Monday, January 19, 2009

You Know How People Say that Having Children Focuses You? Today, It's a Lie.

I'm having one of those days where I can't seem to get myself to do anything. Not that kind where I don't want to get out of bed -- I got up, fed the cats, medicated Mr. Tabby, fed the baby, changed the baby, took pictures of the baby propping himself up with his arms while on his belly, fed myself, etc. No, I'm not depressed. It's a nice gray day when it's nice to have the blinds open -- and I just want to enjoy the quiet. Just want to enjoy the baby and my own thoughts. I think I only have these days when I have tons to do and don't do any of it. When I have little that is pressing, I think I get bored. I don't know -- it hasn't happened in a while.

I should be grading student papers. I'm teaching this wild five-week intersession class. They turned these in the last time we met, then my groaner-loaner gave it up, so I had to cancel last week's last meeting day. Today we have off. There's no logical reason for students not to get their papers back tomorrow. But they won't. The question is really whether they will get them this week. At this point, I don't think so.

In addition to my procrastinating habits so bad as to be criminal, it's also just that this weekend was so awful. Absurdist Lover's back went out -- this time on the side. His job doesn't offer insurance, and we can barely afford to make rent -- so getting him some solo insurance isn't possible right now. He didn't work Friday. By Saturday he was in agony. It then moved down to his leg. Last night, his leg went numb, which, while scary, was a relief because the pain medication we had wasn't working. My internet research suggests that his sciatic nerve is pinched -- but what's doing the pinching? We don't know. He was in so much pain it was scary. I was waiting for the moment when I would have to take him to the emergency room. In addition to feeling helpless and trying to help him do a couple things, I had full-time care of the baby -- and we had to get food and stuff. We got my car back on Friday -- and now I'm getting much better at going to the store with the baby. I'd like to say I was loving and helpful the whole weekend, but I wasn't. I had a cold with a headache. And I was worrying about when these papers were going to get graded, since I was getting no relief from baby care. AL went to work this morning, his leg still numbish, so now it's quiet around here -- and even during the times, like now, when I could be grading, I'm not.

I also made the mistake of answering my phone. A medical bill has gone to collection. I got paid on Friday, but it's all gone already -- to food. I can't even pay my sister back the $60 I borrowed a few weeks ago and had for a while, but now it seems to have gone poof! The collection agent was prepared to work with me and reduce the amount, but I had to tell him that I had $25 until I get paid next (and really that has to go entirely to rent, so I actually have to make what I have last three weeks, which is impossible, and I don't know what we're going to do). So I have the whole money thing swirling in my head. I looked up WIC, and I think our little household makes too much money to qualify, which seems impossible because we don't have anything. One good answer to all this would be for me to apply for more jobs. That would even make sense. But though I know I must get a tenure-track job, any tenure-track job, I'm conflicted about it because then I'll be away from Absurdist Baby so much. I mean, I know I have to do it. But it's hard to feel gung ho about applying for second-season jobs. Especially as I've also been wiki-watching and biting my nails hoping for campus interviews.

Sigh. One interview that I thought I did well on has gone on a hiring freeze. Though I'm not sure that they would've called me anyway. So I'm crossing my fingers about two others but really should be applying applying applying to the handful of new jobs. Heck, I should be grading the essays for the job I have now. And what about the bills I should be entering for the law office? This is not good. I'm hoping writing this blogpost will help me get this flakey mindmeandering out of my system. Scarily, I think I'd prefer to do the office stuff over the grading right now. It's already 2pm, and I have gotten nothing done! Where's the panic? What is wrong with me? I just feel so overworked already! Absurdist Baby is wonderful, and I love him dearly, but taking care of him is work! I feel like I should get to enjoy some quiet. And I should get to putter and think about the holiday today and the inauguration tomorrow and the historical importance of all that. I also want to think about the whole immunization thing, since I took AB to the pediatrician on Friday and signed the immunization form instead of had him shot up with six different things(!), but now I feel like a bad parent -- and stupid too. I don't fear autism or anything -- I fear all the long-term effects that we don't really know about. But all this just worries me. I just want to enjoy some worry-free living for a few blessed minutes. After all, if AL were in trouble, he'd call. I hope he is okay. He endures a lot and then to have the searing pain that he's in. . .it's just too much. The poor man is going to explode.

Cross your fingers that I stop puttering the apartment and teh internets and get to work and feel productive and stop daydreaming and worrying about things I can't do anything about right now.


What Now? said...

A thought (and pardon my evangelizing here): Have you considered high school teaching? Regular hours, good pay, health insurance, better job market, all that good stuff. Of course, it doesn't take care of the grading problem!

Jane D said...

Everytime I think of you three these days, I can't help but picture AL with that 2 ft. pony he got from the bank. I'm sorry. I know that's weird. But after reading today that he's been in so much pain, my pony image has dissolved into one that is much, much worse and no longer funny. So sorry to hear AL's in pain! Is it getting any better? Please tell him I'm thinking of him. I'm sending all three of you good thoughts.

Earnest English said...

WN, teaching high school is a good idea. But it would have to be private high school, like you. The one immediate problem is that I would really like to move. Though Urban Home City is very much the kind of place where there are tons of private high schools, I just can't stay here: it's too expensive and it hurts my spirit. So I don't know where one goes to find private high school jobs in other places. (Do people move for high school jobs?) If you have any ideas, since you are now in the know, could you email me at

Jane D, I think the better picture is with the pony! The pain went into his leg -- and then his leg went numb. Of course, this is bad, suggesting that he has a pinched nerve. But we had no money to start with and now he's been laid off. We're screwed. So he's just happy he's not in pain anymore. He doesn't have insurance. GAH!