• Bug,  Life Lessons,  Moody Blues

    Spit Happens

    I’ve always been a worry wart so I should not be at all surprised how wracked with worry I am now. It’s almost as if I always need to have a certain level of stress to be myself. If there’s nothing to stress about, I make things to stress about.

    Yesterday I got into a little fight with Toby because I was all worked up over the fact that we were out of broccoli. Broccoli! And lettuce, butter, cream and breast pads and whatever I was going to cook for dinner for the next week or so….but the point of contention was broccoli. As if the world is going to stop if I don’t get my salad with broccoli in it every day. I think the reason I get worked up about these things is that I’ve had the last year to run my house exactly the way I want to. If we were out of something, I hopped in my car and went and got it. I was Holly Hobby Happy Homemaker stressing about other things like when was the baby’s room going to get done and how was I going to plan the perfect baby shower. But now things have gotten a little more complicated. Now we throw a baby into the mix.

    Here is a little look inside my very small head:

    We have no food! There’s nothing in the freezer! There’s nothing in the fridge! There’s nothing in the pantry. I guess there’s soup. But who wants to eat soup! What will I do! Toby will be mad if I don’t cook dinner. He doesn’t want me to bother him with these things while he is working but what am I going to do? What to do! What to do! What to do!

    We have no money in our checking account right now (nothing to worry about just a timing issue of checks coming in late… common when you run your own business) AND Toby won’t let me take Baby Bug in my car because he thinks it isn’t safe. (We are getting a new car but not for a few months, when those big checks come in) This is wrecking havoc on my life. I can’t go to the store because I can’t drive my unsafe car with the baby in it. I can’t leave the baby because I am breast feeding and Toby has the most stressful job in the world and he can’t handle a hungry crying baby when he’s dealing with his hungry crying clients. What to do!

    Round and round and round I go fretting about what to make for dinner! How stupid is this? I’m having the same level of stress I used to have at my corporate job when I’d had ten jobs lined up with due dates looming, my phone ringing off the hook, dumb meetings that wasted my time and sales people salivating at my door. I can feel the old ache in my shoulders, the pinch in my neck, the pain running down my arm through my elbow and into my hand. What is wrong with me! I’m getting all worked up over broccoli?!!!

    Well of course it isn’t just that. There’s that blurb I read in my “What to Expect in the First Year” about not using a pacifier as a crutch and now I’m worrying every time Baby Bug fusses whether or not I should stick the plug in her mouth because that’s what she really really wants. She won’t take my boob unless she’s super hungry and she turns into badger baby if I force her. The only thing that seems to calm her down is the pacifier. Does she have nipple confusion? Should I call the doctor?

    And then what about her spots? Is it really just normal baby acne if it’s all over the back of her head? Pimples have sprouted out of almost every single pore in her cheeks, neck and head. Could it be a milk allergy? Heat rash? Maybe the breast milk that squirts all over her is clogging her pores and I should wash her face more often. But washing her too much in this dry winter air might dry out and irritate her skin? And then there’s her diaper rash that just won’t go away no matter what kind of cream I use. What should I do!!! Call the doctor? Make an appointment to go back to the house of horrors and germs? The doctor said not to call unless she had a fever. She has no fever.

    The only one getting a fever is me getting all worked up about every little thing.

    When I try and discuss my million and one worries with Toby, he gets very exasperated with me very quickly. It’s tough having your office in your home. I have to remember that even though he’s just down the hall, he’s at work. His job is very stressful. He’s doing everything he can to make it so that I can stay home and be a mom. It’s nearly impossible to live where we live on a single income. There’s a reason we don’t own a home yet.

    I have to imagine that even though his door is open, he’s at work. His desk and office floor are covered in piles and piles of papers and magazines. Projects teeter upon projects, his phone rings constantly, his computer is buzzing and whirring as he applies filter after filter to the images from his latest shoot. He cusses and swears when he loses his internet connection for the fifth time today. I can see his schedule is covered with scribbles of appointments and meetings and photo shoots. His billing hasn’t been done for months… everything is just chaos. The last thing Toby needs right now (or ever really) is me whining and complaining that we don’t have any broccoli in the house and as a breast feeding mother I need my green vegetables.

    I have none of this in perspective and I whine and complain anyway. Toby just looks at me and tells me that I’m doing everything just fine. Just fine?!!! Every thihg is just fine?

    I know on some level I am doing fine… it’s just so hard for me to digest that. How can I be doing just fine when I have so many problems circling around in my head? I have to look back and remember how worried and stressed I was in the first few days when my milk wasn’t coming in and I was so afraid that Baby Bug was going to starve to death. I have to remember that it was important that I worried and stressed back then. It is because I attempted to nurse around the clock that my milk did finally come in and in great abundance. Even though I thought I was a wreck, I was just being a good mom.

