It’s been an incredibly hard (custody) week with my son, one of the toughest I can remember since I separated from the ex some years ago.
I’ve had a very, very busy and difficult time at my job of late. It requires all my attention and energy just to keep employed every day under these types of conditions. Tensions are very high, every mistake is magnified times a thousand, every problem is an emergency, and the pressure is incredible. I had to take my computer home and try to sneak work in every night, with my son bemoaning, “Mom, are you working again?”
The kid has been sick all week. It was also the first week of school, which he really wanted and sort of needed to go to in about 20 different ways. He was dropped off sick last week and I wasn’t expecting it, and had to cancel all our plans for the week and basically stay home and deal with a very whiny, unhappy little fellow, and understandably so. He has such a great immune system and really doesn’t get sick much, or for very long when he does ail, so this was a really tough one for him. He couldn’t even stand the grocery. I was completely out of basically everything as the first thing we usually do is grocery shop together so I had to go home and painstakingly try to order everything online. Apparently, whenever the last time was I ordered online, months and months ago, a bunch of stuff remained in my shopping cart, and when I went to check out, my order was almost double what it normally would cost. I tried to scroll through the hundred or so items and pick out what didn’t belong but I missed some things and got rid of others by mistake. Then, when we got down there to pick the shit up, they were out of like a dozen more items I had ordered and said they couldn’t fulfill them. So I didn’t get the carton of individual milks for his lunch that I wanted, and the box of fruit cups I ordered have fucking sugar substitute in them, so those have to go back and have been sitting in my car all week, me unable to get there because the kid is too tired and upset when I pick him up each night to deal with any errands. They said they didn’t have grapes, but then they were in my bag when we got home. The soup I wanted, they didn’t give me, but they gave me three cans of another soup, not one I wanted. The apple juice I ordered was filled as fruit punch.
This, in essence, is a symbol of how the whole fucking week went. Yes, we survived, and there was food to eat, but nothing went the way I planned and everything was a problem.
We argued more this week than I can recall ever before. My temper was short, I was so tired, and he was so sick and we just got on each other’s nerves. He sniffed and snonked and hacked constantly and woke up every single night in the middle of the night with one problem or another – wet bed, nosebleeds (almost every day), last night it was that his arm was asleep and he was crying about it. I’ve gotten to be like shell-shocked just waiting for him to wake me up each night, sleeping on the edge of sleep and then unable to get back to a deep sleep after he wakes me.
I drank too much coffee, and one night, too much wine, and both made my stomach feel like shit basically all week. I worked out, but only a couple of times and it was like slogging through quicksand trying to run outside. I am really no longer a summer outdoor runner. It’s just hell and I used to love it.
Today we had Waterloo over a fucking word search his teacher gave him. It has all the names of the kids in the class in it, and he tried to act like it wasn’t actually homework but I could tell he was lying. I told him you have to do it, and I tried to show him a method to look for specific letters using a ruler and going line by line but he’s sick and impatient and whiny. It was a disaster. I refused to take him to the pool because his ear was still plugged up and he didn’t finish the word search, and he destroyed the apartment with figurines, toys, water, dirty clothes. There was a lot of yelling and I pride myself on not being a yelling parent. There was a lot of whining about how he can’t wait to go to Dad’s so I made sure Dad knew about everything and he’s going to make him finish the word search over there and GOOD LUCK TO HIM.
There were brief moments where things went well. Thank goodness, or we may have killed each other. We went out last night to take a picture of the sunset and it was one of the most beautiful ones, ever. He chased some ducks and we walked once around the pond and he went to bed without a lot of argument. Today he asked to go to a restaurant, and I said only if he was good while I ran about 5,000 errands and I got all those done. We unexpectedly found a Halloween costume that he really wanted at the Salvation Army so that’s one thing off my list, and he ate a good dinner and helped me look when I lost the fucking laundry card for the third time. I was determined not to have to go buy a fourth card and finally it turned up. And I got the kitchen clean, including the goddamned oven, which really needed it, so at least there’s that.
He helped me do some shredding tonight as well. He loves to run the shredder and has started reading where the bills are from. He asked why there are so many and I said everything we do costs money. I explained what each bill was for and how this is why I go to work and how sometimes I have to work at night, as I am trying to make money to pay all these bills.
But man, sometimes this is so hard and I just really didn’t know my life would be buying Metamucil wafers and taking back a box of fruit cups and returning the new shirts I bought so I could buy him new socks and shirts and a new jacket for school, dropping a box of donations off in the back of Salvation Army then going in the front to shop, being berated for shit not being good enough during the day and then at night, finally, sitting alone listening to the crickets, trying to find some grace in everything I know I am lucky to see, and trying not to feel like a failure who will be alone forever.