Here I am, emerging from a pile of work-related paperwork with deadlines from last week, and emails from desperate Nigerians hoping that God will bless my family. When I'm able to leave that behind, it's all about finding a dinner my previously bordering-on-Prader-Willi-syndrome toddler will consume without the involvement of violence. Once we get Consumer of Large Quantities of Yoghurt to bed (an episode often fraught with emotions), it's time to do dishes. Once the dishes are done, it is bedtime for a very tired Pru and The Dude, resting their bodies for a moment so they can start it all again.
I misled you with my post about horrible mothering. P doesn't hate nursery. In fact, she rather loves it. I don't hate being back at work either. In fact, I rather love it. I thrive under work-related pressure and I'm quite happy to be back in that environment. Do I dig the collective overwhelming nature of my life at the moment? Not so much. I can handle work stress and household stress on their own, but throw them together and the days begin to blur.
P's main problem on the days she cries at drop off is that she is the first one there. At 8am. What the fuckfire do these parents do that enables them to not have to drop their kid off until 8.15-9am at the earliest? I need to be at work by 8.30am and an 8am drop-off is too late for me, not remotely too early. Additionally, she is one of the last to be collected when The Dude picks her up at 4.15pm. 4.15pm. I'll repeat that again. 4.15pm. I need to know where these men and women are all working 9am-4pm shifts and get my run down ass a job there.
P hates to nap at nursery as there are apparently too many madcap adventures going on around her to sleep. The daily P-centred journal kept by her caregivers say things like "today P dressed up as a watering can and sang songs about boats", or my personal favourite, "P very much enjoyed dancing, smiling, and playing with a cardboard box." No, seriously, it really said that. The sad part is that I can completely envision her sitting in a corner for an hour on her own studying the design intricacies and textural attributes of said cardboard box. This is a kid who thinks my mp3 headphones are a fascinating, interactive web of endless delight.
Eccentricity aside for a moment, such excitement makes her a very disagreeable girl come 6pm. Weekday interaction with her is largely a struggle of morning grumpiness and evening tiredness, so how fun for me. I desperately want this limited amount of time to be precious (shut up Statia), but it leads me to want to be back at work in the arms of last-minute university applications and melodramatic, hard done by academics. On the odd occasion that she has napped sufficiently, she is her usual delightful, amazing self. Tonight was one of those nights, and it made me feel so much lighter to be able to watch her doing her best Pru impression - toddling around with my purse on one arm and a wooden bangle of mine on the other arm, saying "bye bye ta ta bye bye" - rather than wrestling the screaming mulleteer into her high chair.
I have no interest in staying home again. The Dude has a week off for half turn in a month's time or so, and yesterday said, "You'll feel so jealous of me when I'm off and spending all that time with P." Dude, dude, I stayed home for almost 14 months and I'm finally an adult again, there's no way I'm jealous of you. I miss my Maury re-runs sometimes, but I do not miss feeling like I was chained to my child every hour of every waking day. I'm the mother those "why do you have babies if you just stick your kid in daycare?" bitches have nightmares about. My earlier Melancholia post would indicate there is some guilt there, and some days it's worse than others. However, I don't regret my decision to go back to work full-time. I'm a good, loving mother to my daughter and she still worships me even if I stick her in a prison full of other snotty nosed children, nursery rhymes, and trips to the seafront in a 9 baby stroller.
When I was walking to work on my first day back, the very last song on my creepy mind-reading mp3 player was Jeff Buckley's cover of The Smiths' "I Know it's Over", and I couldn't help but think as I walked through the doors of my building to work for the first time in over a year - thank sweet baby jesus it is over, because mama wouldn't have been able to take much more of life as a SAHM. I did it for 13 amazing, gut-wrenching, depressing, life changing months and now it's time for a new challenge. Bring on the simultaneous union of working and parenthood because I'm going to pretty much rock it like you know I can.
P.S. I got the hook up on the song mentioned above if anyone is a Buckley and/or Smiths fan. Not that any of you bastards will take me up on it, as my pleas to illegally supply you all with good music are largely ignored.