Archive | August 2010

What bugs?

Okay, I’ve calmed down.  I went for a run with the lovely Miss Juno and a girlfriend, who when I recounted my stupid morning,  cites her own obsessive compulsive ways for the demise of her marriage.  Aha.  What did I tell you?  This girl loves the smell of bleach in the mornings, if you know what I mean.  On the plus side, she’s the friend you need to organize your closets. Nothing like a divorce in the air to keep you on your toes.

By the time I returned, DH was out with the little man and the kitchen was clean, and even the lobby had been wet-mopped and tidied.  Later on, when I did see him, it was clear that we were in a détente of sorts and the matter was dropped.  I did not commend him on his superior cleaning skills.  Yeah, I was still miffed but it was hardly worth ruining the weekend over it. We had our friends over for a BBQ and I made peach cobbler.  Delish!

I did, however, point out the ice cream spillage  he left on the counter last night.  Yep.  We could have been overrun by bugs. And sure enough on the other counter was a third full glass of milk and a container that only had the grape stem in it.  Couldn’t quite make it into the garbage, I guess.  My, my, I guess we’re going to bug hell in handbasket.

Frankly, I think the underlying frustration is lack of sex.  Between my lack of interest, fatigue and the care and feeding of the little man, taking care of the dog’s needs, my mother’s needs, it’s fallen off the list of things to do.  I kind of feel bad about it and I kind of don’t.  Nitpicking and nagging rarely bring out romantic feelings on either side.    I’ve noticed we’re both getting a great deal of pleasure from being with the kid but we often have to divide our spare time together in order to get things done. Sometimes couples forget to be nice and gentle with each other.  You really want a massage but you just can’t be bothered to make the first move.  So you drink another glass of wine, take another hoot and fuzz out.  The book of domestic resentment gathers no dust.

So we’ve decided to get away this long weekend.  A friend of DH passed away and the funeral is out of town.  So what the heck – we’ll all go with him and get away from the counters of doom.

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This is why people get divorced

This is going to be rant about some stupid domestic fight that I can’t believe.  DH felt to remind me for the 2nd dramatic time this summer to wipe the counters down.  Apparently he found two little bugs on the counter.  now for the back story.

Last summer, we had an infestation problem.  I was blamed for it because I apparently NEVER WIPE THE COUNTERS DOWN.  We had to take everything out of the cupboards, clean and throw out stuff.  Actually, the source was a bag of whole wheat flour I hadn’t used in ages.  But these little buggers were in spice baskets, cracker boxes etc, and at one point, DH threw out 99% of whatever was in the cupboard.  We fought over this.  I kept trying to tell him that yelling at me for causing all this was not, in fact, going to make it true.  I’m not the best housekeeper in the world, but I had cleaned out all the cupboards, but I couldn’t eradicate the buggers without using insecticide around the food stuffs. And of course, they were behind the cupboards as well where we couldn’t see them.   I could not find any bio friendly insecticide.  We searched the internet for what they were – and narrowed it down to some sort of wheat weevil.  All we could do  was remove all infestated products, deprive them of a food source and wait for their cycle to end.  DH found my efforts were lacking so he went through the cupboards himself.  His digust was almost palpable.  He threw out things that weren’t even infested.  He could have taken apart a very expensive salt/pepper shaker and put it in the dishwasher, but no, he threw it out instead. He made A BIG DEAL out of this and ran behind me practically every time I went into the kitchen to PROVE to me that I didn’t wipe down the counter EVERY TIME I USED IT.  If I said I did, he would accuse me of being defensive.  And yes, I was defensive because he was BLAMING ME for the bugs very existence.  If I made coffee, and there was a coffee ground next the coffemaker, well, MY FAULT.  I wasn’t being diligent.  They can be in a product you bring in from the store (ie. flour, sugar, crackers, spice) and has nothing to do with the sanitary nature of the kitchen. He just had to find FAULT for this intrusion. And if I didn’t call myself the worst housekeeper alive, well, I was just delusional.  Anyway, after a time they all died out.  His control over nature was restored again.

My friend made toast yesterday and since it’s that squirrely bread with multigrains, crumbs do get left about.  I actually did sponge the counter off.  Not completely from end to end removing every item, I did not clean out the toaster, but I sponged the immediate area.  This morning he comes in and in that fake patient tone, REMINDS me AGAIN to wipe the counters down.  I told him he didn’t have to remind me again, and certainly not 10 times more like he proceeded to do.  And he curses at me from the kitchen because I’m being DEFENSIVE.  He takes the kid and slams the bedroom door.

