Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I'm just going to go sit over in the "naughty spot" until I can handle parenting a toddler that is quickly approaching the terrible 2 stage. I might even need 2 minutes for every year of my age, so I'll be there for a little while. Don't be surprised if I fall asleep. I'll use my time in the naughty spot to think about what I've done and how I can avoid similarly bad parenting in the future.
For the past three days, Zac has been pushing every g-ddamn button I possess. I will admit that on Saturday, I screwed up his sleep schedule by taking him to my Mom's chorus performance, which didn't start until 7pm. He fell asleep in the car on the ride there and would have been perfectly content to sleep the rest of the evening in his car seat if I had let him.
But no, I was the mean Mommy that ripped him from the comfortable haven of belted security and forced him into an umbrella stroller. He cried for non-stop for 30 minutes before my Dad took him into the bathroom and he calmed down.
When we got back to my parents' house, he was awake until 11pm and still managed to wake himself up at his regular time of 7:15am. He fussed the entire day and screamed from 4:30-6:30am, Monday morning. I knew that I had two choices at that point: have both us try to make it through our days exhausted and ready to kill someone, only to be called by the Shoe Nazis at 2pm saying, "Zachary is having a bad day. Can you come pick him up?" or we could go back to bed. I picked the second option.
Then on Tuesday, somewhere between my mailroom and the Shoe Nazis headquarters, I lost my entire set of keys. It was a nice day and I felt like walking, not remembering that keys, wallets, cellphones and assorted items bounce out of the stroller. When I got to Zac's daycare, they were missing. I retraced my steps twice from the mailroom and back and couldn't find them. I had to call the "emergency maintenance" man to let me into my apartment and spent 45 minutes slapping mosquitos away from Zac's head while he screamed with hunger and frustration.
As soon as the maintenance man, who apparently isn't very concerned about emergency situations, arrived, my Dad showed up right behind him with the spare set of apartment keys. Zac screamed and screamed, refusing to eat his dinner or drink his bottle, until my Dad held him. Zac finally calmed down for him and ate his ravioli and sliced pears.
Now, the kid is so upset all the time that he cries whenever anyone is more than five feet away from him. He cried for a solid hour at dinner last night at a Mexican restaurant with my friend David. He refused to walk (again!) and only wants to be carried to the car and back. He's holding on for everything he can and it makes me want to scream.
Anyone interested in parenting a toddler that screams more than he smiles? Let me know. Until then, I'll be in the corner over there, thinking about ways that I can occupy Zac while I'm in timeout.
Monday, February 26, 2007
I agree with her. It's time that both women and men start addresses the systemic imbalances that working parents face - in the workplace, in civic life, and within our homes.
Dear Fruity Parks and Recreation Department,
I'm moving to the City of Fruit in Spring 2007. I went to the City's Parks and Recreation Department website this afternoon and was amazed at all of the activities that you offer for city residents! It's great to encourage residents to be active and involved in their community, especially while getting to know their neighbors.
However, I was extremely disapointed that most of the activities for younger children are offered exclusively during the day. I would love to enroll my 20 month-old son in Toddler Buds tumbling class or take the Awesome Abs or 20/20/20 fitness class for myself, but all of these activites are only offered during traditional working hours. Fortunately, there are other fitness classes that are offered for adults in the evenings that I could attend, but that isn't the case for toddler classes. Both sessions of the Toddler Time class, in addition to all of the preschool activities, are offered only during the morning hours.
As a working parent, I'm frustrated and confused as to why the Fruity Parks and Recreation Department would choose to only schedule classes for children and their parents in the morning. Working parents deserve as much quality time, interaction, and city-sponsored activities with their children as those children that are fortunate enough to have stay-at-home guardians, especially for toddler-aged children.
What are the plans to address this situation in the future? I'm cc'ing JB, Director of Parks and Recreation, and MS, Recreation Superindent in the hopes that these individuals can help shed some light on the scheduling issues and the plans for making classes more inclusive for working families. Thank you.
Future City of Fruit Resident
Thursday, February 22, 2007
There I was, sitting right behind you..
It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that I couldn't wait for high school to end. I didn't "fit" anywhere or into any of the groups and did a pretty spectacular job of isolating myself.
