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January 9, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Unhappy Hands and Disagreements

It's the oddest thing. After a lifetime of digging hair out of the drain after a shower, I suddenly realized that for the last several months I've lost pretty much zero hair to the drain. None. No mats of ucky gooey whatever stuck to the shower drain after every shower, nothing at all, in fact. It's just really, really weird to realize that all of a sudden. Like the dark patches on my skin, the different shape of my body, and it's all just different. I know I'll lose all that held-in hair after the baby's born, but, for now, I just kind of gawk in wonder at a really strange biological working that once would have protected me from predators that could scent me from fallen hair.

The hands certainly didn't like getting beaten to a pulp last night. Bah. For much of the day, at work, they were too hot, a bit stiff and swollen enough to not close right. Though, admittedly, not closing right didn't really stop me from being able to work or type. Just no more PlayStation beatings for a bit, I think.

Breakfast was yummy and John added a trip to Conoco before our early meetings. It was so early I actually was able to score two chocolate covered chocolate donuts and it made John giggle when he saw the smile on my face. Enjoying things is good. I ate one on the way over and saved the other to eat during my meeting. It was much more organized this week. It was nice to just sit and listen and find that things were happening again. After the hot sync last night, I'd actually dug out the extra special case that Dad had sent along with the Visor and I put it in the case. It's a very nice little leather case that makes it much easier to get at the critter and I came up with my day's To Do list.

Check check check...

Lunch was a Hungry Man Beef Pie and I think I'm figuring out that I'm eating a whole lot more now as I finished the pie off happily and looked for more stuff to eat all afternoon, too. I liked the little Swanson's pies normally, but it was interesting to find that I could actually eat the whole thing over time and still be a little peckish. While I waited for the pie to finish cooking in the microwave, I iced my poor hands thoroughly, and they only heated up afterwards, which was mildly surprising. I'm probably going to have to ice more.

Or see if a hot bath can get the circulation flowing better again. Exercise is helping me sleep, but I don't really think it's helping my hands much, really. Walked late in the afternoon and did a few arm strength exercises and, combined, both my feet and my hands got hot and more swollen for a bit. Circulation is weird stuff. They went down again soon after, but my hands still hurt and the right still can't close totally. I drank a lot of water just to keep things moving. I kept thinking that I basically have the equivalent of two ten pound bags of flour on my body and any exercise I do should likely take into account that extra weight. It's why I'm very careful of my lower back while I'm doing any of this as the extra torque just wouldn't be a good thing. Bet this is good for the bones, light impact exercise and a ton of calcium every day. John had his late meeting, so I ate a little late in the afternoon as well.

I have a feeling that this is just going to be a constant battle until the kid is born and I can lose some of this water weight. The funny thing was that the exercise and food and stuff got the Fish moving around in my belly. No more kicks and punches, he doesn't really have the room anymore. It's more rolling motions, moving and squirming a little and pressures in certain directions as a foot or hand gains purchase and the tyke stretches inside. Pushes against outside contact, too. A few flutters of hands and feet, likely, and some bucking of the entire body that always startles me when he does it.

We went home late, as expected. John wanted to ride the bike, so I put together homemade macaroni and cheese. Brother Walt called while John was getting ready and I took that time to put the dish together and when John actually made it downstairs, I put it in the oven and raided the refrigerator for something to tide me over while he was riding. I ate a few random things and the phone rang again and it was Mom.

She'd just gotten her birthday gift, as the delivery folks had delivered it to a neighbor instead of them, and the neighbor had only just gotten around to handing the box over. It had been addressed correctly, but they'd just handed it to the wrong address. It was good that the neighbors were good enough to bring it over, as, from how she put it it was pretty obvious that the pears were really ripe already. Mom loved 'em, said that she'd gotten the catalog before Christmas but had never thought that the fruit would really be that good. I had to agree, as I hadn't thought that from just the catalog, either, it was only after eating them that I'd had any clue. It was good to know that she really enjoyed them a lot.

We then got into a disagreement about how to care for the baby after I'm working again, and it was just really frustrating. Some of it is that John and I are planning to do research about it all in depth and, so, haven't decided anything yet; and she had already decided what she wanted us to do without anything even resembling local research or even research beyond a few odd comments from her acquaintances and an article or two. The odd thing was realizing that the pattern was exactly like with some of my arguments with Geoff, where their speech patterns imply that they want me to do what they want me to do and neither of them can give an inch, in feedback or in 'argument', that I might actually have any clue as to what I was doing. That I have reasons for my decisions and that I'd already heard their arguments and collected data that disproves or makes it irrelevant to my situation. I don't argue general cases 'cause I don't believe in them. What works for me will, obviously, not work for someone else in a different situation and with different needs. Both of them argue from a theoretical viewpoint that often has very little experience or real knowledge of where I am to back it up. They just believe they know what's 'right' for me and feel that they have the right to tell me that. What really infuriates me is that neither ask me a damned thing about where I actually am before they launch into their lectures. Mom's much worse, she's been arguing this thing four or five times already and she still hasn't figured it out. Geoff's smart, only does it a couple times and when I get mad he figures it out. But I'm meaner to him than I am to my Mom. Sometimes I wonder if that's the only way they'll get it, if I lash out. I don't like doing it, but if I have to defend myself that way, I will.

