Big Plans

I’m feeling much better after my emotional breakdown slash bloggy rant.

This weekend I plan on doing nothing more than drinking, eating my favorite ice cream, and lying around in the sun reading. I might take in a movie or two. (Even though I hate animation, I hear good things, and you never know. )

I want to try to make the french toast that Anne Lamott eats in Operating Instructions. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I read that book.

I also may try to do a long run on Sunday. Running has become my feel better drug of choice these days. What could be better than really leaving it all out there? You can come out of a five mile run feeling like everything really is going to be ok. But I need to be careful of my ankle so I might not run that far.

If things get really crazy, I may put some more goofy hats on my child and take pictures. Just for kicks.

I Don’t Know What to Say

Thank you for your words of support.
It will get infinitely better once Mr. E is finished with his big work project and stops going out of town for work.
I guess I was just wondering whether there is a way to change a leopards’ spots, so to speak. Is there a way to nicely say “look how clean this house is. You can’t know how much it cost me. You have no idea how hard I worked. You can’t imagine what it took. So please please please please don’t leave your dishes in the sink!.” Because I try and it feels like nice doesn’t really work and I am starting to feel dish smashingly pissed off about it, I won’t lie.
There is always the possibility that I should just chill the fuck out, loosen up, relax, etc. But I have been asked to do that all my life by many many many people, and it hasn’t happened yet.
Mostly I just don’t want to be crabby, but I don’t really know how to uncrab. I don’t know people here I can ask to stay with Eli. I don’t have friends here. We have lived here for a year and we really don’t know anyone, the people we meet…are not like us. Let’s just put it that way.
That is one of the reasons we are really hoping to get out of here, but it all takes time. In the meantime I know I should not take it so personally that Mr. E does not notice things like muddy floors, although those are things that send me up the wall.And so I do take it personally. So really my question is…
Can make someone stop being so damned messy and scatterbrained? That is what I need. I can deal with a crying baby who never naps and a dog who never calms down and taking care of both 24-7 while my husband works, but I just need to do it in a clean house and I need my husband to understand that and to work harder than he has ever worked before at not leaving his flip flops lying around every damn day because otherwise dude, I think I will lose my shit.
Lately I have been thinking about how when my mother left me at my father’s and moved across the country, about how terrible that was, and how I just…took it. How I never said “I hate this. I don’t want you to leave me here. I don’t want to get back on that plane and go back to dad’s.” I never said any of those things. I cried at night and made sure no one heard me. I hid everything. One time my mother said to me “I should have kept you here. I shouldn’t have sent you back” and I still wonder. Was it my fault too? Should I have said something? Should I have refused to go back?
So for the rest of my life I think I’ll struggle with that. I…go along. I conform. Still, I might be crying in the dark where no one can hear me, but I am, as always, a survivor. I manage and struggle through and in the end things do get better.
But when do you say “enough”? “I can’t do this. This is too hard. I’m not getting back on that plane?” That’s really hard for me to do. And this whole situation is reminding me of that and I don’t know how to say: I need more help. I need more sympathy. I need more understanding. I need you to work so much harder at helping me keep the house clean and I need you to keep the dog away from me and I need you to bring me flowers and I need you listen to me when I am crazy and I need a break and I need to relax and I need to let go and I don’t know how.”
ANd meanwhile. I must say.
I totally also don’t appreciate Mr. E at all, because I am so overwhelmed I can’t really get my head above water to appreciate him, if that makes sense. I can’t see past the flip flops on the floor. I am forgetting how he rocked the baby to sleep for hours the other night when he WOULD NOT SLEEP, and how he wakes up early and takes him for walks, and how he feeds the dog and pets the cat and loves us all. And also how he is not here because he is working his ass off for his family.
It sucks for him too.
But this is just really hard.

Solo

I find myself in a seriously bad mood of late, and I can’t shake it.

I’ve got a four month old WILL NOT take naps, no matter what I do.

I’ve a two and half year old dog who still acts like a eight month old puppy and who is always, endlessly, on the verge of losing her shit and who the neighbors actually bring people by to see because every time someone walks by she jumps up and down, up and down, endless times in a row, each time with her head clearing a six foot fence.

I’ve got a husband who is gone for days and nights at a time at work and this dynamic is really the worst possible scenario for dealing with the two aforementioned beasts. Just when I get used to him being gone he returns. Just when I finally get the floors clean, there’s a pair of muddy boots thrown on my living room floor and just when I get all the dishes done there’s pizza left out overnight and then he turns around and takes off again and by the way doesn’t sweep the floor and doesn’t throw out the pizza and also steals the fucking contact solution! What the hell.

I need a break. And when Mr. E gets home I think “Thank god, finally someone to help me.” But he’s exhausted from working and when he finally does get home he thinks “Thank god, I finally get a break.” Then when neither one of us does get a break it just pisses us each of us off, I think.

