One of the realizations I’ve had during my years of parenting is that many life experiences that before would have been identifiable by maybe one or two emotions are now quite the mixed bag. Much of this feeling confusion stems from the fact that things I previously enjoyed or got excited about occasionally don’t or can’t involve my two darling children, so my enjoyment and excitement are now almost always felt in conjunction with things like sadness, disappointment, guilt, and whatever word you’d use to describe the emotion of missing someone or someones like crazy. I’m fairly certain it was a parent that decided we’d use the word bittersweet to define more than just the sensation of dark chocolate as that word is the perfect encapsulation of what we feel whenever we embark on something awesome that leaves our babies behind for a bit.

Like work travel. I’m a plane right now headed to San Antonio for my second business trip of the year, which is already one more than I took last year as my position within the company is one that tends to be more successful when I’m in the office. That said, this year we’ve made an effort to spread the travel around a bit more and I volunteered to participate in a couple events. I did so because a) I wanted to contribute to an important part of what keeps Kalisher growing and b) because I wanted more experience out there in the world of hospitality design. That experience is fun, exciting and fascinating. It makes me feel more connected to my career and affords me the opportunity to meet folks I’d otherwise only know by a voice and an email address. It gives me time with colleagues that I value, it gives me a break from my typical routine, it earns me airline miles and it means I get to stay in a fairly fancy hotel room ALL BY MYSELF. Alone time? In a new place? Paid for by someone else? And I don’t have to clean or cook or do anything else required by the normalcy of life with a family and a house? Sounds splendid!! And then reality sets in. Days away from the people I love more than TV and trains and flowers and cement mixers and fruit snacks and trees and all the other things my kids like to list off when they play the “how much do I love mommy” game. Gahhh, that game! And days away means days of not experiencing that cuteness. Days without hugs and kisses and nuggles and tickles. Days of waking up and rolling over to see no Pete, just an empty bed. Days of exhausting, nonstop working and schmoozing and being on my best game in a way that’s entirely different than being on my parenting game, a way that requires an entirely different level of energy, and barely leaves space for how much I miss my life back home. You see? All the feels all over the damn place.

I’m not signed up for any additional work travel this year and I don’t intend to seek out more opportunities, so chances are that this is it. I know Pete is crossing his fingers that that holds true. Single dadding for multiple days in a row is no cakewalk, although it may involve cake, or possibly donuts, and definitely adventures, because Pete is super dad and never fails to make it fun. Which just adds to my emotional panoply because I want to be doing all that fun family stuff too. This trip is 100% worth it though because it’s in San Antonio and I’m heading in a day early to spend time with some people I don’t get to see nearly enough. Dad is picking me up at the airport and after taking a tour of his new house we’ll be walking down the street to spend time with my brother, sis-in-law and niece. I’m silly excited and tremendously grateful that my job is affording me this time with far away family. It’s going to be great, it’s going to fly by, and it’s going to send me home on Wednesday completely sapped but totally satisfied because it will have been a time and it will be over.




Around here, most recreational activities that children can participate in have their youngest lot signing up at age four, which makes Norah eligible for nearly anything she’d like to try. Our first attempt to expose to her to the wide world of participation came last fall when we signed her up for the Mebane Youth Soccer Association. You may recall a post about this boasting a photo of a soccer loving little girl in shinguards and noting near the end that “Norah thus far seems to love it.” Though I’m not exactly sure at what point in the season that post was written, my guess is sometime around practice number one, and definitely before game number one, because let’s just say I was totally wrong. As noted in the post, it was indeed appealing for its newness, excitement, and accompanying attire, but when it came to actually playing soccer, Norah’s enthusiasm died faster than you can say GOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLL! A typical game consisted of about 40 minutes of us begging, bribing, reasoning, comforting, scolding, negotiating, threatening, and fighting the urge to bicycle kick her into the farthest net (what?! we’d never do that), and about 10 minutes of her actually playing, during which time she looked sort of happy? It would be easy to say that she just isn’t into soccer, but deeper digging leads us to believe that a) Pete being her coach made her less likely to listen (go figure) and b) every other kid on the team was a good six months older than her and therefore faster and more experienced. It sounds sort of silly to say “more experienced” when speaking of little girls playing soccer, but we truly do believe that her inability to keep up dampened her enthusiasm. Of course our hope is that one day she’ll use this feeling of inadequacy to drive her to overcome the odds, but at 4 we are lowering our expectations regarding the power of adversity. We made it to the end of the season, but I won’t say the experience as a whole was a delightful one. That said, now that several months have passed, she has expressed interest in trying again, and we’ll gladly give it another go this fall, just with a team coached by someone else’s dad.

