Posts Tagged ‘camp’

An old friend, my old life, knocks at the door.

April 1, 2013

Got a very unexpected email a few weeks back, asking if TMD, myself, or both of us would like to direct the camp we used to run. Just for this summer. With an old friend.

I’m getting to the point in my parenting journey I’ve heard so much about – the mythical, magical three year point when a set of twins is somewhat easier than a singleton would be. My kids are absolute best friends and play together all the time. They often get absorbed in their own world and don’t need me as much (unless, of course, I should decide to sit down and relax). This leaves me with more time.

More time to feel the exhaustion of the past 3.5 years. More time to realise there may be space for me to return more, the Existere I was before children. There may be room for me to have some reemerging selfhood right alongside my role as a mother and home educator. Or at least there will be room in theory, if I ever push past my inertia. As soon as I get two seconds, or two hours, free, all I want to do is lie in bed and watch The People’s Court, you know?

I’ve thought on and off about the offer to return to camp. If we were living in Country A, I have no doubt we would be camping professionals. It is what life was before we moved, an encompassing lifestyle, a fun lifestyle, a demanding lifestyle.

I don’t think there is any way to make our current life and family compatible with the intensity of summer camp again (laugh if you will, but at any level of working at camp, from counsellor through to director, it requires 24 hours of your time, every day). Can I go on my own with the children? No, not if I want to actually accomplish anything. Maybe as staff director I could hack it, but then the kids are away from TMD all summer.

Could we afford for TMD to take a three month sabbatical? No. Even with her paltry salary, it’s still more than camp would pay. Especially with the exchange rate. And not to mention there’s no way TMD would get a visa at this point.

So I will stay here this summer. But if my friend does go back to camp, I will imagine a life where we go to visit her, where things smell like campfire smoke and green, where children are living and laughing and discovering themselves, where sleeping outside for months at a time only makes you want to sleep outside forever.

Camp.

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No lie.

January 28, 2012

Fuck. Just had two valuations of our flat, and I suspect we’re going to book a third for early next week because I have an inability to pick between the first two estate agents. I sometimes feel like I was more of a grown up when I was nineteen.

I’d just moved into my first flat, with my ever glowing sister of the soul, Cookie. And by twenty? I was in my fourth and final year of university, living in the same flat but with two gay boys and a sometimes girlfriend. And a sometimes TMD. I was the fucking boss of that place, man. Never mind that both boys split the rent – it was MY apartment. It’s just how it was.

And while I never ever cleaned, I was in charge of bills. I was a grown up.

At twenty-two or twenty-three, I was the director of a large summer camp. Yeah. The lives of 60 staff and 2,000 campers were in my hands, and I never blinked. That shit was like breathing. Easy peasy.

So here I am, some ten years later, and I’m probably not going to be able to sleep as my brain explodes from worry. We’d be better off financially if we’d never bought this place and just rented for the last four years. Yes, renting is throwing away money. But you know what else is throwing away money? Buying a flat when you’re going to be there for a short period, especially when it’s worth less than it was when you bought it. All the solicitors fees, estate agent fees, decline in housing market – ah, yes, it’s the wonder world of hindsight.

Except I love this flat. Really, really love it.

Now if only I could grow some courage and manage to figure out how to choose which estate agent to go with.

On a related (?) note, I am striving for the life I/we want. I’ve entered a ‘I just don’t give a shit’ phase of my life that allows me to donate clothes that I have been holding onto for memory’s sake for about fifteen years. Including my first peach coloured negligee. Yes, I just don’t give a shit.

I do give a shit in the worry stakes – is it the right thing to move? Are we going to lose all our money? How can we possibly afford this mortgage once we have moved?

In the big picture, though, Snort discovered Mr Potato Head tonight and thinks it’s the greatest thing ever. And we took the kids into the city today, and Coconut danced to live classical music. So on the family front, things are good, gooder, goodest. I have to remember that, even as we try and try to be grown up enough to handle negotiating fees, dealing with keeping the place clean(ha!) all the time for viewings, and getting rid of even more stuff we don’t need.

