Saturday, October 10, 2009

Unsettled Spence

"I'm worried, Mama."

It was 8:00 p.m. and I was worried too. Worried that his bedtime was coming later and later.

I picked him up and cuddled him in my arms. "What are you thinking about, Spence?"

With that prompt, he pulled out his nuk. His words came quickly one after another.

"Then I couldn't see because it was too dark and I couldn't get out of bed and then Nora was crying and then..."

"To help Nora? Papa is with Nora. She was crying, but she is safe with Papa now. You don't have to worry," I counseled. "Is there anything else you are worried about?"

"And then...and then there was blood and the swing and..."

"Are you thinking about when you fell down at the playground? Are you scared about bonking?"

"Uh huh. And then when Henry was mad about putting his coat on and his papa told him to put his coat on and then...."

I stopped him. "Are you worried about Henry?"

"Uh huh. Henry was really, really frustrated. And then, the cold. It was really, really cold at the Farmer's Market and then..."

And his worries just kept bubbling out one after another and then surfaced again. Things that happened over a week ago made their way back into Spence's brain so he could worry about them. I tried to reassure him that his parents were always right here and loved him deeply. And that sometimes bonks happen, but that his parents will be there to love him up.

I just kept holding him. I ticked his face. He giggled and ticked my face.

Just another one of the countless times in the day that I don't have an answer.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tot Shabbot: Special Sukkot Edition.

When we signed up for the oneg, I had clearly been in a delusional state. Rather than dwelling anywhere close to reality, I routinely choose the fantasy. (Or the comfortable state of denial.) We have never actually arrived on time to a Tot Shabbot service on time. I had thought by October 2, we would have mastered the ability to get out of the house in less than four hours. I imagined that we could arrive to the thirty minute Tot Shabbot service on time. I also presumed that our financial state would have dramatically improved and coming up with cheese and crackers for 30 families wouldn't have phased me.

Silly Kristy.

The kids awoke at almost 6. I am sticking to the script that Nora is about to hit a milestone (crawling, right?) and that is why she woke up every two hours like clockwork. Nevertheless, we stumbled at of bed and attempted to organize the team to get out the door "on time."

It's Saturday, so pancakes had to be made. Clothes had to be uncovered from the bottom of clothing piles, inspected and perhaps de-wrinkled with a hair dryer. Parades occurred through the kitchen and up the stairs. And the constant cries of "Come on, Team! Let's get it together!" from me.

Oh, and the oneg. We actually didn't have the cash to swing by and pick up cheese and crackers. Daycare has been snacking on our bottom line and we are back to recessionista cooking. I had thrown together some pizza dough the night before and decided I would roll it out to cracker consistency. I riffled through the fridge to find some stuff to put on it. We did buy a block of sharp cheddar, so there was that at least.

Here's what I came up to top the "crackers"...
* Butternut squash puree with goat cheese.
* Refried beans with salsa and sharp cheddar.
* Roasted garlic tomato sauce and sharp cheese.

And yet, I felt sheepish. They were clear that it was supposed to be "cheese and crackers." My internal monologue turned in circles. "What if everyone gets angry because I didn't follow directions? What if everyone thinks that I was trying to one up everyone? What if they all start pointing and laughing, "Stupid Christian!" Dave waltzed in to say something to ease my pain, but my anxiety only twisted it into a barb that hurt me further.

We got in the car right as the service was to start and arrived in time to enjoy the last 15 minutes. Perhaps it was a victory just to get there?

Dave and I actually decided to do dueling blog posts this morning. Take a peek on his take of the morning at High Impact Papa.

Friday, October 2, 2009


A wise woman told me once that you should estimate your work load and double it. This helps to humanely budget your life. Makes sense, eh?

I routinely, however, estimate how much time something will take me and cut it in half. Take a full time job as a faculty member at MCTC? I act as if I am on "Name that Tune"...I can complete that job in 30 hours. I have a few hours to kill. Why not sign up to work 20 hours a week at Anishinabe Academy? I am sure I could be super efficient and getter done in 10. That pesky PhD? I am sure I could pound out my written exams in a week over Winter Break.

Oh, and the fact that I never get an uninterrupted night of sleep? Just deny that it is happening.

This philosophy has actually been quite effective. Back when I was single and didn't notice that I was actually just multi-tasking the hours in front of the TV or with pals at the City Cafe. I was able to collect enough experiences to get more opportunities. Opportunities that I could not possibly turn down. Every year, I just exponentially increased my work load.

Life has changed. My thinking hasn't. It's time for an intervention. Unfortunately, this one will not be filmed by video cameras and I won't receive a new wardrobe and a smart haircut. Probably just more time with my absolutely fabulous family and friends. Infinitely better.

Now, I just need to wait until we can afford me to quit and the semester ends. Whichever comes first.