Early voting is happening now!

Have you voted yet?

Lots of web pages talk about early voting dates.

If you’re registered, you can vote today* in:

California (some locations)
DC (some locations)
Florida (some locations)
Idaho (some locations)
New Jersey
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Dakota
Wisconsin (some locations)

Maryland and West Virginia start tomorrow.

*not 100% sure these are accurate, but if you google “early voting”, Google will pop up with information for your state, so you can double check very easily.

#1 has already voted, but #2 is waiting until Saturday.

Are you registered to vote (in the US)?

Last year my (red, Southern, affected by the VRA) state lost my voter registration and put me in limbo, but oddly they did not lose my DH’s.  Instead, just for fun, they misread DH’s response to their snail mail asking if he wanted to stay registered as a “no” instead of a “yes” and cut him off.  We each had to file another form with the county office to get reinstated.  You may want to check up on yours, you know, just in case.

There are a lot of ways to check your voter registration.

Probably the easiest is to type into google, “am I registered to vote“.  Google will respond with information that is specific to your state.  It’s lovely.

If that doesn’t work for you for whatever reason, vote.org has a lovely page that will link you to all the different state sites where you can check across the country.

After checking the status of your registration, most of these sites will have a link for you to register to vote.  You can again google “how do I register to vote” and google will take you to the appropriate site, or vote.gov is a website that will take you to the state registration site appropriate for you.

Some states will allow you to register online, but for others you still have to mail in information.

Deadlines are starting to hit now.  Again, googling, “voter registration date” will get you the information relevant to you, or you can look at a page like this one.   Note also that some places want snail registrations by the date listed whereas others will accept post-marked by the date listed.  If you haven’t registered to vote in the US yet and you are eligible we’re really getting to the time where there’s not much time left.

If you’re in a state that you’re sure isn’t going to change one way or the other, don’t be so sure.  Polling has been getting all sorts of messed up as people move from landlines to cellphones and we don’t really know the underlying trends like we did even 12 years ago.  In addition, this election has been like no other.  Bigots are excited about the pro-Bigot candidate, whereas everyone else is terrified of Trump.  There’s a lot of silent Clinton supporters out there in red states, as well as bigots you will hopefully never cross paths with.  Anything could happen.  (Plus downstream ballots are also important!)

So, vote!  Tell your friends, family, etc. to register before it’s too late!  The future of the free world may depend on it.

Are you registered to vote?

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It takes a village

We were not meant to be one adult + children 24/7. Our babies ourselves has a good literature review on this topic.

People were not meant to be sole care-takers for their kids, that’s why we have families and play-groups and all those other support structures. It really does take a village. Some parents have family members as part of their village, some friends, and some paid help. As long as the folks looking after are loving and caring and responsible, it’s all good.

If you’re a SAHP, do not isolate yourself.  Get out and see adults.  Join regular playgroups, parent-and-me classes. (Or whatever floats your boat.) Make sure you get adult-only time each week as well.

If you’re a WOHP, stop feeling guilty!!!!  And stop telling people you should feel guilty.  WOHP are legion and our kids are doing great.  Kids are resilient and they get a lot out of spending time with different high quality care-takers.

That is all.  (Another post that was started 4-5 years ago…)

ETA (h/t Bogart):  Standard disclaimer:  Differing constraints and preferences may apply.  IOW, YMMV.

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PSA: Check your smoke detectors

One of ours just up and died.  All of them had been here since we bought the house like 10 years ago, so DH replaced all of them.

He says (after a lot of research) that smoke detectors have gotten a lot better in the past 10 years, so even if your smoke detector is still working, you may want to buy a new one or two.

What kind of smoke detector?  The national fire prevention association recommends one that has both ionization and photoelectric smoke detection.

The kind DH got to replace our old ones was the Kidde PI2010 aka FireX 21007915 at Home Depot (where they are more expensive but we don’t have to wait for shipping).

So yeah, check your smoke detectors!  It could save your life.

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Dear DH’s extended family,

Stop inviting me to baby showers and bridal showers!  This is the third one this year.  And they’re always addressed to me, or rather, to my first name and DH’s lastname.  It wouldn’t bother me so much if they were addressed The DHslastname Family or DH and family or even DH and DH’s wife.  But no, it’s always just me on the address line.

I have to ask DH who you are.  Sometimes he can’t remember.  He has a lot of cousins and second cousins and third cousins.

I am not actually related to you.  I live a two days drive away.  I am not going to come to your event and you know that.  Especially when I get the invite the day before the event. The RSVP line on the invite is a joke.

