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4 kittens

The very tiring, greasy week

Posted on 2015.03.15 at 12:39
Jammies left town around 4 am on Monday morning. He was to be visiting the race car (palindrome!) in Denver until Wednesday night.

Monday night, Hawaii began to complain that it stung when she peed. (Sorry, grown-up Hawaii. I think this is a reasonable thing to say to other adults.) Tuesday was a terrible day to miss work - lots of meetings, classes reviewing before a test, etc. and I had to scramble to reschedule all of that.

The doc checked her out Tuesday morning, and all was fine.

We had a lovely time. When you're forced to miss an important day, once you get over it and embrace the missing, it's rather relaxing.  I took a nap. (Rascal had been sleeping like shit.)

Even so, by Wednesday I was excruciatingly tired: I fell asleep, sitting up, helping Pokey put his pants on. I mislabelled the date on Rascal's bottles of milk, and the daycare teacher was like, "Is this really an ancient, expired bottle of milk you brought in?" I forgot to give a student a test, and he had to track me down while I was teaching another class. I had to apologize to my Calculus class, and improvise an activity for them while I left to go print out the test.  My eyes felt sticky and my head felt muddled all day.

Jammies was due home late Wednesday night. On Wednesday afternoon, he texted me: "we're not coming home tonight."

Let's put this in perspective: Ace had worn the same socks and shoes for three days in a row. (She went to bed with them on. Each morning when I got her dressed, I got through the outfit part and said "fuck it".) I hadn't showered since Sunday. I had life mapped out exactly through Wednesday.

The Wednesday afternoon readjustment was the worst: Oh, not tonight? Tomorrow during the day? No? Late tomorrow night? No? Friday? I nearly cried at the elementary school when a friend asked how I was doing.

March 8, 2015 (1)

But then the fairly quick stages of single-parenting grief set in: self-pity, meal planning, appointment re-scheduling, exhaustion, and acceptance.

Spring began immediately after lunch on Thursday. It was just that abrupt.  Following a warm week in January, we'd had a cold and rainy February, and then winter fled during lunch on Thursday. (What, do I think I'm writing a novel? Tone it down, Heebie.)

Furthermore, Hawaii and Rascal's schools were both closed on Friday. Jammies had been planning on staying home with them. So I cancelled everything on Friday, instead, which is...not so bad.  Spring Break began Thursday afternoon. After all, it was 75° out.

Single parenting is like eating a really terrible meal instead of a great meal: once the meal is over, it just doesn't matter anymore. Wednesday was awful, and I recalibrated the next few days, and it passed.

I even showered Thursday night.  There was a boil-water notice from the city, so we got Taco Cabana instead of cooking, and now it's Spring Break.  My very tiring, greasy weak is over.

March 15, 2015 (5)

When you're gone, I sleep/park diagonally in my bed/driveway. When you're here, I park/sleep lengthwise. (I got so used to parking in the middle of the driveway that Jammies had to squeeze in when he got home.)

Weekly Recap of The Kids Being Cute:

Ace bellowing, from her crib: DAAAAAADDY! WHERE ARE YOUUUUUU? I'M IN HEE-EERE!
She yelled that periodically for thirty minutes, while Jammies milked the last bit of time in bed. I went to get her out of her crib, but she preferred to wait for Jammies. She was good-natured about the whole thing.

Hawaii and Ace both had/have raspy bellowing toddler voices. Hokey Pokey had a high pitched squeaky toddler voice.  Rascal has a gurbley coo.

Hokey Pokey delivered a long speech about a bullet hitting the planet earth. It caused all manner of explosions (my words). Specifically, an earthquake fissure began to crack through our town. The crack separated us from our house. We would have to jump over the crack when we got to it. I argued in favor of a ramp that would just launch the minivan over the crack, so lazy am I when it comes to jumping over an active crevasse-forming fault line running through the town. Pokey wasn't having any of it. We debated at length how exactly we'd get the minivan over the crack, if we jumped over without it.

Hawaii finally let me french braid her hair:

March 15, 2015 (3) March 15, 2015 (2) March 15, 2015 (1)

(Each day I take a photo so that she can see what it looks like.)