Weird how I long for those days when I was dealing with a camp van being stolen, the office being broken into, a camper being abducted and taken into a neighboring country. It all seemed much easier.

Lovely jubbly.

July 12, 2011

I want to move into a yurt. They had one at the music festival and Coconut and Snort loved it, too. TMD and I could totally do it.

What say you? Shall we find a special little glen with sunshine, trees, and a babbling creek?

I didn’t lose my weight by shitting it out, unlike other members of my household.

November 21, 2010

Soooo….Like I said, Snort has stopped erupting from every orifice. The fun news? Coconut has now taken his place.

She’s got the shits. The runs. As a group of my friends once said, ‘The ree.’ And when we were in public and wanted to talk secretly about the ree, ‘525.’

Yeah, she’s got the 525. Let’s all seriously hope this all stays confined to the below the belt region and puke never enters the equation.

In other news, I’ve switched back to Weight Watchers this week. Not attending meetings, which is a shame as that’s the best for me, but still. Weight Watchers seems healthier to me than straight up calorie counting, because WW takes into consideration which foods are healthy and which are not. When I did it last time I learned a lot about nutrition and healthy choices.

So I’ve lost some weight this week, taking me to an even 30 pounds. My goal for weight lost by Christmas was 7-8 pounds, and I think this is pound number 8 since that challenge started. Now to see if I can lose, let’s say, another two pounds. That’d be nice.

If Hell Had a Showerhouse, part 3

May 17, 2010

I think the thing that makes me giggle about this story is that OGS (the author) makes a pretty big fucking mountain out of a molehill. Because if I wrote the story? Well, number one, the title would be explained. And I’d also tell you what it was like in that living nightmare. But, bless OGS, and read parts one and two before reading this.

Next I may post his only other three parter, about us coming out as queer to our families. You wanna read that?
———–

My mother used to entrust me with the care and protection of my younger siblings on a daily basis. She’d pull me aside quickly with the arm that wasn’t carrying her purse and a grocery list, or hover above me as I lounged in front of the television set and she’d say with matriarchal conviction, “You’re responsible for your sisters, okay?” I almost never acknowledged her with more than a dull nod or a quick “uh huh,” the sound of my voice muted by a cheese ball or chocolate bar I’d just popped into my mouth. Disasters would ensue, due to a lack of attention on my part (sometimes as a result of my interference), and mother would return home to a six-year-old crouched in the kitchen sink and bleeding from the knees. While consoling the victim, she would turn to shine her disappointment on me with raised eyebrows while chewing on the corner of her mouth.

The first day of Staff Training at the start of the summer I was to be a counselor at a Girl Scout camp, Chirp, our feared leader, was already chewing on the corner of her mouth, shifting back and forth on the balls of her feet and eyeing us with matriarchal suspicion. “Welcome to Camp ” she said a little too brightly, just before her expression sharpened as she attempted to impress upon us with a tidy speech the nature of our new responsibility, which was the very lives and futures of hundreds of children. We could have been eating cheese balls if we weren’t so busy picking parking-lot gravel out of our brand new sneakers or re-securing brightly colored bandanas to the tops of our heads.

Responsibility always has a price, but sometimes you don’t know the exact amount until that day when that bill arrives.

And sometimes you don’t know exactly how much you have in the bank until the day you go to make that withdrawal.

As I ran once again through the muddy torrent, the heavy radio, which was tied to my waist and which slapped against my bare leg came alive with Existere’s voice. She was alerting other groups to the fact that we were “trying to verify the location of one of the campers” and I could hear the simultaneous screaming, crying, and singing of inside the shower house in the background. I imagined her smiling confidently on the deck of the Titanic instructing the second-class passengers locked behind an iron gate to please wait calmly as dozens of first-class ticket holders and their wives with barely intact pearl necklaces crossed their hearts and dove screaming into the icy water of the Atlantic.

