Someday I’ll look back and laugh…

Posted: January 29, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Today is not yet that day.

Everything looks safe and content… but looks are deceiving...

Everything looks safe and content… but looks are deceiving…

I have a lot of excuses I could bring forward.  I’m naturally disorganized, particularly with the decidedly mixed blessing that is my ADD.  I’ve lived with ADD long enough, and for the most part managed it, that I know good sleep patterns and a structured life are the best way to control my scatterbrain episodes.  Since Piper arrived in my life, however, good sleep patterns and healthy structure are both things of the past.  I’m sufficiently sleep deprived that even a more conventional brain would be scattering, but for me, single motherhood is a perfect storm of bad ADD lifestyle choices.  Since I’m sleeping poorly, my physical health, like my mental health, is more brittle than it should be.  I’ve got the latest variety of creeping crud to pass through the region- lots of phlegm in my nose and throat, a general achiness, and a cough that sounds like I’m auditioning to be the newest tuberculosis poster girl.  Which means I’m sleeping even worse, cue sinister music for vicious feedback loop.  I’m also terrified that I’m going to pass this on to little Piper, so I’m stressing over that, even though I know the stress causes the little gerbil wheel in my head to spin ever faster out of my control.  Since I’m trying to keep as much distance as possible from my daughter- and ‘as possible’ is a pitiful amount since I’m primary and generally sole caregiver- she is wailing her pitiful ‘But-I’m-not-being-held’ cry that much more often.  More noise and a heaping serving of guilt add to my litany of woes.  The lack of sleep and sickness are also interfering with my proficiency at work.  When I’m on my A-game, I’m a pretty damn awesome waitress.  Even off my A-game, I still muddle through, since me at eighty percent is as good as most servers at a hundred percent.  I’m down to fifty percent or so, however, so I’m out of patience, making mistakes, and getting shittier tips than I’m used to.  For the sake of my bills, I can compensate for worse tips by working longer shifts and/or extra ones, but that is wearing me down further, and also burning goodwill among the few people I can call in chits for Piper-sitting duty.  Every problem tangles into every other, and I can’t seem to get any traction on any of them.  Sigh.

The cannon was performing its job poorly, so it had to be fired...

The cannon was performing its job poorly, so it had to be fired…

As I mentioned, Piper-sitting duty is an issue.  Yesterday I went to an interview at Thatchtower Gallery.  The job sounds a little out of both my comfort zone and skill set, assisting with the sales and presentation of high-end art, antiquities, and rarities.  However, Cao Richards, the gallery owner’s administrative assistant, is a regular at Giovanni’s, and she aggressively pitched the job to me.  The hours are good for me- office work from ten A.M. to three P.M. on three out of five weekdays- my choice which three- and Gala Exhibit nights from six P.M. until sometime between midnight and two A.M. on Thursday evenings.  The base pay is barely above minimum wage, but the job includes on-site daycare and significant bonuses whenever I contribute to a sale.  On days I work I would be out in time to work a night shift at Giovanni’s, and likewise I could work a Thursday lunch and still have time to get ready for Gala night.  Ms. Richards- she told me to call her Cao, but I still feel like that’s overfamiliarity- even offered to stretch a point if I get the job and let me drop Piper in the Gallery daycare if I’m working a weekday lunch shift at Giovanni’s, as long as I bring her a carryout order when I come to pick Piper back up.  The biggest expense is I will have to dress red-carpet fancy for Gala nights (which is a treat, albeit an expensive one…)

Since I didn’t have a sitter yesterday, I had to bring Piper along with me, and packing up a two month old is never a quick and easy proposition.  I meant to get up at eight for my ten o’clock interview, but since I didn’t fall asleep until sometime after six, I woke up in a panic to Piper screaming at 9:13.  I blearily washed my adderol down with some iced coffee, swapped my shower- usually a key portion of my waking up rituals- for a quick wipe of my armpits and crotch with a damp soapy cloth, rolled on deodorant, spritzed myself with Febreze, and tried to get Piper ready also.  I gave her thrush medicine, prepared two bottles to the just-add-formula stage, and measured two ziplock baggies of formula to just-add.  I shoved a spare fleece PJ, two bibs, some receiving blankets, a couple of toys, pacifier, spare paci, back-up spare paci, a half-dozen disposable diapers, diaper cream, and gas drops into one of my old back packs, and away we went.

