It’s not about the sandwich.
November 24th 2013
Wilder is four weeks old.
Spending my days at home with Wilder has afforded me a lot of time to watch television. I would honestly rather spend a good share (if not all) of this free time writing, but the boy really likes to be held. We have a rough schedule that involves me waking around 6:30 am and tending to my dogs, then relieving Andy to take responsibility of Wilder. Wilder and I cuddle up in his room and I read aloud to him (we are currently enjoying Matilda by R. Dahl) then as mid-morning approaches we head downstairs to relax in the living room. Sometimes we listen to records, but mostly I watch movies while giving him a constant commentary (think Mystery Science Theater 3000). I’ve been really utilizing my DVR, which has allowed me to catch up on various films that I have either wanted to re-visit or watch for the first time. Before my father became very ill last year I remember him telling me to watch the film Elmer Gantry if I ever got the chance. I was lucky enough to finally watch it this past week and I’d have to say it was one of the best movies I have seen in a very long time. Burt Lancaster plays a con-man who begins working with a female evangelist selling religion across the US. I can see why my father enjoyed the film so much. Watching it made me miss him and lament the fact that he and Wilder will never meet.
Wilder has been doing well apart from his persistent stomach issues. The pediatrician called in a prescription to help with his constipation. I was upset that at merely four weeks he needs to be on prescription medicine, but of course I want what is best for his health and happiness. The medicine worked like a charm and he had a nice bowel movement which improved his mood. Talking with other moms it appears that stomach issues are pretty common in newborns. My blatant lack of experience with babies has often left me feeling confused and concerned over Wilder’s behaviors. Thank God for Google. I would be lost without it.
Wilder had his very first trip to the French Quarter this past week. I played the part of touristy mom taking pictures of him everywhere including the street, Flanagan’s Pub and Fifi Mahoney’s. He was quite adorable and very well-behaved (for a tiny infant). I got my hair cut and colored at Fifi’s which made me feel somewhat more “normal.” I had a good time chatting it up with the hairstylist who is also a mom. I explained to her how I don’t always feel like I fit in with other new moms. I told her that I tend to be less worried about what pre-school Wilder will be attending (he’s less than a month old!) and more concerned about when I’ll be giving another blow job. She leaned in and said, “Never.” We both laughed really hard, but I truly hope that isn’t true. It’s been impossible, though, not to notice how little time Andy and I have together. And we are basically never alone. We were talking about how to handle the daily schedule once I return to work and I began to have so much anxiety. It’s completely overwhelming when you actually, fully realize that once you have a child spontaneous decisions are a thing of the past. I have always been a very structured person and scheduling has usually come naturally to me. But this shit is completely new. We are going to be one of those families that has to use a fucking white board to keep up with who’s where and why. I’m not looking forward to it.
I also find that I really miss my friends. I mean, sure, many of them have come to see me, but I miss spending time with them out in the real world, where the soundtrack is people living a life and not just the repetition of Wilder’s cries. Andy has been very supportive of me having a social life. I went with a group of my friends to see “Catching Fire,” and it was good but honestly I felt incredibly exhausted. I’m stuck in this conundrum of wanting to be social but physically not having the stamina. The situation is one that is likely to breed depression, so I’ve been trying to find ways to not feel so out of touch with my social side. Luckily Gabby came by this past weekend and stayed over a few nights. It was a breath of fresh air to have such sweet, considerate company. She is currently pregnant with twins and has an excellent attitude. Her optimism is infectious and honestly her visit was something I hadn’t even realized that I needed.
I made her laugh by telling her all about my sandwich breakdown. Andy and I had taken Wilder out on Thursday so that we could go to Costco. I’d decided that I really wanted to get a po-boy from Parkview Bakery on the way home. Andy slept later than I had planned which pushed the morning back and we ended up hitting Parkview right around noon. Of course the place was completely packed. I was super frustrated about that and Andy suggested that we just sit outside. As I was getting out of the car I noticed that the temperature had dropped and it felt pretty damp outside. I decided I didn’t want Wilder sitting outside in that weather so I demanded that we just head home. When we were back in the car, I had a breakdown. It went something like this: “I just wanted a fucking sandwich and I can’t even have that! This is my life now, I guess. Sitting alone in the front seat while you Miss Daisy your ass back there with the baby. (*note – I had insisted he sit in the back with Wilder because I don’t like him to be alone) No fucking sandwich! No fucking sex! No fucking drinks and fun and quick decisions! What the fuck have I done with my life?” All the while Andy sat silently and then he shouts, “You are acting really fucking defeated over a fucking sandwich.” To which I responded, “It not about the sandwich, it’s about my life!” It wasn’t funny at all at the time. But while re-telling it to Gabby I had to laugh, even though I still really want that sandwich.
My biggest accomplishment of the week, you know other than keeping Wilder alive, was that I jogged 2 full miles at the gym. I know for some of you that’s chicken scratch, but for me it is a big deal. It felt really good to not only be physically able to jog again but to go that distance after not having jogged in over six months. Physical activity has always been a huge stress reliever for me so I was literally high when I finished the short distance. I didn’t feel so great the next day though when my knees reminded me that I’m still carrying around quite a bit of extra weight. I am trying to make healthier eating choices but it’s difficult when my options consist of things that can be eaten with one hand.
Fringe Fest just occurred and it was bittersweet for me this year. I felt very nostalgic over the success of my play last year and the feelings of accomplishment that accompanied the entire experience. This year I was too busy creating a life that I didn’t participate in Fringe. I was also bummed that I wouldn’t get the chance to see many performances. Lee Kyle insisted that Andy and I go to at least one performance together so he watched Wilder while we went to Allways to see “The Oregon Trail.” At first I felt a bit heavy-hearted since that was the space my play had been the year before. But the moment the play began I was laughing so hard I couldn’t feel anything but joyously entertained. While I would have loved to have been able to catch other shows, I am so glad this was the one we saw. It was really hilarious and entertaining.
The week ended with an emotional Sunday. Exhaustion has slowly begun to deteriorate both Andy and I’s morale. I sat on the couch with him during one of the few moments we had alone and explained that I am often overwhelmed and there are times when I question my decision to become a parent. He agreed that he feels the exact same way at times, but that it’s okay to have these feelings. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to have a partner who I can talk to about difficult matters and who doesn’t immediately judge me. We were talking through some of our fears and anxieties when my friend Jackie called. Her dog, the love of her life, needed to go to the emergency vet and she needed to know where to take him. I gave her the information for my vet practice, Metairie Small Animal Hospital, and met her there. It was a very emotional scene because even the doctors weren’t sure what was wrong with Toussaint. I was very glad to be able to be with Jackie in that tough time. Turns out now that everything is a-ok with the dog. The only awful thing is the vet bill. That being said, when it comes to the ones you love, none of that shit really matters just that they are healthy and happy…(and occasionally get a really good fucking sandwich).