Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dear Self,

You know how today has sucked? How, even though it was a "day off", you've done nothing but grade old stats assignments? And how you haven't even made a dent on the quizzes and tests that need to be graded? And you haven't even STARTED entering these grades?

Right? This has sucked.

DON'T DO THIS TO YOURSELF EVER AGAIN. Asshole. This back up? This overflowing-toilet of homeworkness and looseleaf lined paper that has taken over your dining room because you needed TWO BOXES to get it home to grade over your HOLIDAY WEEKEND? YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF. Asshole. AND RUINED YOUR HOLIDAY WEEKEND. Asshole.

For the love of little green apples, DON'T LET YOURSELF GET THIS BEHIND EVER AGAIN.



Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Friday Friday!

It's Friday!

No new posts on single-parenting as Andrew is home now (as evidenced by the fact that it's 6:15 and I have time to sit down with coffee and type this). Today is Friday and as such might as well be the weekend, and then next week isn't even a full week of school and isn't life so much better when there's holidays to look forward to?

I fell asleep last night at 8:00. Can you tell?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Third weekday: not dead yet.

We fell asleep again. Which makes sense considering "we" were awake at 4. And "we" wouldn't go back to sleep. So "we" decided to get dressed. Then when "we" were too exhausted to continue getting ready and besides which there was still an hour until daycare was even open, "we" decided to lie down. THEN, of course, "we" fell asleep. And ONE of us stayed asleep when the other suddenly sat up and realized it was 6:15.

Thank goodness I'd packed up (almost) everything the night before.

I'm so tired my legs don't feel like they're going to work. I was up late last night doing laundry so that Howie had diaper covers for daycare. Did I remember them this morning, though? No. Nor did I remember to bring a new change of clothes for Mr. Poopy Pants, so hopefully his butt contained itself today or he's coming home in Silly Pants, my new nickname for the donated clothes that daycare has for just such an emergency.

That extra hour and a half of sleep Howie normally gets in the morning, from 6 to 7:30 (or 5:30 to 7) is apparently critical, because he's just been all off on his sleeping schedule. Normally a champion napper, he can't stay asleep at daycare and can't fall asleep on time or on his own and I need to wait until he's completely asleep before putting him down and so he's been going to bed later, waking up earlier and not napping. That sound you hear is my head exploding.

On the bright side, we survived, and I know we could long term if we had to. But--on the even brighter side--thank goodness we don't have to. Andrew gets home at midnight, and we can partner up again.

I miss my partner.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Second weekday: not a failure, but less than successful

This morning. First of all, hearing baby not-quite-crying-but-sure-getting-ready-to, the sound gets incorporated into my not-quite-asleep-but-sure-trying-to-be head and I think Andrew is in there trying Operation Reinsert Pacifier and I keep wondering what's taking so long. Until, duh, Howie starts crying more and I realize that Andrew hasn't been helping at all. So I go scoop him up and bring him into bed with me and we start nursing.

Mistake number 1. Because we both fall back asleep and suddenly it's 6:00 and I have fifteen minutes to get myself presentable and Howie dressed in clothes that he didn't wear yesterday (which he also slept in, by the way, but I wasn't going through the Sunday night "You mean I have to go BACK to sleep?" outrage by waking him up to change him--he fell asleep, let's do everything we can to keep him that way, mmmkay?) and get his food and get my food and get out the door.

Which, by the way, led to Mistake number 2: since we fell asleep while nursing, he only nursed on the one side. So by 10:00 I was gushing leaking down the side he didn't nurse on. And that was WITH wool nursing pads. SO grateful for my fleece jacket.

Which showed me Mistake number 3: I didn't bring my pumping crap. In fact, I left it in its little portable cooler on the dining room floor. Yay me! So I had to bring my pump home and guess what I'm doing as I write this? (edited to add: in fifteen minutes, got nine ounces. Yeah, I didn't plan my morning right at ALL).

Which meant Mistake number 4 was of little consequence: I forgot my lunch.

But I'm home, and we're still alive and he has food and milk and bottles at daycare and he even had socks on, so it couldn't be THAT bad, right?

