So it’s kind of embarrassing that I have no picture of Carl on his momentous 30th, no picture of him opening presents, and no picture of the celebratory peach cobbler. I am lame.
Or possibly less lame since we were busy doing some of the things he likes to do best. Which does not usually include taking grinning pictures of him doing stereotypical things.
My mom came up for the afternoon to watch Iris and wash an insane number of dishes and generally be amazing, while Carl and I headed off for a cosy lunch at one of our favorite Chinese places. Then a little birthday shopping. And a quick ramble through Barnes & Noble… Little things that don’t seem especially significant except we never have time to do them as a couple anymore.
It was a nice birthday, though significantly less horn-blowy than I meant it to be before I remembered how gloomy I feel in the winter (always) and how tired I am (lately).
How fortunate to have married someone who does not require trumpets.
That would get old really fast.
This looks totally idyllic and sweet, but what the picture doesn’t show is that she was really overtired and cranky, and Carl was only keeping her happy by slowly scooting them both in circles around the living room on his back.
You do what works.
Look! It’s a baby eating cake!!!
You think I’m kidding, but that’s seriously all I’ve got. This last month has been killing me. She sleeps in segments as short as 15 minutes and as long as 2 and a half hours. I can’t even tell you the last time she slept 4 hours in a row. November? Early December?
My MOPs friends post things on Facebook like: “PLEASE PRAY! This momma needs some sleep! My 3 month old was up THREE TIMES last night!! This cold is no joke!!”
And literally the only response that comes to mind is: “Bitch, please.”
When it comes to Facebook, I tend to side with Anne Shirley. If I got credit for all the things I want to say and don’t, I would have to be one of the most self-controlled people operating on social media.
And in case that offends you, Look at this! It’s the same adorable baby eating MORE cake!!
This is my brain at 4:30am: So when I get up I need to write that email, set out the chicken to defrost for dinner, and figure out what Iris should wear to the party, because it’s going to be warm inside but it’s so cold out. Also we lost her hat. I need to buy her a new hat. Gosh, what are we going to do for HER first birthday? Everybody around here throws such elaborate parties for their 1 year olds. Goomba wouldn’t even like that, but maybe they do it for the families? I guess it could be like an open house or something—it wouldn’t have to be on her actual day…. When she’s ten we should go to Gettysburg. I still want to do that tour… I wonder if my book didn’t sell because of the development in the second half. I wonder if I will ever sell a book… If I were to write an essay about abortion, I would write…
This is my brain at 4:30pm: …. I guess I should make sure she doesn’t fall down the stairs?
To deal with the pm half of the equation, I’ve started calling my voicemail, putting it on speaker, and letting Iris have long conversations with my friends and family. There’s a nice long message from my friend Em in there and a cheery one from my dad on the morning of our Disney vacation. Iris paces the house and belts out strong opinions in reply. It’s pretty entertaining for both of us.
Our kitchen has never contained so many unwashed dishes at one time. Ever. I would need a wide-angle lens to capture the wreckage in full glory. It extends across another counter and onto the (unwashed, naturally) island. I had to wash a bunch of dishes this morning before I had enough clean ones to even make breakfast. That cake pan is from before we went on vacation. It’s gross.
So this post is for anybody needing a moment’s space where it’s ok to admit you’re not fully awesome. At everything. All at once.
I, for example, have a butt load of dirty dishes in my kitchen, and yes, I’m probably going to wash a couple whenever I have a few spare minutes during the day (or, more to the point, until we reach the point where Iris is clinging to my legs, sobbing). But I’m also going to watch costume dramas and eat snacks and play with Iris, and when she takes a nap this afternoon—I’m just guessing here—but pretty sure I’m going to sleep too.
That’s how we roll, people.
And it feels good.
Except when I walk in the kitchen. That continues to not feel good. I’m not sure what to do about that.
Carl bet me a coke a few weeks ago that we wouldn’t have another 2+ inch snowfall this winter. When he bough me my victory soda the other day, he made it a 33 ouncer—though the size might have more to do with sharing possibilities than the discrepancy of inches. I plan on drinking the leftovers with my lunch today. I don’t always win my bets, but when I do they involve sodas and foot rubs.
The weather is keeping us cooped indoors these days, though I’m not incredibly disappointed. I’m feeling sleepy and couch-bound for the most part. Not gloomy, exactly, but definitely an affinity for all creatures that hibernate. I want to watch costume dramas and take naps. And maybe finish reading my book. I finally got myself hooked on a novel, and it’s possibly the most unlikely choice for me: Jude the Obscure. At least it’s a classic, and I can feel good about that. On the other hand: what a downer.
But the country life description IS sort of beguiling. I enjoy knowing what inn food was like and how many miles an “afternoon walk” might typically be. I guess that ultimately means I’m enjoying the novel from the perspective of historical-detail poacher, but be that as it may… at least I’m reading again. That in itself feels good.
And we are in need of good feelings as the snow piles up and summer feels a hundred years away. I always get a touch of the glooms in winter. A couple of years ago for our anniversary—whatever year paper is the traditional gift—Carl gave me a simple card with this Camus quote printed on it:
I’ve used it for a bookmark since, but I liked the quote so much I put it up with a bunch of snowflakes and winter quotes and hockey ticket stubs for our January display on the entry way table. January is hard. Life has January moments. For somebody who has struggled off and on with depression over the years, it’s very cheering to remember that there is a resilient core deep inside, and as unpleasant as it is to be forced to find that core… it’s there when you need it.
Still. Spring can come any time as far as I’m concerned.
Minnie Mouse has joined the posse, although she is slightly less favored than the regulars. Carl and I were pretty proud of ourselves for being very selective in our souvenir shopping this time around in Disney… Iris is willing to kiss-kiss her on the nose occasionally, but it may take a while before Minnie’s a full participant in the daily shenanigans.
In the mean time, every day seems to be an opportunity for blowing Iris’s mind. Which is pretty fun as a parent. Today I was showing her the camera… how we could take a picture of Minnie Mouse and then see it displayed on the camera screen. Minnie Mouse on the floor, and Minnie Mouse in the camera!
She was skeptical but impressed.