Friday, September 21, 2012

The bottom of the trough, but staying above water

Today I'm at the bottom of the trough. I'd intended to go to the gym with Addison, followed by the playground and park, followed by the pet store, and then maybe a brief stop at the lab to cure cancer. Also, we were going to work on letters and numbers somewhere in there.

But we both woke up a little late after a middle-of-the-night contest of wills about whether I was going to get Addison a drink of milk or water in her sippy cup. I lost. I tried to explain to her that if she drinks milk at night her teeth will rot out of her head and nobody will ever want to go on a date with her, but she didn't seem to care.

By the time I'd fed her and gotten her ready this morning, it was too late to go to the gym before the Kid's Club was closed.

With my plans stymied, I started to lose my sense of purpose for the day. I couldn't decide what I wanted to do to fill the gap, and so I let Addison sit on my lap and watch The Letter Factory on split-screen while I surfed the internet.*

That's about the most productive thing I did with her all day. Well, I did manage to get her to eat two baby carrots at lunchtime (no small feat for a dirt eater), but otherwise things deteriorated into me laying on the ground moaning about having to do this for the next 15 years. And Addison ended up watching The Cat in the Hat for a long time on TV.

With my plans thrown out of whack, I just couldn't seem to get back on course again. If the ocean is my state of being, and the crests of the waves are my bright moments, the days when we do all sorts of fun things and read lots of books and practice counting and letters, then today I was definitely sliding down the trough of the wave. It's not like I was in a depression -- that would entail sinking below the water, and not being able to breathe for a while. Stay like that too long, and you can get really desperate.

No, I was just in the trough of a cycle that seems to be pretty consistent for me. I try to have a lot more cresting days than troughs (I like to think), but the troughs still seem to come pretty consistently. I've written about days where I just felt lazy, and days where I wanted to just take a day off of parenting. They're not every day, or even every other day, but probably a week doesn't go by where I don't have at least one of these days that finally puts me at the bottom of the trough.

The main good that comes out of it, I suppose, is that I'm determined to not be such a deadbeat tomorrow. Tomorrow, we're gonna rake the leaves together and then draw the alphabet on the sidewalk, dammit! Deep breath. Ready, set, charge!

* Surfing the web in this post is also a synonym for writing a review of Stephen King's Carrie for the insatiable booksluts. But usually it means searching for pictures of dinosaurs or Star Wars characters and then photoshopping Addison's face onto them.