La Cucaracha

Are you all sick of reading about COVID and corona and whatever else we’ve named it?  Are you tired of the lockdowns and the never ending misery of self isolation?  Well do I have a new nightmare for you!!!!  No, I’m not talking about the newly discovered murder hornets, but I bring you the tale of the tree and the roaches.  BUCKLE UP MY FRIENDS.

If you are someone who is afraid of bugs, then this story may not be for you.  But I promise it will take your mind off the pandemic we’re currently facing.  Saturday was the first time I didn’t think about corona since this mess began in March.  Silver lining!

So, my neighbor right next door to me, who is basically family at this point, was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad tree taken down from her yard this past Saturday.  I cheered this decision, because I really hate nature and trees, and this particular tree was a problem because it had ivy growing on it.  Ivy usually isn’t bad, but we shared a fence that had ivy growing on it when we moved in, and we mutually agreed to rip that shit out because bugs like ivy, and bugs got in our homes.  This is why I hate nature.  Anyway, the tree guys came on Saturday morning and Eric made the decision to stay awake after work because nobody sleeps when a tree is being taken down outside your bedroom.  No biggie – he’s been up for long periods of time before.  THANK GOD HE DIDN’T GO TO SLEEP.

A few hours into the tree demolition, we hear screaming.  And then my phone starts blowing up with text messages from my neighbor.  The ivy that was on our fence a year ago wasn’t the problem my friends.  Oh no, the tree was the problem.  She explained to me that the roach motel was discovered inside the tree.  I thought, OK, thank goodness it has been found, it’ll be over forever now.  I tell Eric they found a nest of roaches and Eric goes to the window to look outside and then he begins screaming.  Friends, we were under attack.

UNDER. ATTACK.

There are truly no words for what the next 4 hours of our lives were like.  I want you to picture a horror movie of roaches and then multiply it by 12.  This was the reality my neighbor and I faced.  I want you to now envision what was happening outside our homes.  Eric was outside with a huge spray wand of poison, spraying and dancing like a tap dancer to murder the enemy infiltrating our home.  I was running up and down the driveway in my sleep shorts and a tank top with no bra, HEAVILY pregnant, holding two cans of Raid like they were guns in my holster, screaming at every bug.  Charlotte was screaming from the closed screen door, “GET THE COCKAROACHES!!’ and my poor neighbor was running up and down with various cans of poison hysterical crying and apologizing profusely.  The tree guys helped by getting a leaf blower and proceeding to BLOW ROACHES EVERYWHERE.  And in the midst of all this?  Our other neighbor two doors down was having a first birthday parade for her dog.  So there was a dog AND car parade as we ran around in our roach war.

When I tell you Eric was outside for 4 hours killing roaches, I am not exaggerating.  Our homes looked like roach graveyards.  He must have killed 500 just by his tap dancing.  He swatted them off the sides of our house as they tried to climb the walls.  The exterminator came to take care of the rest, Eric went to bed at 7 PM and my neighbor and I cried together multiple times.  But we didn’t think about corona!!!

So far since that day, the only roaches I’ve seen are dead in my pool.  Now that the tree is gone, hopefully our bug problems are too.  Or the roaches that escaped will never forget they lost this war and come back to fight us again.  I’ve got my raid bitches.  I’m ready.

 

Week 9 and Feelin’ Fine

HA.  Far from feelin’ fine, but at least it rhymes.  How are you all doing out there?  Have we gotten used to this yet?  Have we all accepted this is literally it for us?  I haven’t written in weeks, and it isn’t because I haven’t had the time.  All we have is time now.  Every day is Groundhog’s Day.  It’s just that most of the time I feel panic and I don’t want to write something stupid such as, “at least I can drown myself in my pool.”  Some days I wake up and feel comforted by this routine Charlotte and I have created, while other days I am in what I call “the hell zone” and wonder how the actual hell we can continue to live like this.  I miss people.  I miss Target.  I miss relish trays at the diner and bread baskets.  DO YOU GUYS REMEMBER BREAD BASKETS?  WARM BREAD AND BUTTER?  I miss having something, anything, to look forward to.

