Day fourteen was the day I cracked.
Various friends asked, “How are you holding up?”
“Good,” I said. “I’m okay,” I said. “I’m in the home stretch,” I said. Not really good, I thought. Not really okay, I thought. If I’m in the home stretch, I’m too delirious to notice it, I thought.
I was going through the motions on the outside, but not much was happening on the inside. I said to one friend (to whom I speak the truth when asked How are you?), “I look normal on the outside, but I’m dead on the inside.”
Except that wasn’t true either, because I felt like crying all day, and dead people don’t cry.
They don’t bark either. I started barking at Gertie because she started biting me. She bit. I barked. She started it. Perhaps it was puppy antics, or maybe she disliked me. My parenting skills had been on a steep decline since approximately day twelve.
A few years ago, when we had some behavioral issues with Harry, a dog trainer told us to bark at him to get him to submit to us as the pack leaders. So, on day fourteen, I started barking. Whatever the neighbors thought before had escalated for sure.
Did I mention Netflix stopped working? I don’t know how to fix it, so Crash & Bernstein and Clifford Puppy Days would have to wait, which wasn’t a big deal to me, but there are two small humans in the house for whom that news was far more traumatic.
We all died a little bit inside on day fourteen.
Early in the day, I saw a new endocrinologist who wondered in an accusatory tone why I had a thyroid biopsy the year prior. “The nodule was concerning to my previous doctor,” I told him. He didn’t understand why a biopsy was done on a nodule so small, and he wanted some kind of explanation from me, which was awkward since I’m not a doctor, and then he told me my thyroid was lumpy.
After that, I spent a hundred dollars on treats and toys for Gertie at Petco, who likes to bite me, which offered up no shopaholic satisfaction at all.
I’m bitching and moaning (and barking) about being alone with my kids and a (biting) puppy as if I’m a Single Mama. I’m not. I know that. My husband has been away for a few weeks. I’ve taken out the trash a few times. Big deal. I’m no Jared Leto’s Mama. But I am tired. I’m exhausted and I think Single Mamas are heroes and I want my family to be whole again, so I can run far, far away because it’s Daddy’s turn to bark (and fix Netflix).
Did I mention we had Dylan’s first evening ice hockey practice on day fourteen and how I had to schlep Riley with me because what else was I supposed to do? I remember chatting with a neighbor a few years ago about how her daughters, who were a few years older than my boys, had soccer practice twice per week at 6 and 7pm consecutively and how they had to take showers and eat dinner and do homework afterwards, and I remember thinking as I stood there with my four-ish-year-old who still napped and my two-ish-year-old who still pooped in diapers, When does this poor woman drink her wine?
And suddenly there I was, on day fourteen, with a 6:20pm hockey practice at an ice rink 25 minutes from home with a four-year-old whining and crying with tears squirting because I wouldn’t give him quarters for the “crap” machines. Where did the time go and why are there “crap” machines everywhere and when would I have my wine?
Since Netflix was out, I had my wine while the boys watched an On Demand episode of Uncle Grandpa before bed. Never before had that horrific cartoon shown any value, and never before had a glass of Chardonnay tasted so good.
One might say day fourteen ended on a high note.
That was yesterday. Today is day fifteen, and there are ants in the bathroom. After today, there are two more days to go, but who’s counting? (Me.)
Does your spouse/partner travel for business?