Unbreakable lunch dates

This.

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This grainy pic of our first-born child wouldn’t bring most mothers to tears, unless they were feeling really vulnerable about their Instagram skills. But I’m sharing the story behind my emotional reaction to this crappy photo over at Spawn and Survive today. Here’s a hint: like so many things in life, it has to do with boobs.

Spawn and Survive: When baby won’t take a bottle

 

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

If you need a reason to order an extra cake, just invent a new holiday

I’m an advocate for inventing new family traditions. I don’t write letters to congress about them, insisting that they become official holidays so I can have the day off, but I wouldn’t be opposed to that, either. As it turns out most of these invented traditions already fall on or around another recognized holiday, which I just insist on enhancing with my own, and obviously better, ideas.

Our family celebrated one of these new family traditions last month. We call it Big Sister Day. Or alternately (exactly 50% of the time), we call it Little Sister Day. Coincidentally, this day falls on the day immediately following the birthday of either the big or the little sister in our family. So, in March, immediately following Marlo’s birthday, we celebrated Big Sister Day.

marlo birthday

This tradition started the day after Marlo was born. We were worried that Wynn, formerly the Center of the Universe to parents and grandparents alike, was not going to appreciate the new member of the family stealing her spotlight. So when Pam brought Wynn to the hospital to meet her new little sister, we surprised her with a party and a new holiday. There was cake, presents and balloons in the hospital room for the inaugural Big Sister Day.

Then as soon as Wynn and the rest of the family left the hospital, she threw a major temper tantrum (her first) and refused to get in the car. But we didn’t give up. We have been celebrating Big and Little Sister Day ever since. And I like it. No, not just because it’s an excuse to have extra cake and presents. But because it gives me a minute to pause, reflect and appreciate what it must be like to be a Big Sister (or a Little Sister), which seems to have both its good and bad parts.

When you are the Big Sister, you do most stuff first, unless it means getting out of diapers, because it really is just easier to keep wearing those things to bed. And there is the pressure to do things first, like go to kindergarten, jump off the edge of the pool or spell your name. It can be frightening to be the Big Sister, but you also get lots of attention. There are big expectations and more controlling parents in your life, usually. This is no different in our house. We anxiously await the milestones for the Big Sister and grieve the same ones when the Little Sister reaches them. The exception being the diapers, of course.

And more recently, now that both sisters can talk, I’ve been asking them to stop and think about what it’s like to have a sister on Big Sister Day.

Me: What do you like best about your sister?

Wynn: Her birthday cake.

 

>>What would you celebrate on Big/Little Sibling Day?

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My list of needs: They are small but scientifically proven using psychology

I am not a psychologist, but every once in a while I remember something from Psychology 101. And soon, I may be doling out advice as a fake gay parenting psychologist of the internet. The psychologist part is fake. The gay parent part is real.

This should be fun for everyone, because I am often the most confused about what parents should be doing, and that probably means that I should be figuring it out and posting my findings on the internet where people always come to find facts and good advice. But more about that later.

In the meantime, I drew this picture, because as parents of the new millennium, we have needs. Needs that should be met by our children. And to illustrate our needs I’ve re-created Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for parents. Or possibly just my hierarchy of needs, but whatever – this is my blog. What would you add to the list?

hierarchy

C’mon add something to the goddamn list!

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m in a show about motherhood which, like motherhood, sounds easy but is mortifying

Great and terrifying news, everyone. I’m in a show! Oh my god, I’m in a show. Excuse me just a second. I don’t feel very good.

I auditioned recently for the Listen to Your Mother Show which (and I’m quoting) “is a diverse collection of local writers who read their own words about motherhood in a show that … will be spectacular.” It’s even in a theater. And did you get that part about writers? I know! I’ll be with writers, who are some of my favorite people to be with.

LTYM

Oh, and yes, I passed the audition, which felt like a miracle. I was incredibly nervous, even though I had practiced reading my piece about 20 times before the judge heard it. But reading something personal to your iPhone Voice Memo app is way less nerve-wracking than reading your story to a complete stranger.

Here is a list of all the amazing people that will be in the show. Denver is joining more than thirty other shows in the fifth season nationwide, so we’re not alone, which I think may be the whole point of this deal.

You can buy tickets here. And it’s true, you need to buy tickets these days to see me make a fool of myself. It used to just require inviting me over and serving a few cocktails, but times have changed, for the better, I think.

I hope you can make it. And let’s be honest, I hope I can make it.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans
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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What people say is not necessarily what they mean, baby

Another cheat-sheet to print, laminate and carry in the diaper bag if you have recently given birth to a tiny human. Consult it any time someone begins to talks to you and you’re too tired to figure out what they are really saying.

You’re welcome.

WhatPeopleSay

Or you can order it as a helpful greeting card for new parents here. And special thanks to Scary Mommy who ran this graphic yesterday on her popular and hilarious community for real parents.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Check boxes, can’t live with them, can’t fill them out (easily)

Last night I was filling out some forms for our kids daycare. And last week I made a bunch of doctor’s appointments, not because there is anything wrong, but it’s always a good idea to double-check, especially the lady business, if you know what I mean. But you know what all this really means?

Check boxes. Yes. Those can be a problem. So, since no one asked, I have a few recommendations.
Continue reading

My children, I mean my specimens, have been studied and the results are in.

We have been studied. It was big. The study. And the results are in. And now we’re being debated. Before we go any further, let me provide you with a couple of details. A set of researchers got together and studied 500 families, some which were same-sex couples with children and some were straight families with children. And guess what? The gay families had more coping strategies and better family cohesion.

And here is the first thing I feel compelled to say about this. Knock this shit off! If someone launched a huge study to compare black families to white families to see who raised healthier kids there would be huge public outrage, because at its core this question would be racist. And at its core, the above question about the health of children raised by same-sex couples is homophobic. I’m glad it’s good news, but can we really compare?

It shouldn’t be surprising that people generally maligned by society would have better strategies for dealing with conflict, because we deal with more conflict, more bullying and more rejection. If you’re left out by society, it would make sense that your family would pull together more. So, thank you. I think we’re good now. Please do not “debate” this topic.

Instead, let’s talk about whether dogs are better than cats. (Dogs!) And whether boys are better than girls. (Girls!) But seriously,stop it. Let’s just love people for who they are and quite comparing because I’m not sure it’s helping us.

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