Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Good Days and Bad Days

In life we all have our good days and our bad days.  We have the days that challenge us, the days of pain, the days of heartbreak and heartache, the days of mourning, of sorrow, of misery.  Then we have the great days, the days that we remember fondly for years, the days that bring us profound joy. Then we have all the days in between: days full of the regular bullshit of life, the little triumphs, the simple pleasures of watching a favorite TV show and the discomforts of a stubbed toe. There was a time in my life when every day felt like a bad day, when the good days were so far and few between that I wondered if there even was such a thing as good days in the first place or whether everyone had simply deluded themselves into thinking that these terrible days were actually good so they could get on with their lives.  Then I realized the difference.  I realized the difference between one person's bad day and the way I experienced a bad day.  I realized the difference when I was no longer clinically depressed.  Which is not to say that I simply stopped having bad days.  Rather it means that the way I interpret those bad days, the way I contextualize them in the broader scope of my life has changed.

So right now I'd like to share with you my day today.  It wasn't a great day.  It wasn't a horrible day, but it wasn't great.  I felt like shit most of it.  But I want to share this day with you, I think it is important to share this day, because while it was fairly shitty it didn't defeat me.  While I didn't feel great, I was able to get what I could out of it.  I think it is important to talk about bad days, to remember bad days without dwelling on bad days, so all that being said here we go...

6:00am - My daughter opens my door and climbs into my bed.  I try to sort of fall back asleep but she just wants to cuddle me.  Last night I came home from work at 8:30pm and only had a little bit of time to basically hug and kiss her goodnight before she went to bed.  I hadn't seen her all weekend since it was her time with her dad.  That's just how it goes.  In the mornings I don't mind if she cuddles me, I like the little bit of time I get to spend with her, even though I am tired and I'd rather get all the sleep I can.

6:20-6:35am - My alarm goes off.  "All that sleep" I was talking about before amounted to a measly 20 minutes that I spent lying in bed trying to pretend like I wasn't still completely exhausted, snuggling the cat, giving my daughter kisses and mentally trying to get myself together for the day.  I get up, shower and get dressed, do my hair and makeup while my daughter snuggles the cat in my bed. I tell her she should go pick out her clothes.  She does not.

6:35am-6:55 - I ask my daughter what she wants for breakfast.  She tells me she wants pancakes, but there just isn't enough time.  I tell her as much.  I ask her if she wants me to make her one of my chicken apple breakfast sausages.  She says no.  I remind her she likes hot dogs and ask her what the different is.  She tells me she doesn't like that there is black on it (any kind of charring she is adamantly opposed to and for this reason will not eat toasted bread even though she likes croutons). I offer her yogurt and cheerios and a cup of juice and she accepts.  I open the fridge and she sees a container of whipped cream.  She asks me to put whipped cream on her Cheerios.  I tell her that that doesn't sound like a very healthy breakfast and say no.  She proceeds to throw herself on the floor crying.  Meanwhile I toast an English muffin, fry a sausage, and and make myself a cup of coffee.  I tell her if she stays on the floor she won't get any breakfast.  She gets off the floor and eats her yogurt and Cheerios.  Dry Cheerios.  Cheerios with milk in them is "gross."  She then proceeds to put the Cheerios in the yogurt because she likes the yogurt crunchy.  I don't even argue anymore.  I eat my breakfast, she eats hers

6:55 - 7:15 - Food eaten, I tell my daughter to get dressed, that we need to get going to school.  I remind her it is St Patricks day and asks her if she wants to wear her ninja turtles shirt.  She says yes.  I locate said shirt and a pair of pants and underwear.  My daughter in the meanwhile has thrown herself on her bed under her covers and tells me she is too tired to go to school.  I tell her we are running late and she better get here right now or else. Except there is no or else.  We have no time for "or else"  We need to get going.  She finally comes over and I give her pants to put on.  She doesn't want to wear those pants.  I tell her to put them on anyway that I'm tired of her nonsense.  She refuses.  I put the pants on her myself and discover they are a bit too small.  I find other pants.  I put her socks on myself because she is not being cooperative and I need to get going.  She keeps telling me again and again that she doesn't want to go to school, that she is too tired, that she wants to stay home, that her best friend doesn't want to play with her anymore, that she misses me, that she just wants to cuddle me, that she's sad.  I brush her hair, or attempt to anyway.  I sit with her for a minute or two trying to get her to stop crying.  I know this cry.  It is overtired cry.  I know she needs more sleep but I can't exactly force her to fall asleep when she is put to bed or make her wake up 20 minutes later. She is often clingy after weekends with her dad.  Eventually she calms down.  I tell her to put on her shoes.  I grab a yogurt and a pack of edemame for a snack at work.  Thankfully, I have a micro meal at work so I don't really need to worry.  

