Thursday, September 24, 2015

Behavioral Issues

I was sitting on the couch on a Tuesday evening, watching House and tinkering with my fantasy football lineups. The phone rang. Blocked Number. I answer and it's the Kid's pediatrician. Apparently the ex husband/dad, "John," had left her a message earlier in the day wanting to discuss the Kid's behavioral issues.

Excuse me, what?

The Kid still hates being dropped off at daycare. He's been going there for almost a month.The Kid has never been great with change. Prior to this, he had the same nanny for nearly 3 years.  So yeah, the Kid doesn't love daycare yet. He also doesn't love being around 20 other noisy kids when he's used to being 1 of 2 children.

Plus, think about it this way:
In July, John bought a condo and moved out of his parents house. So Kiddo no longer sees his paternal grandparents on a daily basis (when it's dad's week).
In August, Kiddo's nanny gave notice and he  had to go to daycare.
Its now September and hasn't been very long for the Kid to adjust to some pretty big changes.

The pediatrician and I talked for a while and figured that either 1) Kid needs more time to adjust or 2) the current daycare is not a good fit. We also discussed asking Kid his opinion since he is old enough and verbal enough for us to attempt a conversation about this.

John coddles the Kid. Instead of just saying, "The rule is, you have to hold a grown up's hand when you cross the street or are in a parking lot," John somehow made the Kid scared of cars. There was a period where he would just scream and had to be carried. John also has this semi-feminine nickname for the Kid that grates on my ears and though it's dumb and anti-feminist of me, I don't want John somehow making the Kid a "sissy."

To further coddle the Kid, John doesn't really make him  do anything he doesn't want to.
Don't want to go to bed? No problem!
Don't want to pick up your toys? Ok!
Don't want to eat your dinner? Have whatever you want!

So now that John is attempting to parent, the Kid is resisting, because he's 3 and they don't call them threenagers for nothing. The Kid does the same stuff at my house, but he also spends a fair amount of time in Time Out at my house.

All I think John needs to do is read a parenting book, be consistent and calm down. It's probably best for him to hear the same damn thing from our pediatrician since he doesn't listen to me anyway.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Behavioral Problems 2

On a Wednesday afternoon, my phone rings. Its John telling me we need to immediately pull Kid from daycare.

What? What happened?

John talked to the pediatrician, same as I did. John told the doctor that the Kid come home very tired from school, and is "zombie-like." But on Monday of this week, John's mom kept the Kid. Monday evening, Kid was full of energy. Apparently, this means we need to find a new daycare.

Hold on there, doofus. Isn't it possible that the Kid had energy because playing with grandma all day is not as strenuous as playing with 20 other kids all day?

He said he'd found other daycares to look at. I told him we could talk about it in the evening, since I HAD ALREADY COMMITTED TO COMING OVER. I'm so irritated. Why does this have to be discussed right now, at work in the middle of the day? There is no safety concern, so this is not an immediate problem.

I'm dreading going over to his place. Now he's put me in a position where I look like I'm disagreeing with the pediatrician. It feels like common sense to me, that if the Kid isn't doing well with lots of change, why would we make more change by having him transition to a new daycare?

Later that day, after work, I went to John's place. We tried to talk to Kid. asked him what he didn't like about his school. Kid's response was that he doesn't like it when mom and dad leave him at school. We tried to explain that that would happen at any school. We told him we could look at different school, but if he went to a new school, his friends and Miss Zara would not be there.

I felt that the talk went alright, that we'd look at some other schools but give it a little more time.
The next morning, I'm riding the bus when John calls. He thinks we need to pull Kid immediately because as John was making lunches that morning, Kid says, "I want to go to a different school." And in the car on the way to daycare, Kid screamed "I HATE SCHOOL I HATE SCHOOL I HATE SCHOOL," all the way there. (About 4 blocks.)

I get off the phone with John because there is nothing I can do from the bus.  Later in the morning, I called the daycare and asked for their read on the situation. They said the main thing is that Kid doesn't eat, and is then cranky for half the day. The daycare director thinks that if we can resolve the food issue, Kid will be happier. I agree.

