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Topic of conversation

The other day at brunch with our friends (and our kids), hubby reminded me that I was talking about my kid a lot.  “Remember, when you told me to remind you if you started to go on and on about your kid, well, you’re doing it.”  Ahem, he has done this twice recently.  And each time, I tell him, yeah, you can stop reminding me that I reminded you to do this 2 years ago.  You can STOP NOW.  Because frankly, I know I’m talking about my kid but it’s to someone I know very well who HAS a kid.  And it’s a CONVERSATION not a monologue.  Oh, I get his point, all right.  I did say that because it used to drive me NUTS when people went on and on about their kid to me when all I really wanted was to talk about anything else.  I wanted to talk about shopping or shoes or  sex.  I had scars in places where the sun don’t shine from my years on infertility island, the last thing I wanted to do was be caught in a conversation about the funny thing my kid said the other day or labour and delivery stories.  That was always my cue to go pee or get another drink or something.

I think what he MEANS to say is that HE’S sick of hearing me talk about my kid in public.  Which is odd cause all he ever does in private is talk about the kid.  This brings me to my next point.

I’m  a little bit embarrassed to not have ANYTHING ELSE to talk about.  Besides typing in the dark for 4 1/2 hrs for consumer research.  Which by the way, I’m not supposed to talk about because occasionally clients will ask me to sign non-disclosure agreements.  As if anybody but them gives a flying fig about the next new flavour of crappy cookie they’re putting out.  I used to talk about working with this or that celebrity or auditions or a film party or something vaguely glamorous sounding.

And speaking of auditions, I had one.  A good part, too.   I had to take the kid though – no sitter for the middle of the day.  I thought he could sleep during the drive there and back.    So off we went, me talking to myself the whole time, trying to psych myself up, trying to convince myself that I was bringing along my lucky charm, my #1 fan….. who proceeded to object to me leaving him in a waiting room full of good looking strangers. He clutched on to me.   What a nerve, eh? I forgot that the last time I had brought him, he didn’t have the power of speech or separation anxiety.  He used to be entertained by a smiling cute face of a woman with a shiny object.  Now of course, he was wide awake and not willing to let any facsimile of me get close to him.    I was next of course, and I had to tell them to WAIT.  Then I was invited to bring him in THE ROOM.  I was apologetic and mortified at the same time.  A casting director tried to say, hey, let’s watch mommy on the monitor.  He wasn’t having that either, so she went out with us into the waiting room and proceeded to baby wrangle (charm) him while I snuck back in to do my audition.  I thanked her profusely and we left. I bundled the Precious back into his stroller and zipped on the raincover as we strolled out of the studios in the pissing rain.   Of course, I tried not to dwell on the fact that I didn’t have two minutes to myself to truly concentrate and settle down before I unleashed my prodigious talent for the camera.  I don’t think I sucked, I just don’t think I did the job I wanted to do.  We stopped in at Starbucks  a few minutes later for a piece of cake and a coffee.  I wanted to savour the moment my career truly died.

Maybe I could talk about THAT the next time we go for brunch.

Doing it like regular folk

The Precious made it through his shots like a champ.  Not something I was looking forward to, but he took it better than I thought.  He only cried (pitifully) for a few minutes and then it was over.  No side effects.  I asked the doc about his stinky stools, but she said unless he was throwing up, it was probably due to his diet.  So I adjusted appropriately and he’s back to being stinky but not runny.  Glad you asked, eh?

I had a taste of what most people have to deal with – that is, I had to work and cram in the rest of life around it.  I got a last minute request for notetaking and I couldn’t get a sitter so my dear MIL came in on an earlier ferry to accommodate my work schedule.  Did you know that it takes her about 3 hrs to get here?  She’s a dedicated grandma.   The night before of course, the little bugger had me up twice (he was starving apparently) and the following morning he decided to get up super early and NOT TAKE A NAP.  Which meant of course, I was trying to get all my preparations done with him trailing me around the house.  I think at one point where I was trying to make dinner (for everyone else) I thought briefly about sitting down and crying cause I was so effing tired, but I shook it off and thought he doesn’t want to sleep, he just wants you.  So sit down and just be with him. It’s amazing how he picks up my anxiety about trying to get everything done and get out the house. It’s like he knows I’ve got somewhere to go and does everything he can to stop me.