If it’s a wedding, we probably won’t go to that either, but we’ll send you a gift if you invite us.  Us, being the family.  Because you are DH’s relative.  Not mine.  We’re not going to send anything for a bridal shower.

If you need money for the new baby, then the appropriate etiquette is to send an announcement to DH and his family after the baby is born.  Then we’ll send you a big Walmart giftcard so you can buy diapers or whatever.  But that’s because DH is related to you.  Not me.  Leave me alone.

I know that I’m privileged that I don’t need to be tapping every twig of the family tree in order to get basics for the baby.  But I’d still prefer it if you invited DH to the damn baby shower or bridal shower, and not me.  I don’t know you from Adam and I resent being asked for money from strangers.  I don’t resent it when you ask him because he’s your relative.  You are his problem, and our problem, but definitely not my problem.  (Addendum:  I’d feel more like getting something off your baby registry if it wasn’t full of things like $64 nightlights.)

And don’t get me started on being invited to faculty wives’ events.  #@$#$@#$#@$!!!

This has been a PSA tiny rant.

Do you get these kinds of invitations?  Do they annoy you?  Should I be annoyed?

Dear bloggers [a point of grammar],

There’s an easy way to figure out if you’re supposed to say “person and I” vs. “person and me.”

Say the sentence to yourself without the “person and” part.  We know you get it right when you’re starting a sentence with just “I” or using “me” appropriately later on.  There’s large swaths of the country that start sentences with “Me and him” but we know you wouldn’t do that.

“What works for DH and I” or “What works for DH and me”?  Think to yourself “What works for I” or “What works for me”?  Hopefully doing that has caused you to choose “What works for DH and me.”

Similarly when you’re labeling photos– “My BFF and I” would be appropriate if you finish the sentence “My BFF and I are eating ice cream” but is inappropriate if that’s all you’re labeling the picture with.  Do you label pictures just “I”, or do you label them “me”?  Therefore, the picture is labeled “My BFF and me.”

This has been a public service announcement from the grumpy grammarians.

Sleep and gifted preschoolers

One of the common signs of giftedness is a lower sleep need at a younger age.  Not all gifted kids show this lack of needing naps, but it is correlated.  If your child got rid of most naps at 18 months and is still happy as a clam until bedtime, then that is correlated with giftedness.  That doesn’t mean that your average-sleeping child isn’t gifted.  And, some gifted kids need more sleep than average kids.  (And as an adult, my sleep need has certainly settled down to higher than average.  Darn adolescence.) (#2 needs more than average sleep, too!  I blame puberty.)

If someone says, “losing naps early is correlated with intelligence” that does not mean that your regularly-napping kid is dumb.  It does not mean that forcing your kid to sleep less will make them smarter (in fact, probably the opposite).  It just means that it’s ok for some kids, even little kids, not to nap.  And it’s a specific type of kid who may have joys and challenges that are also correlated with giftedness.  (#2 cannot understand how #1 copes with a kid that young who needs not-significantly-more sleep than the parents.  I would go insane if my preschooler didn’t sleep a lot.  Reason #428 why I don’t have kids.)

Gifted kids can be pretty intense.  One of the reasons neither DH nor I could be SAHP while DC is small is because we would not get those breaks that most parents get.  Go go going from dawn to sometime past dusk is exhausting for parents, even if not for the kid.  We need other people to share the burden of intensity and to be entertaining and new and different.  Preschool, other kids, other adults… necessary for our sanity.  And that question, “Is there any good reason for hir to be reading so young?”  YES.  Sweet sweet quiet time for mommy and daddy.

My theory: when they get a lot of stimulation, gifted kids nap just as much as other kids.  Gifted kids just need more new things to need to make those dendrite connections that get made during sleep.  DC naps the first few weeks at a new preschool.  (We can tell ze has stopped when they stop sending home wet clothing.)  DC naps a lot when we go to large cities ze’s never been to before and sees all sorts of things ze’s never seen.  Ze used to suddenly just conk out on DH’s shoulder when overstimulated.  If you can keep your kid appropriately challenged, then you may see less of this not sleepingness.  But it is hard to get ability-level stimulation in an age-level based system.  Especially in the US.

Related recent post from wandering scientist.  About the parallel universes we with low sleep need kids live in.

Do you wish you got more down-time?

Actually, nobody cares

And if they do care enough to condemn you for X, Y, and Z… not only are they not very good friends, or nice people, but they seriously need lives!  And who cares what not nice people who need lives think?

It is a fundamental truth that most people are too busy with their own lives to notice or pass judgment on yours.  Unless you take great effort to point it out.

That is all.

Comments?  Examples?

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