Her radio search was coming up empty, and I was coming upon one of two lodges I would search before returning to the shower house, where we would officially sit and wait until the storm calmed enough to initiate the Lost Camper Drill.

Early in that very first week of training we went over The Drill. Once it was verified that someone was missing, cars and golf-carts blasting horns would circle camp, which would signal everyone to get off the horse or put on a towel and head directly to the parking lot. There, head counts would verify once again that a camper was missing before the majority of staff would start a search party. Campers would be instructed upon their arrival that if they were to get lost, they should simply stop moving and wait. It was easier for the group to find a lost camper if they weren’t moving, we’d say.

I wondered about the missing girl as I ran to my second search site. If she were out there somewhere, dodging falling tree-limbs and lightning bolts, would she remember our instruction? Would she stop moving regardless of apparent vulnerability? Was she now trapped under a log or choking on mud because we forgot to say “unless you get lost during the worst storm of the summer, in which case you should run like hell until you find shelter?”

I whispered “Oh, God” to myself quietly after the second group of counselors helped me confirm the missing girl was not with them, and I started back for the pool area. The storm was still raging when I found Existere and told her the news, hoping I wasn’t already crying, hoping that if I were, the rain that was running over my eyes would hide it. And then it occurred to her like an anecdote might occur to someone in the middle of a conversation. “Someone checked the laundry room, right?”

Attached to the shower house, the laundry room housed the washer and dryer and a counter big enough to fold a wash cloth, and was accessible by a door on the back of the building. Inside the laundry room I found a calm party of four campers, clapping each other’s hands and singing about Miss Suzy, as though the world wasn’t crashing down all around them.

I barged in and asked loudly their names, my heart pounding hopefully. The youngest one of them, with a squeaky voice and blonde curls giggled as she introduced herself.

I’d say that I’ll always remember that name, the girl I needed so desperately to find, if only I hadn’t forgotten it long ago. I do remember wanting to run up to her and pull her into my arms like Sally Field in the heroically acted film, “Not Without My Daughter.”

“You’re all wet,” she said, and pushed past me out into the open air, into sunshine and chirping birds. The storm had ended, even more quickly than it began, and the shower house began discharging streams of disoriented, ruddy-faced girls.

An hour later we were handing children back to their parents who asked innocent questions and marveled out loud how talented their children were for being able to string beads on a wire all by themselves or for not crying the whole time. And they thanked us and shook our clammy hands before packing into minivans and leaving us there in the humid August afternoon, in the relief of exhalation.

For the counselors and support staff, composing ourselves after close brushes with death and dismemberment had become easy, and just like the surviving characters in the Final Destination movies, we laughed nervously and walked away from it all occasionally stealing brave glances at the sky from where it seemed maybe God was watching, testing our constitution with these life-tests, throwing them out playfully like Frisbees for us to catch in our teeth. Or maybe it was a more malevolent force that was trying our resolve, or actually trying to run us off the tracks. Maybe if Hell had a shower house we knew exactly what it would be like because the Devil himself had put his hand into the clouds that day and damned us all.

Only we hadn’t been damned at all. We had been successful again, only this time in the path of a slightly bigger hurdle than usual. It was an uncomfortable experience, just like so many mornings that summer when it seemed none of us wanted to get up and face it, this job that was either going to swallow us or spit us out. And looking back, I loved (almost) every minute of  it.

If Hell Had a Showerhouse, part 2.

May 16, 2010

Here is part 2 of the infamous showerhouse story, written by Opposite Gender Soulmate in 2003. This particular storm happened a few years before he wrote this story, so clearly the expderience has been burned into his mind. Please read part one first!

And just so you know, his views on always being alert for the death of a camper? Yeah, he’s fucked up. Of COURSE safety was our priority, but not in this manic, compulsive sort of way he describes. Really…

—————–

I can’t remember being scared of the dark before I went to camp—not really. My mother could probably cite pre-adolescent instances: when I obnoxiously demanded the lights in my room remain on all night long, or when I refused to open the backseat car door after sunset because someone (a killer) could easily be crouched, beyond my perception, behind the driver’s seat. Withstanding, I’ve never been as scared of the dark as I have been at camp.