I’ve started implementing “quiet” time with him in his playpen having a snack and amusing himself.  Of course, it’s not always “quiet” but lucky for me, the vacuum cleaner is louder than he is.  As soon as I switch it off, he goes back to keening to be let out of baby jail.   By the time he fell asleep in his high chair after lunch, I had to wake him up so I could go pick up MIL at the bus station.  Then I went off to work, typed in the dark and tried not to fall asleep.  The next day, I was actually driving the clients around to respondents homes and then taking live notes there, not something I usually do, but I’m flexible.  Odd, at one point, I’m in my own neighbourhood having lunch with them, and I had the odd sensation that I should be home.  It was weird not pushing a stroller with a dog during the day.

Ah, finally to date night where DH and I attended a sushi making course at a local cook shop.  It was lots of fun and we had the opportunity to make our own sushi and eat it!  Really could have used a Red Bull to wash it down.  Of course, we’ll never actually do it so the offer for a discount at the cooking store on sushi making supplies was wasted on us. Washing rice in ice cold water.  Hmmmm.  I actually used to do that back in the day – when I had time.  Hahahahah.  I’m trying to improve my meal planning skills, and yes I have a crockpot – somewhere in the bowels of my cupboards.  Must get it out.

Dog tired, we come home and then I proceed to undo my hair because the next day I’m getting my hair did (cause I was starting to look like Medusa) and that means I have to take my hair out, wash it and  blow dry it at midnight.  The woman who does my hair (for less than a car payment)  is moving back to Toronto to work on a show and it is the only day I have free to get it done.  So I take MIL back to the  ferry terminal (1.5 hr total driving time) and several hours later, I return home with a sore head, a bag full of baby crack puffs from a local superstore,  and a hankering for a glass of wine.  Hubby shoots out the door to go hang with his stoner buddy for a couple of hours cause he’s been with the kid the whole day.  Really?  I wonder what that’s like.  Of course, he has woo’d me with my favourite Malaysian meal of black  cod with ginger sauce and rice and spring rolls.  Well, I guess we all have our vices. I can be placated with food so easily.

The kid is now back to eating but now he wants what we have on our plates, so we are playing switcheroo with his food (mmm, mashed carrots and peas,mmmmm) and using our utensils to feed him. Baby spoons are for 13 month olds, not 14 month olds apparently. Silly me.

I’m also back to auditioning – have one tomorrow – oh, man, come on, mojo, mama needs a gig.

PS.  I’m going to do something wonderful for my wonderful MIL!

A very productive day

Of course, somehow my cell phone was off this morning and the staff at my mum’s care home were trying to reach me because there was a CT scan cancellation at the hospital.  I was out in the park with a friend and her two little boys on a lovely crisp fall day.  It was a spontaneous event that I almost resisted because I knew it would throw off our morning schedule, but the sun was shining so I was in a good mood.   The Precious really enjoyed swinging next to his 3 yr old “cousin” and watching the other kids.  Oh, well, I don’t think I could have made it anyway.  So the next date for a CT scan is on the 17th.

I got that part.  Guess when it’s filming?  The 17th!  Yay!  Sigh.  Yay!  cause that means I’m on my way to SF.  Sigh, cause now I have to figure out who can take my mum to the hospital for a CT scan.  Hubby might be able to do it and if not, well, something will be figured out.

When we finally got home, the Precious was worn out; he only had a 20 minute power nap but of course, he wasn’t about to have go down again, even after a hearty lunch.  DH came home early and once he heard him, that was out of the question.  Luckily, DH had to go back out again and so the fun factory was unavailable to him.  I had learned my lesson though,  I didn’t force him, I just put him in his playpen and he amused himself until he got sleepy.  Then a warm bottle of milk, and off he went.  Instead of enjoying some lovely housekeeping, I did my mum’s taxes.  At some point, it fell off my to do list.  Okay, I procrastinated.  I claim my son as my number 1 reason why I don’t get around to doing unpleasant tasks – like taxes.  My tardiness has come back to bite my ass.  Her care home called the other day.  If I don’t do her taxes, her subsidized care home fees go up (not to mention late filing fees, accrued interest on whatever she owes, and the list goes on).  I go through a year’s worth of her bank statements, tally up the required information and then discover I have not received T4s for her income of pension and old age security payments.  I make the dreaded call to revenue services, certain I will be sent to telephone queue purgatory, but I actually get an agent in 2 minutes.  Wow, what’s next – world peace?

