A bit of a sad day for the folks here at P.h.D. (And by folk I mean me.)
After three long years of writing Pretty Hard, Dammit on Blogger.com, I'm moving.
I spent some random precious hours for a few months attempting to tinker around with Blogger’s very limited templates, and I utterly failed to successfully edit the html on the template I did find that I sort of liked, (I could never get rid of that stock picture of the stupid highway above) so I gave up in complete frustration. Then I started looking around for other blogging options and found WordPress. Woah. It’s like a Mac - easy and intuitive. Why I didn’t I switch over there years ago, I don’t know. Anyway, so far I love love love it. It’s fancy and schmantzy and smells like newly mown grass. Well, maybe not that last part. But is is cool.
I’m hoping I don’t lose anybody in the switch! I won’t get rid of the old blog here at Blogger and I migrated all of my old posts so you can catch up on old times in the shiny new format, but I won’t be adding any new posts over here anymore.
So Fabulous Readers, Please Please PLEASE update your links, bookmarks, bloglines, etc. to the new URL: http://prettyharddammit.wordpress.com.
Was that too needy and beggy? How about sensationalistic and tabloidesque? --
Be sure to update because you know you won’t want to miss a minute of the crazy antics of Stewgad (Is she writing? When will she finish?), Spousal Unit (Is he cooking? When does he start teaching?) and The Gadlet (Is she walking? Is she talking?), be sure to come on over to the new site!
So long, Blogger, and thanks!
I guess in life sometimes we get exactly what we deserve, right? And, of course, payback, she is a bitch. But particularly in matters of childcare I often think that the ironic gods of parenting reach out their dry twiggy fingers and deliberately pinch so as to protect us from our own hubris and hence our children from our grandiosity.
Well, yesterday, they struck me but good.
For the past few months I’ve been gleeful with pretty damn near everyone about The Gadlet’s pooping prowess. Inevitably in conversations, whether with people I see every day, folk I hadn’t seen for a while or even strangers I had just met, something in me felt strangely obliged to tell them within the first few moments of conversation that MY Daughter poops in a potty at 10.5 months. “Have I told you about the Gadlet and the Potty yet? No? How, you ask? WELL, let me tell you, that WE are so IN TUNE, she and I, and we are SOOOO in Sync that I can ALWAYS tell when she’s pooping, and so I ALWAYS rush her to the potty before it happens and, eh, voilá! Poop! In a Potty!! It’s so much tidier and neater -- it’s brilliant. You HAVE to try it. Eh? No kids? Oh, well, when you get them, get them a potty RIGHT AWAY.”
Yes, pride cometh before a fall.
So yesterday, Spousal Unit went out to run some errands, leaving me making curry chicken salad with pecans and fresh cherries and the Gadlet having a nice lunch of blueberries, cheese, pasta, and zucchini. Well, I was kind of distracted, what with making curry sauce, chopping chicken, and cherries, so I was giving the Gadlet only about half of my attention. At one point, however, I heard a tell-tale little grunting sound. Aha! I thought. She’s firing off a warning turd. Excellent! “Good girl, Gadlet! Let’s go to the potty!”
We go upstairs. I get the potty out of the bathroom and put it on the floor of her bedroom next to the changing table, as per usual, and put the Gadlet on the changing table, chattering about the potty the whole time. Alas, when I take off her diaper, I find that that warning turd had actually been the whole shebang. And it was a pretty big bang. There was a TON of poop, and it’s pretty much everywhere. So much for being SO IN SYNC. Well, I swallowed my pride a little bit, and decided that I’d persist with the whole potty thing just to keep the rhythm of it for her. Plus, I was worried that maybe she wasn’t done pooping. So I left the diaper on the changing table, and plunked her on the potty.
At which point she proceeds to reach down and grab her little poopy bottom with her hands, getting the stuff all over her fingers.
