Sunday, January 27, 2008

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Miscellaneous thoughts were delayed a bit this week by the pure insanity of life. I have a lot to say and not a lot of time to type it.
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Monday night's sleepy baby was replaced by Tuesday and Wednesday's cranky baby.

As we were walking out the door for school Thursday morning, I could be heard saying to Sam, "If your father's car wasn't in my way, I would have left without you."

Thursday's baby was asleep in his carseat when we got home from work/school so I left him there to sleep...for three hours.

I'm not sure what any of that says about us.
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I finished a crochet gift Friday...the first in quite a while. I've got a few more projects on the hooks that I'd like to whip through right quick. I'll keep you posted and share some pictures as soon as I know the US Postal service has delivered the gifts to their recipients.
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My boss left Friday for his yearly three-week vacation to a secluded tropical location (spotty internet access at best...can you imagine?!?!). I like the guy, but I feel lighter somehow knowing he's not going to be around for a few weeks.
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I had stopped reading "loss blogs" for a while. November to January...not a bad run. But I guess I couldn't leave it alone for too long, because lately I've been opening the drawer. You know the one. The mental drawer where all the sadness lives. Slowly...a little bit at a time. I've been visiting the Babyloss directory and surfing through all the new blogs with all the new losses. I hate how the list keeps growing. But at the same time, I find myself oddly comforted by reading through the words of those mothers. I know where they are because I've been there. And while I really am in a whole new place in my life I realize that it's not so very far from that place. It would be so easy to fall...to let go and drown in the sorrow again. But I won't. I can't. I have to hang on...even if it's just by the fingernails.
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I don't often bitch about my husband on this blog because I don't want to air dirty laundry in a place that he reads (Hi Steve!). But since I've actually bitched TO him about this particular point, I think I can share it here without feeling like I'm unfairly ambushing him.

I've been waiting for construction of a dog run in our back yard for three years. It involves a lot of hard work and I know it will take time and effort. It involves digging multiple post holes and hanging fence and pouring concreted...back breaking labor. I've been very patient (I'm actually impatient...just stewing about it silently).

My husband got an outdoor antenna so that he can get his local television channels in high definition. He will have to mount it on a post. He plans to go out...in January...in Northeast Ohio...in a foot of snow...to dig the hole and plant the post. Am I wrong in wanting to wring his neck?
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Bitching about the husband leads me to a topic that I've been meaning to post about for a while. It's NOT a bitch about my husband...just an observation about life in general. My husband is no worse than any other man. In fact, he does quite a bit around the house to help. But that is exactly the point. That phrase includes the "to help" part.

Have you ever noticed that when a family welcomes a baby, it's the woman who makes all the changes in her life to accommodate the new creature? Some of it is by design, but a lot of it is just nonsense created by custom or tradition or whatever. We still live in a society where the woman is responsible for organizing everyone...getting them out of bed in the morning...directing/driving them to their appropriate daytime activities...and getting them back home again. The woman is responsible for feeding and clothing and cleaning the members of her family and the place in which they live. If you're VERY lucky as a woman, you find a mate who will take some of this responsibility from you. But it depends on the graciousness of your man and his commitment to lightening YOUR load. It is, ultimately, still OUR designated burden as women to do all these things (hence the reason I say things like, "Your doing dishes? Wait. I think I'm having a heart attack from the shock.").

I wonder why this is. You want clean underwear? Why is it my responsibility to wash them? You ate dinner on those dishes...why must I be responsible for washing them? The windows are dirty with dog nose prints or the bathroom mirror is dirty with toothpaste spittle. Why do I have to wipe them off? Why doesn't a man feel the need to take ownership of the house and the belongings he pays for with his salary (just as much as a woman does in most cases)?

I'm not talking obvious male chauvinism here. Just subtle cues that a woman's place is still considered to be in the home...even if she doesn't want to be (or can't afford to be). And they come from women as well as men in the belief that we have to "do it all." Why can't we have the mindset that if we don't have time to do the dishes, they'll still get done? Why can't we trust that the family will not go without clean underwear because even if you're insanely busy with a fussy baby all day, someone (other than you) will make sure it gets done? Instead of running ourselves ragged and feeling guilty that stuff is left undone at the end of the day...why can't we do what we can and feel confident that the rest will be taken care of by our male counterparts?

I've got lots of theories...none of which make me sound like I like my man.
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I can not remember the last time I went out to see a movie in the theater. I'm thinking it was our attempt to see Chicken Little in November of 2005 with Samuel.

Sad.
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I have thank you notes to write and I don't wanna.
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My baby is outgrowing his 0-3 month clothes already. I'm not sad about it because he has some awesome 3-6 month clothes that I can't wait to see him in. And I love this phase so much more than the newborn blob stage. Smiles and conversations and movement...seeing him experience it all for the first time...seeing him interact with his big brother. Having Sam melt my heart when he says, unsolicited, "I love being a big brother." This is the good stuff we've been waiting for. And it IS good.
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Cleaning and crocheting to do...

...and I think I'm going to get roped into helping put up that damn antenna...

so I better get going.
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6 comments:

Monica said...

Oh Catherine, ditto everything you wrote.

I have a hard time to reading blogs of mamas who recently lost a child. It's so painful going back. I told myself I'd never shut Jimmy and the pain of losing him out of my life, but sometimes I'd just rather focus on Andy like I'm sure you'd rather focus on Myles instead of reliving the pain. But I feel like I owe it to those mamas to comment on their blogs that it does get better. It doesn't go away but it does get better, and they need to hear that.

My Dh is the same way. I love it when he asks me, "why don't we ever have 'x', or "why don't you ever buy 'z'. I remind him that all his limbs work and he can just as easily shop for things but it just assumed that it is my job. Overall he's a keeper, but he does do stuff like that where it is obvious that he has delegated certain things as my job because I'm a woman.

ms. G said...

Okay, the man/woman thing, I am laughing over here, because I have said this for years. Even when my lovely husband physically does the work, chores, whatever, somehow,I am still the person responsible for making sure it gets done. And because of that, it only lightens "our load" by some.

I'm so glad you are enjoying those moments with Myles and Sam.

Jelly-Filled said...

About the household chores issue, I know exactly what you mean. Why IS it that when WE clean, we're cleaning, but when THEY clean, they're HELPING? I'd like to be the one to "help" once in a while.

I'm so glad Sam is enjoying his role as a big brother! And yeah, once the smiles start, it just gets better and better, doesn't it?

Julia said...

The house work issue was front and center around here this morning. Ugh.

I am glad Sam is enjoying his big brotherness. As a big sister myself, I think it pretty much only gets better from here. Unless, of course, Myles learns to pull hair. If he does have Sam call me-- I will share my patented little sibling hold. It preserves big sibling's hair and sanity and does no lasting damage to the little one.

kate said...

Yes on the men/work/housework bit. And my dh does *alot* more than most so i can not complain. (he is the cook around here, usually, for one thing) But still....there is some very sinister underlying inequality there.

delphi said...

I can't read new loss blogs. I read those of my friend who I have followed for the last couple of years. But it is very, very trying every time I add new blogs to the list. I inevitably read bits of them and they are so full of raw pain. I have been working on giving myself permission not to take on that extra pain.

I never though about my husband "helping". Sheesh. Now I am more irritated by certain inequalities in our household... :)

Poor BB wouldn't ever eat or sleep if I wasn't here to organize all such activities.