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3 kittens

Home Alone

Posted on 2014.02.09 at 10:07
This will be an exciting challenge - can Heebie post while single-parenting? Since all Heebie wants to do is complain about single-parenting, it should be easy to deliver live word-vomit of the goings on. Such as: I cannot stay on top of the toys mess. The baby choked on a crayon piece and frightened the holy shit out of me.

When the children are being unruly, I like to ask Jammies, "Have we made bad choices with our bodies?"

I loathe single-parenting. If something happened to Jammies, I can't imagine what kind of drudgery hellscape my life would become. There is no way to check out for a bit and get your bearings when you need it.  You can plan to check out, and get a baby-sitter, or you could get lucky, and the baby may nap while the kids watch a movie, but you can't demand a break when you need it.  I do it anyway - I put myself in time-out and go in the bedroom and shut the door, and shortly the children are sobbing on the other side of the door. "Maa-aaammm-aaaa," they sob, pathetically, "commmmme ooooouuuut."

On top of that, we had ice days (in some form) for both Thursday and Friday. On Thursday I had a mammogram scheduled in San Antonio. Daycare was delayed a few hours.  I had a vision of taking the kids to my mammogram - breast pinned between plates, technician instructing me to hold absolutely still, and me squawking at the kids - Get out of the way of the radiation! Hold still! Get closer so I can pinch your ear!

(Just kidding, I do not pinch ears. A friend told me the following amazing story though: her mom and her best friend's mom had an agreement that the moms were allowed to bite either girl, for punishment purposes.)

A friend came over and watched the kids and took them to daycare. We traded cars. This is something I failed anticipate about having lots of kids: it is a huge imposition on anyone else to lend a hand. She took the minivan and had to wrangle three kids through an unfamiliar routine.  The baby was tired, the kids were rambunctious, and so on. I owe her big time, but I did not have to take the kids to my mammogram and appointment with the oncologist. (Nothing is wrong. Just my routine intra-pregnancy check up. However, you can't be nursing, nor pregnant, and you schedule all this months in advance, and so the idea of rescheduling was upsetting.)

Then on Friday, daycare was delayed again, but not Heebie U. So I emailed around and rescheduled meetings for the afternoon, and found people to cover my commitments.

About ten minutes before we were about to start getting our coats and shoes on, daycare announced that they were closed altogether for the day. They act in accordance with the local state university. So then I re-scrambled and re-scheduled and re-cancelled things for the rest of Friday, after briefly entertaining the notion of finding a baby-sitter (nada) and hauling the kids to school (maybe....no.) We watched movies and went fucking bonkers. At one point I decided to bundle them up and go to the park, and I peeked outside to find that it was actually sleeting. Sad trombone.

Saturday, in contrast, was actually semi-pleasant. I parked Ace with a friend and took the kids to the activity center, to play at the daycare while I exercised. Later we spent the afternoon at another family's house. We came home and ate early dinner and watched another movie.

Today I find myself saying things like, "Sorry kids, I'm having trouble finding my patience this morning," a few minutes after I screech bloody murder because I need some goddamn personal space.  Everything is tiring and I just want to be left alone for a while. I haven't been apart from the kids in four days. Jammies gets home late tonight.

I know people are single parents, and I know there must be an adjustment period, and then you make it work, and it is hard as hell but the kids inevitably get older, anyway.  Eventually everyone can wipe their own ass. (I'm looking at you, Hokey Pokey, hollering from the bathroom, "I went pee and pooooop! Someone come wipe meeeeeee!")(I guess I'm looking at you, Ace, too, with your open oozing sores on your bottom, because you get awful diaper rash from time to time and poop eight times a day.)

Eventually the kids would age, and grow, regardless of whether or not you're patient in the meantime.

What I hate is becoming a short-tempered mess. It's so fucking unpleasant, and also I am filled with self-loathing during it, and yet can't relax and finding my center. I am exceeding my skillset as a parent, and at that point everything falls apart and becomes intolerable, insurmountable, and excruciating. All you can do is bide your time, and count on time to pass.

(There is a very ridiculous song from the 90s called This Ain't Living. In the middle, as these songs do, it gets Broken Down. For some reason, the breakdown became a tic in my brain for years. Still now I sometimes recite the whole thing, a few times in a row. It goes:
Yo. It was rough growing up holding a cup full of spare change
The doctor diagnosed me as a bum full of bad brains.
So, toe-to-toe with society cause they're telling me no,
hooked on prescription drugs, so I stay broke.
You run away but you can't run away from yourself, for your health, so I deal with the cards that I'm dealt.
Tweedeleet-leet, the morning birds sounding sweet
Though I sleep in the street, I have a feeling I'm free!
Of society. Hand-picked hypocrisy, mercy mercy.
Don't give a damn for me, mercy mercy. Now what am I gonna eat?
Peek through the window of a restaurant
People eating caviar, fifty bucks a lunch
Give me a hand-me-down lunch filled with god knows what.
Put it away in my gut, quick! and then I wonder why I'm sick.
Brick for brick I know the city like my handprint, just a bit
In the middle of a skidrow ditch. But I'll survive.
The pain lets me know that I'm alive.
But I still feel...that this ain't living. This ain't living.

It's terribly cheesy! And yet embedded in my brain, in a long tic-like manner. Inescapable. It occurs to me that I've been reciting this passage for over half my life. This ain't living, this ain't living...)

The point is that there's a long, cheesy tic associated with This ain't living... to me. Great Heebie. Tend to your children.


panisdead at 2014-02-10 13:31 (UTC) (Link)
The snow day rescheduling was insane for us with just one older one, so you have my full and complete sympathy.
heebie_geebie at 2014-02-15 16:16 (UTC) (Link)
Oh thank you. It is genuinely nice to have sympathy.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2014-02-10 13:46 (UTC) (Link)

This Ain't Living

When my kid was two, Dr. Skull worked in another city. He was gone all week, and only home on the weekends. I used to think, when I was exhausted and frustrated from dealing with her all by myself (and I only had ONE child), I used to tell myself, "You know, you're going to look back some day and be sad you didn't enjoy this time more."


I mean, yes, I have some fond memories of when she was two, and we went to the park together, or the library. But I do not miss at all the exhaustion and frustration of dealing with a tiny toddler all on my own.
heebie_geebie at 2014-02-15 16:17 (UTC) (Link)

Re: This Ain't Living

Thank you. I do need/love sympathy.

Also, having a two year old week after week, on your own, sounds hellacious and exhausting. I also very much appreciate when you say things like "I don't look back overly fondly on when she was two, but adore her as a teenage" because that is my heart's desire, too.
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