Over and Over again

Me in 2016:

Why do I put a clean onesie one my little one first thing in the morning? I know there is an 80% chance he will have a blow out within an hour of getting his first fresh diaper and change of clothes and yet I always out him in a clean onesie after he eats breakfast. I know why. I want him to be clean. I am a little unhealthily obsessed with making sure he is clean and looks like someone loves him.

Isn’t that what we all want? To look like someone loves us. To feel like someone loves us. So I do a little in hopes that one day he will know that indeed someone loves him enough to wash the same poopy onesie a hundred times.

Me two weeks ago:

I wrote those first two paragraphs years ago. I can firmly say that not much has changed. He is potty training now and while he can pee in the toilet like a champion, doing number 2 seems to be harder. Maybe it will finally happen with consistency soon, but until then I washing a lot of poopy underwear/throwing away a lot of poopy underwear. Oh motherhood.  The things we do that we never thought we would be doing, like judging how much poop is too much to clean out of a pair of undies.

Me now:

You know what, my little champion has been pooping in the potty all on his own for about three days. He hasn’t had an accident in a few days now. I updated this just to say, take heart all of you moms and dads in the trenches of trying to teach a tiny human not to poop behind his bedroom door on the ugly shag carpet(yes this happened last week) Your child probably wont start kindergarten without being able to take care of bathroom stuff on their own.

As far as methodology goes, I started having him pee in the potty on and off at 18 months. I should have followed through as soon as he caught on with it and tried something like the three day method which is what we did at 26 months. The three day method is about 40 page worth of ebook that tells you to throw away the diapers and do nothing but help your kid learn to use the potty while you in turn learn the signs of when they need to go. Its pretty intuitive. In addition to that I also gave him a prize for every successful go which eventually has turned into only a prize for going number 2, which is almost weaned off of entirely. He does know what a prize is now so there is that but I will take spending 20 bucks on a tub full of kid goodies in exchange for not having to change a diaper. Carl did not learn to use the toilet in three days, It was probably another two weeks before we went all day with no peeing accidents and another month before we successfully made it all day with no poop clean up. Honestly though I expected that. It takes 21 days to form a habit. Toilet training is simply a habit.

If I could share one bit of advice with myself a year ago it would be to savor those moments before he can say damn it and just clean up the poop explosion.

If I could tell my month ago self anything it would be to buy one more packet of underwear, and relax.

 

What on earth is all the swiping about?

Perhaps it is my age or the age of a lot of the ladies I know but everyone seems to be getting a divorce around me, which is fine. I am a firm believer in how healthy divorce can be for a person and relationships. But then I have to ask how do people conquer the next step? I had been comfortably being intimate, wearing sweatpants around, not wearing any make up, and generally just being a comfortable, casual version of myself with one person for years. How do people up and move on? I don’t remember how to do any of this. I tried dating and that bombed pretty hard.That was almost a two years ago.

A few months I had the bright idea to try Tinder which seems like the beginning of a sad dystopian young adult novel. May the odds be ever in your favor and for god’s sake have a clear, child free, gun free, semi decent picture since I’m supposed to judge our compatibility based on that and a three sentence bio. What I have so far learned is that this was easier when I was younger. I’m not old, but this certainly makes me feel that way. Tinder is at times interesting, almost always amusing but I live in fear of the day I happen upon one of my friends ex-husbands or even worse than that, my own.

Of course there are other online dating options, or I could happen upon a single, semi interesting, able to hold a conversation man in real life (….This did recently happen to me so unicorns do exist). After Tinder I tried Ok Cupid because it was recommended by a friend. It isn’t any better. The straw that finally broke my desire to seek out those methods in finding any sort of personal relationship pairing was the propensity for married people to use those sites and apps to cheat. In particular I found a friend of mines husband.