“AAAK!” I shriek, “STOP! STOP STOPIT STOPIT!!” I grab a diaper wipe and wipe her hands. That got rid of the worst of it and she seems slightly cleaner, but I’m still feeling like her hands could be cleaner. Then I got a Brilliant Idea, that I confess was partially prompted by concern with cleanliness and partly prompted by the increasingly pungent smell wafting gently from the diaper on the changing table. It was so gross it was forcing me to rethink my indignation when the other day Spousal Unit had lovingly compared the smell of the Gadlet’s shit to a very busy Chicago Public Restroom. My Brilliant Idea was to very quickly run into the bathroom, drop the diaper into the toilet to soak (it’s cloth) and grab a wet washcloth to better clean off the Gadlet’s poopy fingers. I look down at her. She’s sitting contentedly on the potty “reading” the cute little book “More, More, More, Said the Baby.”
So I ran in the bathroom, plunked the diaper into the toilet, grabbed a wet washcloth, and returned to the bedroom.
Big Mistake. Huge. A Mistake of Epic Proportions.
In the 20-30 seconds it took me to do that, The Gadlet, newly mobile and reveling in her own mobility, had peed, liberated herself from the potty, kicked it over, spilled the pee, traveled a few feet, and plunked her poopy butt onto the WHITE CARPET. (Installed in the room long before it was a baby’s room.)
I think that thus far I have neglected to mention that the Gadlet’s meals the day before had mostly consisted of blueberries and, sigh, beets. I’m sure that those of you out there who aren’t parents have never closely examined any poop produced after the consumption of such intensely colored foods, and so let me tell you that the deep purple of blueberries and the deep burgundy of beets make a magical color wheel combination that the Pottery Barn might creatively call “Deep Cloak,” “Midnight Iron,” “Coal Mine,” or perhaps “La Brea Tar Pit.”
Before she could spread anymore Midnight Iron shit anywhere, I swooped her up, and ran her into the bathroom, stuck her in the bathtub, and turned on the water. I pulled the lever for the shower massage/hand spray thingey and grabbed it, and her, and started to hose off her butt. At which point she dove forward, trying to clock her head as hard as she could on the side of the cast-iron tub, so I dropped the shower sprayer and grabbed her before she connected head to tub. I’m sure you can imagine what happened next. That shower thing started acting like a greased snake writhing away from intense danger, and sprayed water EVERYWHERE.
So there I was, sopping wet, holding a now wet and slippery, yet still poop-covered baby, with a diaper full of blue-black crap soaking in my toilet, and a perfectly ass-shaped indigo stain and a puddle of pee on the bedroom carpet.
But here’s the worst part.
I managed to get the Gadlet clean and in a new diaper and in bed with a basket full of toys so that she would be marginally entertained and isolated from the shitty floor while I dealt with this situation. I made a solution of OxyClean (that stuff ROCKS), and grabbed a pile of rags, and started to clean up the carpet. The Gadlet, clean, slightly damp, and cute as can be, pulled herself up to standing in her bed, craned her head over the edge of the rail, looked at me sweetly and said:
I'm a few sentences away from finishing the composition part of the article. I'll be done with the revisions (and hence this draft of the article) by the end of the week. (She says confidently!)
I'm sure you've all caught this by now, but it's only going to be around for a few more days, so if you haven't seen it yet, go get it now.
I woke up at 5:30 this morning (the Gadlet's usual wake-up time) to a quiet house. But my brain was buzzing -- with ideas about the article. So, I got up and wrote two pages of notes about the stuff I was thinking about -- good material that will enhance both the chapter and the article.
