Royal Bad Day

I’m not even going to give this post a picture. It doesn’t deserve one. I hate it when I am negative and the writing below is negative. If you’ve come here for something fun and cheeful, you better skip it and check back tomorrow.

Remember how I said life getting royally screwed up makes for good blog posts? No, it doesn’t. It makes for whiney pissed off bitchy posts. It’s fifty-two minutes into Friday, as I type this in bed in the dark, and I’m still all choked up from crying so much on Thursday. There is nothing worse than crying when you are already sick and snotty from a stupid cold. My head feels like I’ve had a cement shoved up my sinuses.

It started with the laundry. Don’t all bad days start with doing laundry? I remember when I was twelve or so I hated hated hated Wednesdays because that was piano lesson day and I never ever practiced. All day long I’d dread the upcoming piano lesson because I knew my teacher would scold me and make me feel like crap about not using my potential. Even though I paid for my own lessons by cleaning my teacher’s house (I was an over achiever caught in an under achiever’s body) I still never managed to practice on a daily basis. I was decent on piano but only because I can somewhat play by ear. Not because I ever put an ounce of effort into it.

I hate laundry day almost as much as I used to hate piano lesson day.

I loaded up my one hundred and two bags of laundry into the bugaboo, struggled with them downstairs, thinking they should do a show on me as an Orange County Housewife, made it across the street that is under construction and causing all the jack hammering that we’ve been listening to for the last two weeks and when I got to the door of the laundromat what was I greeted with…?

Two fat overweight men dressed in white coveralls, hauling washing machines out the door on dollies. WTF? “The laundromat is closed.” says a third guy who’s sitting on a washing machine inside while his buddies labor away. He’s obviously finding it humorous that I’m pushing my stroller loaded up to the gills with laundry and I have a baby strapped onto my chest. He’s probably been turning away people at the door all day. His giant beer belly is busting at the seams of his zipper up the front coveralls. He’s probably a great jolly Santa type on Christmas but today he is my own personal grim reaper.

You have to be kidding me! I think. But sure enough there’s an orange cone with a hand scrawled sign taped to it that I walked right past. “Closed” it says clearly in black Sharpie ink. It figures. On a street lined with expensive couture interior designer boutiques and antique stores, I’m surprised a coin operated laundromat can stay in business. It does cost more to do your laundry here but it was definitely a low budget establishment compared to it’s neighbors. So it’s probably going to turn into another over crowded interior design store selling faux painted Tuscan village furniture. I’m so sick of Orange County’s obsession with Tuscany. We’re in California! California is beautiful! Let’s celebrate our own natural beauty for once!

You can tell I’m on the war path. I’m ranting about the stupidest things and totally off topic.

So I turn back home with my tail between my legs and rehearse how I’m going to deliver the news to Toby. At that time I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But that was because the baby was still asleep and I hadn’t interrupted Toby from his work on a very stressful day yet. Things get worse.

“What’s the worst thing that could happen to us right now?” I ask him as I peel off layers of clothing because I’m sweating from all the effort it took me to go back and forth across the street with my boat load of laundry.

“What happened?!!” he asks alarmed. “Did the bugaboo get stolen? Are you okay? is the baby okay”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Nothing like that.”

I proceed to exasperate about the laundromat closing and the asshole worker guys who laughed at me and Toby’s eyes start to glaze over. He’s obviously annoyed that I am losing my marbles over the laundry. The laundry! I know in his head this is a manageable problem but in mine, it is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I cannot go on like this. I have no clean underwear! Baby Bug has pooped up her last pair of pajamas and it’s not like I don’t have forty-seven sets already. I don’t even have any more sheets for her bassinet! This is not something that I can solve by just buying more clothes. I have clothes coming out my ears. Dirty poopy clothes.

Exhausted I go back to my room. Words fail me, like they often do when Toby and I argue. I’m a feisty girl and I have met my match in him. I think I always resented that my mom won the arguments in our family so I had to go out and marry the most stubborn willful man on the planet to make sure I didn’t turn into my mom who obviously wore the pants.

The jackhammers wear at me like yellow jackets buzzing around the punch bowl at a summer wedding. I can’t think straight. I’m hot and sweating and Baby Bug can sense things are not right and she has started fussing. Nothing seems to please her except walking around my room with her perched on my shoulder. My arms feel like they are going to break and fall off. I’m crying and my nose is running. I can never find a kleenex and my floor is littered with the contents of my purse that I’ve dumped out in search of one. I am at my wits end. I call up a friend and I can’t even talk because I’m crying too much. All she hears on her end is sputters and snorts. She finally figures out what is wrong and says she’ll be right over to hold the baby. I have wonderful friends.

