Thursday, January 04, 2007

seven month itch

My back hurts. Like excruciating. Like, yearning for Vicodin, but popping ibuprofin instead because I don't want to pump and dump, or worse, fall asleep on the job if you know what I mean. Has anyone had acupuncture for this? Does every mother suffer from this? This is lower back pain, concentrated on my right side, from hoisting my weighty babe, let alone the car seat, oy vey! I got troubles. I'm thirty-seven going on ninety-eight. The morning of January first, 2007, I looked in the mirror and was greeted by a gray hair. My second. I know, you've got hundreds. But still. What timing! What is with this life of mine? I even called the doctor for my back.

Bryan and I have arrived at this dark forest mindset of, "Is this it? Is this all there is?" Like we've been fully defeated by life. I mean, we know that really it's just painfully hard sometimes, that having two young kids can be a Sisyphean task, and that one day we will sleep for seven consecutive hours again, and we will have a life outside the kids again. Bryan will play music and my back will stop killing me. I'm here blogging, so that shows that I have hope, and honey, sometimes it feels like hope is all there is.

Bryan asked me how I was yesterday. He said, "How are you? Crazy?" And I said, "No. If I were crazy, I'd be happy and hopeful. I just feel exhausted and depressed, which sounds somehow sane in this day and age." I'd just gotten out of a matinee (Yes, the grandparents took the kids, bless them!), I saw Pursuit of Happyness and I did have a cry but not nearly as big and messy as I'd hoped for. I was after the big ugly cry. The Oprah cry. But as I sat there riveted and all, fully eating up the insane cuteness of Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (and his daddy) I couldn't escape the nagging feeling that I was being supremely manipulated by the movie, by the country even, to believe in the American dream, the Amercan dream being to turn myself inside out in order to make an obscene amount of money, and then calling that accomplishment "achieving happiness." Or "happyness." I mean, did we really need to know in the closing titles (spoiler alert!) that Chris Gardner made a multi-million dollar deal as a broker? Is that supposed to make me stand up and cheer? Pump my fist in the air and chant, "U.S.A! U.S.A!" Because by all accounts I've failed miserably at achieving the American dream, and therefore I live in a nightmare of inadequacy, inferiority, pathetic nobody-ness, and worse, un-patriotic-ness. So I'm a commie pinko I guess, huh? Therefore I think it's time to rewrite the American dream. Who's with me?

Is that the Motrin kicking in?

So, Bryan and I visited a preschool yesterday, their first open house and it was kind of packed. And I loved it. And I want Hamish to get in. And I want to be three years old so I can go there too and make sculptures out of garbage and build with blocks and make food out of paper, and create books about what the Hanukkah Fairy brought me. But I am an adult, with my aching and bitching and over-the-counter hallucinations. So I will fill out the application and pray that Hamish gets in so I can live vicariously through my little prince.

How do you spell relief when you have a three year-old and an almost eight-month old who attaches herself to you like a barnacle on a baleen whale? Do you remember those sour cream glass jars with the naked children on them holding hands under the caption, "Love is..."? Well, relief is: sleeping uninterrupted for more than two hours in a row, sitting on the toilet in the morning alone with a good book after a fiber-filled dinner the previous night, eating ice cream on the sofa with Bryan in front of a good comedy while the kids are asleep.

I'm reading Return of the Player, by Michael Tolkin. It's fun, and a lovely escape, a Hollywood satire revisitng Griffin Mill. That was a good movie, The Player. I want to queue it up and see it again. And the guy who wrote these books is married to Wendy Mogel, who wrote The Blessing of a Skinned Knee. Ain't that a hoot? And how is it that I somehow feel a sense of personal accomplishment from this information that has nothing to do with me personally?

The point is, Stella is almost eight months old, but ever since she turned seven months, I've been itching for a break. Maybe my back is forcing it on me. And could this post be any more disjointed? I'm going to research back stretches now. Farewell!

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