7:15 - 7:25 At this point I know that we are going to be late.  I leave the kitchen ready to go with her lunch box and my lunch and my purse and her homework.  She is hiding inside the blanket box next to the couch and still tells me she is tired.  I make her get her shoes on.  Finally we are leaving the door.  She tells me she is freezing.  I run back to her room and grab a jacket and hand it to her.  She puts it on.  I zip her up when we get to the car as she still can't figure out out to start a zipper.  I put her in her carseat.

7:25-7:35 - we drive to school.  I know I am late already.  There is nothing I can do about it at this point.  We talk about leprechauns in the car.  She tells me leprechauns are pretend and somebody is making a joke.

7:35-7:42 - I try to quickly drop her off but she is unusually clingy.  She doesn't want to leave.  She tells me she just wants to stay home, just wants to be with me.  She says she misses me.  I pry her fingers off my body and close the door.

7:42-8:10 - I drive to work.  I'm tired and I don't feel particularly thrilled about working either.  I listen to my "Happy Place" mix and try to relax.

8:10 - I arrive at work 10 minutes late

8:11-9 - I start setting up for my Parent-Child workshop, moving in the toys and supplies.  I try to save myself a trip by stacking this rolling cart way to high.  I am blissfully lucky it doesn't fall on my face.  I put all the toys where they are supposed to go, put the sign up sheet near the entrance, and the parenting materials and flyers and things in the back.  A library page helps by putting the blocks up.  She always pre makes block houses so the kids can see what they can make with the blocks.  I try to think about how my workshop is going to work today since last week I had a lot more kids than I had parents (one mom has 3 boys, one mom comes with her sister and has 4 with her, but they also have an early interventionist who helps.  Then there is another mom with 3 who just dropped in last week but I said could return.  The rest of the moms/ dad have one kid thankfully).

9-9:20 - I make play dough with flour, salt and oil.  To save time during the workshop, I decide to pre add the food coloring so the page/ helper doesn't have to

9:20-9:35 - I catch up on emails.  My library director and I have been going back and forth because of this performer contract.  She seems to think we need the insurance of the performer before we send the contract.  We have never done this.  We just get the insurance with their signed contract back/ ahead of the event.  Emails, emails... I check the news.

9:35-9:50 - I take my morning break now because if I don't then I won't get one.

9:50-10 - I get my CDs together for the workshop, make sure I know which track I need for the circle time

10am - My workshop is supposed to start but nobody is here.  Last week I had like 26 people and they register for all 5 weeks so I don't know what the deal is. 

10:10 - 2 parents finally decide to come.  I end up opening up the workshop space for them because I might as well.  A rep from an early intervention company is there as my presenter.  I know he goes on for the whole time.  I don't want him to start too late but I want to wait for some people to arrive.

10:15-10:55 - The one mom with the 4 kids finally comes.  I tell the presenter he might as well start.  All the parents elect for him to present in Spanish.  I have heard the whole thing before numerous times and I know just enough to get the idea when he is talking.  I end up playing with this little girl whose dad is trying to listen to info about brain development and synapses.  I help her up the play stairs, I play blocks with her.  She is just under 2.  The workshop is designed for 1, 2, and 3 year olds.  I never got to take my own daughter to the workshop because of scheduling.  I couldn't see how I could have made it work taking her to work while I tried to set up with her running around and then me trying to give her attention while playing with other kids.  It just never happened.  I play with the almost 2 year old and think about my daughter crying and saying she missed and wanted me.  I step away to use the restroom and find myself a little teary.  Another mom shows up.  Kids play.  I help them with the play dough.  I keep having to add more and more flour as it keeps getting sticky. 

10:55-11:15 - We pick up the toys from the floor and then gather in a circle for story/ circle time.  We sing Head Shoulders Knees and Toes in English and Spanish and the Spanish song "Juanito" which is also about the parts of the body - these are the only two Spanish songs I know.  I read "Perros, Perros Dogs, Dogs" which is one of a handful of bilingual books I feel comfortable reading.  The kids like it.  Everybody is happy.  I have a few random adults stop and watch me and tell me I do good a good job with the kids.

11:15-11:45 - I put the toys properly away, back on the truck, back in the storage closet.  I help move the tables and chairs from the area that always have to be moved back and forth to make a big empty space for the workshop in the first place.  I wash the mixing bowls for the play dough and clean the cookie cutters and trays the kids used. 

11:45-12:15pm - I work on storytime stuff, finish up on emails, talk to my coworkers about the ridiculous report that will be presented to council that evening about how horrifically our HR department and our city in general has been mismanaged over the past few years.  It comes as no surprise.  Everybody is miserable and the whole city is a corrupt, poorly run, backward government.

12:15pm-12:45pm - I eat lunch.  I had gotten a message from my lawyer about divorce stuff.  I call him back and leave him a message.