I text John to ask if he has time to talk. (It's called being considerate. Ass.) When we talk on the phone, I relay the daycare director's thoughts about Kid's eating habits. Kid has always been a picky eater and its a struggle to get anything non-carb into his mouth. John agrees to set up an appointment with a nutritionist and see if that does anything. I'm on board to try anything at this point.

I tell John, my proposal: see the nutritionist, maybe tour a school here and there, but let's fix the food problem first and then see if a change of venue is still necessary. I express my thought that we should do this methodically, not making rash decisions, even though we both want to make Kid happy right away. John tells me he is not willing to deal with this slowly for the sake of being slow. Which is not what I said, but at this point I can tell we are too far apart on the issue and its about to get ugly. We ended the call calmly and politely.

I am willing to talk to Kid and get his thoughts, but a 3 year old is not capable of deciding what's best for him. I also don't think that a 3rd big change in 3 months is best for Kid. John disagrees and I'm not willing to back down on this. I'm really worried that we need to go back to mediation.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

*Record Scratch*

This Sunday I woke up sick. I made a nest on the couch to watch football and rest. I tried to drink some juice and eat some crackers. The food made a return appearance. Jack is a freaking angel, he came over with gatorade and soup. He heated me up a bowl of soup and came to snuggle on the couch with me.

I ate two bites of soup and not even 2 minutes later, I had to run to the bathroom to throw up the soup. When I came back to the couch, Jack asked, "are you pregnant?"


Its hard to tell with him if he's being serious or just joking, but this led to us sort of having a conversation about babies. Jack will be 39 in a few months and he doesn't want to be an old dad. I'll be 30 next summer. And sure we both have jobs but we have A LOT more ducks to get in a row before I'm  ready to pull the goalie.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Reframing the Issue

I belong to a few Facebook groups. The smallest is a group of 20 women. A handful of us are single moms. One of the women, Landrie, brought up today, how frustrating it is to talk about a child-free weekend (because the kids are with their dad) and married women will think its cute to say,
"You are so lucky! I should get divorced so I have every other weekend off."

No ma'am.

That is a stupid thing to say for more reasons than I have the time or energy to get into here. But Erica had a great point, which I'm not going to retype here but basically she had been a single mom and is now married to a great guy who works hard, loves her, and loves her three kids as his own.

I have a few fears I want to discuss with Jack, but mostly, I just need to calm THE FUCK DOWN.
Jack is a funny, smart, amazing, creative, hard working, caring, gentle, strong, and protective man. I am lucky to have him, hell I'm lucky to be with him. I let my anxiety and fears run away with me and convince me that he doesn't want me.

And maybe this won't last forever. Maybe Jack and I aren't meant to be. But what if this could be something great, except for me being scared and wrecking it? What it things could be good?

Jack tries. He honest to God tries to do it all right, and I've been too critical. So what that he's busy? He is busy with actual businesses, unlike a certain ex who would just play video games. I've never once worried that he's looking at another woman. I have nothing to worry about with Jack. Being busy isn't so bad, there are at least 50 other vices I could list off the top of my head.

Jack has been trying to get me to let him in and I've been the one resisting. Its foolish and short sighted of me. Jack cares about my kid too, asks about him, and was great at playing with him.

I've been letting my anxiety fuck everything up in my head.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why I'm Like This (Part 3)

I have sleep apnea. Or something. Something is wrong with me, I've had a sleep study and I'm waiting for the results.

Prior to the sleep study, I had bloodwork done. I happened to see my mom the day I got my bloodwork results. Though I've been anemic off and on for most of my life, my iron levels were good. My Vitamin D levels were normal. My pituitary and liver were functioning normally. I told my mom all that and said, half jokingly, "I don't know what the hell is wrong with me."

"You need a better diet and more sleep," my mom replied.

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.

First of all, as far as my diet, my mom lives in a different state. I'm not sure how she feels qualified to judge my eating habits, given that she has no idea what, or how much, I eat. Second, as all my vitamin levels are in normal range, wouldn't it be fair to say I have a balanced diet that is providing my body with all the required nutrients? Third, I have at least two servings of fruit as snacks each day at work and my dinner always includes vegetables.