After the soccer season came the holidays which were plenty distracting from any efforts we might make to find the next activity, but as the new year rolled in and we had more space, we refocused on finding a class or team for Norah to join. The answer was quickly obvious as we observed the almost nightly hallway escapades to the tune of a series of Vevo videos of the latest pop songs – dance class! The Elder children (and parents) loooooooooove to dance, especially in our pajamas at home at night. I’m sure a number of passers-by have watched us through the undressed windows of our kitchen and wondered what fun was happening inside, as the height of said windows only reveals the taller two of us prancing and marching around, and our tiny dancers cannot be seen. Crazy neighborhood shows aside, a proper dance experience seemed timely, so I posted to the ‘ol Facebook asking for recommendations and quickly had guidance on the local scene.

We chose a studio in Graham that was favored by a few friends and offered a mini session for the folks that wanted to try it before they truly buy it, if you will. That’s not to say it’s free, but simply that it’s less money, less classes, less obligation, in order to get a feel for things before making the big commitment to what’s referred to as the dance “season.” Much to Norah’s disappointment, you don’t get the reward of a recital at the end of mini session, but she understands this is a stepping stone. During our discussions of such she politely requested that I find pictures on the internet of recital costumes so that she might pick the one she would like to wear when that day comes. I obliged on the photos and explained the small misunderstanding she had of the process, but she remained optimistic.

Then came February, the stupidest fucking month ever (except for the birthdays of all the people I love!!) and the first two of her classes were canceled due to inclement weather. Class number three happened while mom and I were away in Florida, and Pete opted to avoid the still icy roads, so once again, no class. On Thursday March 12th, she FINALLY got to go and from the moment I arrived home from work until the moment the door to her dance room opened indicating it was time to go in, Norah was over the moon excited about her new adventure. I quite specifically mention the moment that door opened because that was when she lost it. “I don’t want to go in without you. I’m scared. I’m nervous. I don’t want to do it alone. I’m embarrassed. What if I can’t do it? I don’t know how to dance!” This went on for a good ten minutes, her clinging to me, me balancing between comforting encouragement and frustrated forcefulness, the teacher trying to help, the other parents staring. Everything about it felt awful, but she eventually accepted her fate, and walked into the room. I closed the door and proceeded to sit on a chair with trembling hands and racing heart just waiting for her to come busting out balling. Minutes passed, the door stayed closed, I calmed down, I dared to go to the bathroom despite her plea that I stand right outside the entire time, and at 7:45 when class was officially over, a beaming 4.5 year old emerged from the room in her pink leotard and ballet slippers, full of satisfaction and pride. OMFG THANK YOU.

The following week she was an old pro – not a moment of hesitation when it was time to go into class and zero signs of anxiety – just straight up swagger like I got this guys (Pete and Cros came too), just make sure you’re here in 45 minutes to drive me home. I’m relieved and proud and excited and just plain happy! She’s pretty darn proud of herself as well, and given the emotion surrounding this simple six week session of trying dance, I can only imagine the explosion of feelings we’re in for over the next 15 years as she and Crosby take on (and BEAST) the great wide world of activities.