I was a smart kid that didn't want to hang out with the other smart kids who practiced math sets for their SATs after school and on the weekends. I was an athletic kid that would rather talk about books than stats. I wanted to be in the popular group, but I didn't drink or smoke in highschool and I wasn't religious enough (yes, there was a very religious church-going popular crowd) to fit into the other popular group. I just floundered socially. Academically, I never felt inspired. Some of the work was challenging, but not engaging.
Basically, I joined as many extra cirriculuar activities, sports and honors groups as possible to make sure that when the time came, I could get as far away from high school as I could.
I went to Smith College, 3,000 miles away from my home town. There, I found the love and support that I had been looking for in highschool. I found interesting, fiercely intelligent women who didn't put me down for using "big words" to express myself. We all secretely admitted that we liked to read, write, draw, paint and go to elitist coffee shops where people recited spoken word poetry. It was a coming out moment for the intellectualism that we had supressed throughout puberty. I reveled in it and drank up as much as I could.
Just recently, I had a friend from high school tell me that a mutual friend was looking for me on myspace. I've had a myspace account for the last two years or so, but left it completely blank and only used to occasionally message people or check other people's pages. I updated my page, added some pictures, and suddenly - it's like a windown into my past has blown open.
The crazy part is that I love the fresh air. I love finding out who got married and who got their master's degrees in chemistry or education. I'm sure that it's time that has helped heal some of the wounds that teenagers mutually inflict on each other, but people genuinely seem surprised and happy to hear from me. It's allowed me to reconnect, not only with the people that I grew up with, but with a part of myself.
I had written off the teenage version of myself as someone that I didn't want to know. Turns out, she had a lot of problems and a whole hell of a lot of insecurities, but the NSP in high school wasn't as bad as I had originally thought.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
A baby was only an abstract thought to me. I had very little morning sickness and for the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy, it was easier for me to believe that I had ovarian cancer than a child. All of the pregnancy tests in the world couldn't convince me that I would be able to carry a growing infant to term in my body.
Then I did. Zac came and he was beautiful, if completely unknown and foreign to me. I wish I could have those early days back with him. I would give almost anything to hold him against me and feel his soft, downy head. It's probably the most accute form of revisionist history to wish that I could look down and see him nurse again. I miss the unbelievably small onesies and sleeping next to him throughout the night. I see little babies in the mall or in the waiting room of my organization and think, "How was he ever that small?" Even at one month old, he looked like a little mini adult, fully formed and ready to play.
Now he wakes me up by coming as close to my face as possible, with our noses almost touching, and yells, "HA!" as soon as he sees my eyes open. His mouth hangs open in a goofy grin and he opens his eyes as wide as possible to greet me good morning.
I get up, turn on some cartoons for him to watch, get undressed to take a shower and am once again faced with my post-pregnancy body. It's covered in stretch marks and parts hang lower than I think they should. My stomach has the odd dual lumps, with my belly button in the middle, separating the twin hills. When I spin around to turn on the shower, I remember why I turn out the light before I get undressed.
Trying to date with this body is like trying to write a novel with a worn down nub of a pencil. It's possible to do it, just not easy. The pencil can form words and convey the thoughts of the author, but its a dull instrument when compared to a computer or even a pen.
It's not that I want to trade my body or even go back to the body that I had before Zac, it's that I wish I could embrace the beauty of this pencil, bitemarks and all.
Monday, February 19, 2007
I laid there and thought, "Now New Hampshire is a perfect place to be very, very sad." All that snow, ice and freezing temperatures seem to encourage long periods of introspection and depression. People close their doors and hole up in their houses. The lack of friendliness in the town's people only personifies the belief that you either, "Live Free or Die" in that state. Independence is cherished and any sign of public weakness should be crushed out immediately like a cigarette butt.
It really is the kind of place where you could go quietly insane and no one would notice. The neighbors might find you once the ground thaws and the snow melts, but it would be too late by then.
Then I started thinking of all the places where I was unbelievably miserable. The places where I experienced chest tightening anxiety attacks and self-hatred so extreme that I rarely got out of bed. Places where, at times, I functioned only on a life-preserving level. Certainly, Lebanon, New Hampshire tops the list, but it's closely followed by McCall, Idaho - Telmen, Zavkhan, Mongolia - Oxford, England - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Friendswood, Texas.
