I sit at a bar in a lovely restaurant downtown enjoying an Aperol Spiritz. I am alone. It’s my birthday today.
Having been away on vacation for the past two weeks and the insanity that was work for weeks before that, it was impossible to think ahead and plan anything for today.
Husband suggested I take the afternoon to be alone and do whatever I wanted. He would make whatever I wanted for dinner and told me to come home whenever I wanted. I took him up on it and booked a late afternoon/early evening massage and facial at a spa I have been dying to go to for a while now.
I feel a little guilty. He told me not to. He hadn’t time either to plan anything so he said it was my day and wanted me to enjoy it.
I am sitting in a salon chair finally getting my hair done. It desperately needs some help and this was the only time I could fit it in. I
work this afternoon and then I am off for almost three weeks.
Three more hours of patient visits to go.
Three more hours of lab reports, consults and prescription renewals.
Three more hours of dealing with other people’s problems.
Yesterday I started to worry that I was getting depressed again. I suddenly just felt … I don’t know, I felt off. I felt like I just didn’t care about any of it anymore. I didn’t want to go home and face the chaos of trying to clean and pack and deal with the kids.
But then I got home and amongst the chaos and dirty faces and piles of laundry to fold, I felt immensely better. I was happy to be home. I can’t begin to describe how reassuring that was to feel. Despite the state of emergency that my house is currently in, I was happy to be home and in the middle of it.
I don’t need a break from my family, house or kids. I need a break from work.
I’m so fried right now, I can barely think straight.
The “baby” has learned how to climb out of his crib. He’ll be 2 next month. I’m not ready for him to be in a big-boy bed but he’s at risk for fracturing something if he keeps this up. And speaking of up, since he’s discovered this little trick, when he wakes up at 6am he no longer talks to himself in the crib. He gets out of this crib, opens his door and comes to my room. This morning he discovered there were monkeys on his pajamas.
“Yes, monkey,” I reply half-asleep.
(Louder) MOMMY!!!!! Monkey!!
(LOUDER) “DADDY!!! DADDDY! Monkey!”
“MOMMY! I hugry. Mommy! I HUGRY!”
“Too early for breakfast,” I mutter.
“DADDY! I hugry!”
“Okay,” in a very deep sleepy voice.
This goes on for about 10 minutes. I finally get up to get the kid some milk and the other two spawn are coming out of their room all bright-eye and bushy-tailed.
They are all smiles, “Hi Mommy! Can we go downstairs?”
Ah summer. Late nights sipping wine on the deck. Kids sound asleep by 7pm.
Oh right. That was just a dream.
While I generally love summertime, since becoming a mother I quietly detest the longer daylight hours. Who in their right minds would willingly want to go to bed when the sun is still shining? Certainly not my brood.
Yet, the downside is a cranky child …er, children, who are completely unreasonable when tired. And loud. Oh my God, loud.
And the loudest is the baby. Not so much a baby anymore. He’ll be 2 in the fall and he might as well be 5. He screeches louder than the older two and for longer. He can reach pitches even the most well-trained operatic singers probably can’t reach.
I just want them all to rest. To sleep. And to shut.the.fuck.up.
Husband is at a rehearsal for a show next week. A friend’s band is doing a covers night and they asked him to sing a song so I am home alone tonight with three kids.
Bedtime gets started early here. The baby was in his crib at 6pm with his bottle. The older boy was in the bath and the eldest was I her room writing something.
She came in to show me. “How to be good”. I was very impressed! She knows the rules! Too bad she doesn’t actually follow them!
Listen. No talking back. Do something the firs time you are asked. Do as you are told. Focus your ears. Do not ignore. And all this information is good.
After bath, I read them a few of daddy’s old Smurfs and Ewoks comic books. Then it was time to get into bed. I told them a make-up story all about Princess Rose and the good transformer who worked with the Prince to rescue her from the bad transformer. But that story wasn’t enough, so I had to tell another one with Spiderman and how he became Spider-transformer after Optimus Prime injected him with nano-bots to assist the Autobots in taking down the bad transformer. (Neither kids has seen the Transformer movies, or the cartoon, but their daddy tells them these make-up stories all the time. I’m sure mine paled in comparison.)
Bedtime seemed to be going so well until it didn’t. Suddenly neither of them were settling down and my voice started increasing in tone and pitch, and I may have tapped her on the back a little harder than I had intended in an attempt to get her attention and stop sitting up in bed. I’d gotten hit in the face at least three times by the Spiderman doll and clearly had enough and that’s when the waterworks from the girl started:
“You never spend any time with me.”
“I just don’t know what to say to you.”
“Why do you always have to work?”
“Why can’t you just spend all your time with us?”
Oy. She’s a master manipulator. At the age of six!
Needless to say, bedtime took about 3 hours. It’s a little after 9pm, I haven’t had my dinner and I’m seriously considering opening a bottle of wine.
I swear I have no idea how my husband does this on a daily basis. He’s amazing.
Well for someone who swore they would never run a race, I popped that cherry today and then some!
It was a beautiful winter day, one of the warmest I’ve run in fact, a balmy -6°C (-10°C with wind chill). I met up with L and her friends at the designated area inside the performing arts center. Honestly I felt a bit weird being among all those runners. They looked all way more qualified than me to be running a race.
After a few quick bathroom visits (only one for me!), it was time to walk to the start line. There were several of the half-ers doing some warming up and I saw one with something like a tube coming out of their shirt and asked L what the heck that was – apparently it was a camelback! Brilliant!
We got to the start line and there were a few hundred ahead of us. Next to where we were standing was a mom and her son. I asked the boy how old he was as he looked like my daughter’s age. He said he was six and this wasn’t his first race. Um … okay. Mom said he would finish under 45 minutes, maybe 40 minutes. Finally, we heard the countdown and started walking up towards the start and off we went. Before the race, L and her friend said I was going to set the pace and by the end of the first kilometer we were under well under 7:00/km which was just fine with me though it was a bit faster than I wanted so I deliberately slowed my pace a bit and ran most of the time just a few strides behind them. There was a bit of chatting but by 2 km I stopped talking and just focused on the road and my breathing. L asked if I wanted to walk and I said no. And then we saw the leader of the 5 km race running towards us on the other side of the road. I looked up his time – he finished the run in 15 minutes.
Suddenly we reached that the halfway point, made our turn and headed back. Already I was sensing this was going to feel like the fastest 5 km I’d ever run even if my time didn’t reflect it. At 3 km I was asked again if I was walking and I said no. I did slow down a bit as the girls got ahead of me a little but they slowed for me so we were still running together. Then we saw the 6-year-old running just ahead of us as the 4 km marker approached and he stopped to walk with his mom. As we made our turn, about 200 meters from the finish L said “We are gonna beat that 6-year-old. Let’s go!!!!” And we hauled ass to the finish. I tried to look for my husband and kids but realized I needed to focus on not falling over my feet. I crossed the finish line just a second or two after my friend. A minute later, I heard my daughter calling for me and turned towards the sidewalk and found her. I ran over to her and hugged her across the barriers and then she gave me the medal she made for me. It was a special moment I will never forget. A few minutes later we picked up our real medals.
The official time of 33:33.9. A personal best for sure (especially since there weren’t any walk breaks!)
Seeing my daughter at the end.
The two medals.
My yummy post-run dinner. Baked chicken with pesto and grilled veggies.