Thursday, April 28, 2005

A letter that will only exist here.

I’m having a difficult time coping with my mom. She’s generally difficult to get along with. Her bipolar quirks are annoying at best and infuriating at worst. This past weekend was one that sent me back to a rotten teenager who wants to slam doors and tell Mom to fuck off. I can honestly say that if she wasn’t my mother, I’d have written her out of my life, or at least limited contact, long ago. Nothing that happened this past weekend was exceptionally horrible, but it’s all been simmering a while.

She’s generally OK if I go visit her. But when she comes over to our house, the gloves come off. For whatever reason, being off her home turf brings out the worst.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for turning into a spoiled child this weekend. As you know, I have little patience with you and find you difficult to get along with. I know it’s because of your illness and I truly am sorry for what it has done to you. I get so angry with you, then feel guilty afterward. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and it’s taking a toll on me. I hate that you’ve become a 62-year old with the mentality and emotional stability of a 14-year old and the frail body of a 75-year old. And I know you do, too.

You picked the worst possible week to decide to go out of town and dump the responsibility for daily special feedings of your elderly cat on me. Of course I would figure out a way to feed him even though it’s a huge inconvenience. And I think you were counting on that. Luckily, Hubby was able to do it. You hanging up on me when I tried to explain why it was inconvenient and how I would have appreciated more than 3 days notice – or better yet, you ASKING me first, was fucking classic. Yep, you act like a child. No, I wasn’t really nice to you, but my patience has its limits.

These are the reasons why this week was so bad, since you didn’t let me finish:

It’s my first week fulltime since Peanut was born and I’m hating it. I’m feeling guilty for him being at daycare, but glad I’m not home with him all day because I get stressed when I am. I feel like a shit parent, but hate that he has to be at shit daycare even worse.

Hubby had to teach Monday, work late Tuesday and is out of town for class today and tomorrow. That means that I have to both drop off and pick up Peanut all days except Tuesday when Hubby dropped him off and yesterday when Hubby was on a normal schedule. I have a 40-45 minute commute to work. Stopping by daycare ads another 30 minutes on to that. Which means I have to leave the house by 6:40 to drop Peanut off by 7:15 in order to get to work on time and have to leave work early to get to daycare before they close at 5:45. Running by your house ads another 30-40 minutes on top of that…meaning I wouldn’t be home till nearly 7 pm. Throw in an unhappy baby who has been at daycare all day and is hungry and tired and wants to be held and you can see where this is all going.

The guilt trip you laid on me just before you hung up was crap-tastic. You know, when I told you to please give me some warning next time and you replied with “There probably won’t be a next time. I never get to go anywhere” CLICK. It almost worked. I started to feel guilty about that. Things aren’t easy for you, you have little money, don’t drive, have frequent arthritis pain… Then I realized those things have nothing to do with me, nor are they my fault. Then it became funny, because you do occasionally get out of town. You just have a selective memory. Remember last year when Hubby and I bought you airfare to go visit Grandma and your sisters and arranged all your transportation to and from the airports. Remember the year before that when Hubby and I took you with us for a long weekend to your favorite beach. So don’t fucking guilt trip me. I do the best I can. Hubby and I aren’t exactly loaded, yet we’ve managed to give you a couple of little vacations and recently have coughed up money for your medical bills even though we’re up to our ears in our own.

Yes, the baby has a cold. It’s just a cold. No, it’s not allergies. Quit implying that it is, because I know the implication includes our pets. Yes, we did take him to the doctor AGAIN just to be sure. No, we didn’t need you telling us to make a doctor’s appointment. No, we don’t need your fucking vaporizer that takes K*z medicine. The cool mist vaporizer works just fine. Yes, we do also have a steam vaporizer but don’t want to risk any burns. So fucking drop it. As far as I’ve been told, you were institutionalized for pretty much the first year of my life, so don’t try to pull the childcare expert crap on me.

The reason we don’t let you babysit is because we’re afraid to. Period. I’m tired of beating around the bush on that one. I always hedge the answer because I don’t want to hurt your feelings. The bottom line is that Hubby and I agree on this one and we don’t think you’re physically or mentally up for unsupervised care of Peanut. You have nearly smothered him on the couch twice. Remember when he was crying and you accidentally smooshed his face into the back cushion and had no idea because you’re so deaf you couldn’t tell his cries were muffled? You sleep so much of the day we’re afraid you wouldn’t wake up in an emergency, or that you’d fall asleep holding him and drop or smother him. And you just plain do some bizarre shit.

Finally, DO NOT INSIST ON PUTTING THE BABY ON THE FLOOR TO PLAY WITH HIS TOYS. AND DO NOT PICK HIM UP OFF THE FLOOR. You can barely get down to the floor on your own and you don’t need to do it while holding my child. I watched you pick him up off the floor when you refused my help. I witnessed how you had to cling to the entertainment center for balance while getting up. It’s dangerous. Get over your mule-like stubbornness and quit insisting you’re able to do things safely when you clearly aren’t. Peanut is my only child and if something happened to him while in your care, I would never forgive you. In fact, you’d be permanently out of my life.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Peanut turned 5 months old yesterday. Where has the time gone? He’s almost a half-year old. The first couple of months I wondered how I would survive getting no more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep at a time and the endless pumping sessions. I’m still sleep deprived, but Hubby and I have worked out a system where I can get 6-7 hours of sleep a night and I dropped the night pump a couple months ago. Oh, the luxury!

