Tag Archives: this is my life

here.

Now that I can breathe again, now that I can speak again, I realize I’m back to where I was before my darkness.

I want to DO these great things; I want to BE this amazing person; I want to CREATE.  But I don’t know how.  If someone were to tell  me that I could do anything in the world, without worrying about money or childcare or the commute, I wouldn’t have a clue as to what I would do.  I’m inspired every day by words and pictures, but I feel like I don’t have it in me to create the same thing.

This might be the plight of the stay-at-home mom.  All this time, and nothing to do.  Claire goes down for a nap and suddenly I’m alone.  There are hundreds of things I SHOULD do; laundry, dusting, dishes, wash the kitchen floor, vacuum.  There are dozens of things I would LIKE to do; take pictures, find objects to fit in my new typesetter tray, sew.  But, when it comes right down to it, I end up reading or watching TV and then she’s up and it’s back to being a Mommy.

I haven’t grown into this skin; this motherhood.  I’ve had 2 years to do it and I still feel like a novice.  People mention how good I am with kids (hell, I was offered a job at my local Gymboree. Even more amazingly? I was deep in my depression and it took everything I had just to GET to Gymboree), but I don’t feel like I am.  I would rather be good with adults that kids.

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s nobody’s fault but my own, I have the resources, and I have the oppurtunity to create, but I don’t.  I want to be something other than a wife and mother, but I don’t know who that person is anymore.  I’m different, now and I can’t describe it.  I don’t know what I like, I don’t know what I want.  I know only that I wish everyday that I could be happy.

It’s not that I’m unhappy.  I’m just not happy.  But when asked what would make me happy, I don’t have an answer.

I’m just here.

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Anatomy of a post

Most of the time I don’t think my life is very interesting.  I’m home all day with a kid who says things like, “Oom. Et-ee. It daa. Hai mummy. Puppies. Puppies. Pysh ah. Ah! Hahaha! Whoees. Et-ee”   Sure, sometimes she’s funny, but I forget what it is that she did that was so funny, or it’s only funny if you SAW her do it.

I write mini blog posts in my head, all day.  I write because I want to remember this time.  I didn’t write much during Claire’s first 9 months, and I wish I had.  So I’m determined to keep track of the daily happenings.

So, when something that had potential to be a really great post happened last night, I immediatly wrote down some notes about it.  I’ve been trying to twist and turn the events, to get just the right descriptions to accuratly portray the incident.  I don’t think I have it just yet, but I’m going to revisit this post during her naps and keep working on it.

Topic:  Claire sat on my lap while I was pooping.

Here’s where it gets tricky.  Normally, I’d start at the beginning.  I set Claire up with (fucking) Nemo, and tiptoed away to the bathroom.  I thought I had enough time to do my ahem business before she decided to look for me.

I was wrong.  I had maybe 45 seconds to myself before I heard her little footsteps and her small voice ask, “Mommy?”

“Hi, honey.  Mommy’s going potty.  Do you want to go potty?”  I asked, trying to buy some time.  She nodded, lifted up her dress and sat on her potty.  This will give me at least another minute.

But, she’s a smart kid.  She stood up almost immediatly, looked down at her diaper in confusion, and walked over to me.  She played with some of the bath toys, but looked a little sad.

“Mommy?”  She asked, holding up her arms.  “Pee-ee?  Peeese?”  This means “Pick me up, please.”  Not “Can I go pee, too?”  So I did.  I picked her up, sat her on my lap and continued to do my ahem business.

And I’ll tell you, she was silent.  No wiggling, no speaking, she just sat there, stoic.  I haven’t seen her sit that quietly since she learned how to walk.  We practiced some sign language – boat, baby, book.

I finally was done, and we walked out of the bathroom, hand in hand.

So, here’s my dilema.  The funny part about that story is in the middle.  She sat on my lap while I was pooping.  But the part about her being quiet is pretty funny too.  I don’t know.  I’ll look at it later and see what I can change.  There’s always room for improvement.