I was born in Southern California, Mission Viejo hospital to be exact, and when I was seven we moved to South Florida, where I spent the next 11 years of my life. Needless to say, I grew up warm, and my concept of cold meant someone was blasting the AC a bit too much. In high school I wore flip flops every single day; in the “winter” it was jeans and flips flops with an occasional hoodie, but still, flip flops, because I could, because 60 was our freak out temperature. When I showed up for college in Gainesville it was August and hot as balls, hotter than South Florida even, no ocean breeze and all that, just stagnate, disgusting, drenching heat, and so my wardrobe was still appropriate and all was right with the world. Then fall came and suddenly I realized how absolutely unaware and unprepared I was. The only closed toe pair of shoes I owned were trainers (that’s British for running shoes; of course I’m not British, I just told you I was born in California). Sweaters? I’m not even sure they sell those in Boca. So here I was, spending a solid several hours a day outdoors between waiting for buses and walking to classes, and seriously lacking the appropriate attire to manage anything more than a brisk breeze. Oh, and I was poor. Like ramen noodle poor. Dear Mom – please come visit me and provide assistance with my mission to avoid freezing to death. Hyperbolically speaking of course. The forties are considered frigid in Gainesville, so it’s certainly not threatening snow or anything winter legit like that, but I certainly wasn’t wearing flip flops either.

Now I live in North Carolina, still very much “the South”, but not in any way the South I grew up in, and with winters that feel far more North in my opinion. Indeed our winters are laughable to folks in places like Buffalo and Cleveland, but to me they’re 100% valid and just about the limit of what I’m willing to endure. Come February each year, I find myself bordering on depressed over the bleakness of our daily forecast, but I’ve survived 11 years of it and intend to be in NC for as far into the future as I can see. And every February of that future I intend to enter the same sad state of complaint over snow and ice and terrible temps, and I’ll surely spend a good 30% of every conversation on the topic of “Is it spring yet?”

Enter the annual mother-daughter trip which kicked off two years ago when I decided to surprise my mom on Christmas with a planned weekend away in Asheville. It was always my intent to continue the tradition beyond that first adventure, and part of the plan was to have said adventure within a couple months of actual Christmas. Guess what happens a couple months after Christmas? February! As in it’s freakin’ frigid everywhere within a reasonable driving distance and given our budget minded nature, we’re never too keen on flying for this trip. This year, however, I had a fancy Southwest voucher, and so I came up with the grand idea to pick a destination from one of Southwest’s many fare sales and get us way out of town. Of the ten or so places one can fly from RDU “on sale”, there are two that tend to cost less than $100 per person, per leg – Baltimore and Fort Lauderdale. I’ll allow you a quick minute to ponder the likelihood of me going to Baltimore in February (or ever)… all set then? Fort Lauderdale or bust!

So technically we went in March, but it was super early March which might as well be February, especially given the sleety mess that occurred back home while we were gone. I’ll summarize the trip by saying that it was exactly what it needed to be – an escape from the doldrums of winter to spend relaxing time in a tropical climate with my favorite mom. I’ll also say that I would not recommend Fort Lauderdale as a vacation destination to anyone really, unless you find yourself in a situation similar to ours where you need a cheap flight to somewhere with a beach and you have zero expectations about doing anything other than beaching (or pooling), and I’ll end my FL-FL hating right there to spare you any boring rants and also avoid the impression that the trip was anything less than great. We talked, we walked, we ate. We explored and took pictures and read books. We enjoyed hammocks by the pool, at least one proper tanning session on the beach, and a whole heap of chill time and together time, neither of which I get very frequently. On our last day we ate some badass Cuban food and avoided kidnapping by declining a ride from a stranger, we people watched the heck outta some Broward County transit regulars, and we witnessed a drunk guy at the airport make his wife cry and get escorted away by the police. What else is there?