Early memories of fright pale when I conjure the entire summer of nights I spent walking alone through the lonely woods—through blackout—to my cot, which was distanced enough to keep both campers and female staff members safely out of my masculine, assumedly pedophiliac reach. It is my gender that has betrayed me, I’d think after breaking into a sprint along timeworn trails, having all the grace of a maimed water buffalo. “No,” I’d mutter to myself, panting through a cold sweat, deftly dodging roots and stones while dozens of imaginary attackers fell in my wake. “This organization is sexist. Damned Girl Scouts.”

As I approached the forbidden shower house that Friday afternoon, my awareness smothered by the falling water and the sounds of terrific confusion coming from within the small building, the sky was inked over with a barely luminous green that reminded me of photographs I’d seen of hurricanes, or a movie about an alien invasion. It was 2 pm, but the storm blocked out most of the sun. As I noticed the dark impressions of giant trees bending themselves dangerously above the shower house, which was topped by a molded Plexiglas skylight, I wanted to go home.

Moments like this remind camp counselors how fragile the situation has always been. In fact, midway through the summer, half of our job had become only to perpetuate the illusion of security. You’ll notice, if you check your camp literature, that it was never guaranteed your child would emerge without shards of skylight embedded in her skull. You drove up, saw the warm smiles on our faces, and totally forgot the fine print as you signed the two page medical release. Now it’s Friday, you’re driving three hours to pick up your daughter from her week at summer camp. You notice it’s a little windy and there is some cloud cover. You have no idea that at that very moment, your little girl is choking back tears, wet and shivering in the cute two-piece peach and chartreuse bikini you purchased at Wal-Mart one week earlier as she follows the lead of a manic 19-year-old with Baby-Jane mascara running down her cheeks and sings the chorus of “Thunderation” at the top of her lungs for the eighteenth time, all the while reluctantly wedged between two girls she’s never met and trying to ignore the sour smell of urine and adolescent sweat which is getting stronger and stronger by the minute.

I was standing outside watching the storm, no longer concerned with my own dryness, as a smaller-than-average girl emerged trembling from the shower house in khaki shorts and a blue one-piece. She spotted me and ran over barefoot, blinking through raindrops that pelted her face. I pulled myself together and summoned an authoritative baritone, which had become a useful gift for commanding attention among a camp staff that was otherwise made up of young women.

“Please, back into the shower house. It’s no fun out here in the rain,” I said trying to smile and holding my palms out to create an imaginary boundary no camper would dare cross. A blue-white jag of lighting struck almost immediately above me illuminating her face in three flashes. Her wet brown hair was stuck to the sides of a crumpled expression I can officially describe as acute distress.

“Where is my sister?!” She demanded. “She’s not in there. I mean, she’s not with her group. Shouldn’t she be with her group?” Her sentences were perfectly articulated but came out franticly on top of one another.

“Let’s go look again,” I said, holding one of my do-not-cross hands above her head without touching her. It was almost always enough and they usually responded as though I was touching them, guiding them with actual force. If her sister was missing, this day was about to get a hundred times worse.

Earlier that day, I sat on the edge of the pool scanning the water for drowning victims and enjoying light conversation with Goldie, a counselor imported from another country. “What do you think would happen if a camper did drown?” She asked me. It was always on our mind, the potential funerals we would attend en masse, crowded around a miniature casket wearing our camp staff sweatshirts and singing a slower, minor-key version of the camp theme song that opened every week of camp. We’d sing the line “whether your stay be long or short” and brave tears would stream silently down our faces.

“I don’t know. “ I said blankly. “I guess they’d close the camp. It would be really, really sad.”

When the rain had started, about thirty minutes into pool-time, the water was teeming with frail limbs and oily hair. When the first lighting struck, we pulled them out of the water, one group after another. Five minutes later, the storm was on us, and campers were ordered into the showerhouse because there was no place else to go.