Wherever you go - there you are. Unlike the airlines, your being never loses your baggage.
My baggage is a slightly different from other divorced/single parents that I've met. My baggage doesn't have needs. My baggage doesn't call me to tell me that it needs money or emotional support. I don't have to respond to my baggage and I can go weeks pretending it doesn't exist. My baggage can't keep me from seeing my son because it's in a bad mood (really, we all know that depression and it's twin, anxiety, are rarely in good moods. That's contrary to their nature). It can keep me from enjoying my time with Zac and from appreciating the joy and beauty around me, but I don't have to ask it to file a joint tax return or for extra time on the weekend to be with my son.
The flip side of this coin is that no one claims Zac and I as "family". There is no former partner that I can call that will stop everything to support us, even if they don't love me anymore. It's Zac and I. I make all the decisions, even though I yearn to be in a family of my own making.
I want someone to say that they will always love me - no, love us - regardless of the mistakes I make.
I spent three hours in the dentist's chair on Friday getting a temporary crown on my cracked tooth. In my ignorance of dental procedures, I thought that they just had to slap on some metal in the shape of a tooth and I would be good to go. Unfortunately, the whole procedure involved more drilling and shoving rope underneith the gumline to get an accurate impression of the tooth. I was basically miserable and it was only the laughing gas that kept me from horribly embarassing myself and cursing out everyone in a five mile radius.
On Saturday and Sunday, I drove around looking for new apartments. It was basically an exhausting task and I would only wish it upon someone that had absolutely nothing better to do with their time (like napping, playing with their kid or filing their taxes). The average rental price for a two bedroom apartment in the area where I was looking was $950-$1100. I would have to sell a kidney to be able to afford that. It was so disheartening to go into "luxury apartment" after apartment, only to find that even a one bedroom was out of my price range. The non-luxury apartments butted up against a major highway and had boarded up windows in some parts. There is no middle ground in this suburb: you either have money or you don't.
I found one place that is less than the median that I might have a chance at affording. I need to check around for daycare centers today to see if it's even an option. Even though I'm pretty sure that I can't afford to send Zac to a montessori school, I'm going to call the two in the area to check their prices.
West Virginia didn't return my call last night so I need to talk to him tonight. As always, the status of my relationships seem to greatly influence (perhaps determine?) my emotional state.
Note to self: Work on that shit in therapy.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Take for instance an e-mail that I got yesterday. It came from a man that I've never met in person and have been communicating with, off and on, for the last six months or so. He asked if we could meet. I told him no because I was dating West Virginia and I'm really not a good enough liar to try and keep secrets from someone that I care about. He responded with this:
"Ha....you're a woman that values honesty and integrity. I'm sure. What you really are is an emotional wreck whose vulnerability gets you into relational trouble on a dangerously consistent basis.
But I understand. No (redacted) for me. Hope you enjoyed the breakfast.."
Now, normally I completely and whole-heartedly own up to the fact that I've had emotional problems in the past and continue to struggle with depression and anxiety. However, having a virtual stranger call me an "emotional wreck" is something that I am not prepared to accept, mutherfucka. I guess we can all see why I've never agreed to meet him. What does he think? That being mean to me will convince me that he's the man of my dreams? *scoff*
When I told West Virigina that story last night after dinner, he just shook his head and asked why someone would say such a horrible thing. I wondered the same. He pulled me close and told me that everyone in the past that had left me for someone else, lied to me, or consisently put me down for either over-thinking or over-feeling (and it's interesting that people feel I can do both simultaneously), did me a favor. They did a favor by leaving and giving me the opportunity to reach my full potential without their baggage. They did me a favor, he said, by letting me meet someone that can appreciate every part of me and can see how much I have to offer.
Those words were such a nice way to end Valentine's Day.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Maybe I focus too much on the negative (like a tooth cracked on a conversation heart. As MNS said, what kind of f'ked up metaphor for love is that?). Part of me worries that I'll alienate people that either don't have kids or are struggling to get/remain pregnant if I write about all the cute, wonderful things that Zac does on a daily basis. Part of me thinks that I might hit myself on the foot with a large hammer if I only wrote about my kid day-in and day-out.
