By Allie Wade
I feel like I’ve officially become a mother. Today. It happened. I received my very first “I hate you.”
For a kid who I have never heard use the word “hate,” he sure had a list of things that he hated.
He hated me.
He hated our car.
He hated our house.
He hated our dog. He hated his car seat.
He hated his school.
He hated his shoes.
He hated everything.
He even told me that he wanted a new mom and that he would no longer like to be my son.
This all started at our PEPS group meeting. He had to use the potty but decided that he did not like the toddler potty seat that was sitting on top of the white porcelain circle. I stood in the bathroom with him, asked him if he needed help, told him I would stay or go, offered to find him a different toddler seat, convinced him that the sink would be an absolute blast to use and then started threatening that we would have to leave if he didn’t either use the potty, or go back to our friends.
After 10 minutes of negotiating in the bathroom, I made the executive decision that we would have to leave. Our conversation was going nowhere and we were headed for tantrum-ville with a population of one. Mr. Baylor Wade.
Screaming and crying he refused to put shoes on, didn’t want to stay, didn’t want to go. I picked up all 36 pounds of thrashing toddler and hauled him to the car.
“I HATE THIS CAR! I HATE THIS PLACE! I HAAAAATE YOU! I WILL NOT BE YOUR SON! I WANT A NEW MOM! I HATE OUR DOG! I HATE THIS SEAT! I HATE THIS BUCKLE!”
The bummer with a big kid booster is that he can undo the seat belt. As he kept unbuckling himself I would re-buckle and finally got the car moving so that he would leave it in place.
SCREAMING is all that happened. After the fifth time he told me he wanted a new mom, I turned my blinker on, turned into the grocery store parking lot and calmly said, “ok, Bay, let’s find a nice lady to be your new mom. You can go climb in her car. Sound good?”
Maybe not the most conventional parenting moment, but he looked at me and calmly said, “NO. I didn’t mean it. I don’t want a new mommy. I don’t hate you.”
I explained that I knew he was upset and that I’m sure he was very mad that I made him leave before he was ready, but that words we say can hurt people and that we must remember who we are talking to, even when we get really mad. I explained what “hate” meant and he switched over to “I don’t like my seat…”
I am aware that I may have a few more “I hate yous” headed my way. I’m sure he will be so mad at me that he’ll threaten to run away or tell me how unfair I am. Even though I know it’s in a time of madness and his prefrontal cortex isn’t even connected to the rest of his brain, it still stings a little to know that the little person I would die for could say, “I hate you.” I remember the feeling it gave me when he first said “I love you” and thinking about the day the middle word would change to hate. I thought I had 10 years, at least!
So, if you see us in the grocery store parking lot shopping for a new mom one day, you’ll know why.
Kids…. always lookin’ for the next best thing, including moms.
Note from the Editor-
Many of our readers are starting families of their own and have asked for more information about infertility and IVF. Having gone through this myself I understand how scary the process is -not knowing what’s ahead of you, the procedures, the drugs, the expenses, the pain you might endure both physically and mentally. I went on a search for an expert and thought, “who better than one of my fertility doctors?” After all, I did a lot of research myself and I now have three kids! Dr. Tourgeman will be doing a video series in which he will answer your questions in detail before you even step into a clinic. He will address single parents and couples, whether same sex or heterosexual. Please get involved; ask questions or, if you have been through the process yourself, give feedback. Tell us your story in our comments section.
The first video is an introduction to Dr. Tourgeman and the second is the first question from one of our readers.
Question: What are the initial first steps for an infertile couple?
By: Holly Vanderhaar
This is going to be a brief update, because Gracie’s having surgery in a few days to remove a questionable cyst from her wrist, and with all the tests and doctor appointments —and Isabelle being sick from a nasty respiratory infection— I don’t know which way is up. For what it’s worth, the doctors don’t think the cyst is anything to worry about, necessarily; it’s just that they can’t tell exactly WHAT it is, and they had the choice of putting her under for a deep MRI, or performing an excisional biopsy. And since they would be putting her under either way, they advised the latter option. And because I just want it to be over already, I agreed. And I’m trying not to think about my (probably irrational) fear of general anesthesia. And trying to figure out how to get Isabelle to school when I have to be at the hospital with Gracie at 5:30 in the morning.