The little girl walked through the mud in front of me spraying bits of dirt up on my legs. I could sense her anxiety over the missing sister and it began to fuel my own. When I got to the shower house entrance, Existere was standing there, half of her body under the shelter, and half of it out in the blowing rain. Her face was half smiling at me with the familiarity that was my greatest comfort that summer, and half trembling with expectation that the world would end at any minute. She was half singing “The Littlest Worm” and half spitting water away from her face. I knelt down and asked my charge her sister’s name.

In three minutes we had confirmed the girl was not in the shower house, that she should have been in the shower house. A kind of intense calm washed over Existere’s face and she put her hands on my shoulders again.

“Take my radio. Find her.”

To be continued…

If Hell Had a Showerhouse, Part 1.

May 15, 2010

People wonder how I do so well with twins. I’m like, twins ain’t nothin’. No, I’ve been responsible for the actual lives of up to 250 five to seventeen year olds at the same time, not to mention the lives of the sometimes dumbass staff at Girl Scout Camp. TWINS? Two kids? Fuuuuuck. You have no idea.

So for your pleasure, here is part one of a real life story written in 2003, by my friend Opposite Gender Soulmate. It is about the summer he worked at camp with me, when my job was the imposing title Staff Director. Him? He was simply The Boy Counsellor.

————————

I can immediately remember the slurping sound my sneakers made as I ran through patches of mud, like a toilet plunger into peanut butter, and I can also remember the strain on my hamstrings as I did this, trying not to stumble in panic at the near-miss sound of trees falling against each other and into the soggy ground all around me, which was glittering with the pounding rain.

Much earlier that day we’d predicted this, the worst storm of the summer, which had rolled in from the west and then hung there, formidable in the distance, backed-up against a sky of clear blue and white sunlight, angrily building it’s strength through the morning hours. We’d spent the after-lunch hour singing songs and leading single-file lines of little girls into the shower house where they would emerge transformed into miniature spandex superheroes, bounding in energy and the occasional pink ruffle. They scampered in twos and threes, out into the pool area, which was fenced in and regulated like a prison yard. It was Friday, the last day of camp for most of them, and in small groups they moved unpredictably in and out of order through the Friday pool-party ritual, testing the dozens of procedures that made up our system, which was designed to prevent the kind of unimaginable tragedy it was our job to imagine.

Oh yeah, not to put a mute in the brassy morning bugle that rouses your rosy-cheeked children from their cabins in your blissfully ignorant summer-camp fantasies, but camp is all about your children almost dying. The rosy-cheeked teenagers who are paid sweatshop wages to keep your children alive know this; they spend the summer sleep-deprived and with high blood pressure, motivated through each day by the threat of catastrophe. Luckily, they’ve probably been trained extensively in the basic skills of first-aid and survival; they know what steps to take if your daughter gets a sinus headache, turns up missing, or is struck by lightning.

I’d spent the day supervising the goings and comings of several groups, darting from one end of the camp to another in a sluggish golf-cart that left in its wake a trail of gasoline fumes. The only male counselor at a Girl Scout summer camp, I was the Sports and Activities Director most days, but was utilized in an administrative capacity on Fridays due to a shortage in staff and the fact that I was not allowed inside the shower house. I carried a bulky, black walkie-talkie strapped to my waist, which I used so infrequently I’d learned to resent its weight and sometimes forgot to turn it on at all. The storm had caught my attention sometime during lunch and I had asked the camp director, while pointing a finger into the sky, if we would move forward with the pool party.

“The camp brochure says the kids get a pool party. So unless there’s thunder, they get pool-time, even if it’s for five minutes.” Chirp gave mandates with the kind of arms-crossed authority that inspired confidence, and at the sound of her conviction I had forgotten about the black edge of the firmament and focused on the beauty of a sunlit noon. My forehead was beginning to burn, despite the coat of sun block I had smeared on my face at 7:30.