I do talk about him quite a bit in everyday conversations. Somedays, it feels like he's the only thing that I've done right so far.
In March, my Peace Corps friends are hosting a reunion. A conflicting schedule in Houston means that my parents might not be able to watch Zac for the weekend. When I asked about bringing Zac with me up to Maine, I was told in the kindest, most sincere terms that it would be better if I didn't bring him to the party.
That leaves me in a bit of a bind. Even if I flew with him (which I promised to never do alone again. I still have some bruises for trying to carry a toddler that refused to walk, a diaper bag, a carry-on bag and a 20 pound car seat while sprinting for my connecting flight 3 concourses away), I would still have to find someone to watch him for me and couldn't bring him into the house where I was staying. If I left him at home with a patchwork of babysitters and friends, I would be worried about him and undoubtedly bore my friends to tears with stories about him.
I'm not sure what to do. Clearly, the simple answer is: "Just don't go" and I'm debating that point in my mind. After Peace Corps, everything went downhill. In New Hampshire, I kept getting fired from jobs for being "too depressed" and I met the FOB and decided to overlook some very obvious drug and alcohol problems to be with him. I abused my body and left my mind to rot. I fought with my family and isolated myself from a number of friends.
Then I got pregnant and I moved to Texas. I started this blog. I lived with my parents and I gave birth. After all of that, when I see Zac walking or playing in the bathtub with his cups, I'm filled with the knowledge that he's the best thing that's happened to me so far. I love the way he holds my hand when he walks and how he gets so excited when I pick him up and let him play with my hair. I love his smile and his laugh. I love the sad face that he gives me when he's working up the energy to cry.
Especially, though, I love how proud he is after he makes a basket:
I'm not sure if I'll go to the reunion or not. I'd really like to and I think it might be good for me to reconnect with the people that I shared so many difficult experiences with. I just know that there are times that I wish I could share the love I feel for this little boy with everyone.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I swipped a handful of these little gems off my co-worker's desk. When I bit down, I cracked my back molar and had to make an appointment at an emergency dental clinic to get it fixed.
Turns out...when the dentist says that you need to get a crown on your tooth after a root canal...it's best to listen, no matter how much it costs or how much pain it will cause to get it.
P.S. - Happy Birthday Mom!
Edited to note - The dentist was able to save most of my tooth. After numbing the whole right side of my mouth, she extracted the cracked part of the tooth with one swift motion. It looked like she was pulling out a splinter. My mouth wept for its missing parts.
Jenna asked how this happens to me. It happens the same way to everyone that can't afford quality dental care. I got three root canals in September and never went back for the crowns (at $700 a piece over two dental visits).
Monday, February 12, 2007
I cheered last night when the Dixie Chicks won Record of the Year at the Grammies. I personally love this song, although I struggle with staying "mad as hell" at anyone other than myself for more than 20 minutes or so. Well, that isn't exactly true because I'm excellent at holding grudges and never letting someone forget how they wronged me. It's just the actual yelling, screaming and silently seething part that I'm not very good at.
I wish I was better at that, to be honest.
Thordora mentioned in her post today that she feels all emotionally clogged up. Her anti-depressant isn't letting anything come out and I understand how that feels more than most people. Sure, my recent hormonal surge caused me to cry every day and oddly start producing breast milk again. Sure, that was weird as shit because - really - I'm pretty sure having your breasts ache after crying isn't a completely normal reaction. I admit all of that.
I'm back to my normal routine of, "Just get through this". Just find a way to make it through and not fall asleep at your desk. I'm so tired all the time. So worn out. Even in the midst of a new person coming into my life, I can't garner much motivation to do anything. My sex drive has never been this low. I keep looking at West Viriginia and apologizing for how I feel, but I don't know how to change it.
All of the "shoulds" keep kicking in, this time about a new relationship. I should want to have sex with him more. I should feel better about myself. I should appreciate that he's into me and all of the compliments that he gives me (even though it secretly freaks me out, especially when he said he was going to call last night and didn't).
