Tina Rowley

writer + (performer) + [space left blank for surprises]

Welcome to the internet home of Tina Rowley. Here you'll find my blog, links to my other published writing, and whatever ends up climbing into the space I left blank for surprises.

 

let the frog sing it

It's Dave's and my third anniversary tonight. Second third anniversary. (The first one was on January 21st - the official courthouse one. July 2nd is when the real wedding for the friends and loved ones was.) Dave's working tonight, and also even if he weren't, it's not like we've gotten off our asses to locate a babysitter to let us go out and be romantic daters.

We took Finn to the Pike Place Market this morning for our family anniversary outing. We got Dave several jars of Vegemite, some perfume oil for me and a bag of fresh hot tiny doughnuts for Finn. It was delightful. The best quote of the outing belongs to Finn. We were in The Souk, which is a little Indian/Pakistani spice shop. It smells pungent in there, and sort of nice, if you ask me. I pointed out the sort-of-nice smell to Finn and explained what it was, and he said, "Get me out of these spices!"

And that, friends, is how I'm feeling about parenting these days a good bulk of the time. I'm not supposed to admit it, but it's true. Get me out of these spices! It's not that I don't love Finn. Au contraire, mon frere. My heart squeezes and pretzels and expands and flip-flops with love for him all the time. The love gets fuckin' positively pyrotechnic.

It's my patience level that is poor. Pooooooooor. Looooooooow. The rope is short. The thread is thin. Finn is two years old and workin' it fairly often in classic Terrible Twos style these days. But also, stupid tiny things make my blood boil irrationally. I was in the kitchen doing something yesterday, and Finn was tooling around nearby messing with things - things I shouldn't have left around, like big tall full glasses of water - and he tipped the glass of water over on to the couch in a two-pronged special maneuver wherein the water spilled at first but was not entirely released from the glass, as the glass was entirely upside-down flat on the couch, making it so that when I moved the glass, the rest of the water rushed on to my feet. I yelled out "DAMN IT!" in what must have been a very scary voice, and Finn began to cry, "Want to see Mommy!"

This is what he cries when something goes wrong. "Want to see Mommy!" He'll even cry it out if I'm right there with him, but doing something he doesn't like. It's like, I don't want to see YOU. Get me the OTHER mommy. Get me the good one. So he was crying and saying it over and over, and he was clearly very freaked out. I felt horrible, and I started crying, too. I hugged him to me and we both wept awhile. Want to see Mommy, yes. The good one. Let's get her. I have no idea who I am exactly but I'm not her. Want to be. But cannot always be her. Sometimes I'm her, naturally. Otherwise, "Want to see Mommy" wouldn't make much sense as a catch-all. I'm a fairly sweet ol' Mommy much of the time. I'm just prone to snap more at the moment. My wood is dry and sparky and catches fire easily.

I know, I know it. You don't have to say it. Parenting is hard, take it easy on yourself. Although that might not be what you were going to say. You might have been about to say, Stop being an asshole. Hire a babysitter already and take a mental health day before you scare that poor bunny any more. That, in fact, is what you should say. And that's what I need to do and that is what I am going to do.

Also, I'm going to start meditating again. I think this is going to have to be a vital part of my parenting toolbox. It's the patience extender. I'm going to have to do it every day, even if I have to get up at 4 in the morning, meditate and then go back to bed. I meditated today and I was glad I did, even if all it did for me was highlight how on edge I am. I can see my on-edgeness a skosh more clearly. Thanks, meditation!

I hope meditating with real regularity makes a nice, solid difference. I hope that I can react to the jolts and bumps from the deep calm place, instead of from the karate-chop waters up at the surface. I hope this because otherwise I don't feel like I would be able to handle another baby. At the moment, I don't even want to try again because it seems like that way lies madness. But I want to want to try again. I'm gonna take care of myself here, I'm going to get some self-care action going, and see what I can do with this brittle old psyche. Maybe the miscarriage - which has gone subterranean, grief-wise - is finding ways to linger and mess with me. C'est possible.

The title of this post doesn't make any sense because I haven't told the story yet, so I better do that. It's not a story. It's just a little - it's another "Get me out of these spices" thing. We watch this little video on YouTube frequently, an excerpt of a cartoon movie called Rupert, with a bunch of frogs singing. Finn gets annoyed when I sing along with things. He used to dig it, but not of late. So I was singing along with this frog song yesterday and Finn glared at me and barked, "LET THE FROG SING IT." This same kind of thing happened in the car today. I was singing along with Billie Holiday - and look, I'm a pretty good singer if I do say so myself. It's not like I'm murdering the damn thing - and Finn was like, LET THE LADY SING IT. Actually, he said, let the man sing it, but then we set him straight that Billie Holiday was a lady and then he kept saying LET THE LADY SING IT. But I stood my ground because I am not going to let a tiny cranky man rob me of the joy of singing along with the car stereo. I said, No! I'M a lady! I'm going to sing, too!

Next time we listen to that frog song, I'm going to tell him, "I AM THE FROG."