Monthly Archives: May 2017

Slowing down

It’s been a week.

Two Thursdays ago Gus got Norovirus. It involved him waking up at 2:30 am, vomiting regularly until 8:30 am, and us both taking half a day off work. Norovirus is nasty but swift. It gets you hard but you are back to the races the next day.

When I work up and vomited on Tuesday I knew what was going on. I sent my family off without me and made a bed on the couch. I felt terrible and ended up asking Lesley to come home early because I am the worst at being sick. She came home and gave me liquids and saltines (which I promptly returned) and sewed while I napped. Around 3:30 I called her to help me to the bathroom. I had to pee but felt weak. She helped me to the bathroom but worried I was going to throw up left to just let me be miserable. I came to on the floor a couple minutes later.

I’m not sure happened. I’m not sure if I peed. Lesley heard the thud and came running in to find me (naked, clearly) on the ground between the toilet and vanity, My body laid over Gus’ tiny ikea potty. She called to me and I was unresponsive. She left to grab her phone to call 911 and when she returned I was calling for her telling her I was stuck and needed help. She helped getting off the floor and to the couch where I realized I had terrible pain in my neck and arms. Terrible. Like the worst pain I have ever felt and I had a baby on my living room floor. She asked me what she should do a few times and then called our friend who is a nurse. Our friend heard what happened and heard me screaming and told her to call an ambulance.

The ambulance came and asked me a lot of questions. I went to the hospital with them in a neck brace. (Lesley did help me get shorts on before they came. The paramedic asked if I wanted to put a shirt on and I yelled “I can’t fucking move!” – I got a hospital gown.) Our friend had suggested the ambulance because I was in so much pain and would have waited for hours in the waiting room. When I got to the hospital my blood pressure was 70/40. They started giving me IV fluids and waited for a CT scan. The CT scan showed nothing majorly wrong and 5 hours later – after two rounds of anti nausea meds, pain killers, and three bags of fluid – I went home.

I stayed home from work Wednesday and Thursday and tried to go Friday but made it 3 hours. My arms have still be in a ton of pain and my neck still hurts.

Yesterday when Lesley picked Gus up from school we learned he has pink eye.

We were planning to go see friends in the big city this weekend and we didn’t. I’m bummed about this – we love them and really wanted to see them. Between my pain and the pink eye we just couldn’t.

Instead we got up and bought Gus $40 worth of tank tops at Target because he loves tank tops. We took him to the after hours doc (just viral) and went to Lowe’s (I know, we should have just stayed home with pink eye. We suck at that. We touched minimal things). While he napped Lesley mowed the lawn and I cleaned some tires for our next project. We played outside all afternoon and I took him around the block on his scooter and minimally whisper screamed/threatened him for just sitting on it in other people’s driveways. Lesley made dinner while Gus and I did puzzles and I am relaxing while she sews thousands of cloth diaper wipes.

I’m sad about what we could not do and am a bit overwhelmed by what still needs to be done. But a pot roast is in the crock pot for tomorrow and I get a back rub before bed.

This isn’t how I wanted it to go but it feels nice to slow down.

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Friendships

I don’t have many long term friendships. I was an awkward kid and din’t make friends easily. I had friends in high school that for various reasons I am not friends with anymore. Nothing majorly bad but a variety of things – I told a good friend her boyfriend was cheating on her when we were 17 and she ended our friendship, when I started dating my first girlfriend we weren’t out and it made it hard to maintain friendships in the high school to college transition, and my first girlfriend and I were introduced by my high school best friend – when we broke up their friendship continued and ours fizzled out.

I have friends from college/college age but few of those are easy. One of my closest friends with college I had an intense love affair with and while we are on good terms we are not close. My best friend from college aged that I kept for a long time came to visit over Christmas and I decided I fully hate her wife and can’t be around their family dynamic. I don’t miss it much but it was a long friendship and I feel bad but it is what it is.

I tend to make close friendships that last for a few years and then explode. There are various reasons but it really comes down to my personality. I try not to be one of those people who says things like, “I don’t know why drama follows me”. I know why – I am sometimes hard to deal with. I am direct and firm in my opinions and loud. At some point I say something and someone can’t deal. It’s hard for me to understand because 90% of the time these things would not be a big deal if people knew how to communicate their problems but no one teaches life skills so here I am.

This isn’t to say I don’t have friends but that I have few very close friendships. My two closest friends I don’t talk to enough and live in New York and Vancouver. Most of my other close people are internet folks so it’s just different.