Labels: I woke up at
Thanks all for your great comments. I took a lot of the advice -- I chilled out a little, started taking it in little chunks, and working in little bits of time. I got my butt out of the house, which is usually the number one most important thing for me. I just don't work well at home. I like to work in crowded, noisy places where I'm alone with a lot of people near me so that I'm not lonely and where I can get food, coffee and/or books at a moment's notice. This week I've been at the big box bookstore with internal evil corporate coffee shop. Yeah, I know, it's evil, but they have free parking. But, it is pretty generic and soul-less. Funny story from Tuesday -- A woman sat down next to me in said evil cafe. Her phone rang, and she said "Hey. Where are you? I'm in the cafe." Pause. Looks around. "I don't see you." Pause. "Oh! You're at Borders???" She was in the Wrong Evil Corporate bookstore. She turned a little red, and then popped up and headed out the door. It would have been really funny if it wasn't such a sad commentary on the homogenization and gentrification of America.
what day I'm on in this horrible countdown, definitely don't want to know how many days are left!
Well, there it is. I sent off Chapter 4 to my advisor just this moment. I guess it is an accomplishment, but since I did most of the work on it months ago, it feels rather anticlimactic. Less of a victory and more like one less chore on a very, very long list. And since I'm pretty terrified of him in general, just because of what he is, not because of who he is, I suppose it is a pretty significant accomplishment.
I'm sure that every dissertator (especially those Very Special Dissertators like myself who are on the, ahem, Longerish Path to completion) can relate to what I'm about to say. OK, here it is:
I was writing this as a response to a comment I received on my post Final Foibles '08, Part 1, and thought that it should make the main blog pages. Mostly because I'm curious about what the rest of ya'll think.
Is this even appropriate? I wouldn't want some idiot teacher posting parts of my paper without my permission.
I don't usually respond to people who call me idiots, (and, by the way, thanks for that) but I feel inspired to so today.
First of all, I could see your point if I had posted the names of the students who wrote these sentences. However these sentences, like your comments, are anonymous. Their identities, like yours, are protected.
Second, and you could not know this, but I tell all of my classes before they turn in any papers that I keep a file of funny sentences to use in later handouts as examples of problematic writing. They are fully aware that what they write may be later distributed to others (again, anonymously).
Third, and you could also not know this, but I spend a LOT of time working with my students' writing to help them become better writers. If I was simply reading, making little checks in the margins, and then handing their papers back with a letter grade, it would be cruel and heartless to then make light of any errors. However, I spend about an hour with each student's paper that I read. Each paper. Every time. So, you do the math and decide how seriously I take student writing.
In view of these facts, I think a little harmless fun at the end of the semester is, well, harmless.
Thanks, though, for your concern.
p.s. The blog is under a bit of construction right now, so don't mind the mess while I tinker with this new format to see if I like it. :)
In the grand old tradition of attempting to enjoy oneself while grading, or at least not poke one's eyes out with the red pen, I offer the following fabulous sentences from this round of student papers.
I don't know what was worse. The testing or Spousal Unit's reaction to the testing.
This week the poor little Gadlet went through some terrible stuff. Not as bad as it could be, thank the stars, maker, Gods, God, whoever and whatever, but deeply unfun nonetheless.
How do you x-ray a squirmy infant? Funny you should ask.
They stuffed her into this thing:
I don't know what kind of baby happy crack they put this kid on to get this picture where he looks all calm and normal except for the vacant look in his eye, but the Gadlet did not like this thing AT ALL. She screamed her little tiny head off. Worse, she looked at me the whole time going "mamamamamamama!!!" in between sobs as if I had betrayed her in the vilest way. Which in a way I had because it was my job to stand there HOLDING HER ARMS ABOVE HER HEAD watching while she screamed, so clearly I was in on this torture that she was undergoing. It was horrible. All the while, the X-Ray technician was swearing to me up and down that it was actually better if the Gadlet screamed because then they could get a clearer image of her lungs. But you know she had to be lying just to make me feel better.
I just found out while looking for this thing on the internets that it is appropriately called, and I shit you not, a "Pigg-O-Stat." I don't know if that means it is a way to make a pig static, in which case I'm deeply offended that my infant is deemed a pig in medical terminology, or if the poor inventer's name was Pigg. Either way, it did not bode well for the little Gadlet.