When I say this, people respond with “but you will have the baby in a  few weeks! That is something to look forward to!”  But seriously, look at your current state of affairs and throw a newborn into the mix.  Would you look forward to a newborn in a pandemic?  No family and no friends and awkward conversations explaining no visitors.  Showing off the baby on FaceTime and drive by’s like she is Simba in the Lion King.  Maybe I’ll organize a new birth parade and everyone can roll down the street honking their horns as I sob into my mesh underwear.  It’s just going from one type of quarantine to another.  I’m very much looking forward to NOT being pregnant anymore, because this child is destroying me, and of course I cannot wait for newborn snuggles and all that shit, but I have a brush with PPD and I don’t really think social distancing and lockdowns are good for that?  Maybe I’m worrying about nothing, but I’m very good at that.  If I’ve learned anything during the pandemic, it’s that I am EXCELLENT at worrying about things I cannot control.  It’s like my very own superpower.

Also, thinking about September gives me full body hives.  We’ve all been hearing our kids probably won’t be going back to school so I guess I should brush up on my kindergarten lessons so I can spend my maternity leave teaching Charlotte?  HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WHY GOD WHY?

In some good news, (do we get good news anymore?) we opened our pool, so even though it’s been 60 degrees outside (again, WHY?) and the water is cold enough to facilitate hypothermia, I have something pretty to look at outside.  It will be good for Charlotte this summer even though I won’t be able to go in because birth takes away so many things from mothers, including chlorinated pools for 6 weeks, but at least we won’t be stuck in the house screaming at each other like we have been.  I’ll stick a fan on the baby and FaceTime a lifeguard for Char and pray for an end to this madness.

Hang in there everyone.  We’re all in this together, wash your hands, wear your mask, blah blah blah.  I can’t wait to friggin’ drink.

Week 5

It’s officially been a month since we have been housebound.  No work, no school, no nothing.  It feels like SO. MUCH. LONGER.  If you think about it, doesn’t it feel like you’ve lived several lifetimes since the beginning of the year?  And we’re only in APRIL?!  It boggles my mind that we are in our 5th week of social distancing/isolation/quarantine/torture.   Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?  WILL WE EVER FEEL JOY AGAIN?

We will.  I know we will.  When times get really tough and I start to feel like jumping off my roof is a good idea, I think about the day the restaurants open again and how I will probably weep when the waiter asks me what I’d like to drink.  By the time that day rolls around I won’t be pregnant anymore, so I will order alcohol and it will be joyful.  I think about the day I can stroll the mall and take Charlotte back into the Disney store to tell her she can’t buy whatever she wants because money doesn’t grow on trees.  I imagine going to the zoo, the carousel, a concert.  All of these things I took for granted! Now I’d just like to go to the grocery store without a mask and gloves.  I don’t think it will ever feel normal to go out into the world and see EVERYONE with masks and gloves.  I feel like I’m on a movie set every time I step out of my house (which is literally once a week, if I’m lucky).  I can’t wait to watch Charlotte play with her friends again.  All of the progress we’ve made has been undone with this quarantine.  And by that I just mean she’s naked all the time and thinks bathing is optional.  (I mean, if we aren’t going anywhere, isn’t bathing optional?  Nevermind.)

It is the strangest time of my life.  I think it’s the strangest time of all our lives, no matter the generation.  Is it nice to spend extra time with Charlotte before her sister comes in two months?  Sure.  Do I also want to send her to a Corona camp to get one damn minute to myself?  Absolutely.   I’m so thankful I can work from home when so many people can’t, and since I’m not commuting anymore my pregnant body doesn’t hurt as much as it did.  But I even miss commuting.  I miss the quiet of the bus ride, stopping at Starbucks, walking with my head phones in.  I miss my life.  I miss human interaction.