I finally got in touch with a cosmetic/skin care line lady that I’ve been playing phone tag with lately.  She came over a few weeks ago  to leave some free samples.  I think she wants me to be an independent consultant, but I made it clear I had  no interest or time to do it, but I ordered an expensive product I don’t really need anyway. I am due a cheque soon anyway, so I thought I could splurge on myself.    I’m a sucker for women who do these kinds of businesses.  Back in the day, hubby convinced me to join him in something similar  (HUGE MISTAKE, but  a learning experience) and it’s amazing how your so called friends don’t want to support you.

I made pea risotto for the Precious’ meal tomorrow (but asked DH to pick up sushi for dinner),  committed to doing a lecture on Buddhism at a community centre in the new year, an interview about A Mother’s Story this weekend and  my Buddhist buddies and I rescheduled 2 meetings without too much fuss and bother (but a lot of daimoku).

And yes, I even showered and shaved my legs today.  Today, my friends, was a good day.

Double happiness

I just had the most amazing weekend.  I took an audition workshop and I had such a great time.  Hubby had a sudden trip out of town but he came back on the red eye so I could do it.  Not only did my back get better cause I didn’t lift the kid for two days, but I just killed it in the workshop.  I did a scene from NYPD Blue and it was the about a grieving mother who comes to the squad room with the intention of killing her daughter’s killer.  We worked on it and then on my 2nd attempt, the emotion just came and I actually brought people to tears.  Wow!  Awesome!  Not that I made people cry but I just did that well.  My acting coach was so proud of me.

The weekend went a little wonky when I came home Saturday evening(after a dinner out to celebrate a friend’s birthday) and hubby told me there was something wrong with Juno.  He said she had been sleeping in the doorway and she had kicked out the doorstop in her sleep and the door had slammed. He thought her tail might have been injured somehow because she was panting very heavily and didn’t want to move and couldn’t really sit properly.  He had given her an aspirin by the time I had come home so she looked stressed but not too bad.  We went to bed and two hours later she woke us up with heaving panting and DH ended up taking to the emergency room.  Now ordinarily, I am the worry wart that would demand a trip to the animal hospital, but it was DH this time that was really worried about her.  Of course he muttered that he couldn’t  sleep through her heavy panting and went to the internet to figure out what was wrong.  I encouraged him that she needed a visit to a vet and I called the animal ER for him.   I stayed up and waited to find out what was wrong with her, but eventually I fell asleep and DH finally came home at 4am.  Apparently, the vet could find no physical damage to her tail or hind parts, but suspected it was ” cold tail” syndrome and prescribed her some pain medication.  Sampson had had that so we knew that it would get better on its own.  You know who woke up an hour later and I just gave him a big bottle of watered down milk and put him back to bed. Blessedly, I got another couple of hours of sleep before I had to get up again.  DH complained all weekend about being tired and as I know that feeling of never really getting caught on sleep, I sympathized and clucked.  Then I went out.

On Sunday,  we had a LA casting director come in and we presented our scenes as auditions.  And I killed it again!  Man, if felt so good! I had to wait awhile before it was my turn and I was so nervous.  I was also struck by the amount of talent in one room.  All these wonderful actors with so many credits but not enough work!

Sometimes I get so worn down by all the rejections and it’s just nice to deliver good work that is acknowledged by your peers.  Now if I could just get a gig, that would be nice.

We had our WG general district meeting two hours after class ended, so I hastened home to make last-minute preparations.  It was an awesome meeting!   All the women I had invited jammed on me, but there were still guests.   I told my experience about when I started practicing and my journey through infertility to parenthood.  More tears all around.  I am passionate about my craft and passionate about my Buddhist practice and it feels so rewarding to move and inspire people.  And the potluck that followed was pretty darn good too!

Juno is doing much better!  Last night she wriggled on her back in her bed in satisfaction and then we knew she was on the mend.  This morning, we went for a walk and while I’m huffing and puffing my chatty kid up the hill, I had an odd feeling.  I was happy.  It was like a warm breeze, the way it come over me.  I just felt light.  I felt gratitude.  I had basked in the positive affirmations of my talent and I had a kid who was called me mama for the first time.  I had gone in to get The Precious up for breakfast and he excitedly kicked his legs against the slats of the cribs and said “mama”.   And they had both occurred in the same weekend.

