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Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
Flipping through my blog, I realize that I don’t share too many stories about Caroline. But I really should. Because the kid is hilarious. Basically my entire personal Facebook account consists of funny Caroline quotes and stories. So, here’s a post-Christmas Caroline story for you all, too long for Facebook, that I haven’t yet shared anywhere:
I had gotten Caro a dollhouse for Christmas. Not just any dollhouse. A giant dollhouse. The size happened purely by accident. I’m not so good with the measuring and the planning. I just ordered a dollhouse that I thought looked pretty sweet. Which it is, but it’s also so huge that I could basically quit paying rent and just live in it.
The enormity of said dollhouse meant that I had to rearrange Caro’s entire room to find the wall space to fit the thing. I had pretty much managed it (by getting rid of some furniture), except for the problem of her stuffed animals. Any parent will vouch for me on this issue. The damn things just multiply. I swear they are breeding in there overnight. I don’t even want to know how it happens but I am positive that it does. No kid needs half as many stuffed animals as they actually have. I can’t even remember where half of them came from, which only strengthens my theory that something twisted is going on in there while our backs are turned. (Half of them are rabbits, okay? Case closed.)
I digress. So my solution to the stuffed animal problem was to rig up one of those Pet Nets, to stash the suckers up near the ceiling, out of the way. I was struggling to put it up one morning when Caro noticed what I was up to.
“Mama, what are you doing?” she asked suspiciously.
“I’m putting up a hammock for your friends to live in,” I said cheerfully. “This way they can look down at you and say, ‘hey Caro!’ and whenever you want to play with one, I’ll get it down for you.”
Her bottom lip started to quiver. “No, Mama,” she wailed. “I want my friends to live down here with me!”
“But honey there’s just no room,” I tried to reason with her. “I don’t want to have to get rid of any of your friends.”
This only set her off. “NO!!” she screeched. “Cannot get rid of my friends, no!” She snatched up the box to the Pet Net and pointed furiously at a forlorn-looking hippopotamus sitting in it among the other stuffed animals. “See!” she yelled accusingly. “Look at him! He looks sad! I don’t want my friends to be sad, no!!”
(To the extreme right is the hippo who screwed me. To be fair, he does look a tad miserable.)
We went around in circles for a little bit, but, in the end, my strong-willed child won out. She and that hippo outfoxed me. This time.
Hmph. I wasn’t using the changing table, anyway.
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Thursday, September 1st, 2011
Hey everyone! Hurricane Irene stole my power and my internet for way too long but I’m back in the twenty-first century now, thank goodness. Having a toddler and being without power is pretty much the worst thing ever. I don’t know how the Amish do it. Honestly, I don’t even want to talk about it.
Just kidding! I totally do want to complain about it! (Have you even met me?) Here’s my list of the top ten worst things about having no power with a little kid.
1. No TV to entertain your kid while you get ready for work or cook dinner. (Well, Caro watches her shows on Netflix on my laptop because I don’t have cable, but same difference.)
2. No hot water to bathe yourself or your kid in. You choose: cold-showering a screaming toddler, or having a child perpetually covered in ketchup and worse. I’ll leave it up to your imagination which option I chose.
3. No power to your refrigerator or freezer, so all your food goes bad.
4. No power to cook with. Not that you have any food to cook because, remember, it all went bad in step #3.
5. A really effing dark house after 8pm.
6. No air conditioning or fans, unless you count the kind you fold out of paper accordion-style like you did in third grade, which I most certainly do not.
7. No internet to play on after your kid goes to bed. What am I supposed to do, read an actual book? Like, on paper?? Ew.
8. Actually, just kidding, your kid never goes to bed because the white noise machine doesn’t work without any power, so the issue of what to do with your alone time goes pretty much out the window.
9. No electricity to wash your clothes or your cloth diapers, you dirty hippie, you.
10. Did I mention there’s no TV to distract your child while you do what you need to do with no help because remember, you’re a single mom? Because you’re me, in this scenario, in case I forgot to mention that.
Anyone else deal with nineteenth-century conditions as a result of the hurricane? How did you make it through? Anything to add to my list?
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Friday, July 8th, 2011
Wedding rings. They’re the ultimate symbol of a marriage. What are you supposed to do with them if you get divorced?
I had completely forgotten that I still had mine. Long ago, shortly after I first told Tyler that I wanted a divorce, he had stolen my engagement ring off my dresser and left his wedding ring in its place. I realized it a few days later and asked him (furiously, but let’s not get into that) where the ring was. He told me he had pawned it. I left our wedding rings where they were, on my dresser.
Fast forward to last night. Caroline was with my parents, because daycare was closed this week and my mom has been doing a ton of driving every day to watch her for me, so I told her she could take her for an overnight. I was cleaning, because I’m a loser and that’s what I do with my toddler-free time, and saw the rings on my dresser. I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I didn’t want them in the house, but throwing them in the trash seemed wrong somehow, and pawning them seemed hardly worth the effort for whatever I’d get for two thin white gold bands.
Finally I decided to take them down the street to the river that runs by our old apartment, which is where we were living when we got engaged. I put them in my pocket and jogged down there. I flipped through my iPod for something appropriate, couldn’t find anything, and settled for Fergie.
Fairy tales don’t always have a happy ending, do they?/ And I foresee the dark ahead if I stay…
I got down there and walked out to the middle of the bridge. I took out the rings. Before our wedding, I had had Tyler’s ring engraved on the inside with the inscription “We Are Ours Now”. I looked at it in my hand. Wrong, I thought. I am mine now.