As to needing more sleep, I'm baffled by what an ignorant thing that is to say.
My doctor, a medical professional, with years of schooling and an advanced degree, saw fit to refer me to a specialist.
The specialist, also with years of schooling and an advanced degree, sent me for a sleep study.
But my mom, a high school graduate, thinks I should just sleep more.

For the record, it is not uncommon for me to sleep on the bus to and from work. On rare, desperate occasions, I have taken a 10 minute power nap in the restroom at work. I take a long afternoon nap Saturdays and Sundays, in addition to sleeping in. I called in sick to work so I could stay home and sleep. I typically sleep 7-8 hours a night. Despite all of this, I always always always wake up tired.

This especially bothers me because my mom has a long list of medical issues. She's had several surgeries, she's on oxygen 24/7, her medical records are voluminous. Maybe she should eat a salad and get more sleep.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mom Guilt

I feel like I'm failing as a mom. Its awful.

My kid hates daycare. He's been there almost a month. At drop offs, he so sad. He stands in the window and waves to me. I blow him kisses and smile and tell him I love him. But then I have to turn my back and walk to my car and it feels like I'm abandoning him. When I pick him up in the afternoon, he is overjoyed to see me but almost cries out of relief.

The teachers say he's doing better. He has at least two little friends. But when I ask the kid about school, he shuts down or tells me the best part is when he gets to go home. He whimpers when we have to leave the house in the morning. He whimpers when we pull into the daycare parking lot.

I just worry for him because he seems miserable all day long. This week, after I put him to bed, he woke up twice in the night crying. I'd go in to calm him and ask what's wrong and he'd say he didn't want to go to school, that he was "just a little bit nervous" about school.

I don't know what to do. Because he is my child, he is nearly as stubborn as I am. For the first week, he refused to eat at daycare, all day. His dad and I started sending him with food from home and he eats a little now but the lunch lady gives me grief every morning, acting as though I don't feed him enough. The mom-guilt is crushing.

I don't know what more to do. In the mornings before I leave him, I give him a big lipstick kiss on his hand, so he'll have a kiss from mom all day. I also put a heart sticker on his shirt, which is his backup kiss for when the lipstick washes off. He has pictures of his dad and me and him in his cubby. I reassure him that mommy or daddy will always come to get him. None of it seems to make much of a difference.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


I haven't needed to do this in a while but I relented and took an anxiety pill just now.

I'm making myself miserable. I'm anxious about several things like the shitty interaction with my parents over Labor Day weekend, and my kid hating daycare. I'm an idiot and so I'm allowing the anxiety to ooze over onto my relationship with Jack. Do you know what its sounded like in my head for the last two days? Here's a sample:

Why doesn't he text me first? We don't have anything planned together coming up, not even dinner and Netflix, he's probably getting ready to dump me. I need to hide my anxious-ness better, he's going to dump me again if I'm too much of a hassle. I feel lonely and sad, but I can't talk to him about it because I texted him and he didn't respond and if I send more than one text in a row, it means I like him way more than he likes me. This will never work. Save yourself now. He's never going to be less busy. He's never going to have enough time for me. I'm a bottomless pit of need and I'll never be happy so I should let him go now. He doesn't like you. He doesn't love you. He tolerates you. 
And so forth and so on.

I wrote the first half of this, and then came back a few hours later. That anxiety pill didn't do shit. I texted with Jack and he's potentially coming to my house tonight, I just feel like I harangued him into coming. I hate myself. I just want to cry and sleep.

I'm having a hard time because we broke up once before and I see everything as indicators that its about to happen again. I keep trying to brace myself so it won't hurt as much this time.

I stupidly fell into a google-hole and found all sorts of stuff, written and pictures, about his past loves. He posted one picture of the two of us on Facebook. This shouldn't matter. I know this shouldn't matter. Facebook is not an accurate was to quantify his feelings for me.

Last night, I got desperate. Jack had been busy at work and had sent maybe 2 texts all day. I texted Jack to say good night. He responded and I put my phone down. Then 5 minutes later, picked it back up. I asked him to give me 5 minutes of his time because I felt weird. I asked him, "please just tell me something good or interesting about your day." I explain how anxious I've been about my kid and that the anxiety was spilling over to "us."

