Sunday, March 01, 2009

Is this racism or does she just hate lotion?

I am surprised how well Lana is doing, all things considered. Gabe had a very hard time after his tonsils came out, and we ended up back in the doctor's office with a dehydrated kid in a lot of pain.

Lana is uncomfortable when her pain medication starts to wear off, and she's a little sleepy (probably from the pain meds) but she seems to be doing fairly well.

Last night, about 30 minutes before she was due for another dose Tylenol with Codeine, she declared that she was itchy. So itchy, in fact, that she was "dying from the itchy" and that I needed to do something about it 'right now'.

When I told her I could help the itch, but I needed to put lotion on her to do that, she declared that I was a bad mother who did not like having kids.

I asked her what made her think I didn't like having kids, she said, "because you never make us any good food."

This was after I had steamed five dumplings and cut them into tiny pieces so they wouldn't hurt her throat. Because the only thing she wanted to eat on the planet was dumplings, and I wanted to get some protein into her, and I am a sucker like that. (Note, she ate four of the five dumplings and insisted I save the one leftover dumpling for today and not eat it myself. Because evidently I'm also the kind of mom who cannot be trusted when there are leftover dumplings about.) (Okay, she might be on to something there.)

She loves dumplings, she would eat them every day if I would let her, and on a day that I made them for her, I was the kind of mom who never gives good food.


After she had her medicine, she decided she would let me put lotion on her, but only if Husband helped. We were slathering up with Eucerin, and she suddenly declared, "I hate my brown skin!"

I said, "what?" because I didn't want to think I heard her correctly, and she said, "I hate my brown skin" again.

And my heart broke into a thousand pieces and fell out of my body onto the floor where it settled into a pool on the carpet screaming "failed mother!" at me.

Well, at a minimum let's say I felt pretty lousy about it.

"Why do you hate your brown skin?" I asked.

She didn't have an answer.

I'd like to think she was expressing her displeasure with the fact that she needs lotion all the time (and let's face it, regardless of what shade it is, if you take a child from a climate that is consistently warm and humid, and put her in a place where it is cold and blowy and snowy, lotion is going to be a skin-care necessity.)

I don't want to think that she was expressing a sentiment from any other children at her school or elsewhere that her skin tone is undesirable. Because if that is the case, my head might actually explode. We have her at a school with the second highest percentage of Asian students in this part of the state. There are lots of Asian kids in her school. But most of the kids in her school are Caucasian. And I just hate to think that someone has made her feel bad, or lesser or inadequate, because of her skin.

(And truly, Lana's skin is a beautiful color that millions of American teenagers spend millions of dollars exposing their skin to the cancer rays of the indoor tanner in an effort to achieve...shouldn't they be jealous?)

I knoe she will encounter ignorant people in her lifetime. I know it will happen. I know that I cannot shelter her from Ethnicism and Racism and people who make assumptions that she will be good at math. But does it have to happen in Kindergarten?

And maybe I am reading to much into this? Maybe she just hates lotion?

Not sure what to think....



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's her age, the lotion, feeling grumpy from the tonsil thing and probably it's a litle from where she's at adjusting to being different from Mom and Dad. I am often the worst and/or the meanest Mom in the world who often always and/or never does things all this according to Bunny. I really think it's a girl thing. Big hugs it only gets worse and/or better :)

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:48:00 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Maybe it is the Codeine talking too. I know I always say really strange things when I take pain meds. Sorry. I think she is just grumpy and not feeling good.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

My J hated Eucerin too. He's had great luck with the Vaseline Clinical Care lotion.It's not as thick, rubs right in, and keeps his skin moisturized. We've only tried the unscented because I didn't want to take any chances with a reaction to the scent. So far, it has kept his excema flares down and he tolerates the amount of time it takes me to apply it.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 2:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think she's grumpy from the surgery and meds and whatnot. But also R~ has made comments about her brown skin vs. my white skin. The other day she asked if she would have white skin when she grows up. That one threw me a bit. Apparently she thinks Zeeb is getting lighter - he is lighter skinned than her, but always has been. I told her everyone gets lighter when they aren't exposed to the sun for a while, including her. I try to stay matter-of-fact with things like this because I don't want to give her my emotional baggage or worries - I'm sure she'll come up with plenty of her own.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:23:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I would be sad to hear my girls say they hated their skin too. But I bet it was a mixture of all that was going on that made her say it. I am glad she is recovering well.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

I agree with what everyone else has said so far. I think it was just last summer, maybe?, that Tank Boy made a comment about wishing he had white skin like me. I told him I wish I had brown skin like he has. So I do think maybe it is just part of the process of realizing they look different from the rest of the family and trying to sort it out. I'm sure the pain meds didn't help how she was feeling, either.

Monday, March 02, 2009 12:43:00 PM  
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Thursday, March 05, 2009 4:03:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I think everyone else said it well. My heart would break, too. I hope it was the situation and the not feeling well and the mood. Hugs.

Saturday, March 07, 2009 12:18:00 AM  

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