Thursday, September 01, 2005

Week one of single parenthood

What to say? It's hard. It's good. It's like a very delicate surgery where the stress level should be high, but instead you feel very very calm by necessity. My kid's cooperative. My colleagues have some insight into my situation and actually give a damn, but there's not much they can do. My job's flexible enough that I've been able to do it all without losing my mind or my car keys yet. So far, it's ok.

But I can already detect fray. Days 1-6 beds got made, dishes got washed, laundry got done, books got read, and classes
got well as appointments made and the car's oil got changed and the drycleaning delivered and the garbage taken
out and dolls located and cats fed and the litter changed and the dehumidifier emptied and the floors swept and the toilets scrubbed and the kid taken to parks and playgrounds and the Y and to dance class and playdates made and dinners cooked and laundry done again and the kid taken to the library and grocery shopping and students advised and boo-boos kissed and cats petted and more books read and kid taken to pediatrician and optometrist and bills paid and dentist appointment made and lots of phone calls to mother and to spouse and dolls played with and bathroom cleaned and errands ran and lunches packed and flowers arranged and clothes purchased for kid and blood donated and family correspondence sustained and lists made and items crisply processed and all this with a little bit of lipstick on usually.

Day 7, not so thorough. Not quite so on the mark. Maybe the beginning of a big slide into the fuckits. Maybe just an off day. Maybe I can be a little tired sometimes and nobody's going to come to lasting harm.

I think it's the knowing that I really can't drop a stitch that's wearing. Hell, I can't drop a sock unless I'm ready to pick it up the following day. Whatever has to be done, whenever it has to be done, has to be done by me. And I really hope nothing
goes wrong, because I'm without emotional back-up right now.

I want to make everything deeply good for my kid, just keep it all normal and clicking along -- not because I think she just won't notice that her dad's somewhere else for a month at a time, but because we both need that order to cling onto right now as a way of coping with the loneliness. But I am finding that I am inventing work to do to keep from thinking about missing my husband. Tomorrow I plan to clean the hell out of my bathroom cupboards because it will give me a reachable goal and I will know when I'm done. And right now, I need to have small projects to check off my many lists just to let me know that I'm actually finished. One problem with domestic labor is that everything one does is undone by the next use -- clean dishes are dirtied, beds unmade, laundry that is folded winds up in the basket again to be confronted the next week. At least the cupboard should remain fairly unjunky for a while.

And I have to say that the week's events in NOLA and Mississippi are putting my "problems" into perspective. On the
real scale of suffering, I have a mild case of dandruff.

Anyhow, I doubt I would be blogging this at all, but Aunt B over at Tiny Cat Pants (easily my favorite blogger) actually put me on her blogroll and now I feel like I need to get all busy and stuff...

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