12:45pm-2pm - I drive to a local elementary school.  The preschool on site scheduled me to come out for a storytime after they visited the library the other week.  I go to the front office and they say that I should just walk around the other side to check in with the preschool.  I walk around the parking lot trying to find how to get in, but I don't see it.  I notice my feet are hurting: apparently my heel insole thing is falling off and my heel is all scraped.  I walk back to the office, half limping, and they say that I need to walk ALL the way to the street to the other side to get to the preschool entrance.  I do that and the gate is locked.  I hail the guy trimming the hedges.  He lets me in the gate.  I do a very nice colored themed story time for the preschoolers.  We sing a St Patricks song and my favorite color train song. Their classroom is really gorgeous and well organized.  It is nicer than my daughter's classroom.  That makes me think of my daughter.  I realize I am doing a storytime for 4 year olds and not my own 4 year old who is listening to somebody else tell her stories.  I shrug it off in the car on the way back from the school.  I drive to Ralphs and pick up Big Hero 6 and some chips for my movie screening tomorrow, I drive back to the library

2-3 - I work on storytime plans for the next week, I try to figure out this nonsense with the contracts and insurance, I admittedly dick around a little. I hear back from my lawyers assistant who tells me that she wanted to follow up on the thing she emailed me back in February.  I don't remember receiving anything.  I check my emails.  There is nothing from her.  She tells me she will email it to me again.

3-4:15 - I work at the reference desk.  It comes in ebbs and flows.  I work a little on my American Sign Language course while at the desk. I really like the class a lot.  I respond to the questions about this panel discussion on audism and bias toward deaf people.  I read an article about cochlear implants.  I help some kids find some books, I help some lady print, I help some guy find a book on World War I, I put holds on mystery books for an old lady, I put a hold on 50 shades of Gray for a 17 year old and inwardly wish I didn't have to.

4:15-4:30 - I take my afternoon break.  I realize that I ate my afternoon snack for my morning snack because the yogurt tasted gross.  Thankfully somebody brought mint Oreos for St Patricks day.  I am no longer hungry

4:30-5:25 - This grumpy old man who frequently comes into the library grumps to me some more about how kids are loud and everybody speaks Spanish and why hasn't his book come, and how come the computers are so slow.  He comes back and forth to my desk 3 times within this hour period.  Meanwhile I try to help an adorable little girl find a Frozen book and a book on ballet, a women locate a book about aircraft carriers, tell a mom that no she can't access Google classroom on our shitty old computers because we are running a version of IE that isn't compatible and no, there isn't anything I can do about it and yes it is bullshit and sorry and yeah this city isn't managed very well is it, and hey you might want to check out the city council meeting tonight to find out just how really shitty it is.  I hastily answer a few more questions before locking the computer because if i don't leave the library building exactly at 5:30 I will not be at school before it closes

5:30-5:52 - I drive to my daughter's school.  I decide to listen to Flogging Molly in the car because it is St Patrick's Day

5:55-6:06 - I drive my daughter home.  I had been thinking about going grocery shopping but decide against it.  I am just too tired and looking at her I know she needs a bath and there is no way we can do both.  She tells me leprechauns came to her school and made footprints.  These are real leprechauns now

6:06-6:30 - I make mac and cheese for dinner because I am lazy, I help my daughter with the homework that she didn't finish at her dad's house because she hid her homework packet in the recycling bin "accidentally."  I inwardly debate the merits of homework for a 4 year old in the first place, but decide that it doesn't hurt for her to at least try it, even though I am basically doing some of it for her because she can't write her numbers or lower case letters without tracing them.  She tells me she is too tired to write.  I don't argue with her.

6:30-7:20 - We eat dinner on the couch watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Jake goes to London to meet Wendy.  10/10 better story than the actual Peter Pan because it is free from sexism and racist Indian crap.  I internally judge myself for letting my daughter eat mac and cheese on the couch, but I like being able to cuddle with her while we watch and she has been talking about this stupid special Jake episode forever. I know that I shouldn't have rewarded her for acting up this morning, but by this time, I just want quiet time with the two of us and she has been running around the playground and not even in the mood to play.  Even if we didn't watch TV she would just color pictures by herself probably.  At least I get to spend time with her.

7:20-7:45 - I give my daughter a bath.  She actually lets me rinse her hair, a little miracle.  We squirt each other with water toys and act silly. 

7:45-8:15 - I dry her off, put a new bandaid on the owie she got the other day, put some lotion on her bug bites, blow dry her hair.  She picks out jammies and puts them on, brushes her teeth.  We read a passover book before bedtime.  I open up this new glowing ninja turtle light that I hope will help her not be so scared of the dark.  I kiss her good night

8:15-9:50 - I write this stupid thing

10-11 - I watch last night's Better Call Saul, probably.


So there you have it.  A day in the life.  No photos, nothing flashy.  I wanted to actually get this up in the day it was written so here you go.  I didn't even edit it. Enjoy.  Or not.