Hey everyone. I woke up every day this week thinking it was Sunday, so now that I’m actually facing returning to work tomorrow, I finally feel normal*.

*Indication number one that you have no life.

There are three posts I really want to write. Obviously, since this has become my new obsession, they will be on some Single Parent media representations I absorbed myself in this week.

  1. A single mom on an Episode of Intervention (yes, I’ve been staying up late watching Youtube again).
  2. The humorous, only slightly offensive, realistic depiction of single parents in the movie About a Boy (which I finally got around to watching, 6 years later).
  3. The extremely complicated, shocking, emotional and right-on performance of Maggie Gyllenhaal as an estranged single mom in SherryBaby.I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time, but the movie is just so damn important to me that I keep f***ing up every attempt to write it.

I also completed my Admin Assistant test for this new job. Did I mention if I get hired I can take one college class a semester for…..well… If I stayed long enough, I could chisel a Master’s Degree out of thin air.

I don’t wanna blog about Rooferman today. As my friend Elly commented, I should try not to be bitter. Even though it feels so good to be bitter. Its like picking a scab. Its dark, its disgusting, what’s not to like?

During my Junior year of college, I lived with Elly’s ex boyfriend, where Henry Rollins  was the God of his idolatry. I forget the quote exactly, but it went something about locking yourself in your room and being the King of Misery and Depression. When someone asks you to go out, you say “Noo!! I can’t! I’m too busy being the everlasting, Almighty Lord of Darkness!” 

  What about that quote from White Oleander?  Where Single Mom Michelle Pfeiffer says “Love humiliates you. Hatred cradles you.”

Yeah, that’s pretty much as bitter as you can get.

I’ll see you all in December.

Preparing for the worst

Update: My first post at Rocky Mountain Moms blog is up!

I made a pot of coffee in preparation for last night’s bedtime battle. I could see the animistic side of my child getting ready to pounce. I picked her up from her dad’s and her eyes were as wide as saucers. Rooferman put his foot in the door as soon as I knocked, and wouldn’t even let me in. He retrieved LB and handed her off to me on the porch.

I have an opportunity to work a school event this weekend and rack up a little extra cash, but I would have to give up my only full day with Boo Boo. Rooferman growled that he had to work too, so switching our days was out of the question. I wonder if his court date didn’t go so well. Looks like I will be bringing a 2-year-old to work with me on Saturday.

On the way home, LB said from the backseat, “Daddy too busy.”

I chugged my first cup of coffee while reading Curious George. LB proceeded to climb over the headboard of her toddler bed, slide down to the pillows and repeat the process throughout the duration of the story. I reached for my second cup.

After book 3, I said “Ok, time for nite nite.”

Lb said in a choked scream, “DON’T TURN THE LIGHTS OFF!”

I told her it was time for bed, but she didn’t have to lay down. She could play until she was tired, but mommy was leaving the room and closing the door. She protested as I walked towards the door.  I told her I loved her and I would see her in the morning. She screamed “NO!” I closed the door. She started crying. I ran down the stairs, buzzing on caffeine.

Since I was wired, and prepared for the worst, I figured I should busy myself with housework and NOT settle down into relaxing netflix, blogging or book reading. I started the dishes. I banged pots and pans. I emptied the dishwasher and loaded it. I looked at the clock. It was 9:45 pm. LB had not emerged yet, but I knew I wasn’t out of the danger zone yet.

I then made the executive decision to bake banana bread. I don’t bake. I have failed at every high altitude baking project I’ve tried. But by 10:45, LB still hadn’t made an appearance. I had two loaves of Banana bread in the oven, and I’d even showered at that point.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I crept into her room. There she was, sleeping with the blanket pulled around her face, like The Baby Mary. Did she really put herself to bed? I couldn’t believe it. I even stayed up till midnight (aided by the damn coffee I drank), convinced she would wake up go to the darkside.

Hippie Counselor man told me that fear is 90% imagined, based on a single grain of truth. However, once fear is allowed to grow and build on itself, it gets to the point where it consumes and overwhelms you. The more fear controls you and the more your imagination dwells on it, the more likely you are to make a bad decision (or unable to make a decision at all).

 For me, I am faced with a bad situation and I immediately think “This is how the rest of my life is going to be.” I don’t know if its my need to prepare for the worst, so I’m not as blindsided when bad things happen, but I’ve decided that mantra is no longer working for me. I can’t live with that level of defeat, because I’m going to end up seriously depressed, and then I’m going to end up eating my weight in chocolate or snorting pills again.

Yes, this transition has been hard for me and LB, but that doesn’t mean EVERY DAY is going to be hard. Some days are going to be good. Some days she will morph into a howling banshee, and I will stare at walls. But I’m discarding Pluto’s fatalistic “this is just how it is” crap. I spent too many miserable years with Rooferman under that umbrella.

I’m too old to be angst-filled, but too young to be a pessimist.

Hurting the Public

I had absolutely no time to blog yesterday. I didn’t even have time to eat lunch. I lost count of how many angry phone calls I answered. Here’s a recap:

  • One mom told me I obviously didn’t know what I was talking about, and I might as well forward her to someone who “can actually make decisions.”
  • Another mom screamed and threatened and eventually started crying after 15 minutes on the phone with me.
  • A grandma came into my office and asked if there was “anyone here who actually knew what they were doing.”
  • Another mom told me that the way we are running our program this year is wrong, completely unfair to working parents, and she will take this up with the board of education.
  • The most common response was “You’re kidding, right?”
  • The nicer parents were the ones who told me “Well, I know this really isn’t your fault, BUT….”

Due to confidentiality, I’m not going to blog about what program is being met with such resistance. Those of you who live in Durango and have school aged kids, I’m sure you know what program I’m talking about. Ever since my boss was told that changes needed to happen this year, or else the program wouldn’t exist, I have been dreading the beginning of this school year. Why? because I feel for the parents. Hell, I AM one of those parents. I don’t have alternative options, extra resources and a variety of choices.

How do I tell a mom who is crying because they are about to foreclose on her house that, no, I can’t make an exception? I can’t defer her payment until September. How do I tell a mom who is currently going back to school that she needs to pay for services upfront, even though tuition, books, and college supplies have drained her entire bank account for the month of August? How do I tell my single mom neighbor that her three kids are going to be turned away from the program because she hasn’t pre-enrolled them?

I hate my job right now. I hate hurting parents. I hate being the bad guy to people I don’t even know, and who definitely don’t deserve to be screwed over. I can hear people’s voices cracking over the phone. I can hear them trying to keep it together, hoping they can keep themselves under control. I hear that aching silence on the other end of the line after I give them an answer they don’t want to hear.

You can feel the tension everywhere: at the gas station, in the grocery store, at the bank, and by the time moms & dads get to my office, its the last straw. I’m cannon fodder for people feeling the squeeze.

My boss came over to my desk at the end of the day and said “I think you should talk to my husband.” Her hubby is a therapist. She also offered to watch LB so I could take her tickets to the Bar-D Wranglers last night.

Man, I must look pretty busted.

I thanked her and politely declined. I didn’t have the energy to be social, to fake another smile. I just wanted to go home and sink into the couch. I did exactly that, while LB played on the floor with her aquadoodle. As I stared up at my ceiling fan, and felt the heat of my apartment surround my already sweaty body, I wept.

I wept for the mom who is going to lose her house. I wept for my neighbor who was fired from her job yesterday. I wept for LB, who keeps coming into my room at 4 am, shaking with sobs. I wept for the woman thee doors down who was thrown through her bedroom window Tuesday night . And I wept for myself, cause school hasn’t even started yet.