Due to a frustrating health issue, I have not been permitted to do serious exercise in nearly two weeks.
I would never have expected this to be a difficult instruction to obey.
However, I'm going mad! Apparently being forbidden from doing something, even sit-ups, make that something look awfully tempting. I wouldn't say I'm anxious to start jogging or anything out of character like that, but I'd really really enjoy doing my pilates video or dancing or going out for a nice long walk or /some/thing. I hate this inactivity. Also, of course, the stress of having the frustrating health issue makes me want to work out. Apparently that's how I react to stress. Who'd'a thunk?
At least I run around a lot at work, this time of year. And the frequent panics over children's dismissal procedures probably count as aerobic exercise...
(BTB, I'm fine, really I am. It's not a health issue to be worried over. That wasn't the point of the post. ;-))
When a toddler was up from 11:00 p.m. to nearly 4:00 a.m., here are some things the parent does not want to hear from the daycare provider in the morning:
-Oh, he must have been teething. You should have done something about it.
-You gave him tylenol?! Why would you give him tylenol? Every time you give him that you destroy his liver and his kidneys more! You should have done something else. Give him a drink or something to chew on. (Oh, yeah, like I didn't do that for the three hours before in desperation I reached for the tylenol?) But, *sighs* you're the mother.
-No, no, we won't give him extra nap time, it'll be much better for him to play. We'll take him outside to keep him up. (I did win this argument eventually and they backed down to, if he seemed tired, they'd let him sleep, they just wouldn't put him in for an extra nap if he didn't seem tired, and that's what they'd meant all along...)
-When he finishes his rice milk, we'll give him juice, right? (note of explanation: Shlomo drinks enriched rice milk and calls it juice--long story. No one believes us that he is never served apple juice at home)
-Water? But what if I give him water and he pushes it away? He says he wants juice!
I believe in response to that I said if he asks for juice he wants rice milk and they don't have any, so he's stuck with water. If he pushes it away it means he's not thirsty and he'll take it later.
Look, people, I slept about three hours last night and about five the night before (when we returned from Canada). Some people can function like that. I cannot. I was practically crying with frustration when I was trying to convince them to let him nap when he needs to. Why do they feel a need to fight me every step of the way? Who is paying whom?
Tomorrow is his last day in this place and next Weds. he'll return to the staff daycare here. Not a moment too soon.
The baby is named (Hebrew) Ora Chaya and (English) Clara Alice. Nis and Andrea seem inclined to call her Clara but do not object to others of her names being used. She looks frighteningly like Nis and even more like our cousin Naomi, but with darker hair and, unlike Nis, no scar--they're a mite obsessive about covering her hands, knowing the history of Nis's scar.
While we were in Atlanta, Shlomo weaned himself, which got a little complicated and uncomfortable as I wasn't /quite/ ready for it. I think it's getting there now.
(Special comment for people who have nursed/are nursing babies: I thank God for creating the cabbage. It is the most marvelous and underestimated vegetable on the planet. However, it does smell pretty bad.)
It appears they are natural to me, though I wouldn't have predicted that. I had to go to Town Hall (or whatever they call it, Borough Hall maybe?) today to get something done. On the way, as is my usual nervous practice, I ran through how the conversation with the clerk would likely go. When I got to the line, I noticed that the clerk was a middle-aged person of indeterminate gender--either a not-particularly-attractive woman with very short hair and an uncommonly masculine voice, or a man wearing feminine jewelry and a woman's shirt. Oddly enough, after my first reaction of, "Oh, this is New York, all right..." I found myself disoriented. It seems that my practice conversations all depended on knowing what gender the clerk would be. Not that I was going to say anything specific, but just... the image in my mind had either a female clerk or a male clerk. Not knowing about the person I was talking to really felt strange. I couldn't formulate how the conversation would go This is not something I'm particularly proud of or ashamed about, I just found it interesting. Although I admit that my husband came up in the conversation, and I felt very bad about that--what if the person was a homosexual man cross-dressing and he doesn't appreciate hearing about other people's husbands since he is not allowed to have one in this state? In any case, the clerk was very professional and helpful, and the paperwork got done amazingly quickly.
When it's early in the morning and you're in bed pretending to be asleep, and your baby keeps walking over to you and bringing you used tissues, do not assume you are suddenly such a terrible housekeeper that your floor is covered with dirty tissues. Assume instead that your baby has located the garbage can. Ok. Lesson learned. And sheets, hands and baby thoroughly washed. Oh, and spoon removed from the trash. Now then, where does one get locks for garbage cans? ;-)
1) We share a washing machine and dryer with the downstairs neighbors. The other day, I was not able to pick up my laundry from the dryer before they needed to use it. Our MO has been that in such cases we'll leave the clean, dry laundry in the cloth bag inside the machine (in our case) or in a plastic garbage bag (theirs) near the machine. I guess my neighbor needed something for her kids to do, so they folded my laundry and came up the stairs and knocked on my door, giggling, for me to come pick it up. A sweet thought, but it does bother me. I guess it's my privacy thing... I don't /need/ my neighbor's grade-school children sorting through my laundry. If it was the baby's stuff, fine, but this was mine. And I don't need them seeing my nightgowns and suchlike. Also of course now I have to fold theirs when they can't get to it in time. :-\ Trying to sort out how to ask them not to in the future.