One day we’ll get back to where we were.  One day we won’t be wearing masks or gloves or obsessively wiping down groceries with lysol wipes that we’d gladly pay double for.  While we’re waiting I’ll just make a list of the places I want to go eat and the alcohol I’m going to order and hope the day comes sooner rather than later.

The New Normal

Hellloooooo there!

How are we all doing?  We’re on day 13 of social distancing, quarantine, self isolation, what have you, right?  I don’t even know what day it is!  I can’t remember when my last day at work was, to be honest.  Everything feels like such a blur, yet also feels like it has been years since anything felt normal.

I will say that this week has felt more normal.  This week has also gone faster than last week.  Last week I was a MESS.  I was filled with crippling anxiety and cried on an hourly basis.  But this week?  I think I’ve only cried twice!  I’d say that’s an improvement, no?

Even Charlotte seems to have accepted this new reality.  She still asks me why she can’t see her friends or go to Target, but she’s kind of put herself into her own routine, which is nice.  I’m not being a nazi home school teacher, because 1) I don’t think pre-k aged kids need it and 2) I am not a teacher, but the resources her teachers gave us have been super helpful and enjoyable.  She’s still coloring and drawing and doing little projects I give her.  She practices her writing and uses ABC Mouse and all that jazz.  It is what it is, right?  On my very good days I am happy for all of this extra time we have together before her sister arrives.  On my very bad days I want to set up a Corona Camp and send her there.  It is really a LOT.  Eric is still working because he is ESSENTIAL, so it’s me and Char, all day, every day.  And because she comes into my room every damn night,  it’s all night every night too.  So there’s only about 3-4 hours out of a 24 hour span that she isn’t near me.  Or speaking to me, because she talks in her sleep too.  UGH.

I think the worst part of all of this is not knowing when it will end.  Will it be weeks, will it be months?  Will I be able to go back to work before my maternity leave begins, or will I be house bound until I have an infant?  Will my husband even be allowed in the delivery room with me?  Am I going to have to labor with a mask on my face?  There are just so many questions that can’t be answered and for someone like me, who likes answers and likes them now, it isn’t a great combination.

But I am learning to let go of things I can’t control, which is pretty much everything going on right now.  I am trying to exercise every day, whether it be on my TV or a walk outside on a nice day.  I’m trying not to eat mindlessly because there is nothing else to do (some days are easier than others) and, most importantly, I am rationing out my viewing of Tiger King on Netflix.  Because it is the only thing that matters.

Check in with your neighbors and your loved ones.  Check in with the moms in your life.  We’re all going a bit crazy.  FaceTime dates with family and friends save us daily.  I pray this ends soon!

I have started writing and stopped countless times.  We are self isolating, like so much of the world, and today is only day 2 of no school.  I have been working from home since Friday and will be home until further notice.  I think the scariest part of all of this right now is the unknown.   We are all going into the unknown.  Literally and figuratively, since I’m sure we have all watched Frozen 2 with our kids 750 times since Disney+ surprise released it for desperate parents.  NYC schools are closed until *at least* April 20, with the possibility that they won’t go back at all.  Thinking about this makes me cry immediately.  To think of Charlotte just not finishing Pre-K breaks my heart.  To not see her friends again, or her teachers, or have graduation.  I know it’s worse for so many others, like special needs kids and seniors in high school and college who are ending such important chapters on such shitty notes.  But I’m still sad.  I didn’t lie to Charlotte and I told her we are home to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus.  She already knew about it before shit really hit the fan.  But she’s 5, and she doesn’t fully grasp it.  The past two days she’s asked me when she can go back to school and when we can go to Target.  She wants to know why we can’t go out of the house to go to Egger’s for ice cream or to call her friends for play dates.  She doesn’t want to do the lessons that have been given online because it isn’t the center time she is used to.  I’m so afraid her socialization is going to suffer with only me to talk to.  And I am not acing this crap either., so I’m not very fun to talk to.