All right, little girl, this must be the place where some future may await...

All right, little girl, this must be the place where some future may await…

I think the interview went well, although Ms. Richards warned me I probably won’t hear either way until after Valentine’s day since the job opening begins in March.  Piper slept quietly through the whole interview, stirring slightly when I got her out of her carrier for ‘Auntie Cao’ to meet and hold her, but otherwise was wiped out.  She didn’t even fuss when I put her back in her carrier, and she hates the carrier.  She was so calm I treated myself and took her with me to get some apartment furnishings from Grumble and to get a BBQ sandwich from City Barbecue and a mocha chip milkshake from Graeter’s.  I was surprised by how quiet Piper stayed, and as we drove home, I fantasized that maybe we had turned the corner on sleepless nights and that maybe my life wasn’t so bad after all.  Right now, I’m trying to pin that feeling in my memory like a butterfly in an album, so I can examine and cherish the beauty of ‘contentment’ whenever I wish, because the day tanked sharply when I got home.

This is why I'm a dangerous shopper.  I came looking for some chairs that match, and ended up looking at a neon burlesque sign...

This is why I’m a dangerous shopper. I came looking for some chairs that match, and ended up looking at a neon burlesque sign…

It had been about six hours, so the first thing I intended to do was give Piper her next dose of thrush medicine.  (In layman’s terms, thrush means my daughter has a yeast infection in her mouth.  Yeah, my first reaction was ‘what’s thrush?’ because I didn’t spend a lot of time around babies until I had one of my own, but my second reaction was, ‘ooh, that’s nasty’…)  I went to the counter to the left of the sink where I keep all the medicines in the apartment arranged, and as I looked, I realized I didn’t give Piper her thrush medicine that morning after all.  I gave her my prescription cough syrup instead.  Both bottles come from the same pharmacy and look the same.  I was sleep-deprived and time-crunched, but it doesn’t matter.  When you fuck up, the universe doesn’t pat you on the head, reassure you that it’s o.k. as long as you meant well, and grant you a mulligan.  The one small blessing was that I hadn’t given Piper the full 5 mL dose of Tussionex, but had followed the thrush medicine instructions, putting two mL into her mouth with a syringe, and swearing when she spit most of it out all over her and my outfits.  (Yes, swearing while she spits it up is actually part of the pharmacist’s instructions.  Really.  O.k., maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but that is the process we go through with every dose…)  Of course, even if you figure she only got one mL of cough syrup, given the disparity in body weights, Piper took four or five doses of cough syrup in that one go.  No wonder she was so restful; I drugged my baby!

To loosely quote Rudyard Kipling (read the entire, non-paraphrased poem here!), if you can keep your head when everyone else is losing theirs, you will rule the world and everything in it.  Part of why I regard my ADD as a mixed blessing is because when I’m on top form I can run multiple lines of thought, pick the relevant lines, and push those thoughts harder and faster then anyone.  When I’m in crisis mode, I can shunt the distracting thoughts aside for later, and I live by the old Terry Pratchett quote, “Personal isn’t the same as important.”  The problem is my mind is like a very powerful but poorly regulated engine.  I require a lot of effort and energy to control my unwieldy mind, and once I run out of juice, my mind runs amok, still running multiple lines of thought, but I can no longer control which lines are in focus and which lines are dragging me helter-skelter from what I need to be doing.  Sickness, stress, sleep-deprivation- my mental and emotional tanks were pegged squarely on ‘Empty’, and I shattered completely when I realized what I had done.  I’m not even sure how long I just stood there in my kitchen holding the phone while my mind circled through “I don’t know what to do.”; “I should call someone.”; “I should call X” (where X was some specific person); “Wait- if I call person X, bad consequence Y will happen.”; “So I shouldn’t call X.”; “I don’t know what to do!” over and over, with variations on both X and Y.  I was frantic and panicked enough I even worried my dad would arrest me or call children’s services if I called him.  I would have called Jonas Giovanni, and even cheerfully endured the litany of colorful profanity I assumed would receive and deserve, if I knew his cell number or thought he would have any answers to accompany the anger.  Instead the call I finally made was to Jeremy, the ex boyfriend I haven’t talked to since July 2013, when he left Giovanni’s shortly after I forced him to dump me.  Jeremy didn’t even know I had a daughter until I bawled that I could have killed her.

