Monday, September 14, 2009


Remember Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day? (I beyond-love that book). Well, my day was not that bad. But it could have been better.

Dalton got frustrated this morning when I kindly told his buddies that they needed their helmets, before they took off on scooters to school. He acted like I'd just told the world that he wets his bed, picks his nose, and has a tail. Sooorrey! Oh, I am so lame, I know! Don't have a head injury...Don't be a lame-o!

Then my neighbor, whom I like, ignored me. Which is weird. Cause we like each other. So then I am racking my brain, trying to think if I have said something stupid to him lately (which is a very real possibility) but I can't think of anything. So then I am trying to convince myself that he didn't see me when he just looked right at me from across the street and DIDN'T WAVE BACK!...What the??

Garrett only sleeps an hour this morning. Which starts me worrying that maybe he is trying to transition to one nap. Which is fine...if he is ready. But as a parent, there isn't a magic date. You are supposed to figure it out. So, I am trying to figure out, how I figure it out. I can't remember now about condensing naps. I can't remember if I wiped the last time I used the toilet...what's my name again?

Shelby's play date is darling...and he's LOUD. Wakes Garrett up from his second nap. So he is extra ornery. Before he wakes Garrett up, I ask him (really I tell him) to be quiet because the baby is sleeping. I whisper very authoritatively. And he looks right at me and pushes the button on Shelby's louder-than-blazes-microphone, which starts it in to some screaming musical bopping. I look at him like, "I know you didn't mean to do that, since I JUST asked you to be quiet." And then he does it again. And right as he's about to do it a third time, I whack him over the head with the pink microphone... No I don't, but I wanted to. Instead, I say in a really nice voice, "Do you know what no means?" Cause really, maybe he doesn't. And he says, "Yeah", "You idiot". And I say, "Oh, I wasn't sure...cause I thought I told you not to make noise." And I am sure he is like "This lady is a loser". And at that moment the baby starts crying...and I kind of want to cry myself. Cause I still have to call Comcast about the broken phone, and read nine chapters for school, and return emails about Shelby's soccer team that I am coaching.

So, I get our home phone fixed after trouble shooting ON MY OWN, with the baby trying to type at the same time on our keyboard. The guy can NOT believe that I don't know what a modem is. He is talking to me like I am mentally retarded. And to be honest...I was. "OH K...DO YEW KNOW WHAT A TEL-E-PHONE WIRE LUHKS LIKE?"...I am cursing Gavin (in my head) for leaving me with any type of a project to face on my own that involves modern technology. Damn him. Doesn't he know that I have his children gestating IN ME for nine months and the trade off is that he's in charge of the high-tech crap...and yes, that involves the damned phone! I don't care that Edison ripped off the invention a hundred years ago...ours is hooked up to the computer and the thing is not working.

With the home phone fixed, I hurry and pound out an email that I've been meaning to send. It is to the director of the local soccer league. In it, I kindly tell her that I am not OK with her dumping two more five year olds on me to coach, since I already have eight and it's like herding cats...and that the two-barely turned three-year-old that is on my team is not really working for me either. Yeah, she can kick, but she doesn't know how to stand still. Oh, and while I am at it, the team we played on Saturday...yeah, the one with ALL boys, who played up last year so they are bigger than everyone and have a year under their belts already...when my players have never seen or touched a ball...yeah, that was not fun to play them...and I don't think that THAT is fair either...that kids get to repeat a year over to be able to cream all the other teams. I am a volunteer coach (ie: NO money, and a lot of my time) and I am not in the mood for all of these fun bonuses that keep getting thrown in to the mix (plus, you are a disorganized mess). I send the email. And then regret it...and then I don't.

It was cloudy and rainy today. Which most people like when you have had sixty days straight of perfectly clear blue skies. And in theory, I do too. But don't. I want sun.

Later I had a class where we talked about different situations that were troubling. As I was leaving the class, I passed a mother with her baby in the building where my class is held. But before I saw them..I heard them. I heard her baby. And he was the same age as Garrett. I knew this because of the words he formed when he babbled. "Dadadadhhh." And instantly I was alarmed. What was a baby doing out of bed, at this hour, in this dark building? I saw the mother..and she looked fine. Not that child-abusers "have a look" but she looked OK. Except that she was trying to get her kid to sleep in a stroller, in a University Building, and that to me seemed weird.

In my mind, I am thinking, "Take your kid home and put him to bed." and then, this always happens too...I drift. And when I say "drift", I mean to Hell. I drift to all the other babies that are crying right this second. And I am frozen. My heart almost stops beating. My breaths become shallow. And I can not take it all in. It's like one of those pictures, that looks like just a picture, but when you back up you realize that it is actually made up of like a million photos. And then you scan them, but you can't look at all of them...because it is too overwhelming, and you can not process so much information. And that is me. In my mind I step back, and the enormity of it hits me. And I am trying to focus on all of them. And I think that I am seeing them, and then my mind jumps to another continent...another country. And oh my god...I am drowning.

I am convinced that as humans, the only way that we are able to function, is because we can not comprehend the enormity of it all. Because if we could take in all the faces from that picture, we would all stop dead in our tracks. Not a single one of us would be able to move.

And so I hear this baby fussing, and hear the countless other babies across the globe...and walk out of the building feeling kicked. Kicked because I walk helpless.

And then I think of my baby who is at home with the sitter. And oh my gosh, how I love that kid. And I feel sad because I miss him. Even though he loves his sitter like a second mother...and she has only been there for two hours. Even though all of that...I still feel sad.

And it is still raining. And so I hear about the last two hours from the big kids...even though they are supposed to be in bed. And my sitter tells me that the baby is asleep. And then all the kids are asleep and I am alone. Alone because Gavin is in Boston...which is fine. Because in a day and a half I meet him there. And I know I will have a good time. But I am sad because I like having him in the house. The kids like having him there. We'd called him before bed. But it's not the same.

It's not the same as the kids getting to ride on his shoes as he takes them to their rooms to go to bed. It's not the same as him reading bedtime stories. It's not as good. And so I go to the kitchen. And I toast an aziago bagel from Costco. And I take out a big block of super sharp white cheddar cheese. And I cut off FOUR wedges and place them on one side of the bagel. And then I nuke it for ten seconds until the white cheese is bubbling. And then I place the top of the bagel on the melted cheese and my mouth starts salivating. I start drooling. I take a bite before my butt hits the couch.

And it's so hot that the cheese almost burns my mouth. So I wait for ten more seconds until I take my next bite. And I channel hop from Jay's new show (which I wasn't that impressed with) to Dream Girls (a movie that I hadn't seen and was bugged cause I got in on it half way through, so I didn't want to commit to watching it) to the News. And then I saw what an ass Kanye West made of himself (can not believe that THAT made the news) and that Patrick Swayze died. And that is sad news.

And the doctor that they are interviewing says that in order to avoid pancreatic cancer you should not smoke (check) and watch your diet (oh). So I look down at my half eaten grilled-cheese-delight and feel more bad.
And was a good day. It's just that some of it was not that good. And that's life. But now my stomach is quite full from all of that cheese and bread, and the food buzz that had dulled my sadness from before, is gone. And I am left to try to look on the bright side (of which there are many...I know) and hope that tomorrow there'll be sun.


Elizabeth said...

This was a great post.. I hear ya on the babies and the drift (sometimes I have to leave shopping centres because I cant look at the babies .. which even I realise is very weird. Thanks for sharing.

Ang said...

Ashley, I LOVE your posts. Thanks for putting them out there. You are an amazing writer.