Category: Motherhood

Out of spectrum

‘Anyways, Hank says I have to start taking pictures of people now. Cause they may be a pain in the ass, but they pay to get their pictures taken. If I keep taking pictures of bugs and lizards, I’ll end up poor and homeless.’ Max Braverman, Parenthood

If G hadn’t been sick with a stomach bug forcing me to hold his hand for hours while he was passed out on the sofa and thus forcing me to think about stuff, I would probably have never written this post.  The last two months felt like running on an ice bank, wearing 20 lb. of winter gear, sweating like a pig, while trying to escape a pack of famished snow wolves. Oh wait, replace snow wolves by kids and yeah that’s about right. I am NOT kidding. I woke up this morning and it was -19c outside; is that even possible ? Not only it was -19c but when I complained about it to my building doorman, he laughed as if walking with a brain freeze was the coolest thing in the world. Fucking New Yorkers, what is wrong with you  🙂 ?

Anyway, I was thinking about the last 2 months. What happened?

– Meltdown free Christmas with my in-laws (looks like I am growing up)

– Me screaming Total Eclipse of the Heart standing on a chair at Thor & Archibald’s NYE party (looks like I still have some growth to do)

– Talking to some investors about Another Garde half expecting to be told Fuck Off but instead got told ‘Keep talking, I am listening’

– Deciding that L will definitely be our last child even if none of the three makes it to an Ivy league college or becomes a chef or plays in the NBA which means talks of sterilization are raging at home and made us realize that, after all is done and said, we are all bare mammals. Yikes.

– Organizing a batman and cinderella birthday party for G & P for a dozen old and new friends, feeling very proud of not dropping anyone while dancing with  swinging the kids on Chandelier by Sia

– Keep talking some more to investors who are still not saying ‘Fuck Off’ (yeah)

– Overcompensating for the fact that my parents never volunteered for any class field trips or fundraisers by saying yes to everything the teachers ask: mystery reading, French culture workshop, chairing the Marketing & Fundraising committee for the school’s gala (in hindsight, Papilao & Mamilao = genius and RLM = fucking loser needing a life)… Note to self: for future reference, ALWAYS read properly papers that are given to you else you WILL end up going to the Gala committee chairs’ selection night with 5 other morons thinking that you were going to a general parents/teachers assembly meeting.  And boy did you get fucked.

Despite all this, what occupied my mind the most while nursing G was this phrase:‘You should read the ‘Out-of-Sync child book’.

3 early intervention evaluations did not do it.

Conversations with his day care staff team did not do it.

Months of frustration and wondering ‘Why this? Why that?’ did not do it.

Weeks of speech and occupational therapy did not do it.

Out-of-Sync. 3 words did it. They opened my eyes: yes L, my baby boy was wonderfully quirky but yes, there are things we should be doing about it and that’s OK. Everything will be OK. I think. I know. But let’s backtrack for a moment.

First, it all started as a running joke: L the ‘indestructible’, the ‘kingpin of Harlem’, ‘the clumsy giant’. Gradually questions started to pop up ‘he is still not really talking, is he?’, ‘why the fuck is he always head butting us to show love? It really hurts, doesn’t it?’, ‘he really never listens, does he?’

And then, there was a little bit of sadness: ‘how come he does not have any friends besides his siblings?”, ‘how come he does not know his brother’s name?’ 

Finally it was more questions, more often… And with these questions, my prejudice against American childhood professionals being way too eager to diagnose Hyper Activity Attention Deficit disorders, multiple forms of autism and so on started to falter. So we accepted evaluations.

After hours of being under the microscope, dozens and dozens of ‘can he do this/that?’, ‘what does he do when this and that?’, my heart started to tighten from worry but also from guilt. Guilt from stuff I thought and said like ‘he is fine, he is just a little asshole!’, ‘he can do more stuff I am sure but he just wants to piss us off’, ‘he is not violent, he just has siblings’, ‘he’s too smart, that’s why he does not talk and slave people’s asses instead’‘I am too busy, he can miss another baby gym class, right? I mean, he does not do much there anyway…’

Fucking Mom of the Year. It’s OK, I’ll get over it but still it stings.

