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Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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One of These Things is Not Like the Others

I am not like some of the moms* at my son’s private school.  We are a rarity in having one child.  Many of the families in my son’s pre-k class have two or three children at the school.  Many of the parents are dual income, with most mothers working outside of the home in full time jobs.  In addition to the tuition costs for 2-3 children (this school ranks 4/10 on the scale of least to most expensive), they also employ nannies who do drop off/pick up and/or childcare for any young children still at home.  So, what I am trying to say is that these are families of means.

There are many ways right there that I differ: I have one child, I am no longer working outside the home (or inside, with pay, for that matter), and we have never had a nanny, even when I was working, but do have a cavalcade of baby-sitters.  Nevertheless, these are not the ways I differ most.  The way in which I differ most is that, how can I put this delicately, I keep a clean, tidy, organized home.  Now, this is important to note in relation to two of our neighbors on our cul-de-sac who also have children at my son’s school.

I do not hold anyone to my standard of cleanliness, tidiness, or organization.  And, I have friends one friend that is much more that way than I (borderlining on OCD as NOTHING can EVER be out of place, EVER, even during a play date where there is fast and furious tidying up after children as they play through every room in the house).  I have a house cleaner who comes every other week and I keep things clean in between.  As was the case when I was a child, my son eats at the dining room table, uses a napkin (or I wipe his hands/mouth for him), is responsible for putting his toys away when he’s through playing with them (some of the time), washes his hands after playing outside (most of the time), does arts & crafts at the table or outside (all of the time), and takes his shoes off before coming in (owing to the dark walnut hardwood floors in our new house requiring us all to take off our shoes before coming in).

Now, before you flame me and call me a snob, I am not talking about taste in home decor or personal style (because that is a whole other sack of potatoes.  If you want to proudly display your collection of shot glasses or vintage dolls or wine corks or if you like mauve & sea foam green, get down with your bad self).  Both of our neighbors employ multiple (and rotational) nannies and cleaning people.  So, it is surprising to the point of being uncomfortable, how dirty their homes are. What I mean is that the interior of these homes have been thrashed, seemingly by the children and friends of the children who live there.  Doors and doorways are chipped, some to the point of needing replacement, walls have holes in them where ride-on toys have been crashed into them too hard, wall-to-wall carpets have multiple, large dark stains of unknown origin, food wrappers & empty juice boxes are strewn about, there is caked on, baked on food/liquid on the dining room chairs and walls, and mold/algae in the bathrooms.

After having both sets of kids (one, an 8 year old girl and the other two boys, ages 7 & 5) over to our house, it’s also clear that they’ve not been taught rudimentary manners or how to take care of their things (as evidenced by the toys left broken in their wake when in my son’s entire life he has not played so hard with a toy so as to break it).  No one apologized or even brought to my attention that 2 of his Bruder trucks had been cracked and broken.  Still, as other people’s kids go, they are nice enough, usually polite, and I am glad that there are kids to play with in our neighborhood.

So the rub is, my son likes to play at both houses (usually a nanny is home) and yet I cannot fathom having these kids run amok here in equal measure.  I want to reciprocate, believe me I do.  I cannot count the number of play dates we hosted at our old house.  I actually like coordinating opportunities for my son’s friends and their parents (at this age, the moms still come, too. And, I think those are the keys: coordinated events AND other mothers care for and pick up after their kids in a way that nannies don’t). I don’t want my neighbors to feel that I am taking advantage of them, by ‘sending’ my son over there to play without responding in kind.  And, I’ll be honest, it has felt strange allowing him to go over there without me at 4 1/2 (now 4 3/4) but I’ve grown to be OK with it.

We have a mid-century modern home, with an open floor plan and a lot of glass (we have 2 sets of interior glass french doors and 6 exterior glass doors and an entire glass wall separating the living room from the family room).   It has been tastefully and lovingly decorated and I work hard to keep it looking nice.  I am not sure what to do.  It is already the case that my son is over there WAY more than the kids are over here (and that could be because I’ve relegated them to playing in the back (and we have a huge back yard with a fort and a sand table and toys in the converted garage) and they are more used to having the run of the house.  I am sure that the parents will be looking for reciprocity (as they should because everyone wants a break in kind).  I am still not sure how to handle it but it comes up daily, his wanting to play with them, and even though I’ve attempted to arrange scheduled play dates, neither mom seems interested.  I think the two are just used to having their kids run back and forth across the street to each others homes.  I don’t want to be the house that kids don’t come to play at (we bought this house, in part, because of the large back yard, detached garage (which is a guest house/play room), and family room).   I guess I just never envisioned being in this position, yet.

