5.19.2006

Doldrums

I like that word, doldrums. I remember learning it in 3rd or 4th grade maybe, and thinking to myself, “Oh! Like dull drums!” Somehow the image of very quiet, monotonous bass beat in the background made perfect sense to me. And then I read a book a couple years ago – maybe Ahab’s Wife or The Life of Pi – some sea-faring adventure, and doldrums were described so well in that context that they immediately applied to some days, weeks, months in my life. I sail into them more often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes it seems my life is a doldrum, one, big, dull, drum. (Similar but not quite as gothic as the girl in Beetlejuice and her dark room.)

I’ve been a leetle out of sorts since getting my tooth out on Monday. I was able to enjoy the best crabcake of my entire life on our anniversary dinner date, but codeine has become my friend since the menacing ache hasn’t really gone away until this morning, and I am so not one to pop a pain med at the slightest provocation. But have you ever noticed how if your mouth or your toe hurts, it is nearly impossible to function as a decent human being?

Henry has had a stomach problem for the last couple of days. No fever, hasn’t eaten anything different from the rest of us, but he is miserable and it has culminated in the sorest little chapped bum I have ever seen. He is sleeping still, at 9 a.m. – so not like him, but I think there comes a time when sleeping is the only way to get over a bug like this. And have you ever noticed how if the baby of the family is hurting, everyone is a little glum?

Anyway, the doldrums have set in and I have been a little hesitant to blog because I’m new and I don’t want new visitors to think I’m the downer of the universe and never come back. But I also believe in being real, so here I am. The song from Camelot comes to mind:

What do the simple folk do, to help them escape when they’re blue?
The farmer(?) who is ailing, the milkmaid who is glum,
The cobbler who is wailing from nailing his thumb?
When they’re beset and besieged – the folks not noblessely obliged –
However do they manage to shed their weary lot?
Oh, what…do…simple folk…do?


If I were to burst into song today, it would be a little like that, only with the question, what do non-slacker, enthusiastic moms do with their little ones all day? Do they really play with them and discipline them so wisely all the time? How do they get their housework done? Do they ever just abandon the housework and go zone out watching Backyardigans, and tell themselves that they’ll get to it after the kids are asleep tonight? Do they ever get tired of going to the park yet again or trying to dream up a way to get toddlers to eat meat? Tired of even considering the prospect of loading up to go to the grocery store or only being able to daydream about a complete reno of their living space? Do they ever shrug and roll their eyes at the dustbunnies just under the sofa and the sticky fingerprints on every mirror and windowpane, or are they always purposefully eradicating them? What do they do about the wearing restlessness that sets in when the dull drum just keeps that annoying steady beat and there’s no legitimate reason to brave the wilds of Target (or bring the wilds with them to Target, as the case may be)?

I like to think they just wait it out, like me, maybe bake a senseless batch of chocolate chip cookies and sit out back blowing bubbles for their two-year-old to pop. I know I'll miss these days sometime, and I know gale-force winds will come blowing through again soon, about the day after David leaves for the summer. My little ship will have some great waves to deal with then. But right now I think I need a good tropical storm to set me straight. A sea with a surface like glass as far as I can see in all directions is plain unsettling.

6 comments:

Tess said...

sorry you're feeling a little blue today

we all have those days, no need to be ashamed. grab a good book and snuggle down, relax.

EvaRob said...

You sound like someone I'd love to make a playdate with...get the kiddos together while we do our best to develop their young minds and stimulate our senses too...why is that so hard????????

Nettie said...

I'm sorry your feeling down, too. I think the bake chocolate chip cookies and blow bubbles with the kids is a great idea. Simple relaxed fun. I know when I take the time to really connect and cuddle with one of my kids it makes us both feel so much better. I guess its the emotionally healing power of love!

Gabriela said...

I know how you feel. I remember when I just had my first and she was 2. I wanted to go to my MIL's just to see what you were supposed to do all day long. I thought she had some magical fix for me. But, nope, she did all the same stuff. Park, playdoh, stories, etc. etc. It's still hard for me sometimes.
Hang in there and look for the sweet little moments your kids give you.

P.S. thanks for visiting my blog. I am a Colorado native too, and lived in DC for 2 years (Loved it!!!, but couldn't afford housing, that's why we left!)

Angela said...

So, should I feel bad that your "definition" of slacker, unenthusiastic mom is pretty much my mode of operation on a day to day basis? On good days I remember to feed them and throw a box of Cheezits in the middle of the living room floor. If I forget to do that until closer to when most people have "dinner", it's like watching piranhas attack a piece of flesh thrown into the water.

Code Yellow Mom said...

Angela, I didn't want to admit how often my children resemble pirhanas...That would have turned the doldrum into flat-out despair.

Hope that makes you feel better :)