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I read something this morning that I’ve been thinking about all day.  In one of the (many) blogs I read, Mr Lady talks about being pissed slightly annoyed at a mother who parked in a narrow, snow and ice covered, no-parking pick-up and drop off lane at her kid’s school.  She got mad, wrote a letter and now is on the PTA, directing traffic and organizing other parents to get behind her on this.

I don’t work, as you may know.  And I  miss it.  I dream about getting up early, showering in the morning (instead of late afternoon, or not at all), getting dressed up, and driving to a job.  I wouldn’t mind long commutes, as long as I have my coffee and a book-on-tape.  I  miss listening to the news in the morning, and being around adults, having adult conversations.

Of course, in my dream, I’m working someplace where I love my job and I’m fulfilled with my career.  That’s the crux of the issue, I think.  I stay home with Claire all day, everyday.  Sure, I see her learning things that I’ve taught her.  I get to see her grow up and change before my eyes.  I’m lucky that I don’t HAVE to work.  But, I’m not fullfilled.  I’m been reading more, which I never had time for when I was working.  And I get to cook now, which I never wanted to do when I was working.  But when Claire learns a new word, it’s me who gets to hear it all day.  It’s “nope” by the way.  I HATE that word, it’s just dripping with blatent disreguard for my rules.

Anyway, after reading Mr. Lady’s words today, I realized that the thing I miss about working is feeling like I’m DOING something.  Feeling like I’m making a difference, and am worth something to the people I work with.  Claire’s not so good with the thank you’s, is what I’m saying.  But, I CAN do something.  I CAN make a difference in some way.

I need to be more like Mr. Lady and FIND the things that I’m passionate about.  I know there are things that I feel strongly about, I just need to find them and get off my (ever-growing) ass and DO SOMETHING.

Of course, as I write this, I’m sitting on my couch, drinking coffee.  Sometimes it’s really easy to stay home and not do anything.

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Unanswered questions

I was watching The View this morning (shut up, Claire was taking a nap and to my credit I was also switching back to The Price Is Right) and they were talking about Caroline Kennedy and her experience.  People have been giving her flack for her supposed lack of experience.  The ladies on The View were saying that people needed to look at her whole life’s experience, not just her professional experience.  They were saying that some women take different career paths than men; they’re not as linear as men’s.

They said that some women start their career when their kids are in school all day.  That’s an age when some men are trying to FINISH their career.

I wondered, will I be like that?  I’ve never had a “career.”  I’ve worked since I turned 16, except for the nine months I stayed home with Claire after she was born, and again now.  But I was never doing anything I truely loved.  I’m not even sure what I would do if I have the chance to do anything.  I like planning weddings, but I feel like I need to do that in an office.  I’m not good at working from home.

Will I start a career when Claire’s in school full time?  If so, what will it be?  When will I feel like my life is complete?

Big questions for a Tuesday morning.

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Stick a fork in me

I’m done.  I can’t handle staying home anymore.  If it’s not the never-ending, overflowing sink of dishes (seriously.  There are three of us in this house.  And one of our dishes are made entirely of plastic.  How in the WORLD do we have so many dirty coffee cups?!); or the toys in the living room that I swear I JUST put away; or our bedroom, which STILL isn’t unpacked, nevermind that we’ve lived in this house for almost 2 months, and is filled to the brim with dirty clothes (because my lovely husband REFUSES to put his D@MN dirty clothes in the hamper, then have the audacity to complain that he never has any clean clothes.  Dude, the only clothes that I can TELL are dirty are your effin’ socks, and that’s only because they smell like someone DIED in them)

All that? I could handle.  If Claire was being even remotely managable.

MrsMillerTime, you might want to skip this part.

Everything I say is met with either “No,” which I can sorta handle, or a full blown hissy fit, complete with a crumpled body falling dramatically to the floor, and screams that are no doubt making the neighbours think I’m murdering pigs in my free time.  It can be something as harmless as, “Claire, let’s put your shoes on.” You’d think I just asked her to kill a f@cking puppy or burn her eyes out with hot sticks (which, coincedently, I have the urge to do on a DAILY basis).

Eat? Forget it.  Why would I ask her to subject herself to something as terrible as FOOD?!

Get buckled in her carseat?  Might as well be driving her to her death.

