Parenting Henri

this is about henri, and the parenting thereof

even my ethical dilemmas have changed/are changing 2009/10/04

this past friday, the guest speaker in my ethics seminar asked the students to write down 3 ethical dilemmas in modern medicine and/or science that they might want to research.  to keep myself awake (hey–being a student is {still} boring!), i decided to write down a few of my own.  you never know: i might research something one day.

the important thing to know is that (according to the speaker) an ethical dilemma is one in which there are at least two sides to the issue, if not more.

of course, the first to come to mind was circumcision of newborn boys.  when living through this dilemma, i felt that the decision *not* to circumcise was almost a cop-out–a non-decision, if you will.  however, after thinking for just a few minutes about it in the fabulousness of ethics, i realized that i faced an ethical dilemma and made a decision, based on my ethical values.  maybe that seems like a no-brainer to you.  but it made me proud!  who know i even had values?

the second thing i thought of, which i truly would like to research, or at least would like for someone else to research because i think it’s absolutely needs to be addressed by A) the medical community and B) the world at large, was the question of a drug-free childbirth.  the question being, is it even possible in this day and age?  i know it isn’t in massachusetts, at least not for women who go over 2 weeks from their “estimated” due date.  and i certainly know it wasn’t a choice for me.  at the time, it didn’t seem like so much of a dilemma as a “give me drugs or give me death” sort of moment.  and i’m still very upset at all of the factors that went into that non-decision: including my own weakness, even if it was just a lack of preparation for what might’ve been coming.  in order to actually research this dilemma, we would first have to acknowledge it as such.  so, yeah, that could be a problem.

lastly, the 3rd dilemma i thought of is the one that every biological mother who chooses to raise her own child faces, whether she realizes it or not: to breastfeed or not to breastfeed?  even those of us for whom it really wasn’t much of a dilemma–let’s face it, there was never even a miniscule moment in time when i might’ve considered letting a tiny alien suckle at my bosom–had to not only make a choice, but defend it, lest our ethics be looked down upon.

so there you have it: i’m not just a mom.  i’m a freaking mom who can’t stop being a mom, even when considering {hypothetical} ethical dilemmas with potential in an academic mom-free environment.  *sigh* it seems the kid has finally infiltrated what was left of my mind…but hey, there’s something to be said for “going all in.”  right?


statistics of henri 2009/08/02

Filed under: boring adult stuff,just plain silly,self-portraiture — lee lee @ 5:07 pm

hmm.  i don’t think this is true…


the myth of equality 2008/07/03

Filed under: boring adult stuff,compromise sucks! — lee lee @ 10:24 am

the thing about co-parenting is that you’re never really equals. in fact, i don’t think there is such a thing as being equal. i mean, mark cares way more about buying fresh food and cooking great meals than i ever will, or even have the ability to, and that’s because it’s ingrained in him, much the same way sustaining motherhood is for me. women’s bodies are made to bear children; therefore, we also carry the strength to keep going, whether we are in our 48th hour of labor, our 3rd hour of rocking a teething child, or our 28th year of making sure our children are safe and sound. it’s not that the non-child-bearing partner doesn’t want to be an equal part; they can’t be. they aren’t made for it. maybe they’re made to support us as best they can. or maybe they’re made to annoy the hell out of us by always providing that “other” viewpoint. or maybe they’re just made to hold the crying baby when we have to pee like hell. regardless, they are not us.

i’m trying hard not to see this as a male vs. female thing, even though that’s the situation i’m in. just as i don’t think it has to do with the child’s biological history. i’m just saying that there are 2 people in each relationship, and one always has more “power.” what i’m figuring out is that co-parenting is less about finding equality than it is about forgiving inequality.

how’s that for a non-feminist point of view?


sentimentality & lee lee: something absolutely new 2008/05/11

Filed under: boring adult stuff,mom's day — lee lee @ 8:38 pm

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.  ~Rajneesh


Because I’m not the type to “get into” holidays that are [mostly] made-up for commercialism’s sake, or at least–as is the case with Mother’s Day–they have come to be about supporting all things commercial like pedicures and singing greeting cards, I’m struggling with the overwhelming magnitude of my first Mother’s Day.  It’s as if the words were literally written in the sky and have been following me around this entire week: your first Mother’s Day is almost here.  I’m guessing I first have to admit that this is really important for me in order to understand or even think about figuring out why.

So, I admit it: this Mother’s Day is very important to me.

Whew, that’s done.

It’s important enough to me that I wrote this blog entry in a separate Word document a few days earlier and edited it throughout the week to what is now its near-perfect state.  Okay, that was an unnecessary confession!  But lee lee can never resist the opportunity to be narcissistic!!  Plus, when it rains emotion it pours emotion (with me).