The cat: balancing the pain meds which will hasten his kidney failure, and his arthritis pain. Every few days he howls in agony for about thirty seconds.  He stumbles around, legs failing to gain purchase on the floor, toenails scritching.

On Friday night, mid-agony, he tried to get into his cat bed, failed, and crawled into his kitty carrier. I thought he might be sneaking off to die. I pulled in a pillow and laid on the floor next to him.

March 15, 2015 (6)

Kitty hiding in the otherwise-hated carrier.

In the middle of the night, my side was numb and Rascal was hungry and I went to bed.

The next day, Big Cat seemed happy again. We are definitely measuring life in days and weeks.

Last night, I sat in the kitchen, daring Big Cat to come close enough that I could swaddle him and give him IV fluids. Big Cat sat just out of reach.  Just below his neck, I could see his heartbeat - his fur was fluttering with each beat. Two patches of fur, on either side of his solar plexus, beating visibly. Slightly below that, I could see his chest expanding and contracting with his lungs, at a distinctly different tempo. That can't be a good sign if your cat's beating heart is visible from a few feet away.

My Colleague

Can I write a character description of my colleague, if it's sufficiently loving and I'd be okay with her (hypothetically) reading it? I think that's ethically fine. She's in the math department with me.

She's around 60 years old and fully embracing the "I just gotta be me"-ness of late femininity. What does she gotta be? She watches The Bachelor every Wednesday and tells us about it, as we roll our eyes and tease her. "The date was based on Cinderella! She got dressed up in the most beautiful gown and had to be home by midnight!" "How can you love that shlock?!" we say, every Thursday. "I just do!" she says, happily.

She wears a different outfit, every single day of the semester. She will not repeat an outfit. She keeps track.

She never cooks, and only eats take-out.

She works at Heebie U full-time, teaching math, but also adjuncts at two other schools. As far as I can tell, it's because she loves being busy and loves teaching math. She is in fact a great math teacher, who is much more dedicated to her students than I am. Giving them her personal cell number, setting up individual conferences with every student at the beginning and middle of the semester, and so on. I would never.

She spends as much time as possible watching high school sports. She is a fanatical high school sports fan. She will go to five or six various games in a weekend.

She donates extensive time mentoring kids in the community. Due to the mentoring, she realized gradually that rural Texas is pretty extremely racist. We're supposedly a liberalizing influence on her, but she is still anti-taxes.

She is wonderful and upbeat and charming, but if you put her in a novel it would not be believable.

A student

gave me cabbage from her garden, which struck me as picturesque:

March 15, 2015 (4)


Breast reconstruction

In all my heavy thinking about deciding to decline reconstructive surgery, somehow I'd missed this fact:


A mastectomy and reconstruction is not the same as getting a boob job. Because your breast tissue is removed, implants go behind the muscles in your chest wall.  This will feel exactly like you think it will.  Pushups feel strange, and sometimes while driving, if I turn the wheel sharply, I can feel the muscles pull across my breasts.  It’s such a strange sensation (and wrong!! it’s all wrong!!) that it used to make me nauseous.


I knew that the implants sometimes went behind the muscle, and other times they don't, but I hadn't directly realized that the difference was reconstruction versus cosmetic surgery.

I still don't want implants. I just hadn't realized I wasn't declining a normal boob job.

Cute kids being cute kids:

March 15, 2015 (9) March 15, 2015 (10)

March 15, 2015 (7) March 15, 2015 (8)

Ace in her red boots. That's a rubberband around the respective faces of the HPs, giving them toddler jowls.

I like the phrase "the television set" instead of TV, although it doesn't roll off my tongue. It sounds like furniture. Was it actually a set that came in multiple parts at some point?

Comments:


Sara
panisdead at 2015-03-16 14:15 (UTC) (Link)
Appropriate levels of sympathy! That sounds utterly exhausting.
heebie-geebie
heebie_geebie at 2015-03-23 01:19 (UTC) (Link)
I love sympathy. Thank you.
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