ABOUT ME

About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Loving and hating your partner (it's all their fault!)



And just like that, my vertigo disappeared. I'm doing great.*

However, Junior, my oldest, has not been doing so great. After informing me that he wasn't going to his school's meet and greet because they "aren't going to rob me of my last few days of freedom" —drama, anyone?—he promptly came down with a 103 degree fever and the puke bug and missed the first week of school.

Sneaky bastard.

This wouldn't have been such a big deal except for the fact that it's the first week that Cam has started sleeping through the night. 

The first week. In six months.

For many, many, many months—SIX—I've been waking up one to two times a night to feed Cam (Chuck? Who's that? Was he supposed to help or something?)

Six agonizing months. Waking and sleeping. Sleeping and waking, all the while listening to Chuck's fake snores as the monitor crackled with cries. And if I kicked Chuck to wake him up? He'd mumble "Huh? Wha?" and act dazed and helpless, like a little orphan adrift at sea.

I came to hate the "Huh? Wha?" face so much that I stopped kicking him. 

Sneaky bastard.

Even worse—yes, there's more!—I'm not the kind of person who can wake up, be awake for half an hour and then instantaneously fall back asleep the minute my head hits the pillow. Nope, that's Chuck's magic trick. Sometimes I lay awake for hours after feeding Cam, thinking and thinking and thinking:

How could I have had THREE children with someone who fake snores through the crying? How can Chuck lie there, pretending to sleep through all these feedings? How could I have spent eight years co-parenting with someone who hasn't woken up to feed one baby? What kind of sadomasochist am I to have married and spawned multiple times with this man?  

Etc., etc., etc.

SIX fucking months x three kids = a not-so-pleased Mrs. Mullet

But it's ok! It's all over now. I survived two nights of Junior waking up every two hours to barf and whimper because Chuck, that darling man, redeemed himself by getting up with Junior while I lay in wait for Cam—except that Cam didn't wake up.

Mwahahaha. Don't you love when you pick the right child to oversee? I was giddy. And Chuck was exhausted. It was a beautiful thing.

The best part is that Junior is better and Cam has slept through the night for four nights in a row so perhaps—per chance?—it isn't a fluke.

Yes, we're staying married and keeping the kids!

This calls for champagne.

*Because I can drink again.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Parenthood sucked the life out of the peaceful unknown; vertigo has brought it back

I don't want to write about what I thought I wanted to write about—how working from home while having vertigo and trying to tend to three children, even with the help of a sitter, is insanity—because bleh, that's what it is, insanity.

Cruel, cruel insanity.

No, I want to write about my BPPV physical therapy session and a piece of advice given to me by the therapist which was, "Don't walk around a lot with your eyes closed."

At the time I'd scoffed. Who the hell walks around a lot with her eyes closed, even without vertigo? When I recounted it to Chuck we both scoffed.

"Lame," he'd said.

But then the wise ass part of me wondered, Why not? So I tried it.

First, inside my house. I tripped over Legos and the dog, of course, but there's something soothing about slowing your gait and feeling your way around. Even something stupid like reaching for butter in the refrigerator made me feel calmer. My hand felt textures. My face sensed the cold. I could lose myself in a quick daydream about falling asleep on that smushy loaf of bread.

Things slowed down.

I slowed down.

And outside, the grass underfoot was wonderfully soft. I didn't know if I was walking in a straight line. I didn't care. Added bonus: I could hear my children shrieking across the lawn but I couldn't see them, which made it easier to pretend they belonged to someone else.

I'm not sure why I ended up with vertigo—and truthfully, it's been a huge pain in the ass—but it did confirm something I realized at the beginning of summer, when the kids spent the weekend at my mother's and Chuck and I were in charge of only Cam; it was quieter, it was less frantic, and I actually heard my own inner thoughts.
We slowed down.

That weekend I'd realized that I don't want to wear the over-crazed, neurotic suit of motherhood anymore. I don't want to give in to the manic speed of it, and as much as my children try to drag me there, I'm going to push back. I'm going fight for the health of my brain cells. I'm going to fight for myself.

And for now I'm going to keep walking around with my eyes closed. Just for a few seconds here and there. Just for that quick little burst of a time out. Just because it's nice, for a change, to not see what's in front of me.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pssst, who's the hot mom with the huge tongue and bulging eyes? Why, it's me, Mrs. Mullet

I'm sorry it's been a while since my last post. I know my readers (hi Mom!) have been wondering where I've been.

Are you ready?

I've been at home.

No, wait, it gets better! I've been at home, walking around my house with the careful trepidation of someone who belongs in a nursing home. Why? Because....

Because...

I have had terrible vertigo. At my lowest points I've had to shuffle down the hall holding onto the walls, lest I go cross-eyed and collapse.

Gasp

It feels like the room is spinning all the time. Look too quickly to the left? Spin, spin, spin. Stand up too fast? Spin, spin, spin. My eyes feel kind of twitchy in my head, too. For those of you who like to consume copious amounts of alcohol, like moi, it's the equivalent of the drunken spins, minus the enjoyable pre-gaming. 

At first I thought I was just tired and/or dehydrated. I have many children, one who doesn't yet sleep through the night, and I like my coffee and vodka. But after two weeks of shuffling and moaning my husband Chuck had finally had enough. 

I went to the same doctor who told me I had an enlarged tongue (I know I'm painting a super sexy picture of myself right now, what with my wall clinging, gigantic tongue growing self). 

He asked me a lot of questions (e.g., "Have your children hit you in the head with blocks lately?"), then made me lie back quickly so he could look into my eyes. 

"I know what you have!" he said. "It's benign paroxysmal positional vertigo."

Gasp


Apparently benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is (a) annoying but not life-threatening and (b) annoying but not life-threatening. It's known on the street as BPPV, and I have to go to Mulletville Hospital for physical therapy (happily, the treatment has an 85% success rate). 

Because Chuck is such a peach, he went onto Youtube and found some exercises I can do right at home, right away. Specifically one by Dr. Jo (quick synopsis, she has the annoying cheeriness of an overeager gym teacher, but she grows on you).



I tried the exercises last night, after the kids went to bed. Chuck played me the video and when I went horizontal on the couch he (a) knowing he wasn't going to get any action and (b) knowing I'd want him to count from 1-30 for me 10 times announced he was going to the neighbors' for a beer. 

I felt somewhat worse.

This morning I tried the exercise after the kids had eaten breakfast. Junior happily operated the timer on my phone so I didn't have to count and Everett actually dragged a kitchen chair into the den so he could watch. Cam bounced and babbled in his exersaucer next to me.

I felt a lot better. I was surrounded by my little gaggle of supporters. All the times they'd puked me on or slept on me or cried on me—all that time and energy came back tenfold with their concern: "Is it working, Mom?" and "Do you feel any better?"

It's weird, this parenting gig. I couldn't see straight but man, for those few seconds everything was crystal clear.