How are people in their 20’s supposed to meet other single, eligible, people to coexist, date, and partner with? Well a friend of mine has made a commitment to getting out more, by going to local events and such which does seem logical. Others I know rely on the buddy system. They meet people through other people they already know. I did recently have coffee with a nice young man that way so it does sometimes work. For the most part I think that perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from the online dating craze is that if we have to go through that much silliness to find someone perhaps we should find other ways to content ourselves. I’ll be over here completing the library’s summer reading program for adults.

On Home

Florence, Alabama is such an interesting place. I have loved it almost from the moment we moved here 13 years ago. I could write many a loving platitude to Florence. I love early quiet mornings. I love being one of the first people at Rivertown at 7am on a weekday. I love walking downtown at night. I love getting a drink at Wildwood Tavern even though it is always too crowded. I love that I can go almost anywhere and run into someone I know. I ran into someone I know today at Starbucks.

I’ve had an interesting summer. Summer is always a blur but this summer is probably the biggest blur to date. You see we finally took the plunge, finally bit the bullet, finally invested in a home here. Its an old home, with stately columns, a lot of history, and ugly carpet that will eventually have to come up. Its a good size for the small family that now resides in it. Eventually I will have to get it together enough to have a priest come and bless it. My favorite thing about it so far is my room. At one point I’m sure the room I call mine was a living room or a sitting room or something of that nature. The house is old and the room doesnt have an overhead light fixture. Its a big, wide open square which is almost the best part. After spending the better part  of the last five year crammed into tiny spaces I love having an almost bare room. I’m sure given enough time I will fill all the space but for now I’m happy to have it be empty. The best part about this room is the windows. My room has the largest windows in the house. They look out on the street. At 5am, before the light starts to peak through, looking out those windows just makes me happy. I love everything about it. The cure to a dull life is surely an interesting window.

I grew up in a trailer. In hindsight I realize it was a tiny space. At the time it didn’t feel as small as it looked the last time I saw it before it was hauled off the be thrown away or recycled or whatever happens to such things. There were two, sometimes three bedrooms where my siblings and I would reside. Sometimes we would all share a space, and other times we would have our own rooms. The room that was most often mine had a square window that didn’t open up to the outside and was made of something that wasn’t quite glass, but wasn’t quite plastic. It overlooked a bunch of timber land like everything else where I grew up. I loved that window. I liked to watch rain fall outside of it. From then to now I’ve never had another window that made me as happy as the one I have now. We all go through life trying to find the one job, or person, or addiction that will make us happy. I’m pretty sure I was just looking for a window.

 

 

 

It’s 3am again. This particular time of night and I have become familiar in the last year. Poor little Carl has a stuffy nose so I am awake. He is finally drifting off after being put down twice and soothed for an hour. It’s funny. Well funny in a sad way, but when I thought about having kids in my teens and even in the last few years I always imagined night shift as my partners duty or at least having someone else there to watch the moments with me. A year of being a single mom has taught me a lot, including how rare that fantasy is. Even happily married women end up doing most of what I do which is pretty sad.

Imagine a world where instead of waking up with the baby every time he woke up that first year, someone else took some of the burden. And please don’t mistake my meaning, because there is not a whole lot of warm fuzziness to be found at 3am when you have to clear the snot from an unwilling babies nose by yourself while he screams like he is dying. I have had my mom or sister take him for a few minutes or a few hours while did something or slept a little, but every night of this first year, save one where I left him late and got him early, I’ve been dayshift, night shift, and everything in between.

I love this child. I didn’t make him alone, but somehow he became more mine than anyone elses. And that’s a pretty powerful thing. He and I have a bond. It’s probably fragile and definitely codependent, but it’s there. I’m a lover. I tend to love one person more than makes sense, or is healthy, or logical. Nothing will cure you of that quicker than a baby. I suppose my bit of encouragement for anyone, who like me is listening to the sounds of a toddler talk himself into going back to sleep, is that you can do it by yourself. And you will have to. That guy that was your rock, your special human who professed to love and adore you… He might, but it all might be smoke and mirrors and nothing will help you figure that out like a baby.