I threw them in the river. And I don’t mind telling you that this big girl did not cry.
Then I jogged home. And I didn’t feel any sadness for what we lost, any anger for things he’s done to me, any guilt for things I’ve done to him, any regret for what might have been. I didn’t have that numbness I felt for the months immediately after I filed, or the wrenching grief I felt for the months after our divorce was finalized. I didn’t even simply feel content– I felt happy. I felt lighter. I felt hopeful and excited for my future, and whatever is in store for myself and for Caroline.
So this is what it feels like, I thought. This is how it feels to be truly over it. I like it.
I like it a lot.
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Monday, June 20th, 2011
So, I start my residency this Wednesday.
(Here’s hoping none of my coresidents have googled me and read this blog. If any of them have, I’m going to make them sit down and tell me a detailed history of their life and all their breakups, just so we can start with an even playing field.)
I’ve been off since graduation, but I haven’t seen any patients since April because I had finished up my requirements early. Let’s hope I still remember how to work with a handpiece and that I don’t straight-up drill through someone’s face the first time I pick one up again. If my boss is reading this please let me clarify that that is a joke. Although of course it is not a joking matter, not in the least bit, definitely not. I’m going to stop digging this hole now and move on.
I prepare for starting work like some people prepare for the apocalypse. I’ve been cleaning and organizing my apartment, cooking and freezing meals and snacks for Caroline, making sure I’m caught up with laundry, and stocking up on groceries. Since I became a single mom I tend to get pretty stressed out over big changes in my routine, so being prepared helps me cope. It also helps avoid those inevitable waiting-for-dinnertime toddler meltdowns of epic proportions.
It’s been really relaxing, being out of school. Some days I’ve stayed home with Caroline or taken trips with her, and other days I’ve been sending her to daycare to take a mommy break or run errands by myself. But I’ve also been going at such a nonstop frantic pace for the last, oh, eight years or so, that I’m totally itching to go back. Staying at home just isn’t for me– I get bored, and since I love what I do, I miss it! I know it’s going to be crazy, though, because I’ll be in class from 8-9 every day and then working in the clinic from 9-5… plus I’ll be on call at the hospital for a couple of days and nights per month. (My mom has promised to watch Caroline for me on those nights, for which I am eternally grateful since I wouldn’t have been able to do a residency otherwise. Also, I’m sure that taking call will provide me with plenty of colorful stories.)
Otherwise, Tyler will be 2,000 miles away until September, so hopefully all of our drama will die down during that time, and I can focus on taking care of Caroline by myself and starting this new job. I’m pretty excited about starting this new phase in my life!
(P.S. – I really wanted this post to be about the last-hoorah drama Tyler and I had on Father’s Day before he left, but… I did something that I’m pretty sure was illegal so I can’t exactly post it online. Yup, I’m a huge tease for adding this paragraph at all. I’m sorry.)
(P.P.S. – Kind of.)
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Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
I switched Caroline from her crib to a “big girl” bed today.
It was quite the project. I took her to daycare in the morning and then headed home to disassemble the crib. I got it all taken apart and threw the pieces in the dumpster (it had a drop-side so I didn’t want to give it away) before 9:30, and then headed to IKEA to buy her new bed. I was feeling pretty smug about having been so efficient with this carpentry stuff all by myself. I don’t need a man to help me, I thought. I got this, all on my own.
I picked out her bed and mattress and batted my eyelashes at some guy so that he’d load the big heavy boxes into my car. The bed was supposed to come in three boxes, and I could only find two, but there was no sticker that said that I needed to look for anything else, so I figured I was all set. I headed home, still smug. It was still before noon. I’ll totally finish this by myself before I have to pick Caro up from daycare, I thought.
I began unloading the boxes from my car and that’s where it all started to go downhill. One of them was way too long and heavy for me to lift so I staggered around while it slipped from my grasp, until the door to my apartment building that I was trying to hold open slammed shut on my foot and the box slowly tipped over until it smashed into… the fire alarm. And it went off, of course. I shut it off as quickly as I could and hightailed it into my apartment, dragging the box behind me. I guess a man would actually be very helpful to deal with all these boxes, I thought.
I ignored all the yelling outside my door, regained my composure, and started opening the boxes. I checked the instructions for how to put together the bed frame. I realized I was missing the bed base– the part that holds up the mattress. ”Included in the price but packaged separately”, it said. Come on, really? They’re selling beds without the part that holds up the mattress? What’s next, selling cars without tires? I knew I should have asked someone to make sure that the bed only came in two boxes. Apparently, I don’t need a man. I can refuse to ask for directions all on my own.
I drove back to IKEA, picked up the bed base, and went back to my apartment. I managed to put the bed frame together (not without plenty of struggling and cursing, I assure you) and got it set up with her mattress and new bedding, all before 4:00. I was back to feeling smug. I can do anything myself, I thought. I definitely don’t need anyone’s help.
Now, tonight, I sit here on my couch, waiting for my toddler to get out of her bed and come trotting out here for the 7,483rd time this evening. I’m looking longingly at my glass of wine, which is poured and untouched. Sure would be nice to have a partner around to put her back in bed over and over while I drink this, I think. Oh well. Maybe she’ll be better about it tomorrow.
(If anyone has any suggestions about how to keep a toddler in their bed, they would be much appreciated. Comments? Maybe I don’t need a partner… just my readers…)
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