Marathon, Not A Sprint

My son and I are spending so much time together, we almost don’t know what to do with each other.

I work. I have always worked. I went back to work when he was 12 weeks old, which was one of the most difficult things I’ve done, but not THE most difficult. You cry in your locked office while the whirring electric pump does what the baby is not there to do, you go to meetings and pretend to be present, and you get through it. I’m lucky I had the leave that I did, though not all of it was paid. I had a job to go back to, and many women do not.

This job does not tug at me like my last job, which is partly the nature of the job and partly because my priorities have shifted. I just don’t give a fuck anymore, about so many things. I believe now that I’m a decent person and a fairly good Mom and and pretty darn good employee and you can’t please everyone, so I just work on myself and my kid and that may be all I can do sometimes.

D’s teacher called yesterday while we were in the car. I answered on the Bluetooth, hands-free and all, and her voice broadcast through the car. In a very 60s way, though it may have been my interpretation, she asked if this was “Mrs” So-and-So and I replied that this was MIZZ So-and-So, and then anticipated some quick but coded explanation. We’ve not used the word “divorce” with D, as he wouldn’t have known what it meant when it first happened, and yet he knows what it means, of course. She asked if D was excited for first grade and I said of course he was (blatant lie), and she wanted to know if he had any allergies, how he liked kindergarten, and to invite us to see her room on Monday if we had time during the hours she would be there. I put on the Good Mom voice and said how pleased we were to find D was in her room, as we’d heard such good things about her as a teacher (which is true), and we would definitely come by. That’s one role D saw me playing.

Today we went to Target to THANK THE GOOD LORD finally buy a new kitchen wastebasket, because the one I have is OF THE DEVIL and has these metal prongs in it that are as rare as fucking Fabrege eggs and they keep popping off and falling into the trash and I am SO VERY DONE with that plastic box of hate. So I found one I wanted, that was NOT Sterilite but some other brand, and I wanted to buy it. But it was the only kind, and it was kind of banged up with some scratches on it. I mean, big deal, it’s a plastic garbage can, but I told D we should get someone who works there to verify there weren’t any others. So we Red Phoned it and a lady came over and scanned it and said that was the only one. It’s taken me FOUR DAYS to get D to agree to go to Target so I was buying this one unless it was filled with demons, so no, I don’t want to know what other area stores have the can, but could there be a discount since it’s the only one and scratched up? I AM NOW THE RETAIL CUSTOMER I HATED WAITING ON. But I was very nice about it, almost apologetic, not pushy and shitty like so many people I waited on for years. She buzzed someone who buzzed back and said sure, 10%, and then she buzzed the register so all of Pod Central was aware that ROCKANDROLLMAMA IS NOW GETTING 10% OFF HER SHITTY TRASH CAN, WHICHEVER OF YOU FUCKS SHE BRINGS IT TO. So that’s another something I explained to D; how you can get a discount on shit like that, and how to POLITELY and NICELY inquire about it.

Since I’ve told him it’s very terrible to say that someone is mean, now every time he says “you’re mean,” I give him a look and he says, “You’re nice, but…” and then whatever horrible thing it is, like I’m not letting him have some food I bought that I’m saving for school lunches later this week, or because I made him go find kids his own age to play with at the playground instead of galumphing about myself as his oversized playmate, or because I wouldn’t let him watch 10 hours of TV or whatever other egregious, horrible thing I did this hour or the next. Probably the worst is that I am making him wear a real shirt and not a t-shirt for first day of school, and real cotton shorts and not those shiny, cheap basketball shorts. I don’t give two shits what Dad lets him wear or pack or eat 10 minutes before bed. My home, my rules.

We are wearing on each others’ patience, yes.

Because I pushed for it, MONTHS ago, my apartment is being renovated in the middle of back to school time. I must be crazy to take this on now, but it’s now or basically not until next year, and I want the place re-done. They put in new flooring in the foyer a few days ago. Wednesday and Thursday, they are repainting the whole deal except the closets, so every bit of free time I’ve had this past four days has been spent taking shit off the wall and shoving it into the closets. And I’m still not done. All the furniture has to be moved away from the walls, so I have a friend coming to help with that. AND THEN THE CARPET, NEXT WEEK. And after that, a new toilet (low-flow, which I am not pleased about), a new disposal and eventually, new flooring in the bath and kitchen. And then this place won’t look like such a craphole, until you step outside and see the 25 kids’ bikes and scooters littering the path because nobody makes their kid put their shit away. Or maybe because they’re never done with it, because those kids do not appear to have a bed time. I went out to try to see the meteors at like 10:30 and 11pm and the kids are still out, unsupervised, kids my son’s age, running around screaming in the parking lot and riding their scooters back and forth.

I took him to a pool party at the rec center pool yesterday. It’s EXHAUSTING dealing with a little kid in a pool who can’t swim. Constant attention. They had a DJ, and I knew most of the music he played, for really weird reasons. Half because it’s overplayed, super old shit that is too old even for most of the parents there. The other half was stuff that’s fairly new and the only reason I know it is because it’s stuff I found through searching for running music. Ha. Turn down for what, indeed.

In my spare time (GUFFAW), I am working on the editing/proofing job I was given, which is not small, and doing my daily PT exercises, which are very, very painful. I wonder if I will ever be able to really run again, long and hard and fast.

Soon this place will look better. Perhaps then it will be time for a party.


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