Friday, February 02, 2007

9 1/2 Months

It's been almost 10 months since I had a paying job. Lately, I've been feeling some twinges that feel remarkably like me missing work. Last week was so unbelievably hard. I got stood up for play dates three times. The play dates are my social life. A virtual water cooler where parents get together and our three-year-olds are interested enough in each other that they don't leap around the house trying to knock the paintings off the walls shouting "Mommy! Look what I can do! Mommy! Look what I can do! Mommy! Look what I can do!" over and over again. The moms chat, catch up on our uneventful domestic lives while breaking up preschool arguments over toys and baby sisters.

But moms of little kids often need to cancel play dates at the last minute, due to illness, lack of napage or whatever. So, I was left in the lurch and by the end of the week, I had completely lost my sh*t.

But this week was like magic and I totally remembered why I quit my job to stay home with the kids. For starters, it was much warmer and we could get out of the house. In the mornings, Kaylee and I went to story hour at the library in Cambridge, and to the Somerville Babygarten. We had friends over Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Yesterday we walked over to my sister's house and had dinner over there. This morning, I visited my friend Joy and her baby (She has Fridays off). Kaylee stood up without holding on to anything for a few seconds for the very first time. After I got Eric from school and he took a nap, I visited a new friend in Cambridgeport.

I think I overdid the play dates this week, but God DAMN I feel great. It's Friday night and I am happy and calm. All is right with the world. Today was particularly spectacular. I had adult conversations, both my kids napped at about the same time. I was able to clean up the kitchen and take a nap while they slept. Eric was just spectacular to be around after he woke up. He was listening and focused. He had a lovely tea party with the little girl we visited in the afternoon. He was calm and happy when we took him out to eat and flirted with the teenagers in the booth behind us. I spent the whole car ride home telling him how proud I was of his behavior this afternoon, listing each little thing he did right. He seemed very proud.

So, weeks like this I am totally grooving on doing the mom thing. Last week I was sliding into clinical depression. But the clouds in my head clear so quickly now. In my 20's I went entire weekends without leaving my bed other than to eat or pee. But now that crushing depression is so fleeting. It's just there as a reminder so I know how good things really are.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oh my Gawd. Satahday Night at the Mall

I went crazy last week. It started on Thursday and continued into Friday and by Saturday I was a trembling mess and ended up hiding from my family in my closet (true story). It mostly had to do with being housebound with a non napping, but exhausted three year old during the cold snap. Husband out of town for part of the week and not getting home until after six the rest. Leaving the house with the two of them was more than I could manage. Note to self: Get out of the damn house. It's really worth it. All these things sent me into a thankfully temporary depression that had me wrapped in a cloud of doom. Rich proposed a date and I accepted.

So, my sister came over to babysit and Rich took me out on a hot date. I was in the mood for the Cheesecake factory and I really wanted to minimize my time out of doors. So, we opted for the Cambridgeside Galleria. We tucked our little muffins into bed and they were both conked out by 7:30 and sheepishly headed out for "date night at the mall."

Much to my surprise, the place was hopping, and bopping. I grew up in Cambridge and spent much of my time pretending that "The Garage" was not a mall. Where I grew up teenagers did not hang out in MALLS. (at least we pretended we didn't) We hung out in "The Pit." So, I never really got acclimated to mall culture. It never ceases to amaze me that people go to malls for recreational purposes. Saturday night was a total exception. Usually your average mall will give me a migraine in under 25 minutes. But I had a mission. I wanted to be walking around, out of my house and NOT be cold. It seemed like a reasonable compromise.

However, I was really surprised by how many other people had the same idea. Then I noticed all the kids. There were dozens of families with babies and toddlers at the mall at 9:00 on a Saturday night. What the F*ck? I saw a chunky woman with a very chunky toddler. The woman was holding a giant pink Starbucks milkshake out to the girl who was sucking it down with a straw. I saw a teenaged mother, her daughter snug into a car seat in a Graco travel system flirting with the guy at the cell phone kiosk. I heard a glass shattering sonic screech from an over tired preschooler at the restaurant. And I saw one very nice looking family with 2 very well behaved kids about 4 & 6 very nicely eating their dinner after 10:00 PM.

We go out to eat with our kids all the time. But we're done by 7 or 7:30 at the latest. These poor kids were in for the evening and I just kept wondering why? It's no fun to be in a mall with a miserable kid. Especially late at night.

What am I missing here?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Wildlife of Somerville, Massachusetts: The most densely populated city in the state.

Look what was lurking in my yard this morning. A GIANT opossum. I will call animal control about it tomorrow. They are normally nocturnal, so this one lumbering around in broad daylight was a bit of cause for alarm. A nocturnal animal that wanders around during the day is generally not a healthy animal.

From a distance, it looks like a giant rat, but in the pictures, she looks rather cute. She seemed completely unimpressed by my presence. She merely waddled behind my garage and disappeared into a drainpipe.