It’s eight o’clock. Scott is working, Emma is down, and I have given myself permission to stop. The last load of laundry from the day lowers it’s eyebrow and glares at me, ‘Fold me.’ Intoning the voice of Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors, I look back and say, ‘Not today,’ in my firm elementary school teacher voice. I allowed myself a second helping of dessert and made myself tea.
Emma cried herself to sleep tonight. Up till this point in her life we have felt like we could allow her to shriek and get traumatized or we can get her back up and try again twenty minutes or so later. I kept hearing Scott’s voice in my head, ‘Was she showing signs of being tired?’ My response, ‘no, but it’s seven o’clock and we are old enough to have a bed time.’ I put her down, elected to leave the baby monitor off, and went upstairs to get dessert and make tea. I came back down about five minutes later and she had worked herself up into a red-faced, blanket tossed aside, gasping, high-pitched fit. I pulled her out and held her and rocked her for another few minutes, she calmed down, but eyes remained open and occasionally she would let out the occasional high-pitched, ‘ah-eeyow,’ noise. I put her back down in her crib and rushed upstairs to finish making tea and putting dishes away. When I came down seven minutes later she was asleep but making little baby gasping cry noises. I felt like a complete a**hole. I left her room and sat on the couch and allowed a few tears to roll down my face.
Our full situation creeps it’s tendrils of frustration and doubt into my heart. Why are we here? What was that last two years about? Here we are two weeks in Colorado and I still don’t understand why or what just happened. Periodically I get filled with my own doubt, what am I doing? Will my life now be measured in loads of laundry? Without the structure of work to point to proof that I am doing something with myself I flounder to understand what I am doing in this world. Yes, I know I am raising a child. But I also know that I can’t take my whole worth out of another human being.
A few job opportunities have popped up for me, but I don’t know if I want them, for the last year my job just proved as a distraction from what I really wanted to do, which was take care of my baby, write, and make art. My heart feels pulled at the desire to make money and ‘be responsible (a role I have played to the detriments of my own talents), but sling-shots back to my three main desires.
Then there’s the striking reality that raising a baby and getting anything done that requires more than one hand at a time, like typing, is an almost near impossibility.
Argh, what’s a back in the states from two years in Kenya, unemployed, confused, mommy to do?