Dear God, please help me to be the mother my little angel deserves instead of the mother she got...

Dear God, please help me to be the mother my little angel deserves instead of the mother she got…

Jeremy has no urgency in his soul.  That was an infuriating trait in a coworker; no matter how many customers or servers were waiting for him, Jeremy did what he was going to do with the same unhurried, methodical pace.  As a boyfriend, however, he was amazing: always calm and unruffled, never distracted or riled by emotional outbursts.  Instead he leaned on his strong but quiet faith that things will work out, and they generally do, as if the universe would be embarrassed to disappoint him.  He didn’t take time to judge me or panic with me, he just confirmed I was still in the same apartment, told me he was on his way, and helped me work out who I really needed to call.  Unless something changed for the worse, there was no point to calling 9-1-1 almost five hours after I dosed Piper.  On the other hand, I needed to make sure there weren’t any lasting effects to beware, so I had to talk to someone with a medical background.  The pharmacist or Piper’s pediatrician were the obvious choices, and not only should the pediatrician know more about how babies react to medications, but I would need to tell her anyway if Piper risked any medium or long-term consequences from the overdose.  Which apparently she doesn’t.  The nurse told me to keep a close eye on her to make sure she didn’t stop breathing during the afternoon and to wake her up a couple of times to make sure she didn’t forget to eat since she is so tiny, but otherwise I didn’t even need to bring her in for an exam- although I had ran the risk of very bad things with my mistake, if any thing bad was going to happen, it already would have.  Ipso facto, Piper must be fine.

And Jeremy was still amazing.  He sat with me, watching me hold Piper and cry, for half an hour.  We caught up in general terms about our life after we quit being an ‘us’.  He’s an assistant manager now at one of the chain restaurants near the mall, living in suburbia.  He actually regularly attends the same mega-church I sporadically attend, although we wouldn’t have encountered each other since he goes to one of the satellite campuses and I tend to sneak into the back of the main campus after the service has started.  Between his new job and his new location, very few mutual acquaintances remained in both of our social circles, although we still had a slight overlap.  Most amazing was the way that there was none of the bitterness or awkwardness you would expect after an emotional breakup and eighteen months of silence; it was like the last year and a half never happened.  Jeremy even made me promise to stay in touch, and asked if there was any way he could help with Harper, maybe even watch her sometime if I needed a sitter.  I was reminded all over again how much Jeremy loved kids, that I had been the one who steadfastly maintained I wasn’t ready.  (I still don’t feel ready for motherhood.  I’m just more resigned to winging it while I’m unready.)

Hanging out with my sorrow and my melancholy...

Hanging out with my sorrow and my melancholy…

Really the only awkwardness was when Jeremy left.  He invited me to come by his new suburban house, that he was sure Valerie would love to meet me and Piper.  In fact, he would stay longer, but Valerie would be waiting for him.  Cue ominous foreboding as I ask the obvious question, “Oh, who’s Valerie?”

“My fiancee.”

Yeah, someday I may laugh about Piper getting dosed with cough syrup.  Someday I may laugh about reconnecting with Jeremy only to learn someone else is better connected.  Someday I may laugh about the fact all I need to thrive with my ADD is the opposite of what I actually have in my life.  Today, however, is not that day.

A few quick post scripts.  Since I was rather rushed getting ready, I just interviewed in the rather chic but casual ‘Bella Valentine’ outfit from Edelfabrik, doing my hair in the rather casual Heidi look from Tameless Hair and wearing minimal accessories.  I did intend to look at furniture at Grumble- my apartment is woefully under furnished and I generally just make one corner into a backdrop rather than truly live in a livable space- but I got distracted by all the ‘odds and sods’ currently available at the Grumble yard sale.  Grab this taxi and check it out for yourself.  And I think I may hate my firsty.  Usually a rather dark sense of humor, able to squeeze some humor out of any situation, is one of the traits we share in common, one reason why I’m sure I will someday feel better about this story.  It was definitely too soon, however, for firsty to spritely comment, “Well, you haven’t heard Piper cough once since you dosed her!” or to send me the link to this music video

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Comments
  1. […] I really need retail therapy.  The whole situation with Jeremy (more about that towards the end of this post…) has me in a tailspin.  I’m still into him, and he is apparently also still into me. […]

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