Well, the X-rays were fine, she did not have pneumonia. So they sent us home and told us it was viral, but to check back in a couple of days if her fever persisted.
It did, of course.
So then we had to go back on Friday. In the fun baby luck of the draw we got the rookie PA rather than the doctor, and she thought maybe ear infection. So she spent 40 minutes trying to look into the Gadlet's ears while I held her immobilized. After 30 minutes of violent screaming and even more violent squirming, I almost wished I had the Pigg-O-Stat.
The PA finally gave up and called in the Doc. He took literally about 10 seconds to look, got a good view of her ears, and said, "Nope, not an ear infection." That meant worse. He said, in a very loud voice to overcome the Gadlet's screams, "Sorry, but now we have to take a urine sample and that means sticking a catheter into her urethra. Do you consent?" Once again, I became Mama the Vile Betrayer. And she thought the ear exam was bad. Woah. Add to this very rude intrusion on her internal private parts the to the fact that she never actually stopped screaming from the bungled ear-checking, and boy, was she one pissed-off infant. And then of course she peed everywhere as soon as they took it out. So she was wet, cold, mad as hell, and probably in some pain. By this point she had been crying nonstop for about 45 mintues solid. She screamed so hard that she did that sobbing breathing (huh-huh-huh haaaa, pause, Huh-huh-huh haaaaa) afterwards for half an hour even though she fell asleep. Poor little cookie. It broke my heart. Next time they stick some tubes in my baby or decide to plunk her in any thing O-Static, Spousal Unit has to come along and be Papa the Vile Betrayer. I'm not doing that one again.
Except, I think I am. It turns out that she's got a urinary tract infection and is on antibiotics. The bad news is that there has to be more testing on May 8 at the hospital to make sure there isn't anything wrong with her bladder, urethra or kidneys.
And what are my instructions for before the testing? Get this -- we have to: not let her eat after midnight, and then make sure she comes in with a full bladder for the test.
Uh, yeah. Right. The fact that they are suggesting this prepratory process for an 8 month old (it will be her 8-month b-day on the test day) does not inspire my confidence in the hospital that has requested such a thing. Don't you'd think they would know that you can't tell babies not to pee and have it work?? I mean, hello, hospital? Dealing with babies all of the time?? And not nurse her after midnight? Do those foolish hospital workers want to come to my house and deal with my screaming baby at 2:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. when I refuse to nurse her? I'm guessing probably not.
Oh, and did I mention I've got 36 papers to grade this week, 25 to grade next week, and get another 50 on May 12? And I got another scolding email from the volume editors reminding me (as if I could forget...) that I'm a year behind and delinquent on this article I'm supposed to be writing? Add to this the fact that Spousal Unit is at his hardest point of work for the next 6 months (Overheard phone call from the Lab today -- Spousal Unit "It blew up?" Pause. "How loud?" Pause. "He should really report this, especially if he is still hearing ringing in his ears." Pause. "O.K. Well, how much got out?" Pause. "Hm...that's not good." At which point I was so freaked out, I left the room.) I think we're both feeling like we're stuffed into in the Academic equivalent of the Pigg-O-Stat.
I guess at this point all we can do is hope that the Gadlet doesn't have another Pigg-O-Matic, (oops! Static, Stat, whatever...) in her near future.
The Obama Obsession : A Drama in Three Acts
Oh. My. God.
Well, we survived the week. Barely.
On Monday I suited up for the role and put on something other than jeans, spit-up stained shirts, or pajamas for the first time since the Gadlet was born. I donned my new button-down shirt and fancy work pants, which were only made possible by the control-top tights that held in my postpartum gut. As I tugged those things on I fervently hoped that the "control-top" helping me hold in my flabby belly would also help me hold in my flabby emotions. But for some reason that wasn't one of the benefits advertised on the package.
I gathered together the million and a half bags it takes to get a baby and a returning professor out of the house, packed up the Gadlet and drove her over to Darby's. I brought her in and kissed her goodbye and was thinking I'd make it out without tears until Darby asked me how I was doing. I got a little weepy then and so bolted out the door before I had a total breakdown.