And now he’s on a cleaning binge. He’s in the pantry, cleaning, scrubbing, washing the floors and I bet you after everything is done, he’s going to expect it to stay that way.  I have had it.  I’m going out and buying RAID, BLEACH AND THROWING OUT THE FUCKING TOASTER.  I’M TAKING EVERYTHING OFF THE FUCKING COUNTERS AND HELL, MAYBE I’LL EMPTY THE CUPBOARDS.

Skinnier!

Good news – I lost 1.4 lbs!  I’m pretty surprised as I had a mini Blizzard last week- those darn commercials finally got to me.  Hey, I have to have a decadent treat every now and then.  Of course, Chatelaine magazine told me that a small strawberry cheesequake Blizzard contains 710 calories and would take 2 hrs and 25 minutes of brisk walking to get rid of and a mini has about half – so that jog through the park helped me do penance.  At this glacial pace, I should be skinny by the Apocalypse.

Now apparently I’m not supposed to use my activity points to balance out my treats.  For example, I’m not supposed to figure I can eat a pizza then workout 4 hours the next day to null and void it.  You’re supposed to use your 35 extra points first. So the extra exercise is to lose weight.  Now, if you know me, you know I will work for food. If you dangle a promise of a free latte in front of me, I will pick up the pace. If you say, run faster so you can lose weight, that doesn’t put the wind under my wings.   I whispered to the lady next to me that when I’m out of points, I just go to bed.  Not much point in staying awake, right?

Honestly, when you hear some of the lifers talk, it sounds like they are just as food obsessed as the next person.  Oh, I count out 14 pecans and put them on plate and eat them slowly.  I opened up the bag and ate the whole thing before I even realized it!  Remember that book, Women, Food and God – well, it makes sense. If I have to weigh food on a scale, divide out portions, look for fibre in every snack, I don’t think I’m going to end up a lifer.  I’d love to wake up and be a devout fruit and veggie eater, but that’s a fantasy. I think the more realistic goal is to wake up and realize that I would prefer to wake up in a body that is healthy, can endure an active day with my dog and my kid without undue fatigue and pain, and clothe it in something cute.

Still not skinny

This whole weight loss thing is NOT going well.  I’ve got a weigh in tonight and I’m pretty darn sure I’m not going to see a loss.  I am not doing enough on my part.  I start off each week well, with walking and jogging and tracking my points on the electronic diary.  Then by about Thursday, I don’t get around to it and then it’s another day and then it’s the weekend.  My routine changes on the weekend and we’re often running around trying to get this or that done and that means takeout (and yes, I’m sticking to stinking salads).  I did manage to go jogging with a friend on Saturday through the endowment lands with the dog.  I don’t think jogging at my slow pace is going to help.  Sigh.  While the Precious sleeps, I surf around the net looking at workout schedules but there’s no childminding at my nearby gym.  There is one at another location that I will have to drive to however.

My success last time  was because of my consistent visits to spin class. Remember how I would get up in the dark, make a coffee and show up at 6:30am for class?  Half the time I could barely be on time for classes and now that I have a kid, who can’t read what time it is, I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I’m going to have to prepare the night before.  Anyway, I’m going to give it a shot this week and we’ll see what happens.

Saturday night, DH went out for a rare night with some old colleagues.  I prepared for a lovely night in with a glass of wine and a movie.  I had a friend call me from Ontario but Mr. McCranky was having a mini meltdown before bedtime so I had to cut the conversation short. Later, after he had finally fell asleep,  I had a lovely surprise – two friends dropped by after a visit to a nearby restaurant.    One is a black female theatre director and editor and the other (the one I’ve known longer; I directed her in a play) is a Chinese actress and playwright.  These two women are around my age and do NOT have children.  I was a little embarrassed to describe the highlight of my weekend was buying a new car seat.  I’d like to work with both of them one day on a project when I have the time.  I broke out the dessert wine and we all proceeded to have great conversations about elder care, health care and race relations.  I know it sounds awful, but it was really great. I used big words.  I did stay up quite late (hubby came home even later) so it was a bit brutal getting up less than 6 hours later.  I dragged my tired  butt around the next day but it was worth it.

