Solo Parenting Day 3

01.28.14

The house is now as dirty as my hair. I’ve sharpened my knives because Alexander requires endless amounts of fruit. He has a sweet tooth and just today ate a pint of strawberries, a pint of blueberries, half a small watermelon and then all his regular food. He just sort of sits down and inhales it all watching quizzically as I slice my hand open.

I’ve decided that my cut hand is my son’s fault because I still can’t sleep. In addition to missing Mr. G I have Junior the wonder poodle who has issues with boundaries. The first nights he just slept of Mr. G’s pillow and last night he slept on my leg. I do believe that Junior’s core temperature is somewhere around a hundred and fifty fucking degrees. I suckled a quarter of a Xanax at midnight so I could sleep through the overly affectionate dog and the taste of it is so revolting that I ended up brushing my teeth in the middle of the night and then I realized I was brushing my teeth all wrong because Reddit told me so and it must be true so even with Xanax there was no sleep for me.

I have to be up at 6am with Jane. Not because she needs my help but because I don’t like her waking up at 6am and being the only one awake. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. It just seems like something a good mother would do, like baking cookies. Which I did at 9pm last night for Jane’s film teacher’s last day.

I baked snickerdoodles and I used organic kirkland brand butter. I’ll throw the rest of it out as it’s white and not very yellow and tasty like butter ought to be. I renewed my Costco membership for the cheap gasoline and top rate trash compactor bags. There are no compactor bags in existence that can rival the Kirkland brand. Of course I now have ceiling high stacks of roasted seaweed and I’m buying milk in bulk but it’s 2% and tastes like shit because everyone knows that the only way to enjoy milk is whole milk. The only whole milk Costco has is not organic and I’m pretty devoted to Horizon so I’m drinking watery milk and wondering why I don’t just say fuckit and drink whiskey. So I did. And maybe that’s why I didn’t sleep so well too.

There are two ways to make snickerdoodles. I can make them quickly and efficiently with zero mess on the counter or I can teach my kids to bake. These snickerdoodles took about an hour and I railed against terrible recipe writing when the cinnamon sugar called for three tablespoons of sugar and three teaspoons of cinnamon. Everyone knows that three teaspoons is a tablespoon, right? Right?! I question yelled at my kids. And they sort of looked at the ceiling because my sweet children would never roll their eyes at me.

I didn’t make anyone’s bed or even do the dishes. I just sort of did my best in a limited way and tried texting Mr. G a few times today but he’s in overdrive work mode and return texts came four hours later when his meetings were done. How do you even have a four hour meeting? I mean 30 years ago when you could sit and smoke and drink I totally get it but just sitting there? I’d be tweeting about what everyone was wearing and planning my dinner.

I am certainly not cut out for corporate life. I’m also certainly not cut out for solo parenting.

We have another week to go. I’m sure in a few days feral cats will set up camp in the yard and squatters will move into the living room. Or maybe I’ll get my groove. It’s more likely that the squatters are coming. I do have extra snickerdoodles for them.

Men are Such Whiners

10.1.12

Mr. G had his surgery Thursday. He came home in a drug induced haze and my mother handed him a bell to ring so he could summon me. The ringing of the bell was unpleasant but very likely felt about 8,000 times better than my husband’s head did after being cut open.

As much as that bell irritated me, my husband never did.

Maybe I live in an alternate universe but I’m really surprised when the first things folks expect to hear from me is that my husband is a whiny baby when he’s sick. First of all he isn’t so the assertion that men are babies when they are sick is patently untrue. My son isn’t particularly needy when he’s feeling ill.

The only high maintenance sick person in this house is me.

I’ve spent the last two years moaning about my own health, staying downstairs for most of the day (and asking my family to run up and down for me), and avoiding anyone who so much as sniffles (no matter how much I love them). Maybe because of my neediness I’m sensitive to this. I try to not whine. I try to be a good mother but the reality is that good mothers can get up and down stairs a little better than I. Good mothers don’t need to pull their cars to the side of the road for a nap.

I did the best I could.

So maybe it’s my own insecurity that makes me cringe when folks want to know how whiny my husband is. My typical reaction is to tell them that he’s Superman. I’m sure Mr. G would die if he could hear me talk because one of his superpowers is humility, another other is his physical strength. His surgery was Thursday, the doctor shaved down his septum and then fucked around with his sinus cavity either tamping things down or scraping things out… I don’t recall exactly because I was busy trying to not pass out when the doctor described it. Friday morning my husband didn’t require pain killers.