Later, as sheets of water ran down my face I felt the sting of SPF-30 in my eyes as the lotion washed away. It tasted like plastic, like licking a Malibu Barbie. I blinked my eyes rapidly so I could find my destination, a building named after one of the early Girls Scout leaders, Old Lady Lodge. “Make sure they’re all inside. And do a head count,” Existere had said with her hands on my shoulders, struggling to look me in the eye for emphasis as rain slapped the side of her face.

Head counts were typically done every seven to ten minutes at camp. It was this way because the second worst possible thing that can happen is for a camper to turn up missing, and the first step in finding a missing camper is knowing she’s missing. So each day we counted heads obsessively, and we taught the campers to count off as a backup procedure. They’d shout out the consecutive number they’d been assigned the first day in shrill, outside voices, until eventually each girl thought of herself and her fellow campers as a number from 1 to 30. When the numbers stopped short, it was usually because one of the girls was staring into the distance, perplexed by the emotional distraction of homesickness, or the palpable exhaustion of no sleep; the others would bring her back with impatient whoops. “Helooooo!? Wake up twelve! Marcie! You’re tah-wel-vah!”

At Old Lady Lodge my clothes were soaked down to my boxers and I dripped from everywhere. I coughed and shivered from the workout and my face was red; I could have been sobbing and no one would have known the difference. Things looked relatively good. The children, who seemed to be working very hard to repress the terror incurred by every roar of thunder, were singing and clapping and otherwise busy with the often-inane hand motions that necessarily accompanied every song we taught them. The counselors there greeted me and we each did a head count until we came up with the same number. I turned on my walkie-talkie and left it with them, since they’d forgotten to take one that morning, and then I started back running to the pool.

Traveling with the wind was easier, and I took deep breaths and hummed “The Princess Pat” to myself, doing small versions of the hand motions while running. As I approached the pool area, I saw no one where just moments earlier there had been dozens of small people scrambling in chaos. Good, I thought to myself, everyone is safely inside somewhere. And then, just as I entered completely into the clearing beside the pool I began to hear a vague hollow bellow which then sharpened as I came closer to the shower house: dozens (hundreds?) of voices, all shrieking at once, like a purgatory of tortured souls, invigorated by every flash of lightning, every clap of thunder.

Inside a shower house the size of a very modest two-car garage.

To be continued…

Me and Sally.

December 6, 2009

When I worked at camp, we all joked about The Hunger Disease. More commonly, it was referred to as ‘feeding the tapeworm’ when you shoved food endlessly in your mouth. It was like an endless ability to eat, and people had insane contests. Seven roasted corn on the cobs. Thirty two marshmallows at the same time. Elicit meals from McDonald’s for ‘brunch’ (when there was only a three hour gap between breakfast and lunch, anyway).

Where is this going? I think the real question is: Do I want to lose the weight or not? Am I ready to lose the weight?

This past week I stayed the same on Thick to Thin Thursday, which is a rather curious thing as I ate for the entire planet. My worm was hungry. Since that last weigh in, I ate an entire large pizza in one night. I ate an entire pack of biscuits in one day. Once, while chatting with Sally (my twitter biotch), I told her that I had just hunted down some day old pizza crusts out of a box that was sitting on the counter. I like her ’cause she celebrated my downfall with me in an almost jovial manner. Perhaps this is because she’s also trying to lose weight, and she is also Feeding The Worm.

We are most impressive.

Do I want to lose it? Do I?

Right now, food has reverted back to some sort of comfort thing. This past week I have been so tired. We have been nervously joking about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, even though we both know that this is the sort of tired you get for caring for two babies for sixteen weeks straight. Bone tired. The sort of tired that makes me crave wine at all hours of the day. The sort of tired that made me wake up yesterday and think at 6:30 am, ‘Boy, I could go for a beer.’ (And I should add, I’ve never been a drinker sort of gal.)

This is fairly fucked up, as my job as a counsellor involves working with people who act on these thoughts – daily, and more than just a glass or two. Parents.