Anyway, for the last month he has been receiving free speech therapy, occupational therapy, special instructions therapy (thank you New York Early Intervention program; you rock!). But still I could not understand any of it. What is it about L? Is it because we are a bilingual home? Is it autism? Is it just a phase? Will I be able to communicate with him ‘normally’? Will he stop biting my belly like a fucking vampire? Am I crazy to actually find him extremely intelligent while I cannot understand a fucking word he says and that specialists tell me he is atypical? I wanted to play it cool to no avail. I wanted to understand what the fuck was going on without giving in to paranoia.  I was at a loss… until I heard these 3 words ‘Out-Of-Sync’.

They brought me peace because I am fine with ‘out-of-sync’, actually. I can do ‘out-of-sync’, I can deal with ‘out-of-sync’, I can live with ‘out-of-sync’, I can support ‘out-of-sync’, I can be proud of ‘out-of-sync’, I can find bliss in ‘out-of-sync’, and in hindsight I probably fell in love with and married ‘out-of-sync’. And to be honest, aren’t we all wonderfully a little ‘out-of-sync’? I shall hope so.

PS: Sensory Processing Disorder is the exact diagnosis L was given.

PS2: I need to stop binge watching Parenthood. Worst tear jerker EVER. And I am not a cryer. And also L. is not Max. So I really need to stop crying every time Max is on the fucking screen. Idiot mama.

PS3: L has increased his vocabulary in the last week including words like ‘caca’ (‘poop’) which makes me run around even more as I am attempting to potty train him. The devil is using it OFTEN and then laughs saying ‘No (c) -omin’ 🙂 I am telling you, he is a mastermind.

 

Heavenly creatures

After my downer of a post 3 weeks ago, I have been slowly putting my shit together, regaining some stamina for my project, talking more openly to DH, and most importantly appreciating better my accomplishments as a mom.

A friend without children recently told me: ‘you are losing your head about achieving stuff, making something out of your life but you do realize you have achieved a lot right? You have a big family and a functional one too. You will always time for the rest.’

I don’t know if it is her comment or street Christmas lights or the fact that I am still digesting my thanksgiving dinner but I woke up in a disgustingly sappy mood, my heart full of love for my 3 ‘creatures’, as my friend Levon calls them. So this ‘awesomely crazy and cute stuff they say’ post is for you monkeys. Even if I often complain about you, I am thankful for you. I am. Enjoy this post because tomorrow I will be back to my bitchy self.

G: ‘So there is this house and there is a lion in there and a wolf knocks on the door and the lion is so scared he locks the door …brrrr’

Me thinking: I see that family membership to the Bronx zoo has been a good investment.

————

G:‘L is a silly baby but he is too cute …sigh.’

Me thinking: Awww.

————

P: ‘I want to be a big person when I grow up but a big person like Daddy not a big little person like Mommy.’

Me thinking: Fair enough.

————

G:
(When peeing first in the morning) ‘I have to hold strong because I have a big zizi (‘willy’), so so big.’

Me thinking: boys will be boys 🙂

————

L: (when prompted to say ‘Thanks’) ‘Ti tyou’

Me thinking: Awww.

————

P: ‘I hate all boys at my school…except for one.’

Me: ‘Who is THAT boy?’

P: ‘It’s G (her twin brother) because he is really so sweet and so, so cute’.

Me saying: ‘Awww’ and thinking:’Remember this next time you try to strangle him’.

————-

P: ‘Why are you sad Mama? There are no reasons for you to be sad because you have me, papa, G and L. You cannot be sad. We are all here.’

Me thinking: Nobel Prize.

