31 October 2007

Trick or Treat

A conversation heard this evening while securing free candy.

Man at door: What are you?

Bella: A zombie pioneer!

Man at door: Well, you're the first one of those at my door tonight.

Bella: Actually, I'm the first one in Canada.

Bubaloo: No! The first was an Indian zombie.

What impact the dinner conversations on colonization and celebrating our son's aboriginal history have had.

30 October 2007

The Haunting of Halloween

The munchkins have been planning halloween since the first week of school. From selecting the perfect pumpkins to carve to the best type of candy to give out, they've been busy orchestrating every detail.

You would think that with all of this planning that the costume department would be under control.

Bella's costume ideas have evolved greatly from the first day of school. Tomorrow, she will parade as a zombie pioneer. We're planning to wake up in the morning to put flour and egg shells in her hair and get the zombie makeup just right.

Bubaloo on the other hand has been wanting to go as the bloody screen scream. Being that we want to indoctrinate in our children that fun stems from imagination and not the purchasing power of the almighty allowance dollar, we told him he'd have to create a costume. He could not just buy a mask to plop on his head.

So when we piled into the car to head to Value Village last weekend for the costume shopping spree, the kids were all equipped with ideas. Bella went on her way to gather what she needed.

But Bubaloo was thwarted by a wall full of bloody scream masks. He stared at the wall. He begged. He pleaded. And then he edged into temper tantrum mode.

Since when has Value Village started to stock the commercial crap you get other stores? One of the reasons we went there in the first place was to avoid the aforementioned scene.

Bubaloo left the store without a costume and an idea of what his costume could be.

We spent the rest of our Saturday trying to inspire him. No success. We were stonewalled by a nine year old who was unable to think beyond the bloody scream.

Then it happened. While waiting in line for 1.5 hours on Saturday night to go to the city's haunted house/trick or treat event, Bubaloo announced his new costume. "I'm going to be Mr. Moneybags!" he proudly announced.

Wifey and I looked at each other. Did he mean Mr. Moneybags sort of alluding to the Fudge character in Double Fudge when Fudge falls in love with money? Or did he mean our friend M., affectionately referred to as Mr. Moneybags, who also volunteers on the Board with me as Treasurer and spends a lot of time at our house doing financials?

We inquired, and Bubaloo was all grins, but didn't directly answer the question.

Wifey was sure he was mimicking M. I was sure that he was loosely imitating the name we gave M. and was playing on his personal love of money and singing the money song from Double Fudge.

It all became clear the next day when Wifey took him out to get the final pieces of his costume. He proclaimed that he needed to get some spray to colour his hair. While his preference would have been to have had red and gold hair because that would be the coolest, he could not dress up as Mr. Moneybags without having blond hair. He couldn't BE Mr. Moneybags if they didn't look the same.

Our son is now imitating the closest person in our life that could possibly be a regular male role model to him. He's going to be M. And, M. is coming over to celebrate halloween with us.

I don't know what will be cuter.

Our adorable uber-masculine boy imitating our somewhat effeminate gay male friend. Or, the look of horror that will cross M.'s face when he realizes that the clothing selections Bubaloo has chosen to wear while emulating him scream out for the attention of the fashion police.

20 October 2007

Week in Review

On Monday morning, Bubaloo re-started his school year. He was transitioned to another classroom. Goodbye evil 'command and control' man. Hello 'touchy feely, make you feel good through positive reinforcement' primary grade teacher. He already seems to be thriving in the environment in his new classroom. Thank goodness.

On Monday evening, Bubaloo went for an emergency visit at CHEO. He was angry about having to empty the dishwasher and took it out on a glass. With fists full of frustration, he crushed a wine class in his hand. Wifey provided emergency first aid and then spent the next 4 hours waiting with him at CHEO.

While the big cut warranted stitches, but the location made that medical intervention a bad fit. He's now spent his week with steri-strips over the cut and gauze to keep the whole hand closed. Like a one-handed mummy. It worked pretty well with the exception of the day he decided to play in the sandbox.


And, this morning in other breaking news, Dumbledore was outed to the world. You can read about it here.

While I'm not a Harry Potter reader, I find something quite amusing about a literary world where an author creates a character with gay subtext and much, much later has to come out publicly about the character. Specifically for the 80-90% who didn't pick up on the subtext in the first place.

Apparently homophobia can consume your imagination and the imaginations you hope inspire in your young readers. Rowling was afraid how people would react and when she was met with resounding applause, wishes she had done it earlier.

