Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Nothing to Prove - The Doubleclicks

I'm in a music video! It's about the exclusivity of geekdom. As a geek girl, the daughter of a geek girl and the mother of two potential geek girls I have a valid opinion on the matter. This music video is excellent. The song is by the Doubleclicks and it's about how anyone laying claim to the title "Geek" should not have to prove their credibility to others who also claim this title.
The myth of the "Fake Geek/Gamer Girl" is well-known to any woman in geekdom. We have all encountered some kind of "test" of our geek cred which is really a shame, because although geekery is something to be proud of, it's not the key to some magical exclusive castle.It's an inclusive castle, dammit, with knights and princesses of both (any, neither) genders!
So, I submitted a clip to the makers of this video. Enjoy the excellent song. Take pride in the things you love and remember that a huge part of the joy of loving something is sharing it with others, no matter what their gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or religion may be. Fuck you to anyone who thinks differently.

Monday, 22 July 2013

How do you teach a child about consent?

One of my pet issues in the realm of feminism is bodily autonomy. I am a firm believer that an individual must always have autonomy when it comes to their physical self. This expresses itself in my staunch pro-choice beliefs and my feelings about a woman's right to self determination even while pregnant, extending to my belief that pregnant drug users must never be forced into rehab without their consent.
As a parent I am trying to instill bodily autonomy in my children. I want them to understand that it is always ok to say "I don't like it when you touch me like that" and that it is never ok to touch someone who says that,  anything similar to that, or touching someone who is incapable of saying anything.
That said, I sometimes have to say "I know you don't like it when I touch you like this (usually involves saline drops in their noses) but Mommy sometimes had to do things you don't like to keep you healthy and safe." This is often followed by a list of people who are currently allowed to touch them and a reminder that they should always tell a grown up they trust if someone, anyone, including me, touches them in a way that hurts them or makes them sad or angry. This results in them telling Daddy when I've given them medicine they don't like or if I have grabbed their hand too hard when they were trying to run into traffic.
I'm not sure how successful I've been but I will keep trying. I also need to teach them now to last people know to back off.  I have never been good at telling people to back off when they are making me uncomfortable but I want my daughters to have the confidence to speak up when they are uncomfortable or upset.
I will be working against 30 years of conditioning as I teach them to ensure that other people respect their boundaries. I'm sure that I will give them confusing messages frequently but I think that as long as I keep a consistent message in my head I will be able to guide my girls. Maybe while teaching them about consent and boundaries I will learn about maintaining my own.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Dealing with Other People's Ill Children

We are in the midst of something that will change our lives and it actually has very little to do with us.

I have chosen to send my kids to a private, in-home childcare provider. I was in both licensed daycare and private care and I personally preferred the private care. My babysitter was like a mother to me. I wanted the same thing for my girls. I found an excellent childcare provider who loves my girls like her own and provides excellent care.

I don't want to go into too many details but she had a baby 5 months ago who has numerous health problems. We just got word today that she has a rare, severe congenital disorder. Her prognosis is not good. I couldn't find any information on mortality but from the details I was given she is going to suffer severe complications that will likely cause her death.

I'm heartbroken but numb at the same time. I cannot imagine what K is going through. I also have no idea how to help. I don't even know how to talk to my kids about this. This baby is essentially a sibling to them. They have been very involved in her life. I also shake my feeling of guilt order having two perfectly healthy kids.

What do you say to children about the illness of a baby? What do I tell my kids about how much their daily life will probably change? When do I make the call to find another childcare provider? Do I leave everything up to K? I can't imagine she will be in any kind of shape to look after kids for some time but I trust her to make her own decision.

We are in a holding pattern right now. The girls have a backup childcare provider who understands what K is going through and is willing to take the girls for now. S is a friend of K and has also gone through the ordeal of having an extremely ill child. She is great with kids and my kids love her but I don't think she will be a permanent replacement because she already has a full house.

I am going to respect K and let her sort through things on her own. I want to help but I know she already has an incredible support system so I'm not she what I can offer her. I want my kids to stay with her as long as possible but I don't want her to feel like she has to continue looking after my girls while she is going through this. When baby was first hospitalized I sent K funny stories about what my girls were up to in order to make her smile and to keep in touch without having to discuss what was going on at the hospital but that would feel wrong now. I might still send her a text to let her know the girls love her and miss her. I don't have to feel guilty about that.