If you’re up on my Instagram feed you already saw a smattering of photos from this delightfully luminous getaway, but as I’m sure you’ve been anxiously anticipating, there are a bajillion more! It was grand and I’m pleased as punch to have had this experience with my mom. Gallery time…


the somedays

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I decided today – possibly a little too late, but better late than never – that I’m going to start keeping track of all the somedays that Norah solicits and I agree to. What is a someday? It’s anything that Norah asks to try/see/do/experience/acquire that for some reason or another she has established is not likely or appropriate for the immediate future, and so with eyebrows raised in contemplative curiosity says “Mama, someday can I (insert thing to try/see/do/experience/acquire here)?”

This happens a lot. Several times a day in fact. And I tend toward the affirmative in my response. There’s the occasional maybe as well, as I don’t believe in empty promises, and I actually do take the time to carefully consider her request and gauge its feasibility before responding. Most of her somedays just happen to be quite reasonable and so rarely do I find myself saying any form of no. What I do find myself doing is trying to make some sort of mental note about said someday so that I can actually deliver on my agreement because, well, I love that little girl more than furniture (her comparison, not mine) and I want to make her super happy (when doing so is safe, affordable, appropriate and workable).

Do you know where mental notes in parent brains wind up? Neither do I. Maybe where the other sock from the laundry goes, or maybe where my red J. Crew or black Madewell cardigans went (I’m really good at losing somewhat pricey button down sweaters). Where they don’t go is to any place accessible or locatable, so anything that my darling daughter asked for before today is off in the ether with the rest of the things my mom mind has eschewed in the interest of leaving space for more pressing things, like asking Crosby if he needs to go potty every 12 and a half minutes so I don’t wind up with a puddle on the floor.

Finally accepting my failure at capturing these sometimes important and sometimes silly requests in any referable way, today, when Norah came to me in the kitchen with her latest someday, I opened the notepad on my iPhone and made a legit, locatable, accessible note…

She asked for taffy, just a piece. Taffy is one of those things I refuse to give to my children at this age because I value their teeth and feel they should only come out of their heads at a time that’s decided by growth and nature. I accept that there are good kinds of taffy that are less likely to cause dental damage, but the kinds encountered by the Elder children to date have been the terribly hard and sticky (cheap) versions that wind up in Halloween buckets or sent home with preschool party bags. Pardon me while I put on my judgy pants – why, why, why, why, why of all the candy out there would you choose that for a holiday party at a preschool? I’ll add to this the fact that apple slices are always the last thing to be signed up for, with cheesy poofs and cookies quickly claimed, and say one big WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD?!!??!?!??!??!?!, before stepping off my angry mom box.

Where was I? Taffy – when it comes home to Elderland, it goes in the trash, along with tootsie rolls, airheads, and that fun dip crap. I let my kids have treats, no doubt about that, but I maintain some sort of control over these treats. I explain to Norah that the taffy is too hard and isn’t very good anyway, and I offer her something more kid friendly and enticing like ice-cream. Today, however, she politely inquired as to whether or not she could try a piece of taffy someday, adding that she’d be careful not to bite it, but would just suck on it like a lollipop so it didn’t bust her grill (okay, maybe she said hurt her teeth, but I think I might teach her to say bust my grill). I sighed and obliged, but with the caveat that I’d like to get her a good piece of taffy to try, and now it’s here, in writing, and I won’t forget, and we’ll call this the kickoff to Norah’s someday wish list that I intend to satisfy as wholly as possible. I mean I’ve got like 50 years right? Easy peasy.


growing up child


The clearest memory I have of aspiring to be something specific upon entering proper adulthood is that I was quite torn between being a supermodel and a veterinarian. I have a vivid vision of the drawing I did in 4th grade for the assignment to depict what you want to be when you grow up – me in some sort of prom-like dress standing next to a fancy car. I’m almost positive this was leaning in the supermodel direction, but I suppose vets can be rich and fancy too. Other memories are dabbled with lists of the 42 animals I would own and care for with my mad vet skills, and beyond that I’m not sure I had any youthful career-oriented passions. I focused on getting the best grades possible and just assumed I’d figure it out someday. I had many friends that were far more organized with their future plans, and my feelings toward this were that of envy coupled with scoffing, as in you’re a nerd for caring so much about engineering but also I wish I cared as much as you did, now pass me the one hitter. Hypothetically of course.

