Dearest, Most Involved Husband:
I’m not mad. Honestly, I’m not. There was nothing wrong with what you said. In fact, it was a fine question and I’m glad you thought enough about how I filled my day to ask it. I’m just frustrated because I can’t quantify my “activities” the way I used to. I mean, I know I did a lot of things today. But they no longer equal completed tasks I could check off of a list.
For instance, had I made a list of what I finished today, it would’ve looked like this:
After viewing this, you would have had the impression that 1) my day was a success, 2) I had a lot of extra time in which I could have accomplished other things such as cleaning, laundry, and writing, and 3) dinner should have been cooked and on the table. Please note that I wanted to do all of those things. I had planned to do all of those things.
However, since today was grocery day it was time to take stock of the fridge in order to make a grocery list. In doing so I found that container of breast milk I was looking for last week. Turns out I hadn’t put a lid on it, so when it went sour and spilled, it seeped into the broccoli and all over the shelf, which needed to be cleaned.
Motivated by the success of a partially cleaned fridge, I yanked out the rest of the food and shelves and drawers and lined up everything on the counter. But after I emptied the contents of the door, the baby started to scream. I raced out to the porch and saw that she was on her stomach in her pack-in-play, which meant that I missed the first time she rolled over. And by the look of fury on her face, she’d never do it again.
Upon entering the room I realized why she screamed. She exploded on everything. Her clothes, her hair and somehow even on her face. The smell was so intense that I had to pump myself up to peel off her clothes, wipe her down and rush her up to the bath.
Once cleaned, she started to yawn, so I thought I’d nurse her before nap, since the pediatrician said I needed to “bring her to the breast” more to combat my dwindling milk supply. For the second day in a row she refused to nurse long enough to create let-down. She gave a few half-hearted sucks and then trashed her head in agony. In response to her tears, my poor confused body let-down on its own, and attempted to put out the screaming wildfire on her face.
After putting her down in the crib, I went into our room to change. As I lifted off my shirt I found myself facing the reflection of my breasts in natural light. No wonder she didn’t want to nurse. There was hardly anything left for her to latch on to. Soon my boobs would look like nothing more than nipples floating on a sea of crepe paper.
Before I could sink into real tears however, I heard the crib mattress shift beneath her and realized that she’d fallen asleep. I threw on a new shirt and raced down to the basement to drop off my shirt before the milk stains set. While I was down there I sorted through the laundry that had piled up over the week. I started a load of whites, but got sidetracked by the box of hand-me-downs I’d forgotten about. Good news? She’s set on summer clothes. Bad news? You’re still out of boxers.
Since I never got around to eating lunch or making a grocery list, I wound up grocery shopping with low blood sugar and no direction, which was why I spent so much money on chips and Swiss Cake Rolls. And when I returned home with a fussy baby I realized that I couldn’t put it all away since half of the fridge was still on the counter. Which is also why we’re having pizza for dinner. But you need to order it. And pick it up.
So, like I said. It was a fine question. And I’m not mad at you for asking. Because I know I did things today, they just don’t count. And by the way, you might not want to go out on the porch. I just remembered that the baby’s diaper has been marinating out there since this morning.