————-

To finish here’s a snippet from my conversation with P yesterday. I was talking with DH about old times and P asked:

Was I in your belly then?

‘No’.

‘Where was I then”

‘Well …you did not exist then’.

‘What?????’ shell-shocked I could have a life without her in it 🙂

‘Let’s just say you were a wish’.

Her eyes lit up and she screamed: ‘Yes I was a pink wish!!! But then you prefer grey…would have it been better if you had a grey wish instead of a pink wish?’

I was not sure what to say. I finally answered: ‘No, because you, my pink wish, are here. I have millions of wishes including the grey one but they are not here and it is ok. I am very happy about it.’

And then P flashed a kick ass and proud smile. Melt.

Have a great week end!!!

Photos by Helene McGuire, LN Photographie

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Bare

I pondered about whether or not to share this post. I initially wrote this as an email to DH but before hitting the ‘send’ button I thought ‘every single mom probably goes through this. It is all fucked up sometimes and I wish I had the courage to lay bare these moments and surges with other women as they happen and not 1 day after I (somewhat) processed the feelings and tried to make sense of them’. That is when instead of the email being sent to DH it went straight to redlipstickmama.com

Hey,

Hope your day is going well and that the jet lag is not too bad.

I need to share with you that I am having a burnout as an entrepreneur, a mom and a wife.

I am getting paranoid/paralyzed about failing, not doing enough or at least not well enough. I feel like everything, everyone around me is putting pressure on me. Which probably is inaccurate and I (and maybe also our parents) am the only one who put these pressures on me. On my fucking own.

What annoys me is that I am numb today. Like I don’t care anymore of what people think, like I don’t care anymore about raising to my own expectations. It is so not me. But I am tired.

I know I have to take it easy and take positive and constructive time for me without guilt but to be honest I don’t know how to do this. 
Today I just want to crawl into bed and sleep (although I haven’t been able to for weeks now). I have a meeting but I cancelled it ; I don’t want to the garage* because I think it will make me cry and I just want to hide. I just want to be a slob, a lazy person without being terrified that I might be depressed. Can anyone do this?

There is nothing you can do about it; I just need to say it.

This makes me look like a cry baby but today I just don’t give a shit.

*my co-working space

S

NB for my readers: as I am sending this, I saw on the Instagram feed a 20 year-old friend this: ‘We are born to be real, not to be perfect’. How fitting. So wise.
No lipstick mama

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(Kind of) mellow Fall weekend

We always have busy week ends because staying in the house is barely an option with 3 hyper active tots and 1 ‘cannot stay inside’ husband. There is this underlying fear that if we don’t do anything we may really kill each other. It is a little bit like a retired couple whose kids are off to college and start crazy bunny booking all these AirBnB places all over the world to avoid getting a divorce.

‘Me on my own’ weekends would look like this: sweatpants, slippers, comfort food, TV shows marathon (I would watch anything, absolutely anything… I once got addicted to a girly teen show titled ‘Make It of Break It’, I am such a LOSER), wine, and planning (but failing) to wax.

But this weekend, we actually had no plans.  Absolutely none. Or so I thought…

Saturday: Black is Beautiful.

Breakfast and lunch: no recollection of what we ate. We are now eating all together at week ends and to be honest it looks more like: kids drop-eating, mama swallow-eating and papa scream-eating. People write books and articles about French families taking their time to eat together while calmly talking about Ebola or Bernard Henry Levy…yeah right, not fucking happening in my house.

Time I took my shower: 1pm; which is so ghetto since we did actually have something we had to go to. How could I forget about P’s first class play date??? Some parents had organized a gathering in Central Park to get to know each other outside the stressful morning school drop also known as ‘please don’t talk to me cause I haven’t brushed my teeth yet’ awkward morning meeting.

It was great to see all the kiddos play together and actually see that P knew their names. It is impossible to have any idea of what is happening at school because every question we ask my ‘usually cannot shut her mouth’ daughter  is answered by a ‘No’:

‘Do you have friends? No.

