Sunday, August 24, 2008

Howdy Neighbor!

Dear New Neighbors -

Hey there! Have I mentioned how much I *love* living in your neighborhood? The kids! The families! The parks! The diversity! The unrestricted street parking! It's idyllic city living at its finest.

Say, that block party you're having looks like a boatload of fun! That makes, what, three in the last two months? I find the way you block off the street access with your cars at least once a week to be charming, a throwback to a simpler time, when kids ran wild and unsupervised through the neighbors' lawns, and fire hydrants sprayed the masses with welcome cool showers. Just like today!

In fact, one of my favorite summer staples is the off-season illegal fireworks display. Nothing lights up the night like those whistling, cracking, flashing powder-packed kegs of old-fashioned goodness, am I right? How great to stand at my bedroom window and be treated to a FREE! full-on fireworks display. Again, l-o-v-ing being your neighbor!

I am so, so sorry that I had to call the cops on you tonight. If only you had started your rockin' fireworks production BEFORE I put my two girls to bed! Hell, on a weekend, I might have even let them stay up to watch! But... tomorrow is the first day of school, after all, and I have to go back to work, too, and if they wake up One! More! Time! I may just have to slit my wrists, sooooo...

Yeah. Again, so sorry to have busted up your super-cool block party and all that. I really do love the fireworks! And you! And your charming neighborhood!

Please don't slash my tires.


Friday, August 22, 2008

duct tape and bailing wire

So, yeah, I'm just barely holding it together over here. Folks who know me will tell you* that I am a fairly organized person. Coworkers especially would say that I tend toward the anal side of the organizational spectrum. Annoyingly so, even.

But this summer, I've somehow lost my shit. I am completely unprepared. Totally disorganized. Borderline negligent, I would say.

The kids both go back to school** on Monday. They both need the requisite state-mandated health/physical forms filled out before they can be admitted. I know this. I have known this for, oh, I don't know. A while. A month, at least.

Now, since we've moved, I had to find a new pediatrician for the girls. It's August. In the city. 999,997 other children also need their school forms filled out. And they all have mothers who made appointments for them in oh, say, May. I called on the first Monday in August, and the first time I could get two "initial patient" visits (since we're new to the practice) back-to-back was on SEPTEMBER TWENTY-SECOND.

I know.

So, with that scheduled, I sort of forgot about the fact that, hey, the kids can't actually go to school without these forms filled out. Details.

Very long story short, I just figured out yesterday that we were totally fucked, and tried to get the girls in to their old doctor in our old town, just for expediency's sake, only to learn that we have $700.00 in unpaid medical bills at that particular office, all due to a stupid insurance snafu. Like they'd schedule me an appointment, much less two! Much less within 24 hours!

Skip ahead a few chapters, and the girls are duly examined, only to discover that portions of their shot records have been misplaced. Not the whole things, mind you, just portions. They've had at least five separate pediatricians in the last four years, and no place since the first has had a complete set of records. They just don't exist. And you can never get one place to send things to a different place, or to you, and nobody ever communicates, and I'm fairly certain that somewhere in there I dropped the ball, for not insisting that records be sent, for not keeping copies for myself, something. But their new pediatrician will never know their complete histories, be certain of their full vaccinations, nothing. Ever. And that's my fault.

So I went to a *different* office, and got the records that they had, and so now the girls have sheets that look like shot records, even though they are woefully incomplete. Hopefully they'll be enough to put off the DCFS people until we can get records from two pediatricians ago. Which they won't even fax to me. The Mother. Of the Patients. I could pick them up in person, of course. It's only 500 miles! Whatever.

And then, of course, last night we had the Bear's Preschool Orientation. Seriously. And I had received a letter, in the mail, from the teacher, with a supply list, which I dutifully filed away for later. Two hours before the meeting, I pulled out the letter, only to see that all supplies were supposed to be brought along to orientation. Oops. So, super-quick, we dashed off to Target for her supplies. Last-minute and half-assed, just like everything else I've done lately.

So, I think I have all the necessary forms, maybe, or parts of them, and the things that they need, sort of, and when I read this, it doesn't sound all that awful, but I think what's wrong is that I just can't quite cope with it. I feel so overwhelmed.

On top of all that, Soon-To-Be-Ex-Husband and I have been randomly talking about postponing the finalization of our divorce, and possibly hanging out a bit, maybe going on a date. We miss each other. I think. I miss him, I know. I think. It's all incredibly confusing, and the range of emotions that it's bringing out is truly dizzying. I have no idea what to think, and I hate to get my hopes up, and I don't even know if I should get my hopes up, or if it's something that I'm even hoping for. I have no idea, at all. None.

