Wednesday, January 13, 2010
There is a bias in the stories we tell. A skew toward the exciting moments, the vacations, the crises. But the mundane events of our lives are worth recording as well. Unglamorous as they may be, these chronicles are essential to an authentic narrative. . .
Granted, I have trouble telling any anecdote without some degree of histrionics, which is part of the reason I'm never bored. I can find the excitement in a stop at the 7-11 for Cheetos and gasoline. I'll attach photos of everyday life with this post. They may not follow the report, but they make it pretty.
Here is a glimpse of my week thus far, not atypical, though if you've known me long enough, you've quickly figured out that I have no such luck as to fall into any kind of predictable, conventional grind.
Sunday I woke late (following the Swing Shift party the night before.) I rolled out of bed, literally, and unintentionally, rolled off of my air mattress in my DC room and onto the hardwood floor. I then deflated the mattress, put it back in its box, and later returned it to the Bed, Bath, and Beyond What you Should Pay store, because the mattress SUCKED - remote control for firmness not withstanding - it BLOWS. Sorry for the slang outburst. I warned you that I can be histrionic. I got showered and dressed, loaded up my Mini, and started the drive west, then south.
I gathered up the darlings from their father and then met up with a group of friends from the Stonewall Brigade Band for a few rounds of bowling. Speaking of SUCKING. I scored like a 69, even with the kiddie bumpers in the gutters. The kiddies love bowling, btw.
Afterwards, I went shopping for the replacement bed, helped yet again by BB, who is clearly the best EX-boyfriend EVER, so shut-up with any comments about his helping me with the bed. We found a great deal on a "Euro Lounger" couch-like thing that opens into a full sleeper. I'm excited about this baby, for its space-saving + multi-position + sleepover (with the kids, of course!) possibilities, but haven't yet gotten it up the skinny, steep staircase and put it together, much less slept on it, so you will have to wait for an official rating. (BB hauled it back to DC for me, coordinating with my roommate for its delivery.)
We grabbed a quick dinner while playing tick-tack-toe with EG who is still at an age where you let her win and she truly believes she is the MASTER and consoles you kindly about your multiple losses. Then Sunday night was an exhausted drag things into the house in the icy cold, spill EG's Sprite, which she insisted on bringing from the restaurant, all over the floor, and scramble to get ready for the next day's resumption of school and clients at the house and bills to be paid, etc. (Reminds me of Swing Shift - heard about their rehearsal last night, when someone complained that a song was being played too slowly, and the vocalist turned it into "Dragging (vs Walking) My Baby Back Home.")
I honestly feel as if the treadmill never gets turned off. It is still going, right now as I write, I just kind of slide off of it for these moments of sanity producing avoidance of the mega-ton of things that have to be done. Each day is a constant barrage of "What must be done next?" Anything but work and parenting necessities feels like stolen time.
Monday was a blur of clients. I can be attuned and present in the moment throughout the day, and then at the end of like 9 people in a row, I'm trying to remember who I saw at 10 a.m.. I skipped band rehearsal to work on an application/screen test script for a television program on which I've been asked to possibly appear as an "expert" - HA - I've got someone out there fooled! Its a season-long public-service type thing about women's health. My "expert" opinion will be that there is no such thing as an expert on the human condition, that we are all perpetual students, and that a clients' best wisdom comes from within - psychotherapists are slightly more experienced guides accompanying people on their challenging journeys. Anyway, not sure I will get the part, nor that if it is offered that the commitment will be worth what it takes from my time with my girls.
I am needed most by the two I brought into the world. They need to be taken to piano and Musikgarten. They need to sit at the dinner table and eat meals as a family. They need to have friends over after school. MG and a neighbor were making videos for You-Tube with the pet rats in their hands as the characters - MG voicing-over with a Texas-twang. EG and her friend put panties and tights on their heads and blankets and capes over their shoulders and were spies on a mission to uncover the filmmakers' true identities. And the filmmakers actually turned out to be evil villians, relentlessly torturing the younger children for their espionage. MG got off the bus today and was livid at the younger neighbor who had hit MG with a lunch box for "no apparent region." Of course I knew that MG's teasing from yesterday was provocation enough, but what region should have justified the violence, I don't know.
Tuesday's and Wednesday's clinical schedules were lighter, but I've been slammed with the chores that had to be fitted into a shorter than usual amount of time -unpacking, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, mopping, housework, homework assistance, girls' music practice, business management/marketing/billing, pet care, ad nauseum. . .ending up the Wednesday evening with dinner out and a trip to Lowes for window-coverings for the new place.
It is quite fortunate, or probably a result of their single parents' status, that my daughters are adept at entertaining themselves. (Their father and I share them approximately 50/50 and so I don't know that I do more than any other parent over the course of a week, but when I'm on, it's all ME - you know if there is say a messy illness on my watch, then I'm the one cleaning it, and losing sleep, and loading up the kids in the middle of the night for a trip to the Walmart for Pepto-Bismol and then working same as usual the next day so I can pay the bills by myself. And the same is true for their daddy, and we're lucky he's a good one. So the girls know how to keep themselves occupied. MG has now voraciously consumed 4 1/2 of the Rick Riordan series and EG is non-stop IMAGINATION. Today she was pretending that she had four children and was miming gulping down beer with her breakfast because she needed to lose the baby weight (no joke - and no, honestly, there is no role model for this behavior in her life . . .that I know of.) One of her children became ill and had to stay at home in bed, thus she decided she would entertain him. She retrieved a costume from the attic and continued in character going out for Mexican and to the hardware store as a penguin. None of us could suppress the giggling when MG grabbed hold of the beak and controlled her sibling like a puppet. EG soon had a scarf tied about her and was being pulled across the ice outdoors, and at Lowes, they were both "pengrins" - as EG calls them -chasing each other around the store, with their legs together from the knees up, until they actually toppled a cart over on top of themselves, I came running, and found them still laughing, uncontrollably. They have inherited their mother's proclivity for creating fun and humour in most any situation.
Bed time was delayed by my taking a crisis call from a client. In business by myself - I am basically always on call. It is nice now to snuggle close to EG, though it has made the typing more of a challenge. . .
So, on to the next day - always a struggle to go away for work, three hours from my most precious connections - during their time with daddy. Even though I would not have them with me if I were here, psychologically, being closer feels good. But we do what we've got to do, the best we can, and enjoy all the variety of experiences that everyday brings.