Friday, June 14, 2013

Mistakes were made

I took the kid to a program at the library today. Generally I am smart enough to avoid events involving 20-40 small children and their parents mothers. Why?

Well that's complicated in large part by secondary infertility and spending 3.5 years longing for that second baby. It just aches to see those perfect families that have exactly 4 children here (how weird is that? Don't most places people stop at 2 and it's eccentric if you have a third?) exactly 18 months to 2 years apart in very clean and matching outfits with perfect hair. It punches me in the gut. My kid will never have perfect hair, unless she shaves it all off...

In this specific case, the kid and I went alone and the baby spent the day at daycare. Because of complex car shenanigans and a lack of funds for public transportation, we got dropped off and had to walk home (about 45 minutes to stroll with the kid so not too far at all). This meant that I had to pump after the library thing and before the walk home (I. Hate. Pumping.) and silly me, I forgot bottle lids so I had to empty my water bottle and use that to transport the milk home... ugh.

So I got to spend an hour admiring all the very thin, sunburned from being outside exercising yet perfectly stunning moms with 3.5 children including an infant in arms or a trendy stroller (ours is lame and the carseat only mostly fits in it, but we do have a cool baby carrier instead of the awesome stroller). Then I got to lug my kid to a tiny room, give her a typewriter to keep her out of trouble while I pumped for entirely too long, then walk home. It's like I managed to create my own personal torture sequence - think about the missing kid(s) in our family, the gap between the girls, the baby at daycare because of all that icky complexity, then the evil pump, then a firm reminder of how profoundly broke we are that a second car is totally out of the question as are a couple bucks for the bus.

And then. Then the spouse got home in the early afternoon and I explain the plan for the rest of the afternoon: pick up the baby between 3 and 3:30, then acquire a movie either from the movie rental place or the library, then dinner/movie and early bed for everyone. Great idea, except my lunch wasn't done until 2:45 so I couldn't go pick up the baby because I had to pump. Again. ARG.

So I had no real idea what time it was (we have no wall clocks in our house for some dumb reason), and finished pumping at 3:25 with the spouse sitting around doing something or other on the computer... then I totally freaked about the spouse completely ignoring picking up the baby between 3 and 3:30 (takes 10 minutes at least to drive to daycare). Just snapped and snarled and "you never listen when I say stuff" and soforth. At least I was only moderately overreacting because the baby had just finished eating when we got there.

For reference, Little Monster is now a wily 4 month old who has the greatest grin but isn't really napping well at daycare so she goes to bed early. If she gets that last feeding at daycare sometime after 2:45pm, she maybe nurses once more before bed. A total of twice a day. One day this week she had 22 ounces of milk at daycare, up from her usual of 15, so she's growing like a little weed (ok, so slightly larger than average weed) but unless she actually nurses sometimes I wind up spending all my time pumping, fiddling around with bottles and milk storage, and making sure laundry gets done when there's a gap between loads of dishes. And never having enough milk because I get so little compared to when the baby nurses (and I know this based mostly on the gushing that gags the baby that is never seen at all when I pump).

Tonight Little Monster was exhausted when she came home and played for about 10 minutes at the library before the sleepiness set in, with the fussing and the crankiness. We got her home and she went right to bed. Without nursing. A lovely finale to a day that was meant to be really fun time for me and the Kid. Which is not to say that it was miserable at all. She had a blast and it was quite pleasant overall, aside from the gut-punching of all the lives we will never have and the guilt that whatever I do, even when I am sure I'm asking for help and explaining what needs to happen for things to work, it is not enough and I suffer and the girls suffer as a result. Looking around a room and seeing 30 moms and 15 babies and 40+ toddlers on up and knowing it will never be easy and that I'll probably never have a 2 year old to swat at a baby sibling. It eats at me, still. I think it shouldn't but it just claws at me. It makes me decide not to go to things at the library during the day anymore.

Upside is that me being so upset resulted in the spouse caving to take-out for dinner rather than trying to find something in the freezer to eat again.

Best of all is I have to figure out how to distill this for the kid because I keep poking her to tell us what makes her sad instead of keeping it a secret. How on earth do you tell your kid that you're sad because of a shattered dream and years of waiting for... that something that resolves things so it's possible to see typical families without swamps of regret and grief and jealousy?

Bah. Mistakes were made, some mine, some the spouse's, and it's a cheerful Friday night around here... or not. At least the cleaning up of the house is moving along and my peas are growing well. Self-improvement project? Not so much going well, but that's on the docket for tomorrow's post.

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