In Which Mild-Mannered Kathy Is Unmasked

It’s been a while, again. I can’t seem to get it together enough to post regularly. I guess I have either been too busy or had too much trepidation to write what I’m really feeling.

Warning to those inclined to continue: “strong language” (to borrow a euphemism from the film industry) may be employed. This is not one of those weblog postings that points to lots of other cool links or cleverly pulls in information from current events, the arts, etc. This is not a particularly well-written, nicely edited post. This is a rant.

I guess I’ll start with the sanitized version of what’s going on… what everyone wants to hear. We’re settling in to our new house nicely and everything is peachy keen! Oh sure, there are a few minor problems, but they’re all being addressed by competent and hard-working folks. In other news, Henry is doing great; he’s sleeping well, has no bad habits, and I soar through the days with him without tiring! Brad and I are working well as a parenting team and find ourselves constantly invigorated by the whirlwind of energy that is our son. When we do have disagreements, we work through them and move on, embracing our differing parenting styles knowing Henry will be the better for it. We’re keeping ourselves busy with work around the house, programming projects, and playing with Henry, of course.

You know, that paragraph above really isn’t far off, but… today, today has been a fucked up day, to quote Beck, pop singer and icon. Today, it seems like we’ll never be unpacked and maybe we don’t really want to be because this house is such a disappointment; maybe we should just put it on the market and move on. As for the minor problems, yeah, there are lots, and no one seems to care, not to mention that they should have done things right the first ten times we asked. Our contractor has called us twice this week to try to get us to write a check for the final bill (which is a euphemism, because he’s already sent us another bill, a post-final bill I guess, that’s almost as large as the supposed final one, and he’s said that there will be more; WTF?). We’re going to pay him, of course (we’re mad, not crooked), but can’t help feeling irritated. Maybe we should have worked payment the way they worked finishing up our project: (mid-May) we’ll have you moved in by the end of June; (3rd week in June) it’ll be a couple more weeks, mid-July at latest; (mid-July) beginning of August for sure, in time for your house guests, yes!; (first week in August) end of the month, no problem, in time for your next set of house guests… We finally moved in on September 18th, to sawdust and unfinished this and that. Growl.

As for Henry, he isn’t sleeping well. Fights going to bed now and again, wakes up often, and yesterday for the first time ever, fell out of bed with a horrendous thud, completely freaking all of us out. He’s okay. He bit me three times tonight while not falling asleep. He’s been hitting Brad. Okay, all these things are normal two-year old behaviors. We know this; I still think Henry is a wonderful kid. But, soaring through the days I’m not. And I feel guilty about it.

And lastly, Brad and I are… struggling. He thinks I seem angry a lot more than I used to. He’s probably right; I have heaps of emotional baggage related to anger that make me an idiot when I feel it or sense it in others. Kathy’s brain: is that anger I feel? Suppress, suppress! Run away! Is that a glare on Brad’s face I see? Soothe, placate! Quick, fix things so he won’t be angry! I think he seems angry a lot, too, but maybe my misdiagnosing his anger is the thing that is making him angry. And so it goes. With this emotional undertow, we slog through our days trying to work as a parenting team, but communication breaks down often. The winter blues aren’t helping. Tonight, the black dog of depression came in and marked his territory all over Brad. He wouldn’t talk to me about what got him so down. (Everything, take your pick, I think it might be connected to that dang Mohr perfectionism. It’s different than the dang Whalen perfectionism, though; us Whalens, we want to be perfect but accept right off the bat that it won’t happen and exist in a perpetual state of angst because of it. We still try and hope and get disappointed-the perfect Red Sox fans-but the crash isn’t so big. The Mohrs, at least in Brad’s case, seem to actually go along being perfect until circumstances outside of their control intrude. Being perfect is an actual, achievable state, not some theoretical construct. When outside forces intrude on this, attempts at controlling them are made, and failure is felt hard because so much effort and energy and thought has been put in to making things right. It’s a very noble, hopeful, positive way of being, something I really admire. Then again, I could be completely wrong about this having anything to do with anything.) I’ve been trying to give Brad more space when he is upset, which sucks because what I really want to do is snuggle him up to me and tell him we’ll get through it (and have that actually help him feel better), and now he’s asleep on the couch. So, here I am at 2am, sitting on a very uncomfortable ottoman in our poorly furnished, who-knows-what-the-hell-else-is-wrong-with-it house, worried about Brad and Henry and the state of our lives, unable to sleep though I am exhausted…

What a whiner. How do you finish up a rant, anyway? My laptop’s batteries are running low, mercifully for all those who’ve read this far. I don’t have any sweeping conclusions or prescriptions for overcoming these issues. I do have to report that, as I typed, I felt my heart grow lighter. We will muddle through it, the three of us together. All this stuff is the stuff of living, along with all the good things I usually write about, like Henry learning to count and my new bike and… I’ll write about that stuff another time. Sorry if I offended anyone.