Suburban Butch Dad Report, 5/16/2010

Sleep deprivation is an evil bastard.  When you don’t get enough sleep, your system begins to break down, making it easier to get sick and harder to get well.  Thinking gets harder, too, and optimism becomes a hard to reach concept.  Memories are harder to hold and integrate, making normal everyday functioning more and more difficult to manage.  Add all this up and depression often follows.  I recently went through a blue week, a slight depression where inspiration and motivation left me for others.   I didn’t feel optimistic about work or life or much of anything, it only helped a little that I’ve been through it before and knew it wouldn’t last forever.  When you’re in the trough, it’s hard to see anything but water towering over you, ready to crash down and pull you under.  My wife and I are both suffering sleep deprivation, she gets frustrated at her diminished memory and lack of energy and I forget that she isn’t the full partner she was before the baby came into our lives.  Yes, she will recover and the baby will sleep better and we’ll get back into our groove.  Until then, just getting through the week can be an exhausting project sometimes.  Luckily, I have another partner who understands these challenges and is very positive and encouring.  Thank you, Roxy.

I’m trying to get more sleep, trying to be more disciplined about getting to bed at a reasonable hour but even my best laid plans can be wrecked by Little Bit.  She was dealing with a nasty cold, starting Mother’s Day, and her sleep pattern has been irregular since then.  That made her fussy, clingy and unhappy to be anywhere except held by one of her parents.

Luckily, Little Bit is recovering from her cold and hopefully, we’ll get back to a regular sleep pattern soon.  Developmentally, she’s becoming increasingly mobile and curious about the world.   The other day, my wife called me at work and informed me that we had a little engineer on our hands.  Little Bit had pushed her little chair-with-tray (portable high chair) over next to a small table in the living room.  Then she’d climbed up on the tray and was then at chest height to the small table, beginning to examine the framed photos on it.  That’s when my wife looked over from her couch position and noticed that LB’s head was a lot higher than it should have been.

She doesn’t walk yet, but clearly she can climb.  She’s also working on her freestanding skills.  More and more she’s standing on her own, holding toys or just standing there with a proud look on her face.  She usually tries to get our attention, so we’ll cheer for her and then she’ll applaud herself.  And, yes, she’s only 9 months old.  And, yes, we know, we’re in for lots of trouble, way too early.

I’m working on some cool extracurricular projects right now, one of which I can talk about.  I’m on the organizing committee for Butch Voices Portland as the Registration Chair.  I’m excited to be a part of the Butch Voices organization, working with Joe Leblanc and all the other great people who are volunteering to make it happen.  There are four regional BV conferences this year, next year the second full Butch Voices conference will once again be held in Oakland.  The regional conferences are held in Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.

My other project is something Roxy and I are collaborating on and can’t talk about for a couple more months.  It’s always fun to work with her on projects and this one takes that teamwork to another level.

As reported and pictured in my HNT this week, I am enjoying the company of a new packy.  Through a packing mistake (heh), Babeland sent me the next size up, giving me over an inch of growth in my packular region.  I like it, it’s not tremendously huge so doesn’t create a ridiculous bulge in my pants.  It does challenge the bounds of the bikini briefs Roxy gave me though.  I worry about the damned thing flopping out in the bathroom.

On Saturday, I had a Suburban Genderfuckery moment.  Apparently my package was a bit too exuberantly protuberant on the sidelines of my daughter’s soccer game yesterday.  My wife told me after we’d come home that she didn’t quite know how to tell me at the time, without making too big a deal of it.   I suppose it’s not fair play to show up the other dads like that, eh?  We agreed that the code words “package alert” whispered into my ear would be the way to go.  Once I was alerted of my package status, I could inconspicuously find a way to adjust my alignment.  This is much better reaction to my packing than she’s had previously so I think maybe she’s not feeling as alienated by it as she has in the past.  I have no trouble adjusting myself for her as long as the adjustment doesn’t eliminate this expression of my genderqueerness.  Being able to communicate clearly and respectfully is wonderful and strengthens our relationship.

I have joined the ranks of people with tumblr accounts.  Mine is called The Glories of Female Sweat*.  I’ve only got one post up so far, and don’t know how often I’ll post to it, but I’m hoping it will be fun.  The idea is to celebrate female athletes, hard working women and others who sweat unapologetically, because I think female sweat is a wonderful, sexy thing.

To finish things off, a few pictures from the yard today.  The garden is coming along nicely, the snap peas and bush beans being especially motivated in the upward direction.  I did a bunch of grungy clean up: clearing a border to make mowing easier, loading stuff into the pick-up for drop off elsewhere and cleaning out the filthy bird feeders and baths.  As a result, I got a bit dirty as well.  Finally, a reward of beer and a good seat with a view of my park-like back yard.

*extra points to anyone who recognizes where I got my tumblr title


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