Things have been busy in the last 6 months. Hell, thing have been busy in the last year. In fact, the last year has been a difficult one, which is why I’ve been so scare on the posts. It’s hard to write humorously when you’re mired in shit. That doesn’t mean that I’m not finding humor in my life, or that I’m focusing only on the bad times…just that I’m finding it difficult to take some of our everyday situations and turn them into a funny commentary on parenting, relationships, mental illness, atypical neurology, and what raging assholes 3 year olds are. Actually, that last one might not so so hard to write…
In the last year, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, have had to readjust my expectations and my life based on my body and the medications I have to take to prevent irreversible joint damage, started weekly psychiatry appointments for Future Cult Leader to get a handle on her anxiety, ADHD, and daily meltdowns, I’ve struggled with my bipolar disorder, helped my mother after her surgeries (plural, with another one likely coming up) and the after effects of those surgeries (MRSA flare!), dealt with my aging grandmother’s progressing Alzheimer’s disease, hospitalization, moves to different homes and a rehab center for her severely broken shoulder and subsequent surgery, and other minor annoyances that are just part of life that have complicated some of the above events.
On the good side: Future Cult Leader is safely in a healthy weight range, has become a lot easier to handle, Evil Genius has made strides learning how to use the bathroom like a human being (no diapers, holla!), I’ve made some awesomesauce friends, gotten addicted to Words With Friends, had the privilege of officiating the marriage of 2 close friends, have managed a couple times to get my joint pain under control, have strengthened my relationship with Monsieur Stoic (today marks the 6th year anniversary of the day we became a couple), turned 30 (fuck yeah, 30!), have improved my photography skills (maybe eventually I can turn it into a career…who knows?), done a bit of traveling, and I’ve gotten to know my long lost brother who recently moved to Oregon from the Easy Coast to attend Oregon State University. So it hasn’t been all bad.
Tell me, readers…how has your last year been?
While I was at our favorite national big box store
picking up some new granny panties killing some time on the way to pick up Future Cult Leader from school, I found a mini spiral notebook in one of their dollar bins. As one of Cult Leader’s favorite past times is writing the Great American Novel, I bought one so I can live off her royalties encourage her love of the written word. After I presented it to her, this happened:
“Guess what I have for you?”
“Nope. I have this notebook for you.”
“Is this for me?”
“Yup. All yours!”
“So now I have my very own diarrhea?”
Yeah, baby. Your very own diarrhea.
Monsieur Stoic and I were in the kitchen, discussing how to end world hunger while fixing macaroni and cheese for lunch, when Evil Genius tip toes in. In her arms she is cradling her almost-as-big-as-she-is automatic Nerf dart gun, fully loaded. She is wearing a mischievious grin. Before we can register what is going on, she aims the gun at Stoic (as best as she can, considering she has to cradle it like a baby) and pulls the trigger. Synthetic material flies everywhere as she cackles maniacally, turning her body around so she is spraying the entire kitchen with suppressive styrofoam fire. Stoic jumps for cover so I spring into action, guiding Evil Genius into another position so he is assaulted by velcro tipped missiles. When the dust settles, our 2 1/2 year old daughter is giggling wildly, crowing in triumph. “I got you! I got you, Dad!” I cannot stop laughing. Stoic is shell shocked and appalled. “You little punk, I loaded that for you earlier and you had no interest in shooting!”
Folks, I give you Exhibit A.
If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you’ve heard of the bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. If you have been living under a rock, you can listen to Samuel L. Jackson make love to the words until it’s taken down for copyright violation:
Story of my damn life.
Everyone knows that you don’t sleep with a newborn in the house. Honestly, they should have a warning that pops up after that second pink line on the pee stick comes up.
(Why is it pink?!)
WARNING: YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. YEAH, THE INFANT PHASE SUCKS AND YOU WILL PROBABLY BE A WALKING ZOMBIE FOR THE FIRST 3 TO 6 MONTHS. BUT THE TRUTH IS, THE NEXT TIME YOU WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT YOUR BODY WILL BE TOO OLD TO ENJOY IT BECAUSE YOU WILL BE WAKING UP EVERY 2 HOURS WITH ACHY JOINTS, A FULL BLADDER, AND SCIATICA FROM HELL.
If you’re like the other uptight pricks out there, you’re thinking gee, if you hate your kids so much, why did you have them? Who said anything about hating my kids? I freaking love my kids! I just want them to sleep, for the love of brown rice, sleep! Here’s the thing. If I don’t get enough sleep, I Lose My Shit. My kids? They don’t like to sleep. The Future Cult Leader was a great sleeper as an infant, but as she’s grown into her disorder she’s come up with insomnia. The other night? Fourteen visits upstairs. And before you go saying I must be letting my child walk all over me, let me say this: military style torture would not have broken this kid. Evil Genius didn’t sleep for her first 6 months (thanks, reflux!), and even after that we were lucky to catch a 4 hour stretch. Even now, after almost 2 years of life, there are nights she wakes up 10 times. And early. Oh god. Those two are a terror tag team of pre-dawn waking. Both of them need 11-12 hours, and when they don’t get that, they tend to Lose Their Shit. If I haven’t slept and they haven’t slept, then all three of us are Losing Our Shit.
The last few days, Monsieur Stoic’s family has been Without Their Shit. Cult Leader defiantly refuses to sleep, Evil Genius has a hacking cough that wakes her up every 2 hours, and I’m in the middle of a psychiatric med switch so YAY! my sleep aid is no match for the adjustment period. Lucky for us, Monsieur Stoic can clean the house, do his work, play with the kids, run the errands, cook a meal, seduce me, and mow the yard on 5 hours of sleep, all without smudging his lipstick. It sucks, though, because then his family is hanging out and they’re all shitless.
Honestly, the man deserves an award for not Losing His Own Shit.
I like coffee. I drink it a lot. I drink about a pot a day, which some people, like my therapist, say is too much. But you know what? It’s entirely possible that coffee is what’s holding my marriage together during these shitless days. You can take my coffee…but you’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead, shitless hands.