2)Yesterday we had a very dramatic thunderstorm--and I think we're due for another one in a few minutes. The baby howled with every crash of thunder... until my brainstorm. I prepped him by saying a few times, "My goodness! How loud! BOOM! CRASH!" and after maybe twice he started giggling. Then with every crash of thunder I shouted, "BOOM! CRASH!" and after every flash of lightning I'd tell him to get ready. The first few times he laughed a little nervously, as though he knew I wanted him to relax and was trying. After a while he started laughing and shouting, "BOOM!" himself. It was adorable, and we were both disappointed when the storm ended. Plus, now I feel like a parenting genius. ;-)
And now I can't remember what the third thing was...
THEY'RE GONE! I love the last day of school... the kids bounce off the walls, the teachers are cheerful and a little dazed...and then everyone goes home and I don't have to worry about them for two whole months. No more, 'Make sure Joe doesn't get lost in the playground'. No more, 'Where's the bus?!?' No more, "Bettany is going to Alfred's house after school today, no one will be at home for her." The responsibility for the safety of nearly 400 children has lifted for two months, and I really do feel lighter. And even the day-to-day school necessities are gone. No more newsletters, memos, letters home, reminders, classroom events, etc. It's a beautiful feeling. I always say, I could run a really efficient school if there weren't any kids. Over the summers, I get to. :-D
The kid now speaks as well. Want to talk about sudden developments! Two weeks ago he was crawling and saying not a word but woof. Now he's running, crouching, standing up without the aid of the wall, and instructing us he wants 'more' 'apple' and 'banana' and 'Abba' and 'Amma' (We're pretty sure that's me) and 'ball' and 'balloon' and 'fla' (he's developed an overwhelming and slightly scary obsession with flags) and several others I'm not thinking of just now. It's incredible!
In other news, I've been spending an insane amount of time for the last, oh, /years/ feeling like a pretty rotten person because Iam not being good about keeping in touch. Everyone who reads this is someone I care about; everyone who reads this is also someone I have not been calling or emailing or spending time with. And lots of other folks are too. Please believe me that I think about each one of you frequently and fondly, and wish I was in better contact! Please also believe me that about twice a week I vow to spend more time actually following up on my good intentions to call people. I just... always feel overwhelmed. And this started before the baby, I think. I always feel like I'm only /just/ keeping it together: Job, house, family, writing... and I can't ever seem to get ahead or, indeed, any less far behind. With all of it, I can't seem to get ahold of the psychic energy to act on any of my good intentions. Once I'm home from the office, supper is made and consumed, baby's in bed, dishes are washed, lunches are packed for tomorrow, the only thing I can bear to do is curl up and space out for the remaining, say, fourteen seconds until bed. There can be a week that goes by without my even working on my book, ashamed though I am to say it. I guess on some level this time I /am/ looking for reassurance, of the 'We love you anyway, and please do get in touch!' variety. I'm also looking for advice. A person might be tempted to say, well, there's a lot on your plate, no wonder you're overwhelmed. But plenty of people have all of this and more and seem to handle it well! Why is it that some people seem able to handle work and homelife and still have energy for other things, whereas I feel as though I'm just hanging on and if I have to go out of the house in the evening more than once a week ,my entire world will collapse? Or if I don't have my Sunday devoted to laundry and baby-playing (and our requisite Sunday trip to the park!) I'm just not going to survive to the next week?
One of my big fears is that people whom I fall out of contact with will assume I fall out of contact deliberately, and those people who call or email or visit me will assume my friendship is lukewarm because they have to seek me out... I can completely imagine that's how a person might think of it, and likely how I would think of it if I had to be the one seeking out someone all the time. And I don't know how to explain, but it's truly not the case. I think about my friends constantly, wonder how they are, what they've been doing, what they'd think about x, y, or z... and wish I could speak with them. Why don't I? I don't know. I'm not too busy--as I keep telling myself, housecleaning and talking on the phone go together beautifully, as long as one doesn't drop the phone into the dishbasin! I'm just ... too tired, and I don't really know why.
Is it because I'm in the unhealthy environment of NY and just unhappy about being here? Will it be better when we leave? I've started mentioning to my husband a little more frequently how much I'm looking forward to leaving this city at the end of our as-yet-undetermined stay. We'll be out by the time the baby's ready for first grade. I just hope it'll be sooner. I don't think being here is doing me any good, whether or not it's related to my being a very poor correspondent.