can sleep peacefully for a few hours, I’m feeling this internal nagging about blogging, and washing dishes. So. Now to the kitchen. I might be able to squeak one last glass of wine out of the box in the fridge and try and bring some peace back to my mind/heart/soul before I go to sleep.

Anybody got any advice about weaning an 18 month old? Ideally, I would love to be able to nurse her before she goes to bed, but not have her wake up and demand to nurse repeatedly (3-4 times) in the middle of the night. Is this an impossible dream? When she asks to nurse during the day I just tell her we only nurse at bedtime and then distract her with a story or Elmo or a snack, and that has been working fine. But I’m really not into having story and snack time in the middle of the night, and she’s really not into just being snuggled. Advice? Anyone? Lauren?

Dream a little dream

What I thought: I’ll just lay down with Margeaux this first night in her big girl bed while she figures out how to fall asleep.

What Margeaux thought: Whoa. I can just climb in and out of this bed? Anytime I want? Maybe I’ll just do that a couple times. Maybe a couple more times. Weird how mom is not excited about climbing in and out of the bed.

What I thought: Maybe she just doesn’t understand what’s supposed to be happening here. “Night night Margeaux! We go night night in the bed! Put your head on the pillow and close your eyes!”

What Margeaux thought: Oh! Night night! Maybe I’ll lay on my back. Huh. I’m not asleep yet. Maybe I’ll flip over to my tummy. Nope, still not sleeping. On my back? Still awake. On my tummy? Still awake. Mom looks like she’s sleeping. Maybe I need to be closer to her. I’ll just put my face right here, touching her face. Wow. Her eyes are right there. I can touch them! (pokes me in the eye about 50 times, saying EYE! in a perky voice each time) Oh look, there’s her nose! And her mouth! Does she have teeth? (jams a couple fingers in my mouth) Yup, teeth!

What I thought: Please god, please, let her fall asleep.

What Margeaux thought: Are those Polly Pockets? YES! I never get to play with the Polly Pockets!! I’m just going to dump all these tiny things on the floor, so it’s easier to find what I want.

What I thought: I wonder how much that sleep lady that my facebook friend was talking about costs. I’m pretty sure I remember her saying the sleep lady totally trained their toddler to sleep in a weekend. I need to look her up tomorrow.

What Margeaux thought: I love that duck and turtle on my wall. Maybe I should say good night to them. Night night duck! Night night turtle! QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK! Hey, is mom still awake? Hard to tell when her eyes are closed. Better look closer. Hmmmm. Our foreheads are touching, but I’m still not sure. Maybe I should shout in her face a couple times. Mama Night Night? Mama Night Night?

What I thought: I’m going to open my eyes, just to be sure this is actually happening.

What Margeaux thought: YES!! She’s awake!! “HI MAMA!!! HI MAMA!!!”
Funny how she keeps telling me it’s night night time when I’m so wide awake.Maybe I’ll try laying on my back again. Nope, still not sleeping. Tummy time! Hmmmm. Still awake. What if I kick these blankets off? Or pull them up to my chin? Or kick them off? I like how it feels when my feet bounce off the mattress. Maybe I’ll just kick the bed a couple times. Maybe a couple more times. Hey, what if I kick mama? Do my feet bounce? Nope. What if I kick the wall? Nope? Okay, better kick the bed a few more times then. Night night Mama!!

**It was around this time that I actually did fall asleep. When I woke up in the middle of the night Margeaux and several Polly Pockets were in bed next to me. Needless to say, no one got much sleep. If you’re the sort of person who prays, please pray for us. If you’re the sort of person who trains other people’s children to sleep, please come to my house immediately. Because I’m about to get back in bed with her, and I’m not looking forward to it.