Okay, so I have started journaling on a document instead of wasting all of my creative energy thinking up Facebook posts. Which is cool. I am writing more. I have documented information about my kids that I can transfer to their much neglected baby journals. And I have fodder for my blogs. What follows are excerpts from my Word journal, which I call my “Captain’s Log” because it is more fun that way.
Captain’s Log…July 16, 2014
“I either need more alcohol or more time to do yoga,” I think as I deal with the shrieking pee-bot and her supremely shout-y brother. At least he hasn’t wished death on me yet today. She won’t leave the baby alone. Presently, she is doing a downward facing dog with her rear side pointed at his face as she shrieks between her legs at him. Poor baby.
More alcohol. Definitely more alcohol. Thing One is freaking out over his Legos. Thing Two is still shouting at me. He does not like my attitude. Can’t buy me love with Neuman-O cookies, it seems. So we will make lunch and have a mandatory walk. (Did I dream about my father? I think I may have dreamed about my father last night. Either that or it is the essays on feminist motherhood I have been reading….) Lunch and a walk. As if that will fix anything. But The Dad says they don’t get enough stimulation—hence their behavior. Roughly translated, I am failing them and that is why they suck. I don’t think they suck. The Dad does. Apparently he thinks kids should be a good time all the time with no issues ever. He needs to live in a Disney movie.
Why is the shrieking pee-bot jumping at my elbow and screaming at me?
I think the shrieking pee-bot is trying to wean the baby so that she can do all of the nursing without him interfering. She will be three next month, and I fear I will be unable to wean her when I planned to. She is determined to stay latched to my nipple. She locked herself in the bathroom with the baby & gave him her bottle of cow’s milk.
I also catch her copying my dance moves when “Smooth Criminal” plays. I’m not sure, but this may be considered child endangerment. Hopefully she’ll figure out her own moves.
Meanwhile, the baby follows me around the apartment at a Night of the Living Dead pace of crawling, his little hands slapping the wood floor to accent each painstaking move.
Captain’s Log…July 17
Every day I think, “Tomorrow has to be a better day.” Every day I am wrong. Are the days getting worse or just not getting better?
I tried to take Thing One on an outing, just the two of us, to a beekeeping workshop. As usual, I half-assedly look at the directions & think , “Oh, I can find that.” And then I can’t. Plus it was 5:30 in downtown traffic with construction. We spent two hours in the car trying to find the place, failing, trying to go to an art store downtown, stuck in traffic, unable to find parking…two hours in the car. We could have made it to Chicago in that time. We could have made it to Green Bay. But we were stuck in Madison the whole time. In maybe a two mile radius, maybe less. Two hours in the fucking car. When we went home, I looked at the map and realized I passed right by it several times, the beekeeping workshop, but failed to look in the right place. I felt like the biggest loser in the whole world. How fun the workshop would have been. How fun just going to the art store would have been. Instead, I am a loser who leaves us stuck in the car for two hours for absolutely nothing.
To make matters worse, poor shrieking pee-bot got me in a bear hug as I was trying to leave on our misadventure. She held on tight & would not let go. My heart breaking as I had to pry her loose and the dad says, “She’s the one you leave the most.”
Today, somehow, at only 12:05 in the afternoon, is no better. I could not wake up this morning. The baby did though, at 6 am. I tried to call for help to the dad, but he slept through my trying and shrieking pee-bot’s asking him for help. He left for work, and I crawled out of bed—though before I left bed, I did have all four minions with me, harmonizing the sound the baby makes. We did that, giggling, until minions started pissing off other minions which eventually pissed off her majesty—so everyone was summarily cleared out of my bed.
I then spent the next two or more hours making pancakes, doing laundry, feeding minions, refereeing minions, trying to make a cup of tea, doing dishes, cleaning around the dad’s messes as I refuse to clean up after him anymore.
I lost it. Thing Two was tackling Thing One and then throwing Duplos at him. In my scariest voice I hollered (yes, it was a horrible & scary holler calling up the ghost of all the abusive scary men in my life) at Thing Two, and the poor little thing scurried away to a corner to hiss at me but was too scared to leave his corner. For the record, I have never sent them to a corner. I guess he just felt safer hiding there. I am an evil queen sometimes. “Off with their heads,” I holler before realizing they are all I love in this world. I did apologize to him once I cooled down. I did. I know that does not make it okay. Is there anything that can make it okay?
My throat hurts.
I never should have yelled at him. I never should have. I hate that feeling of helplessness when I feel like there is nothing I can do to get him to listen to me. No matter what I do, he is defiant. I respect & love that he is defiant…but can’t he be reasonable sometimes?
