Tuesday, May 03, 2005

fiddling in a burning city?






Wow. What a shitty day everyone seems to be having around here. I was actually in a pretty good mood when I came in to work, having once again managed to beat the timeclock by a few seconds. I stuck my head in my boss’s office and mentioned something about a help desk ticket I had put in and got it (my head, that is) promptly bitten off.

Near-panic ensued. What did I do wrong? I must not be doing enough work. I must have said something to piss her off. Maybe she’s sensitive about having to certify Watertown product. Maybe she’s overly sensitive, period. Maybe if I go back and revise a whole bunch of documents or close out some corrective action requests it’ll cheer her up.

Whew. Flashbacks from yesterday’s therapy session. I spent a lot of energy growing up trying to make my mother happy, believing that the more I accomplished the better she would feel. This wasn’t a rational choice, you understand, any more than drive to work this morning in response to my boss’s foul mood was rational. This was emotional baggage – because when I saw my mother happy, she was either accomplishing something big in her life, thereby justifying her existence, or I was accomplishing something big, thereby justifying her existence.

Rationally, I know now that nothing I could have done would have helped my mother feel worthwhile as a person. Irrationally, I felt then that if I couldn’t make her happy, I could screw up badly enough to at least get her to pay attention to me as a person instead of as a report card. Not exactly a healthy way to develop one’s identity throughout adolescence, you might say.

So to realize that feelings from puberty and adolescence were still around to haunt me in my mid-thirties was actually pretty funny this morning. I decided to let discretion be the better part of valor and lay low, do my job, and stay out of my boss’s way.

It’s worked pretty well in dealing with her, but there seems to be more tension in the air today than usual. Myself, I’m less tolerant of distractions and chit-chat (and there’s plenty here today.) Other people are dealing with outside circumstances that they can’t control: illness, financial issues, family matters. Both the administrative ladies in the front office are out today, leaving the HR Manager to answer the phones - not making her day any easier, I’m sure, despite the poetic justice of the situation. Just tons of stuff happening and not much of it good.

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Duckie’s latest words: “Dylan” (a boy at school), “nose”, “eye.” She sighs now, imitating me – it’s adorable. And last night after a plate of lasagna I belched in a particularly gross and disgusting manner, and she had to imitate it, although she sounded more like a growling miniature poodle.

She’s doing pretty well on her bedtime routine, although last night was the exception that proved it. It ought to be interesting to see what happens at the beach in two weeks. I’m hoping we can be assertive enough to kick large groups of people out of the house well before bedtime, because my little social butterfly won’t even lie down if there’s something else going on in the house.

Last night she put her plate and fork in the dishwasher, helped me put her blocks away, and turned off the TV. Then proceeded to pitch a fit or three when it came time to lay down for bed. *sigh* No biggie, though. Patience (and a slightly-more-harsh-than-necessary reprimand) won out, and after 45 minutes, she finally went to sleep.

I’m glad it’s not like that every night. Sheesh.

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I had the immeasurable pleasure of meeting a new baby on Friday afternoon – I think she may have been all of two days old. She’s beautiful, which is to be expected from gorgeous parents. She was trying to hold her little turtle head up, looking around and doing her best to focus those gorgeous grey newborn’s eyes – alert and aware and… well, just breathtaking.

Good job, Mom. Good job, Dad. Now the hard part starts.

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