Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yet Another Way I Do Not Have Balance

J has been out of town until Tuesday. He left Thursday. I'll wait while you count the days.

He deserves this trip. He works so hard and this weekend is all about several concerts and staying at a luxury house and baseball and what sounds like GALLONS of vodka. He is having a grand time. I am so glad.

I just wish he would stop rubbing it in.

I will say that J has done a much better job of maintaining his pre-kid life than I have. He goes out with his friends, he plays in two softball leagues, he goes on weekend trips. I do none of that. Pre-child I sometimes went with him, but now some one has to stay home and I volunteer. When I had a stressful job this was the only way I could cope--literally the only free time I had I wanted to spend with the baby. Work was most of my social life and I used my commute to read and do other leisure activities. This worked (except for the part where my job was eating away at my soul) but I would say it set up a weird dynamic for us as a couple. His life didn't change that much from a life balance perspective.

I think this dynamic plays out this way for a lot of couples. Women take up a bulk of the childcare. J is a great dad and doesn't shy away at all from the responsibility part of parenting. But I have no life. It's mostly my fault, as I am socially pretty stupid and most of my friends live far away so I don't get out to see them much. I haven't had time for hobbies in a long time and now that I do have time I have really struggled to figure out what I want to do with my time.

I do see my part in this--how I can't get time away if I don't take that time and find a way to use it. But I can't help but contrast his trip--five days away with his friends, sleeping as much as he wants, concerts, great food, sunny baseball game--with the one I took. Where I took the child with my mother and sister and we went to my grandfather's funeral. And she was attached to me with screamy screws of freak out. I am saying his trip involves sleeping in and eating meals with two hands and I cannot help but burn a bit with jealousy.

I want him to enjoy his trip. GOOD GOD it is his last hurrah for a while given our money situation so I really want him to have fun. But I haven't peed alone in three days (wait! once at work yesterday) and I just want some pay back.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pro Style

Like many women I find myself falling prey to marketing ploys all the time. The biggest one for me is the "pro" designation. I have a professional style hair dryer, professional style flat iron, I even have "pro" pans in the kitchen. Apparently I like to think of myself as needing professional equipment.

Which may explain my purchase today of PRO COMFORT TAMPONS.

I am just not sure what kind of professional I am emulating.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Creepily Similar

When I was growing up my mother celebrated her birthdays with brass bands and gleeful announcements. Presents were expected (and cheerfully clapped for), parties happily attended, cake demanded and general servitude encouraged. My mother never bemoaned her age or behaved as if there was anything wrong with getting older. She was, and actually continues to be, the eternal seven year old when it comes to her birthday--except she doesn't announce the next day that "she is almost eight." However, she will totally call you six months before and mention how it is almost her birthday so close enough.

This is the attitude I want to emulate about age. And I think I rocked it--until I was about 26. 26 is an awesome age. Before I had crows feet and that lower ab pooch. Now there is an age spot on my cheek that looks way to much like Arizona.

My birthday was yesterday and actually it was great. I am not sure why 31 sounds so much older than 30 but it does. I don't want to be one of those women that is 29 for decades but I have a hard time adapting.

We did go to the zoo and eat ice cream cake. I guess I am more like my mother than I thought.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

18 Months

She is all giggles and drama and flailing limbs. She is laughing and throwing things and chasing the dog around the house. She hides under the dining room table, plays peekaboo beside the stove, begs "up up up" next to the chest freezer.

She is finally getting some hair. It's not blond or brown or red, but somehow all of them, with five tiny girls at the back of her head. She wants to wear dresses, she holds them out and fluffs them, and the runs towards the mudpile. She has all of her teeth--except the 2 year old molars which she is inexplicably working on now--just two rows of tiny pearls in her mouth. TEEF.

She talks constantly. Her own special language that is the love child of farm animal and martian. She does have real words, which are repeated constantly. Mama, Dada, DOG!, Elmo, MILK--most are demands.

