Friday, September 28, 2007

Mama on the Edge

I've been pretty stressed out lately. No reason any more serious or important than anyone else's reasons--and certainly less serious and important than many people's reasons. But, you know: the firstborn's rocky transition to preschool; my relicensure ordeal with the Minnesota Board of Psychology and the ridiculously high licensure fee ($500) due this month (seriously, would it kill them to institute some kind of lower "maintenance" licensure fee for folks who are temporarily not working at all and thus not using their licenses? Like, er, full-time stay-at-home moms?).

Plus, there's Christopher working a ton lately (super-busy at regular job plus part-time second job), Julia being sick (cough, cough all night long = no sleep for me), Genevieve taking crappy naps or skipping her naps altogether all week long, me lying awake at night worrying about the fact that my choice is either be my girls' daily caregiver OR afford to save for retirement (not both).

This week I was almost undone by a gigantic box of Swiss chard. Actually what happened was that my very thoughtful and generous friend gave me her family's CSA farm-share box of produce for the week, because they were going out of town and wouldn't be able to use it. It is wonderful: chock full of fresh veggies and herbs, apples and garlic--and it is seriously saving me a couple of weeks' worth of grocery-store produce expense. But people--that stuff is time-consuming! You get home with your giant box and you've got, like, five pounds of beet tops to trim off and wrap in damp paper towels, and all that chard to deal with, and the fresh oregano and the parsnips and salad mix. And you've got to look up all the recipes you can find for preparing things like carrot tops and beet greens. On the day I picked up the box, Julia had a killer cough and didn't nap, and I swear to you, I was knee-high in leafy greens and about ready to hire a nanny just so I could deal with all the vegetables. Can you picture me, standing at the counter chopping mountains of beet greens and researching ideal storage conditions for leeks, while the baby crawled accusingly up my shins and Julia called for my nose-wiping services for the ten millionth time in half an hour? Yeah, I bet you can.

All of which is to say, I've changed my stance on TV-watching. If I didn't park Julia in front of PBS now and then I would never get anything done. No one's napping, I'm not sleeping--do you think I have patience for both playing fairy-dance-party AND mopping the floors at the same time? While also roasting a squash and preparing to host playgroup? No, I do not.

So: does anyone know what that show "Dragon Tales" is all about? Because I let my kid watch it today while I did the laundry. Hope it was educational.


Grandpa Jim said...

Anything else going bad over there?

Elise said...

Oh, my. You need a break, BAD. I know how that feels. For my money, anything on PBS or Noggin is A-OK. And anything that's not illegal that helps you manage is A-OK, too.

Auntie Heidi said...

I agree w/ Elise's points! "Mr. Rogers" is on at 12 noon and I LOVE it for Gabe. A grandpa-type guy who encourages make-believe, talks about feelings acceptingly, sings songs, introduces kids to how all sorts of things are done and made.... It's AWESOME! And Gabe sings many of the songs himself when the show's not on. If the timing is bad for your schedule, tape it and use it whenever you need it most.

Nonna said...

Would you like me to sing the "Dragon Tales" song for you when I come? It's a sweet show that encourages sharing, playing nicely with friends, consideration of other peoples' feelings, and all sorts of great moral values, all told from the viewpoint of two little people who still believe in magic! I loved watching it with Summer. In fact, I think I'll look on the tv schedule and see if I can catch it on Monday!

Shan said...

Oh, I love Mr. Rogers too. :) I have such sweet memories of him and his show! I actually cried when he died! Alas, it's on at 1 or 1:30 here--can't remember which right now, but it's right in the middle of nap--and the "record" feature on our ancient VCR hasn't worked in years! (Yet another upgrade this household is in dire need of!)

Thanks, all. Maybe I'll start watching Dragon Tales too. I could use the break.