Monday, July 25, 2005
Had a rough start to the weekend. Although given the complexity of life with a toddler (and a manic-depressive mom) I’m not sure such a simplistic view is appropriate. RB and I mixed up our fitness routine with some racquetball Friday afternoon, then decided on the spur of the moment to pick up the kids and hit the Chinese buffet.
Duckie was not pleased. We did manage to eat, but Duckie’s Friday afternoon freak-out was loud and prolonged, so I figured discretion was the better part of valor and skedaddled the hell out of the restaurant. Thanks for getting the check, RB – we owe you one.
The rest of the evening went by in a blur. I finally got her to go to sleep but fell asleep with her, despite all my heroic plans for cleaning up the house and spending some quality time with Tad Williams’ River of Blue Fire. I was up again around 1:30 AM, grabbed a quick drink and was trying to make sense of the strangely configured sheet and blanket in the bedroom when Duckie woke up again. And damn, was that child pissed. I still don’t know what came over her. She didn’t want to get in the bed (hers or mine), she didn’t want anything to drink, but she sure did want some time in mama’s arms. (After her problems last night, Brian said he thought she might be having bad dreams. Great. My daughter isn’t two years old yet and she has nightmares. Is this unusual in kids, does anyone know?)
I fell back to sleep with her only to drown in my own nightmare.
the hospital walls are beige, not white. the place where i’m waiting doesn’t feel quite clean. i am disappointed to be left alone for the last few hours of my life. i know that there is a terminal illness, mine, and there is a life-threatening illness, elizabeth's. it makes sense for me to donate all my blood to her, even though i will die as a result of it. but i wish i didn’t feel so cast out. elizabeth stops by to visit and she’s looking pretty lousy herself.
minutes tick by. the walls are sweating. i try to disconnect some of the IVs and get up, but the nurse says i can’t go to the bathroom again before it’s time to go. some obscure medical reason. what difference does it make? i wonder. i'm about to die, it can't possibly make things any worse for me. then i remember that my blood is going to elizabeth, so i can't screw up.
now the hardest goodbye. cut to duckie sitting on my knees, playing with a paperback book (i think it’s An Unquiet Mind, ironically enough). i'm trying to talk to her like i do before i go to rehearsal – i let her know that i’ll be leaving soon, so i’m not sneaking out on her. except that when i go to rehearsal i tell her i’ll be back soon, and i can’t do that this time.
she’s not paying attention to me, anyway – she’s all interested in the book.
“sweetie, i need to you listen to mommy for a minute, darling. i have to go away –“
but she’s still not listening, and now it hits me that i will not be around to see her second birthday. her life – not mine – flashes before my eyes, all those commonplace childhood milestones, riding a bike, learning to swim, first day at school. she will grow up without me around. i try not to cry, i don’t want to upset her. then i think she’s going to be upset enough when i don’t come back, and the pain is outrageous, unendurable, i can't do this --
Shift into another dream, Brian is there, no details past that.
I woke up Saturday morning hungover from the aftereffects of the dream. It stayed with me until Brian got home and I was able to tell him about it.
Bombings in Egypt. I turned the channel when they started showing bodies – Duckie couldn’t tear her eyes away. I’d rather she not be exposed to the other side of life’s coin just yet. Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch will do just fine.
“Did you hear about that guy they shot in Britain?” Brian asked me Saturday morning.
“No – what? Wrong guy?” It’s bad when snide remarks like those turn out to be the truth.
More bedtime stress Saturday night and I gave up the fight after half an hour – damn it, I had done everything I was supposed to do (ok we didn’t give her a bath, maybe that was it) and why the hell wasn’t the little demon going to sleep already?
On the front porch, my usual escape, the stray kitten was mewing and winding around my feet and I couldn’t stand it, couldn’t stand being touched, couldn’t stand being depended on by one more godforsaken creature, human or otherwise. Wanted to scream until my head blew up. Couldn’t, of course, and it sounded like Duckie was doing plenty of that for me.
I managed to beat down the raging lunatic bitch who was screaming for blood, and went back inside. Brian was doing his best to deal with the hysteria in the bedroom. I cleared off the rocking chair that hadn’t been used in months and rocked Duckie for a few minutes. Laid her down and waited for her to settle in again, then carefully peeled her sweaty face off my arm so I could make a stealthy retreat.
A few minutes back on the porch with Brian, his calming voice like cool water. Many hugs, some understanding, an hour of mindless television and a Cookie Dough Sonic Blast later (not as good as it looks, in my humble opinion), and I was starting to wind down enough to go to sleep.
Yesterday was Brian’s turn to eat from the stress buffet. He noticed that the Jeep was running on no oil, and changed it twice. This resulted in great apocalyptic plumes of smoke issuing from the exhaust. I’m thinking the only thing holding the engine together was the sludge. He talked to several mechanics in his travels yesterday and got informal estimates of $1200 - $1500 to repair it – well over the worth of the vehicle in question.
He’ll be talking to his company today about getting the use of the long-promised Company Vehicle. I won’t be holding my breath. Until then, we’re a one-car family, and I really think we’ll manage just fine, especially once we shift into a different routine. The Hyundai has better gas mileage, better emissions, and the horn and windows all work – what a concept. It's a pain in the ass. We'll deal with it.
Posted by andi at 10:19 AM