Monthly Archives: April 2017

Sisters

I hear all the time that kids need a sibling and I look at some adult sibling relationships and think that is very true. 

Then you have my sister. 

My sister is 4 years older than me and lives an 8 hour drive away. A roundtrip plane ticket costs less than $250. Since Gus was born she has seen him twice:  once when we took him there she he was five months and then when we were both at my moms at the same time when he was ten months. 

My sister and I have never been close yet we don’t have a particularly bad relationship. We talk every couple of months and she vaguely mentions visiting but doss not follow through. She has a job making six figures and is required to work seven days A MONTH. 

A few years ago she was in a bad relationship and called me constantly. We talked for 2 hours 3+ days a week. She’d call at 1am. She’d call in the middle of the work day. When she ended the relationship the calls stopped. Now she only calls it she is having problems with her new boyfriend. We talked about two months ago and they were going to take a break. I haven’t heard from her since so I am guessing that did not happen. 

If you saw her in public she’d talk about how important family is to her but when she calls she doesnt ask about Gus.  When we last talked my young, single cousin was coming to visit for a week and she suggested we come too. For a week. With a 2.5 year old. With a week’s notice. To wine country on my cousin’s spring break. 

Part of me doesn’t care but she is so close and has every opportunity to have a relationship with Gus. I don’t know what else I can do really. But tonight a fiend of mine posted pictures of her new baby with friend’s sister who left her two kids for a week to fly across the county and meet her niece and I’m so mad. 

Middle school

This is a whine. 

Parenting feels like middle school. 

I’m part of a group that has rotating weekly playdates (if you are also part of that group you know I love you. You can skip this whole thing of you want). When I was first added to the group it was great and we went to playdates and hosted them and had fun. 

At this point there is maybe 1-2 playdates a month. Sometimes we can go and sometimes we can’t. But everyone hangs out outside of the playdates. I see their pictures on instagram and facebook with other kids from the group. Sometimes one on one and sometimes a group of them. Honestly, I feel like we’re just not cool enough to be invited. 

A lot of things play into this. A lot of the moms are stay at home moms and get together during the day. A lot of moms are on baby 2 or close to it. I have an abrasive personality. 

I know we should make more effort with friends but honesty most interaction we have with other people is initiated by us. And I do all the social arranging so it’s initiated by me. Between work and swim lessons and life it’s hard to do it all. 

We are going out of town a weekend in May, three weekends in June, and then for 2.5 weeks. I can’t wait – I feel like I just need to get out of this town. My family can have a great time on our own. 

Once you know how it feels to be a 12 year old girl I don’t think it ever goes away. 

Picking produce

Before Gus arrived on the scene Lesley and I loved grocery shopping. We’d spend an evening going through cookbooks and magazines to make a menu and list and then spend a Saturday afternoon dancing through the aisles of the grocery store. They play the best music, we were never in a hurry, and we always had a good time.

A toddler makes that more complicated. The store we do most of our shopping at has free fruit for kids and we take more than our share. We often divide and conquer and I often end up in the check out lane alone with my car cart while Lesley and Gus take a walk around. It’s more of a chore and less fun for everyone.

I’ve looked at alternative ways to buy groceries. Our store has a curbside pick up for $5 which seems like a great option. We also have a local co-op buying club where I could order most things online and just grab my order at a warehouse. There are things about both of these options that seem quite appealing – it would be great to┬áhave one less thing to do!

I was thinking about these today and then thinking about picking produce. We buy a lot of bananas and I like them with just a little green so I know the first one will be okay and they won’t get overripe too fast. I like to squeeze avocados and figure out the ripeness I need for the meals planned. I like to browse the discount meats and stock our freezer with marked down stuff. I like to see what’s on sale and splurge on something and remember to buy something I love. I love the experience of grocery shopping too much to give it up.

It made me think about the mundane and how I want that in Gus’ life. I remember my mom sitting at the dining room table, balancing her checkbook by hand. I can still picture the inside of my parent’s dry cleaner. I spent mornings sitting in my mom’s office next to her classroom before walking to school and afternoons waiting to be the last person picked up in our school parking lot. My childhood had everything we needed and then some – vacations, gifts, name brand clothes – but also had mundane.

So much of our life is about Gus. We do activities he will like and go places he can handle. As he gets older that balance will shift some but for now it is what’s needed. Grocery shopping is one place I can mix in the mundane. It’s hard and rushed and more hectic than it was before the kid but one day he’ll remember how his moms embarrassed him by dancing through the aisles.

Five.

A small friend of ours turns five today. His parents were our closest friends pre kids. We lives a block apart and spent our weekends hanging out. We met him within hours of his birth – I held him while his mom got a massage from her midwife. Now he is 5.

I love our friends but we rarely see them. They have a kid that doesn’t nap, we have a napper. They established a mom friend group 2.5 years ahead of us. Their son’s birthday party is this weekend – during naptime at a climbing gym where you have to be three to climb. We declined the invite. I sent her a text wishing him a happy birthday and explaining why and we said what we said whenever we run into each other or chat – “Let’s get together soon.” And then we never do.

I’m sad about it today but honestly, I don’t have the energy to maintain friendships right now. 90% of our friendships are things we maintain – plans that we make, events that we plan. I am tired. I want to see our friends and have a social life but I want someone else to do some of the work.

Some of this comes from it being the end of winter – no one is outside playing and friendships are easier there. Some of this comes from being a working mom – I miss out on a lot of opportunity. And some of this comes from just being burnt out.

All of it is fine and with a rest I will do the work and see our friends again. I know this is temporary. But currently I have a kid who NEVER stops talking, normally very loudly. He’s picked up some unsavory phrases at school (“I’m going to whack you in the head real hard and leave a mark!”) which is extra tiring. My dad just came to visit which makes me even more tired. And there are ants in our house.

Today the distance between 2.5 and 5 seems so far.