Everything is a fight, from getting dressed (we’re becoming hermits because I refuse to let her leave the house without pants), to taking a bath (“What do you mean I can’t stand up in the tub? HOW DARE YOU?!”)

I can ignore the dramatic meltdowns for little things; I simply say “Claire, I’m going into the kitchen.  When you’re done, come find me.”  But for things like standing in the tub, or getting buckled, I can’t just let her go and walk away.

I found the end of my rope tonight.  After going to the gynocologist with her in the morning, and the resulting fight to get dressed, one 1 hour nap, and a fight every time I put her in the carset (sorry that we had to go to the store to get YOU milk.  I won’t do it again), we went to my niece’s dance recital where she proceeded to perfect the limp fall onto the floor when I wouldn’t let her spin in circles while the other kids were doing their recital.

It didn’t help that my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, his mom and sister, and my mother-in-law were all there and not one of them tried to help me.  In fact, after seeing both my niece and Claire (they’re the same age) get in a little fight over the kid’s chairs, my mother-in-law picked up my niece.  Even though Jane’s other grandma and other aunt were right there.

I lost it on my way home.  DH offered to take Claire for the night (um, duh) so I could get some coffee or a drink or something.  But I can’t think of a worse evening than to spend it alone after a terrible day.

So, I’m sitting in my garage, as far away from the Devil Incarnate as I can and trying to re-group.

I hate it here.

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Discipline

I was just rereading my last few posts and I noticed how negative I am about Claire’s behavior.  I would love to say, “It’s not that she’s bad, she’s just a bitch challenging.  She’s not stubborn, she’s strong-willed.”
But the truth is that she CAN be bitchy, and she is one of the most stubborn people I know.

Take last night, for example.  After finishing dinner, I started the bathwater, like I do almost every night.  She was pretty stoked for bathtime, and I got her out of her clothes and in the tub in record time.  It was about 15 minutes past the time that she usually takes a bath, but dinner lasted longer than I thought and I figured it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Heh.

I had put her in the tub while the water was still running.  She continued to stand up until I turned the water off.  Fine.  I don’t like it that she does it, but I’m picking my battles (see: the necessity of wearing pants, and: eating only crackers all day).  The water turns off, she sits down.  I mean, that’s what supposed to happen.  But, last night, she didn’t sit down.

I asked her nicely.  “Claire, please sit down.”  Nothing.  “Claire, bottom on the ground.” That one usually works.  Still nothing.  At this point she’s not looking at me, she’s not really DOING anything, she’s just standing.  I remembered what I’d read over at Backpacking Dad’s place about discipline so I tried the Dog Voice.

“CLAIRE.  SIT. DOWN.”

She jumped a little bit and started crying.  I picked her up and placed her in the tub, bottom down.  She screamed and tried to get up.  I asked nicely again, “Claire, you need to put your bottom on the seat please.  I don’t want you to fall.”  Yeah, didn’t work.  So, I quickly washed her hair and body while she was standing up, screaming.

She stopped crying for a second when I dumped the water on her head to wash off the soap.  She looked at me and I asked her if she was finished.  She did the sign for all done, so I pulled her out of the tub, not 2 minutes after I put her in, and wrapped a towel around her.  She wouldn’t make eye contact.  I opened the door to the bathroom (the part of the bathroom with the tub and toilet is seperated from the sinks by a door), but she didn’t follow me.  I tried to pick her up, and her whole body went limp and she started screaming again.

“Fine.  I’d just wait out here until you’re finished throwing a fit.  I love you.” I told the little body sprawled on the floor.  I turned toward the mirrors to do a quick count to ten, and heard the door shut behind me.  I tried to open the door, but she was behind it, pushing it back closed, screaming the whole time.  I let her close it, and counted again, to twenty this time.  I opened the door, against her little will, and sat on the toilet.  She had both hands on the tub, facing away from me, muttering to herself.

I thought back to Backpacking Dad’s trio of disciplinary techniques.  Dog Voice, Outlast Mode was next.  The problem was that she wasn’t ASKING for anything.  She was just screaming.  Last in line was the Telepathic Staredown.  THIS would work.  I KNEW it.  I calmly held her arms and turned her toward me.  She kept her eyes down.  I lowered my body closer to the floor, trying to get her to make eye contact.  She still wasn’t looking.  I got lower, and lower, until I realized that I was practically laying on the ground.  This couldn’t be very intimidating.

