Thursday, March 10, 2005

preventive action




When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, 'Did you sleep good?' I said 'No, I made a few mistakes.'
Steven Wright (1955 - )



I don’t know how my running buddy (we’ll call her T) is maintaining any semblance of sanity this week. She's taking care of not only her own rambunctious 3-year old (almost four – I can hardly believe it) but two other kids as well – their folks are at the beach for the week and T volunteered to keep them. She’s either entirely nuts or ought to be canonized. Maybe both. I just can’t comprehend that level of selflessness – and I certainly can’t understand the level of patience it must take to deal with that many kids. I sang the opening bars to the Beatles’ Lady Madonna to her yesterday after our walk – it seemed like the most appropriate, but useless, comment I could make on the situation.

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Last night was hard, starting from the minute I got home. Duckie wanted to play, wanted attention, wanted to whine, wanted to crawl between my legs, wanted me to do anything but make dinner, which is my main focus when I walk in the door. Like an idiot, I kept putting her off, instead of just stopping what I was doing (making a crappy dinner anyway) and playing with her. I could have slapped something else together out of leftovers in about five minutes. I don’t know why I was so dead-set on following through with the Established Dinner Menu last night – all it did was cause me more stress.

Along the same lines, the sleeping situation is starting to wear on me. I’ve been trying to reclaim the bed for Mom and Dad and keep Duckie in her own bed, but that means me getting into her bed to keep her there, most nights (which defeats the purpose). While her room does have the advantage of a humidifier, the mattress really isn’t that comfortable and not nearly as roomy as the big bed. (And no, it doesn’t surprise me that Duckie prefers the big bed.)

Since I’ve been dealing with the worst congestion ever and severe fatigue (thanks, influenza), I really wanted to spend the night - the WHOLE night – in my own bed. This would require one of several things to happen: 1. Duckie stays in her bed the whole night and doesn’t wake up. (yeah right) 2. When Duckie wakes up, Husband hears her and lies down with her, and she allows him to put her back to sleep. (Two problems with that – Husband doesn’t hear her when she wakes up, and she won’t let him put her back to sleep.) 3. She comes into the big bed on her own, which is what we’re trying to avoid in the first place. Which is what actually happened, once I got her to go to sleep in her bed. I woke up at 2 with a warm toddler next to me, remembering that I had neglected to move the stepstool that allows Duckie to get into the bed on her own. Oops.

It just got worse from there. At some point I said, “Screw it, I’m sleeping in my own damn bed and she can just stay here if she wants.” By that time Husband had given up his own place in the bed and gone to sleep on the couch – maybe to escape from the whole stressful nighttime drama? I don’t know.

After a serious internal debate on the merits of taking today off and staying home to rest, I managed to heave myself out of the bed, make coffee and take a shower. The next forty-five minutes were occupied with trying not to lose my mind in the face of the usual unconquerable task – getting ready to walk out the door, the call of the time-clock loud in my head, as always. Husband took care of most of the critical tasks, but when Duckie laid the proverbial egg of shite just as I was putting her shoes on, I kind of lost it. He escaped to the shower. I’m surprised the cat (in heat again, and making the house smell like a vet’s office with her constant spraying) lived past 7:15 this morning.

I was fine by the time I got in the truck and left. But those five minutes were some Tasmanian-Devil-bipolar-stress-induced madness. I’m worried. I’ve been experiencing more of those “precious moments” over the last couple of days – since I’ve been sick again, and maybe – probably – due in part to PMS. I don’t like who I am when that happens. I get angry, I get resentful, I cry a lot, and I stop enjoying my role as a mom. (Which is bound to happen sometimes, I understand that and I accept it. It’s just when it happens over and over again that I start to worry. Lest we forget… and all that.)

The only way I knew to deal with this before was to retreat – do nothing, be a slug, don’t worry about housekeeping or dinners or dishes or anything. But it’s hard to do that when you’re living with another adult. The guilt and the self-criticism sets in – that voice saying, “Geez, you’re not really going to leave that living room smelling like that, are you? You’re going to wake up to all those dishes in the morning? You’re going to let that baby in the bed with you again?” It seemed much easier to tell that voice to go f#^% itself, when it was just the baby and me.

So tonight, I’m not making dinner. I’m going to spend some of those precious greenbacks and bring dinner home, whatever it is I feel like eating (hey, Outback has curbside service and AWESOME cheese fries.) I might not even give the baby a bath. If I can manage to vacuum and get the cat piss smell out of the house, great. If I can’t – screw it. I can hardly smell anything anyway. Tonight I’m going to put the baby down to sleep in her bed, and when she wakes up she can come on into the big bed all on her own. I am in desperate need of a night of more-or-less unbroken sleep. Unfortunately, that overrides the need to reclaim the bed in the name of consenting adults.

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Counseling session with Brent scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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I am starting to notice the very first signs of spring. Daffodils in sunny spots are opening their bright golden faces, and the first crocuses, little white and purple teacups close to the ground, are starting to bloom. Sweet William is blooming on the sunny side of the road again. A redbud tree on my way home from the day care has come into bloom – a little early. Maybe it just got overexcited Big, burly male robins have started their annual worm feast in my back yard – it’s like some strange kind of robin convention – I think I counted fifty at once last year in early spring.

For me, the big springtime drama has always been those early budding trees – pears and cherries. I always wonder if they will bloom too early, then catch a late frost that kills the blooms. It’s so sad to see that happen – what should be showers of delicate white petals turn into rotting brown spitballs. The cherries sometimes don’t even make it that far. The dogwoods tend to be less wimpy and can stand up to a frost and sometimes even a snow shower or two – but oh, I do love those cherry blossoms.

We have a magnificent springtime bloom here in the mountains. I’ll will try to get some photos over the next couple of weeks.

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The beach is calling.

2 comments:

Kiki said...

so glad to hear that your spring is finally arriving -- there's nothing like it, after the cold of winter (well, cold is relative where i live, but i believe that if it's not comfortable weather for a t-shirt, sarong, and flipflops, then it's too cold). i'm really looking forward to your photos. i'll have to get my digital camera in working shape so i can post some too. keep groovin', girl -- it's the striving that makes us who we are.

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