Babies are hard, but you can do it. Adulting is hard, but you can do that as well. And if your person isn’t who you expected or isn’t living up to what you need then dump that dude like a bad habit. You and that baby that keeps you up at 3am deserve better.

Over and over

It’s 3am again. This particular time of night and I have become familiar in the last year. Poor little Carl has a stuffy nose so I am awake. He is finally drifting off after being put down twice and soothed for an hour. It’s funny. Well funny in a sad way, but when I thought about having kids in my teens and even in the last few years I always imagined night shift as my partners duty or at least having someone else there to watch the moments with me. A year of being a single mom has taught me a lot, including how rare that fantasy is. Even happily married women end up doing most of what I do which is pretty sad.

Imagine a world where instead of waking up with the baby every time he woke up that first year, someone else took some of the burden. And please don’t mistake my meaning, because there is not a whole lot of warm fuzziness to be found at 3am when you have to clear the snot from an unwilling babies nose by yourself while he screams like he is dying. I have had my mom or sister take him for a few minutes or a few hours while did something or slept a little, but every night of this first year, save one where I left him late and got him early, I’ve been dayshift, night shift, and everything in between.

I love this child. I didn’t make him alone, but somehow he became more mine than anyone elses. And that’s a pretty powerful thing. He and I have a bond. It’s probably fragile and definitely codependent, but it’s there. I’m a lover. I tend to love one person more than makes sense, or is healthy, or logical. Nothing will cure you of that quicker than a baby. I suppose my bit of encouragement for anyone, who like me is listening to the sounds of a toddler talk himself into going back to sleep, is that you can do it by yourself. And you will have to. That guy that was your rock, your special human who professed to love and adore you… He might, but it all might be smoke and mirrors and nothing will help you figure that out like a baby.

Babies are hard, but you can do it. Adulting is hard, but you can do that as well. And if your person isn’t who you expected or isn’t living up to what you need then dump that dude like a bad habit. You and that baby that keeps you up at 3am deserve better.

What a difference a year makes

I have an almost 1 year old.

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Go me! I kept him alive and fairly healthy a whole year!! I feel like that’s an actual accomplishment. We’ve had a few colds and one really nasty stomach virus but it’s been a great year.

Everything sort of flew by in a blur this year but I remember those first few minutes after I brought him home from the hospital. I was still living in a tiny apartment so things were crowded but it had beautiful windows. I opened the curtains, sat in the rocker with Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, and read to him while he nursed and napped the afternoon away. That was the first peaceful moment I had found in days. I hated the hospital. I appreciated the care we recieved but being stuck in that room away from all of my familiar things was probably the hardest part of the birth experience for me.

This has been a year of learning, growing, and changing. I’m grateful for all the help I’ve had and for a healthy, happy kid. Whatever the future holds, may he have a hundred more years to grow and explore.

It’s getting really real

Proceed with caution. Things are about to get real.

I had a nice visit with a friend this morning. We talked and ate peanut butter crackers, and watched Carl walk everywhere and visited. It was great. Then we talked about the men in our lives.

I’m so close to my divorce I can taste it (if divorce had a taste :P). And that’s pretty great. In 11-26 days I will be completely free of this weight that has been pulling me down. However that doesn’t take away the scars. I’ve known women who stayed with men who cheated on them. I’ve listened sympathetically and thought “man, that sucks” or “that poor unfortunate woman” and in the back of my mind I wondered what it was they had messed up in their marriage for that to happen to them. That’s pretty terrible right? I know it is.

People cheat. It’s a fact. Most people cheat in one way or another long before the actual physical act and I knew I had been cheated on emotionally, and abandoned, and treated like something to be thrown away but I never wanted to deal with the reality that I had been physically cheated on. I wasn’t always as faithful as I could have been. I wasn’t always a great wife. I mothered too much. None of those things makes the rest of it OK. The reality of knowing that someone that was supposed to love me strung me along and did something so intimate with another woman, a woman that claimed to be my friend, is a mind fuck. Every memory is tainted by it. Every good gesture is up for questioning, every moment I have with my friend gets revisited in my mind so that I can drive myself crazy trying to figure out how I ignored this for so long.