Monday, November 17, 2008

First weekday: success.

It was a success today in that we're both alive, we've both eaten (thank you Emily!), one of us is asleep and the other almost is, and neither of us went naked.

That reminds me: just before first period today, one of my students snaps her phone shut and says, "Trista (ed--not her real name) just called, she's out in the parking lot and forgot her shoes. Do you mind if I go get her some shoes from my car?" and just like that, skips out of the room. Both girls return within two minutes.

Which leads to several questions--the main one of which is, how do you get all the way to school and then realize you don't have shoes?

Take me for instance. This morning, I got Howie all bundled up and we were in the car and then I realized I forgot his food. And then I realized I forgot my food. And then I realized I forgot my books. But I did all that before I left the driveway. And none of them are parts of me involved in the actual act of driving.

And now, I'm going to go put on comfy pants that have the fuzzy insides, and cuddle up under the comforter and pass out after two pages of my trashy novel.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Single Parenting

How do you do it?

How do single parents do it?

My hat off to every single one of them who has managed to bring up a happy, well-adjusted child without (a) devolving into bankruptcy (b) becoming hopelessly addicted to something or (c) running stark naked through the streets. Actually, check that: my hats off to any single parent who managed to bring up a happy, well-adjusted child. Period full stop. Because DAYUM this shit is HARD, and I've only done it for two days!

Andrew let me know about six weeks ago he'd have to go to New York for a couple days for business. Mmmm, errr, fine, I mean, what am I going to say? no? Seriously. But then suddenly the couple of days was FOUR days and then it was FIVE days and those five days? were from Saturday crack-of-my-butt early to Wednesday-might-as-well-be-Thursday late.

And now here I am, two days in, and I'm beat. I'm sitting here with a great honking glass of Smoking Loon after listening to the monitor for Way Too Long (why don't babies just know they're tired and give it up already????) and there's still the garbage to take out and the dishes to... dish and can I tell you I'm terrified about tomorrow morning?

I've never done the morning routine. That's been Andrew's bailiwick since the little man started going. I nurse at 5, because I have to be at school by 7; Andrew needs to be at work some time. By nineish. Mostly. So he gets the morning after I nurse, I get the afternoon. And going by the little daily report cards we get, Andrew rolls in to daycare any time between 7 and 8:30. Which is great. That means they have the mornings together and if some of that is planning and packing, then that's what it is.

But now I have to do it. And I don't have much time to do it. So many mornings Howie and I both fall back asleep while nursing, with the soothing tones of Steve Innskeep in the background--there's been mornings when it's only been the Morning Marketplace (comes on at 5:50) or the voice of the new OPB dude Geoff something telling me that it's 6:19 that has me tossing a sleeping infant back in his crib so that I can rush into my room to put clothes on and go. When I invariably forget something critical like MY LUNCH or MY PUMP or MY SHOES or something. And for the next three days, I don't have that luxury. Of the sleeping. I suppose I can forget something for myself (insert common family joke about HOW FORGETFUL KARI IS AND HOW FUNNY THAT IS HA HA HA! here because it is always so funny) but I don't want to forget Howie's stuff. He didn't ask for this, you know?

But also, I want to prove--to myself, to Andrew, to my family--that I can do this. I may not like it, but I can do it. So far this weekend, while exhausting--so little downtime!--has been doable, if a little lonely. We only have a faintly crazy Costco bill to show for it, and we spent some good time with Bectastic.

It's the next three days that'll really decide it.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Six months

Dear Little Man H,

I've been composing this letter to you in my head for weeks, but wouldn't you know it? I sit down to write it, and everything flies out of my head. Maybe there's something going on today...

Nah. That can't be it.

This past month has been the best so far. I realize I only have six of them to choose from in the running for The Best Month Ever, but seriously, I think that this one would win.

Last month you've discovered your feet with a flair that can only be described as gleeful. Now it's been a foot-fest (not to be confused with a foot fetish. That comes later, young man.) You can hold them! pull them! put them in your mouth! When sitting up, you can bend over and hit yourself in the head with them!

