Yesterday I felt sick. So, by the time I got to Oz, I was ready to collect my little angel and go home to try to enjoy the evening without coughing on her too much. When I got to Oz, one of the ladies had elbow-length plastic gloves on and was leaning over the little angel, who apparently had had a Big Blow-Out. She didn't seem to know what to do.
I motioned her out of the way and started to clean up the little angel, who was crying. Another woman swept in and popped a pacifier in her mouth. That would've been helpful, but IT WAS NOT HER PACIFIER.
I'll say that again: IT WAS NOT HER PACIFIER.
That is like babies french kissing!
I HATE OZ. Just when I start to think I might be too hard on them when I say they have no heart, brain or courage and there's no place like home, they go and pull some stupid stunt like that. Of course, this made me irate, and I spent the first hour at home crying to my mother on the telephone. My mother thinks I need antidepressants. I think I need a new daycare provider.
This morning, the director came down and had another of her famous "little talks" with me. She said she had lectured all the people, blah, blah, blah, the same crap she says every time. I couldn't even look at her. I am so tired of having these conversations every few weeks. So I guess this morning I will call the three other places we are on waiting lists for and hope that the pleading desperation in my voice will help me inch her up the list.
I asked my father, who demanded my mother stay home to care for us when I was growing up, if he thought I was a bad mother for working. I certainly feel like that most of the time, but it is necessary for us right now. Any of you out there in TV Land tempted to tell me that it is completely possible to live on one income must live in small, cloistered rural towns like the one where I grew up. Or maybe you have independently wealthy spouses. Many times when I make this rant, I get sympathetic "why don't you just stay home" sorts of comments, and I have to say they sure don't make me feel any better. Some of us make more than our husbands do. What do you do about that? So much for women's liberation!
What do you do when the breadwinner decides to knock off for a few years?
My father said no, that the world has changed and he understands that. I cried after that conversation, too, partly from just feeling so gosh darn sick and sorry for myself since beloved is out of town, and partly because I think I have been so hard on myself for being a working mama because my own mother wasn't, nor were any of my friends' mothers. I suppose it's akin to the guilt I would feel if I got divorced, since my parents are still together. I think whether we want to admit it or not, many women feel some sort of pressure to be the same sort of mother their mothers were. My mother was great. I want to be great, too. I am working really hard on getting comfortable with the idea that I could be a great working mama. My daughter might actually be proud of my career someday. She might feel inspired. She might ask me for professional advice, something I've never really been able to do with my now-working mother, because she was never part of Corporate America.
After all of this emotional catharsis, I decided to give the little angel a bath. We both like that. She laughed and smiled at me and splashed. Then we played on the floor, and she pulled Sybil's hair. Then she rubbed her eyes and wanted to be held.
And like usual, that made everything all better.
But I still hate Oz.