Then I was free. I thought it would feel awful. I had fully prepared to weep in the car. But I didn't. In fact, it was great. I felt so good. The Gadlet was safe, cared for and happy and I could work uninterrupted for HOURS at a time. The last few weeks it had been really challenging to feel like I had to be working on my dissertation, prepping for classes AND taking care of the Gadlet. Monday I just had to do one of those three things. Life had gotten much, much simpler.
The only less simple and slightly crazy thing was making sure the Gadlet had enough milk for the next day. In the interest of multitasking, and since I have an hour commute with nothing to do in that time period, I had decided to pump while driving. To facilitate this bit of automobile gymnastics I bought this insanely overengineered bra for "hands free" pumping. It looks and feels like an unholy cross between my grandmother's knickers and a Madonna video. So in the morning along with my control top undergarments, I put this contraption on underneath my shirt, then put in half of the pump part (the part that covers my boobs), and stuck it through the convenient hole in the bra leaving exposed the hollow pipe that hooks up to the valves, etc. I looked exactly like a femmebot with guns sticking out of my jubblies. After I dropped the Gadlet off, I got in the car, hooked myself up and pumped while I commuted. I don't love pumping, but I love the Gadlet so I kept at it. I was simply terrified the whole time, though, that I'd get stopped by a cop for something and he'd look down and I'd be hooked up to the milking machine. But at least I was "hands free." I mean, if there's laws about cell phone use while driving, what about pumping?
Fortunately I was not arrested for indecent exposure while driving on my first commute. I got a lot done on Monday to prep for teaching on Tuesday. I printed out a bunch of stuff and got my syllabi and handouts ready. (I'm one of those profs that handout out a million pieces of pieces of paper the first day of class.) Then I headed home to the Gadlet.
When I got to Darby's, apparently the Gadlet had been crying or grousing for about an hour. Poor kid. I think she was ready to go home, because as soon as I put her in the car she started chattering a mile a minute -- like she had to tell me all about her adventures of the day. Then at home she got very quiet and subdued and wanted to be held all night. I was worried that she was trying to show us how good she could be so that we wouldn't take her back to day care. But Spousal Unit said I was being ridiculous.
The best part of Monday, though, was coming home. I walked in the door and the house was clean and all lit up and it smelled wonderful. The table was set and there was a beautiful salad waiting. While I admired all of this and unpacked the Gadlet, the oven timer beeped and Spousal Unit pulled out homemade enchiladas. It was so amazing. I felt so cared for and supported. The only thing that might have made it better was if he'd been buck naked except for an apron. But since we live in the North and it is January, I can understand why he decided to keep his clothes on. But lack of nakedness aside, let me tell you, I don't think I've ever been so happy to come home and find dinner waiting.
Tuesday's commute was a little trickier because I had to drop the Galdet off and then pick up my commuting colleague. But it worked fine. Then I taught again for the first time in ages. It felt great. Well, after I got over that gut-wrenching nervousness of the first class. Within a few minutes I remembered how much I love teaching and how much I love my students and how much I love history and how much I love my colleagues. It was such a good day. I was totally high and as I left work I felt really ready to launch into the Dreaded Dissertation on Wednesday.
Then I picked up the Gadlet on Tuesday night. Darby said that she had been coughing so desperately badly all day that she had made herself hoarse. It was terrible. My baby was sick. This ocean of guilt crashed into me. I had left her and she had gotten sick and she felt bad and didn't have her mama all day. I was the worst mother ever to enter into mothering. How could I have been so cruel? I was never ever going to leave her again. Tuesday night she was so full of phlegm she couldn't sleep because she kept coughing herself awake. So I took her to the pediatrician Wednesday morning. They stuck this pipe cleaner looking thing up her nose and sucked out a booger to test it for RSV, a respiratory virus that little kids get. Then they tested her blood-oxygen levels to make sure she was getting enough oxygen. The scariest thing was that they wanted to know about a family history of ashtma. (Maternal Grandmother, Mother, Brother, and me a little when encountered with molds.) But she was negative for RSV and they didn't think she has asthma. Just a cold. Phew. But oh did I feel terrible. Oh, and best of all? The pediatrician said that she couldn't go back to day care because she might make Darby's baby sick.