Since my last post about taking them to see The Hunger Games, it has become All Katniss All the Time in our house. We went to see it a second time. They’re spending their allowance on trading cards. And Isabelle told me that it was her favorite movie. Now, this surprised me, because they’re passionate about a lot of movies, including Cars and Bolt and all of the Harry Potter films. So I asked her why? Why The Hunger Games, when it’s scary and violent and sometimes —for a nine-year-old—confusing? And she said, “Because it’s about a girl.”
From time to time, in literary circles, there’s a dust-up after some (usually male) author makes some disparaging statement about female authors. There’s some back and forth about institutionalized sexism and “chick lit” and income disparities. And often, people who argue that women are all a bunch of whiny babies will point to J. K. Rowling as a success story. Hers is a great rags-to-riches tale, to be sure. But if we’re past the need for feminism, and everyone is judged on his or her own merits rather than on gender, then why did her publisher insist that she use her initials, rather than her first name, saying that boys wouldn’t read a book that was written by a woman?
My point is that if anyone tells you that it doesn’t matter, that the important thing is a “good story” and a “compelling protagonist,” that it’s only left-wing academic types who notice or care about the notion of a gender disparity—among protagonists or among authors—and they’re just creating a problem where none really exists…I’m here to tell you that (in our family, at least) it does matter. Kids do notice. Girls are hungry for heroines. And, if box office numbers are any indication, boys will go and see a movie about a girl, and they’ll even read a book by an author who uses her real first name.
With such little time for regular social interaction, “mom talk” is taking over my social life.
There are different parts of this phenomenon:
Comparing notes on little ones;
Repeating the same story over and over;
Speaking in third person;
Common conversation starters;
If you are a mom, or you know one and hang out with her often, you know what I’m talking about.
I overheard two moms talking at the park the other day and 100% of their conversation was about their kids. They didn’t say a single personal thing without it involving why they were woken up early or how busy their driving schedule has become with both kids in soccer. It wasn’t a conversation, really. It was “oh, I know! I did the same thing when Sammy was that age…” It’s like a tennis match, back and forth, hitting the ball with the notes on their children. It’s no wonder many moms start in on a conversation with a monologue about their life; they have forgotten how to talk to people who don’t have kids. Their kids are their whole life, the topic of every conversation. “Oh, ya, Baylor was the same way. He used to wake up every two hours until he was a year old…” I guess nobody asked, but now they know about Baylor’s sleep schedule. Don’t worry, I’ll get their baby’s sleep schedule next. It’s just how it goes. It’s the way that we learn, and maybe feel normal.
I’m not saying that all moms are like this… because they’re not. But the ones that are have started to rub off on me and I catch myself only talking about Baylor when someone asks me how I’m doing. It’s quite simply because how I am doing really depends on my sweet baby.
I catch myself wondering if I’ve already told this story to this person. I ask, “wait, did I already tell you about this?” And when they say, “no,” I am curious as to if they are just being polite or if I really haven’t told them about it. I meet nannies, moms, friends of Toby’s, or just new people out and about and much of the “new people” conversation covers a cute story about Baylor, where I grew up, that I love my PEPS group, and that I didn’t plan on being a mom at my age but love it! Should the conversation go past that, it’s hard to remember what information I give and if I should take it to level 2 or level 3 conversation (friend details… and then a little more personal friend details) at our next encounter. I need to start taking notes.
Mom-versations always include a one-upper. It’s impossible not to. Your baby walked at a year? That’s my cue to tell you Baylor walked at ten months. She sings? Baylor knows how to count to 20 in Spanish. What else you got? Bring it! And let’s be really nice and enthusiastic (“WOW!”) the whole time we’re doing it.
Third person. I said I’d never talk to my child this way, and yet here I am. “Baylor, let Mommy do it. Mommy wants a bite too. Do you want Mommy to help?” Will he not understand if I say, “me” and refer to myself? How did this happen?
Common conversation starters are essential in the world of new mom friends. “How old is she?” “I love that jumper, where did you find that?” “Wow! He’s really tall!” “I’m the nanny of her, and the mom of him…” All common.