Looking forward

3 years ago, I went away to a  quaint  B&B with my laptop and a bottle of wine.  My little respite from my boring life. I let the innkeepers think I was some sort of WRITER.  HAH!  Maybe that’s why I got some extra food for my breakfast; they thought I was a travel writer looking for the perfect B&B.  Instead I started writing out my angst about infertility and I felt so excited about the online community that I didn’t even finish my bottle of wine.  I felt as if I had released steam.  I told the innkeepers I would be back, and of course, I haven’t and probably won’t.  Not that I didn’t enjoy my time there, it’s just that life is a little different for me now.  You know what I mean.  Noisier.

You know, I often wondered what my life would look like if I had not met DH.  If I had stayed single.  Would I have been more successful?  Who knows?  If you go by my resume, I have been incredibly successful.  I definitely would have been skinnier.  Would I have been more productive creative wise?  Most definitely as aloneness does support a certain creative output.  Would I have become more mercenary – you know, learned to better use my sexuality to get what I want?  I’ve been told I’m not bad girl material – not sure if that’s a compliment.

In my younger years, I fantasized about getting married and being a mother of 3 kids and being a regular on a hit TV show.  I had no idea that  it would take so long to find a decent guy.  I’ve known women who have had successive long term relationships and been engaged a few times – and I couldn’t even find a guy to be my boyfriend.  I couldn’t even get dinner!  Oh, the former drug addicts, short unemployed men, someone else’s husbands couldn’t wait to get with me, but a decent guy who might at least take me to a movie and dinner type of guy?   There were maybe 4 of them. Three  were boyfriends. And yes, I married the last boyfriend.

I had no idea that the power of the word NO would have saved me a lot of grief.  More accurately, NO, FUCK YOU, I DESERVE BETTER.

It took even longer to become a mother and I’ve given up on the hit TV show thing.  Way too old for that now.  Too damn tired of waiting for someone to “discover” me.  I’d rather discover myself and be fabulous. The words NO, FUCK YOU, I DESERVE BETTER come more easily to my lips now.  Sometimes I even say it to myself.

Motherhood – all 9 months of it. It changed my life, but it hasn’t really changed me.  I’m still me, I still like going out for smart cocktails and lazy dinners every now and then.  There are parts of my old life that I do miss, like quiet mornings of meditation and reading.  I miss going to plays and workshops and creating this project or that project.  I miss doing what I want WHEN I want to do it.  I miss being able to leave the house when I want to leave the house because SOMEBODY needs a nap and if I mess with that, mama’s going to pay for it later.

I adore the Precious wriggling and thrashing about in delight when he sees me come in to get him in the morning.  I adore his smile.  I adore his gaze when I feed him.  I love reading to him and showing him how something works.  I love waking him up from long naps.  He purses his lips, opens his eyes and stretches his limbs.  Sometimes he pulls the blanket over his head.  Occasionally he opens his eyes and then shyly smiles at me.  He’s a pretty easy kid.   Some days are not nice.  He’s a fighter  and knocks my hand away when I try to wipe his face or clean his nose.  He furrows his brow and bellows when he doesn’t get his way.  He protests VERY loudly.  He whines far more with me than DH.  He wants to walk and stand and pull at my hair and have my attention.  He loves to shriek and have you fly him around and let him climb all over you.  He loves Itsy Bitsy Spider and grabbing cords and phones and remotes.  He’s exhausting and by 5pm, I’m pretty darned spent.

I’m learning how to open up our world.  I went to a baby singalong class at the community centre.  I had to ask DH to stay home in the morning for an hour while I went jogging/gasping with the dog at an ungodly hour, but we made it.  We had fun.  The Precious seemed a bit overwhelmed with all the activity going on but he caught on quickly.  He likes to shake his little egg shaker thing when he’s not trying to chew it.  I met other mothers and it was nice.  I’m going to try to go to another one because he needs to be with other kids, I think and I just need the change in routine.  Motherhood is so isolating and I often feel trapped by our routine.  He thrives with routine, but momma is getting a little bored. People like me can’t be bored, we get into too much trouble.   But momma can barely stay up past 9 without snapping her last nerve, so I need to make the most out of my spare time. I see my mother less; it’s difficult to fit her optimal time with his optimal time with all the feeding, walking and napping (yes, this goes for both of them).  When I do, it’s great to see mum’s face light up when she sees him.  That makes my heart sing to see that.   He’s recognizing her more now and will submit to her awkward embraces and kisses.

This is a good life.  One I am truly grateful for.  I dreamed of this love and yearned for this love past the boundaries of my sanity.  But I am still the woman who craves connection and creativity.  It is my mission.  I miss my creative life, and I’m getting ready to change some things.  I’ve decided to relax for the rest of the year and not stress about it because I am truly enjoying this time creating this new way of family. I actually have to remind myself daily that it’s okay I’m not out there doing something ELSE to prove my worthiness in the world.  I have commitments and obligations and responsibilities to other people and to myself.

