Monday, 20 October 2014

#Microblog Mondays: The tyranny of pink

Okay,  okay world, I get it; I have seen the error of my ways. My daughter doesn't wear nearly enough pink or frills or dresses. Because (gasp!) without those aids, she might not understand her prescribed social role. <Aaahhh!! Gender confusion!!>

It's not that I oppose pink per se. I probably even own a few rose tinted garments myself.

But I guess, since long before Girl Wonder made her appearance, I've been a strenuous opponent of the tyranny that is the pink-and-blue-dichotomy. (And since first finding out she is a she, I confess I have lived in fear of facing the moment of the Disney Princess Effect.) Because, well...shouldn't we all resist this? Shouldn't I raise my daughter with an appreciation for the possible fluidity of identities and the empowerment that can arise from that? Shouldn't she have the opportunity to develop her own sense of femininity, or to discard that notion altogether if she sees fit? And just as importantly, isn't this pink-or-blue, pastel-tinged universe just a tad... creepy boring??

I guess it's fair to say we were always going to be subscribers to the Riley school of childrearing as it pertains to gender ascription. Too bad not all gift givers can be like Riley though.

For now I just have to figure out what to do with all these frills, because it feels like a nursing home somewhere may be missing its lampshades.


 Written as part of Mel's Microblog Mondays. Check it out here to participate.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This means that tonight at 7pm, as every years since S left us, we will light a candle in memory of he and all those babies whose lives ended far too soon, and in solidarity with all those families they left behind.

Today, as every day, we think of S and miss him. We wonder about the two little lives who left us even sooner after he went away. Three babies who will always remain a mystery to us.

One year ago yesterday, we found out Girl Wonder's tiny heart beat fast and healthy. As I type this today, she lies cuddled in my arms; an amazing, unbelievable feeling. She has brought us so much joy, but she cannot ease the sense of loss we will always feel, for the big brother who should be here, full of protectiveness and jealousy.

Tonight, we remember all those tiny lives, those of our three babies and of all others too. We honour them, and we thank them for the beauty they have brought to the world, even if only in their parents' imaginings.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Updates, updates everywhere but not a moment to type

How did it get to be October already?! ?(I know, I say that, like, every time I log on.) Definitely one of my favourite months of the year, though also the season I get most homesick for all things autumnal. Nobody rocks autumn like they do in Canada, friends.

October 1st <<2nd? I totally started this post last night> marks the beginning of Down syndrome Awareness Month, and thus the start of the 31 for 21 Blog Challenge. It aims to raise awareness of Trisomy 21 by introducing readers to the everyday lives and realities of families who experience Down syndrome. At  first I thought of participating myself and, full of good intentions and best laid plans, even got so far as adding the button to the right >> (That counts, right?)

This seemed like a good thing for me to do this month because a) we're in the middle of an international move, b) Girl Wonder is growing and changing in leaps and bounds, has many medical appointments this month and will begin her early intervention program in a few short weeks, c) I need to brush up on my German, d) am recovering from surgery on my left hand that makes tasks like typing slow and arduous, e) <as a consequence of points a through d> I am seriously short of time, and f) I'm clearly insane.

But then, well, in the *cons* column for this idea, there is also all of the above. My proverbial plate is full not only with all these grand transitions and minor causes of mayhem but with delights and simple pleasures and rare delicacies. Yes, (lover of a mixed metaphor that I am) my cup is full but my plate runneth over! Or...something like that? So anyway, 31 straight days of blogging ain't happening any time soon. On many of those points I shall endeavour to update you all in the coming days weeks oh ok, years.

A brief Girl Wonder update though (because let's face it, I'll take any opportunity, however fleeting, to wax ecstatic about this kid): she is thriving. She's still super tiny (wearing size '0') but growing up way too fast for my liking. And, though I kind of loathe the terminology and the fast-track, normative, chronological-development-preoccupied mindset that it encourages, she surprised all her caregivers by rolling over at only 10 weeks old and hasn't looked back since, hitting each 'milestone' as she goes. Her head and neck control are still weak, but she is so determined to be up and looking around and that has spurred her on. She spends so much of each day 'talking', telling us long stories full of adventure and glee and sometimes moaning over all of life's little injustices (e.g. her horse being left behind when we make an outing). She is the master of the full body smile, the entirety of her being wriggling with paroxysms of delight when she feels the moment take her; I have never seen anyone smile like she smiles and you guys, it is truly infectious. 

Five months into this whole adventure and 2.5 months out of the hospital, we are reaching some level of normality, if we are nowhere near normalising just where our lives are. For that I am so so grateful; a dozen times a day, H or I will turn to each other and say

Can you believe she is really here? 

That she’s ours and we’re hers? 

That we get to keep her?

We've lucked out in more simple ways too: Girl Wonder is, despite her rocky start in life, an exceptionally laid back and happy baby, taking everything in her stride and rarely fussy. She's accompanied us to wine festivals and concerts, gallery openings and fancy schmancy restaurants, and though I am sure some think us crazy for it, as we'd hoped, she hasn't limited our adult lives at all, only tremendously enhanced them. She rolls with it, a tiny Buddha baby for sure. She is perfection.


In the interest of awareness, (since many of my readers may not have much experience of Down syndrome)  I'll leave that button up, though I kinda like Meriah's challenge for us to move beyond mere awareness to embracing acceptance. Let's take up the challenge!