And then we start talking about our kids, one upping, and talking about sleep schedules. Don’t worry, if I run into you next time, I’ll probably tell you the exact same thing again because I won’t remember this conversation at all.
Moms are amazing. Sleep deprived, hungry for socialization, and hoping that the way they are raising their babies isn’t too crazy, what else would there be to talk about? These little creatures are enough conversation to last a lifetime… which is probably why we will talk about them with pride for the rest of our lives.
By: Brandy Black
Sperm Donor X is a documentary that explores the underbelly of 4 different women choosing to be single moms, each taking different paths to pursue their dream of having children. It delves into the processes of picking a sperm donor, artificial insemination, adoption, and the opinions of outsiders. This is an insightful documentary filmed in New York and directed by Deirdre Fishel. I caught up with her over the phone last week between our mommy schedules and a 3-hour time difference to discuss the film, her life with twins, and what exactly she needs to get this film out in theatres.
Brandy: How did you come to the decision to make Sperm Donor X?
Deirdre: I was not at all convinced that I was going to make this film. But I knew these really pivotal moments were happening, and that I had to be shooting them if I was ever going to make a film. I shot for about 2 years and then I stopped for about 2 years. I was very ambivalent; when it came down to it, it was very personal. But I kept meeting these amazing, gorgeous, fabulous women who were in their late 30’s and they were so terrified of going out and having kids on there own, and it,… really motivated me to see, do I have a film? Then, once I felt like I did have a film- to keep working to get it out. So it’s been 7 years total.
If I hadn’t met those women, I don’t think I would have made the film. I just really felt so lucky and was so scared. There was such a radical difference before I did it and after it, and I guess I’ve been really motivated to try to inspire more women who are so scared to realize that it’s doable if you really want kids.
Brandy: Why did you decide to use a sperm donor?
Deirdre: Well, my initial thought about a sperm donor -I remember I was really dead-set against going through an anonymous sperm donor. I thought it was very creepy and weird and I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. So I sought out to, you know, it’s a hard question to ask, and there are not many people, but there was one friend who had a family already, and didn’t live in the area, and I thought maybe he would do it. I thought he was healthy and sane and he said, “I’m flattered but I had a vasectomy”. And then I asked another person, a friend, and he was all excited and then he didn’t want to do it. Pretty quickly I just felt like, wow –it was so awkward and embarrassing…Plus, I have a friend who’s a lawyer, and she was really counseling me that rights are a big issue. The more I got into the process, the more I started to see that there are really some advantages to using a sperm donor. Now I’m so glad I went this route, and my kids are so great. I really know a lot of women are very uncomfortable with that; it’s not what you think is going to happen to you. You’re getting on the internet, you’re looking at profiles. It’s a little strange. You gotta get over that hump, but what I’ve come to see 7 years later is that we’re really lucky in this country. We have really good reproductive rights. I mean, there are a lot of countries in the world where you cannot, as a single woman, just go and order from a sperm bank and walk into a fertility clinic. So what I feel like right now is that there’s more of a lag -a sort of cultural lag- where a lot of women feel like “how did this happen to me?” But I also feel like we have a lot of choices and a lot of people are choosing not to partner with someone that they don’t feel great about.
Brandy: How did your friends and family feel about your decision?
Deirdre: I live in a pretty progressive world, so nobody said “you can’t do that.” My mother was very anxious about it, but when I started to really make the decision, she got behind me and had a paradigm shift and realized we don’t have forever. In some ways the biggest issue was myself and coming to terms with it and not feeling like I somehow failed. I’m so on the other side of that now. I feel so lucky and really empowered, and I feel like we have a really great family.
I watched Sperm Donor X with no color correct and no sound mix because it is not yet finished. In fact, Deirdre only needs $10,000 to complete this documentary. I was inspired to interview her because this enlightening film should be available as a resource. It is not only edifying for single women, but also for anyone who is enduring the process of choosing a sperm donor and taking the non-traditional route of creating a family.
If you would like more information on this film or would like to donate Sperm Donor X go to
Sperm Donor X