So, I did what I always do when she gets like this.  I scooped her angry, writhing body up and put her on her changing table.  I wrestled with her to put her diaper and pajamas on, calmly saying “Claire, now we need to put your pj’s on.  I love you.  Claire, I love you so much.  I hope you have sweet dreams.  I’ll see you tomorrow (actually, probably later tonight, since you refuse to sleep through the night) and your daddy and I love you.”

She cried the whole time.  JR walked in, swept her up and put her to bed without so much as a whimper (from her, not him.  I on the other hand was whimpering and rocking in the corner the whole time).

It’s hard to know what to do when disciplining her.  I don’t think she understands cause and effect yet, but she needs to know that there are things she CAN’T do.  Like stand in the tub.  I’m getting good at ignoring the silly fits.  But it’s the serious ones, the ones I don’t want to ignore that are slowly erasing my will to live.

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How I spent my weekend

My mom has always been very emotional.  We always make fun of her because she cries at Hallmark commercials (OMG, I bet she’s a mess with these Visa commercials).  One of my favorite stories of her crying in public is right before my little brother went to college.  She went to the grocery store and was standing in the shampoo aisle when, as she puts it, it hit her.  She just started bawling.  She says she stood really close to the shelves to minimize the amount of people that saw her.

She doesn’t just cry.  She laughs a lot.  JR cracks her up.  In fact, one of the first times they met was at her friend’s Christmas party.  There was a band playing and JR asked her to dance.  They started two stepping in the kitchen, her laughing the whole time, and all of the sudden she ran out of the room.  We didn’t see her for about 30 minutes after that.

I love the fact that she can laugh so easily.  I love making her laugh.  It’s easy, sure, but hearing her laugh as hard as she does really makes my day.  

We went to a bar Saturday night for her birthday.  It’s a piano bar in San Marcos where I went to college and where my little brother is going now.  It’s her favorite place in the world, I think.  Because it was her birthday, she had quite a few drinks.  6 rum-and-cokes and a shot, to be exact.  In 4 hours.  I don’t think I need to say that she was pretty drunk when we left at one.  

JR took my mom and her friend back to my dad’s house (Oh, I didn’t mention that we were staying at my dad’s -her exhusband’s- house?  He was out of town, but you know.  Weird.) and I took my little brother back to his apartment.  I pull into my dad’s driveway and JR immediatly comes to the car.

“You need to come to the deck right now.  You won’t believe what your mom did.”

At this point, nothing would surprise me.  She had already been on stage, with “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” playing in the background, and two 30 something men grinding on her.  One of them even opened his shirt and licked her foot.  I had seen her take a jello shot (and then another, and another), heard someone tell her to “take off your shirt and take this shot,” offered pot.  Surely she wouldn’t surprise me.

I was wrong.  I walked around to the back deck and noticed a puddle on the ground.  I didn’t think too much of it; I thought someone had spilled a beer.  I made a mental note to wash it off in the morning.  Then I noticed that my mom wasn’t outside.  And that her friend and my friend (who was there to watch Claire) were laughing so hard that I was sure one of them would fall out of their chair.

My mother walked back out to the deck and explained, between bouts of drunken laughter, what happened.  

She peed on the deck.

I’ll wait a second for that to absorb.  

She peed on the deck.  

My father’s deck.  Her EXHUSBAND’s deck.  

I’m not even 100% sure how it happened.  Drunky McDrinks-a-lot made it seem like Rachael (her friend) walked in the house and saw JR talking to my friend.  She asked my mom, who was standing out on the deck, “who that girl was.”  

And my mom laughed so hard that she peed.  Apparently she said, “Oh!  I’m peeing!  It’s running down my leg!  I’m peeing!”

By the way, the reason she left the Christmas party after dancing with JR in the kitchen?  She peed her pants.  She ran into the bathroom, and when she couldn’t dry them off with the hairdryer, went home to change.

This is my life.

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