Plus, I spent last weekend having mediocre sex with a friend, which only served to reinforce to me that A) I miss STBE-Husband, and B) I'm maybe not as ready to move on as I thought I was. Ugh. Yet, at the same time, it's nice to have someone to talk to, to take the edge off the loneliness, to make you feel human, even a little bit.

And I have raging PMS this week, which makes me tired and out of sorts, and indecisive, and a host of other unpleasant things. And I started my period, sort of, and then it stopped, which weirds me out, because A) I just want to get it over with already, 2) I always feel better after it actually starts, and C) what if it doesn't actually come? What if, heaven forfend, something really stupid has happened to me? Given as out of it as I've been lately, it would be in complete keeping with the rest of my life. So, that's weighing on my mind as well, which is just adding to the mental stupor I've been feeling.

Then there's:

anxiety about the Bear starting preschool
worries about money
the fact that I'm not ready for my own school year to start on Monday

and a host of other stupid piddling shit to worry about. My mind is fried. I feel like the World's Worst Mother Ever. It's a wonder we're all clothed and fed around here. And that, only barely. Good lord. I am hanging onto my sanity with a wish and a prayer over here. What a freaking mess.

*with accompanying eye rolls

**what we call "school" is really Pre-K and/or Lady Down the Street with a Daycare in her Basement. You know. School.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

this is just to say

that I have received
a few

asking where i've been

be not alarmed, gentle reader

the free wireless connection
which i hijacked
from my neighbors

was untimely ripped from me
but now i have


Am working on a few longer posts, about the perils of dating after divorce, being poor, proper playground etiquette, and a few other ramblings. When I get time.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Feeding Frenzy

I have a confession to make.

I hate feeding my children. I hate it. Of all parental duties, it has got to be the worst. I'm kind of picky about what I feed them, and it always just seems to take a million years to prepare food that they will either A) demolish in five minutes or B) eat two bites of and decide they don't want. Then there's the cleanup, which is always intensive when one has a Tank, and then five minutes later? "I'm huuuunnnngry!"

I would estimate that, in an average 13-hour waking day, I probably spend at least four of those hours doing something that deals with food. That's approximately 30% of my day. It's just all so time-consuming and messy and tedious and repetitive.

Before I had kids, I used to love to cook. I would cook every chance I got. I would have done it all the time. I would spend hours lovingly preparing meals, etc. Now? Such a freaking chore. I hate it. I wish I could hire a personal chef just to feed the kids.

What's your least favorite part of parenting?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Getting by

So, we're officially home now from all vacations and wanderings for the summer. It's nice to be back, but somehow the house that was clean when we left is now a complete pigsty, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all the mountains of crap that need doing right now. I'm not quite sure where to start or how to proceed, really. I've made lists, and I'm crossing things off, which makes me feel good, but I'm not seeing the kind of progress I'd like to, which is frustrating.

I can't tell how much of this stupid crap is moving-related, how much is divorce-related, and how much is just the result of having two kids. Some days, just the mere act of keeping both of them clean, fed, and happy seems like a herculean task. My life is an endless cycle of dishes, laundry, meals, and disputes over the sharing of small bits of plastic. I sometimes feel like I'll never manage to accomplish anything beyond the bare minimum of daily survival. I suppose I am. Today, for instance, I:

went to the Post Office to buy stamps and mail bills
went to the grocery store for some milk and other essentials
called and visited a new daycare option for the Tank
filled out all the requisite forms for her to start in three weeks
located a reputable pediatrics practice and set up initial appointments for both girls
called the Bear's preschool to admit I'd lost the first set of forms they gave me
pulled out my school computer to check a student's grade from last year
emailed his mom explaining why he earned a C+ and not the B- she expected
maintained an extensive email dialogue with my ex about money, visitation, etc.
fixed a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and morning snack

So, yeah, now that you look at it, I've done *things*, it's just that none of it shows immediate results. None of the things I've done today have found homes for all the random crap still lying around my apartment, or picked up the toys on the floor, or involved me getting a shower. It's just a constant uphill battle just to maintain the status quo, it seems.

It just occurred to me that perhaps this is all due to summer vacation. I'm not used to having the kids home 24/7, or to being home 24/7 myself, and it's a little strenuous. Duh. That must be it. I've been reliably informed that single parenting has its ups and downs, but I'm feeling like I'm in a bit of a down right now... this is all a lot to take.