Maybe he’s so out of touch with his feelings that he can’t even feel the physical ones. If so he’s the perfect man because I’m incredibly inconsiderate and clumsy. I can hurt both body and soul, but never on purpose. Not with him anyhow.

I’m prickly about this one today. I hope suspect that my son is going to get married one day and I’d hate to think that his bride was weaned on a steady diet of men are weak. My daughter deserves the opportunity to love a man without making fun of him for being one. My children worship their father, he has earned that lofty position and I guard it for all of our sakes. I love my girlfriends, all of you, and we’ve promised to not tear each other down. I’d love for us to promise the same for each other’s spouses.

 

Small Surgeries With Big Outcomes

09.28.12

My husband had always sniffled a little more than most. It wasn’t until he took a baseball to the nose that the sniffling and breathlessness was completely out of control. Little League broke my husband and only a talented surgeon could unbreak him.

In keeping with his general Type-A personality it took a lot of work to schedule his surgery. In addition to all the pre-op requirements we then had to make a last minute maneuver to go from an 8am start to a 1pm start. Why? Well, my beloved had a morning meeting that he felt like he couldn’t miss. I brought him to work and then at 11 sharp we flew him outta that office got to Cedars and started surgery day.

I found that I was completely exhausted and there was nothing physically draining about the morning (except that I hadn’t eaten). Emotionally I was battered… although that didn’t make a whole lot of sense either. As soon as they took Mr. G in to start IVs and whatnot I ran across the street to the Capital Grille for a soup and salad. Partway through the salad my phone rang, it was Mr. G and as soon as I answered it the call dropped. I inhaled my salad, threw an AMEX at the waiter and ran back to the surgery center.

On the way back to the surgery center I noticed a family who I’d seen in the waiting room. They were all wearing tee shirts that read, “H’ears to Lucy”. When you see four people wearing the same cheery shirts it’s okay to start a conversation, right? I said, “Excuse me. My husband is having surgery too and I couldn’t help but notice your shirts. Is someone having a cochlear implant?” And I was shocked by the answer. Lucy is apparently getting ears. Really. She was born without them and there may or may not be an ear canal but there’s a growth of some sort that needs to come out… It’s a long story but of course they have a blog and a spectacular attitude.

Surgery centers are cold places and I don’t mean that figuratively. If you think about where new diseases and life forms come from it’s the equator where it’s warm and damp. Hospitals are places where you don’t want things to grow and thrive so they are cold and dry. I figured I could just as easily wait in the warm car as I could in the cold waiting room so I hopped in and as I went to put the seat down to a napping position (okay I love a good nap) I noticed there was no gas in it.

After filling up with gas I drove down 3rd Street and decided I’d earned a treat so I popped into the Magnolia Bakery. I had perfect parking and wandered in and looked in the display cases when something truly incredible happened. I wasn’t interested. When I looked at the cupcakes I could see the flour and sugar in them and I realized that they’d give me headaches and my joints would be disasters. I think I’ve officially lost interest in foods that make me feel bad. This is a miracle, perhaps more than a miracle. I don’t mean to eclipse the fact that at that same moment a surgeon had his hand inside my husband’s head. Or maybe I do, because not wanting a cupcake in the midst of an emotional day is a quite possibly more miraculous than anything I’ve ever heard of.

I sat down to read my text messages and found out that Cassie is both gay and bulimic. One of these things worries me. One of them does not. Note: to all my friends (and Cassie is a good one) please come out to me not in a blog post… or if you do come out in a blog post make it your own site so I don’t have to link to strangers. That’s really all I’m asking. The bulimia is upsetting. Hopefully Cassie will love every part of herself one day very soon, she certainly is deserving of that.

By 4pm Mr. G’s septum was undeviated and some bone had been shaved down. They called me in and the surgeon was all excited to tell me about it even when he went into excruciating detail and the color drained from my face. By 4pm I was the last person left in the waiting room and they called me in.

