Wednesday, January 19, 2005


There are days like the one I wrote about in "Harmony." And then there are days that make me wonder not only whether I hallucinated that morning, but also whether the hallucination was caused by the same stuff I was smoking when I decided freelancing would be the perfect solution to the problem of how to use my brain while staying home with a small child.

Normal days involve one or two of the following happening:
  1. The child decides waking up at 6:30 is perfectly reasonable, thereby blowing out of the water my fiction time - or better yet, the time I needed for a deadline.
  2. The child refuses to eat what is put in front of him at any meal. (Yes, I know this is normal toddler behavior, but it's no less frustrating. Dairy allergies and texture issues render difficult the ability to try new things.)
  3. The child refuses to nap even when he is obviously sleepy, and even despite several attempts to put him down. This means I will get no interviews done that day.
  4. The child demands my undivided attention, meaning talking to him as I type just won't cut it.
  5. The child flings himself at my legs, sobbing, as I attempt to walk out the door for a walk or swim. No, I don't oblige him. But it doesn't make walking or swimming any easier.
  6. The walk or swim is interrupted by nearly being run over by a reckless local teen or soccer mom, or being splashed/kicked/crashed into/nearly drowned by... well, a reckless local teen or soccer mom.
  7. Back home, the child whines as I prepare dinner, yet still refuses to eat.
  8. The child's sleep refusal continues into the night. (Yes, I know this normally means teething, but by the time I figure it out and inject Motrin into his angelic little mouth, it's just too late: the last nerve I needed to work is frayed through.)
  9. Insomnia.
  10. Those who profess eagerness to "help" are unavailable the next day - or the day after that, or for that matter the next week. And our weekends have already been planned for the next month straight.
Sometimes - thankfully, as rare as the "Harmony" days - all of those problems occur together. Those are the days I try like hell to remind myself that I'm blessed to be able to work and stay home. I know I'd be bored without work. And I know I hate workplaces. There are women who would kill to be in my shoes. And there are women who would kill to stay out of them. And when I read articles like this one on BabyZone - well, let's just say I wonder, again, what I was smoking when I decided to do this for a living, because there might just come a day when I become one of those reckless soccer moms - something tells me I haven't seen the half of it.

I wrote "Harmony" because I was thrilled that one of my fantasies actually came true for a change (another fantasy, blissful walks in the sunshine with my newborn, fell flat on its face during his first year, when as often as not, he'd throw up as soon as I snuggled him in the Baby Bjorn). And because it's hard for me to write about dissonance: I don't like to sound resentful, because truly, I'm not. I know I'm doing what I'm meant to, not just in the big picture, but in the little ones too. I know a lot of people - in fact, I'm married to one - who still aren't sure what they should do with their lives.

I know I'm blessed. It puts just a tiny bit more pressure on me to be more patient. And, well, pressure isn't the kind of thing I seek out on dissonant days. Peace pipe, anyone?


Blogger Holly said...

Dissonance days -- they happened most often to me when my guy was little. As he's getting older, he's able to go for longer periods entertaining himself, can be set to tasks and will pop up at odd intervals to make sure I still know he's there, and occasionally brings me things he thinks I'd like without being asked.

He and I still have our dissonant periods. But, from someone who simultaneously typed and breast-fed while on deadline, it does seem to be getting easier.

24/1/05 6:35 AM  
Anonymous pregnancy quiz said...

Encourages parents to plan and organise less for their children, instead allowing them to enjoy their childhood and explore the world at their own pace.

15/6/11 5:01 AM  

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