Zac will at least be happy. Everytime this week that he's been in room with West Viriginia and I, he starts to cry whenever we touch. It doesn't matter if it's as something as simple as putting his arm around me or his feet on my lap. Zac will start to cry and immediately walk over to me and demand that I pick him up. WVa had to move his feet so Zac could sit on my lap and glower over at his "competition" for my affection. He's never been like this and, honestly, I don't really know what to do.
He's jealous and it reminds me of those dogs that will jump up in between people when they start to hug or kiss. Some dogs will bark so loudly that the humans jump apart. My son - he just cries and looks miserable. I don't know if this just the developmental stage he's in or if this is a side effect of him being raised by only one primary caregiver.
Have any parents with partners ever experienced this? Do children freak out about affection within the bounds of a committed relationship or do I need to be more careful about the men that Zac gets introduced to? My Mom (who doesn't really want me to date), hypothesized that Zac senses that I'm in a new relationship and is concerned for me. When I was crying over Mr. Tugboat, he would start to cry as well, for no other reason than his Mommy was crying. After Mr. Tugboat, he got me all to himself. It seems like he doesn't want to give that up and he especially doesn't want me to cry anymore.
Can you tell that I'm blaming myself for everything today? It's just one of those days.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
We met up at my apartment at 6pm and went over, together, to pick up Zac from daycare. What happened there was every single Mom's worst nightmare.
West Viriginia went into the daycare with me.
One of the Shoe Nazis came over and practically squeeled, "Oh h-e-l-l-O!!! We haven't met yet," sticking out her hand in West Virginia's direction. "My name is Happy Happy Joy Joy and I've been with this daycare for 20 years." West Virigina, still shaking her hand managed to introduce himself before she started launched into her speech about Zac.
"Well, you know," she motioned over at Zac, "he is just such a special child. He really has done so well with learning how to walk." Her words were starting to wash over West Virginia, as he realized exactly what she was assuming. My face was getting redder and redder. I was scooping up Zac's bottle and coat as fast as possible, trying to encourage Zac to run out the door for the first time in his life.
The humiliation just kept continuing.
"It is just so great to finally meet you," Happy Happy Joy Joy croned on. "It's great to see families involved with each other. I hope that you come back and see us just as soon as you can."
From the corner of Zac's daycare classroom, I started thinking, "Yep, I've dropped off and picked up Zac every day for the past year - 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year - and suddenly, like magic, a man shows up! It's like I've been blessed by the Daddy fairy for my good behavior."
West Viriginia shook her hand once more and wished her a good night. Zac and I were trying to make our way to the car as fast as possible without making direct eye contact with anyone over the age of 2 to avoid any further embarassment.
When I got into the car, West Viriginia got in, looked at me and laughed. He said, "I was just waiting for her to say how much he looked like me! I was going to tell her that he's a stud and that it runs in the family!!"
We agreed that she's a little flighty, bless her heart.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
I can remember sitting across from one of my boyfriends trying to explain that I would never agree to get married until gays and lesbians had the right to marry their partners. I didn't want to support an institution that our government uses to bestow or deny rights and privileges to people based solely on the biological sex of who they fall in love with. Some men get that. To other men, I could have been speaking Farisi while inhaling helium. What I was saying about the cultural discrimination of marriage made that much sense to them. I just figured that I never would get married to a man since I never had the option of marrying a woman.
Much like Pamilia, I'm also not really a big fan of all the accuturements of a wedding. The conflict diamonds, the white dress with lace, the expense and the hysteria that weddings can cause those involved in planning the actual day don't seem to be particularly meaningful symbols to me.
Then the Massachusetts Supreme Court gave gays and lesbians the right to get married, even as Vermont voters were driving around with bumper stickers proclaiming the need to, "Take Back Vermont!" from the ill-begotten stepchild of marriage: the Civil Union. Hawaii had completely reversed its Civil Union policy and only pockets of towns in California were allowing gay marriages, pending review from the California state legislature and judiciary. Then one day, Canada made it ok to be queer and married, even while shivering from the extreme cold and contemplating chopping up the dog house for firewood. That was a beautiful thing.
Yes, somehow, the world didn't collapse when MA started allowing same-sex couples to be joined in matrimony. I found myself rethinking my views on marriage and I realized that it's difficult to give the world ultimatums like, "I will never do...until you..." It's possible and I applaud the people that can do it. I've had to be a little bit more flexible and forgiving of myself.
