Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ring of Despair

I suppose it's OK to let Max play in his bedroom while I'm here in the boys' bathroom sorting his brother's laundry he is going to be stuck downstairs all day it's freaking snowing again and I'm too filthy to go to the gym and take him so he can have fun in the kid room there I didn't wash my hair yesterday it's so dirty it hurts I'll just wait until he naps if he naps he hardly ever sleeps but maybe he will be merciful to me today and I can pop in a workout DVD and shower too while he naps Jesus how much laundry does Gabe have did he go to school naked his closet is only so big wait a minute what's that sound that very distinct tinkling sound of delicate metal and gems on crystal oh my God that little shit has gotten into my jewelry dish again I'd better rush into my bedroom and see what's happening he hears me coming he's already saying "oh no no no" and "it's OK" like I'm not going to spank you look what you did dammit how many times do I have to tell you oh yeah you can run but I'm going to catch you oh God you're struggling and I'm mad and I just hate myself for spanking you and this morning is just going to shit I'm trying to do laundry and housework and act like I've got it together and here you are dumping my jewelry you're entertaining yourself you've got no one to play with I guess there's just nothing to do but pick it up no I don't want your help just get away from me I don't even want to look at you right now and I hate hate hate myself for how I feel about you when you're just a little guy and you're just curious and I wish I was a better mother and oh my God where the fuck is my wedding band no get away stop it oh shit where is it where is it I've found all the earrings and the diamond and the other rings where is the band how many times do I have to tell you to leave my things alone this is my stuff stop it leave it just leave it alone my wedding band is gone I'm crying now and I know it's just a ring just a thing but this makes me so sad your daddy gave me this ring this is from daddy he gave it to me on the day we finally got married and this is my wedding ring and I miss him so much he's gone so long at sea and he gave me this ring and I'm sobbing and there is snot coming out of my nose and I'm on the floor now you're really crying and upset and trying to hug me and crap I have to hug you because you're making that funny little upset penguin honk and you only ever do that when you're super upset of course you're upset because you're just 2 and you don't know why your mom is on the floor sobbing but you know it might have something to do with you and you just said "it's OK" in half reassurance to me and half hope for yourself and you're putting your soft little chubby hands on the side of my face and trying to physically lift my sobbing face into a smile this makes me love you and hate myself even more and stop it you have to go somewhere else now I can't do this right now I just want to find this ring it has to be here somewhere I'll go through everything and lift up everything and put away all this piled stuff maybe it fell into this stuff everywhere wait a minute I'm doing extra work now and it's taking more time where did he go I hear the rattle of the blinds in the guest bedroom my God is he hanging himself in the cords of the blinds while I'm looking for a stupid ring I'm running down the hallway nope there he is just screwing around trying to make that noise again with the blinds c'mon let's go downstairs and do this laundry please I just want to do some laundry it's the one thing that always makes me feel like I can accomplish something just something anything in this house that can be some evidence that I have done something right.

(Just a little snippet from my morning.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring, Swings and Song

My pantless wish is slowly but surely coming true. Temperatures are in the 40s and the snow is melting. There are huge swaths of snow-squashed grass emerging in the yard, and the roads and sidewalks are clear enough for actual traversing without 4-wheel drive.

I've spent the last several minutes listening to one of the surest signs of spring: birdsong. I am no ornithologist. I can distinguish a handful of birds -- cardinals, robins, blue jays, crows, eagles, hawks, doves -- with confidence, and I will get lucky at correctly guessing a finch or sparrow. And of course I know pigeons, seagulls, geese and ducks. But that's mostly by sight and rarely by sound.

This one bird that has been calling nearby sounds exactly like another great sound of spring: swinging. You know, that rhythmic squeaking of a metal chain link on a metal hook that has hung mostly unused and frozen in ice all winter. Swings squeak any season, but there is something ringing and extra clear about it in spring, when a kid can finally get to it in the park again. Summer swings sound different, I swear.

So if you know what that bird is, that one that sounds like a creaking swing set in spring, let me know.

Max and I will be doing some actual swinging any day now. We went for our first spring walk up and down our street today, jumping in puddles and stomping the random dry leaf that had clung to a tree all winter but finally made a dive to make way for new growth.

We have been driving past the village park all winter, but there was something about it today that finally made him ask to go to it. Maybe it was because he can finally see the ground again and he remembers how fun it is to run around there.

Or maybe that calling bird reminded him of the swings.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Winter Pants Blues

The sun is shining on the fresh snow, making it look a lot more pleasant outside than it actually is. Temperatures are hovering around 20, which is a lot better than the recent below-zero stretch, but that's still more than 10 degrees below freezing. I'm not going out there, and neither is my toddler. Unfortunately this is contributing to some cabin fever and a slight funk.

Sure, we could go out for a few minutes. But unless the ratio of time outside is favorable to the time spent before and after, dealing with all of the snowsuits and boots and mittens and the literal body wrestling to get the 40-pound block of human ice back inside the house and then the mopping up of wet snow melting everywhere, I'm not likely to attempt it today.

I've been Pinning dresses like mad.
Lots of us encounter a sudden dip in emotional well-being this time of year. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real thing, but I haven't really experienced it in northwest Ohio. Central New York in winter, yes, but not here where I have lots of positive associations with winter weather and where we really fare a lot better than other parts of the country when it comes to never-ending snow or consecutive gray, sunless days.

A lot of my friends begin complaining about the winter weather early in the season, like by Dec. 1. I have an unofficial rule of waiting until March 1. But again, I know where I live and I know there is going to be a few more fierce snow storms before spring really arrives, no matter what the date on the calendar is.

It's March 2, and I feel freer to grump a bit. Being stuck inside a house with a toddler makes anyone grumpy at any time of the year. But he isn't really the object of my distress right now.

It's pants.

I am so sick of wearing warm clothes. Especially pants, with their tight waistbands and their dragging hems, but I've pretty much had it with long-sleeved tops too. How I long for skirts and dresses, for toe-bearing shoes, for skipping out of the house without a bulky wool coat that is screaming for an end-of-season trip to the dry cleaners.

I know it can be a symptom of depression when a woman wanders around her house all day in her nightgown and robe. But it's because I can't bear the thought of putting on pants one more day this winter. Not if I don't have to go out in public or welcome a non-relative into my home. I don't even own snow pants.

Ugh, please, no more pants. Give me spring and a flowing, flowery frock. I'll even be satisfied with my heather gray jersey-knit dress that is basically a giant T-shirt. Even if you can't see it, I want to be bare from my undies to my shoes. Free legs. Pantless legs. ZZ Top legs.

Now I really am having a depressive hallucination.