Lucky me.  Lucky me.

Weekend fun

Had an awesome weekend doing a scene study workshop.  I was pretty nervous, it was hard enough trying to memorize my scene when the only spare time I had was walking with the Precious and Juno.  Yet I did better than I thought I would and by the time Sunday rolled around, well, I nailed it.  The acting coach loved it!

That meant it was DH and the little one all weekend.  And guess what, he didn’t shower.  Mmmmm.  See honey?  Not so frigging easy is it? What, no dinner waiting for me?  I had a working holiday so to speak, and I loved every second of it.  Heck, sure I missed the little guy, but I did get to spend a little time with him before bedtime.

Okay, I have a question.  DH decided not to swaddle his legs(cause he kicks his way out of it anyway) and the little angel woke up at 5am, cooing and babbling away.  Not my shift, honey, too bad.  Then the next night he was up twice.  On my shift.  He hasn’t done that since he was 1 month old.  The 1st time, I fed him  a little bit, he didn’t seem too hungry, just awake. I didn’t talk to him or look at him too much, didn’t turn on the light.  It’s not playtime, buddy, it’s sleepy time.  And as luck would have, our building seemed to be out of hot water, so I had to boil water first to warm up his bottle (all the better to make him sleepy).  I put him down 40 minutes later and he talked himself to sleep.  The 2nd time at 4:45 am he was crying and hungry.  I fed him a full bottle, changed him and all was well til 8am.  Now my question is this, what the heck is up with this change?  Is it time for rice cereal? I tried to give him some this morning, he was not impressed, though he was quite enamoured with the spoon.  So it is the late napping?  Formula issues?  Any hints out there?  Have the days of my peacefully sleeping baby come to an end?

Reality check

Thanks for the breaking of leg wishes – I did okay at the audition – I think I could really benefit from some classes though.  Most actors go to regular classes every week to keep fine tuned and on their game and of course, I haven’t done that in about a year.  So I feel a bit rusty. Interesting, there was a man there who brought his little girl  (toddler age) with him.  Another actor(female)  watched her when he went in to audition.

I wanted to go shopping (for no particular reason other than to be alone ) after, but since dinner was going to be an issue, I ended up aimlessly cruising the grocery store and then picking up West Indian takeout for dinner.  Whenever I audition on the North Shore, I usually go to Starbucks or cruise the local grocery store just to distract myself from the self-criticism I put myself through after an audition.  And then I chanted in the car and gave myself a pep talk.  By the time I made my way through the traffic on the bridge, it was 2 hours later and hubby wants to know what took me so long. I’ll tell you what I was doing – enjoying being alone.  Until I held the wee man again and I went turned into mush when he smiled at me.

I told hubby he needs to have a father/son day. Like an 8 hour day.   I will gladly take JuJu and hang out with her (as long as it isn’t pouring).   I also wouldn’t mind attempting to get my tax preparations in order.  Eeks, did I just say that?  I’m thinking that I may have to leave the house in order to just start that.

I enjoyed an afternoon with Special K at a friend’s play reading.  I got us out early for our dog walk, got him bathed and fed and while he was napping got dressed up a bit.  Meaning out of my ever-present yoga pants.  I was ready for the 35 minute power walk up to the arts centre, but then he woke up wanting to be fed and there went that time.  We ended up driving there (endless stream of quarters in the metre) and then they started late.  Of course.  But it was WONDERFUL and I really enjoyed it.  Wee man cooperated by sleeping through an hour of it and respectfully took it all in when he was awake.  I couldn’t hang around to discuss it, but we caught up later on the phone.

I learned that if I am going to have a creative life, I’m going to have to have some form of child care because it’s next to impossible to concentrate on anything when your child wants and needs you.  Either that or you drink a lot of Red Bull and stay up all night.  More and more, I am growing amazed at my mum who had 3 daughters and actually WORKED OUTSIDE THE HOME and did ALL the housework ALL the time.  UNMEDICATED!!!

Mind you, she did have a couple of nervous breakdowns.