Adopting a three-year-old is not very much like having a baby, except in the level of shock to the system. One does not, for example, have to nurse, or wake up every three hours, or carry the baby around for hours on end in the hope that it will somehow stop crying. But the wow factor–the shock and awe and the what have we done–that’s there, in spades.
Tonight was a wall-punching night for me. I was congratulating myself on a good day; Wyatt and Rory were asleep–and then they weren’t, both at the same time, and I was the only one home. If I comforted one, the other wailed. If I went to the wailer the conforted ceased to be conforted and became the wailer. You can see how neither wailer was likely to go back to sleep under these circumstances. The feeling was Sisyphian, the results never good, and much of the good of the day evaporated for a while. Eventually Rob saved me, and routine was resurrected, and things were ok, but I am still reeling (plus my hand hurts). We are still reeling, all of us, reeling. Our routines are shattered, our expectations nil, our ability to cope limited. Sometimes things are good, sometimes not, and there is a general air of enabling and living with an abuser surrounding us all.
A few friends–those who’ve really seen me in action–have backed off. I suspect my attitude, particularly midday, is poison, that I am like the work colleague who bitches so much that to be around her is to cease to enjoy anything about your own job and to have all of the oxygen gradually sucked out of you. It’s not that I’m that bad with the kids, it’s that I can’t be a good sport about anything. Why is our pool so crappy? Why, on top of being generally crappy and having no little kid friendly facilities, must it also close both bathrooms AND the in-pool-fence entrance to the snack window, forcing one (after one’s eighth trip to the port-a-potty and I am so not exaggerating) to leave the pool and march all the way around it, only to end up pretty much where you started, only on the other side of the fence.
Whine, whine, whine. You can see why no one wants to talk to me…I can see why no one wants to talk to me. I don’t want to talk to me. But I can’t help it. I really can’t. And that’s what’s like having tha first baby about this, it’s so unfair, all of a sudden your friends can do things that you can’t, and you are at someone else’s beck and call, and you can’t think about anything else, or go get a coffee, or just go to the bathroom by yourself and maybe get in a shower. And it makes everything, all of life, feel just so much like it’s all out to get you, because the minute that baby goes down for a nap the Fedex guy shows and the dog goes bonkers.
It’s like that emotionally.
And now, one more whine-fest–next weekend is the barbeque festival. We love the BBQ festival. There is music. There are festive crowds, and most importantly, there is award-winning smoked meat, and lots of it. Also, beer. Mmm, beer.
We always go. We take the kids, and never have as much fun as we thought we might, but we still go.
But in a 2-hour-long span of time today, I took Rory to the port-a-potty at least eight times. I think it was probably more. And the port-a-potties at the BBQ festival have lines. It could very easily be that every time we came out, we would just need to get right back on line.