Saturday, June 24, 2006

Crying it out: All together now. . .

Don't know who's more worn out these days: Lucas or me.

Oh hell, it's me, hands down. Who are we kidding?

Mr. Trillwing is treating himself to a concert tonight. There's nothing like standing in the 5 p.m. 106-degree sun in an outdoor concert venue. Needless to say, I stayed home. I'm not much of a concertgoer nor a standing-in-the-heat type.

But that means, of course, that I'm home with the babe. Since Lucas was especially active today and since his naps were a bit shorter than usual, I assumed he would be heading to bed early.


Here's the deal: He made motions toward sleep at 8 p.m., so I put him in his crib, and he slept for about 20 minutes. Since then (it's now 10:40 p.m.), we've had quite the adventure. I tried letting him cry scream it blood-curdlingly out for about an hour, occasionally going in to pat him on the back. I gave him half a bottle of formula after the first 40 minutes because I was worried his little throat was getting raw. He cried while he drank because I didn't take him out of his crib. I turned on a nightlight for him and some music and hung out near his crib while he screamed. I'm pretty sure I suffered some hearing loss.

I threw in the Ferber towel around 10:15, cuddling with him in bed for a few minutes before I realized he was wide awake from all the shrieking. At 10:30 I took him for a walk with the dog, carrying him in my arms while he nursed a bottle. (Tangent: There were people out jogging at 10:30 because it's the coolest part of the day. Crazy!) Now he's reclining in my lap, gurgling, gripping his empty bottle by the nipple, and alternately waving the bottle in lazy circles and knocking it against my hands, his feet, and his head. It's a good life. . .for him.

I'm feeling increasingly trapped, mostly by the heat, but also by the childcare situation--and by a combination of the two, since strapping Lucas into a hot carseat in a broiling car, and then putting him in a stroller that's been baking in the trunk all day once we reach our destination, is not appealing. I'm trying to get out to playgroups, but I start teaching again on Monday, and my three-day-a-week teaching schedule will limit my time.

I'm also feeling a lot of dissertation stress. Fantastic Adviser and I put together a new schedule for completion, a very realistic one I think, but the whole revision process is still really stressful. Academic job announcements are coming out now, and I know I need to finish the diss before applying for any positions. My committee is demanding, and most days I think that's a good thing. Some days it's harder to accept the high standards to which I'm being held when I suspect other students have not been required by their committees to turn in the same caliber of work.

So: baby stress + dissertation stress + heat + lack of time & will to exercise = depression. I'm withdrawing into my own shell and I don't want to talk to anyone--even the usual people--about it, except my good friend Breena, who's just so full of positive, relaxed, take-life-as-it-comes energy that I can't help but feel cheered. My apologies to those of you whose e-mail and phone calls I haven't returned; I'm taking some me-time this month and next.

Meanwhile, there are people out there with real problems, and I guess it's good I still recognize that. I recently learned that someone for whom Mr. Trillwing and I have a great deal of affection has been going through some tough times these past few months, but I didn't notice because our interactions have been intermittent and it's always me, me, me! (You know who you are. Yes, you, the cute and usually self-assured one from Wisconsin. If you're reading this, sorry 'bout my totally failing to catch on earlier. Let's get together for Jamba Juice, if you're up for it. My e-mail address is over there in the right sidebar.)

Oh, a bit of good news: my "little" (she's 6 feet tall) sister got engaged yesterday. Yay! We're all thrilled for her and her engineer. Like Mr. Trillwing and I, they got engaged in downtown Hometown. We were engaged in a skyline restaurant; her engineer popped the question atop a Ferris wheel. I think it's a sign that things will go well for them.

She told me this joke the other day (it's a jibe at her ex):

Q: An engineer and an artist are in a restaurant. What does the artist say to the engineer?
A: "Would you like fries with that?"

Here's to happier times ahead, Sis.


Sharon L. Holland said...

What a difficult week you are having. Dissertations can suck the life out of anyone. And everyone in a PhD program knows someone who wrote an easy dissertation and managed to get by with lower standards. They are in every discipline.

The hard stuff that other people go through doesn't make your difficulty less real. Don't feel bad for feeling bad.

Karen said...

I did not really put together the whole--I post & then you can find me concept until about an hour after I posted & then realized I was trapped in a "Friends" episode where Monica leaves a message for Richard & can't figure how to get it off & just keeps making it worse. So now I am found out! Not only that I am a mess, but that I watch way too many shows like "Friends". Jamba Juice sounds great & I happen to know a couple of girls who would love to entertain a little boy (common comment in our house "can't you get us a brother?") I am up for stand ins.

squab said...

Poor Trillwing! Dissertations and wakeful babies will stress ANYONE out. Hope things get better soon. Or at least that the weather cools off a little!

grumpyABDadjunct said...

Your equation sounds like the perfect storm for a melt-down, so me-time and some relief (in what ever way you find it) are exactly what you need. Take yogamom up on her childcare offer!

I can feel your pain, hang in there!