Monday, January 11, 2010

The Grind

Man, this was another off day. It's been a struggle in the last couple weeks to get a perspective on things . . . find the humor . . . say something clever. It's not that I'm freaking out. I'm staying strong with my feet planted where they should be. It's just that my daily grind is really grindy. See? Nothing clever about that.

Late night is precious. It's when I can think, write, read. Everyone else is usually in bed and no longer requiring my attention. Tonight, I have the added bonus of paper where there should be walls on two sides of the living room. It's not bad with a jacket and blankets. The highway almost sounds like rushing water. But I'm coming up short on inspiration.

I started the day by running late to Violet's speech therapy. My excuse was first, I couldn't find Daisy's lunchbox and then, I just needed a moment to sit and drink a cup of coffee (my bad). I realized Violet hadn't done her speech therapy homework, so I grabbed what she needed on our way out the door. But Violet was cranky and I struggled to get her to the car, sloshing coffee all over her homework and our clothes.

When we arrived at the appointment, I took one of the last available spaces in the parking lot, which is mostly there for Adult School. Violet behaved during her appointment but refused to leave because she wanted to hang out in the play area afterwards. I had to get her to daycare so I could make it to tutoring, and she let me know that wasn't going to work for her. I got her in the car and realized that another car was blocking me. I was starting to run really late, so I tried to maneuver out of the space anyway and TOTALLY crunched and scraped my car on a pole. I ran from room to room in the Adult School, interrupting classes to ask if anyone had a gray Sentra. When I found the person, Violet and I ran back to the car but it took awhile to get out of there still because I had really gotten myself in a bad position.

I rushed Violet to daycare while she cried that she didn't have her "OG nonnie" (translation: her original pink satin blanket). I didn't have time to get it for her - and she didn't need it anyway - but my frantic mindset probably made her crave a little comfort. As I dropped her off, I got a parting snapshot of her falling apart and announcing to everyone in daycare that "my mommy was meeeeaaaaan to me." Ah, guilt.

I was a few minutes late to tutoring. It's not ok to be late, partially because the kid enjoys broadcasting my lateness down the school halls and I'm trying to make a good impression on the administration in case there are ever any job openings. But I found my inner zen because there are two things that are guaranteed to happen with this student. . . he will be oppositional and I will repeat myself A LOT.  After tutoring, I walked my dog for an hour by the ocean, which I thought was going to transform the rest of my day.

Instead, I was back to drama after picking up Violet. I WAS SO OVER HER. Everything was a problem. I couldn't deal with her as constructively as I would have liked because I had some paperwork that I had to get out this afternoon, or lose out on my unemployment check for another week. She fell asleep on the couch while giving me the silent treatment (much better than the screaming treatment anyway). Our contractors came back from lunch and resumed their loud banging, and Violet slept about eight feet away from them, so I knew she must be really tired. She was upset to eventually wake up to the madness, so I took her upstairs and got her ready to pick up her sister from school.

I had us all ready to go, bags packed to spend the afternoon at my parents' house. But just before we left, Violet apparently waited too long to go to the bathroom AGAIN and peed in her clothes and all over the floor. I just needed to help her change and get her shoes on, and we could still be on time to pick up her sister. But Violet didn't want clothes so she ran naked through the house having a fit. I wrestled her down to dress her and it turned into a huge scene that didn't end when we got to school. I was shaking mad. Daisy came out of her classroom complaining about something and I let her know THERE. WAS. NO. MORE. PATIENCE. FOR. WHINING.

We spent the afternoon with my parents and they took us out to dinner like they do most weeks, except this time, my husband joined. The kids held up the bad rep that kids have in restaurants, and I tried to manage them the best I could so my husband could bond with my parents. I left the meal feeling like all I wanted to do was take some Tums and get those damn kids to bed. (I hesitated to say "damn kids" but they can't hear me, and any parent who hasn't gotten there hasn't been a parent for very long.)

When we got home, Daisy needed to do homework and Violet apparently needed to have another fit. After realizing we were out of pull-ups, I rushed to the grocery store. I came back to get that pull-up on Violet and she cried (shocking). I worked on getting an impressive dreadlock out of Daisy's hair and she cried. Then, I remembered by the public restroom smell that I had some more cleaning to do. Turns out, Violet had accidents in two bathrooms today. Too bad my husband doesn't have clean pants to wear to work tomorrow and I haven't taken a shower since Saturday morning. I'm done. I got the blankets, put on Bachelor, and distracted myself with more unnecessary drama. The contestants held an uncanny resemblance to giant crying three-year-olds.

I'm crossing my fingers that I'll find my brain sometime this week. Or maybe I should just focus my search on humor. I'd settle for solid walls.


  1. I hate days like this and I have no idea how you do it with two kids. Some days I feel like I just can’t handle being a parent. And I know it’s not Holden’s fault (just a combination of things), but I still can’t help but look at my life and wonder how the hell I got here. Of course, then life moves on and I remember how lucky I am. (Though I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I daydream about running away to join the circus sometimes.)

    So here's to less stressful days!

  2. Thanks, Alana. I really do appreciate it. I think it's important to talk about what it's really like to be a parent . . . because no matter how together a parent might look, I guarantee it's not what it looks like from the outside. Everyone struggles and feels like running away sometimes. When I didn't know that many moms, I used to think there was something wrong w/me. Everyone else made it look so easy. But it's not and there's no need to front.