Did you enjoy your soccer class? No

Did you play soccer? No.

What songs did you learn? No.’

It got so bad that I seriously started to think that the whole school, after school and extra curricular activities were a big Ponzi scheme because:

‘What do you in school then? Sleep, go to the restrooms and eat.’ Okayyyyy then…..

The plot thickened when many parents shared similar intel. Everyone laughed it out ‘Ha ha these kids are nuts’ but I could feel it, I could see it…Some of us were getting the Carrie Mathison crazy/million of thoughts look ‘Oh my god, what if it was not a school but a cult?’ Mouaaaaa.

After running 20 blocks after my kids on their scooters, I looked at DH and silently implored ‘let’s get a beer at our local’. Two hours later, we are barging with 3 tots wearing scooter helmets into the anniversary of Bebe noir, a clothing retail store, where African beats are blasting and gorgeous shop assistants are showing us their new collection. P is busting some devil moves on the dance floor, G is ransacking the clothing racks and stealing a blue nail varnish and L…well he has decided to peek into the fitting rooms…Initial high pitch screaming was then followed by a huge ‘Awwwwww’ followed by L finding firm breasts to rest his head on for the rest of the evening.

Let’s be clear here. I keep telling people that L is not as social as his siblings and very clingy with his mom. Obviously if you do look like Rihanna, he’ll pretend he has no mother nor father. Poor little orphan.  Come to think about it, I should ditch his ass in this store each time I need to do grocery shopping on the other side of the road. I am SO doing this.

Can I also say that 3 little helmets running around women with long legs in high heels is very stressful??? I kept thinking: bowling, strike, …oh shit!!! I did have 2 pints of beer…I know.

Time we all went to bed: 11pm

Sunday: Nikita, I will never be.

DH got a nasty bug so Black Ops today is Me on My Fucking Own. OK, he did set up a CIA assets bootcamp in our courtyard using all the tents, tunnels, outdoor tricks we have before signing off for the day…but still. It was a lonely, very lonely mission.

DRONES. EXPLOSION. NO EXTRACTION.

What did I do? I stared at my legs for a long time thinking shit like:

 ‘I will never buy again from H & M because the sweat pants I got last month were basically disintegrating in front of me (and last time I checked I do not have freaking invisible lazer beam mutant eyes!). ‘

‘How long will L keep this fake tattoo on his arm? It’s been 2 weeks. Freaking ridiculous.’

‘Who sings that song I have been obsessing about on Spotify? No, no, I cannot ask anyone about it because my taste in music is shitty at best. It is so embarrassing how shitty it is.’

‘I am addicted to Instagram.’ 

‘Why am I wearing Penelope’s Halloween golden tiara?’

‘I wonder what BP (Business Partner) is doing now in Joshua Tree Park?’

It got really scary when after an hour, I started to have the same thought popping back in an angrier mode like: ‘I am never fucking buying SHIT again from H &M!!!’ 

Yeah, could never be a spy. Would NEVER pass the solitary confinement test.

Oh also… time I took my shower: N/A.

Have a great week everyone!!!

Some random pics from my weekend…

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The End of the road ?

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.

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S-T-O-P

I hate bad customer service. It is one of those things that really bug me. Living in New York does not help; I get even more demanding now. However, something very out of character happened to me: two weeks ago, I almost tipped someone so that they stopped doing their job so well. It was a very kind beauty therapist…

Disclaimer: this post is kind of graphic and could cause discomfort. Read at your own risk. In my defense, I am muy loca these days.

With all the stress leading to our summer road trip down South and DH’s work news, I decided to finally claim my Mother’s Day present: a long overdue Mani Pedi and a massage. But since I, more than ever, needed to think ‘practical’, I opted out from the massage and asked for bikini waxing. It was a no brainer: I was going to the beach in South Carolina, it was going to be hot and whether I liked it of not I had to  help DH supervise the kiddos in the sea. So yeah I had to do IT.