I could have never predicted that four years after graduating college, I would be a single Mom to an incredibly beautiful child. During my pregnancy, I mourned the loss of my dream of being in a committed relationship and raising a family. I had to forgive myself for my mistakes and embrace the joy and laughter that Zac brings into my life. It was a slowly evolving process to reach that conclusion.
It's the experiences that I've had as a mother and a woman that have forced me to re-evaluate where I stand on issues. "Equal rights for gays and lesbians," is so far from being actualized that somedays I want to look up to the sky and yell: "Why? Why are we letting this go on? Why does it matter to anyone who they take into their hearts and into their beds? Don't we have more pressing issues to deal with as a society?" and then I sigh and once again call myself a hypocrite for letting my coworkers and acquaintances assume that I'm straight.
Yes, I've never been married. To be completely honest, at 26 years-old, I've never even moved in with someone. I've been alone and there are days when I don't want to be alone anymore.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
I get all of my mommyblog tendencies out on this site and there are already two other single and dating Moms on the other site.
My question is to you, gentle readers, if I were lucky enough to get you to read another blog of mine, what would you like to read more of?
Here are a couple topics that I'm debating writing about:
(B) Mothers and Depression
(C) Working for a Non-profit
(D) Never been Married
or (E) Dear God, woman, don't even think about writing another blog because I can barely stomach this one and only read it because I know you in real life and you will occasionally turn to me and ask, "Did you read my blog yesterday? I wrote about this already."
Ok, here is the rationale. (A) is pretty obvious. I spend a lot of time and money trying to lose weight so it would make sense that I would blog about it. (B) Analyzing the intersection between "Mommy Guilt" and depression, especially generationally. (C) Well, I work for a non-profit and most of my salaried positions have been for non-profits. (D) This phrase tends to come up a lot when I first meet people. Marriage status defines us as individuals and I've spent a lot of time in the past year listening to people talk (endless sometimes) about their exes. I can even tell you the color of underwear and sexual proclivities of some men's ex-wives. Since I've never been married, listening to these stories is akin to listening to someone talk about a mountainclimb to the top of Kilamanjaro (Thank you Dora the Explorer for that reference). I can imagine and I don't really want to go throught it.
Of course there is option (F), which is any fantastic idea that you all have.
Please, please, please....leave a comment and let me know what you think. Otherwise, I will torture you all with more poop stories, so help me God!!!
Apparently, I don't have the mind of a toddler.
Zac woke up this morning and demanded cookies. I don't usually cave into his demands, but I have an inherent aversion to being woken up out of a sound sleep. Just imagine an arm reaching out to silence an alarm clock. Without really being fully awake, your body just instinctively tries to stop whatever noise woke you up in the first place.
That's how it was with me last night as I picked Zac up and brought him downstairs. He ran as fast as his little legs could take him into the kitchen, pointed up at the pantry and then looked at me like, "What part of this equation do you not understand? I. WANT. A. COOKIE" I gave him a handful of Nilla Wafers (which are called cookies in my house because the American lexicon lacks words like "biscuit" or "wafer" when referring to a crunchy baked goods) and he dutifully tromped out of the kitchen, up the stairs and back into bed with his cookies.
If that were the end of story, it would have been an uneventful night. It's just that he wouldn't go back to sleep. The Cookie Monster wanted to play. When I wasn't game he ended up kicking me in the back, repeatedly, until 6am or so when we finally both passed out.
I'm at work right now, still tired and bleary-eyed, but smiling. I have an appointment on Friday to see a psychologist and West Virginia came over last night for burritos and bad television. After I made dinner, he cleaned my kitchen and I almost fainted from joy. He admitted that he's a bit of anal, clean-freak. I think if you have to have a compulsion, there are worse ones than the desire to clean someone else's living space.
Especially after that person just cooked you dinner.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Since all of my automatic bill payments come directly out of my checking account, it wasn' t a huge deal that I now had a new card number. Except at B*ally's, where they charge the number on your card, instead of withdrawing it from your account.
Between my post-holiday breakdown and Zac's sinus infection turned bloody ear escapade, it's taken me this long to get over to the damn gym to pay my bill. I finally did last night.
