Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Inevitable Freakout

"Could I borrow two eggs?!" I shouted out the window of my car to my friend standing in her driveway. I was GOING to make a cake to commemorate the election. A bundt cake, O shaped for Obama. I had already bought the cocoa powder, the toffee pieces and the chocolate chips. I had the recipe. But I had forgotten to buy eggs and after enduring a fifteen minute ride home from day care with a screaming infant in the back seat, and occasionally a whimpering two year old, there was no way in hell I was going to attempt the grocery store. Not after pausing in the daycare parking lot (before picking Charlie up) to wonder aloud why in the [explitive] he was still crying after being held and nursed continuously ALL DAY LONG.

Aside: Oh my gosh he just puked on me AGAIN. I really am going to lose my mind.

She brought me the eggs and I immediately felt guilty for being rude and explained that Wesley had pretty much eaten all day and when he wasn't eating he was screaming and my house was a giant pile of shit that was never ever going to be clean. She said "Oh, I'm sorry you had such a tough---" She stopped herself when she looked into the back seat where Wesley was fast asleep and Charlie was smiling angelically. She gave me a knowing smile and said not to worry about the eggs.

I came home and made my cake with Wesley screaming in the Snugli, the straps sliding down around my shoulders, Charlie taking all the cereal boxes out of the pantry and helping himself to huge handfuls of Cheerios and Frosted Mini Wheats. After feeding Wesley and getting him settled in the bouncer I was starting dinner when Charlie fell off of a chair I had asked him repeatedly not to climb on. He cried "Papa work! Papa work!" between sobs. I am no longer the comforter of choice, apparently.

By the time Ryan came home everyone was behaving nicely and I was making Rachel Ray's Sour Cream and Onion Turkey Burgers (highly recommend) for dinner. Charlie was hiding in his "fort" under the sink with Phent, eating Cheerios and Wesley was in the bouncer. Of course they turn into perfect little Stepford children the second Ryan walks in the door!

Some nights, like tonight, I think about how I'm going to go to bed, wake up twice to feed Wesley, and then it is all going to start all over again. And my throat starts closing up in panic. And then I feel guilty. And guilt makes me think about my dissertation and how I am not working on it and my career and how I'm not going to have one. Ryan asked tonight if I wanted to apply for positions outside of South. It would pretty much be the only way I could have a job appropriate for my degree. But I don't feel qualified to do the work required by my undergraduate research position, let alone a faculty job. I don't feel qualified to do ANYTHING right now except dole out time outs, change diapers, and make sure we don't run out of milk (and we're almost out of milk, FAIL). We will never move for my job anyway because if one of the boys needed me home full time for some reason I would quit my job without a second thought. I don't even WANT to move. I like our lives here (today notwithstanding).

And as much as I hate to cut off a good rant, this discussion requires much more thought than I have the ability to give it right now. I better go to bed. I'm sure everything will seem less impossible tomorrow (hahahahaha).

(Actually all I want to do is curl up in bed with Charlie and appologize to him for being such a stressed out, impatient shrew who wouldn't let him stop to look at the fishtank at school today and tell him what a wonderful, polite little boy he is and how much I love him and reassure him that our house will not always be this chaotic. But two awake boys would not help my mental state one bit right now so I will settle for sitting on the floor next to his bed, making sure he is warm enough and that Phent is within reach.)

"I think I finally pushed her too far!"


Rima said...

Some days are really, really good, and some days are really, really bad. The time period you are in right now is so hard! I remember it well, feeling like I couldn't be a good enough mother to either one of my children, being a totally buzzkill mom and feeling completely overwhelmed. It gets better and you are doing awesome. Seriously. I haven't even attempted to bake a cake in five years.

Sarah said...

Okay, so we've been eating not meals for months now. Harry, in fact, had string cheese, a giant soft pretzel, cucumber slices, deli ham, and some blackberries tonight, and Ben and I ate microwaved chicken nuggets after the kids went to bed. So a cake? And Rachel Ray recipes? Freaking awesome.

I have no clue what to tell you except I know what you're dealing with, and it blows.

Wesley, though, seems to be getting more adorable by the second!

Anonymous said...

You know how my day went...and I only have one!!!! Don't worry, I had the same feeling of guilt after the crib "time-out". And for letting Kev take care of him all evening. You know. His FATHER. We should definetely drink some wine together and watch ER. ==abby

sarah said...

oh, I have days like that & I only have one of them. There are days we go to Starbucks just to get some milk.

Alyssa said...

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and it's so nice to hear someone be honest about balancing family and work. Today sounded like it was tough, but it seems to me that you're doing an amazing job, and you're a great role-model (I'm finishing my PhD and will be starting a family in the next year)!

Kyla said...

It's just like that some days. What is it with the kids suddenly behaving when reinforcements show up? They are tricky tricky little beasts sometimes...but still so lovable.

Anonymous said...

I'm just impressed by the cooking and the baking. But maybe a bundt cake is just the thing to gorge yourself on when they are finally asleep for the night. Mine is much more likely to have come from the grocery store though.

Leslie said...

hang in there, you're doing just fine.

Kirsten said...

You're a wonderful mother, and I'm sure Charlie will understand when he gets older.