I waited for all this to happen for a long long time. The day my three kids would start pre school/day care and will no longer camp out in our living room. The day DH would start a new job. The day I would be a full-time entrepreneur. This day was also earmarked as the potential end of Red Lipstick Mama.
Last month was a hot mess of emotions, stress and unexpected new truths.
First stop: DH
After 3 months of ‘That’s the best time of our lives/I cannot wait for it to end/What did we do?/What are we going to do?/Where are we going to live?’ turmoil, many questions were put to an end with DH’s job offer. I probably got a couple of ulcers over this one: from 3 maybes, to a very long radio silence, to 2 maybes, to a long radio silence, to 1 yes and ‘please wait a bit’, to ‘why is no one talking to me anymore?‘, to finally ‘I am very sorry, I really like you guys…’ AND ‘yes, yes, and yes I am accepting your offer’.
Watching (and supporting) DH call, text, go back and forth between prospective employers and sweat profusely was more painful than watching a Michael Bay movie. One thing I know now for sure though is that my man will never be able to have an affair behind my back. He does not have the stomach for it: cannot withhold intel when being grilled, feels like a traitor when two-texting and…stammers way too much under duress. Yeah, the minute he’ll start flirting with someone I’ll sniff it out of him within seconds.
Second stop: L or ‘Blu’ Gunderson
We registered ‘le bebe’ at a French day care. He was beaming with pride on that September morning when we told him ‘that’s it, L, it is your moment’ . DH and I got all emotional; our baby was taking off. We are talking about ‘my lump’, the critter that still crawls 4 times a night into our bed to pull my belly fat and kicks his dad. He is the one (L, if you read in your twenties and are pissed off, tough shit. You were a little sucker) whom, we are convinced, would end up living next door, crashing our dining table every evening and asking us to act as matchmakers.
I felt a lot of relief and a little bit of guilt. I never quite managed to kick away the feeling that I have somehow failed him. I have never offered him the same stimulation that his siblings received by having a devoted nanny caring for them since they were 3 months old. L only had one friend; he missed zillion gym classes, never attended French classes, very rarely had music classes. Instead he would ‘hang’ at the local supermarket, entertain himself by knocking down the nuts tubs and get dragged away from the cookies aisle.
Therefore I was over the moon about his new ‘life’ . Of course after 1 week, the day care asked if we could pick him up earlier in the day because he could not stand seeing other kids leave before him. He apparently is just LOOSING it Chucky style…Story of my life.
Third stop: G or the boy in denial
I tried to talk to G about his beloved nanny no longer coming everyday. I tried to talk to him about pre school. I tried to talk to him about not being in the same class as his twin sister. And every single time I was met with either a long silence or the same sentence: ‘OK, can I watch TV now?’ I was thus unprepared to see my independent G crumble down, scream, cry, kick back, pull my hair so I would not leave him behind on his first day of school. Not prepared at all. Children and adults were crying and I had no clue what to do. Part of me wanted to hug G and flee with him and part of me felt ‘happy’ he was reacting and crying…The teachers were handing out some packs of tissues and mine is still full and stapled in the kids’ pre school folder. Every time I see the pack, I feel proud that ‘I did not cry’ and ask myself ‘Am I a heartless bitch?’
Fourth stop:P or the Ninja Princess
I can be tough(er) on my girl. God knows why. But I am going to say this now: with all the shit the family has been though lately, this girl is BOSS. No tears. No drama. Solid like a rock. Still totally nuts. She has been nagging me for a week now about me asking her very catholic teacher from her very catholic school if I, her atheist mom, could paint her finger nails with black varnish. Okayyyyy…
Fifth stop: Moi
I have finally time to focus on my startup Another Garde, my project and actually justify how I dilapidated our family savings for this venture. Turns out I don’t have a ‘my project’. There’s nothing, I realize, I can compartmentalize anymore. It is everything together in a hot mess (L’s speech delay, G’s ‘I don’t want to go school’, P’s peeing in her pants in class, doing financial projections, managing a programmer when I just very recently learnt what UX meant :/). Yes, it is all meshed together and it is all fine until…my chest starts hurting and I have some tingling in my arm.
Next thing I know, I am looking over Central Park with pads on my body wondering how I even got there. EKG results are normal but I am being asked:
‘How do you handle your anxiety?’
‘What do you mean? I don’t really feel anxiety. I am always the same. Like a flat line’
‘No breathing exercise? No meditation? No exercising?’
‘Nope. Maybe, I used to write more.’
‘Like a diary?’
‘Well I guess, a blog about a crazy mom. But stopped for a while…’
WHAT??? No blogging = heart palpitations?
Is my body telling me I can never let my alter ego go because she is MY only true project?
Strange shit happens.