The tooth is mightier than the sword.
March 16th 2014
Wilder is 20 weeks old.
I started the week with a case of sun poisoning, which left me extremely lethargic. I am usually very diligent about wearing sunscreen but I was hadn’t realized that Crescent Park is nearly devoid of shade. I made it through the work day with the promise of an evening to relax because Lee Kyle stays over on Monday nights to spend time with Wilder. As an added bonus, I get to spend time with him as well. We got into a deep discussion about cultural appropriation and why that has been such a hot topic around New Orleans lately. I loved having this discussion with him because I know some of his art has come under the scrutiny of others. I feel it is very easy to judge the intentions of others when you aren’t engaging in a true discussion with them.
I was inspired by my discussion with Lee Kyle and the next day I emailed a dear friend of mine to ask his feelings on cultural appropriation as he is a different type of artist, and quite successful. He had an eloquent response to my inquiries which included a discussion of classicism and its effects on neighborhoods and attitudes. He brought up “the parish” which is Chalmette, where my family is from. I am not sure why but my response to this reference really stuck with me and forced me to think about my family. I tried to pin-point the moment that I began to feel a sort of shame over my family who was from a place synonymous with blue-collar workers, ignorance and racism and I think it was when I first returned for college and was going to Tulane. I found myself very emotional over the whole thing and ended up talking with Lee Kyle about it that night while I cried. Obviously because all of my immediate family is dead, I can’t have these talks with them. And I cannot apologize to my mother who I know I always made feel less intelligent than myself. I think that is the real kicker. I never want Wilder to feel embarrassed of where he comes from. I hope that he is always prideful of his family, regardless of how different we may be from the norm. It’s amazing all the new perspectives that have overwhelmed me since I’ve become a parent.
Wilder had his belated 4 month visit to the doctor this past Wednesday. He is growing like a weed and weighed in at 16 pounds. He was given a clean bill of health and the doctor agreed that the shape of his head is improving. I had a rough day at work because I got into an argument with one of my co-workers. He was declaring that he didn’t expect to live into older adulthood and I found his comments to be fairly insensitive, seeing that he knows the history of mental illness and suicide in my own family. Sometime our office just isn’t big enough for everyone’s attitude and psychotic breaks. I left work feeling sad and overwhelmed, still dwelling on my feelings from the day before. I went to the park with Andy and felt the frustration of the silence that has become too common place between us. He never really asks about my day at work because he knows my response is going to be that it was awful, and I hate it there. I am hopeful that we are just going through a phase and this isn’t our future. Quiet reflective walks of self-doubt and un-fulfillment.
Thursday marked the beginning of a new stage in our lives as parents. Wilder began teething and it was far, far worse than we expected. I was honestly just getting used to being a parent to an adorable four month old. We were having a really good run. He wasn’t having his nightly screams and our time together was peaceful and lovely, then Thursday came. Wilder stayed up nearly all night screaming and pulling at his tiny mouth. Nothing was soothing him and I was sure that at some point he would pass out from pure exhaustion. I felt that the doctor must have activated something in him the day before, because she had warned us about teething and then it was upon us, like a giant fucking wave. And I think Andy and I both felt that we were drowning. I don’t know how the three of us we made it through the night, but we did. I called the doctor’s office first thing in the morning and they assured us that everything that was happening was normal. Perfect! Now just to deal with his until he has all his teeth. No problem, right? I don’t need sleep or sanity. My heart hurts for little Wilder and his inability to rationalize pain. And poor Andy. He is really such an amazing human being. He handles situations like this with grace and patience. Wilder and I are both very fortunate to have him. Pray for us.
Friday fell to pieces pretty quickly. With a little over two hours of sleep in the preceding 24 hours, it was easy to predict that I was going to lose my shit at work. I did. My boss called and yelled at my cousin about my deadline, which in my defense was pretty pointless on his part. She came to approach the subject with me and I just started my normal tangent of “Fuck this shit. I guess I’m just going to have to turn over a half-done project because apparently when someone is actually trying to do something they get rushed. Maybe I should fuck-off like the majority of people in this company and I’ll have all the time in the world.” Crystal just let me rant and then told me not to worry about it. I’m not going to worry, I just hate the way things are handled in the company. I need to find another job desperately. That night was Hope’s birthday and we went to her party at Flanagans but both Andy and I were too tired to really celebrate. Working a full time job and being a parent is fucking exhausting.
Saturday was a lovely day. Ellen came over in the morning with the girls and she reminded me not to take parenthood so seriously. I am so glad that she is such a big part of our lives. Andy and I have hope in our future because of her and Joel. Here’s to all the parents out there who continue to have their own personalities after they have kids. Andy watched Wilder so that Amanda, Lee Kyle and I could go see Equis. While there were parts of the play that I found fault in, I truly enjoyed it and my amazing company. After the play we three laughed so hard while I took pictures of Lee and Amanda on the porch of a blighted house in the Marigny. It will probably be a Starbucks by next year.
Today welcomed Daphne back from Europe. She came over with gifts for all of us. She does this every time she travels and by the time Wilder is a year old, he is going to have an entire collection of treasures from all over the world. The day continued with more fantastic company. Liza Rose came by with her son Oren who fell in love with the dogs. By early evening we had a house full of kids. Katya was in town visiting Jackie from France and she stopped by with her two daughters and one of Jackie’s “kids”. Wilder loved all the young company and he jumped excitedly in his little bouncy seat. Katya picked him up and sang sweet French songs to him and he loved it. He laughed and smiled the whole time as if she was telling him sweet secrets only they could understand.