Later I will be patient. Later, when my toddler wakes from his nap, and the baby I take care of comes for the afternoon. Then I will coo and calm others. Now I just need to vent, rant, whatever you want to call it, I need my little window here where I am allowed to be utterly and entirely frustrated with everyone and everything. I need to sever the ties to any image of me as easy going and care free and nurturing and just have a straight out bitch session.
I am tired. I’m tired of the permanent kink on the left side of my neck where my boy is constantly trying to pull down on me, using ropes of my hair as his personal pulley system. I’m tired of his deep teething frustration that caused him to bite me hard in the forearm this morning, and then later practically squeeze off my spare nipple while he nursed on the other one. I am tired of the people that would respond to this by telling me that it’s time to wean him. My little angel was just having a moment, okay? Just a moment.
I am tired of the hairbrush I can never find and the professional coloring I can’t afford and the sad way I have settled on hats as a catch-all remedy that people will accept as a way of protecting my skin, except when it’s raining. I am tired of the dumb cell phone that always seems just out of my reach and my dumber need for it and the queer way that when I see women driving and talking on speaker phone I feel that their lives are somehow more valuable or meaningful than mine.
I am tired of the way my mind is cluttered with silly songs and rhymes and the way sometimes I just want to shoot that dog Bingo for making it so hard to count the claps. I am annoyed with the way I rely on television and videos to help me parent. I hate the ads on kids channels that use ridiculous unattainable adjectives like “mommy-perfect” to describe the school lunches one can put into an insulated lunch bag. Make no mistake: I will never be mommy-perfect, and anyone that thinks they can be mommy-perfect is a mommy from Mars. (I’m sorry—Venus.)
I hate that strange Australian cartoon on Sprout with the cartoon toddlers with photo-collaged on oversize mouths that are strangely sexual, all tongue and teeth, so that when they talk and sing all you are aware of are those mouths. Is it me? Am I the only one that has this reaction? Does my mind just go that way?
I am tired of the cat that stopped peeing and pooping in the house only to pee and poop in my sunflower beds. I am tired of the way my partner dotes on the cat, but leaves all the misplaced excrement for me to handle. I am tired, so tired, of the way he keeps comparing me to his mother, and the way I never hold up to the image of this woman who supposedly took care of twenty-two children and managed to vacuum the house everyday and put a square meal on the table at the same time every night. I hate the way people always seem more perfect when they’re gone. I hate the way I manage a thing like grilling sausages while also getting the baby bathed, only to be criticized for not having run a comb through his hair. He’s clean. He’s happy. What more do you want?
I am tired, so tired of people who think they work harder than everyone else. I am tired of resentful people that hold grudges. I am tired of all the grandparents that are showing up to spend time with my friends’ kids on our beautiful beaches and the recognition that my boy’s one grandparent is a workaholic with clients whose lives will fall apart if she leaves them to come see her grandson. I’m tired of Skype and email and the way it will never replace the touch and smell of a living, breathing person.
I am tired of the rotting windows and the peeling paint and the effin National Grid who, every time we seem to have two dimes to rub together, takes the money and runs. Guess we can’t afford to replace those windows yet. But someone has given us a brand new wood stove, so take that, National Grid. Next year it’s your turn to be in the poorhouse.
I am tired of that one phrase that keeps bouncing back into my head… my mother’s therapist telling her that she needed to get in touch with the part of her that is comfortable with self-deprivation. I am tired of the gnawing feeling that this same trait has rubbed off on me. I am tired of feeling the massive, immovable wall that I feel when I try to get up over that shit.
I’m tired of not being able to say what I want or find a way to get it. I’m tired of feeling that parenting may be the only thing I have done well in my life, yet even this sometimes feels like such a friggin’ crap shoot.
I’ll tell you two things that I know very clearly that I want. More money and more time. Now if only all it took was finding a pair of sparkly shoes and clicking my heels three times.