On Thurs, I had just finished getting ready to go out when it happened. Just as I was pulling The Cute out of the bath, I heard a pop and suddenly there was an excruciating pain in my tailbone. Six hours, a shot of dilaudid, and a few X-rays later, I was home and wondering WTF. It's been a very long weekend. My husband, though he means well, usually disappears when I'm sick or hurt. I don't really understand it but that's just what happens. He takes The Cute out to a million different places and I spent the day watching tv or playing games on my iPad. But it always needs up with me thinking too much. And that is a bad thing when we are in a place this. We have a thousand decisions needing to be made with no resolution in sight. Questions that have no answers. Where are we going? Where can we live? How can we afford a home? What will I be able to do with my condition? What are we going to do about preschool for The Cute? How can we help my mother (who is slowly deteriorating and will eventually be unable to live on her own) when we can't help ourselves? How is my doctor appointment on Tuesday going to go? Should I even hope that its going to be helpful or should I just expect the same old rejection. I am just filled with anxiety and it doesn't help that the accident on Thurs started a flare. I am absolutely exhausted, the pain levels are high, stomach issues abound, it feels like the tropics despite air conditioning, my tongue is full of sores, a dull headache accompanies the fierce eye pain and blurry vision, and I am nauseous. And on top of it all...I have a toddler who has been spoiled all weekend with attention and now doesn't know how to play on his own. I can barely hold my eyes open. It didn't help that last night my husband and I got in a disagreement. Because I was left to think so long alone, I suddenly felt lonely, upset, and needing answers about our future. I was angry at his distance. I am frustrated by our position in his family's guest house, and the procrastination we both have been promoting concerning our future. Truth be told, it was a bad idea to talk just then as I was emotionally charged and nothing was really going to fix it. But I just couldn't help myself. I wanted answers. I want to know where we are going. I feel like such a failure. And at times like that, I always seem to try to fix him or us...or someone else. I feel helpless to fix myself, to end the ever present self loathing, and so I want someone to join me. And it ended with him not even wanting to snuggle. Ouch. When I feel like this, so very tired and so done, everything seems wrong. In fact, I can barely stand to hear myself. I hate the my words, my whining. I'm tired of me. Stop the merry go round, I want off. I used to be so hopeful. So fun. I am an artist and a gypsy(not really but I love roaming free). I used to drop everything at a moments notice and run to New York on whim at midnight for a slice of cheesecake. I used to dance the night away at fun, crazy clubs. Wear unusual and crazy clothes. Ponder the workings of the universe. I used to paint all night and sleep away the mornings. I used to meet new people without even trying and they would whisk me away on adventures. Now I'm just a mom. Just a patient. Just an unreliable friend. Just a boring ball and chain. I am a shadow of who I was. When I look in the mirror, I just see a face. No heart. No spirit. A face. No wonder my husband has no interest in me anymore. I'm fading. Well, what to do now? How do I fix this? Maybe I don't. Maybe this is what life is like after. After the wedding. After the kid. After the illness. Life after me.
Today was a down day, pain wise. In chronic pain circles it would be an Amethyst day. That is a scale concerning purples (which incidentally is the color of fibromyalgia) and is called the Purple Pain Code. The scales goes from ligher to darker like this…
(You can read more here.)
Woke up sicker today than the past week combined. Made for a tricky “Mommy” experience. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, one of those perfect mommies that sets up a craft each day, makes perfectly organic meals, and takes a million adorable photographs in perfect lighting of all the wholesome fun we have each day. But neither am I the mom who bitches comedically about all the crap my kids do, all the chores I ignore, and how uptight we've all become whilst sipping on wine. Not that I don't enjoy reading their blogs. I do. I'm just not them. I'm somewhere deep in the middle camp. Or actually, if I'm honest with myself, I'm off some haphazard trail I've beaten out of the brush…I'm different. My middle name.
I digress… So anyway, our days are not full of schedules and predictability on a good day, but there is usually some kind of method to my madness. But not on sick days. I'm just out of commission(which happens more often due to having dysautonomia & an autoimmune condition). But The Cute has to eat. And he deserves love, attention, and cuddles. So I developed “Bed Days”. Whole days devoted to media, popsicles, cold drinks, hot tea, and books. My son loves those days(which is why the sick “no!” day flopped). We take turns picking out cartoons and documentaries to watch. We have “picnics” on the ground in front of the Tv. We take breaks to read books and play iPad games(mostly educational but fun). We cuddle the day away and talk about everything we see. It's just fun. And today was a great bed day.
I can feel judgemental eyes on me as I write that… But I really don't understand why. Just as I don't understand the guilt I feel. That I ignore. I chalk it up to social pressure because who doesn't want to eat popsicles and watch Tv when they're sick? Who doesn't want to play iPad games and cuddle in the covers? I don't get the fear over media and children. I love computers and Tv. And I parleyed them into my work. I'm an illustrator who uses Illustrator….along with Photoshop. As well as acrylic, watercolor, clay, colored pencil….you name it, I embrace it. I love my iPad and work on that too. So why should I deprive my son of all the fun? I also have a degree in psychology and nowhere in my many child development classes did I find anything to compel me to fear early media exposure. Except maybe content.
And that's why we don't have cable. I didn't want our family dealing with all the fucking commercials. I hate being sold to every goddamn minute. I also don't like being hooked on programs that force me to wait week after week as they unfold. I watch seasons in marathons over a few days if I like it. At times that are convenient. I don't want to be tempted to watch inappropriate crap in front of The Cute. I love Netflix for that. He has never watched glorified violence or sexual innuendo. He doesn't know the latest brands of cereal or toy. He only watches Tv in front of me(or my husband)so that I can talk with him about it, explain it, and ask his views. And with the iPad i have even more control. He knows I mostly read blogs and books on my iPad and he does too. We carefully choose the most amazing educational fare for him to play and limit his time a bit with pure platformers. And all I can say is that with our child, I see only benefits. He problem solves like a pro, can keep up with my husband in the Lego games, and can find his way around a computer like a 12 year old. He's only just turned four. We embrace it.
Of course, we embrace real life just as much…but then why do I feel like I have to say that? It's so interesting being a parent in a world made small by the internet. I feel so lucky to be able to look up a thousand solutions to any problem, a thousand activity suggestions at my fingertips in seconds. So lucky to be able to get a glimpse into other people's lives across the globe and learn from there parenting fiascos and successes. But there's the flip side…there's more pressure to be perfect. To be blog worthy.
And I don't know if I am, but that's not the parent I care about being. I just want my little boy to embrace life without the need to justify. I want him to love a kindle for the awesome innovation and convenience while still appreciating a book for the simple beauty of sliding his fingers on the smooth decadence of paper. I want him to love all genres of movies, books, and music without feeling the need to negate anything. I want him to look at life and take all the best bits and pieces regardless of new or old. I want him to question everything, appreciate and learn from the past, all the while enjoying, thoroughly, the present and future.
So my rambling point is that, although we never left the bed, we seized the day. As one should always do. Of course when we aren't sick around here, that means embracing the sunshine, learning gymnastics, and pretending to sail the seven seas. But on crappy days…sick days…I want him to learn that you can make the best of it too. Sure, you may have a leaky faucet for a nose, a sinus headache, and a sore throat….but that's just the perfect day for abject decadence. Hell, that's how all adversity should be faced,in my opinion…with fun, cuddles, and a fizzy, cold, chocolate soda…oh, and a massive amount of cartoons.