I’ve seen the meme 100 times saying “Our grandparents were called to war, you’re being asked to sit on your couch.”  And I get it, but I don’t 100% agree with it.  I can’t just sit on my couch and catch up on every show on Netflix.  I have to work and I have to parent and I have to do it mostly on my own because my husband still has to go to work, which infuriates me because then my isolation feels pointless because I am being exposed anyway.  I have to worry if I’m going to be able to go to a grocery store if I need to, if anything is going to be available or if I’m going to be spending all of my money on take out.  I’m also 6 months pregnant, so my hormones are screwed up to begin with, so it is very easy for me to cry over the smallest thing.

BUT.  With all of this, I am trying to be calm.  Trying being the operative word.  I’m safe at home, I’m healthy, my family is with me.  I’m trying to focus on all of the positives even though I don’t know when all of this will end.  I never thought I’d live through anything like this.  It sounds dramatic, but I think this entire situation is warranted for dramatics.

At least we’ve got the memes.  The memes are some of the best and they are all that we have.

Corona, Corona

I received an email yesterday about how to talk to your kids about coronavirus but the good news is I’ve already done this. I told Charlotte coronavirus looks like the itchy balls that fall from the trees (it kinda does if you look at the internet photos) so now she just screams CORONAVIRUS every time she sees one outside and it’s been quite fun.  This wasn’t listed in the email as one of the ways you should talk to your kids about it but I think it should be included.

Also she told her friend yesterday if he walks outside barefoot he is going to get coronavirus so I think she gets it.  I’m killing this mom thing.

Student of the Week

This week at school Charlotte  is the student of the week.  She has been waiting for this moment since it was first announced back in October.  Every day she has to bring in a different “favorite” item of hers and we had to make an All About Me poster to hang up for the week.  It has been interesting.

Tuesday was favorite book day and Charlotte brought in Kylie Jean: Fashion Queen and told me that her teacher didn’t do it right because she didn’t read the whole thing.  The book is 92 pages.

Today is favorite toy day, so she is bringing her mermaid Barbie she just got for her birthday and I’m sure the teachers will love the strobe light effects it has.

Tomorrow is her favorite snack that begins with the letter of her first name which would be cookies or cupcakes but because the DOE refuses to let children ever have any joy when it comes to food we are going to send in Goldfish Crackers because she certainly won’t enjoy carrots.

But Charlotte’s favorite day was yesterday, which was Favorite Song.  She told us that some kids brought in music from Frozen or Paw Patrol.  No theme songs for Char though.  Oh no.  Charlotte brought in Stop by the Spice Girls.  She said that her teacher then let them listen to Spice Up Your Life right after.  She said none of the kids knew the songs so she had to “sing it medium” to them.  So in a class of 4 and 5 year olds, all I can picture is my daughter standing in front of the group quietly singing “stop right now, thank you very much, I need somebody with a human touch” and “chicas to the front, spice up your life!”

I guess I should just be glad her Lizzo phase is over?

I just want everyone to know that now that Charlotte has been 5 for 6 days she has decided she wants to be 6 because she is ready for her teeth to fall out and when she is 6 she thinks she can touch knives.  Real knives, not the kid safety knives my BFF got her.  She also said she doesn’t want to celebrate her dad’s birthday (which is today) because it’s not her birthday anymore and she wants the baby to be a boy now so do I think I can make that happen?

We also got into a colossal fight over underwear this morning because I bought her new underwear since all of her old underwear are ripping from the violence she puts them through by putting them on and taking them off where she told me I was a “pain in the” multiple times.  FIVE IS SO SO SO FUN.

She did have a great birthday though and really enjoyed her party with her class friends and with her cousins.  She got so many lovely presents, lots of which are arts and crafts type things, and has been happily occupied with them since the weekend.  Thank you to everyone who showed her love – we are so lucky to have such wonderful family and friends in our lives!

