The Quirks We Choose To Embrace

Family GeekMom

From the moment you see your first positive pregnancy test, you start to expect certain things about motherhood. Life is going to change, you know that. You expect the diapers and the long sleepless nights, the hoards of dirty laundry and the temper tantrums.

Where I was wrong is that I expected I’d become a “mom”. I am my daughter’s mother, but I didn’t magically become what I thought a real mom should be. Real moms cook homemade meals, listen to tasteful music, act gracefully, and know how to keep up a home. I guess I expected to suddenly become my mother. But after giving birth, I still ordered delivery pizza way too often, still listened to explicit rap, and still had no idea how to clean a bathtub. Something was wrong; The magic fairy that made new moms into proper moms had missed me!

In some ways, I am sorry my daughter won’t get the same kind of clean wholesome home I grew up in. But once I accepted that I could be a mom and remain myself at the same time, I’m grew proud to be a weird mom raising a weird daughter, quirks and all.

From all the GeekMoms, here’s a secret list of quirks we choose to embrace with our families:

  • I make my kids wear clothes with geeky references they don’t understand.
  • I make my daughter listen to NPR’s Car Talk.
  • My husband rejoices when I get a new gadget, because he knows he’ll get my old one.
  • I buy boy pajamas for my daughter. Trains, dragons, robots, comic book and video game characters… Why do boys get all the cool stuff?
  • From the time she could hold a controller, I’ve been training my daughter to play video games.
  • When I tell my daughter I got her a new book, she asks which app and which device.
  • I may have been known to get my son a Lego set that’s too hard for him, and then enthusiastically build it myself.
  • I took my daughter to Comic-Con, filled her bag with comic books and made her sit through the GeekParenting panel.
  • I subtly encourage a “Backyard Science” party over all other party themes just to have an excuse for Mentos geysers and instant snow.
  • I discuss Plants vs. Zombies strategy with the kids at the bus stop.
  • My oldest son and I talk about Glitch the whole time we take runs together.
  • I used the Star Wars ABC book to help teach the alphabet. A is for Anakin!
  • I gave my daughter all of my old action figures and toys. She sleeps with Batman and Darth Vader plays with Barbie in the dollhouse.
  • I sing Sally’s Song from Nightmare Before Christmas as a lullaby.
  • We taught our kids to play DnD by taking them to reunions of our collegiate players.
  • I played the Star Wars symphony as part of a concert band while pregnant; I still hum pieces of it to my daughter hoping she remembers it fondly from in utero.
  • We did read to the babies every night at bed time, eventually including all the Harry Potter series in later years.
  • When a classic movie is remade, the kids have to see the original first and often read the book too.
  • My daughter’s first Halloween costume was a penguin so she would look like the Linux penguin.
  • I preferred homework to housework.
  • Like the stegosaurus, I have a second brain … I have used a Palm for about 15 years.
  • I am insufficiently concerned about others’ opinions.
  • I got my son a bubble wand that looked like a light saber and took Jedi pictures of him when he was 11 months old.
  • I had an iPod full of the entire Beatles collection playing in my son’s room all night. He was a good sleeper but my husband developed a strong aversion to The White Album!
  • When I announced my pregnancy to my family, we delivered the message in code on a cake (OK, this one is no secret because my last name is on it!):

Do you have any confessions to add to the list?

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12 thoughts on “The Quirks We Choose To Embrace

  1. –just this moment, I went into the other room because I heard suspicious squirting noises coming from it. Indeed, the kids were squirting large globs of paint onto notebook paper. And I am letting them to it. It’s creative expression.

  2. my 5 year old knows the names of all the characters from the Hobbit (my husband has read the book twice) and she when she plays dress up in her pretty pink dresses she carries a light saber because a princess has to take care of herself.

  3. Awesome, I certainly am already guilty of some of the quirks with our 7month old girl. I also am terrible at cleaning… but I try when I can as hubby is terrible at organizing and ends up making most of the messes in the house, which I no longer clean-up cuz he fears I’ll throw something important away. -_-

    Anyway, I’m taking lil one to the Xena Convention later this month lol.

