On Productivity with Nursing Toddlers
I just watched Mia drive off to go camping with a friend. They’re meeting up with other friends of mine, going to a drive-in, and heading to some hot springs tomorrow. I didn’t go for several reasons:
- It’s like 100 degrees outside and I’m from Alaska.
- Coraline being outside means I watch her constantly because she likes to eat rocks and whatever else she can find that’s just the right size to induce choking.
- I need to work. (I know, I know.)
- The shelter dog that is a tad more work than the baby would hate it.
- I haven’t slept well in a few nights, so why pay for or do any of these things when I will most-likely just want to sleep or will sleep and then who wants to sleep anywhere but their bed?
But now I’m sitting here, typing this out one-handed because Cora’s doing that nursing thing where she’s almost asleep but if I move she’ll be wide awake with the renewed energy of a thousand naps. I tend to sit at my desk a lot, trying to write out things, read things, look for places who might want to pay me for written things, and learning on how to cope with this freelancing career I’ve chosen to entangle myself in.
Sometimes I end up on Craigslist.
I’m not sure why I’m addicted to looking through the pet section. I think it’s the drama. I find it fascinating how worked up people get over someone trying to find a new home for their pet when they are obviously sad because they can’t care for them properly. Or god forbid you breed your purebred dog purposefully and disguise selling it with asking for a rehoming fee. You will get called out on that shit.
I wish for honesty in Craigslist ads. Don’t say, “Sometimes she maybe kills chickens.” Say “This dog has a lust for feathered friends’ blood like none other. She’d kill the first robin of the spring.”
Then, you find ones that are too honest, like the mother who got rid of all of her son’s belongings just days after he’d died of SIDS. Every post was more heartbreaking. She even listed those toddler teething crackers, mentioning she’d just bought them and he’d never be able to use them.
I’ve spent the whole summer, the whole last year, doing this.
I make a list of excuses or I guess reasons for why I don’t want to go out. Then I sit at home, nursing Coraline in the hopes that she’ll nap long enough for me to get some solid work done.
I forgot how hard it is, this toddler stage. Coraline’s already wearing 18mo clothes and she can swipe things off my desk with ease. She doesn’t have any solid words in her vocabulary yet, but whenever I chase after her saying, “No, nononoNONO” she smiles, and starts wagging her head from side to side, still moving to throw the remote in the toilet.
She has learned to wave, though, and it’s damn adorable.
I feel myself swinging on this pendulum of depression. Not in a serious, clinical way. There are so many times that you think of how great it would be to go sit at a river and go swimming before reminding yourself that I’d have to bring someone else, and the dog, and if I did go in the water Coraline would start screaming because I’d gone outside her radius, probably choking on a river rock. So what’s the use? I’ve found over the years that it’s worse to plan for a fun, relaxing time and not get it. I’ve learned kids will fuck up any plans you make most of the time.
Last summer I kept telling myself that this summer would be epic. I’m doing that now for next summer. We’ll get out, we’ll go camping, we’ll do hikes where the dog can run off-leash, and, you know, all the stuff I wanted to do this summer.
The girls’ ages have a good contrast to them. I look at Coraline, eating stale Cheerios off the floor, then see Mia packing herself a lunch, getting dressed, and really looking more put together than I ever am, and I can see that this is so temporary. When Mia was little, I had no idea it’d ever get better. Every day was a hopeless situation I’d gotten myself into.
Mia’s going through a phase where she’s not arguing with me constantly and I only make it to the number two when I count to three. It’s weird. I know next week might be different, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.
My life is kind of like that right now. I’ve been working for a year to build a platform and get a freelancing career going and it’s dare I say kind of taking off right now. Not so much that I trust it, but the writing comes easily when you’re doing it a lot and sometimes you start typing and everything just makes sense and sounds beautiful and people like reading it so much that you think it’ll last forever.
Well, that and the irony.