It was high time that I finally overcame my fear. I avoided any ‘maintenance’ job down there since L was born 2 years ago because I have this (irrational) belief that a tiny tiny strip of wax was going to rip open wide my C-section scar. Hey, people tend to sweep under the rug the excruciating pain of C-section recovery: ‘it is standard procedure, don’t sweat it, you’ll be fine…You will be like C- what again?‘ Bullshit !!! I am still traumatized about it and every time L is pinching my scar (and all the fat around it)-for fun- I swear I cry. Note: this boy is obsessed with fat so either he becomes a cosmetic surgeon, a personal trainer or a soap maker. Bets are on.

Anyway, I was feeling strong and did not flinch when I confidently replied ‘Brazilian’ after the beautician asked whether I wanted a a Brazilian or a basic bikini. But then, she started to voice her concern when she saw me naked:

Wow, it’s a lot…Are you sure? Have you done it before?

Yes, I did it once when I was in Sao Paulo years ago. It was way before I had kids…I know it is all a mess down here these days but see, I had 3 kids [as if…] and I had this C-section so been scared to do it again bla bla…’

The more I talked, the more confused she looked but she proceeded anyway…That’s when I started to get confused.

She told to lift this, and lift that, and turn this and turn that. WTF???!!!! I was so shocked that I could not utter a word and just obediently followed the instructions. Thousand thoughts and screams were bursting inside my head with the loudest one being this one:

Obviously now I know for sure. I never had a fucking Brazilian ever before!!!!! Because if I had, I would definitely know!’

I swear it felt like a thorough OBGYN checkup combined with an hemorrhoids consult. Every time I thought she was done, she was going back to it again…and AGAIN. Even mental teleportation to my calm and safe haven where I ‘go’ to when the kids piss me off (FYI recently that place has been the Catskills Mountains in the Fall season) failed to calm my nerves.

She finally paused:

‘You have very, very sensitive skin…

Me thinking: No I don’t it. Perhaps I am bleeding because this part is supposed to have hair to protect it?

Yes you are very sensitive, so I am going to ask you one last time. Are you sure you want me to take it all off?

At this point, it is not confusion anymore but sheer disarray:

What do you mean? Surely, there is nothing left to take off… I said partly smiling partly wimping partly melting with sweat. Let’s just pause now to imagine a selfie of that expression…hahaha.

Realizing that I would never understand what she meant even if she was to speak very slowly and articulate every single sound, she just silently pointed her finger at my  ‘sacred line’. My eyes rolled out of my head and I finally screamed: ‘Please stop now, please’. 

‘Sure. Let me ‘clean’ the rest some details.’ She said getting her tweezer out to finish me off.

When I left the treatment room, I noticed that:

– I have been in there for almost an hour

– I could barely walk

– I should have thought better than wear tight jeans

And most importantly, as I was slowly moving toward the seat where my pedi would take place, I saw that all the customers were staring at me big time as if  wondering whether or not I had my whole body waxed…Once home and after all the redness disappeared, I started to laugh. In the last few years, I have been telling people how the whole IVF process, multiple vaginal exams during my two pregnancies, my two deliveries by C-section  destroyed all my sense of privacy and intimacy and claiming proudly that now old prudish me could face anything bla bla bla. As if no other woman on Earth could understand a word of what I freaking went through.

Turns out any woman who had a $50 full brazilian wax (or any gay man period) probably totally gets it!

Beijos

 

 

 

The day when… OR Blimey, because my life needs more excitment…

A man in a suit carrying a blue folder under his arm at 11am is a pretty banal sight in Corporate New York. When the man in a suit carrying a blue folder at 11am is not at work but is standing in your living room and is your red-faced DH, you know that your life may have just been turned upside down.

