Thursday, December 14, 2006

As Good as It Gets

So apparently, Tuesday night, after the tv crapped out and I couldn't watch House, was as good as it gets this week.

I am the multi-tasking worrier in our family. I am the organizer. Part of this is by choice, because I like certain things done a certain way, or because I care about certain details and Sugar Daddy doesn't, and part of this is by necessity. I may be a lazy procrastinator but I am also a planner. And when I plan something, I become a bit like a locomotive at full tilt, unable to brake or change tracks. Yesterday morning, Sugar Daddy dropped a little something on the tracks and I derailed. Totally. The bit that got stuck in my well-oiled passport plans was the fact that some indeterminate time ago, he decided to take his citizenship card out of his wallet so it wouldn't fall out and put it in "a safe place," which he can't remember or find. This is his only proof of citizenship, which he needs to renew his Canadian passport.

Sometimes the burden of making plans and organizing details and worrying about them is too much for me to bear. Sometimes I feel like the wizard behind the curtain, and Sugar Daddy has no idea of all that goes on behind it to keep things running (as pathetically as they are running, that is). I know I should pull back the curtain and let him pull some strings, as much as he should occasionally take a peek. Yesterday, the wizard sparked, popped and fizzled into a smoking heap. It wasn't just the fact that he couldn't find his card. It was the way he blithely suggested that he'll find it tonight (last night -- he didn't), despite having spent an hour looking in all the possible places we could think of yesterday morning, and I could just go to Kitchener tomorrow (today -- I did just for me and Swee'pea). I lost it. Rage rose up and erupted as I yelled (screamed?) I have too much on my plate! I cannot cope with all this! I am doing too much!! My rage scared Sugar Daddy and he went to work then, leaving me even less able to cope, my mind an empty wasteland of smooth black igneous rock surrounding a now-quiet volcano. Somehow Swee'pea and I got through the day, and Sugar Daddy has agreed to do more errand running.

We are still left with the problem of Sugar Daddy needing two passports and having none, which is still causing me considerable anxiety and stress trying to get in touch with the embassy and not getting any return phone calls. We travel in a month. I have gone so far as to ask the travel agent what happens if we cancel and have found out that we lose a significant portion but not all of our airfare, which is something.

The main problem, to my mind, is the South African passport. He needs that to get into and out of South Africa. His Canadian passport is still valid until April, and he'd only be questioned (potentially) when we're back on Canadian soil.

I mentioned the start of the South African passport saga in this email. Apparently he was issued a temporary passport so he could leave the country, and the Office of Home Affairs was supposed to phone his dad in Cape Town when the permanent one was ready. That was two years ago, and apparently his dad still hasn't received a phone call. We'll find out tomorrow what the status is, but I doubt they would hold onto someone's passport for two years, even if they forgot to call about it. Yes, now I would agree with the prevailing notion that South African bureaucracy is appallingly, notoriously bad. Especially after the hour and a half, not-bad experience at the Canadian passport office this morning. Now I am grateful for their calm assurance that two of our passports will be ready for pickup Jan 2, a more reliable option than waiting for Canada Post to get them to us over the holiday season.

The worst part of the outing was a strange woman in the line who started trying to tickle Swee'pea's foot before even making eye contact with him or me. It was weird. Then she was a bit affronted that she didn't get a reaction. But it really wasn't that bad.

When we got home I didn't stop for a moment. After lunch, and calling the SA embassy again, I decided to go for a walk, and let Swee'pea nap while I picked up a few items downtown and snapped some pics. But Swee'pea only napped for half an hour, so he spent the next several hours in a squirmy, grumpy, overtired mess. Finally, at 7:30, he is asleep in our bed.

Sadly, as much as I need to take a breath and remove my shoulders from my ears, I am all haywire, in a multitasking tizzy. I just can't seem to stop. I couldn't just give Swee'pea dinner, I had to make two more batches of veggie baby food for him while feeding him. I couldn't just pour myself a cup of tea, I had to drink water from a glass while I poured from the kettle.

Fingers crossed for being able to get through Survivor and Grey's Anatomy without the tv crapping out or Swee'pea waking up. If ever I have needed quiet time and space to unwind, with a bit of hot water splashed in for cleanliness, it is now.

Alas, no. He woke up just as Survivor was about to start, so I nursed him back to sleep and laid down with him for 15 minutes. Got back downstairs and sat, exhausted and even more demoralized, for a minute and a half before he cried again. Sugar Daddy is with him now. Now I remember why we have let him sleep in our laps or in the sling for so long. It sucks running up and down the stairs and lying in the dark thinking about what you'd rather be doing.

I hate to think what tomorrow will bring.


nomotherearth said...

I remember days of eating dinner in front of the tv, with the Boy either in Mr Earth's lap or in the swing, desperately hoping that we could finish eating before he woke up. I have never had so much indigestion in my life.

Hope tomorrow is better!

jen said...

oh, sister...the dynamic you've described is TOTALLY what happens over here too. it makes me crazy, and yet i feed, feed, feed the beast by continuing to do too much...

Beck said...

Yikes. My tv is slowly dying a miserable death, and since I depend upon watching tv in the evening to keep me sane we're getting a new one for Christmas. Yay us!
I think many relationships are one flaky person + one super responsible person, and yes, it's VERY hard on the responsible one. I'm the flaky one in our household.

Something that makes a LOT of difference in our house is having the kids (and this is going to sound awful) trained to go to sleep on their own by 10-11 months old. We're very attachment parent-y, but we realized that we could not function with the level of exhaustion we had - so my husband is now in charge of gently helping older babies fall asleep on their own in our place - and our toddler goes to bed at 8 and sleeps until 6:30. We have a video on a nice no-cry method, and seriously, if you want it, I'll mail it to you.