Five

Dear Charlotte,

I find it so hard to believe I am writing you your fifth birthday letter.  How did we get here this quickly?  You’re officially a big kid now.  The baby days are far behind us with this big girl birthday and it seems like it has happened in the blink of an eye.

So much has changed this year.  For starters, you found out you were going to be a big sister.  You are so excited (especially because you’re going to have a baby sister) and I just know how wonderful and helpful you are going to be.  You never miss a chance to tell your daddy “sorry dad. it’s still a girl!”

You started a new school and made new friends.  It took you a little longer than most to adjust and open up, but that just goes to show you that you’re still teaching me, even when I’m not with you all the time.  You never let anyone push you to do something and I know I need to have patience that you will open up on your own terms and in your own way.  Your favorite thing to do is arts and crafts and you still proudly want to hang every creation you ever made.  Our home is filled with your drawings and your paintings and I love every one of them.

Also, in other big news for this year – it only took us 5 years but you go to sleep in your room, EVERY NIGHT!  And you love it! You love your bed and your sheets and how you organize your stuffed animals and blankets every night.  Maybe by your 6th birthday we will stay in bed all night, every night?  Ah well, beggars can’t be choosers.

You are truly coming into your own style and are becoming the girly girl I didn’t think you were.  On your own terms, of course.  You adore the color pink and have quickly become obsessed with Disney princesses (mostly Ariel) and, in one of my greatest parenting wins, you have a love for the Spice Girls.

You still love to cuddle and want me to hold you, and I will hold onto this for as long as I can.  I know that one day you’ll ask me to hold you for the last time and neither one of us will know it.  I’ll let you wrap your long legs around me every time you ask, never knowing if that’s the last time you’ll do it.  You make me laugh and smile and love harder than I ever thought I could.  I love our time together – whether we are shopping or painting or eating pickles at the diner.  My life changed for the better when you came into it, and it will keep changing for the better every day, for the rest of my life, because you are mine.  You are everything I never knew I needed.  Happy 5th birthday my Char.  I can’t wait to see how high you soar this year.

Things Not To Say

I’ve compiled a list of a few things not to say to a pregnant woman (all of which have been said to me this go around).

  • Oh you’re just as round in the back as you are in the front!
  • Are you having twins? Are you sure?
  • You’re not due until June???
  • How are you still eating?
  • You still have a long way to go.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m pretty sure nobody is more aware of their changing body than a pregnant woman.  And I don’t think they need to be reminded of it from anyone at any time.  Unless, of course, it’s harming the baby somehow.  But at the end of the day, is it so hard to tell someone who is literally growing a damn human that she looks good?  And just leave it at that?  I don’t think there’s ever a better time to lie to someone than when you are talking to a pregnant woman.  The smallest compliment can send her spirits soaring.

For women going through pregnancy, some days are good and some days are bad.  When I was pregnant with Charlotte I had 95% good days.  I really could not complain at all and enjoyed being pregnant almost all of the time.  This time I am getting my ass handed to me on a platter.  I have pelvic pain that will not go away until after I give birth that I feel every. single. day.  There are some days I literally cannot get myself off the couch or out of bed without a production because it feels like I have been shot by a sniper rifle.  If I step wrong or move the wrong way it feels like somebody is kicking me repeatedly on my hip bones and I can’t even walk for long periods of time anymore which is really annoying because walking is one pregnancy exercise you’re supposed to be able to do the entire time!  I do exercise pretty much every day in small increments to try and relieve the pain and also help me not gain an ungodly amount of weight (neither of which seem to be working), but I AM TRYING.  I also have pregnancy acne that is only now getting better, so that’s been fun.  I’m not saying any of this to garner sympathy or be woe is me.  I’m just saying it because I’m tired of people, especially strangers, saying whatever the F they want to me and thinking its okay.

There is a reason the advice of if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all has stuck around for so long.  It’s especially important to be nice to pregnant ladies.  You never know when we are going to snap and attack you.  My attack time is fast approaching.