As you may have noticed I have shifted into a backseat role with Turkey Baster and a Bottle of Wine and will now be doing a monthly post as a contributing blogger. So with that here are a few glimpses of my past month as a non-gestational, queer mummy to my firey three year old daughter:
September 2: A close friend of ours is over having an early dinner with us and he shares that he recently sang a cover of “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers with a friend of his at an open mic. “I love that song!” I chime in. Our daughter wants to hear it so we YouTube the video. She is instantly in love. We dance around the living room singing along; I lift her up in the air at the “HO HEY!” parts. She is wearing purple jeans, a mint green t-shirt and a darker mint green handkerchief around her neck. She looks really cool. “Did you pick that outfit out?” I ask. “Yeah!” she chirps. She is one cool kid. We smile and let the music wash over us as dusk settles through the house.
September 16: It’s an early drop off day at the preschool today and my daughter is still sleeping. I check the clock- we should be leaving now. She slept terribly with a long nighttime waking after wetting the bed. We are all tired and cranky this morning. I finally can’t let her sleep any longer and my attempts to wake her gently by keeping her door open and walking around noisily are not rousing her exhausted, small body. I wake her and she is very sad to be up. Worse yet, I have to tell her, while bent over my shoulder in my arms, that we need to bring her breakfast to school because we don’t have time to eat at home. Her body is extra warm from just waking and her hair is a wild mess of beauty. She sobs in my arms: “I DON’T WANT TO EAT BREAKFAST AT SCHOOL!” Her face is contorted in sadness and tears stream down her face. I don’t want her to either. Today I feel sorry for myself- for our family- that we both have had to work full-time to keep a roof over our heads since she was four months old. “It’s ok honey, I know, I know, you can feel sad about it.” I want someone to tell me the same thing. This stinks.
September 20: Our daughter is such a funny little person. She has a phenomenal vocabulary for a three year old and is incredibly articulate. She is constantly telling stories; I would not be surprised if she was a writer one day or even a professional storyteller (do those still exist?). I feel so lucky to have this little guy in our lives.
September 24: I have to explain for the umpteenth time in my life to a student I work with who has a litany of curious questions a loose version of how our daughter was conceived, what role our donor plays in our lives, and what my daughter’s ethnic background is (she’s biracial). Sometimes I feel tired of answering these questions.
September 27: My daughter wakes and starts hollering for “Mama,” her other mother, my spouse. Mama has already left the house, having to be at the high school where she teaches for around 7 am. She is upset, really upset, that Mama is not there to greet her as she wakes up. “Mummy’s here honey.” I say in my gentlest voice. “I WANT MMMMAAAAMMMAAA!” she screams, writhing in her bed, rolling off the bed, then writhing more on the floor. “I know, honey, I know. Mama kissed you before she left but you were still sleeping.” “I WANT MAMA!!!!” This goes on for nearly a half an hour. She is a body of tossing, intense energy rolling about the floor. We have a speaker phone call with Mama in the kitchen while she writhes around on the floor some more. I try to just sit with her feelings and not take on that I am not comforting enough to her. After a while I ask her if she wants space and when she replies yes, I edge away a bit, but also let her know I am right here if she needs me. Finally I gently offer that we can make a smoothie. “That sounds good Mummy. Can we have mango?” she sniffles between final tears. I sit her up on the counter while we pour items into the blender. She stops near the end of making it and hugs my middle and I hold onto her for a long time, hugging her back.