Monday, April 17, 2017

Mom Day Monday

Today was one of those days where I felt like a mom. By which I mean, I ordered egg salad at the deli counter while pushing a whiny two-year-old in a shopping cart and holding the hand of a four-year-old, and I was wearing a maxi skirt. SUCH a mom, right?

Random cute pic of the girls:

Other things (mom-ish or not) that I did today:

I got the girls up and dressed, made oatmeal and frozen pancakes for breakfast, and listened to songs from The Lion King soundtrack on the way to the girls' school. We watched the movie for the first time on Saturday (in preparation for taking Zuzu to see the play this week) and the girls liked it, but Zuzu got really anxious at the scary parts. She sat on my lap and bit one fingernail down to the quick. We'll be sticking to "Mickey Mouse's [Godforsaken] Clubhouse" for a while.

I listed to Pod Save America on my way to work and then started my work day at 9:00, checking email and hand writing stuff in my planner (so old school). I'm working on writing down every little thing I have to do. This gives me the satisfaction of crossing many things off a list, but also helps my poor brain because I can't remember it all! I also skimmed the short story I was teaching this morning (because I've already read it a zillion times) and I more carefully read an article about family and sexual politics in Much Ado About Nothing in preparation for my afternoon class.

At 10:00, I led discussion slash lectured on a Gabriel Garcia Marquez story called "Death Constant Beyond Love." We discussed magical realism and post-colonial literature as counter narratives to the dominant (white) discourse and also the idea that we all ultimately die alone. Super uplifting! Also I explained drawing and quartering a human, which is something that evidently most of my students were not familiar with. (Who's not teaching them medieval torture techniques?!)

After back-to-back lit classes, I went to my office to enter participation grades (mostly a way to penalize students who are on their cell phones or without their text books). Then I walked over to grab lunch in the dining hall with my friend/colleague, Rob, and we talked about Survivor and the huuuuge drama on last week's episode, which we both just saw over the weekend. I won't plot spoil in case you have it DVRed, but was so shocking! We also chatted at lunch with a part-time instructor who is going to start an MFA program at NYU this fall in game design. It sounds so cool! I'm really excited for her, but sad that she won't be teaching/inspiring our students next year.

At 1:00pm, it was time for my Shakespeare class and discussion of the aforementioned article. They had good things to say about it, and we also talked a bit about attitudes towards marriage (still a huge social expectation, regardless of gender/sexual preference, and with no other personal "accomplishments" that are comparable). We also talked a bit about the transformation of the word "cuck" (from "cuckold"--a man whose wife cheats on him, and a serious concern for Shakespearean characters like Othello and Benedick). We also talked a bit about challenging gender roles and a young woman in my class commented that she runs cross country and can drive a stick shift, but she couldn't get a job as a valet last summer because men don't trust women to drive their cars. I don't frequent a lot of valet-park establishments, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a female valet. I sure hope there are exceptions to that rule...

After class, it was office hour. I checked email, graded, and requested a couple library books. (I want to read Thirteen Reasons Why before watching the Netflix series all my students are talking about, and I also want to read Sheryl Sandberg's new book Option B about life after loss, so I put it on hold.)
My office hour was up before my work was all finished (story of my life). I fretted about the stack of ungraded essays and wondered how I'd get 22 of them graded by Friday (spoiler: I probably won't).

Then it was time to head out. I had to leave work at 3:00 to have enough time to get to the girls' school, get them loaded up, and get to the doctor's office by 4:00. The downside of a 30 minute commute. The upside is that I was able to finish listening to the podcast.

Coco had a doctor appointment because she had a run in with a chihuahua over the weekend. It started out a friendly encounter that appeared mutually agreeable, but the moment I relaxed and quit hovering, something went awry and poor Coco ended up with a dog bite on her sweet little cheek. She was freaking out, I was freaking out. It was awful. It didn't bleed, but it did break the skin in a couple of places, so I called the pediatrician today to ask about potential for infection. It's already looking a lot better, but he wanted to see her, and he ended up prescribing an antibiotic. (Dog saliva: not as bacteria-laden as cat saliva, but still not something you really want inside an open wound.)

So we left the doctor's office and stopped at the Whole Foods a couple blocks away to get a probiotic and some other groceries. Coco was hungry/hangry/whiny, so it was not super enjoyable. She kept asking for peanutbutter, like she just wanted to scoop it from the container into her hands? I also have stopped indulging in the option of opening a package of food for my kids in the store and letting them eat it before we've paid for it. I've realized that's a [white] privilege not afforded to everyone. Fortunately, the ciabatta bread samples were legit equal opportunity, so my children dined on crusty bread while I bought overpriced produce and egg salad.

We spent ten minutes in line at the pharmacy drive through, listening to "Hakuna Matata" on repeat, and Coco's medicine still wasn't ready and they said it would be 15 more minutes, which made me feel very ragey and not at all hakuna matata-y. I said I'd be back and headed for home, but my car was running on fumes so I had to stop for gas while the girls continued to rock out to "Hakuna Malala," as Zuzu calls it.

Poor Cooper didn't get a walk tonight in spite of the beautiful weather because by the time we made it home from those errands, I only had 40 minutes to make dinner, switch the laundry, clean up the kitchen, and get out the door to swimming lessons. Cooper let me know how he felt about this by pulling my bag down from the bench by the door and eating the granola bar and several of the cough drops that were in it while we were at swimming lessons. He's such an A-hole sometimes. (But at least he doesn't bite kids' faces!)