A minute later,  my phone rang. It was Jack, he gave me 10 uninterrupted minutes of his time to tell me about his day and help me feel a little less disconnected. I'm learning about myself in this relationship. As corny as I think they are, I've found that my "love language" is a close tie between Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. So while not texting much throughout the day shouldn't be a problem, it makes me feel disconnected from Jack.

Friday, September 11, 2015

I Can't

I can't stand it. This relationship with Jack. Whatever I'm supposed to call it. He calls me his girlfriend, "my sweet," "my love." I know it looks lovely from the outside, and probably from his perspective too.

I can't relax. Today for example, I received one text late this morning. And I responded and received nothing back. That's fine, or would be fine, except that the evening Jack broke up with me, he spent all that day not talking with me. So today, and anytime he doesn't seem very "chatty," the level headed part of my brain tells me he's busy with work, he's driving, he's asleep, he'll talk to me later. But the louder part of my brain says, "He's going to leave you again." I comb through our most recent interactions. Did I say the right things? Was I supportive enough? Did I ask thoughtful questions when he explained work concepts? Did I overstay my welcome in some way?

I look for my faults. I start mentally preparing for the break up. I have my kid and my friends and my job and I'll stay busy and be ok. I harden my heart.

And then, the break up doesn't come. But the cycle repeats. I cover my heart with layers and layers of shields so I won't be hurt when he leaves me.

We don't say "I love you" anymore. I don't know if I can honestly say that I am in love with Jack anymore. I'm too scared to be that vulnerable. And he doesn't say it either, which only reinforces my belief that the next breakup is imminent.

Since the break up, Jack doesn't come around when my kid is home or awake. I'm scared that he's stringing me along, but because he is a decent person, he doesn't want to get my kid tangled up in a confusing situation with "mommy's friend Jack." I guess that the smart choice, it makes sense and I'd do anything to protect my son's feelings, but its another weight on my heart that Jack isn't really in this and I'm fooling myself.

Because of his chronic lateness, Jack works fairly late into the evening. As a result, we usually just see each other once on weekdays, once on weekends. Twice a week. I guess that's supposed to be enough? For me it doesn't feel like enough. For all my fears, I crave Jack. I want to be snuggled up against him, wrapped in his sweatshirt, laughing and talking as much as possible. There is so much I want to see and do and share and learn with him. But If twice a week is sufficient for him, then I'd seem like a clingy, needy, crazy person asking for more.

I guess what it boils down to is that I've been in relationships where I was cherished. Where I was my man's number 1 priority. And if our current relationship is how Jack treats his number 1, then it isn't enough for me.  I don't want John back. I don't want Tom back. But I miss feeling like someone out there was thinking about me, that I was the bright spot in his life, that he would notice if I was quiet, would know when I just needed a hug. Jack is too disconnected and too logical.  I think we operate on different wavelengths and I don't know if I can keep it up.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sometimes, people Like Me. Sometimes I like me too.

I'm not a huge fan of Lena Dunham. I've watched the first 2 or 3 seasons of Girls and found parts of all the characters relatable. But besides all that, theres this quote. 
“No one could ever hate me as much as I hate myself. OK? So any mean thing that someone’s gonna think of to say about me I’ve already said to me, about me, probably in the last half-hour.” 
Holy Shit. That bitch has been reading my high school journals or some shit. I've had that same thought. I'm really hard on myself. I think I learned it from my parents. An "A-" was ok, and an "A" is better, but when I brought those home, they'd ask, "Did you really try? Did you really do your best?" Probably not.

 Academically, I'm very lucky. Giving it a moderate effort is enough for me to get an above average grade. It worked in high school. It worked as I completed two majors in college. It worked when I got not just accepted to, but offered scholarships at a handful of law schools. I know I'm smart and a lucky undeserving brat. I can't really enjoy any of those successes because I know I'm not trying my very best. But if someone tells me I'm smart, I can accept the compliment nicely.


I am unable to graciously accept a compliment about my looks. I'm the worst. I think I'm cute, or on a good day, pretty.