Okay, that last one you didn't enjoy so much. In fact, this whole Sitting Up thing, while kind of cool, ends in tears on a regular basis. In fact, it's pretty much guaranteed that after some absolutely fabulous arm-jerking and giggling and tag-wrangling and perhaps towel-waving, you will at one point want to look up, or sideways, or, gods forbid, BACKWARDS, at which time you will perilously begin to lose the battle with gravity. You do it slowly, oh-so-slowly, and often with a "What the FUCK?" look to me, until you pass the Point of No Return and gravity really does take hold and you weeble, you wobble, and you do indeed fall backwards. If I happened to be a caring mama at that point, you hit a boppy, but on a couple of occasions it must be said that we were overconfident and decided that we didn't need the big pillow. At those occasions, you hit the rug with a resounding thud. And after a couple seconds of shock, proceeded to let me know just how displeased you were.

Unless of course, you fall forwards, in which case you always hit with the thud-silence-scream combination. But that is happening more and more rarely.

You're starting to interact with your cousins, which is entertaining in the extreme; the Paci-pass you and your cousin Eleanor do is hilarious until one of you ends up with both paci's, somehow thinking that there is a way that if one paci is awesome, two must be AWESOMER. You do that, by the way, all the time. Paci? Awesome. Paci and fingers? AWESOMER. Nursing? awesome. Nursing AND sucking on my thumb? AWESOMER. Except it doesn't quite work that way. But whatever, we're working on it.

Speaking of nursing. You hit the big six months now, dude. You know what that means? FOOD. So far your dad and I are WAY more excited about this than you are. Not that you mind the attention, but so far, avocado and rice cereal get the tomato splat from you. Butternut squash doesn't suck, but you're still kind of meh on the whole thing.

Don't worry. I know that'll change--one day you'll be a teenage boy and I'll think back to when I couldn't get you to eat. You probably won't want to use utensils then either, but I bet you'll manage to swallow.

So today's kind of a big day here. It'll be interesting what today will be like seen ten years from now. Hopefully you'll grow up knowing a better world than you were born into. Hopefully one day you'll be in a history class and today, this date, this will be the beginning of a new chapter, like the Star Wars IV prologue but in a history book and therefore boring. Hopefully.


If there's nothing else you deserve at six months of age, little man H, it's a big ol' barrel of hope. Well, that, and a pillow permanently behind you.

Love you,

Monday, November 03, 2008

Wherein I talk of things about which I have very little knowledge, only instinct

So, I was listening to NPR today this morning in our early-morning-nursing ritual (will that warp little minds?) and as has been traditional for the past twenty-one months, a good portion of it was political. And there were a ton of soundbites of different voters from different regions of the country. Determination, exhiliaration, consternation, all sorts of different emotions from these different voters. What they were doing to get out the vote, change the vote, support the vote.

And there was one group of voters from--well, I guess the where isn't all that important, which is good because asking me to remember details from pre-dawn nursing ether is a worthless task--from somewhere who said that they were praying, their minister told them to pray, that prayer was the only thing that worked, and what they were praying was, "Dear Lord, save our nation and make John McCain the next president."


Leaving off my own beliefs on who the next president should be and my own beliefs of prayer, what struck me was the twist of logic that prayer denotes. Shouldn't prayer leave the method of salvation up to God? What if the best thing for the nation isn't John McCain? Is it just my--let's not say agnosticism, because my spirituality is something not-quite-agnostic--my lack of churchy-going-ness that makes me ignorant of how prayer works? Isn't it arrogant to assume that the prayer-maker needs to tell God how to save the nation? Is that how God works?

And if you're so sure that God listens to you, how can you be sure that what He's granting is to save the nation? Maybe He's doing it to teach a lesson, or to let our nation's downfall save the world. Or something. I'm certainly no god, and couldn't understand the workings of one who is. What human being could understand the workings of the infinite? Or deign to tell one how to acheive Their goals?

If you believe in God and the power of prayer, of course. If you don't, then it's all the power of man. And the power of man is built on each vote. So vote your conscience, and either way it works: the power of man prevails, and let God's will fall as it may. But don't preach of salvation and tell me how to get there. You can't have both sides.