I scrambled eggs and made toast for dinner with a side of grapes (cut up, because I'm totally paranoid). Zuzu was eating her toast and then said, "Look! I ate my toast into a gun!" And it did kind of look like the shape of a revolver. I told her that seemed kind of scary and she said it was just toast. I asked her what guns are for and she said that poor people have to use them to shoot animals for food. That seemed like a sufficient explanation for now, though not without its own socioeconomic baggage....

The girls were excited for swimming, so they got their swim suits on and packed their pajamas without much nagging, and I tossed the laundry in the dryer and started another wash before we headed out the door.

Swimming lessons went well. The girls wore new swim suits from the Easter Bunny. Zuzu's is a size 5T tankini that says "Mermaid at [Heart]" on the top. Coco's is a size 24 month tankini. I'm not sure why the Easter Bunny brought her such a small size, but I guess she is a bit of a peanut because the bottoms were so big her little butt crack was hanging out. (Add "take in swim suit bottoms" to my planner's to-do list.) Zuzu was a good listener and Coco was very brave jumping in (and her bottoms didn't fall off!), so lessons were successful.

Of course my kids dawdle getting out of the pool, so we missed the first round of shower rooms but we got a fully-accessible shower on round two, which was nice because the handle is low and the kids can sit on a bench. It was not so nice when I grabbed a towel for Coco and turned around to discover her LICKING the bench in the shower (omg! at least she's already taking an antibiotic?), but I got them shampooed and lotioned and in their pjs, except for Zuzu's underwear which had either disappeared or never made it into the bag when I asked them to pack their pjs and underwear at home. Commando car ride!

We drove home via the pharmacy while the girls snacked on Cheerios and more cut up grapes in the back seat (they're always starving after swimming) and then once we got home, Coco took a dose of her meds and they brushed their teeth while I switched the laundry again and then loaded up the diffuser with water and "serenity" blend essential oil.

Bedtime consisted of Brown Bear, Brown Bear (an old favorite), Hello, Laura (a board book version of Little House on the Prairie that's basically like "Laura likes living on the prairie" but has cute pictures), and a funny book they got for Easter about a polar bear who loses his underwear and then realizes he was wearing it the whole time but it was white so he couldn't see it. Perfect for Zuzu tonight!

Post-swimming bedtime is always pretty easy (yay for physical exhaustion!) but I did get a text from David letting me know he'd finished up with interviews at work and was going to grab a bite to eat with the interview team. I replied something like "Enjoy dinner out while I work full time and parent our children and take them to the doctor and go to the grocery store and do the laundry and cook dinner and clean up the kitchen and drive to swim lessons and bathe and dress the kids and put them bed." And then I added some smily emojis so it didn't sound totally bitchy. I know David works hard and is a supportive and active co-parent, but mercy. Today I kind of felt like I did it all, all by myself.

(Speaking of co-parenting, it made me smile this morning when Zuzu said she wanted to wear a headband to school and I said okay, but she seemed to be anticipating me saying no because she said, "Daddy already said I could!" and I said, "Okay, that's fine." And then she said, "I know, because Daddy said I could and you're a team." Yay for putting up a united front!)

Now it's past my bedtime (my phone helpfully reminds me when I should go to bed to get 8 hours in before my alarm goes off...) but I want/need to read more tonight (I'm determined to finish Chernow's Hamilton before the month is out and I'm teaching The Shining in my gothic lit class and have a few more chapters to get through--it's scary as hell!). Plus I should fold the laundry that just buzzed... Definitely don't think 8 hours is going to happen tonight.


  1. Pod Save America is the best. And so much "cuck" talk lately. I also love the lines around "cuckold" in Hamilton.

    Our Mondays are the busiest days for us, but we've got it down to a two-parent science. I will say that I feel very accomplished (and exhausted) at the end of the day - which last night was just before midnight.

  2. I have so many random comments about the hunting idea... I grew up on (primarily) wild meat, and the idea that my dad hunting was why we had meat to eat, but now as an adult looking back, it really wasn't that simple? I know in other parts of the country, it's probably relatively inexpensive for some families to walk out on their acreage and shoot a deer, but we were suburbanites, and I think my dad just used that as his justification for doing what he wanted to do, now. Which brings up so many (parental) issues for me, lol...

    Anyway. I had to return Chernow's Hamilton to the library yesterday, having failed to complete it on my allotted three weeks. (Hangs head in shame.) I knew I was going to love it before I even finished the first page, but I also knew I'd never get it done in three weeks! Back on the hold list for me, and hoping I'll have three less hectic weeks when my name comes up again. Now I'm trying to squeeze in what I can of Chernow's George Washington bio before I run out of time for it, too.

    1. It's taking me every bit of 6 weeks to get through Hamilton, so no shame there!

  3. This makes me exhausted just reading it but then again, my life is not all that different!

  4. Okay, you are seriously inspiring. I don't even attempt doctor plus groceries plus lesson when I'm home all day Henry. Also, how are you reading Hamilton in six weeks? How is that happening? I guess you don't fall asleep on top of your books like I do.