I’m lucky. I know I’m lucky. I have a good life. I’m happy. I have the best part of what turned out to be a pretty shitty human. None of that changes the hurt I’m dealing with. Knowing that someone did that to you makes you question everything. My friend told me that it stays with you your whole life. Unfortunately she has been in the same boat. I hope it doesn’t stay with me. I hope given enough time and distance I can trust another human not to completely abandon me. I hope because I made the decision to break away, to run as far and as fast as I could from that particular bit of toxic sludge that it can be different for me. I hope that my little boy grows up respecting women as something more than sex objects, knowing what he has when he has it, and doesn’t think he is too old for his mother to embarrass if he is ever this much of a douche.

Growing things!

Today my child ate dirt. Like actually took it out of the  box and ate it. …

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But he is pretty cute. We gardened today. Well we got the dirt put in the box. I’ve got to add more and I want another box but I’m pretty excited about the square foot gardening thing. I want to grow and freeze veggies. I want fresh melons. I want Carl to pull weeds with me in a few months. I want to become a better gardener.

It feels good to want things again. Ive got tomatoes, peppers, herbs, watermelon and I want to get squash seeds to go withy cucumber and lettuce seeds. Go plant something!

Newness and such

I should be cleaning. This is the story of my life when Carl is not with me. I hate having a dirty house and I did clean a little, but then I got distracted by all the thoughts. Life has seasons. This is just one of many seasons. I got a new (to me) car today. Its pretty exciting. Faith and I won’t have to car share anymore which is pretty sweet. Car sharing is hard and it can be tricky.

car

Going through a divorce is difficult, but I think if you wrap your mind around it and if you take a lot of time to do that then it will be less difficult. At least that has been my experience so far. I know everyone has a different experience and while I acknowledge that I had a hand in the ultimate demise of the relationship I also think that I did everything I could to save a sinking ship and then I did the healthy thing by jumping off.

And now I get to live again. That’s the way life should be. If it isn’t working, try and fix it, if it can’t be fixed…give it away and move on. Don’t spend all your time dwelling on that other person. Let them live their life. If you have a child with them then you can’t help but dwell a little, I mean you have to see them on a regular basis. But don’t make that your whole life.  That is one my mantras these days. So far I think I am doing pretty good. I stay busy, I haven’t binged on cookies and ice cream, life is pretty good.

 

 

Too nice…hahahaha

Somewhere along the journey I became labelled “too nice”. And somewhere along the journey I stopped trusting my own instincts. I’ve come to terms with a lot of changes recently. My life feels like whirlwind. Little bunny is turning 1. I’m going to be officially divorced in 21-36 days. I’m getting a new to me car. I’m buying land. I’m apparently part of a convoluted chain of inheritance on some other land. No one is doing anything in Corinth about my father’s murder or if they are it’s a big fat secret they aren’t telling me. And I’m pretty sure in the 5+ years I’ve been out of the dating scene everything has changed. I mean everything. I don’t know how to do that any more.

I’m really not too nice but I do have a philosophy that I would like to share. How we act toward another person reflects on us not them so whether it’s an annoying driver who cuts us off in traffic or a co-worker who seems impossible to get along with, a friend who has been disloyal, or a spouse that cheats with your friend, how you treat that person reflects on you, not them. I fail. I fail all the time when I’m angry, or I give into bitterness, or I just forget to live because I’m dwelling on the misdeeds of another person but eventually I try to remember that kindness is not in vane. Compassion is always the best answer. Everyone is flawed and will eventually do something hurtful even if it is unintentional. So let’s all remember to be kind…and get over ourselves. I’m going to make that my mantra for a while.