oh, parenthood

At some point in parenthood, you completely relinquish your dignity. I think for me, the moment was before Daniel was born, after I'd been in labor for 20+ hours, when I was naked, sweaty, panting, whimpering in anguish, begging for the epidural, and I recognized the anesthesiologist as the recently divorced father of one of my piano students. I thought it prudent not to mention that to him, and whether he knew who I was or not, he was professional enough to keep it to himself.

I've had lots of those moments over the last not-quite-four years. There was the time I was 12 weeks pregnant with Anya and I was supposed to play in a masterclass for a Very Important Pianist and Daniel fell into a big fountain of water and I had to approach the teacher, who was (is) both famous and infamous for his teaching and temperament and ask to go last so I could comfort my whimpering toddler and change our soaking wet clothes. There was the time, not so long ago, when Anya decided to stuff her mouth so full of goldfish crackers in the checkout lane of a grocery store that she gagged and spit everything out, and I had to ask the kind-yet-freaked-out cashier for a paper towel to clean her up. And there was this afternoon in the Target parking lot when the early Christmas present I bought for the kids - a basketball hoop with adjustable height - wouldn't fit in the car until I took it out of the box and shoved it piece by piece into the front seat. That was after ripping the assembly instructions off the side of the box using a pen knife and my bare hands.

Why the basketball hoop? Why the early Christmas present? Because the other reality of parenthood, at least parenthood of children under 5 who are not yet spending most of their time in public school, is TEDIUM. Daniel is doing a little bit of preschool, but most of the time he hangs out with me and Anya, and truth be told, he's getting a little bored. I guess I'm a sucky mom for not keeping him more entertained, but here's the scoop: Anya's naptime is sporratic and unpredictable, there is precious little daylight, it's cold outside and folks, there just isn't a lot to DO around here. I mean, there is, but not when you have a cranky toddler who gets up at 5 and doesn't nap until 3, which puts a huge cramp on afternoon activities that involve leaving the house. So, basketball hoop it is.

Gosh do I miss summer.

I used to think I was a smart person with a lot of potential. Now I'm just trying to make it to 4:30 in the afternoon when Curious George comes on PBS and I can start dinner without anyone hanging off my leg (literally). I can blame the long, cold Wisconsin winters and tight job market all I want, but those are just excuses. Sometimes I just don't try hard enough, I guess. Sometimes, the best I can come up with is buying big plastic toys at a big big store three weeks before Christmas because that is the only way I can get through another day.


katie said…
you should allow yourself this. guilt free. sanity is worth a lot!
Claire said…
Oh, I've done the taking-apart-the-basketball-hoop-and-throwing-it-in-the-front-seat thing WHILE it was raining and I think I even lost something important... like the dinky free basketball (the only one we would have had at the time).

Did you get my message about gymnastics? I hope that works! :)
Caffeine Girl said…
I love your posts because they take me back 20 years! I remember that life so well -- and now I miss it, even though I do remember how thoroughly maddening and exhausting it was. One day at a time. (Notice I'm not warning you about adolescence! There's plenty of time for that!)

You're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. And that boredom? It's healthy. Kids learn a lot from it.
Suze said…
Claire, I did get your message but I haven't registered yet. I'm trying to figure out the best time(s for us.

Caffeine Girl, I'm well aware that adolescence is coming and I totally appreciate you NOT warning me about it :) My mom says boredom is healthy and it makes kids be creative, and I agree with her...but I think you can even have too much of that!
Animal said…
"Sometimes I just don't try hard enough, I guess."

Yup. I feel your pain…even though, when I read YOU say it, I think "No, you're trying your damnedest, and that's all anyone can ask."

"Sometimes, the best I can come up with is buying big plastic toys at a big big store three weeks before Christmas because that is the only way I can get through another day."

Yup. Been THERE, too. Tess and I were just talking today about feeling guilty for treating Roz "badly", not so much because she was misbehaving, but because it's cold today (but without enough snow to go sledding) and we're at our OWN wit's end. Be well, and know that, at least, your misery has company. :-)
Oh, how well I know! Been there, done (doing?) that, and I'm living to tell the tale. You will too, I promise.

Big hugs!
ML said…
Here is a possible explanation for what you experienced. :)

~ML (your "little" brother's girlfriend's "big" sister)
ML said…
This comment has been removed by the author.

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