29 March 2008
Sick Leave
I'll be back when they let me out, I promise!
posted by Doc at 00:21 | Permalink | 0 comments
14 March 2008
posted by Doc at 11:41 | Permalink | 4 comments
10 March 2008
It just doesn’t end!

We’re going back to the doctor today. Pooplette officially has no skin left on her bum, so I’ve stopped all her medication as of yesterday. She’s miserable, cranky, very tired (she’s not sleeping more than a few hours at a stretch now, and quite frankly that reminder of her early days I can do without) and we just cannot handle this—we being me, of course.

This morning I had a nice visit with the tax office. When we built the shit heap on the hill we installed heat pumps, something that earned us a hefty 50% refund from those nice tax people. They want it back. We were supposed to move in within six months of the bill, and while that was the original plan, things got rather FUBARed along the way. Of course, we did make sure that we wouldn’t be dicked over about this before filing our taxes for that year. But this is France, right? Everything depends on la fonctionnaire’s morning cup of coffee. And the guy in charge of our dossier was not in this morning—nor was he in the last time I came calling, so I had to spill out the entire story to some other person, wait until she wrote everything down, photocopied my supporting documents, pled sympathy with me and then turned around to tell me that I shouldn’t really hope very much. What a lovely way to start the week.

I promise, for those of you interested, I will spill the whole house story one day. It’s just very long, and very frustrating, and such a source of problems for me that I really have a hard time with it. Ignoring it hasn’t made it go away, but it has made getting through the day possible.

In other local news, my feet are currently frozen. I’m not normally a cold-natured person, far from it actually, but at the moment my piggers feel ready to break off like ice chips. The window in the monkey’s room was broken way back in August and today it finally got replaced. Marc’s currently airing the room out so we’re not all high on fumes, and apparently all the heat left in the house has chosen to escape. I don’t blame the heat, not at all. If I could, I’d fly right out that window too.

Marc’s dad is still in the hospital. That’s a bit I haven’t touched on, so I guess I’ll fill you in. He had a flare up of the old prostate, and while it apparently isn’t linked to cancer, it was horrendous enough to render the man useless. That’s a pretty tough trick for someone like the ole beau-père. He’s stuck in a room with a nice view of trees in Nancy, or the outskirts thereof, over an hour’s drive from here. It’s a less than ideal situation for all involved, especially since he was scheduled to be home by now. Alas, ‘twas not to be. The incision in his bladder unexpectedly popped open the day before his scheduled release, so he ended up back in surgery a second time on the day he had planned on coming home. To say he was less than happy is truly an understatement. He has been on the town council since the last elections and was the only one of that group running again. He’s been reelected, of course (to know the man is to love him), but not being here has taken it’s toll on him. Seeing him lying in bed has been rough for me as well—giving me flashback to my father and his seemingly never-ending love affair with hospitals. It’s hard to see the strong men in our lives in such a fragile state.

I’ll leave off, so I can get Monkey 2’s bum checked out, defrost my feet, and think evil thoughts to those that have ruined my domestic dreams. Send black thoughts their way, too, OK?

posted by Doc at 15:56 | Permalink | 1 comments
08 March 2008
______-Free Evening

a. Child

b. Worry

c. Stress

d. All of the above

D. Gimme D any day! And tonight, with a little help from my charming, darling, vibrant, etc. friend Vi, from the wilds of Aube county, that’s exactly what I had. I’m still reveling in the post-orgasmic glow an evening out with friends, wine and adult conversation leaves me with these days. I feel so easy-to-please.

Mô & Vi,
Marc & me,
And oh so child-free!
It inspires me
To really bad poetry.

I totally need a life!

Today brought with it antibiotic induced ass trauma for Pooplette in the form of nasty dyin’-in-the-rear that ate the skin right off her precious cheeks. It was so bad at one point I had no other choice than to leave her bare-assed. Of course, this was the opportune time to flee the house and let the Hippy Duo Baby Sitters take care of coaxing her into some kind of butt covering/furniture protection for the night (which, apparently, they did manage to do—but only after she spread the source of her discontent all across the living room floor).