Note: a post I was supposed to write and share 2 weeks ago but only found the right words now.

Things were starting to settle down nicely. My MIL (mother in law) was packing to go home after having spent almost 3 weeks slaving for us and allowing me to make a much needed push in my entrepreneurial adventure. I was on a kick ass routine:morning laundry/work/caring for L in the afternoon/grocery shopping/diner/kids’ bed routine/work.

G and P are to start pre-K3 in September and are actually excited about it. L…is still an irrational vampire wrestler baby who still refuses to say words but he he IS cute so I just let it fly. I think I even muttered last Sunday: ‘I got this, things are going to roll from now on.’ Stupid Mama!! I really should have known better.

I don’t even know how to say this so I am going to say it as quickly as a damn dirty rap chorus: ‘DH, my man, freaking lost his job. Yo! Job, job, no no more. Yo! Peace Off’

Shit happens but usually not to him. He is almost 40 and has all his hair, eats like a pig but still is in some kind of shape. Yep, shit does not happen to him. I am usually the one that gets shit all over, all the time.  Anyway, In 20 years, he never has been laid off. Since 2008, he probably survived 10 or more RIFs (Reduction In Force or Rest In Filth). Many, many times we laughed about the day when he would be summoned into a room to listen to the Whys and the Sorrys and would not be allowed to go back to his desk before taking the exit door.

Turns out he was allowed to go back to his desk to (briefly) say his Adieu! but he refused to. Strangely.

Turns out I did not laugh either when I saw him. I did smile a bit because I do smile in most random situations. For example, I do not smile on pictures but I smile when looking at vegetables like Fenugreek. I am like ‘what a weird looking veggie. All vegetables must make fun of it, poor Fenugreek’. Yeah I do have random smiles so of course I would smile on the day we find ourselves raising 3 tots with no salary in Harlem, New York. So I smiled but then a few hours later at our local supermarket, I looked at green beans and my eyes started to get wet. Fuck. I used to love shopping for vegetables. And now it was like:

Oh an avocado – but what are we going to do?
Oh a tomato- I am going to have to let our beloved nanny go!’  Bla bla bla and Fuck.

It is the weirdest situation ever because what is really hard at the moment is not the threat of having to soon live on ramen noodles (which for my kids would be interpreted as ‘yeah our old folks must have won the lottery because it is party time every day!!! No more fucking organic red meat’).  The most difficult thing so far has been to figure out who does what in the house. DH is now helping to look after L so every day is like a negotiation:

Him: ‘What are your plans tomorrow?
Me: Can you watch him from 1pm til 3pm and then I’ll take over? No, Ok until 2.45pm?
Me: What do you mean you need 1 hour on your mini I-Pad? 
Him: Oh, that’s where you usually work? 
Him: Is that really how much we spend in childcare?
Me: Are we having lunch together or not?
Me: Why the fuck were you late for our lunch?
Him: You said you would be back at 5.30pm…it s like 6pm!!!!
Me: I don’t think we should have lunch together anymore. Like ever.’

We’ll figure it out eventually. We always do, I suppose. Until then we’ll text each other shit like this: ‘What do you mean you are not with L? I thought that was your day? Oopsie…’

Meanwhile, the kids are ecstatic to have their dad home. They just can’t believe their luck and want to spend every second of their lives with him leaving the nanny and I watching the ‘massacre’ from the sidelines.  So before I start stocking instant noodles from Chinatown in my kitchen or research how much the average rent in Washington Heights is, I am going to try and enjoy the following blessings:
– the kids having a blast because Daddy is home and he has always been the coolest ‘service staff member’
– DH seemingly increasingly blown away by Yours Truly and asking every hour ‘Ma Cherie, how do you do it? How do you actually achieve stuff’

So yeah DH has no paid job for now but I’ll take a smitten man any day mouaaaa

Below some great pics from the talented Helene McGuire who unbeknownst to her made my tough week much lighter

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