She likes to dance, to wiggle, to jump and twirl. She goes through the cupboards, after the tiny teapot that I tell her over and over not to touch. The one she dropped on her toe to split open the nail. She wants out on the porch to smell the flowers. She wants to hear the same books over and over again. She fights diaper changes like I am trying to cut off her feet at the ankles. Wiping shit off her ass is just a way to oppress her under The Man.

I'm in love. I am frustrated. This is easier than I thought and much harder than I ever dreamed. It's every cliche you have ever heard. If I could bottle that face I would have a wonderful anti-depressant but if I bottled her rage I could destroy whole continents.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Smooth Talker

I remember my dad complaining at every meal when I was a kid about how picky an eater I was. How no one else was like this about food. How I didn't have a right to be this way. Every meal for years and years until I became an adult. And realized that not only am I not a very picky eater I wasn't even really a picky kid. And yeah, a lot of people are really weird about food oh and HI my dad is totally a fucking picky eater.

I remember falling and hurting myself and there he would be--telling me to toughen up, telling me how weak I was, complaining about how I didn't have any pain tolerance. I believed that until I was in labor--contorting myself in crazy ways for hours and hours and HOURS until the nurse confessed to me that most people quit after ten minutes because it hurt so much.

I remember him telling me how lazy I was, how I didn't know what hard work even felt like. And this one I internalized. I still sometimes feel like the laziest person around. I became a workaholic in the name of not being lazy. I don't know how to shake this even now.

I would guess that my father would never dream that those words would stick with me this way. He isn't a monster, he was just trying to prepare me for the world. If there was a way to know what words would worm their way into a child's lizard brain I am sure every parent would like that information. But those words are the ones I remember and though I haven't been a child for a long long time, they are the ones I hear in my head. The ones I can't shake.

I am not working full time. I am still trying to figure out whether I should go to school or not. I am doing 10-15 massages a week (20 is full time) and it is really hard. I feel exposed. And afraid. Last night J said something about how he didn't want me to be a stay-at-home-mom (which I don't want that either) and I started panicking that he thought I was lazy and a burden and gah gah gah. The anxiety and the fear.

I wonder how I am fucking up my daughter. I am probably giving her a complex because I keep trying to get her to pronounce DOG correctly--in 2039 she will be blogging about how she tries not to say words with the letter D because her mother was so crazy. I digress.

It's not my father's fault I feel this way--I just can't seem to get rid of the guy in my head. He isn't screaming or lighting things on fire. He just sits in a wingback chair--smoking all day long and usually drinking cognac--and says things softly. In a deadly way that I know is true. Things like "you don't really think that you can do that do you?" or "it's a shame how you have let yourself go . . .even further." There is no way to make him stop, getting angry only makes him stronger, move convincing. I am sure we all have that voice in our heads--mine just parts his hair on the side and smokes a pipe. I wish I could make him pipe down for a while, for five minutes. I wonder what it would be like to not hear him nagging me. I wonder if I could figure out what I want, what I dream of, if he didn't crush anything more complex than a piece of toast before I can even think it.

He's out tonight. He is talking me out of going to school. He has me opening up the browser to apply for jobs at McDonalds to earn my keep. He is doubt and fear and everything that deep down I know is wrong with me. I think to move forward I am going to have to figure out how to move him the fuck out.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


You know how when you have had a few too many glasses (bottles) of wine or your husband keeps topping of your cocktail how simple things become very hard? Like why does your name look spelled wrong on your driver's license? Is there really an E in it? It is like trying to get through your day while swimming in tapioca pudding? Sure it sounds glamorous but it is making me wonder if maybe I had a stroke.

I have felt like that since coming back from my trip. Just unsettled and slow and WOW. I was filling out some forms yesterday and I am not lying I couldn't remember how my middle name was spelled (now in my defense it was spelled one way on my birth certificate and another on my social security card and I can never remember which is "correct").

And I am not even drunk.

I can't seem to sort things out. I am sure I will in time. Meanwhile if you see a blond wandering the streets in a haze it is probably me. Pull over and say hi. And maybe point me towards my house.