You see, I am not looking at Mother’s Day as a time to “celebrate myself and my brilliant mothering” and go get a pedicure or manicure or spa bath or anything else that Henri can’t participate in right now.  Though–you knew I was going to say this, didn’t you?–I reserve the right to do one of the above things together with Henri on a future Mother’s Day.  Rather, I’m looking at this Mother’s Day as a huge milestone in the journey of my life.  Within it is contained all of the feelings I had before being a mother: desperately wanting a child; desperately not wanting a child; desperately wanting to be able to afford to have a child; desperately wanting a partner to have a child with; deliberately choosing not to have a child out of desperation; choosing to have a child at an imperfect time because i have wanted one for so long; and (finally) choosing to keep my baby when i [shocked the world by] becoming “with child.” Also contained within the day are all of the feelings I have had since becoming a mother–for those, you can read all past entries of this blog–but, in a nutshell: Life, it seems, is better when I am a mother.

I would like to use Mother’s Day as a day to respect that conundrum which is being a woman and not always wanting to be a mother.  I would like to use Mother’s Day as a time to join together with other mothers, an elite group I am now a part of, in order to honor the communal aspect of motherhood (also known as “I need some advice, and I need it right now!”).  I would even like to use Mother’s Day as yet another day to figure out how in the world we can get back some Peace in these dire times and before our children have to grow up and long for peace the way we do (coincidentally, I was recently told by McKnight’s mother that Mother’s Day is an historic day to celebrate and commit to peace).  I would’ve liked to spend the day with the mothers within my family, who, circumstantially, managed to make other plans.

Quite literally, my perfect Mother’s Day would be that of freedom*–being outdoors, somewhere sunny and flowery but not full of bees or bugs or anything; having Henri looking dapper in his brand new Mother’s Day outfit (see–commercialism! of which I am [gladly] a part!!) and no new teeth in sight; being with McKnight without being exhausted or flippant or way-too-emotional…maybe that’s asking too much–I will settle for all of us being together, with outfits that are picture-worthy but not overly frumpy, and without external demands.  And if that’s too difficult, I’ll take a pair of tickets to the Red Sox Mother’s Day game.

Enough sentimentality.  The real reason I’m writing this post is not because I want perfection.  Right now, I just want Mother’s Day to be one of those holidays where everyone is forced to put aside their differences (and other obligations) and do what’s best “for the kids”–be together and be happy, Goddamn it!  And, yes, food and presents are mandatory, bitches!!

I suspect, like most other holidays–except those that are solely about how much you can drink before driving home–I will soon forget how important this day once was to me while simultaneously coming to loathe it, much like this poor woman.  Let this serve as a record, then.  There was a day, if only one, where lee lee thompson was emotional, sentimental, bordering on weepy.  All because she is a MOM.  (Also, I was pms-ing when I wrote this. Can you tell???)


weekend away 2008/05/05

Filed under: alcoholics are moms too!,boring adult stuff — lee lee @ 2:03 pm

i’m writing this to let henri know (when he one day reads this brilliant chronicle of his life as my son) that i did, indeed, spend a night away from him. it may not happen again…

yes, it was nice that i didn’t have to get up at 6:45 AM to smile at him and say “hi, cutie pie” but I DIDN’T GET TO WAKE UP AT 6:45 AM TO SMILE AT HIM AND SAY “hi, cutie pie.” now, where’s the fun in that??? besides, i woke up every hour on the hour because, for some reason, i can’t sleep in new places–despite the king sized bed (nice nice nice nice nice…i want one) and the fact that i was drunk and exhausted. pooey on my sleeping habits.

also, i thought it would be nice to hang out at the wedding/reception without a baby in tow because then it’s socially acceptable to get drunk via the open bar, but…there was a mean, nasty other couple with a baby there, so mark & i kept craning our necks to check out what the baby and his parents were doing at any given moment. geeze, we could’ve just brought our own! i’m sure that’s what the well-behaved xander’s parents where thinking. i’m sure that’s what everyone was thinking!

and, yes, i thought it would be nice to have some alone time with mark. and by “alone,” i mean 4 hours in the car each way. but between getting in a—let’s call it a “heated debate”—halfway there which sent me into a selfish introspection the rest of the way there and my sleeping-except-when-waking-to-burp the entire way home, i bet mark would’ve enjoyed some nice adult company (i.e. henri).

oh, well. i would say a lesson was learned. but i think it might take a little more time for me to become the down-to-earth, relaxed and fun person i am around henri even when i’m not around henri. stay tuned for that, but don’t hold your breath (!).  at least i was able to get drunk without anyone else fearing for my child’s life/future.