Yesterday I spent my first day alone with boo in a very long time. My parents have gone, my sister, too. Harlan went in to the office for a full day of meetings. I woke up nervous about the long day stretching out ahead of me, with no one to help me with Aidan, no one to talk to but Aidan. I imagined spending the whole day chasing him around the house with his zebra, going around and around and around, along the way passing by the things I should—or wish I could—be doing instead, the boxes to unpack, the clothes to hang, the blog posts to write and phonecalls to make and surfaces to scrub.
Instead I made a list and started checking things off. He and I went to the hardware store and bought bags to store our guest comforter and feather bed and a box to store my excess shoes in the basement. We went to the health food store and got air freshener and dishwasher detergent and strawberry toothpaste for boo. We sat in the sun and had a snack. We went to the toy store for a sing-along, only to learn the sing-alongs are on Mondays and Thursdays, not Tuesdays, and just played there for a while. Put boo down for a nap and made some Very Important Phonecalls and read a New Yorker article online about the Robert Frank exhibit at the Met that we hope to get to NY to see, and emptied one box. When he got up I gave him lunch and we took a walk to the park where I sneaked glances at other moms wondering if there was anyone there I could be friends with. Most aren’t as pretty or casually chic as the Venice moms, but I bet there are some cool people among them. It’s rough making new friends at this age, but having a baby sure helps.
By the time Harlan came home I was cranky and tired, my deltoids twitchy with stress. I don’t know what my life here is going to be yet. I want to feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. I sent out inquiries about babysitters. I really wanted to get a massage today (there’s a Tuesday $50 special at this place in Davis Square), really wanted to do yoga a couple times this week. Is it enough for me just to be taking care of my baby? Taking care of my baby and—say it isn’t so—cleaning house? By the time I put him to bed, I was irritated with him, because he was overtired and strung out and kept hitting me and throwing things at me. I drank a beer and had dinner with Harlan and started to feel like a real person again. But I was too tired to watch True Blood, which I had missed on Sunday. Couldn’t imagine keeping my eyes open for a whole hour. Wrote this and hit the hay.
What’s it gonna be? Can I just be a mom? I need to get a babysitter. I get antsy when I think about the book proposal, the screenplay, the next book. I get depressed when I think about working out. Got to get a babysitter. There must be temporary solutions, right? I just put him up in his room. It is full of toys. He’s protected by baby gates. I hear things—God knows what—hitting the ground, hitting the walls, hitting the gates. I restrain myself from going to check on him. Until there are tears, he is fine. Breathe deep, he is fine. If he breaks a toy or two, so be it. At the moment, I’m at the kitchen counter alone writing and he’s playing happily by himself. Hold my breath. Hope it lasts.