Remember my last post? Yeah, neither do I. Other than a couple of amusing bon mots des chevres, I have left you hanging. But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind, as the song goes. I think I’ve talked to some of you. Not in person. And probably not on the phone, either. So not “talked to” in the traditional sense. More like “thought about calling you/IMing you/emailing you but it just seemed like a whole lot of work…” How’s the beginning of the song go, again? Well I tried to make it Sunday, but…I set my sights on Monday…? Yeah, substitute any day for “Sunday” and replace “Monday” with “tomorrow” and that’s more like it. I wrote a post a while back (It was a month ago? An entire MONTH?) about how life was kicking my ass; the problem is, that hasn’t changed. But I’m pretty sure my life shouldn’t feel so undoable every day. I’m not THAT busy; it’s not THAT much work. Yet I am THAT overwhelmed.
I feel incapable ALL. DAY. LONG. Incapable of doing everything that needs to be done when I am as tired as I am. I am exhausted from all of the caring that goes into parenting. There is not a single chapter in those pi star dollar sign “What To Expect…” books about the bone-crushing weariness of caring so ampersand much all the ampersand time. Weary to the point that, when I am not busy with parenting, I am completely petrumbiated.
Don’t bother looking that up. I made it up a long time ago; it’s not a “real word.” (It looks like one, though, right? And it totally sounds like one; a friend of mine thought for months that it was a real word, even though she tried to look it up and couldn’t find it. She thought she was spelling it wrong. THAT’S how much it sounds like a real word.) It’s a state of being wherein you are: tired, but ugh, getting ready for bed is SUCH a production; bored, but you cannot think of anything to do and even if you could, OY, the effort; hungry, but nothing sounds good and even if it did, cooking takes so much TIME… You get the gist.
It’s not apathy; I absolutely care about stuff. Actually, I care a LOT about a LOT of stuff. But the caring is less the motivating variety and more the paralyzing kind. It’s the exact opposite of apathy, except the outcome is the same: stuff doesn’t get done until it demands your attention. Now, the goats do not care how much I care about something, they need (or want) what they need (or want) RIGHT. FREAKING. NOW. This immediacy forces me to move, to act, to do whatever it takes to make the lambs stop screaming goats stop bleating. I have no choice but to feed/clean/engage the goats, so I do what I must. Petrumbiation, though, hates to be thwarted, so it boomerangs right back as soon as the immediate crisis is over, all smug and self-righteous with “They’re eating a delicious nutritious anack now, but they’ll be done in 15 minutes, so you might as well not start anything new because then they’ll just need (or want) something else.” And this continues until bedtime, sucking the soul will to live motivation right out of me so that when I am finally free of goatly demands for the evening, I no longer want to do anything strenuous at all. Like straining my brain to figure out what’s even next on the to-do list. Or, you know, breathing in and out.
So I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair Surprise caring, all day long, and it’s freakin’ exhausting. In the past week alone, I have cared about the following goat-related things:
The fact that Goat #1 came home from school last week and announced, quite forlornly, that he didn’t want to go trick-or-treating this year “because that’s the devil’s holiday, Mama.” I got to care about this one until well past bedtime (my son knows a good delay tactic when he sees one.) If I’d cared less, I would probably have said “Well, that’s your choice. Good night.” But noooooo. I had to care enough to worry about where he got that idea and whether he believed that Mom and Dad would encourage him to do things they thought were wrong and oh my GOD, I’m practically begging my child to go ask strangers for candy, how weird is THAT? (That last part might have been less caring and more ADD, though.)
The fact that Goat #2 still has to finish out this week at the current daycare before we can move her back to the loving and supportive (and way less punitive) daycare, and finishing out the week may be too much to ask of my stubborn wee one. She is miserable. Her “behavior apple” has been blue every day this week. Let me translate this for you: blue = incorrigible, sent to office. I don’t want Goat #2 to think it’s okay to get sent to the office, but then again, I don’t really believe her behavior is being scrutinized objectively at this point, so I don’t want her thinking she’s a bad girl who can’t behave, either.
Getting to be the Tooth Fairy for the very first time ever. This could have been, should have been fantastic fun. Instead, it was a disaster. I was the worst Tooth Fairy EVER. Completely ineffectual. Toothless (har, har) if you will. Forget the fact that this first tooth came out quite suddenly and the WWTF (World’s Worst Tooth Fairy) couldn’t remember where she put the stash of Eisenhower dollar coins (get it? Ike dollars?) she’d been saving for the occasion. Forget the fact that without the wonders of the Internet, I’d never have thought of a suitable substitute (First teeth lost get PRESENTS!) on my own. Forget all of that. Here’s the clincher: I woke him up with all of my frantic searching around because I couldn’t find the damn tooth when I went to take it and leave the present. So not just toothless “(har, har) if you will”….toothless LITERALLY. And oh, yeah, busted. Forget the world, I am the GALAXY’S worst tooth fairy.
Goat #1’s homework load. There is reading homework every night. Additionally, thanks to some silly program called “Book It!” there is “Book It!” reading every night that has to be logged (titles of books, amount of time.) We have to drill spelling words every night for the weekly test. We also have to drill the writing (printing and cursive) of these words every night. We have to drill math every night for the weekly test. I have to sign and date a homework folder every day, noting what we did. And Sundays and Tuesdays, we have to drill the Bible trivia to prepare for quizzes in Chapel on Mondays and Wednesdays. (This is much less fun now that he no longer thinks James Bond was an apostle.)
Goat #2’s recurring night terrors. It is impossible not to care about this at 3:00 in the morning when my daughter is shrieking to the heavens and stumbling around the hallway. It’s completely impotent caring, though, because I cannot do anything to calm her down. I just have to ride it out until she’s awake enough to be approached and picked up and taken back to bed. This is easily the most exhausting thing on the list. This week, anyway.
When it’s not goat stuff, it’s school and work and cat and house and House, and oh, yes, uberbusy husband is sometimes around and wants attention…. and it’s just too much. So you see, it’s not that I don’t love you. Or miss you. I do. I hate not having hilarious blog posts for you to enjoy every day, but right now it is SO. MUCH. WORK. to even achieve “slightly amusing”…. I just don’t want to post for the sake of posting. This is maybe the only place in my life where I do not have to settle for less than I want, and I care too much about it to ruin that. I hope you’ll understand. Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care….?
For the record, I have also been busy caring about the upcoming election. These are troubled times, so I’ve been driving myself nuts with personally-dictated due diligence. However, as of today, I am done. And not because of tonight’s debate. It’s because I voted this afternoon. (Yeaaaa, early voting!) I exercised my right to participate in our democratic process and cast my vote for the candidates I believe best represent my political philosophy. I hope you do the same. And no, I don’t mean that I hope you vote for the same people (although that would be GREAT!) – I hope you vote your conscience, and feel good about your choices. And I really hope we all remember that no matter who wins, it doesn’t mean the other side loses. We are all so much more alike than we are different. I think we mostly want the same things for ourselves and our families and our country; we just differ on how to go about achieving them. The current divisive attitude is going to be counterproductive, though. So I want to leave you with one last thought: compromising on means or policies does not necessarily mean compromising your personal values.
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