I deflated like a little balloon. So much for feeling liberated and like I had time to do my own work. Dammit. I had to stay at home with the baby. But, wait, isn't that what I wanted to do all along? How confusing. Then I felt all guilty because I felt bad that I had to stay home with my sick baby that I wouldn't have wanted to leave anyway because she was sick. See the conundrum? It wasn't fun.
Anyway, I lost Wednesday's work time because she just wanted to be held all day. Back to being a Mama and feeling like I had to do other stuff also. Thursday was Daddy Day so she got to be at home with Spousal Unit and I got to go to work guilt-free. Then Friday I caught the cold so we just lazed around together, me blowing my nose, the Gadlet squirming and screaming while I used that bulbous thingeymabob to suck the boogers out of her nose. Good times, my friends, good times.
So all in all, a complicated emotional roller coaster this week. With mucus. But somehow we survived and are poised to try it all again next week.
I haven't updated my blog list in forever and I really want to apologize for not adding all of the new readers that have been coming by lately to the sidebar. It isn't personal at all -- believe me! Also, I've been a bad blog citizen and haven't commented on ya'll's blogs. Thanks so much for all the support and comments -- I love them. I'm just swamped and haven't had a chance to reciprocate. But I will do someday soon, I promise.
Also I have two giftlets waiting for addresses from that gift meme a while back. If I don't hear from the two people who ostensibly won them but never sent me their addresses, I'll give them to the first two folk to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Delurk and drop me a note and I will send you a cool little thing that has been cluttering up my desk since October!
So I have a bit of a confession to make.
Before the Gadlet was born I got a bit obsessed with a joint-authored parenting blog and I spent quite a bit of time reading all of the posts about lead paint hazards and celebrity births and fun games for toddlers and single parenting and tips for travel. I think I was really trying to figure out beforehand what parenting would be like. (As if one really could?) I was particularly interested in the posts by one author whose baby had been born a few months earlier. I think I figured that her experiences would parallel mine and that I could see what I'd be going through in advance. But this is not my confession. My confession is this: A series of her posts were about how devastating it was to her to go back to work. She wrote about sobbing hysterically because she had to leave her child at daycare and return to her office. When I read this I got all snarky and superior. I mean, come on! Hysterics? The kid was going to be three blocks away from her office. How ridiculous to be so emotional and so obsessed. It's not like she was leaving her kid forever, she was just going back to work. At a career she chose and liked. Sheesh. And I confess I think I even sent a link to Spousal Unit mocking this woman's pain.
Yep. Karma's a bitch.
I spent most of the day on Sunday in hysterical weeping because I have to go back to work next week and leave the Gadlet in Daycare for three days a week. I was snorting, sobbing, and moaning and Spousal Unit was supremely unsympathetic. Didn't he understand that MILLIONS OF YEARS OF EVOLUTION were telling my in the strongest possible hormonal language NOT TO LEAVE THIS CHILD! Apparently not. Nor did he understand that telling me that I Absolutely Had to Finish My Dissertation RIGHT NOW did not help AT ALL. Although to give him a little credit, reminding me that I actually had something pretty important to do while the Gadlet was in daycare may have seemed like a somewhat reasonable response to my Extreme Reluctance to part with my child. It was not. I would not be appeased. It was a pretty miserable day.
While I know intellectually that the Gadlet will be fine and I know that she'll really enjoy her new situation (it is at the house of a woman -- Darby -- with lots of nanny experience and only 1 other kid, her 6-week old little boy) and I know she'll love Thursdays with Daddy, it still feels really hard to think about this special time we had together coming to an end.
