Sunday, October 10, 2004

Worst Week Ever

I expect encouraging comments from friends and strangers telling me that it will get better, and it will get easier, and we do know all that - after all, we do have streaks of normality now and then, but after waiting and waiting for a chance to write something positive about this last week, I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and write something, even if it has been the worst week ever.

To explain my absence, it has simply been an overwhelming experience - one made up of schedules, routines, and a lot of sleeplessness. Basically, I work, I come home, I help with the babies until their bedtimes, and then I attempt to do something productive. That often fails because I'm usually too tired or too frustrated to squeeze any creativity from my shriveled brain. On the nights that my wife works, my nights are pretty much shot and done with after six. When I come home at 4:30, we're rushing to do the dishes, cook dinner, and make bottles before my wife has to work at six. On the nights she doesn't work, it isn't much different. Our nighttime routine is heavily loaded with chores because it's the only time we can really get them done - with another parent present to watch both babies. Otherwise, there's hell to pay. My wife watches the babies during the day more often than I do, but even from my own experience this weekend, it's difficult to get anything done. Any free time is spent on necessary things like eating and maybe a minor chore.

The job offer that I received has been unsportingly pulled out from under me - I've emailed and call the guy and he reckons that I don't even warrant a reply at all. On top of that, I've been feeling really depressed about my personal aspirations and self-fulfillment. Some people adapt really well to changes in the family, but I'm getting my ass kicked and my ego shattered by these two babies. I feel as if I'm stuck in a job that has nothing to do with my college degree, and that I'm working for a paycheck and nothing else. All my creative juices are backed up but I can't even release them onto blogs or scripts because I haven't had the time. On top of that, whatever time I do dedicate to the babies seems distressing, because we're certain that Zoe has colic and is terminally inconsolable, and Alex keeps getting new molars in, and he's screaming his head off.

And yes, my wife and I try to convince ourselves that this is just another tough phase, because infants are generally harder to deal with because of their delicate nature and high maintenance. But that doesn't mean that they're simply kicking our asses.

Take today, for instance. It was my turn to watch the babies, and I was fairly lucky because my wife come home for lunch and tended to Alex, therefore letting me sleep in a little. Then Alex got his fingers smashed when he was playing with the glass doors on the entertainment center, and he was scratched pretty deeply by Wilbur, both of which were tough for the little guy. He felt better, and my day with them was actually going quite well, even though Alex did get his fingers jammed in the same glass doors again before his nap. My wife came home at 2pm, and it was my first opportunity to get myself a shower, and dressed for normal life.

We went up to Walmart to get Halloween costumes for the babies, and was doing fairly well with the outfits. We scored two adorable outfits for under $22, from Alex's birthday money. We have been broke all week, and I even had to bounce my rent check. I'm still over 200 bucks short with my bank, but that should figure itself out next payday. Anyway, the babies started fussing, but we were leaving. We loaded up the van, and were ready to head home but the car didn't turn. My foot on the gas pedal seemed to do the trick - it was enough to get the van to travel in despite the unsteady shuddering by the engine.

Unfortunately, it wasn't long before we noticed that we were leaving plumes of smoke behind us on the road. We suspect it's the muffler, but we're not sure. Luckily, the van made it back to the house, after stalling at every red light and having to repeat the gas pedal trick every single time. But the van's done for now - we can't afford to get it fixed, so we're reviving use of the Kia for now. It was cleaned up and ready for sale, but we can't function with just one car.

So we're reinstalling the car seats in the Kia, and I brought the kiddies back into the house, hoping that they would just chill. Well, JL accidently closes the bathroom door on Alex's fingers without looking, and it just snowballed again. He was crying for his poor digits, and we decided to take a walk in order to relax. Halfway through the walk, he starts fussing big time and kept wriggling out of my arms, getting annoyed and throwing a tantrum. Getting home wasn't any more fun, he just kept crying some more. We finally guessed that it was his molars, because of his tugging on his ears. His teeth was hurting him so much that it sorta make him choke during dinner, whereby I had to panic and take him out of the chair and unchoke him. I decided to finish my dinner before cleaning up his upchuck.

Alex did calm down eventually thankfully, and he had fun playing with my wife. I was pretty much gone by then. I retreated to that special place called Numbness, and Alex could do backflips and I could care less. And to top it off, it's 11:43pm now, and Zoe is still refusing to be put down. We've coaxed her asleep thrice now, and everything you set her down, she's crying. So we're letting her cry it out downstairs (so that Alex would be disturbed in his room, and we can get some sleep). We'll get her in half an hour of so and see if she settles down.

And the final downer, I just found out that Christopher Reeve died early today. I mean, it's not like he was my favorite actor or anything, but I shared the same birthday with him and I always thought that was pretty cool. And he seemed like a genuinely nice fellow.


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