I also managed to return to Vi some books she so graciously lent me many moons ago. Vi amazes me so often. When we met in college, some couple of years ago, she was such a naive creature. I am still amazed by her sometimes, what with all the poor kid’s been put through since her arrival on French soil. And just when I think I’ve got her figured out, she tosses me another loop—this time in the form of the books she lent me. I don’t think any one group of words have impacted me as the few volumes she passed my way. That chick, she’s deep, man. It’s spooky.

Of course, one of the undesirable effects of all these beautiful words has been my new-found addiction to many of the works I was so graciously lent. So addicted, in fact, that Amazon has cashed in more of my money. My kids will be well provided for when I die—if they like books, that is. We must get that house finished if ever I am to have a place to put them all. They’re everywhere now, including the staircase.

House! Damn, I had to mention that, didn’t I. I have news, but it’s too late tonight to think about it, much less write it all out for you. How’s that for a teaser?

It’s late, and I must enjoy the last bit of peace I can get before Marc takes off tomorrow morning to visit his father . He’s stuck in the hospital in Nancy and Marc’s taking Maman in to see him, and to visit a bit too, of course. And yes, another topic that’s too long to go into tonight.

Sorry for being a Saturday night tease…

posted by Doc at 23:24 | Permalink | 3 comments
07 March 2008
Another Day, Another Doctor

Pooplette (that’s baby #2 for those of you who have long since given up on my constantly changing naming system) started the morning with a lovely fever of 39.1°C (102.4°F), the third morning in a row she’s done so. Thinking it better to plan the day at the start instead of changing course mid-way and setting myself up for a panic attack in the middle of my Friday Morning Shopping, I called the crèche to see if they’d still take her. They wouldn’t. Panic attack temporarily advanced and conquered, I decided to call the Great Lady Doctor and try to fit her in in the afternoon. Ha! Seems like every other mother on the planet had the same idea. I had to put that great idea on the back burner for a while.

I took The Great Calm One in anyway, and carted off Pooplette for the morning shopping that HAD. TO. BE. DONE. Now that Pooplette is on regular milk like her older brother, we go through that stuff like air. With less than three liters left in the house, the time had come for the milk run. I HATE the milk run. Milk, it’s heavy stuff, especially when one has to load up 36 1-liter cartons of it in the back of one’s Super-Ugly-Mobile. I don’t even drink the stuff, so it’s a totally selfless act, right? I sure hope it gives me some good karma, because coming back as a dung beetle is about as good as I can hope for at this point.

It has been a while since I’ve taken Pooplette anywhere public with me. The convenience of having them in the crèche twice a week has allowed me the luxury of getting a minimum of my shopping done without the constant battle of mothering. Shopping in France is enough of a battle, even on a good day. Today, however, I was brought back to the reality that I am a mother (even if I still insist that’s only half the word). Pooper, always a curious soul, is a non-stop soundtrack of life’s questions. While she’s not quite at the “Why?” stage, she is far enough along to make me want to wring her neck on aisle two. Or maybe just staple her tongue to the roof of her mouth.

With the milk and the Goblin Of Endless Questions loaded in the car, I headed home to make lunch for the tribe—Mr. Man-thing, Mr. Employee (who is still a God-send), Monkey, and Poop. Oh, and me, because I still like to eat. And try again to get an appointment for the feverish girl. And try to keep said child from destroying the cave we live in. And try to hang on to my last thread of sanity.

I managed to feed us without too much difficulty. Of course, the menu had to change significantly as I wasn’t planning on the eldest girl child being around, much less clinging to me like a bad cancerous lesion. And once I finally got the phone to actually ring at the Dr.’s office instead of just getting a never ending busy signal, I managed an appointment for the middle of the afternoon. And the walls are still standing. Three out of four ain’t bad.

Turns out Pooplette’s got another double ear infection. This is the third double ear infection since her single ear infection back in November. I’m sick of ear infections, even if we’re lucky enough that she doesn’t seem too terribly bothered by them. She’s on yet another course of antibiotics, something she simply adores because the child is addicted to all types of syringes. I refuse to think of her future at this point—the endless strings of rehab seem frightening.