At some point late in high school I decided I was going to be a math teacher and so this was my major upon arriving at university. Math. It sounds weird to say it like that. Math was my major. Seems too easy. Easy, however, it was not. Semester one was Calc I, and that was a breeze, but then came Calc II and I was headed down the path to C-ville when I made the decision to part ways with my “career plans.” Getting a C was not something I had the ability to cope with, and after a solid effort at improving this (I even went to office hours for EXTRA learning!), I put my interest in social drinking well ahead of my mathematical ambitions and dropped the class. What next? I employed the classic close your eyes and point method for deciding one’s future and wound up in the business school with a focus on marketing. A’s all the way and I barely had to study. Okay, I actually studied some, but mostly I’m just really good at school, and so I graduated in May of 2004 with a 4.0 and a bonafide BS in Marketing. Funny how we wound up with such an acronym for that degree, eh? I guess the alternative meaning of BS is more appropriately associated with that 4.0, which isn’t to say I didn’t actually achieve it, but more so that it means absolutely nothing in the real world. Perhaps I should have stuck with that C in Calc II because lord knows I’ve got enough patience to teach America’s favorite subject (perhaps tied with Geography) to a bunch of youngins who’d rather be doing just about anything else than solving an equation. BS.

In the end it all worked out because here I am with a kickass job running a company that I helped build from the garage up. Literally. I feel like I had a purpose here? Oh yes! The kids! It all comes back to them. At the very mature ages of 2.5 and 4.5, I’m a little disappointed in the efforts they’ve put forth to determine their life goals, but I will give them credit for putting some thought into it. The first ever mention of what either child wanted to be upon growing up was a recent phase Norah went through when she declared her destiny to become a tooth fairy. The conversation usually went like this:

N: Mommy, when I grow up, I’m going to be a tooth fairy. Crosby, what do you want to be when you grow up?
C: A dinosaur.

Well played. And then the other night, a fresh idea…

N: I don’t want to work when I grow up. I just want to be the boss of my kids. Or maybe a fire girl.

Two reasonable and viable options, and I remain enthralled to see where her adorably bright little mind lands next. Whatever her vocation, she seems already to have some semblance of an understanding of the value of money, and after shoving a few dollar bills into her Norah sized handbag, turned to me and precociously observed, “It’s silly that I have money at the age I am, isn’t it!”


It takes two

Let’s start with this: several weeks ago I posted about the number five leading a good number of readers to believe I was announcing a new Elder. I can see how that happened. I can also assure you that I am not even a tiny bit pregnant, nor am I planning to be so ever again. See how I carefully used the word “planning” there. The world is weird, life is unpredictable, people change, and though my immediate response to anyone that inquires after our intent to grow the family is somewhere in the realm of “absofuckinglutely not,” there’s no way for me to guarantee a zero percent chance of it happening.

All of which is to say – Elderland is perfect with two kids.

Which brings me to the reason for today’s writing – sibling dynamics. While I certainly know plenty of people who grew up as only children and turned out to be successful, well-rounded, awesome adults, I am a firm advocate of bringing more than one child into a family. When I first conceived (PUN!) of this post, my idea was to start by writing a bit of an argument for the importance of siblings, but then I read this article from Time magazine and decided that this guy “Jeffrey Kluger” who has been a science and technology writer for 40 or so years probably did an okay enough job that I don’t need to offer any additional insight. So instead, I’d like to take this opportunity to speak specifically about our little pair of siblings.

