Hmmm, this whole blogging thing is a bit odd. I want people to read it--I think--but I want to talk and vent about stuff that happens IRL and on other sites and of course if I invite people to read it I have to think about how they'll take it. I suppose that's what Keith ran into with his blog. Ah well. I'll just blab and try not to be too bitchy, which is probably a good thing.
Here's a secret I don't want to tell anyone: I quit caffeine not only because it gives me insomnia (even when I stop drinking it before 9 am), but it also makes me really bitchy. I am a much nicer person without caffeine. See, true confessions, right here! Did I mention I had them put some caffeine in my coffee this morning in desperation after a late night facing a long meeting? I'll try to be nice. It helps that I'm aware of it. Really.
Lesson for the day yesterday: do not try to play hostess for two meals to two sets of people you don't know very well in one day while caring for twin toddlers while your partner is out of town. Duh, you say? Yeah, well, you're right. It was a moment of insanity. The idea was that I would have a nice social day. Haha.
So the first visit was a playdate with a friend from the kids' daycare. That was actually really nice, it's just that I don't know the mom that well so it was a little strained just making sure we liked each other and had stuff in common (we did, and we do, at least from my perspective). But of course she was not a close enough friend to have a big pile of dirty laundry sitting in the doorway when she walked in (see how much we love our friends?), so I had to clean the house, then there were dishes after lunch, and the kids were pretty wound up. Then we refused to nap. It drives me crazy and makes me feel like I'm doing something terribly wrong that they go to sleep (generally) without a problem at school, but at home getting them down is a huge challenge. I feel really lousy and defeated when people talk about how their twins go to bed willingly and happily "chat" themselves off to sleep. It's just really not like that at my house. Really, really not like that. I have to remind myself that I'm not SUCH a terrible, hopeless, pathetic excuse for a mother that it could be completely my fault that my kids have a lot of tantrums and refuse to go to sleep unless they are on the verge of collapse AND have a boob in their mouths. There are other kids like my kids, and I don't blame the moms--I figure they're just different kids. And I know that I was a terrible sleeper as a kid, and that the kids are intelligent, persistent, and full of *character*, and that sometimes that means they're intense kids. But man, I feel like blaming myself for it a lot of the time.
Which brings me to my second visit of the day, for which I hosted dinner. So I was doing this "doula" idea (where I support women going through IVF) with this woman--my first "client" though I didn't charge her, she was someone I didn't know beforehand who approached me specifically as a doula. She's now pregnant (hooray!) and came over for a celebratory dinner. She and her DH, who of course are "trying on" parenting and are a bit nervous about it, seemed very critical of the kids. They got them all wound up with really physical play, then the kids were acting like maniacs and Henry had a few biting attempts including one on me, and then they said things like "Henry, we've got to get this biting under control!" OK, argh! First of all, no, WE don't, I do, and I've been working on it for over a year and it IS under control and listen, I've read every book and article on the subject and tried every strategy that I don't consider abusive (like biting them back or putting hot pepper on their tongue when they bite), and it's a heck of a lot better than it was, and second of all, buzz the hell off! Well, whatever, that's the coffee talking, probably, but anyone who talked to me about the biting issue in the last year knows how incredibly sensitive a topic it is for me, and although I knew it was about her own progression toward parenthood and I can keep that perspective and be compassionate about it, wow, ya had to hit me right where I live, huh? And this is someone I really supported and helped for nothing (except experience and a reference) in return.
I know she didn't mean it, and I forgive her, but it made for a yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach as a wrestled with getting my late-napping kids to bed, which didn't happen until ten. I have had a lot of experience in letting other people's opinions of me and my choices (sexuality, politics, etc.) roll off my back, but parenting is a whole new ballgame. I just keep questioning myself and my choices, even though I know they're right for us and I couldn't do it any other way. Sigh.
In things fibery, I am trucking along on the shapely tank, done with the short rows (not to bad and I figured out the wraps once I was actually doing it--it's one of those things where you have to be trying it to understand the instructions) and on to the waist shaping. The variegated yarn is okay, but I'm not loving the patterns it's forming. I have to remember that I like variegated yarns better on the skein than in the garment. When I start dyeing my spinning I think I'll go for more of a tweedy look.
Speaking of spinning, I haven't spun since Monday (gasp!), but I've been trying to knit with the stuff. I started a pair of kids' socks with the gray romney singles, but I don't know, I can just see the socks being rejected on grounds of scratchiness (even though it's not that bad). And I think the kids will find the gray kind of drab and not appreciate it, so I'm going to frog (I've only done an inch of ribbing) and make a mama hat. Tonight is the ice cream social at the kids school (new teachers and classrooms starting next week, sniff), and I'm going to miss it to go to spinning. I'm excited to go to spinning, but a little sad to miss the social. I'm hoping Rhys will go with the kids.
OK, back to work. I am doing a focus group project for the career center, and the director has agreed to do some career counseling for ME! I'm really grateful and very excited. I have a big project of writing and analyzing my work history/priorities ahead of me. Oh yeah, and I have to finish the report on the focus groups too...