Uneasy rider

Transition day between homes is always rocky for my son, and for whichever parent he is going with. He was unusually happy to see me this morning, compared to the usual hand-off time. But it’s getting better and easier for everyone, I hope.

After that though, it was a rocky day, with some really wonderful high moments and some definite lows. Sometimes I wonder if I have half the parenting expertise I used to have now that I am only his parent half the month. It’s not a very good feeling. I’m doing the best I can to focus on quality and not quantity, to not feel like half a parent. I wonder when people see me with him if I look like less of a parent, like someone who was morbidly obese and lost the equivalent of a person.

I bought the wrong type of overnight pull-ups after going to three stores. These are “diaper” type and not pullup. I couldn’t find the ones I usually buy anywhere and thought these were them. I spent $25 on the fuckers so now I’m stuck with them. D was not happy. Me neither, as I bet they will leak. He is having dry nights with more frequency, but not enough to go without, and definitely not during the week. Fingers crossed.

“My room looks weird” was all he said about the much-needed furniture changes I made in there this weekend, just the start of what needs to happen, as I start to make it more like a boy’s room and less like a nursery. Around the beginning of summer, down will come the cute little borders I picked out at Babies R Us with a belly full of luck. I will let him decide the theme of the room next, if there is to be one. Out will go the toddler bed and in with a real bed. And I will take down the “PEACE LOVE BABY” sign, though I don’t think I can part with it. Maybe I will move it into my room. All in good time. “Weird” would be a good word for the day, I think.

He hadn’t eaten much breakfast and was ready for lunch early, but if you call it lunch when he’s not ready for lunch, he won’t eat it. But if you call it “snacks” or “tapas,” he’s all for it, so I put together some tapas and we munched our way into getting back into the groove of being at my place for a while. I vacuumed, we played a board game and I cleaned the kitchen, which was no small feat as my dishwasher is so shitty that I end up hand-washing half the dishes each time. I broke a glass, which seems to happen with increasing frequency as I am so clumsy, and cut my wrist. D hurt his foot on the door to the laundry room, where I’ve told him dozens of times he needs to wear shoes. That kind of day.

We went to a play at a children’s theater in town. It’s hard for him to sit still at something like this but he’s doing better at it, and can clap at the appropriate times and not yell the whole time, so things are improving. We both laughed louder than anyone else. My loud boy. I’m sure his father is horrified that our son inherited my big mouth and my lungs, but c’est la vie.

Afterwards we came home and checked on the food I put in the crock pot for dinner. It was too early to start prepping anything and were both restless. I tried to get him to agree to go outside and play with me for awhile, but no dice. So we went to a store that I know sells cheap plants as I want to start getting some things for the patio, assuming patio weather is actually not that far away. We get almost no light back there, and no direct sunlight at all save for about an hour a day, even in good weather, because of the tree cover, but I found a nice one marked “resilient” and “low light” so it came home with us.

Despite best efforts, it spilled twice on the way home, me pushing it back upright while driving. There are few occasions I really wish I had a bigger vehicle and this is one of them, when I have stuff to transport. I could only take one plant as that’s all I had room for on the floor behind my seat. I also have a little loveseat I would like to get to my Mom’s, but I m sick to death of asking people with trucks for favors, and I’m sure they’re sick of responding, so here it sits. Maybe I will drag it out on the patio and set fire to it, or throw it down the back hill.

I grow increasingly impatient for change.

After we got home, D wanted to dance, and insisted apropos of nothing that he knew how to tapdance. I showed him a video clip of a great, famous tapdancer and he declared “that’s easy” while watching the guy, and then imitated some of his moves, not all together horribly for a kid with no dance training except what I’ve been able to impart, which ain’t much. He asked if I knew how to tapdance and that led to a discussion about my long-ago dance minor. No, I never took tap, I told him, but I took ballet, modern, jazz, and international folk dancing, though I am mostly a modern dancer. He knew what ballet was but didn’t know what the others were, so I looked up a couple of video clips. Again, “that’s easy,” he said. So then I showed him the clip of Baryshnikov (who incidentally is a doppleganger in every way for a guy I lived with in college, who was also a dance major; oh, those heady days) doing the 11 pirouettes in White Nights. Which I once owned on VHS simply for the dance numbers, because it was otherwise a lousy film, Isabella Rosselini or not. But the dance stuff was captivating for me back then. D was blown away by the clip, and insisted I get up and teach him RIGHT NOW how to do a turn. So we went over preparation and turning as quickly as I could with his impatient, bony ass, but I live in a tiny apartment with wall-to-wall carpet, so it’s not particularly conducive to dance, especially anything requiring turns. He was impressed that I could execute the turn with a nice finish at the end (not falling down out of it), and honestly so was I, I never dance with that type of precision anymore. Then I showed him a couple of other clips and he insisted I watch while he try some more moves he saw on the screen. The kid really has something, to my eye. I have wondered more than once if I should try to find a more formal outlet for him dance-wise, but he’s so damned shy when we get around other people it’s like taking Michigan J. Frog to a dance class, and when he isn’t shy, he just clowns and sprints around like the wind. And I’m all no, look, he dances! He’s amazing! and people just nod and smile. In time, perhaps. Dance for guys can be a very hard road. Well, dance for anyone, but in a unique way, hard for boys. It will be interesting to see if this develops or goes away as he ages.

Tonight he was overtired and threw something at me when I said it was time for bed. This kind of shit makes me very angry, but I will let the first such incidence go with a stern warning, especially on trade-off day. He could see I meant business and cut it out after that. We read some stupid Star Wars Reader Level 1 book tonight that he selected last trip to the library, and I realized I have no idea how to pronounce most of the names in it because I was so bored by the first movie that I fell asleep as a kid at the drive-in, and didn’t get much further with any of the sequels I tried to watch. I was ashamed I didn’t know, since it’s pop culture and usually I’m pretty good with that. I think you either love Star Wars stuff or you don’t, and I just never did.

Short week this week, since my job closes for Good Friday. I’ve never worked anywhere that had that day off. I don’t know what I’ll do. I have that day and little else away from D for the next three weeks solid, with Spring Break and Easter and custody weeks overlapping in a weird way. Then I board a plane for a week’s vacation in LA, hoping I don’t regret being unable to give a Rorschach test to the pilots before takeoff.


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