Usually I don’t know what I will write about on this blog. I just start typing and see where my mind takes me. Lately my mind has taken me to the days when my midgets were babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. Such joyous chaos. Mostly just chaos.
The first year during which I separated from my first husband was filled with anguish, joy, wonder, and re-discovery. I’ll never forget the first time I went grocery shopping after I had moved into my apartment. I didn’t know what to buy for my pantry because I had forgotten what I like to eat. I knew what husband, baby, toddler, and dog liked to eat, but not me. I knew what meals to prepare for everyone, what snacks, what drinks. But not for myself. That’s how immersed into that marriage I was, and how my personality and individuality had been pushed way way down into my gut. It’s remarkable how little we argued during the last few years. In my opinion there didn’t seem to be any point since I always lost. Or rather, we always moved forward with his idea, itinerary, opinions, plans.
Last week I had a sort of mini-epiphany; I think ex husband wanted me to push back, to stand up to him. And when I didn’t do that, he lost respect and eventually love for me. I’ve said how much he disliked me as a whole, and I wonder if my lack of resistance to his domineering personality is a big reason for that sneer.
When my girl midget was 7 months old I returned to my full-time job, leaving my midgets in the care of a nanny. This nanny didn’t end up working out very well. She turned out to be afraid of our dog and unable to figure out how to co-exist with any dog. One night I came home from work and saw our dog wandering up and down our busy street. The dog issues aside, girl midget went through a phase, from birth to age 1, where she did not want anyone touching her except me and her Opa. She did not take kindly to being left every day all day, to say the least. First she wouldn’t take a bottle of breast milk. No way no how. At age 7 months, babies pretty much subsist on a gallon of breast milk and about 2 tablespoons of baby cereal per day. She also wouldn’t stop crying. The nanny didn’t know what to do with her and would call me at work. Girl midget would be wailing in the background, which would case me to put an arm in front of my boobs to keep the milk from coming down, plus there was our dog barking her fool head off. I have no idea what boy midget was up to, but he was always good at blending in, so he was likely just trying to stay clear of the noise.
So, that nanny didn’t work out. Next we shared a nanny with a family who had a little girl around our boy’s age. That didn’t last long either and I’m not entirely sure why. She was an improvement though, since she got along with our dog ok and girl midget accepted her. Without any notice that nanny quit. That was a difficult day for me. My boss was hassling me for being less than 100% present at the office and she was watching my hours like a hawk. Keep in mind this is not normal behavior for a manager of a cyberserf.
I took a vacation day and started making calls. I ended up with Gaby’s number, THANK GOD. She came over to meet us and the kids and I recognized her right away. I had seen her on our street for years, taking care of various children. She had been outgoing, caring, and happy. So yay us, being able to get our kids into her exclusive club.
She started taking care of our midgets the very next day. Ex husband told her we would need to do a try out period for a week or 2, then move forward from there. Um, listen here boy, we are lucky to have this person taking care of our children don’t you understand how great she is and hasn’t our recent experience showed you how rare an occurrence? So after a couple of days I took Gaby aside and told her there were no worries, she was definitely hired and thank you thank you thank you. Girl midget was 1. Boy midget was 3. With all the upheaval and distress involved in separating from ex husband, Gaby was a stabilizing force in all of our lives. Ex husband is not a pleasure to work for. He is demanding, bossy and downright rude at times. But I think even he would see now how much we have all benefitted from having Gaby around.
Girl midget was not an easy toddler or pre-schooler. Girl midget went through a phase from age 1 to 5 of being a total cow. Many people try to point to the divorce as the cause. Nope sorry, she was acting like this from birth, and around age 1 she really perfected her tantrums and particular needs that only she knew and everyone else needed to figure out with no help from her. So Gaby had her work cut out for her.
Here’s a fun little anecdote that probably many parents can relate to: girl midget needed help opening a container of apple sauce. If you are paying attention, you notice she needed HELP; she didn’t need it opened FOR HER, you moron. The punishment for opening the applesauce without her expressed permission was swift and loud. It really did take a village to get girl midget to the age of 6 without being abandoned at a fire station in a Moses basket.