Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Last Assignment

I have three long-answer questions to finish on the last assignment of my Anatomy / Physiology course. And I'm procrastinating. It's maybe two hours of work and I've been avoiding it for a week and a half, ever since I wrote the final. This whole course represents one of the biggest disappointments of my entire academic career. You'd think I'd want to polish off these last three questions and be done with it, but for some reason I just can't.

I remember when I first opened the textbook, now over a year ago. I was in the last two months of my pregnancy and I remember thinking that maybe I should get cracking on the material, do a little speed learning before the baby came. Then the lazy side of me kicked in. I opted for napping instead of Anatomy. After all, I had my entire mat. leave to worry about Anatomy. I mean, it's not like I had anything else to do. And a kid goes down at, like, 7PM, right? Plenty of time!!

Things I did not consider:
  • c-section recovery
  • postpartum depression
  • the mind-numbing side effects of Effexor
  • breast feeding hell
  • a baby who took a year to learn how to sleep
  • chicken pox, teething, accidental burns, immunization side effects
  • six other rather demanding classes, including clinicals and labs
  • illness, exhaustion, home renovations, dog surgeries, cat injuries, family visits, Christmas, birthdays, house keeping, yard cleaning, the million and one little tasks of daily life and, oh yeah, full-time parenting.

In the end, I simply didn't give this course the attention it required. If I do pass, and I probably won't know for a few more weeks, it'll be by the skin of my teeth. This is not the kind of student I ever wanted to be, but upon reflection it's likely the only kind of student I could be.

UPDATED:

Meanwhile, this is the final question:

7. Describe

a. The factors responsible for promoting lactation

b. The mechanisms for the cessation of lactation when a mother weans her baby.


I think it's fitting, don't you?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vulnerability

We had some friends over today and the kids played in the blow-up kiddie pool that Mac got for his birthday from his aunties. He's decided he loves it. Adores it. He shrieked and hollered and threw himself around like a crazy person. He also attempted to drown himself several times, slipping face-up under the water with a wide-eyed look made up of part shock, part panic and part wonder. Every single time that I snagged him and hauled him up by an arm or a leg, he would emerge dripping and choking, almost puking, but seemingly unaffected and not all that afraid.

Trev and I went to see the movie "Inception" tonight, all about dream states. At certain parts of the movie all I could think about is what would be my own nightmare, a snapshot of Mac slipping under the water, just beyond the reach of my fingers....

The poor kid may never be allowed near water again because of his mother's overactive imagination.

(shiver)

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Marital Conversations

WORKING: (cramming for Anatomy pre-final quiz) You know what section I'm going to skip?
TREV: What?
WORKING: Sexual reproduction. I think we covered it pretty extensively last year. I'll focus on kidney function instead.
TREV: Yeah. (grumbles) Plus, you use your kidneys a lot more. A lot more.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Dear Mac: One Year Old


You are bruised from head to toe. You can't seem to walk for falling. Growth spurt? Although, I tripped and re-broke my baby toe today, dammit. So it's probably genetical.

You are still my 'spirited' child. And by that I mean you throw fits when you don't get exactly what you want. When you're done with something, you throw it. You spend a lot of your day trying to break things. While there was a film crew in our house, we spent the morning at Auntie Sonja and Uncle Giles' and after only an hour you'd almost destroyed the place. While I was cleaning up a collectible they brought all the way back from China, and that you destroyed in two seconds by spiking it like a football, you went after their speakers. When I went to reconnect the speakers, you dialed someone on their phone. When I was scrambling to hang up the phone, you'd locked their TV on some weird display that I couldn't get rid of.

Then we went for a very long walk. Sometimes it helps to strap you down.

But oh, you are adorable. The way you laugh. The way you already make (non-verbal) jokes. The way you still get so excited for nursies and the way you bear-hug the dog. I love hearing the thump-thump-thump of your feet as you follow your dad around the house in the morning, and your exclamations of, 'dih-dih-dih!!!' when you're really on a tear. I like how you enjoy water in all of its forms, even if it's once again forming a sopping river from the dog dish across the kitchen, in which you will inevitably slip before I can get to you.

I am fascinated by your quirks. Like how you didn't cry when you got stung by a bee, but then screamed in total panic when I blew my nose. How you can sleep through a jackhammer and fireworks, but wake up when I so much as step on a squeaky floorboard. How you make a million different combinations of sounds that seem so ripe for language, but then just smile politely while you staunchly refuse to repeat a single word or sign.

I love how your two favourite things are being naked and going outside, and how the combination of both is your idea of sheer bliss. I love how much you adore your cousin and how you stand at the top of the basement stairs yelling for Grandpa. I love how you'd rather do everything yourself. I love how you run when I chase you, lurching and crashing, eyes wide, laughing madly. I love how you belly crawl backwards for a good two feet before you finally hit the stairs to go down. I love how cute you are in your blue summer hat.

In short, I adore you. A year ago I knew I loved you, but it's taken almost the whole year to truly enjoy you, and I'm so glad we get to spend more time together. I'm going to try my damnedest to make it count, even when we have rip-roaring fights. I promise there'll always be cuddles in the end, for as long as you'll let me.

