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This is Now

January 16, 2011

On a different Sunday, on a different day in the past, this day probably would have eaten me alive.

According to our alternating-weekend-sleep-in-days schedule, today was my day to get up with Connor. I did get to sleep a little later than normal – 7:15 instead of 6:nothing a.m., thanks to my benevolent husband who took the early riser into bed and managed to get him to sleep for another hour-and-a-bit – so there’s that to be thankful for. But as soon as the little voice said “mama” and the weird dream about work faded away I realized something. I forgot to take my medication last night.

I haven’t done that before (at least when I realized it at the time), so upon realizing it this morning I wasn’t sure what to do. Wasn’t keen to take one in the morning and then take my usual dose at bedtime, so I decided to just skip it.

By about 1:30 I started to think perhaps that hadn’t been the best decision.

Sundays are my day to tackle Connor on my own while my husband works as a freelance graphic designer. You have to realize: I don’t do this well. I know there are mothers all over the world who do this on their own, day in and day out, with more kids, more challenging kids, and just, well, more challenges all around. Maybe it’s partly that I work full time so I’m not used to it. Maybe it’s partly what I call Post Traumatic Connor Syndrome after being at home with him for a year on mat leave when some of those days darn near killed me. Maybe I’m just not cut out for it. Regardless, a tiny part of me dreads Sundays.

I try to tackle this fear with a plan. Today I had it all worked out: groceries and shopping for a last-minute baby shower gift in the morning, lunch, nap for C, baby shower, home to make dinner.

It didn’t happen.

First, Connor refused to go out this morning. “I’m too sick,” said the kid who’s not sick (that I am aware). After about three attempts I decided not to fight it, figuring I’d find a way to get a baby shower gift on the way there.

Then he refused to nap.

My husband, who hadn’t started working at that point, tried to put him down so I could grab a shower and dash out to get a gift. Came home to a kid who was clearly not sleeping. I took over so my husband could work, but nope. “I’m feeling better,” said Connor (which, contrary to what you might think, has nothing to do with the earlier “I’m sick” declaration. It’s just his way of telling us a nap is not in the cards).

To keep my sanity, the nap refusal is one battle I choose not to fight with him. You don’t want to sleep? Fine, don’t sleep. We’ll all just be miserable instead.

Instead I got him dressed, wrapped the baby shower present, wrote on the card, went to check the invitation for the address.

The shower is next weekend.

By that point he was cranky but refusing to sleep, hungry but refusing to eat, and it was only 1:30. I looked at the clock and thought, “What the hell am I going to do for four hours?!”

I’ve had many a Sunday like this before, where things just don’t go well. Typically he cries, I cry, the dog hides and I think, “I CAN’T DO THIS!!” Beat myself up for not being able to handle one slightly challenging but generally fabulous two-year-old ONE day a week. But some days I just can’t. And today I had a little voice at the back of my brain saying, “You forgot your meds last night.” Meaning: It’s Sunday, he’s not eating, sleeping or cooperating with the things you need to get done today. Good luck with that!

This is where my mask comes in handy. If I allow myself to think I can’t do this, I can’t. I can’t think rationally, or creatively, or do any of the things you need to do when your two-year-old is having one of those days. I slapped down that part of me that wanted to go upstairs to where my husband was working and tell him I was stuck. I ignored that itty bitty feeling of panic that threatened to take over and told it to bugger off while I rejigged the order of the day and went out to the grocery store. Maneuvered the speed bump when we got there and my kid, who loves the child-size carts, didn’t understand that today wasn’t a day mummy was prepared to deal with him running loose all over the store bashing in to little old ladies’ ankles. When his response was to have a fit inside the door in front of the Sunday grocery crowd my mask slipped for a split second and I found myself saying to him, “I need you to help me.” (Funnily enough, he didn’t have a lot of sympathy for that.)

I let him sit in the main part of the cart instead until another mother with a similarly-aged (very well-behaved) child sitting in the child seat gave me a dirty look.

A fruit snack bribe and the grocery shopping was done smoothly (mostly). A tired kid asleep in the car meant a bit of peace and a chance to let the dog out at the park to have a run. Another small buffer in the form of some TV when we got home. (I love you Dora, I really do.)

Despite the forgotten meds, the willful child and the plans gone awry, we made it through. Managed to cook dinner AND make my lunch for tomorrow. Even played a bit and then managed to get the living room cleaned up a bit before dinner.

All those other Sundays? That was then. And this is now.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2011 7:31 am

    I just found your blog! Thank you for writing so bravely and honestly. I suffered with PPD and was undiagnosed for 5 months after my daughter was born. I’m still struggling with the right med dose and have really down days but its getting better. Without people like you to talk about it women wouldn’t think it was normal. Thank you!!

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