I'm actually pretty obnoxious with my deflecting of compliments. I've had men tell me I'm beautiful or sexy or whatever. I used to verbally disagree. Then I progressed to not arguing, but I would roll my eyes, because I'm awful. Now, I still roll my eyes, but I'll correct myself and say, "Thank you."

Building self confidence is a big project, one I'm not sure I'll ever finish. But part of helping me with this project, was finding women who get it, who lift me up. I will always be thankful that I stumbled across Brittany Gibbons' blog years ago (Brittany Herself) through her blog, and later facebook group, and later still, her book, I've made amazing friends, learned a lot, laughed a lot, cried a little, and I'm a bit further along in my journey towards seeing in myself what others already see in me. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

All Dressed Up

Jack accompanied me to a costume party. He went all out on his costume, and though he was anxious and nervous, he made conversation with my friends and seemed to enjoy himself.

I know it was a big effort on his part and I really appreciate that he came with me. Not much to say, I just wanted to get part of this written down so I would remember that even if he is cagey with his words and tricky to read, he wouldn't have put in this much effort if he didn't care about me.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Why I'm Like This (Part 2 in a never-ending series)

Why I'm Like This (Part 2 in a never-ending series of how my parents are fucked up).

Its super trendy to have your hair dyed outrageous colors now. Some of my hair is purple. Not all of it, not even half of it. Its most noticeable when My hair is up, like in a ponytail.

My parents were in town this weekend. My dad pointed out my hair, said, "you have some purple stuff. Eww."

When I told him that was rude and that he would never say "ew" to anyone else on the planet (stranger, co worker, friend, etc), my mom told me I was taking it the wrong way. I asked what other way "ew" can be interpreted. Then they told me that its different because they are my parents and can talk to me like that.

Eventually my dad grudgingly said sorry. It was pretty clear he didn't mean it, but I dropped it.

According to them:
They are never wrong. I am always wrong. I am always too sensitive. My emotions are always my own fault and they are never responsible for the words they say. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Just Nice

Jack came over. We made cookies. We kissed a lot, we talked about our days, we laughed. It was an ordinary evening and that's what made it great. We don't have to be doing anything exciting for me to feel perfectly at ease and happy with him.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Half and Half

Previously on, My Ridiculous Life:

I told Jack not to spend money on a kitten. He did. Two days later he broke a tooth. He will need a couple thousand dollars worth of dental work. I want to say I told you so, but I won't because I'm classy as shit, and saying that doesn't help anything anyways.

On the flip side,

I told Jack I didn't want to end up living under a bridge. He sold a concept he wrote. I know nothing.

Win some, lose some.
Yin and yang.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Jack has a day job and about 3 other companies that he runs on the side. He's a busy guy and his free time seems precious and rare. He says he feels like he doesn't spend enough time with me. And I would love for him to spend every free minute with me, but I feel guilty taking time away from all the business and screenplays and ideas he has.

In a way, he reminds me of Jay. He's constantly busy and creative, but its exhausting to keep up with. Every interaction turns into a discussion about his career, about a new idea he had, about a small success he had. I can't decide if I'm just jealous that all this stuff take away from me, or. No, you know what, that's it. I'm jealous of all this stuff. I feel boring in comparison. My dreams are smaller, my world, my successes and failures are all on a smaller scale. And that's fine. Jack can live his life being constantly busy, but I don't want that. To be honest, its kind of exhausting just to be around it.

Jack assured me that he thinks the Kid and I are interesting and "real." And that hearing about me and the Kid's conversations and adventures, makes him realize that he is lacking "realness" in his life. Jack doesn't have kids but has said he wants them. I want to have more kids. Or goals line up in that respect, but besides all of the other concerns I have about marrying Jack and having kids with him, the concern at the top of the list, is that he just doesn't have time for a baby.

Jack works late on occasions. That's fine, that happens. But Jack also keeps weird hours, he'll go to bed at 9 one night and stay up till 4AM the next. He sleeps through his alarms pretty consistently. He decisions.

But what the hell do I know. Someday when Jack has a kid, he may get his shit together. I know I did when Kiddo arrived and especially after the post-partum depression haze lifted. Also, this is so so so dumb for me to worry about, crazy premature.