I now have the strength and the capacity to sculpt the life that I deserve.  Nam myo ho renge kyo.

Things lost in the fire

Experiencing infertility is hard enough, but when you switch gears from giving up the dream of having a biological child to wanting to raise another child through adoption, it becomes a whole different ballgame.

Infertility had stripped away the intimacy over conceiving a child and adoption was going to make things very, very public.  Intellectually, you know that, but emotionally it takes some getting used to.  I tried to be optimistic, after all this is what you do when you can’t have a child but want one, right?  It wasn’t a call of duty for me, but a strong desire to fulfill some sense of loss in me.  Now, I have to say I wasn’t in this desire alone.  Hubby had wanted to turn to adoption sooner than I had.  But I was too busy grieving and wondering if I should even have children at all.  You know, cause if it hadn’t happened, then “maybe it wasn’t meant to be”.  I was still waiting for a miracle.

The months crawled by; I tried to rebuild and redefine my life. I remembered the beauty of cherry blossoms and when I finally released the hope of the little girl who never was, we got a call that eventually lead us to our son.

It seemed like the only way I could rise about the drama that ensued was if I stopped trying to control the outcome.  Do you have any idea of how difficult that was for someone like me?  It was BRUTAL.  I’m not a let go, let god type of person.  I’m a “don’t tell me I have to drink from the coloured fountain, I’ll show you” type of girl.  I have a tendency to want to go back and undo the past (so envious of Superman) but no matter how hard I tried, my supernatural powers failed me. I thought being a Buddhist was all about controlling what happens to me.  Wrong.  It’s about controlling yourself.   (“..become the master of your mind rather than let your mind master you.”)

I lost a lot of things in the fire you might say.  I lost my innocence, I lost my faith (but gained it back) and I lost who I thought I was supposed to be.  But I gained a lot as well.  I still haven’t fully realized the scope of having this child in my life.  He has devoured the time I probably would have taken to get myself into more trouble, no doubt.  He cares not a whit about my existential angst, he cares about getting fed, being held and being adored.

He’s a lot like me in a way.

Looking back

Congratulations to me on my 3rd blogoversary!

I went back and read a few posts.  I had so many questions back then about what my life would be like after we had adopted.  I wondered if I would be “sharing” a child, I wondered  how my life would change, if a child would bring me happiness.

It took longer than I thought, I was challenged in more ways than I thought, but here I am on the other side.  At some point, I realized (just like I did with marriage) that my life wouldn’t miraculously become happier with a child.  It simply isn’t the child’s purpose in life to make me happy.  You would think that this was obvious, but in reality, it’s not always apparent.  I remember coming to the conclusion that baby or not I had better learn to be happy with the life I had.  The me I had become.

I also came across this:

Faith enables us to receive the eternal joy derived from the Law. So let us engrave in our hearts this point: We ourselves receive this joy. Because we receive it ourselves, our happiness does not depend on others. No one else can make us happy. Only by our own efforts can we become happy.
Therefore, there is no need to feel envious of others. There is no need to bear a grudge against someone or depend on another person for our happiness. Everything comes down to our state of life. It is within our power to take our lives in any direction we wish.

To be dragged around by other people or the environment is not the way
of life the Lotus Sutra teaches. True happiness is not feeling happiness one moment and misery the next. Rather, overcoming the tendency to blame our sufferings on others or on the environment enables us to greatly expand our state of life.

—-Daisaku Ikeda

I know this is Buddhist guidance, but I think the message is universal.

So no, I don’t think this child made me happy.  He did bring me a huge amount of joy.  No mistake about that.  I smiled for weeks.  Part of it is being needed, I admit in a way that is enormously satisfying to me.  I’ve described how special those early morning feedings were to me.  When it was just me and him and no paperwork, no lawyers, nothing between his gaze and mine.  I try not to linger on the sadness of loss.  I try not to imagine how he will have to sort out his feelings about his biological mother and father and us.  I will answer his questions as best as I can and I will serve as a bridge that he may choose to cross.  I made a vow.  For now,  I have to stay in the present.

Part of this new motherhood is being able to share the experience of parenthood with my husband.  That was the whole point, wasn’t it?  To do this together. He’s made it easier for me in so many ways.  I was able to see a whole other side of him and for that I am grateful.

More later….