    Someday after this passes, I’ll realize that I’m doing okay. It just doesn’t feel like it right now.

  • Life Lessons

    The Question of Age

    I probably should have warned you that I was going to put a giant picture of a scary moth on today’s post. I wasn’t going to at first. I was going to put something else up and then link to it so if you’re squeamish you could choose not to click on it. But then I hit the blog dry spell and couldn’t find anything else to put up. Oh it’s a crappy day at secret-agent-josephine.com!

    Just kidding.

    Everything is fine here. Yesterday was a surprisingly busy day. The fake mock ups are going swimmingly and I like working again. For a while there I thought I was going to die a slow death of boredom. I really really really hate being bored at work. I know I should be thankful to get paid to stare at my nose, but I hate it! I’ve quit jobs over being bored. I slowly go mad. Thankfully, they asked me to sketch up some drawings of a photo shoot they might do and I decided to do my sketch on the computer instead (because I’m faster with a mouse than I am with a pencil). Guess what!?? They might use my illustration and skip hiring a photographer! Wooo Hoooo! I love being paid as an illustrator. I know I’ll never break into the whole illustration industry. There are way too many crazy talented artists out there that put me to shame. But that doesn’t mean I can’t get an illustration or two published now and then. We’ll see what becomes of it. Right now the project is still imaginary. That’s fine with me.

    It beats taking pictures of the giant moth that was out in the hall. This thing was so scary. I should have put a quarter up next to it or my finger so you could gauge it’s size. I was too afraid it might bite me to get that close. You’ve seen these moths before. They are about 4 inches big. How do they get so big and what are they called? How many of them are there? Do they live in colonies? Why do I only see one when I do see them? Thank God I only see one. Can you imagine if a swarm of these things dive bombed your head?!! That would be one of my greatest fears. Good thing I never watched Silence of the Lambs

    Another fun thing that happened, at work yesterday, was the “Guess how old Brenda is” game. Everybody who knows me loves to play this game with their unsuspecting friends. Mostly because all my life I’ve looked at least five years younger than I am. I know, I know this is a good thing. But believe me, most of my life it has not been a good thing. For example it was very hard to get my first real job; and another, I think I got passed up on a few promotions because they thought I was just a “kid”. But anyway, it does have it’s advantages and lately these advantages have been paying off. Who wants to look thirty-three when you can look twenty three?! Or at least that’s what I thought.

    The game did not go as well as usual yesterday. Everybody was throwing out numbers like twenty six and twenty seven. It was all good and then this one girl piped up l from another room, “THIRTY THREE!” she yells. What! How could she know? She reads my blog. She cheated! Everybody in the room gasped. Could it be true? Yes, I nodded, I am indeed that old. “I knew because she has two gray hairs on the side of her head,” yelled the girl from the other room. I glared at the voice behind the wall.

    What!!!! My secret is betrayed by two gray hairs! Is this the end of the era of getting away with acting five years younger than I really am? Are people going to start thinking I’m wise and should know how to do complicated math problems and stuff!? Do I have to start wearing nylons? Oh no!

    All my life I’ve planned on letting my hair go gray naturally. I like silver hair. My mom has mostly white and silver hair and over the years her color changed in the most beautiful way possible. It started with “frosting” at the front (it was the 80’s) and gradually turned to almost completely white now in 2005. I like to imagine myself looking like a wizened Native American with long black hair, peppered with streaks of silver. Maybe I’ll start wearing turquoise bracelets to go with my hair. I know I’m weird, but I kinda like being the “tree hugging, granola eating, berkenstock wearing” sort of woman. I think I can pull it off.

    Until yesterday, that is. I actually got a little scared inside. It kinda surprised me that my hair could give away my age so accurately. I think my face still looks young and I don’t wear make-up that often. But two gray hairs! (I actually have more, it’s just those two on the side that are obvious.) I instantly thought of pulling them out and then all those commercials you see on television of women with “vibrantly beautiful hair.” Should I? Is now the time to finally fit in with everyone else in my neighborhood and go blonde? Naaaah. I’ll never do that. Well, not when I have that much hair on my head anyway. If I cut it really short again, I might bleach it blonde. Just for kicks. But I’m going to wait a good long while before that. I want my daughter to get to know the real me before I hit mid life crisis and go completely unpredictable.

    But I do think I am going to get my hair cut today if I can find a salon that will fit me in. The amazing French haircut has finally grown out completely. I’m so sad. I wish I could go back to Paris to get it cut again. That was such a fun experience. If I was a French girl, I would never look old. No matter how many gray hairs I had.

Secret Agent Josephine
Creative Agency
© Brenda Ponnay