Our family is on an adventure.
I must call it this or else it becomes in name what it is in spirit: a rather challenging week and a half where I churn out twenty to forty pages of revised work a night while my children behave like, well, children.
Our adventure coincides with several things. One of them is the rearranging of our apartment back home. Every room except the bathroom got switched all up. My kids have a larger bedroom, my husband and I can now walk all the way AROUND our bed like adults, and we have an office. We also have, when all added up, a couple hundred dollars worth of new shelving in the kitchen, making this mama lady feel like slight family organization is within reach. But the whole thing was disorienting. The kids go into our bedroom looking for their toys, which had been living in that room for two years. I keep trying to throw things out where the trash cans were, only to have to turn on my heels and search around for their new place. And the back porch I cleaned and was proud of last weekend is now the receptacle for all the things my husband brought home from his mother’s move, which we’ve been assisting as well.
So there is that. There is flux. I know I am a neurotic writer. And so I know flux makes me edgy and in need of some fancy drinks and gossip. My releases. I am just a teenage girl at heart, really.
Then there is this trip. To work on my new play. Here inidyllic La Jolla. I am from Boston. Most things are old. And narrow. I am astounded by how new everything looks here, even when it isn’t. I’m perplexed by all these apartment complexes. With pools. And manicured grass and flowers and palm trees.
Our days go like this:
4 AM I try to peel out of bed to pee but since the kids and I are sharing a bed here, I am usually unable to pee alone at night, since they are worried I am going to go to rehearsal on the sly.
4 AM to 6 AM ish Small people ask me if it is morning and if there are owls in the palm trees and if there are, are they hungry? Will they find us? There ARE owls in Medford. But they won’t eat us there. Will they eat us here? No? Okay.
6 AM to 7 AM All attempts at breakfast for H are mocked, while KK requests option after option.
8 AM ish There is always some sort of “miscommunication” about when I was to leave to go write.
Until 10:30 AM ish I write, buy what seems like 500 dollars with of food and apple juice, and realize that everyone here reminds me of the people in Somerville’s Porter Davis area…friendly and spacey.
12:30-7 I am in rehearsal. I am astounded by the actors, my director, the stage managers, the dramaturg. These are some kick ass artists. Come see the show!
7 PM I usually around this time get a text saying the kids are crazy and not tired. I night they fell asleep at 5 but that was once. That is over. During this time R takes his leave.
Til 11 PM I do more rewrites.
So I am very tired. This post is not even that interesting because I am so tired. But it has been so long since I have written.
For various reasons.
Among them is four. I know every age has its challenges. I know I have probably said this about three. And two. I know my mother has heard me rant. I know my friends have, too. But four is grating on me. I also understand that if someone has a child who is delayed in anyway, my complaints sound ungrateful and annoying.
But four. Is. Frustrating. To be kind about it.
The talking, the questions, the demands, the ruminations, are INCESSANT. Maybe she is just the typical overindulged twentyfirst century preschooler. But I am not so sure. We do have boundaries and limits and she does not really throw tantrums and is usually so sweet and kind. But four. Is. demanding and constant and in need all.the.time. I don’t know how people do this with more. Someone is always falling or destroying something. People remark “you’ve lost all the baby weight! You’re thin!” And I say: um, this is stress? And, you lose your appetite when you spend meals asking people to sit, to eat, to stop hitting, to chew, and then someone says “I have to go to the bathroom” and insists you watch her, and then help her, and really, I am not sure who is still hungry if that is the pattern your meals and days take.
I have also been thinking of the following. Years ago on Phil Donohue, Audrey Hepburn was asked if she’d even write an autobiography. She said no. The audience specifically wanted to know about her dad who left them family around the time of the war. She said no. She said “A life involves too many other lives”. It’s okay I invoke her. She must be smart if Target sells her posters, right? College dorm art corners the market on insight, right? Anyway, it is not an untrue statement. I am wary of plastering my kids’ lives on the internet. Or my husband’s. Or even my own, when so many can have access to it. So I’ve been in the weeds, thinking of these things…my bladder full, the little fingers digging into my side.