Norah and Crosby are almost exactly two years apart and this was 100% planned. Granted, we didn’t start trying for number two until the month during which I’d have to get pregnant in order for this two year differential to occur, but given the fertility track record of both myself and others in my family, I was fairly certain all systems were a go. And in fact they were, almost remarkably so, which still makes me marvel at how I didn’t wind up preggers long before I intended to. Sometimes things just go right. Our plan for two years was based on a number of life considerations, but one of the principal reasons was that we believe two years (or thereabouts) to be ideal for making the most of a sibling relationship. This belief is based on nothing more than our experiences, both personal and with families of friends, and it felt right, so we went with it. After two and half years of experiencing life with two kids, I’ll call it hypothesis confirmed.

They do all of the things that all siblings before them have done when young and learning how to exist in the world. They battle over possessions and struggle with sharing. They whine when the other is taking up too much space and “touching” them. They compare what they have and raise holy hell if it’s not even. They beat each other up when no one is looking and then boldly lie about it. Like earlier this week, for example – Pete had buckled both children into their car seats and then closed the car doors and stepped away for a moment to grab one more thing before driving them to Grams and Grandma’s house. Upon getting back to the car, what he encountered was a crying Crosby with blood dripping down his cheek. His immediate inquisition of Norah received the response that “he must have fallen.” WHAT?! How does a 4.5 year old already have the capacity to so decisively feign innocence? Also, do better Norah. He’s buckled into a car seat. Digression! Point being, they’re siblings to the core, and we’re totally into it because every one of those interactions has an effect on their ability to function as adults. And as long as we parents do our part to teach lessons and get involved when appropriate, but encourage self resolve when not, the long term benefit will be great.

Even better? Norah and Crosby wholeheartedly love one another, and the ways in which they’ve begun to express this are enough to melt me into a sopping puddle of pride. Some stories…

I tend to leave for work somewhat early as I have a 30 minute commute and also enjoy getting to the office with ample time to coffee, breakfast and settle. My aim is 7:30, and even if I’m 10-15 minutes behind, on most mornings the kids are still in their beds. Regardless, I make it a point to go in their room and say goodbye, and many a morning they will already be awake, just hanging out and chatting. This alone warms my heart to no end. The overpowering moment of mom emotion came the other morning when I went in to find Norah standing next to Crosby’s bottom bunk, rubbing his back and singing him Twinkle. It was quite possibly the sweetest damn thing I’ve ever seen, so much so that I’m a bit weepy just writing about it.

On the weekends, our somewhat regular routine is for the kids to climb into our bed after waking up, and watch a little cartoons. Within five minutes or so of this happening, one or both usually says I’m hungry and this results in a couple small bowls of dry cereal making their way into the mix. On a recent weekend morning, Crosby followed me into the kitchen and asked that he be able to make his own bowl, which I happily obliged (I’m all about some independence!). After stepping away for a few to put some laundry up in the kids’ room, I returned to find Crosby carrying two bowls to the bed, and upon seeing me he said “I made Norah some cereal too!” My two and half year old thought to get his big sister some breakfast, and that absolutely kills me.

Both kids have been some sort of sick off and on for a couple months because well, it’s winter and they go to school, and enough said. Cros was the one with the worst of it this past week, and if you’re friends with us on Facebook you’ll recall seeing this gush-worthy update about Norah’s endearing moment of reading to him. Despite her surprisingly sneaky efforts to hurt him when no one is looking, Norah truly enjoys taking care of her baby brother and does so in a motherly way that makes us proud.

Little happenings like this are a regular part of our lives, and ample reason for me to emphatically support the sibling scene. And while that scene may be made up of three or four or more for other families, for us, it takes two to make a thing go right.





Snips and snails and… fuchsia princess shirts?


