Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut.

I stood up for my son today. It was hard, and embarrassing, but I still did it. And in the end it felt good and right and proper. It was the school’s open house night. And we saw in his classroom that there was a “calm down castle” which is just plain awesome. It’s a cardboard box that reminds me basically of the solitary confinement in The Bridge over the River Kwai or The Great Escape or something like that. But, it really was great, it had things to touch and focus on. And we’ll probably make it for ourselves.

So Levi was having a difficult time later on in the evening, it was well past bedtime and it was a long day with swim class and no real downtime. And a dad from his class turned to his son and said “looks like that boy over there needs a calm down castle.” Yes, okay, that’s right. The boy looked up and said, “who Levi?” “Yeah, Levi.”

And this was totally unfair. Yes, my son needed some way to calm down. But he has a difficult time sometimes in his class. He is an emotional kid. And we all work on it. We use meditation and talk about saying “yes” to “no.” And no one tries harder than Lev.

And the last thing he needed was some dad reinforcing the idea to his son that there’s something wrong with him. And so I told him. I told him it had been a long day and we just moved, and the last thing he needed was someone to point out that he needed a calm down castle to one of his classmates.

And he apologized, which I thought was pretty big of him.

I am all for pointing out the actions of others as teachable moments, ACTIONS. Not feelings, or dress, or appearance or anything else but actions. And only with strangers, unless it’s a class or something, and in such a way that no one hears that’s involved with the person. I overstepped this the last time I did it, thinking they group had passed us by, which was embarrassing, but … it was still an action, a kid not sharing. And I did it to point out, “when you are not taking turns all the time, this is what it feels like to be on the other side of that.” I got called out, but seriously, I wasn’t trying to be loud enough to overheard.

And when the kids notice someone having a difficult time I do my best to tell them we all have tough times. And I want everyone to cut my kids some slack. At least when it comes to being able to controlling emotions.

Am I wrong? I would love to “fix” my kid to make it easier on him, but I love him just the way he is. Being emotional is so hard. And it will only get worse as life goes on. He didn’t hear what the dad said, but what if that boy went into class tomorrow and told Levi what his dad said? What if he passed it on to his little friends?

I know it’s just that it reminds me of all my friends talking when I was little and no longer being able to come to my house because my dad drank too much at my party. And it may have been fair for them not to be allowed at my house, but their parents talked so much about my family in front of them. There were so many secrets, so many whispers, and so much talking about things that kids just don’t understand the true meaning of. And none of it was necessary. You do not ever need to gossip in front of your kids.

… I totally made it so they’ll gossip about what a blowhard I am, didn’t I? Made it even worse?

Can I just take my two little loves and live in the woods and never take them around people again?

Do all sleeping kids smell like vomit?

Okay, real time here: Why do my children smell like vomit when I open their rooms at night to say check on them? They don’t usually smell badly. But that room … I clean their sheets, they’re not always sweaty, and it’s any time during the year. Even after a shower. The room just smells like sick. We leave the door closed until I kiss them again before I go to bed, and then we keep the door open. I don’t think there’s a lack of air …

It’s nice when the ER doc compliments your child for being awesome.

Spent the evening in the ER with Levi. He has never been around coffee tables, so of course when he saw one in the home we will close on tomorrow, he decided to try to put his head through it. I have to say that we are so lucky to live in a great place where emergency care is available so easily and relatively quickly.

I swear I could see his skull…

I don’t actually think that he was up to nefarious things, I think he just tripped on the rug, but man, it was hard to not know how he fell.

Steep for no more than 5 minutes.

I’ve been a little down recently and trying to figure out why. It struck me this morning. As a mom no one is ever going out of their way for ME. Which isn’t fair. My husband does a LOT for our family and for the kids. And the kids are sweet, if occasionally monstrous. But I was putting together my husband’s tea for him to have something warm when he walked Levi to the bus stop at 7 (yes, see, my husband walks our kid to the bus stop, I really need to stop complaining), and I realized that from the moment I wake up I’m trying to help other people, I get out of bed and make my son lunch while my husband makes breakfast and sits down to eat with him. I make breakfast for Phalene and myself, mine gets cold and then it’s walking her to school, coming home and cleaning clothes or something, or going grocery shopping. I’m getting the things into backpacks or put away so they can be worn tomorrow.

I get plenty of time to myself (okay, I want more), but if the roles were reversed I would never sit down to eat. I wouldn’t be handed a tea when I stepped out the door. And it isn’t that he isn’t caring, it’s that he wouldn’t think of it. It’s compounded by the fact that I don’t get Christmas or birthday presents unless I buy them myself.

And I’m having a hard time because it isn’t fair to be upset over it. I don’t know how to explain the problem I’m having, because I KNOW I’m so overly blessed.

But at the same time, I really want someone to hand me tea. Or to put the hot water bottle in my bed on cold nights.

In which my son uses My Little Pony to teach my daughter than gender isn’t binary.

I love My Little Pony. I love that both my boy and my girl love it. Levi thought for a long time that two of the characters were boys and I didn’t disabuse him of that. Because, while my main reason for loving it is it’s non-binary view of femininity, even better is the idea that boys and girls can be friends on equal footing. Because, seriously, where does that happen in children’s television without adults being in charge, like on Sesame Street? I wish there were shows where the girl wasn’t a token, or between a boy and a girl the boy wasn’t in charge, like Umi Zumi and Super Why!

But tonight made me realize just how much I love this show. Phallene got very sad at dinner and started saying that she wanted to be Levi. That she didn’t like girls any more and wanted to be him. It was because a little friend had hurt her feelings, but that doesn’t make the feeling any less real.

When I went into the kitchen to grab some more milk, Levi started telling her that it was okay, that Rainbow Dash was like a boy, but was really a girl, and “you can like whatever you like no matter who who are. And no one can tell that Rainbow Dash is a girl.”

It was pretty amazing.

Is my son Duck Face?

There’s a boy at school who is “secret friends” with my son. My poor little Leverett. They can’t be friends on the way to school, or at school, but they can on the bus home. And it’s terrible and I don’t know how to handle it. I’ve started by explaining that friends are people who are never unkind to you, but … well it just doesn’t really work, does it.

How do you teach children that the world is a sucky place?

Or am I totally blowing this out of proportion? Is this a normal thing?

…help?