Love,
Mommy


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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Marital Conversations

TREV: Good post.
WORKING: Our life in a nutshell.
TREV: It's a little overwhelming.
WORKING: I figure in 10 years, we'll be able to read that post and remember exactly where we were, what it was like.
TREV: In 10 years I'll be 46. Mac will be 10, doing 10 year-old things.
WORKING: Why do you look so upset? You're probably picturing things all mundane. But you never know. You could finally be living in that bachelor pad in Toronto you've always wanted....
TREV: True.
WORKING: ... seeing Mac twice a year....
TREV: Wait, why do you assume you'd get custody?
WORKING: Why do you assume I wouldn't?
TREV: (points to blog)
WORKING: ...!
TREV: What?
WORKING: You would use my blog against me in a court of law?!
TREV: I could....
WORKING: That's it, I'm taking it down.
TREV: Why, are you planning on divorcing me?
WORKING: No! No. NO. We three, we belong together.
TREV: That's what I think.
WORKING: ...
TREV: ...
WORKING: It's like we're in the shit together.
TREV: No one gets out alive.

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Scrub-a-dub-rip off.

I've been feeling a little pummeled these days. My Anatomy final looms (one week!). Despite studying my arse off, I only managed a mediocre mark on the last midterm and it's taken me awhile to work myself up to being grateful for that mediocre mark. My sister reminds me that her hardest fought marks were her most celebrated. It's not the number, it's the effort. My goal is to pass the course; I'll probably learn so much more and so much better in actual practice (during my continued studies. Don't worry, I'm not hoping I'll 'catch on' as a practicing nurse).

So with this final looming, great time to have a television crew take over our house for two days, right? Right. Someone needs to sit me down and explain to me the implications of the decisions I make before I make them, possibly throw a glass of cold water in my face to drive it home. Because in addition to the looming final, we just poured our basement, we're throwing a "We Survived the First Year / Happy Birthday Mac" party on the weekend, and... what else? I'm forgetting something. Which is probably not good. On top of that important thing I'm forgetting, our dryer's been broken for two weeks.

But never mind; we are committed. So after significant freaking out on my part, I came up with the idea to use some of the fee we'll be getting from the filming to hire cleaners. Kind of like an investment. I pictured a team of pros coming in and showing me how it's done. Mary Poppins with dusters! My house would be sparkly and I would be happy!

If only I didn't have the unfortunate luck to have my call returned by a woman I will hereby call The Evil Witch. The company was from the phone book and looked all legit, but she seemed to be calling from a Phoenix number. We'll call that Clue # 1. I described my house and how I wanted a deep clean in the kitchen and a surface clean on the rest of it. She said no problem, she guessed it should take about four hours at $45/hour. A little steep, I thought, but maybe it's better to pay for pros?

Ha.

Ha, ha.

Ha, ha, $%*@$%#&$ ha.

After two hours, the 'professional' powerhouse team of two twenty-somethings gossiped and chit-chatted their way through two cupboards. TWO. CUPBOARDS. At one point they paused and took, and I do not exaggerate, 20 minutes to up-sell me on getting my carpet steam cleaned. I was actually going to go for it but it took so much bloody time to arrange - "who's going to do it? I can't do it. My baby's at my mother-in-law's. Is she coming? Who's coming? What do they want done? Let me call the boss again. I don't know if she's coming" - that I was ready to say screw the whole thing. And I looked at my kitchen, now two hours in and only a tenth cleaned, and started to panic. "Don't worry," the girl said, "we'll get it all done."

Uh huh. Six woman-hours later, and approximately $300, I had two clean cupboards and some mopped floors. Entire countertops still had a layer of cement dust on them. The upstairs hadn't even been vacuumed. The bathroom floor, which had been mopped, was streaked with debris. In short, they accomplished what I could have in maybe an hour and a half on my own.

But they did have matching t-shirts. Totally pro!

I got them out of my house as quickly as possible. Then I called The Evil Witch. I was shaking and on the verge of tears. She told me the girls had called her to complain that the job was a lot harder because, and I have trouble typing this, my house was so dirty. My. House. Was. Too. Dirty.

1. Trevor and I got up ridiculously early and virtually ignored our son for three hours on a Saturday to tidy the entire house so that there was nothing in their way. All they had to do was wash / vacuum surfaces.
2. We've just gone through a month of home renovation so yes, there was construction dust in the nooks and crannies.
3. I'm a full-time student and mother. I admit, sometimes I don't get to the tops of my cupboards.
4. Wait a sec, I HIRED YOU TO CLEAN. You want I should have my house cleaned before you come to clean?!
5. And finally, fuck you very much.

Anyway, The Evil Witch now refuses to return our calls. I felt so incredibly insulted, so terribly ripped off that I've actually had what I like to call "obsessive insomnia", where I lay awake for the next few nights thinking of things I should have said, could have said, could have done if I could do it over again.

But the upside is that I did get my sparkling clean house, thanks to me, my husband and my sister and a patient little boy who, thank God, enjoys playing with brooms and mops.

The TV crew will be finished by tomorrow afternoon. Our party will be a meaningful celebration for our little family. The dryer will get fixed. Trevor has mornings off next week so I'll have time to study and I will pass this class. So maybe I can start to breathe, again?

Just as soon as I find a daycare for the fall.

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