To help myself make this transition and to make next Monday "easier," I went over to Darby's yesterday equipped with a box of stuff for the Gadlet to have there, like extra clothes and diapers and stuff. At the suggestion of a friend, I also toted along an extensive typed list of things that Darby may possibly need to know about the Gadlet. This list contained vital, critical things that only her Mama knows and that I was sure Darby could not figure out on her own -- things like "she likes to be held upright rather than flat" or "she only poops every 4 days so don't freak out if she hasn't pooped." I carefully detailed her favorite toys and how she likes to roll over and how we're handling the cloth diapering and when she sleeps each day. Darby very sweetly listened to me yak about this for an hour or so, nodding with great interest. We talked a lot about her baby and mine and what it was like and what she wants to do with the two of them. And then, as I was making a move to leave, she gently asked me to write down who the Gadlet's pediatrician was and what my emergency contact numbers were.
Yes. I had carefully explained how often the Gadlet needs to excrete but had not written down my cell phone number.
Clearly I do not want to leave this baby.
Last week it also hit me that there were going to be lots of things that I was going to miss. I was thinking that I wouldn't be around for some really important milestones like rolling over and sitting up on her own and crawling and walking and talking... the list goes on. But as I was sitting there worrying about it as I sent some emails, the the Gadlet, on her play mat beside me, started a strange grunting. So I looked over at her only to find that she was on her belly. Yes, she had rolled over for the first time while I wasn't looking only moments after I had been worrying about missing her rolling over. I leapt up and grabbed the camera and took this:
I'm sure she rolled over because she was dressed in what I like to call her "My Daddy is a Physicist" shirt. But, anyway, in that moment she taught me a really valuable lesson, that wily little kidlet. I was sitting right there next to her and I missed a major milestone. So maybe going away won't be all that different. Plus, her milestones are hers, not mine. They're important to me, sure, but even if I miss the first one, I'll catch the second:
Or the third or the fourth. She'll do it again. And I'll be there for those moments.
In addition to the hormonally induced hysteria (H.I.H) and Fear of Missing Something Big (F.M.S.B.) I think I am also really reluctant to end my leave because of what it means for me. Maternity leave has been just great and I think the first six weeks of her life were the happiest of mine. I was the least stressed, the most fulfilled, and the most calm that I've ever been. I mean, I didn't have to worry about anything at that time. I set it all aside to just be with her. I can't adequately describe what it felt like to put down all of my self-imposed pressure, all of the academic pressure, all of the crap I've been carrying around for a decade or so and just Be. Just Live. It was indescribably special. So I guess I'm not only mourning the loss of my uninterrupted time with the Gadlet, I think I'm also mourning the loss of that happy self who didn't have anything else to worry about except feeding her baby.
But if I'm really honest with myself, I haven't been that person for a while. (In fact, since November 11. Blogs are great, huh?) And lately, I've found myself resenting the Gadlet sometimes when I'm trying to get something done and she wants my attention. And then I resent myself for resenting her. And then I get stressed that I'm not getting anything done
AND I'm not fully being present with the Gadlet and I resent the universe that structured it this way. So maybe it will be a really good thing for me to have some uninterrupted time for my own work and then when I'm with the Gadlet, I'll really be with her and can enjoy that time because I won't also be trying to do a million other things.
At least that's what I'm telling myself today. We'll see what I tell myself on Monday morning as I walk away from Darby's house without my baby.
Dreaded Dissertation Update
I've spent the last couple of days getting things together that I needed to do to go back to work, so the DD has taken a back seat. But, I'm feeling hopeful that next week's daycare will buy me more time. The rest of this week will also be consumed with prepping for the semester. (I haven't even started on my syllabi!!)
The only good news is that I tried on my work clothes yesterday and my pants still fit. Shirts are a different story, but those are easier and cheaper to replace than the Ann Taylor suits. :)