Thursday, October 16, 2008

A thing about pull-ups

They are not reusable, folks.

Don't wash them.

They do weird things to your child's clothing and to your new, fancy, front-loading, bought-on-clearance-super-cheap-but-super-awesome, water-saving washer.

*sigh* Alas, one of the last pull-ups TN will ever wear, now that she is potty trained (!!!!!!), has been washed. I really didn't intend to wash it, but know this: The silica gel/whatever the heck that stuff is in those diapers can get REALLY, REALLY wet. They can get so wet, in fact, that they burst open the seams, spilling jelly-like substances all over your clothing, washer drum and then clump up and flop around inside the washer.

I, of course, only realize this once the clothing is all nice and "clean" and ready to be put in the dryer. Then, I spent 1/2 hour shaking out all of the clothes, throwing them piece by miniscule piece into the dryer. I then spent some lovely time getting to know the shiny silver drum of the washer, carefully pulling, scraping, and caressing clumps of silica/whatever the heck that stuff is off of the drum. You know, that stuff falls into the holes of the drum of your washer making it quite difficult to remove. But, I think I got the job mostly done and threw in another load of laundry (a few towels, just in case). We'll see what happens to them in about 23 minutes.

So, a word to the wise, oh ye new parents, do not wash pull-ups. It's not a good thing, and I don't have to be Martha Stewart to know it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

In ways you don't expect

As adoptive parents to a child of color (which I've written about here and there), we tried to think of everything that might come up. This includes what other people might say, how to react, how she might discover race, racism, skin color, and the ways we are different and the same. As we all know, however, we can't predict everything.

Last night, I was sitting on the rocking chair, my bare feet resting on the floor near TN. She touched by foot and said, "Mom, somebody colored on you!". I looked down, confused at first, and quickly ascertained that TN was looking at the purple blue veins everyone can readily see through my melanin-free skin. I told her that no one colored on me. In fact those were my veins and that daddy and TN had veins too.

TN checked her dad's feet first. Sure enough, he had veins also. She proceeded to peel off her socks as quickly as possible to find her own veins. After searching top and bottom she declared, "Somebody took mine!". Indeed, through her chocolate skin, no veins could be seen. We never thought she'd discover the color of her skin this way! I assured her that she had veins just like Mommy and Daddy. After doing some quick thinking, Terry and I turned her hands palm side up, where her hands and wrists are lighter. There, we all found some of TN's veins--veins you could SEE and she was satiated. No one had taken her veins (which is good for all of us!).

It's fun to see ways that TN connects to the world. She never asked why we couldn't see her veins (perhaps because we worked quickly to discover a few she could see), but I'm sure this day is coming soon. Until then, some of us are the color of brown crayons and some of us are the color of yellow or white ones. Just ask her, she'll tell you. For now, she doesn't know all of the socio-economic-political-identity issues that come with these monickers of color, and we're okay with that.

Addis Ababa Time