At least for the moment she’s safe in her bed, and while I could sit here and bitch that I am again stuck in the role of single parent while her father is off doing his thing, I shall, for once, let the urge pass me by. It’s not a momentary lapse in bitchiness, I assure you, but more of a realization as I sit her with two more children belonging to a friend who is in the middle of a divorce that things could be infinitely more complicated than they are.

posted by Doc at 21:20 | Permalink | 6 comments
06 March 2008
Crazy? Not me!
It’s true. The shrink verified it this afternoon. So that’s good news. Of course, if I’m not the crazy one, then you may take this opportunity to reflect on just who the crazy one might be. Or not. In fact, don’t. He’ll only insist he’s not.

So, having said that, let me just take a minute to thank those of you who sent kind words and sprinkles of pixie dust my way during my absence. Yes, I was on a mental health break, one that was probably long overdue, and yes, I finally asked to be and was medicated—heavily. There is something to be said for a country of fonctionnaires who suffer incessantly from depression. Bless them! Bless them all! They’ve made my life just that much easier.

So, I’m not crazy. I’m burned out, worn out, drug under, and gasping for air. But I’m alive. I wasn’t too terribly sure I’d be able to say that a month or two ago, considering all the shit that has fallen under my shoes on this trek. But I’m here.

Or maybe I’m just a hologram?

“But Doc,” you’re asking, “What has been your problem?”

Well, glad you asked. Since November, I’ve drug one child or the other along to the doctor 43 times. Forty-three visits in three months. (God Bless Social Medicine! I cannot imagine what we would have done State-side, other than cry.) We’ve had three cases of chicken pox, five cases of conjunctivitis, four rounds of le gastro-one of which lasted the better part of two weeks, two double ear infections and one single ear infection, plus all the regular colds, fevers, sniffles, teething, rashes and general pains and discomforts of childhood. In addition, Mr. Man-Thing put a huge thorn through his finger (and yes he was wearing industrial-strength work gloves at the time) and I’ve been trying to regulate everything from my normal hormonal mood swings to the omnipresent urge to beat the living shit out of Thorny-Hand-Man. Wait, that’s probably a bit redundant, that last bit.

But I am not, I repeat, The Crazy One.

I should probably point out that there really isn’t a Crazy One, at least not yet.

In the midst of over-running toilets, leaky diapers, and too many medications to keep track of because damn! Can’t they just make some NyQuil here and be done with it! I’ve realized that I am struggling to keep me…alive? Does that sound too melodramatic? I am the first to admit I was not cut from the Happy Housewife cloth. And that Stay-at-Home-Mom T-shirt doesn’t fit me very well at all either. But here I am, stuck in a role I loathe, feeling resentful to almost everyone and everything because, well I don’t know why exactly.

I think part of it stems from the immigrant thing. I’m the one who gave up everything (practically) to be here. My friends are all on the other side of the ocean, with the obvious exception of the one moron who decided to do just what I did and marry a Frenchman. My family is all Over There, my history, my culture, my language. All of it I gave up willingly for this? Dirty diapers? Conversations about pipi et caca? Never-ending drool? I’m not quite sure this is an identity crises, although that’s probably as good a description as any. I do have My Life, outside of the house, such that it is, but it is often a source of conflict, and it’s left me wondering if this, this so-called marital bliss, is something I really need or even want in my life.

So lots and lots of soul-searching has been going on. Lots and lots of e-mails have gone unanswered. And lots and lots of blogs I adore have fallen off the radar, mine included. I’ve been rude and negligent in my illness. I plead insanity—although given the Shrink’s account, I’ll stand trial anyway.

Can’t have it all.

For now, I’m back, at least sort-of. And yes, I’m still very much married, and very much planning on staying that way—I do rather, sorta, kinda love the bugger, ya know. Men!
posted by Doc at 21:55 | Permalink | 17 comments