It's been a while since I've frequented MDC, and I was glad to pop on here and see this "chatty" thread and catch up with some old names. Nice to "see" you all!
My four wild and sweet kiddos continue to grow like crazy (it's what they do best, I suppose); the twins (Luke and Jaz) are now 8, Zeb is 4.5, and Leo will be 2 at the end of June. My wife and I separated at the end of last summer, and are getting divorced. So I've been single-momming it for about 8 months now, which has been, at times, incredibly challenging, mostly due to the heartbreak of the situation. I had to learn how to do things like get all four kids to bed by myself, etc., but the logistical difficulties are really nothing in comparison to the emotional work of it all. I have the kids most of the time, and am still mostly a stay-at-home-mom, though I'm trying to start a practice as an IBCLC (lactation consultant) in my "free time." I never thought my family would look like this, I never thought my kids would have two homes to go with their two moms, I never thought I could survive all that we've been through in the past year+ and be remotely ok. But I'm generally managing to continue to find joy and to have hope and to love life, in the midst of grieving and figuring out how to make this all work. I wish I could share more about all of everything, but am trying to be respectful of everyone and keep the personal details off of the internet.
QOTD: I feel fine about my kids wearing whatever they want to wear (in regards to genderized clothing, not overall), and have mostly complied with letting them grow their hair long (I don't like hair in their faces, so I take issue with the growing-it-out process). I guess, if anything, I avoid dressing my boys in stereotypical "boy" clothing (I really prefer gender neutral, plain clothes), and probably would deem some of what they've worn over the years to be "too girly" for a theoretical girl child of mine. 8What's been fascinating (though not in an especially lovely way) as my biggest kids have gotten older, is watching them filter what they choose to wear based on the influence of their peers at school. Lukas was always very much enamored with pink when he was younger (in fact, he insisted upon wearing at least one pink item every day for a couple of years, and preferred to be head-to-toe in pink), and it's still one of his stated favorite colors. But he won't wear pink to school now, for fear of being laughed at. Jasper, on the other hand, was never especially "into" the "girly" stuff as a preschooler, but will happily wear pink/purple to school now in kind of a trend-setting sort of way (always wanting to stand out and push the envelope, that one). But Jaz is very much a "popular kid" who can get away with just about anything, whereas Luke is more wanting to blend in, doesn't want attention of any kind (positive or negative, he also refuses to wear anything he thinks a "cool boy" would wear) for what he's wearing.
I dress my babies in strictly gender-neutral clothing, and everyone has always assumed they were girls or asked specifically about their sexes. I've always taken it as a good sign that I wasn't dressing them in any obviously gendered way. It's never offended me in the least, and I don't bother to correct anyone unless it feels relevant (i.e. in response to: "Wow! Three boys and then you got your girl!" I might say, cheerfully: "They're all boys, actually.")
Glad to be back here.