While I’m waiting for my friend to rescue me, I decide to make a phone call I’ve been putting off since Baby Bug was born. I have to call our insurance agent. I found out last week that Baby Bug is not included on our insurance policy anymore. We had to pay for those scary shots with cash. Three hundred big ones. I make the call and walk around my room holding my increasingly fussing baby. My insurance agent informs me that I’ve passed my thirty day deadline to get Baby Bug on our policy and it’s all my fault because I failed to make a phone call. I didn’t call because I thought I had to read all the booklets and pamphlets that they’ve been sending me in the mail. The last thing I have time for lately is reading legalese insurance crap. Now we can’t add her to my policy and I’ve missed the April deadline to get her on her own. We’ll have to apply for a new policy and she won’t be covered until May.

Baby Bug cannot get sick and go to the hospital between now and May. I don’t think she will but this is just adding to my stress. Now I feel even worse because it is all my fault. I’ve fallen down on the job. This is just another one of those things that regular people think of but I don’t because I’m too busy being “creative” and I don’t pay attention to important details. I’m the one in charge of keeping bills and papers organized in our family because Toby is even worse at these things than I am. But I’m terrible at it. Two artists should never get married. There should always be one organized anal person in a marriage to carry the other crazy spontaneous one. Somebody has to keep things running. Did I mention all my bills were paid late this last month and I’ve been getting threatening letters? Bygones. They’re paid now, it’s just a paperwork mess.

My friend rescues me but now she wants to know when the last time Baby Bug was fed. When did she last go down for her nap? I don’t know these things. I don’t ever keep a schedule. I feed her when she cries. She always falls asleep in the sling. I don’t keep track of when and how long she sleeps during the day. I am a good mother because Baby Bug has constant attention from me all day but I am a bad mother because I am not very organized. Life would be so much easier if I would just jot down a note once in a while. I don’t even keep lists any more. They seemed pointless after a while when a whole week passed by and I couldn’t cross a single thing off.

I melt some breast milk from the freezer and my friend attempts to give Baby Bug a bottle while I try and cool off mentally and physically. Except here is something else I’ve failed at. I stopped pumping and giving Baby Bug a bottle every day for the last two weeks because I got busy and overwhelmed and maybe even a little bit lazy. The breast feeding was going so well. Bottles are messy and I always had a million other things to do while she was napping instead of sitting down and hooking up to the boob honker machine. Because I went two weeks without feeding her a bottle, now she doesn’t like bottles. Here I was so afraid she’d get addicted to bottles and not want the boob but in fact the opposite has happened. She sputters and cries when milk comes out of the man-maid nipple. It surprises her and she doesn’t like it. I have a new problem on my hands now. I have to retrain Baby Bug. Not something easily done.

It does help me some just to sit and talk to my friend even though she can’t really take care of Baby Bug like she was hoping. Just getting somebody else’s input beside my crazy husband’s makes me feel a little bit more human. We discuss the various laundry solutions and decide a washing machine hooked up to the outside hose is the best alternative. I can always hang dry my clothes.

I’m about to call up my mom and tell her that yes, I would like that old rusty washing machine that’s sitting outside on her lawn when Toby informs me that we can’t hookup a washing machine to our outside hose because there is no place for it to drain to. You can’t just drain your soapy gray water onto the dirt or down the gutter. News to me. I am thwarted again.

When my friend leaves, I decide to take a walk. Some fresh air always makes me feel better. It does seem to make my nose stop running anyway, which improves my mood about a thousand percent. I just have no patience for my stuffed up nose. It irritates the beep out of me. While I’m on my walk another friend drives by and honks. She pulls over and we decide to go on the rest of my walk together. Again, I have wonderful friends. We end up walking so much I now have blisters on my feet.

When I get home I’m cheered up. We will get through this somehow. But then the arguing with Toby starts again and Baby Bug is stressed out. I feel so bad for arguing in front of her. I end up slamming my door and nursing her to sleep. I am thankful for the hormones that are released when you nurse. They calm me when I feel like my whole world is falling apart. I go over every possible flight or fight plan in my head. Can I move home and live at my mom’s until Toby and I figure out this laundry situation? Should Toby and I go to counseling? What to do.. what to do…

Finally Toby and I make up. We always do. But here I am awake at two in the morning typing because I still haven’t figured out what I am going to do. Toby says I can borrow his car tomorrow and go to a laundromat across town. I guess that is what I will do but I am not looking forward to it. It’s just a temporary solution and I hate temporary solutions.

I know everybody says I should buy a roll around mini washing and drying unit that hooks up to my kitchen sink. Believe me, I’ve thought about it. I really have. It’s just not an option right now. I think having more stuff in my house that doesn’t have a place to go, would just stress me out even more. If that’s even possible.

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.