While my various cards were being processed, I dropped Zac off in the Kids Club area and sneaked into a step class, right as the class was about to begin.
Normally when I'm at a step class, I'm in the back row, turning the wrong way, clapping at the wrong time, kicking with the wrong foot and/or completely falling off my step and catching my spiraling body with my arms just before I slam my nose into the ground. I did gymnastics for thirteen years and was on the dance team in high school, yet step moves confuse the crap out of me, especially when they are shouted out one beat before you are supposed to perform them.
Apparently, some of the other gyms that I've gone to had professional steppers in the classes. These women knew every move and performed them effortlessly, stopping only to take a sip of their bottled water and pat themselves with a towel. Last night, though, for the first time, I found myself in a room with other step misfits such as myself. It was amazing. Gone were the skinny women in spandex. In were the well-padded, curvy women that hid behind baggy t-shirts and basketball shorts.
I think I'm in love with this class. After 30 minutes, my legs were tired and my dignity was pleasantly still intact. Zac stopped crying as soon as I left the Kids Club and was happy to see me when I went over to pick him up. My cards were processed at the front desk and everything seemed to be alright with the world, just for those 30 minutes at least.
Monday, February 05, 2007
West Virginia is 30. Grew up on a dairy farm in the place that he's named after. When I first met him, the schtick of, "I'm just a poor farmer trying to make good in the big city," was too much for me to handle. I don't idealize rural, farming life, in particular because I once chopped all my own firewood and had to haul my large quantities of my own drinking water. To me, indoor plumbing is a plus and avoiding cows at 4am is even better. West Viriginia agreed, went off to college and is now an IT/Project Manager guy of something to do with water systems and filtration tanks.
Zoolander is 32. Grew up in a suburb of Houston and is an actor/model that lives at home with his parents (no joke). He recently moved back to Houston after trying to "make it" in Austin and is living with his parents to save money to buy a house. His real job is waiting tables at a steakhouse. After interrupting every sentence and trying to turn a backrub into more, I let him know that I wouldn't be seeing him again.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, West Virginia called me, just to see how I was doing. He hadn't heard from me since after Thanksgiving and wanted to catch up. During that phone call, he said the craziest, sweetest thing to me. It was something along the lines of: "Girl, you have so much going for you. You are sweet, beautiful, and funny. I hope you are squeezing your lemon for all it's worth and making some damn fine lemonade."
Let me tell you, there is no better way to ask for a second date than a phrase like that.
More time passed with the promise that we would call each other. We finally did get in touch and I invited him over to watch the second half of the Superbowl with me. He came over, we ate pizza, drank beer, and played with Zac, who wanted no part of ever falling asleep again.
Basically, I had a great time.
He was more comfortable this time and a little less, "Aww...shucks, ma'am" and a little more like an interesting, articulate person. He still had the unbelievably annoying habit of asking me a question, listening to my answer, and then responding immediately with a compliment like: "You have very beautiful eyes," which made me want to throw something (like preferrably a full bottle of Bass Ale) at him for not listening to me. But, all and all, I had fun with a very nice guy.
It just reminded me of standing in a video rental store with Caroline from Austin after my date with John Farmer. She said, "He was such a nice guy, but clearly not for you. He'll make a good mate someday." I quipped, "...to someone that isn't me," and we both laughed and acknowledged the very obvious truth.
When I woke up this morning, I thought, "Maybe it really IS time that I give a nice guy a chance."
Friday, February 02, 2007
Z-man looked at me with a bloody ear this morning and I had no idea to do. There wasn't blood dripping out of it. It was just a little crustiness. A quick glance inside showed me that there was more bloody stuff where that came from.
I tried to get him into an Ear Nose and Throat doctor today, but I couldn't get him in. When I finally got a hold of an after hour nurse that paged the on-call doctor, I was told that a little bit of blood isn't uncommon for kids that have ear tubes. When I asked (ok, shrieked at him), "Do you think his ear drum ruptured??" He answered kindly that his ear drum can't rupture because the tubes have already pierced it.
I said, "Oh" like any over-protective parent would.
I mean..it's blood...coming out of his ear...
Mucus I've learned to handle, blood is something totally different.