Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

Behind

I am behind on everything. You name it and it's still on my list to do. I am trying not to feel like a failure at everything, because I know that getting this puppy and starting to get her trained to be the kind of puppy we want to have (the kind who doesn't mess the rugs and chew the power cords constantly, for example; the kind people are reasonably glad to see, rather than the kind they avoid) is a major project, and she doesn't seem to think I'm failing at it at all, even when I feel like I've said "no" for the forty-leventh time this hour. I even did not manage to get a friend's birthday card out in time. I am not a person who does that. It alarms me.

I keep reminding myself that the main theoretical reason I am so organized and get things done promptly is not because then I feel better and can do more stuff (although that's probably the main actual reason) but so that if I have some combination of major projects come up, I can handle them without permanently falling behind on everything on the planet. And that spending time with the puppy is sometimes -- even often -- fun, but also qualifies as doing something productive at this stage of her training, so I really shouldn't feel guilty if one of my short stories doesn't get resubmitted for another day or two, or if the desk is a mass of clutter, or if the London pictures aren't all processed and written about and posted.

I even have all kinds of things I've been meaning to say on lj and haven't gotten around to. For example, I went to get a receiving blanket to serve as Ista's binkie, the morning before I went to get Ista. And I found two that were not explicitly and excessively gendered, out of dozens: the white fuzzy one I bought, and one with yellow and green stripes. And yah, okay, our language is gendered when it refers to sentients, so people are going to be more comfortable with cues that tip them off about which pronouns to use. But does every single object around a kid have to give these cues? Putting a girlbaby in a pink onesie isn't enough -- we have to have flowers and hearts all over it, a pink receiving blanket with flowers and hearts on it, pink booties, a ruffly hat, preferably a girly blanket and diaper bag? Because someone might be confused if we let her have green socks at the age of 2 weeks? Do I really care about the confusion of such people? Frankly, I do not.

And in the face of all this, many people will insist that if an 18-month-old does something, that counts as not socially influenced?

It may be that, in a perfectly equitable situation with no choice biased externally, 99% of little girls would prefer flowers and tiaras and 99% of little boys would prefer dumptrucks and helicopters. I think it's still important to make it a choice, to make sure that they have the chance to choose them. To make sure they can choose flowers and helicopters if they want to. Even if 100% of them reacted that way. If we're going to use color-coding to say what's "girl stuff" and "boy stuff," I don't think we need the additional roles appliqued on the blankets. Where are my pink helicopters, dammit? Where are my blue flowers?

It is going to be a long 18 years once we start the clock ticking (which, since I am of that age and marital status, I feel the need to reiterate that we have not). I don't know, maybe it's just that I have the time to fuss with a puppy, and a baby will take up so much energy that I'll say, "Hell with it, wrap the twerp in a gold-embroidered camo sarong if you want, but let's get out of the house already."
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