Basically, I’m new mom tired. And new mom fabulous, as well. I don’t particularly mind this weight, most of the time. I was only ‘normal’ size for about two years – big girl loses weight, big girl is normal girl, normal girl gets knocked up with two BIG twins, normal girl is big girl again. It’s like a curious regression, but also a comfortable one because I have been ‘bigger’ for most of my life – or felt like I was, anyway.

What to do, what to do. I think Thursdays are a fucking stupid day for weigh in. That’s one. I did Sundays when I had actual Weight Watchers, and that was quite a motivating day – keeps you focused on the weekend, sets you up nicely for a new week. (I KNOW the day doesn’t really matter, I know I am making excuses.)

I want what most heavier people who are unhappy with their weight want, I guess. To suddenly be a healthy size without having to put any effort in. I need to learn to cook things other than refriend beans scooped onto nachos during the day, though this is warm and tasty and quick. With two babies and no routine, and my personal parenting ideas that I’d rather be having fun with my kids than ignoring them while I cook myself shit (assuming there would be time, which there would not be), it just seems like weight loss is going to be extra hard. I am not out and about with them, because the SPD is still a bitch and because I am afraid to go out alone with twins.

Often when I am extra tired and babies are crying, I shove biscuits in my mouth and wash them down with Diet Coke in an almost frantic manner. Whether I want to lose weight or not (I do, I do, I think  I do), I know that’s not a healthy way to live. I also know that my pee is approaching the colour it was when I was throwing up constantly from ‘morning’ sickness because I drink almost no water.

I don’t know what I need here, not sure what I am asking for by writing this. Just needed to get it down on paper….bloggie paper, I suppose.

All of this has kicked off because in two weeks exactly we are leaving to visit my mother and Bear, and it’s really fucking cold in Country A at this time of year. My post-baby body has only a handful of things that fit, and none of these include a warmth giver. We just did an online clothes shop from a cheapie cheapie store, and it felt bad to not have everything available in my size, or to not risk ordering things I wasn’t very confident of, because they probably wouldn’t fit.I’m not one who likes clothes shopping, but when I was thin I DID enjoy walking into any store and being able to buy any thing.

Okay. Guess I’m gonna sign off now and shower. We’ll feed both babies and hopefully go for a walk while it’s still daylight. It’s going to be getting dark in like two hours and THAT IS GROSS, Country B, why do you get dark so early in the afternoon? But at least here in Country B I’m still in no need of any clothes that provide warmth.

Also – DID YOU SEE THE TWO VIDEOS IN PREVIOUS POSTS of my kids? Comment on them. Tell me how cute they are. I gobble that shit up. I may suck at knowing what I want for my body, or rather taking actions to enable myself in this regard, but I do NOT suck at being a good mom.

Am I being selfish? I think I am just sad.

November 26, 2009

This has been a bad week, and so far it’s been a terrible day.

Things kicked off when I was working on GUGS. I went back and read some of my old blog that talked about working at camp, just to see what sort of gems I had hidden there. I unearthed something awful: entry after entry about how our marriage was deteriorating in the summer of 2002. That was a shitty, fucked up summer. TMD had always picked work before family from the start of things, and that summer was the ultimate in painful confusion. We came very close to ending things. We got through it, though, and that’s what counts.

But rereading all of that? Wow.

I remember being so angry when I was writing, my fingers pounding the keyboard. Now I don’t see anger when I read those entries, I see lots and lots of hurt. I’ve always been one to go all hard and angry when I am hurting.

So. That was just this past weekend that I read that stuff again. It was sort of shocking, particularly because we have the happiest marriage I could dream of. And things have only gotten better since the babies.

But Monday night TMD was really late home from work. I couldn’t get too upset about this because her work involves very vulnerable young people, and this was sort of an emergency situation. Then came Tuesday. She told me she had a meeting scheduled that would go half an hour later than usual. When that time plus another 25 minutes passed, I rang her just to see if she was on her way home. She said she was only just leaving work. I let loose some sort of rageful sigh and hung up.

When she was home, I escaped into the bathroom….but not before saying, ‘Do you have an excuse tonight? Well, fuck you.’ I know. Any little blogger crush you have on me is fading fast at this point.