The funniest thing about the argument was when Mom said, "Well, you'll have to deal with the consequences." as if it were a threat, as if her fears were reality. And I said, "Yes. I will and I'll be glad to."

I had a dream, afterwards, about an old king and a new king, both creating swords to fight each other for the throne. The old king did his sword the traditional way, Damascus style, with fire, anvil, hammer and hands-on craftsmanship, because he really did believe that he knew the best way to make a sword and he wanted complete control of the process to get exactly what he wanted. The young king went to a forging firm with a ceramics forge and he talked with all their engineers about what would work best. Together, they all came up with an oddly fish-shaped blade that could withstand 800 degrees heat and was sharp enough to slice cleanly through steel girdered walls, glass, and brick. Yeah, he just playfully swiped at a building wall and went right through. When the two kings met in combat, the fish blade sliced the old-fashioned one into little, tiny bits in no time. A light touch of the tip on the back of the old king's hand, to let a bit of blood flow, and the young king had won. The young king was much better for his kingdom, too, as he actually listened to people instead of just doing things his way, but he also took the responsibility of being the ultimate authority on things very seriously.

I don't believe the myth that a woman with her very first baby is 'best' person to bring up the kid all by herself, especially with nothing but her own upbringing to bring to what's useful for the kid. That she has to stay at home and do nothing but care for the baby and that that is the best thing for the child. Back when there were multiple care-givers living in one house, I could possibly see all that working; but that's not possible now. I am the one who is ultimately responsible though, and I'd rather consult with experts, with those that have done it hundreds of times before, who have the experience and, really, the calling to care for kids. I don't know what's best, but I can learn and I can choose. And it really is my choice and I totally understand that others choose differently for their own reasons and that's fine with me, just leave me to my choices.

I'd rather have breaks, time off, time out, and have helpers who have that alternative, rather than being home alone or some home alone nanny or at-home caregiver being backed into a corner of always having to be 100% capable because there is no one else. The really paranoid part of me would rather have adults watching each other than someone who can do whatever they want at home with my child. Including me, John solves that problem for me when I'll be home with the kid. I like the idea of the Masons' co-op, where the parents all take some time each week to care for all the kids for a while in teams. I'd rather have a kid that can interact with a number of caring adults, can deal with different methods, can get sustenance a number of ways, can share affection and things with other kids, and can cope with differences in how love is expressed. Instead of someone like me that's scared to talk to people, doesn't know how to cope beyond 'fight or flight' with differences from what I think is 'right', and is always exhausted by trying to even interact with people.

From my point of view Jeanette is an example of the old-fashioned, traditional way of bringing up kids, where the mom is in complete control of everything that happens. She kidnapped her kids 'cause she couldn't bear to have anyone else have anything to do with them. She kept them out of public schools for the same reason, and kept them so that their only input came from herself. I hate that. I know that many home schooled kids do really well and are very well adjusted, too; but I just, for myself, want to avoid the tendency.

The phone call made me really upset, though Mom said, in the end, that she didn't expect me to do what she wanted me to do. She also brought it back around to less controversial things in an effort to calm me down, I guess. I also got to talk with Dad, who was very cool and asked relevant questions and it was good to talk with him for a while. I know that some of it is that, as a kid, I was brought up to fear doing whatever it was that the parents didn't want me to do; but, damnit, it's been decades since I've lived there and I've done plenty, since.

John came up from his riding and found me slumped in the dining room, really depressed over the call. He helped me talk it all through and agreed with my points and came up with some of his own for why he wanted to do as we wanted to do. It helped, but I was still upset and my brain was still running around. Some of it was envy, as John's parents, while they will express an opinion, are also very clear that it's only an opinion and that they would support their kids however the kids decide to do things. John asked what would distract me over dinner. Dinner was good. The mac and cheese with some well broiled Wranglers and a lot of green vegetables helped some. I finally decided that the best thing to cure my mood would be to play a bit of Crash Bash. Hands or no, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to stop my brain from circling, over and over, on how mad the disagreement had made me without something to completely derail my brain.

The game worked. Really well. I was giggling so hard, at one point, I had to run to the bathroom as the baby was juggling my bladder as well. The Fish had been really, really still when I was arguing with Mom, but when I started laughing again, he started wiggling again. It almost hurt, but it was also really funny and had me giggling a lot. My hands were a mess after, but I took a long, hot bath and with the bath and the exercise, I got to sleep pretty well, even though the Fish protested my lying on my left side hard enough that I had to turn around. And dreamed a lot. I am getting up every two hours, though. I guess it's good practice for the baby, without the stress I had with having to worry about Fezzik back when he was getting up frequently, too. Even with the bath, my hands were really unhappy with me.

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