I’ve started this post about 12 times — not because I have something incredibly delicate or important to say, but because each post has gotten to about the second paragraph and petered out into incoherence. I think I’m starting to show mental symptoms due to the social isolation, interrupted sleep, insufficient mental stimulation (I am coming to believe I have a high need for mental stimulation), and overdose of quality time with my kids.
My mom said that these last few weeks of maternity leave would propel me back into the workforce with a right good will. I think she’s right. I am a perfectly adequate full time mother. But I don’t think it’s where I’m best suited.
Here are some of the disjointed truths that have emerged:
1) Thane has the auburn hair of his great-grandfather Virgil. I saw it in the sunlight this morning and was awed by the realization. There is a hand-tinted wedding picture of my grandparents, shortly after the end of WWII. Thane’s hair is just that color.
2) Grey’s vocabulary has exploded while being at home with me. I’m pretty sure that the extensive time we’ve spent together has just pushed that forward, not made it happen at all. He’s started listening to the radio when I have it on and asking me questions. “What’s “stand up for” mean? What’s a “podcast”? Why are they saying “dangerous”?” You try to explain Hilary Clinton’s Senate testimony, the intricacies of new media, and a discussion of Guantanamo to a three year old.
3) I had been thinking that Grey wasn’t really doing the three year old “why” thing to the level I expected. To some extent, that’s actually true. But then I realized that he often asks “what” when he means “why”. He’s using many more words than three months ago, but not all of them correctly.
4) I would rather be on maternity leave in, say, July. The house is clausterphobic (and cold) in 10 degree weather.
5) I am starting to be concerned about how much sleep I’m needing. I go to sleep with my husband, and wake up 2 to 3 hours after he does. I’m still tired and have trouble concentrating throughout the day. Not all of that can be blamed upon my moonlight wakings. Am I secretly depressed? Do I have mono? Am I paying back a serious sleep debt? Am I opportunistic? Might it be related to the calorie restriction of my diet?
6) Speaking of diet, I lost about 5 pounds last week. I’m debating whether that’s a fluke (water weight, etc.), a problem, or a really effective diet. Part of me is excited about prepregnancy weight in a month. Part of me thinks this is a bad idea.
7) I’m not a very good disciplinarian when I have to do it full time, all the time.
8) Thank heaven for books. As they have been through my life, they’ve been my escape and sanity. I hate it when I remember my dreams and they’re boring.
9) My husband and I have an actual date on Friday, with a babysitter and all. We’re going DANCING. In 0 degree weather. Isn’t insanity grand?
10) Grey begs for a Ninetendo DS several times a day. Both Jordan and Pablito at daycare have one (brothers) and they don’t share. I have no idea what to do. Make it a potty training reward? Buy one for our planned July 4th trip to DC? Resist peer pressure and prove that begging has no effect? We are entering the next stage of parenting with him, and I, for one, am not ready.
11) I have fewer friends than I thought I did. Or rather, I have many fewer people who I can see in real life than I thought — especially on short notice. I know I am socially isolated. It’s not good for me. Compounding that is that I’m not online as often as usual (one of my typical sources of socialization) and that I really, truly have trouble getting out. I’m still nursing Thane like every 2 hours during the day, and every 4 at night. I miss getting to hang out with real live people and chat. On the flip side, I feel depressed by the realization I have little to talk about but parenting and my latest adventure into novels.
12) I’m making good progress on the whole “back” issue. I have an appointment set up with the Spine Center associated with the big health services conglomerate in the area to Figure Out What’s Wrong. I’m guessing that I’ll get some imaging and physical therapy — that sounds just right for me. I also have my first general physical in years scheduled. I have done my pap smear with my midwife for the last several years. I don’t even remember when my last true physical was.
13) I tried acupuncture this week, in my big push to Get Out of the House. It was interesting. Most profoundly, the room was nice and warm and dark and quiet. Mmmmmm…. warmanddarkandquiet. The acupuncturist said I was the healthiest person she’d seen all day. I do better when I don’t have work stress — at least physically.
14) It has been fascinating to see separate parts of my life merge on Facebook. My high school English teacher, my Sunday School kids, friends from my high school youth symphony (mostly the strings — where are the winds?!), a coworker, my long-term friends, my mom… I usually think that I have one self and that self is presented to the whole world. While not untrue, there is a bit of vertigo that comes from having your social circles collide.
15) I miss writing, but feel like I have both little to say and insufficient time in which to say it. Perhaps it is not so much time which is missing, but concentration. Even in bullets, I’m having trouble.
16) I have only a fortnight to go. I have no idea how everything that needs doing will get done when I go back to work. I take it on faith that it will.