Last night was fine, except I didn’t even want to talk to her.

All of these things are isolated incidents that happened to happen in a bad week. Why bad? Here is the meat of it, the bit you could have sliced directly to: this country does not celebrate a well known holiday. My home country does. This morning, people all over that country are waking up to a long weekend with their families.

This morning, I woke up knowing that TMD was working until 9 pm tonight, even though she knew it was this particular holiday and it was important to me. Now, working that late any night would bug me. By about 5 in the afternoon, my SPD is kicking into high gear and I’m in quite a bit of pain. And, I LOVE MY CHILDREN, but no matter how great our day has been, they are getting a bit rambunctious by about 5:30. Yesterday was an extra dollop because they wanted to eat at the same times and there was no appeasing them. So, you see, my mommy nerves are getting a bit wound up.

Plus I just miss my wife. I watch the clock in the afternoons, looking forward to the time I hear her keys in the door.

I am pissed she is working tonight. Yesterday I realised what I really want is her to not be working today or tomorrow; I want to establish traditions. We never really made a big deal of this holiday before. We are both veggies, so our traditional turkey day meal involves copious amounts of Indian food. And perhaps this potato and onion thing I excel at.

Growing up, this holiday wasn’t a big deal to my family either – but then, ‘family’ wasn’t a big deal to my family. Everyone was always screaming at each other, or ignoring each other, and having to sit around the table for dinner was usually quite a painful experience. I wanted this to be different for my kids.

TMD’s dad just called and left a message wishing me a happy day. He said he knew I was far away from my home country and my family, and he said he bet I was homesick on this days like this. He gets it, why doesn’t she?!?

I don’t know what she can do to make this better. I told her over a month ago how important this day was to me, and she still never changed her plans to work so late. I know she feels trapped into it. I know she just wants to do a good job at work. I know in another two months or so I’ll be getting no pay, and that she is the main provider for our house.

I know it, and I’m still hurt to be spending the most family of family holidays as a threesome rather than a foursome. I hate knowing that I have Crazy Woman Mind, and that every future year on this holiday I will be reminded that she fucking was absent for Coconut and Snort’s first one. (There, the crush died all the way, didn’t it.)

I am hurt, angry, hurt. Hurt.

And hurt some more.

She tries so hard to be so sweet, and I feel like it doesn’t matter because I have been sticking-power-mad all week, and there are no signs of these thunderclouds breaking any time soon. The last time I was this sort of mad was in that bad, bad summer of 2002. I generally don’t get upset about shit. We also very very very rarely fight, if ever.

This morning we were both screaming at each other. She then fed Coconut while weeping, while I sat on the edge of the bed wanting to isolate myself from her. She ripped up a letter she wrote me (which Coconut watched me tape back together with interest, as I explained to her the intricacies of letter surgery), and left a turkey day letter/pictures from the babies.

Christ. I think Snort just pooped. Neither kid has pooped in days, so there is going to be some ass explosion, bouncy chair staining, poop pants today. *sigh*

I am lonely on this day when I should be all cosy and chilled. I have to try to relax so at least the babies can have a good day.

Twin bump pics – 35 weeks 4 days!

July 26, 2009

24 July: This is me in my kick ass African mumu. I bought it yeeeeeeeeeeears ago as a sort of comedy outfit to wear at camp for certain occasions. I can now say this is THE most comfortable thing in the house. I’m 35+3 here:

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Edit: Just noticed that it looks like I have a metal strut holding up the bump in the above picture. Shame it’s only a crutch and NOT a strut. I bet that shit would be helpful, if impractical.

25 July – the more ‘typical’ bump picture. 35 weeks 4 days….and Helen, this door is 2 feet 4 inches wide. I stand pretty much touching it when I am in front of it – but perspective can still be a bitch as I suspect I am not just long, but wide. *grin*

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Shiny, shiny bump skin.

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TMD described me as ‘a beach ball on pins’ this morning.