*The fact that I am not often in full make-up, hair done, and dressed in a coordinated outfit with accessories (sun-glasses, boots, scarf, jacket, jewelry) at drop-off is deserving of its own post.  And, I’m not only speaking about the working moms who are en route to the office.  I’m mostly talking about the ‘coffee klatch’ moms who socialize outside the school after drop- off, who are dressed in some sort of mompetition to prove who the hippest of the day is.

“If your children spend most of their time in other people’s houses, you’re lucky;
if they all congregate at your house, you’re blessed.”

~Mignon McLaughlin

7 comments to One of These Things is Not Like the Others

  • Is there any way you could limit their play to the playroom and backyard (I just saw someone else said this – Oops! No original thought here, apparently)? If so, that could be the answer to your conundrum. They could still come over, but the mess would be in a limited area.

    ICLW #60

  • Hahaha! This post is awesome!! I am so much like you with the cleanliness issue. Granted my adopted daughter is only 5 weeks old, but I cannot tell you how many times I have cleaned already!! My goal is to raise a child like yours!! I have family members who act like your neighbor’s kids & their lack of manners drives me insane! I can totally relate to this post!!
    Happy ICLW!!

  • Oh…my house is messy. I have a big dog and – no matter how often we vacuum and sweep and wipe – there’s always hair and dog prints EVERYWHERE. That said, I’ve been teaching for nearly ten years, and my last job was in a very well-off neighbourhood. The majority of kids had nannies. While doing a unit on responsibility, I asked my students what they had to do at home. They stared at me blankly. The nannies make the bed, put away toys, clear dishes…everything. So the kids have never learned to clean up after themselves.

  • Lut C.

    Our house leans more towards your neighbors houses, minus the mold and the drink cartons generally stay in the kitchen.

    What’s unacceptable about limiting the playing to the play room? And the back yard with features?

  • Rebecca

    We’ve had this problem. Our two older boys play with a herd of brothers from the neighborhood and while they are eternally sweet kids, they wreck the house and head out. While I’m not a neat freak, we do have a home full of antiques and nice furniture and so I get a bit uneasy as they all run thru the house. These days, I just holler at them and make them ALL clean up before they leave.

    Even worse: We also have a set of brothers nearby that are the “Eddie Haskells” of our neighborhood. Permagrin polite and then pee in the kids’ trash can or through bricks in our pool. It’s maddening! We’ve kept those particular kids at arms length lately. The others we just deal with b/c fundamentally we do adore them even if they are careless sometimes. We love that our boys have this band of kids to bang around with and that they have a little world of their own. I figure my own kids are probably more forgetful of cleaning up at the other family’s house, too, so whatever. I figure this is the price we pay for a house full of happy laughter.

  • Kudos to you for raising such a well mannered/trained child. Really. Our kids don’t sound as destructive as those at your child’s school, but them cleaning up after themselves before moving on to the next thing? Very much a work in progress. My personal and totally non-scientific theory is that it is just crazy hard to rein in that behavior when both parents are working. We find ourselves letting the kids run amok out of sheer exhaustion; we get maybe 3-4 hours with the kids on weekdays and are loathe to spend that time being “on” the kids to do this or that, but we are working on it. I have no idea how some families have two high powered careers and manage to raise THREE kids, even with hired help. The logistics are mind boggling.

    As for playdates, can you just be clear about your rules – no rough play, no shoes, cleaning up after yourself – and that’s that? I know it is easier said than done, but it is your home. I would not be in the least offended if my child’s mother had house rules (some parents in fact look to other parents to discipline their children!). And a playdate consisting of 23 KIDS?!! If you can pull that off, I bet you can finesse a play date with one or two of these private school kids.

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