And I know he tries. I know he does. I know when he said my house was clean before I got home from Michigan that he thought it was clean, but that does not change the fact that no, it wasn’t clean, not in my opinion, and so I spent this whole week and weekend trying to catch up and clean and just get half an hour to sweep the floor and feeling like I can’t even get time for that in the middle of being thrown up on and feeding the dog and changing the sheets and taking out the trash and sending baby presents and answering email and picking up all the shit that Mr. E just drifts through the house scattering like a fairy, dusting the world with petals and/or his crap.

And now I just can’t shake this feeling…it’s like I’m always about to cry in the back of my head or right behind my eyes, but I’m so mad and crabby that I can’t even cry because that would actually release something in me and there’s a part of me that can’t stand to let go even that much. You know that feeling?

I am feeling again like i can’t catch my breath, like I am never caught up, like I never get a break.

And now I just discovered that Mr. E took the contact solution with him and hi, what the fuck? Get your own goddamned contact solution.

Thank god it’s 5:12.

Happy hour indeed.

I Heart Elizabeth Edwards

And I hope twenty years from now I can say this same thing about my house:

“That’s why, with John and me, it was always our house that had the string cheese and the soda and the big thing of Twizzlers for our kids and their friends, and because of that, there’s a generation of 20-year-olds in North Carolina who have seen me in every nightgown I own.

There Will Always Be Plenty of Chocolate Cake In This House

Enough

Before you have a baby if you read a lot of blogs as I do you read over and over that no one tells you how hard it’s going to be when you actually have a baby but that it is really really hard. And you read A LOT about how much you’re going to love this new baby person of yours and how that love is going to knock you sideways and leave you gasping with fear at the idea of anything ever ever happening to this child and that is all true. That does happen. It happened to me and should you ever have kids it will happen to you and sometimes it does keep you up at night while you lie awake wishing you could sleep, wishing for a break, and also thanking god that you don’t get one.

However what I was not prepared for because I hadn’t read about it anywhere was an immediate and often all consuming terror that I might die, that I could die at any moment, that I would die and so I would miss getting to see my son grow up.

I know that doesn’t make sense, because hi, I never WANTED to die before I had my son. I know I’m not explaining it right, somehow, but all I can tell you is that in the weeks after Eli was born I made Mr. E promise that if I died that he would tell Eli about me and I felt terrified, pretty much all the time, that somehow I would not get to be here for every part of this life that I’d created. Somehow the second Eli was born I really really really needed to be here to see every bit of his life unfold, and the fear of not being here for that was what started to keep me up at night, every night.

And I don’t know if this feeling goes away. I’m not sure. All I know is that being here and watching this kid grow up seems like pretty much the most amazing thing in the world to me now and the thought of not being here to watch this kid grow up seems unbearable.

Father’s Day is coming up. I didn’t realize it but Eli and I will be gone visiting relatives far away and Mr. E will miss out on his first father’s day with his son and that sucks. And there are things I wanted to say before I get on that plane. But rather than write a big overwrought mushy post about what an amazing father Mr. E is (although he is) and how much I love him and how I couldn’t live without him (I do and I could not) I thought I would say this.

As much as it terrifies me that I will die, that somehow I will not be here when my child learns to walk or talk or graduates from kindergarten or breaks his arm or loses his first tooth or falls in love for the first time or wrecks my car, as much as that keeps me up at night and as much as that thought makes me feel like I might throw up or stop breathing. Well. The other day Mr. E sat in the rocker in Eli’s room and held him on his lap and read him Blueberries for Sal as I sat on the floor next to them and although I did not say it at the time, that was the number one moment of my life so far.

And I’ll carry that moment in my heart forever. It is nowhere near all of what I want for my life and my son’s life and for my family for the rest of our lives, which I hope with all my heart will be long and healthy. But if for some reason that moment is all I get?

It would be enough.

Thank you, Mr. E.

And Happy Father’s Day.

Brown Eyes Blue

Next week I’m taking Eli on his first airplane trip. I’m traveling by myself and I’m freaking terrified slightly apprehensive but in this house we feel the fear and do it anyway so stiff upper lip and all that. I ordered a Lands End Diaper backpack and if more bags can’t make everything better then that’s a world I don’t want to live in.

We are taking this trip to visit Mr. E’s family – it is really important to me that Eli meets all his aunts and uncles and great aunts and uncles and great grandparents and a whole slew of friends of various stripes all of whom have been so supportive of us and have been incredibly generous and who we just couldn’t do without. I figure it’s the least I can do – let all these people who love us and support us meet this kid they’ve been so excited about since day one.

However this is also the obnoxiously good looking family and all of Mr. E’s siblings, in addition to being smart and skinny and having good hair, have big blue blue eyes. And I hope this doesn’t happen but really. If one more person gazes down at Eli and says “Look at those big blue eyes” and then glances sneakily at me and says hopefully “I wonder if they’ll stay that way” I might have to lose my shit.

I HAVE BIG BROWN EYES AND I THINK THEY’RE NICE.

The End.