Excerpt from Book Writing – 1st Installment

January 4, 2010

New year!  Why is it that I can spend an uninterrupted hour washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen, but the very minute my ass hits the couch, the kids are climbing all over me?  At least Ava does.  She is relentless when she wants my attention, cuddling up to me on the couch in such an obstructive way that I only have use of one arm and more often than that it’s the writing one.  Or, if she’s being particularly challenging, she will stretch herself across my lap, on top of the newspaper or book I’m trying to read.  Any attempts to disentangle myself from her are about as successful as pulling gum out of my hair with a toothpick.

Owen had his annual checkup during break, which I failed to mention and, despite his distaste for vegetables or any fruit that has the audacity to call itself anything other than “banana,” is the picture of health at 62 pounds and 54 inches tall.  He’s gaining on me!

I recently finished another fantastic book – The House at Sugar Beach, a memoir by Helene Cooper about war-torn Liberia and escaping to America.  It ended with a long overdue, much anticipated reunion that sent me into silent sobs, hot tears falling over my cheeks.  Everything’s got me emotional these days – tears coming easily, raw anger bursting out of the locked room I’ve been keeping it in.  I don’t really know what’s wrong with me, only that I’ve got all these pent up feelings I push down so much, until something or someone forces them to boil over.

Owen woke up upset this morning, not wanting to go back to school and subsequently missed the bus.  I tried not to be upset because I knew it wouldn’t help him get to school calmly anyway.  He’s upset more about the fighting over the weekend.  Daddy and I were at it again and I just went berserk.

One of the things we fought about is my personal freedom.  I can’t go anywhere by myself.  He can’t cope with Ava and her condition – it “hurts” him so much – so I must bear the burden 24/7.  He refuses to try church with me, and then he tells me that I’m not going either.  Well, as you might imagine, that about sent me straight off the cliff.  Just the idea that he thinks he can dictate to me when or how I can go do anything.  I have all week, he says, to do what I want.  The weekends are for us as a family.  Fine, except that imprisoning someone is not the way to happiness or peaceful coexistence. 

I don’t ever have the opportunity to be free of the responsibilities I have, not even for one hour.  I NEED it, and he refuses to give it to me.  “Everything would be so different if diabetes hadn’t come into our lives.”  He calls me selfish, but it is he who is behaving selfishly.  Sometimes he’ll admit he “can understand” how I feel, but ultimately he does nothing to appease me.  Well, he can understand it all the way to hell, but if he can’t honestly look me in the eye and say, go ahead honey, go take a ride by yourself. I’ll take care of the kids, then he obviously doesn’t really give a damn.  And the truth of it is, he can’t see past himself to help me at all.  It’s all about him, all the time.  And when will that ever change?

New Year’s Eve was uneventful, but the next day he called me a “fucking idiot” in front of the children because I’ve been keeping Ava’s open vial of insulin in the cabinet instead of the fridge. AND, I never consulted him before making that decision.  So, I lost it.  It escalated.  Because he can’t keep his mouth shut around our kids.  And I can’t take it anymore.  I’m so sick of it.

And the day after that was more of the same.  I said something he didn’t like or supposedly raised my voice, which set him off and he threw the pan of brownies I’d just baked that morning for the restaurant onto the floor.  When that wasn’t enough of an impact, he stuck his hand into the freshly baked apple cake (also for the restaurant), grabbed a handful of it, and threw it at me.  It was everywhere.  All over the floor.  All over the refrigerator.  The wall.  The trim.  I wanted to kill him.  But the dumbass burnt his hand when he did it, since it had just come out of the oven, so I guess God was watching.  If only I’d had the nerve to say that out loud. The cake was completely destroyed.  All of my work that morning, gone in sixty seconds.  And I was the one who cleaned it up.

In other news, Ava cracked Owen’s lateral incisor – an adulttooth – which was purely accidental but nonetheless very upsetting.  It only cost $150 to repair.  The week before, she got mad and charged him, biting him on the chest like a rabid dog and breaking skin, and leaving a circular, angry-looking welt.  He responded by pinning her to the floor with his hands around her neck.  Oh the fun we have!  It’s a wonder I haven’t had a complete mental breakdown yet.

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