We have a son. He is a boy. We know this for no reason other than the fact that he has a penis; that his genetic makeup consists of both an X and a Y chromosome. Aside from that, at the ripe old age of two and a half, there isn’t much else inherently gender specific, and all that makes him who he is comes from what we as parents, family, friends, teachers, and society impose. I’d like to believe that the greatest influence occurs right here at home, that Pete and I have the most profound effect on our children of all the people, environments and stimuli they encounter. So with that in mind, when it comes to establishing gender identity, we tend to back off.

Of course we’re not perfectly gender neutral. He has a boy’s name, we buy him boy clothes, there’s a fair amount of blue involved in his accoutrement, and there’s at least some measure of deep-rooted praxis driving purchases of toys i.e trucks and tractors. But as the situation arises in which Crosby is offered the opportunity to make a choice, we’re not looming near to attempt to steer toward the “boy appropriate” option. I imagine (hope) that this is how many parents choose to rear in our generation, so I’m certainly not on a soap box. Only stating that we aim to allow our kids to become who they’ll be without forcing them into a predefined box.

Our son has long hair. Not so long now as it once was, but still long enough that approximately 7 out of 10 strangers mistake him for a girl. This fascinates me because in those situations he tends to be masculinely dressed meaning said strangers have placed greater emphasis on hair length than clothing style when making a snap judgment about my child’s gender. I’m not suggesting one is better than the other, only that prior to being the mother of a luxuriously locked, blonde baby boy, I’d not have surmised that hair was the go to gender identifier for the majority of our population. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest though! When the incorrect assessment comes in the form of a compliment – “your girls are SO pretty!” – I opt to smile, nod, and move on. And when someone refers directly to Crosby as she or her, I politely correct them.

Crosby’s favorite color is pink, sometimes more specifically, fuchsia. At times, he prefers this rosy hue to an almost obsessive degree, offering signs of tantrum should we try to give him any other color plate or bowl from the Ikea dish rainbow (this thing). His love of pink has recently extended to clothing selections, many of which now occur from his sister’s dresser. His favorite outfit consists of Norah’s long sleeve, pink Frozen t-shirt and black cotton Bermuda shorts, but he enjoys shopping her entire wardrobe, frequently donning such garments as her bright red, fuzzy sleep pants splattered with the likeness of Minnie Mouse. Aside from his infatuation with Frozen which I believe plays the largest role in favoriting that particular shirt, I get the sense that his affection for Norah’s clothing comes mostly from his affection for Norah. She’s older and cooler and wiser (yes, I feel like this is already a thing) and he wants to do what she does, wear what she wears, and be just like her in any way possible. I allow, and in fact fully support this raiding of Norah’s drawers because for one, who cares, and more importantly, he looks pretty cute in pink.

Despite our efforts to avoid sex stereotyping, we have begun to notice in Crosby some behaviors that one might traditionally associate with boys (and men). Like touching his penis and giggling, for example. Penis was one of his earlier words, and the joy and amusement he derives from discussing, exposing, and handling his penis pretty much calls it. It’s a boy! Perhaps we can teach Crosby to scream penis anytime someone calls him a girl. That should help clear up any confusion. Our other most recent experience that may or may not be what one would call “traditional boy behavior” occurred just last weekend about two minutes before I was supposed to head out the door for a run. Crosby was in the bathroom, which I had to pass on my way out, and I looked in to say goodbye only to find my darling, sweet, pink loving, silky headed son holding up both hands to display a glorious spread of poop. Upon closer inspection, the poop had also found its way to his forehead, and the painfully panicked look on his cute little face was almost too much to handle. PETE! I hollered. COME HELP NOW! We teamed up to scrub him down, Pete cringing, me hysterically laughing, and both making attempts to get Crosby to explain what exactly lead to this disaster. Hopefully the embarrassment and disgust he was so clearly feeling in that moment will be enough to deter him from ever again putting his hands anywhere near the inside of his potty bowl, but only time will tell. And boys will be boys.

XO. S.