It was really only three minutes until the alarm was going to go off anyway, and I had to pee. They weren’t going to be good for sleeping with my bladder that full, so I figured I may as well get out of bed. Due to a perpendicular kid’s feet poking into my very gizzard, I was precariously perched on the edge. I swung my leg over to roll onto my feet. Just didn’t realize how close I was to the edge as the synergy of my voluminous butt meeting gravity pulled my carcass off the bed in a most unseemly manner. I threw out my right to the bed stand to catch myself. I threw my right leg out to brace against the wall.
That would have been a TREMENDOUS plan if the portable heater with the metal screen hadn’t been in the way, snagging my Morton’s toe in a death grip.
I limp-stumbled into the bathroom in the dark because only sissies need light to pee, and I was preoccupied with muttering profanity. From the unsuccessful sound of the flush, I could tell that something was wrong with the toilet. I flipped on the light and looked to see that whoever had diarrhea in the middle of the night had used a lot of toilet paper and had also not flushed. “Oh please, shit water, don’t breach the perimeter. Oh, gawd, please have a plunger in the garage, please have a plunger in the garage.”
(Nevermind one of my kids has diarrhea.)
The garage is not my favorite place since the rats have taken up residence and begun a comprehensive and systematic campaign against my pulses and staples. Their inherent stealth scares me, their turds remind me of existential failure to control the wilderness of life, and there is only so much sweeping of dried rodent feces one can do before the constraints of denial begin to crumble. But the threatening foam of shit-water and three-full-bladders about the awaken required the tactical flashlight and me to do recon. No damn plunger.
Sons just peed in the shower. Again. We got daughter to school early so she could go potty before classes.
I sat on the edge of my bed nursing my daft toe and sucking up to the wall heater when the girl child came in looking forlorn from a bad dream. She is in sixth grade and starting to wake up to stuff we’d both rather she didn’t have to. The weekend before, she’d been at her dad’s and called me crying. She wanted me to pick her up, but I wasn’t in town. My sister and niece picked her up and got her away from all of the “boy juice” that was bugging her. Further debriefing revealed that she is starting to feel the ickiness of being a second class citizen because of her girlness in a house-full of boys with a … well, we’ll leave the ex-bashing for another day. He has some great strengths as a dad, but navigating the emotional needs of women and pending women is not one of them.
She is realizing this, and it breaks my mommy heart. If I had chosen differently, I wouldn’t have a broken family, a mistrust of men that makes me guard with tines and vitriol, girl children looking for worth, and boy children I am trying to squelch paternalistic privilege out of. But man, these are cool kids, and they wouldn’t be who they are without him as their dad. Dose of mom guilt, check.
That I told her I was gripping about having to get my IUD taken out because I’ve been bleeding since months ago, probably didn’t help.
“Why do you tell me that stuff?” she asked.
“Because I am nervous, and I feel alone,” said the best mom ever. “Being a woman is glorious.”
Morning routine pretty normal, near vomiting from anxiety on her way to middle school. She hates using the school’s bathrooms because “They’re disgusting!” Bought a plunger with the boys before dropping them off, and immediately burst into tears on the way to the doctor’s office to get the bloodiest IUD ever seen removed from my baby basket. [The only reason I didn’t take a picture is because I didn’t think of it. You are welcome. (If you want some gross pictures – more gross than the featured toe above – click here.)]
“This seems like an awkward social moment,” I said to the doctor as he stuck his torso into my vagina to do a pelvic exam. He and the nurse laughed, presumably at my ice breaker, so at least the audience was friendly.
“I’m used to it,” he responded.
Bully for your team!
I didn’t cry quite so much on the way home. And why would I? I left there with Rx’s for valium and vicodin and a four-step plan to circumvent a bazillion year old evolutionary plot to reproduce – nature’s way of taming the divine feminine energy using sleep deprivation and interminable laundry. So imagine my surprise when, while bent over the toilet sucking the now largely encrusted ick back up so that it would flush, I discerned the rapid and smooth scamper of a lush dark brown pelt somewhere to my left.
ONLY because of Ratatouille did I not have heart attack. I transported to the door by the garage to see if it was open (none of the doors in my house open or close with particular ease.) It was just a bit open, like enough for a smallish brown and well-fed rodent to scootch in. We danced a bit, the luxuriant rat, nourished by red lentils and TVP, and I – through the bathroom, the laundry room, around the perimeter of my kitchen, until he threw himself at the door which (he thinks) should have been opened and, in a feat that ordinarily requires opposable thumbs, probably had been by him. He ran behind the stove. I opened the door. Out he ran. Bastard. Fucker.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. I dragged my tired-ass, emotional self out of the house to watch my niece’s high school orchestra concert. It was a good move as my daughter is in band and has been squawking about wanting to quit. It was an evangelistic event for her for which I am grateful. Did you know that kids who learn instrumental music for the four years of high school are 75% more likely than their non-instrumental peers to get bachelor’s degrees; 58% more likely to get master’s; and 32% more likely to get doctorate’s?
Here’s the takeaway.
I have toes, a bed, a garage, money for a plunger, food to feed rodents, a car to drive to the doctor, medical care (for now), kids, healthy kids, healthy kids who are processing life and doing a pretty good job of it, a plan to make it so I can have sex without having more kids, sisters, a niece, a niece to be able to show support for, a niece who loves music and rescues my daughter when she is sad and who is a good example, older daughters who are also processing through stuff and able to help the younger kids which in turn helps them, gas to drive to a concert, and a great bed to come home to.
I want to live a life of abundance. This requires re-writing stories and remaining present, neither of which are sissy-friendly or one-time activities. If we lived in vacuums or at yoga retreats, progress might be faster, but sometimes it’s just one broken toe at a time.