Peanut is developing into a real little person now. He’s so curious and drinks everything in. The ceiling fan and the musical activity gym with moving critters enthrall him. He grabs onto the critters with such strength, I’m afraid he’s going to break them. He loves our daily stroller walks. Anytime we pass under a tree, he gets wide-eyed and stares at the leaves. The white fence at the end of our street also grabs his attention. I recently got a funky Wh00zit mobile for his crib in hopes of transitioning him to at least napping in it and yesterday he giggled at the mobile. That is until he decided he wanted OUT and started screaming.

And he’s impatient. If he doesn’t get his bottle NOW he screams. Once the bottle is securely in his mouth, all is good. He knows Mommy and Daddy and smiles endlessly at us – even when the bottle is in his mouth. Those bottle-in-mouth smiles are adorable. He loves kisses on his cheeks and belly and giggles and cackles with delight. Bath time is sort of iffy. Sometimes baths are fun, other times they’re screamfests.

He’s a little uncertain about strangers. He’s curious with new people and will sometimes smile, but if they get in too close, hell breaks loose. He takes after Mommy in needing his personal space. He also is very, very cranky when he first wakes up. Also like Mommy.


Next week I return to full-time status. Something I’m dreading. We seriously need the money – our mortgage increased $300 a month in January. Apparently they didn’t estimate this year’s taxes correctly, so our escrow is in the negative, and not only do we have to make that up, but we have to pay extra to cover next year’s taxes. We still owe $2000 to the hospital for Peanut’s NICU stay (thank goodness for decent insurance or it would’ve been 10 times that), and we started getting bills for his $ynagis shots. He’s had 3 so far and we’re not sure if he’ll get another. They run to the tune of $430 a pop (again, insurance is a savior they would otherwise be in the neighborhood of $1800 each).
Mom’s been doing amazingly well. She’s not in too much pain and seems to have her emotions in check. She has been laying on the guilt trips and passive crap about not seeing enough of Peanut, but I can generally let it pass in one ear and out the other. When she starts the passive crapola with the baby “I know you want to see more of Grandma” I respond with “Grandma is being passive-aggressive.” It generally nips the comments and is a lot kinder than what I’d really like to say. She still gets on me about letting Peanut stay with her which is not going to happen and I have become more blunt about it. Who knows, maybe she’d be perfectly capable and safe with the baby, but I’m not taking my chances. She also has no safe place for him to sleep other than the carseat if I leave it with her and I’m not too keen in that. One of her cats is a little too nosy with the baby and I’m afraid she might scratch him – she has an attitude and is not shy about using her claws.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

This past weekend was....hell. The good part was I finally got to go shopping.

Hubby didn't get home from work Friday until about 1 am Saturday. A scumbag dude decided to plant a pipe bomb in the yard of a woman he had a grudge against. Luckily it didn't discharge, she found it, and called the cops. Guess who got the case. Yep, Hubby.

Shortly after he came to bed, he started feeling icky and got the trots. No, the full-on gallops. The kind he refers to as "peeing out your butt". Later in the morning he threw up, but felt better after. At around noon he seemed to be feeling good, so he gave me the A-OK to go shopping. At around 3 I called to check on him and he sounded terrible, so I headed back home.

After a quick sandwich (which I will forever regret) I ran to the grocery store for g*tor*de, ginger ale and chicken noodle soup. By the time I got home, Hubby was on the mend. Still achy and feverish, but feeling good enough to eat. That's when I started peeing out my butt. Then came the nausea. Then came the 8 or so hours of puking. Which included me pooping my pants twice while puking. So I spent the rest of the weekend wearing a diaper inside my underpants and felt too sick to even be embarrassed by it. In the wee hours of Sunday am, I finally stopped puking, although my tummy was all sorts of unhappy and tried to sleep, but that's when the muscle aches started. I ached so badly I could not sleep. I finally got a couple of hours after daylight, and dozed on and off in the afternoon.

Yesterday I stayed home and slept in after getting up to give Peanut his early morning bottle and get him and Hubby on their ways to daycare and work. Once I felt human again, I disnfected the bathrooms as best I could, scrubbed the kitchen counters and sink, and did about a ton of laundry. I still can't get over the feeling our house is a hotbed of nasty viral funk.

Somehow Peanut has managed to avoid the bug (oh, how we are thanking our lucky stars and praying he stays bug-free), but my mom caught it, probably from me when Peanut and I visited on Friday. I called her Sunday to see if she could watch Peanut so Hubby could go out and I could sleep but she was in the throes of gut-churning gastroenteritis.

Now I'm busy trying to build my milk supply back up. I missed a couple of pumps while I was sick and was probably too dehydrated to make much anywas, so I'm only producing about half of what I was before - which is about half of what Peanut needs. Luckily I have a freezer stash. But if my supply doesn't come back up, he'll go through it in a couple of weeks.

I have a feeling we may have caught the bug at the pediatrician's office last week. Next time we're there for a follow-up, we're sitting on the well kid side and not the sick kid side.