There's so much to say about that, so I'm just going to say nothing at all.

08 October 2007

Moving Towards Finalization

As each day passes we're nearing adoption finalization. Our social worker did her "final" visit and is writing the report. We've been given names of lawyers to contact. We're just waiting on the government to send in the copies of the kids' birth certificates that CAS requested. When those birth certificates do finally come in, we'll move towards becoming an official family on paper.

It's surprised us the number of things we're unable to do without the birth certificates. We've been fishing illegally all summer. We can't open up RESP accounts and begin saving for their education. We cannot travel with our children, either domestically or internationally. I think the school even gave us a little hassle when we tried to register them last year.

The only legal ties we have to our children is through three sheets of paper provided to us by CAS. One giving us permission to act on behalf of their interests in the event of a medical emergency. One to let the Receiver General of Canada know that we have children for taxation purposes. And another general "to whom it may concern" letter.

It's impossible not to have our family composition and how it came to be constantly scruitinized. We're queer so people want to know how we had children. Our children are open about the fact that they're adopted so people want to know why they were in foster care in the first place. The ages of our children would have made us teenage mothers and there's always a judgemental look cast about that.

But as we near finalization, Bella and Bubaloo's feeling have been a wee bit tumultous. From a child's perspective, I'm not sure why it is more scary to move towards this thing called "adoption finalization" than to move into a house with a bunch of strangers to be adopted. But it is. And, we've been reeling from that impact for the past month.

Last Friday, Bubaloo and Bella called a secret sibling meeting. They were whispering behind closed doors. Then they came to us. They're scared to be adopted.

They're wondering if they say no if we'll be mad about all of the money we spent on them. They're wondering what it would be like to move back in with their foster parents. They're wondering how they can really like us and love us as parents when they're so fearful about being adopted. They're wondering how they can replace one mother with two others.

We backed up. And, explained the situation again. Adoption finalization is about the legal paperwork that says we're your new parents. It's not about giving up your past and erasing your first mother for two new mothers. There are many ways you can be a part of our family and it doesn't necessarily have to be through adoption. If you choose not to do the adoption finalization, you're not going back to CAS as you'll still live with us.

We talked it through. We cuddled. And, then we wrote a long awaited letter to their birth Mom. They talked while we transcribed.

They wanted to know if she remembered them, if she still had their toys, and if she thought about them a lot. They wanted to know where she was living and if she had a phone number...if she even had a phone. They wanted to tell her that they loved her and missed her.

Bubaloo had more questions to ask, but didn't at the time.

06 October 2007

Wipe Your Bum!

Ever since Bubaloo joined our family, his underwear has been a skid mark alleyway. He repeatedly proclaims that he doesn't need to wipe his bottom.

We've tried everything. I've wiped it for him, I've shown him how to wipe, I've let him know that he smells a little bit like poo every now and then and I've tried to impress upon him the importance of good hygiene. I consulted friends about intervention strategies.

Nothing has worked. Nothing. I bought dark blue and grey underwear so I wouldn't have to deal with it on laundry day. Until now.

Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for work, Bubaloo rushed into the bathroom and landed himself right on the toilet.

"I have to pee Mom," he says.

"Well, go on then. I need to get ready for work," I say.

A handful of minutes pass. He's still sitting on the toilet. "Bubaloo, I thought you said you have to pee?"

"I did. And, I have to poo too!"

"Well, go on then. I don't care if you poo in front of me. It's your other Mom who has that issue." (Wifey is absolutely horrified when the kids poo with the bathroom door open, and will not cross the barrier of being with them in the bathroom at the same time. We only have one bathroom, and if I need to get in there, I'm going to get in there!)

Bubaloo finishes up his business and grabs some toilet paper and wipes his bum. Without me asking.

"Look, Mom!" he says holding up the toilet paper.

"Oh, good for you," I say. All the while I'm thinking why on earth did I ever need to see your used toilet paper, but I'm so glad you used some!!! And, then he proceeds to count out a certain number of toilet paper squares for wipe number two!!! Another intervention strategy to keep the plumber coming from our home due to using 1/2 a roll of toilet paper at each bathroom stop.

I can't help myself, but I have to ask, "Bubaloo, whenever did you start to wipe your bum?"

"Mom, you know how I now wear more boxersthan briefs? Well, it's just yucky-blech to not wipe and wear boxers, you know?" This is said in a very serious and earnest voice.

Success at last. I have a bum wiping son. This proud parenting moment has been brought to you by the letter 'P.'