I am okay with this but it is odd to see people who have been friends for a long time. People who are in their childhood best friend’s wedding. A lot of my high school friends are like that and it is mind boggling to me.

This has been on my mind a lot when thinking about friends for Gus. I worry that because I suck at maintaining friendships that I am doing him a disservice. I talked about this recently but I feel like an outcast in mom world. In middle school I wondered if everyone was hanging out without me but now thanks to facebook and instagram I know they are. We don’t get invited to things and I struggle to put in the effort when it feels one sided.

I’m actually pretty okay with it. I relish my family time and enjoy our unit of three. I like adventuring and being together without having to worry about other people’s schedules. We do have some parent friends we hang out with regularly and it can be tiring. It’s harder to parent Gus when other kids are around. I genuinely do not like a lot of people. I don’t have the energy (I am fully the friendship maintainer in our relationship).

But while it is not the end of the world to me (although sometimes it really sucks) I wonder if I am doing Gus a disservice. I wonder if I should try to be a more acceptable lady and play the game better. If I shouldn’t go on about political issues or being gay or whatever weird shit I end up going on about. If I should work harder to maintain friendships even though I am exhausted. I wonder if my personality flaws will affect his quality of life because I don’t have a built in group for him. I worry about this more since he is an only child.

I don’t know the answer. I feel like I try with people and it goes no where. I feel like I don’t actually care. But I also want to give my kid everything and it’s hard that I may not be able to give him this.

The Good (a sanctimonious post)

Sometimes it is hard to get inspired for blog posts. When those times come I normally end up getting frustrated about something and coming here to release it into the universe. It’s great to let it go but is not always a clear picture of my life.

I come here today to tell you about the good. You know what? There is so much good.

A few years ago a friend told me that she would list her toddler as her best friend if people wouldn’t think she weird. I get it. I truly enjoy my child. He is fun and creative and has started getting more into imaginary things (like talking to and showing us imaginary worms). He’s caring and loving and sure, he’s not perfect but he’s pretty great.

This is one of the reasons I have struggles connecting with other moms. In mom groups big and small, locally and nationally, I see so many moms frustrated with their kids. I see a lot of name calling and “why is your kid crying” threads and stuff that I just can’t really get down with. I know kids are frustrating and I know that moms need a place to let off steam. I know that they love their kids. But I really don’t have much to add to those conversations.

The other common theme is partner bashing. A dear friend told me years ago that she stopped talking about her frustrations with her partner with other people. I thought that was a bit extreme but I get it. When I have semi publicly expressed frustrations with Lesley in the past people will pile on and validate my feelings. And you know what? Those feelings are valid. But when I get internet folks to validate them it just fuels my fire instead of discussing them with her. My take away from “mom groups” is that I am extremely fortunate. I have an equal partnership with someone I love is who an amazing and engaged parent of our child. Day to day there will always be little things but the big picture is good.

I feel so content with where we are. I’d have a 2.5 year old forever. I feel like the classes we took when Gus was an infant, was one, and a few months ago really shaped who we are as parents. My expectations are realistic and I have some coping mechanisms to deal. Everything isn’t perfect 100% of the time but I never feel the need to call my kid an asshole either so there’s that.

I asked a friend a while ago if she felt awkward about how much she loves her daughter. She 100% understood what I meant. So much of mom bonding is around complaining that I just don’t know how to operate in that world. It’s why I don’t attend “Mom’s Night Out” events. I appreciate the purpose of complaining and know that everyone needs some solidarity – I 100% get it and don’t begrudge how people live their lives (even though this sounds so sanctimonious) I just realized I was happier when I stopped venting my frustrations to the world wide web.

There are moments of every day that are trying. There are moments of every day I wish I could do over. There are moments of every day when I am at the end of my rope. But the days are amazing. When I look at the big picture I give most a 9/10.

I think we have a balance that is often hard but childcare is a savior for me. I think he learns a lot, we learn a lot, and we have some space. I used to think of childcare as something we needed but now think that we are fortunate to have it. That’s not saying every kid/family needs it but it contributes a lot to the well being of my family.

I read through this post and thought about deleting it because I don’t want people to think I am a jerk who judges their feelings (I see so many of you in various mom corners). I’m not though – I’m leaving it because the conversation I had with my friend about the awkwardness of internet parenting. I’m leaving it to let you all know it’s okay to think you are totally rocking this thing. So here are kid pictures to end it: