Still

My daughter is asleep. My son is with his father in town at the traveling carnival bonding over rides of dizzying speed and heights and flashing lights. I have the patio door open and up until just moments ago, the robins, sparrows, finches…they were all singing until the sun finally snuffed out. Not even a breeze disturbs the buffalo grass, already knee-high, in the fields. The neighbor’s cattle are bawling a half-mile away but they sound like they are in my yard. I can smell the perfume of lilacs that I cannot see.

It is quiet and still.

A question was asked, “When did you first know what love is?” and I thought about it. Was it with the birth of my son, and my love for him that came solely out of nurturing? Was it the love for my husband when he rocked his first-born son to sleep, gazed upon his tiny form and marveled? Did I know what love was when he held my hands and wiped my tears and told me that someday, when all was perfect, I would have another baby? Was it love when I let a tear drop onto the sleeping form of my almost-three-year old tonight because she calls me mommy?

It is quiet and still.

And still, my heart feels a little broken. Maybe it is too full.

Killdeer

I consider it a shame that while we live on an acreage surrounded by nature, my son shows little – if no – interest. I use to walk him around the yard and tell him the names of plants and trees, both wild and planted, because that’s what my mom would do for us. Of course I don’t think that contributed to my adult love of landscaping, but it didn’t hurt.

I make Doodicus play outside when I am out there weeding or trimming. The drama that accompanies that makes me want to bean him with the rake. The other day I let him water the flowers (which translates to spraying everything BUT the flowers with the sprayer attachment on the hose) and he saw a wasp.

“Mom!! There’s a wasp!”

*eyeroll* “Just spray it, Doodicus.”

“IT’S STILL MOVING!!!!!!!!!!”

“Then go step on it! Stop being such a pansy.”

“I HATE being outside!!”

“Suck it up ’cause you’re not going inside.”

Yes, I’m sure you would have handled that differently, but you know it’s been five years since we moved out here and I’m over trying to show him how much more interesting it is to explore the outdoors rather than sit on the couch and watch Spongebob or play video games. He doesn’t care. That doesn’t mean I’ve completely given up though.

I’ve noticed over the past week that each time I drove on the lane, a killdeer would be frightened into flight. I knew what this meant and this weekend I went for a walk down the lane. Sure enough, an adult killdeer started running away just yards in front of me. When I would pause to look at the rocks, it would call out. Then it would fall down, its “broken wings” flashing orange. I could get within only a few feet of it before it would get up and run ahead of me again before falling down “wounded”.

This is how killdeer distract predators from its nest, pretending to be injured. I wanted to show Doodicus so we headed outside for a walk. I pointed out the bird and told him to try to catch it. While skeptical, because what nine year old child isn’t skeptical ALL the time, he walked towards it and sure enough it limped away. The bird led him all the way up the lane before it flew up and away and back to its nest.

I had found the nest earlier, so I brought my son over to the general vicinity of it and told him to find it for himself. I’m sure he thought I was playing a joke on him until I stepped him right up to it and pointed directly at the four, round specked eggs, perfectly camouflaged in the rocks.

As we walked back towards the house he said, “That was COOL!”

I hope I’ll have the chance to show him the babies after they hatch because they are seriously some of the cutest baby animals I’ve ever seen. Cottonballs on toothpicks is the best description I can give them. I’ll let you know in a month. This is the picture I took after I showed my son the nest:

Hanging On

These represent all the pants I had hanging in my closet that a year ago I could wear but now cannot. I know for a fact that it was a year I was wearing these because I had brought some of them with me to Boston last Spring. I am now too fat for all of them and instead of letting them sit in my closet reminding me that once again my body fucking hates me, I folded them up and put them in a garbage bag destined for donating.

I didn’t cry, but I did choke back a sob or four. This makes me sadder than I could have imagined.

How’d It Go?

It was a good first day. The person I am replacing is training me. She is moving to another office within the corporation so whatever questions or problems arise means I can and should call her. That means it is in her best interest to get me trained efficiently and accurately. Plus, there is no “deadline” on the horizons for her to be at the other office, so we can be quite thorough.

I think I’ll like it. I got a sniff of the office politics already. Apparently the clinic staff can get a little territorial and think she (and later, I) should go to them with questions about the procedures; however, the person training me told me quite simply that if I have questions about what happened in the chair, I talk to my boss: the doctor.

The highlight of my first day was having flowers delivered to my new office. Flowers from Sparring Partner? The last time he sent me flowers was….

…uh….

Yeah. I have no idea when. It’s been years.

The day would’ve ended perfectly if I hadn’t had to come home to bickering and whining. Unfortunately, the largest contributor to this was the person who had sent me the flowers.

It’s like I had never stopped working.

Feels Like the First Day of School

These past few days since accepting the job offer, I’ve had to remind myself frequently that the adjustment I’m trying to prepare ourselves for isn’t that much of an adjustment when it comes to the overall picture. While I did lose my job almost two and a half years ago, I’ve only been home full-time since January.

But in the smaller, cynical picture, I can’t help but worry about losing this quality time with Aitch and Doodicus. What makes it a bit easier is that Aitch has been going to the daycare for a couple hours a day while I worked out and ran some errands. Doodicus will be done with school on Wednesday, so I won’t be stressing about his schoolwork (if only for the next three months). He’s very excited about going back to daycare full-time, and I have to admit, him being at daycare will provide him more activities than being at home with me who doesn’t like to do battle over how much time he needs to spend outside, or actually anything but playing TV and video games.

Related: the other day I “made” him come outside while I planted some flowers with Aitch. A wasp happened to be nearby and Dood nearly pooped his pants. I may have told him to suck it up. A post for another day.

I’m sure that my nervousness has a lot to do with the fact that this isn’t like me going back to work after maternity leave, it’s because I’m going back to work at a completely new job at a position I’ve never had. What if I hate it? What if they hate me??

Other worry-inducing changes are minor, if not petty. I didn’t even bother working out this week because I won’t be able to once I go back to work. Until we get Aitch onto a new schedule, I’ll be out of the house before she even wakes up. Half hour lunch breaks means endless sack lunches and no more lunch-dates with Sparring Partner. The projects I had lined up with remain just that: projects. The house will revert into a pig sty that I will have to spend my weekends cleaning. And I’ll miss my friends’ updates on Facebook and their blogs.

See? Stupid and petty worries. These are normal, right? I keep reminding myself that I’ll feel productive once again. I won’t have to justify every bank account transaction. Lastly, and probably the most importantly, we’ll finally have health insurance coverage…correction: Aitch, Doodicus and Sparring Partner will have health coverage. I, on the other hand, will have some coverage, but I may have to wait at least 18 months for the pre-existing term to pass before I get the coverage I really need.

Monday is my first day.

Mylar Murder

My son brought home one of the mylar balloons his teacher received for her birthday. He then tied it to some random toy and started using it like a punching bag…and then it floated up to the ceiling in our entryway.

Exciting, right?

Let’s add some details to that:

  1. The teacher’s birthday was in March.
  2. Doodicus’ ability to tie his own shoes is sub par, at best.
  3. The entryway ceiling is 18 feet high.

Unlike a latex balloon that loses its will to live within hours, this mylar balloon was in it for the long haul. I was warned by my friends on Facebook that it could take months for it to finally lose its oompf. But one of my friends threw out the words “sewing needle” and “nerf dart” and I was psyched!

"Ha ha! You can't get me!"
Warning: Do Not let your children see this!
Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?!
Ready? Aim! Fire!! (Lacking in the "Aim" department)
"I'd give you the finger...if I had any!"
Warning: Do not stand under a falling dart with a needle attached to it.

Nerf guns aren’t exactly accurate, did you know that? Wouldn’t want to depend on one out camping in the Rockies when a grizzly comes charging (because a Nerf Dart that was perfectly aimed would certainly take a charging bear out). I know I had several direct hits to the balloon, including one where the needle actually stuck in it long enough to weigh it down a couple of feet before it fell out. For whatever reason, I just expected that once I hit it, it would come right down, but it didn’t. Eventually I got bored and walked away (not before remembering to put away the needle first).

Some time later, I walked past the entryway to go into Aitch’s room and out of habit I looked up to the ceiling. No balloon. I spun around, expecting it behind me with a hypodermic needle aimed at my shoulder blades, and nothing. WTF? I looked back up again. Nope, my eyes were not deceiving me. I looked down again and finally noticed it. It had floated down and wedged itself between the loveseat the stair railing looking all tired and sad and I pouted on its faceless behalf. Awwww. Poor widdle bawwoon.

And then I did a happy dance! Victory is mine!!

What You’ll Never Hear Donald Trump Say: You’re Hired!

(Link below fixed…I think)

Well Mother’s Day as a “day” was shit. Thank god I have the other 364 days to make up for its singular full on suck. Sparring Partner and I had a humongous fight. I’m almost afraid to mention that a bloody nose was involved, but before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, it was the bloody nose that actually brought on the fight. It took about 24 hours before Sparring Partner and I were talking to each other again.

Of course I had to break the ice because Monday morning my sister and I were going to The Metro to do some bonding over shoe shopping and being that annoying couple of women who talk and giggle at each other through the dressing room walls and I wanted to spend some moola. We had planned the trip a week earlier, so I had been trying to figure out what was lacking from my closet. What is NOT lacking from my closet was the too-small and out-dated office-appropriate clothing that I noticed were getting a fine sifting of dust.

I was trying to get Aitch distracted by breakfast and Dora when my phone rang and it was a local number. My stomach lurched. I knew it was coming and I both dreaded it and anticipated it with hope. I was being offered a job.

Backing up a bit: a couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from a speciality clinic in town. I had applied for a position in their office but I was not hired, however a different position within the clinic came open and my resume was reconsidered. I interviewed with the physician and the person I would be replacing, and while I knew I would be a great fit, I had already mentally geared myself for a summer off to be with the kids. My first summer as a SAHM. Landscaping projects that had been blown off for the past couple years were restarted.

But as with all the good interviews I have had in the past, I figured that yet again I would be overlooked. A couple of days later I received another phone call from the clinic requesting a second interview. Again it went well (it wasn’t one of those canned-questions-with-canned-answers kind of interview that I loathe. It was a let’s-sit-down-and-get-to-know-each-other kind of interviews, which I prefer for their casual honesty. Admittedly, the physician is well-liked, respected, popular. I could do worse, I thought, after the second interview. That’s when I knew I wouldn’t get the job: because now I wanted it.

That leads us back to Monday morning’s phone call. I accepted enthusiastically and graciously while my daughter, who I walked away from and closed the bathroom door on so I could have a fairly dignified phone conversation with, screamed and cried for me. I nearly changed my mind when she wailed, “I want you! Mommy! I want youuuuu!!”

It was her face that was in the forefront of my mind when I finally called my husband. I was in the car, driving out of town, my daughter content once again at home with Grandma nearby. I announced I had a job and then I cried while my heart broke.

When I start to get weepy, like I am now writing about that moment, I remind myself of how I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. The specialist is top-notch. The clinic is under a corporation and there are health insurance benefits and investment opportunities. I’ll be able to utilize my decade of experience at the hospital. And the cherry? During my probationary period, they will start me at the salary I was making at the hospital and then I’ll be eligible for a raise.

It took 36 months from the time we were referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (July 2005) until we actually had a baby (July 2008). It took me 29 months to find a new job. Wrap your brains around that for a moment.

I went hog-wild on my shopping trip. The credit card’s strip was melting by the time I headed home with several large shopping bags in the back, including one with a pair of these shoes – in blue – and these (one of my fave brands of shoes). While most of what I got was mine, I did get both kids a few things for the summer. Doodicus will probably hate what I got him and that will mean a return trip to The Metro.

My credit card will be cooled by then.