Sometimes you have days. Shitty ones. And sometimes the days aren’t even whole days, they’re just mornings, which is even shittier because how have you managed to get yourself into this state before noon?!
Sometimes those mornings look like waking up too early after staying up until 4am because you finally discovered what all the fuss about Downton Abbey was really about (oh my god. Seriously. Why did I wait so long? Why did I watch the first episode at midnight? Why does netflix just automatically play the next one so you’re sitting there barely conscious but thinking, “Well at this point it would take more effort to not watch it…”)
The Downton-night came on the heels of a fight with your lovely husband, who neglected to tell you about a work dinner he had to attend after working all day, but you both know that “work dinner” means “work dinner, and then drinks, and then a pub, and then a bar, and don’t wait up, ok?” After a long day of talking to a tiny creature all day- for what feels like every second of the day- you kind of wanted to be heard. You wanted someone to listen to you, and understand. To appreciate your wit and laugh at your stories, and not ask you to talk in a Minnie Mouse voice. It wasn’t the end of the world that last night was not that night, but it felt like it. At the time.
Overreaction, might be an appropriate term. If an understated one.
But this morning starts well enough, aside from the self-induced fatigue – but you have no one but yourself to blame for that. You go and cuddle a deliciously newborn baby and suddenly your baby doesn’t seem so baby anymore. The gap between this life – the toddler one – and the hazy, warm, milky newborn days seems to yawn so wide it’s almost unrecognizable. You sit there with your arm gently aching under the sweet 7 pound weight and you think, Do I miss this? Do I even remember this?
Then it’s time to leave and the toddler starts screaming just as you walk out the door, and you grab her and run like some kind of crazed lunatic who has made the terrible decision to shoplift a small child – and you hope her shrieks won’t have woken the little one. Next on the list is grocery shopping so you swing by your house to get grocery bags and as you come in you realize that don’t hear your dog’s telltale woofing. On a hunch you walk into your bedroom and catch him mid-sneak as he tries to slither off your bed. With it’s freshly washed sheets. White sheets. Well, they were white, anyway.
Fuck that dog, you think. And for a moment you honestly loathe him because at this precise moment dog ownership just feels like backyards full of shit and floors coated in dog hair (HOW IS THERE SO MUCH? HOW IS HE NOT BALD?) and white sheets that are now stained with drool and muck and god knows what else. Again.
When you are done scolding the dog and feeling like a terrible person for hating your dog, you get the bags and go to the car, where the toddler has now removed her shoes and socks again and then on the way to the grocery store she wants music- but not the radio, she wants you to sing “Itsy Bitsy Fider” over and over and over again (where did she even hear that song?)
When you are done, and you say no more after the fifteenth round, she loses her mind, like, LOSES it. And you think to yourself, No. No, I am not bringing this shit show to the grocery store where I will spend eleven aisles placating and negotiating and pleading with her to please keep her shoes on, PLEASE while the childless and aged judge with cold eyes. No.
So you decide you will go grocery shopping tonight, because thank god that these modern soulless food warehouse are open until 11pm. And how pathetic that the thought of grocery shopping alone at 11pm sounds so blissful right then. But now the Downton-induced exhaustion is setting in and you decide that a coffee shop drive through is needed. The drive-throughs that you always scorn (Don’t we even have time to go in and get our own coffees anymore?) and insist on spelling out the proper way (don’t we even have time to spell properly anymore?) You order a ridiculously overpriced London Fog made with peppermint tea (the best, the BEST) but as you take a sip at the first light you realize it is not, in fact, peppermint tea. They made a mistake.
But you can’t get angry about it, you know? It’s too ridiculous. You refuse to complete that thought or fit neatly into this stereotype. Because right now your whole life is a cliche. The tantruming toddler and the children’s music and the white stay-at-home-mom crying because the drive-through got her tea wrong.
On days like this what you want to do is go home and find something, anything to occupy your toddler while you crawl under your covers with your wrong tea and finish every single last one of that fantastic TV show you are finally watching two years after everyone else has. But you shouldn’t do that, because it will only make you feel more like shit.
Here’s what you do. You sit down and compose an utterly nonsensical and rambling (yet cathartic, so very cathartic) blog post entirely in the third person (because then it seems less whiny? less ridiculous? more likely that someone will say “Me too”?)
Read over it once to correct the most egregious of your typos, and realize how small it sounds, how petty.
Hit publish anyway, and then go get your shit together.
Wash your sheets. Again. Scour your house from top to bottom. Get every last sock and towel washed and dried. Clean out the fridge (finally). Make meal plans for your late-night shopping trip. Maybe ignore your toddler a little bit, just a little, so you can throw off this mood with the sheer force of your getting-shit-done-ness.
Do all of this while ignoring your menstrual cramps. Ignore the horrid feeling of the word “menstrual”. Swallow your pills. Make lists. Vacuum dog hair. Take out the compost. Apologize to your husband.
Buck the cliche. try to feel different.
Try to feel better.