  4. My 1 year old got the Star Wars ABC book for Christmas, as well as a Lego Star Wars adventure book. My mom bought some red and blue robot onesies for my baby shower, because I wanted them, even though they were “for boys.”

    And I bought the Little People play set with the Alien and the Robot. And for my daughter’s birthday we got her the Young Mad Scientist blocks from Thinkgeek.

    She wore her Whelping onesie (from World of Warcraft) to the Ren Faire.

    And she played her first video game when she was four months old. (It was one where the only key needed is the space bar.)

  5. I loved your list!!

    I could probably write a really long one like you! But here are just a few:

    My kids think that normal vacations are to conventions like Origins and GenCon.

    My kids know the name of my World of Warcraft characters.

    We dressed our oldest girl in a Star Trek uniform when she was 11 months old and took pictures much to her current horror now that she is a tween.

    My daughter and her friends fight over who gets to play Arkham Horror with us.

    Now the whole family sits down to play Skyrim..

    Our youngest daughter is named Arwen.

    Yep, we definitely meet the term “geek parenting”. 🙂

  6. When my kids complain that food is too hot, I say, “Increase the heat transference,” and they know exactly what I mean!

    I, too, bought boy stuff for my daughter. Boys’ jeans and shirts hold up to play much better than girls’ clothes do, and have cool stuff on them. Like robots and Star Wars and video game characters, as you’ve noted.

    I adopted Mrs. Frizzle’s cry of, “Take chances, make mistakes, GET MESSY!!” with both of my kids, because how the heck are you supposed to get them interested in science if you expect them to stay CLEAN, fer gossakes??

    When our air conditioner went out over the summer and the repair guy said, “The capacitor is burned out and needs to be replaced,” I said, “The flux capacitor?” and both my kids died laughing. (No, the A/C guy didn’t get it, but my kids DID and it was AWESOME!!).

    I could go on, but… you know, “geek parenting” is so much fun, and I think in many ways, it’s so much more freeing than “traditional” parenting. One thing is certain, we are NEVER bored!

  7. I love this and agree that quirky geek moms make great moms!

    My 20-month-old daughter’s room is space-themed (I’m an aerospace engineer). Every night we say goodnight to all the planets (framed pictures of every planet in the solar system) and the moon and stars (LED mobile) and tuck her in in her jammies (dinosaurs, rockets, astronaut, superheroes, monkeys… ok, and a fuzzy pink kitty pair from my mother).

    She can’t say the whole alphabet yet, but she can name all her planets! ‘Star’ was among her first words, as was ‘rocket.’ Her middle name was taken from one of the moons of Jupiter (Elara).

    She attended her first con at 7 weeks (Balticon) and her first worldcon at 16 months. She sits in her dad’s lap while he plays SWTOR, and she loves all things with buttons/lights. She loves books so much that we have to limit her to 3 books before bedtime or we’ll never get her to bed (but she can keep reading them herself once in bed!).

    I can’t wait to watch her (and hopefully future kids) grow up and discover the geeky things she loves the most.

  8. My son’s favorite show from early childhood (because we owned the DVDs): Johnny Socko and his Giant Robot. (If you get that, you also know what a strange adult asking him to go with them needed to say in response to “Napoleon Code 4” to not get reported.)

  9. I’m not going to make my list…that would take too long. But, I smiled reading yours with my daughter. We think your list could pretty much be mine. But instead of Vader in her doll house, she uses storm troopers and R2-D2!

    1. Thanks! My brother was in on the big reveal… Him, my husband and I are all programmers, it took us 30 minutes of arguing to to decide what to name the variable!

  10. My five year old son has strong opinions about Doctor Who. He likes to try and argue with me about why Ten/Donna is superior to Eleven/Amy & Rory. He also has a very favorite episode, Fires of Pompeii, which led to me buying him a Pompeii pop-up book, which he loves.

    By the time he was three, he had a Harry Potter speech he’d give to anyone who would listen: “Harry, Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore are good guys. Voldemort is the bad guy. But Snape is very complicated.”

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