My husband was wasted. Not like a litte bit but like fucking with the nurses wasted. He kept asking them for aftercare instructions and they were like, “Your wife has everything.” To which he’d reply with some nonsense about his mind being a steel trap. Totally believable if you aren’t slurring your words. He, of course, was anxious to get back to work even wondering if he could get back to the office. I can see where Percocet and email would be great for a career.

And then the vomiting started. It wasn’t Mr. G but it was someone in that recovery room. There was gagging, retching and splashing. Actual splashing sounds. So I did what every wife would do. I smiled at the nurse, thanked him for helping my husband and ran into the hallway.

They loaded him into the car and I brought my very wasted husband home while he babbled ridiculousness and I wondered aloud if he’d be a fun drunk. I think he probably would.

Upon our arrival at home the kids greeted us quietly, the dog didn’t give a shit how anyone felt and bounced around like a lunatic. I ran up and downstairs about 93 times brining Mr. G. sorbet, water and juices. Then my mother (who clearly hates me) asked if we had a bell.

“A bell?” I say.

“Yes a bell, so he can ring it when he needs something.” She’s been watching Downton Abbey I suppose.

And then I realized that we do have a bell. It’s a little Liberty Bell that my friend bought my kids when she went to Pennsylvania many years ago. It was one of those gifts that just keeps on giving. First she provided a bell for my four year old son and now the bell is in the hands of a stoned on Percocet maniac who thinks he should work right after surgery.

The bell. It’s ringing.

 

 

I Am the Worst Carpooler In the Universe

09.24.12

Last week I got a little shrill with my family and demanded that everyone clean their closets. And by “everyone” I meant everyone but me. Well mostly I meant Jane and Mr. G because they’ve done a lot of shopping lately and there’s a limit to how many things you need to own.

When clothes are crammed in a closet nothing gets worn. I’m a minimalist when it comes to wardrobes. Own a few high quality things and wear them all. My daughter is convinced that she needs more clothes than that because she cycles through three or more outfits a day: uniform, volleyball or gym clothes, and after school clothes.

In any event the closets were purged and Jane and I stared a pile of clothes. The brands were astonishing: Rag and Bone, Free People, AG, Theory, Hugo Boss, True Religion, James Perse and more, some still had tags attached. Jane wanted to bring it to Buffalo Exchange where she could get credit for new clothes and for a while I thought that was a good idea. It would teach her to be entrepreneurial. Then I remembered that I’m the one who paid for all those clothes (some virtually brand new) and I’m looking to support my community.

A new car showed up (Acura RDX review coming soon) so I filled the trunk with clothes and went across town to Ascencia. Ascencia is a homeless shelter just outside of Downtown Los Angeles that does good work. I like the folks who work there and I like their mission but I’d never been there and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

When I got to Ascencia Mark helped me unpack the trunk of the SUV and I noticed a few pair of Mr. G’s underwear. These people are homeless and times are tough but I refuse to believe that anyone needs my husband’s old underwear (they weren’t really that old, he’s just switched brands). Standing there with my friend Mark I sort of grabbed the underwear and tossed them out of sight.

Later in the week I was at home and texting the mom I carpool with. It was just about time to leave to pick kids up for school and I  wanted to touch base and let her know that Alexander wanted to stay for daycare, she shouldn’t pick him up. The reply I got was:

This is your day to drive.

What. The. Fuck? I didn’t even have to check the calendar because I know she is always right. I frequently have no idea what day of the week it is and she always knows (bless her!). I dashed out to pick the kids up from school still barefoot and then made my daughter take off her shoes so that I could pop into Trader Joes to pick up a pre marinaded frenched rack of lamb.

After dropping off the carpool neighbor I lamented to Jane that I was the worst carpooler ever because I was unsure of the days of the week and probably would never be clear on that. Jane looked me dead in the eye and said, “No Mom. You’re the worst carpooler in the world because you made the boys sit in the back seat with Daddy’s old underwear.”

 

I’m Not a Good Person

09.14.12

I’ve decided that this is the next gift I’ll buy my husband.

Everyone knows that Little Giraffe is the perfect luxe baby blanket (and my go-to gift). Apparently I’m the only person who didn’t realize they have satin cover ups lined in faux fur.

I’m totally buying one of these for Mr. G when his birthday rolls around in November… because ya know… I enjoy an oversized robe.

$210 at LittleGiraffe.com