Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A Lesson in Perspective



Well, the day care has succeeded in pulling me out of a slightly depressive slump. I was so mad when I left them today that it got me back to a more or less normal mood, which is a relief. The let-down from Christmas was pretty hard – I spent most of Sunday and Monday doing only what I needed to get by, and the rest of the time curled up on the sofa reading Duckie an assortment of books over and over and over and over again… I think the Big Blue House is pretty cute, but not after having read it ten times in an hour.

What got me riled up was that the day care hadn’t told some of the parents (myself and several others) that they had scheduled a holiday for the day care – yesterday, that is. I went to drop off Duckie and saw the lights were out, nothing posted on the windows of the rooms, nada. And I wasn’t the only one – several other parents showed up around that time and were as clueless as I was.

Husband cleared his schedule in case they were closed today, but they were – thankfully – open. And apparently the teachers in each room were supposed to notify the parents about the closure. I hate looking backward, but in this case I think the new place could learn from the old place – at Alice’s they had the dates posted and were almost annoying about reminding you. I would have preferred that, rather than being blindsided and getting yet another occurrence for missing work.

Anyway, they did tell me that next Monday is also a holiday for them – which I suppose means that they will be open Friday. Might be meaningless, if we decide to go to the beach to visit Husband’s mom and grandmother – might be a nice day at home for mom (me, that is) if we decide not to go.

But the rush of anger and annoyance certainly spiked my mood back up to a manageable level.

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I wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted in response to last week’s rants. It makes an enormous difference to know that there are folks out there who are listening, and who are taking the time to offer their opinions.

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We had a good Christmas. And this time I’ve got pictures to help tell the story…

Started off poorly on Christmas Eve. Husband and I hadn’t communicated well enough – I expected him at four for the sleepover – and by 6 I was furious. (So furious that I gave up trying to feed Duckie her yogurt and instead gave her the entire cup with a spoon, saying “Fine. If you want to do it yourself, have at it.” And she did, of course.) I had planned – well, never mind what I had planned – it didn’t happen anyway. I spoke briefly to my dad that evening and in my frustration I asked him how I could manage to salvage the evening. He said to lower my expectations.

Surprisingly enough, it seemed to work. Husband and I did a lot of talking – more than we had in the last six months, I think – and I know it was really helpful for me. Husband put the wagon together with an amazing amount of patience – I kept waiting for the Christmas Story dad’s profanity to explode, but it never did, more’s the pity. He put all the toys in the wagon and set it so she wouldn’t be able to see it until she walked into the living room.

Once she figured out that the wagon moved, most of the other toys lost their appeal (with the exception of the piano – she figured out how to play it with her butt.) And by 10:30 in the morning she was asleep in her high chair, overwhelmed by all the new stuff.

My favorite Christmas present (other than the HP Prisoner of Azkaban DVD that Husband so thoughtfully gave me!) was the half-hour long bath I took that morning while Husband took Duckie on a ride in the wagon.

We put dinner together fairly quickly and while it did suffer from an overabundance of salt and a lack of cranberry sauce, it was awfully yummy and very comforting.

Duckie had a hard time going to sleep that night. She fell asleep without a bath, in her Christmas clothes, and I didn’t have the heart to wake her up to get changed. But when her Aunt Sam came over, she woke up just in time for another present – a lovely beaded teething necklace that she’s hardly put down since she got it. We put her in the princess nightgown that I couldn’t resist getting her and Sam took a couple of wonderful pictures. (In that last one, by the way, I'm wearing Heather's crocheted shawl - the picture doesn't do it justice.) I sent her on down to Buffy’s family gathering with a bag of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made (in my humble opinion).

And finally we all managed to settle down to sleep, Duckie and I in the big bed and Husband comfortably wrapped in a thick blanket on the sofa. Given that Duckie has taken to sleeping horizontally in the bed and Husband would be on the receiving end of her kicks at night, that was probably for the best.

I saw Buffy briefly the next morning – pretty frazzled but looking absolutely fabulous with a new hairstyle and that kickin’ tracksuit she got recently. I don’t know anyone else who can pull off red pants the way she can.

Husband left Sunday morning, back to his own devices. We got a lot worked out this weekend – I was able to set some definite boundaries as far as visits and Duckie’s routine and we didn’t have to watch for the repo man (I got the car payments caught up Wednesday). We started to come to terms with the reality that I have, indeed, changed in some pretty fundamental ways. If there’s a hope of ever living happily together in the future, we’re going to have to see how these new people get along – start from scratch, as it were. And I’m willing to take the time to do that, and to be available for the process, because although Husband hasn’t in the past been a great husband (and let’s face it, I haven’t been a great wife, either), he is still a good man and still my soul mate, despite the distance and disappointment and heartaches we have both caused each other. Oh and I’m also married to him – and that’s a pretty strong commitment to try to work things out.

We’ll see what happens from here. As a previous poster mentioned, my energy needs to be going into me and Duckie right now, and that’s still true. But as long as the boundaries we’ve set up are observed (by him) and enforced (by me) I think I’ll still have the room I need to heal up from my own heartache and keep Duckie happy.

Husband and I used to (and still do) marvel over what a happy child Duckie generally is. We’ve been blessed with her presence here, and I consider it one of my most important responsibilities – to maintain her happiness, optimism, and sense of security despite whatever crap I’m going through at the moment. And I have to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for supporting me in that goal. She laughs, she plays the piano with her butt, she explores, she climbs everything, she falls down… and she gets back up. Right
now that’s a pretty good sign, in my book.

Here's hoping that you all have a wonderful New Year's celebration, however you choose to observe it.

I am hoping also that those who have lost people they love (the Satz family as well as countless thousands of families left grief-stricken recently by the force of Mother Nature) may be able to comfort each other day in and day out, to climb out of the hole of shock and despair they may be living in now. My prayers are with you.


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