Even more I hate the brief feeling of relief I get when I lose my temper and blow up like that. Blow ups do not happen often, but when they do, right before the feelings of guilt and regret, there is a brief feeling of, “That’s what you get.”
My children are not my enemy. The dad isn’t even the enemy. Not my parents either, while we’re at it.
Thing Two draws me a picture as a peace offering. He does this often after we fight. I should be drawing him more pictures.
I wish I could say the day got better, but I just got in another fight with Thing Two. I don’t know what to do. I don’t like saying the same things over and over and over. I don’t like his violent, hands-on approach to everything…everything. It seems like everything, anyway. How can such a sweet kid be so angry & hostile? What have I done to make him so angry & hostile?
Captain’s Log…July 18, 2014
The baby is nine months old today. He is crawling like a big kid. Though he does stop to protest and demand to be carried. A bit of a complainer. That’s okay. Welcome home, kid.
I made an appointment to see an ophthalmologist. For about a month now, my right eye has felt weird. Sometimes painful, like a spoon is stuck in the eye socket and I’ve gotten used to it. So last night I started worrying that it’s a brain tumor and that’s also why I am so grumpy lately, uncharacteristically so. Usually I pop out of a grump after a day or so. But this one is lingering so long I feel as if I’ve lost my sense of humor. So it’s probably a brain tumor, right? God, I hope this is just another neurotic episode of mine, but I would feel stupid if I keeled over in a month and the doctor’s all shook their heads saying, “If only she had seen a doctor a month ago, we could have saved her.”
I asked the dad to help with childcare, but he has to work. I asked if he could go in late, etc. Nope. He offered that his ex-con (armed robbery) brother could watch the kids. Um…. No. So I say I will get one of my friends who has a history of being with my kids watch them, and he says, “I don’t want her in the house.” ??? Well, you know what, fucker? I don’t want you in the house.
This better not be a brain tumor.
I can’t die.
We had a family bout of yoga without incident! Sure, it was extremely casual and completely freestyle and only lasted about ten minutes, but no one started squabbling. Then “Smooth Criminal” came on my mix, and I declared a dance break—even though no one will dance with me except for the shrieking pee-bot and the baby (who really has no choice.) Which, again, brings me to my fear of her copying my dance moves and forever being crippled for it. So I was going to put on a Janelle Monae video to give her a better example, but then I remembered Weird Al Yankovic’s latest release, “Tacky,” and decided to give Thing One and Thing Two an unschooling lesson on parody. Thing Two set at my laptop watching it over and over, backing it up to watch the same part again and again, with his guitar in his lap. Yesterday he told me he wanted to ride in a limousine. He wants to be rich and famous so he can have a chauffeur and a butler.
My therapist thinks my “Captain’s Log” is a very good idea.
Captain’s Log…July 19, 2014
Eleven years ago today I married The Dad. It seemed like a good idea. My mom fell down a hill and postponed the ceremony until she got back from the ER. The Dad’s alcoholic uncle got crazy drunk and then helped The Dad drive the kegs back to the restaurant we got them from after the wedding. I was sure I would be widowed before my wedding night. Otherwise it was a perfect day & a beautiful pagan ceremony.
I am trying a different dance with Thing Two. When he starts to ramp up—yelling and calling names and stomping and his little eyes turning red & teary—instead of raising my own voice, I lower my voice and call him to me (or go to him if my hands aren’t full) and offer a hug and soft words of concern and offers of comfort. So far, he calms right down.
I had a surreal visit to the eye doctor, partly due to an anxiety attack, and partly due to David Lynch apparently orchestrating my experience. I will write more of it later. I need to get the minions to the farmer’s market before I lose my nerve or my sense of humor. Diagnosis so far for my eye pain is old age. Oy!
We survived a Saturday Farmer’s Market in Madison, Wisconsin (home of the largest farmer’s market ever) once more. I shouted this triumphantly when we reached the car. I was there with my four kids. Before we got to the market, we were across the street to go to the bank. At one point, Thing Two crawled into an empty newspaper box with the word “Free” across the top. He drew an audience of passer-byers who laughed as the shrieking pee-bot opened and closed his box. Next, the shrieking pee-bot crawled into a newspaper box so that two of my children appeared to be “Free” to the public. At one point someone did ask to take a picture. I suggested to my children that the next time they decided to do performance art, they should throw down a hat. My kids are adorable. They are. They are gorgeous. The Dad and I look a lot alike (both of us are narcissists?) We created four little clones with huge blue eyes and cherubic faces. There personalities are as outstanding as their looks. People stare at us whenever I go out with them. I do not know what they are thinking. I do not know if we are a freak show or a circus act or performance art, but we always seem to have an audience.