I have two essays kicking around in my head that I plan to write, but both require some basic research that I haven’t been able to get to this week. I’m careful how I use my work computer, and I don’t think it would be a good idea to Google “Tiger Woods, mistresses” or “famous homewreckers” on the job. I can barely get through my teaching days lately. The nausea, heartburn and headaches of early pregnancy are getting me down in a big way.
I am using the usual remedies. Ginger beer, candied ginger, watching Conan’s new show (since he is “a ginger”). Sweet and tart things help somewhat, so I’m eating pineapple (not great for heartburn) and drinking lemonade (ditto).
About halfway through this past week, I woke up after a crappy night’s sleep where I went to bed nauseated and battled Baby V’s attempts to twiddle my nipple all night, and I was still barfy. In my last pregnancy, I had nausea from around ten in the morning until seven at night, which was rough, but I had a few hours of relief. So far, this “morning sickness” is around the clock.
Today was our big homecoming rally day. As I type, our varsity football team is embarrassing itself against our crosstown rivals, who are hopefully embarrassing themselves worse. The teams are 0-6 this year, a typical record for both, so spirits at today’s assembly were high for a win. Standing at the back of the auditorium, I felt an overwhelming wave of nausea hit, and it wasn’t just the lameness of the juniors’ skit. I rushed outside and revived myself with deep breaths of fresh air, but it didn’t relieve what I’ve really been suffering from all week.
I blame the sickness and nausea. Oh, and my job. It’s been seven years since I had a group of students that were this intractable. Back then, I was in the honeymoon phase of my romance with Odie, so not much could bum me out. While I am a philosophical optimist, I am not a cock-eyed nor a buck-toothed one. I fight a dark cynicism that I believe many people who stay in education for decades also battle. Many succumb. I try not to be one of them, but I see how it happens. I understand why pretty young twenty-something teachers often abandon ship as soon as a man with a six-figure income waves an engagement ring at them. I went to a pricey grad school, and my classes were full of this type of girl. All of them wanted to teach kindergarten or fifth grade, and I could tell that every one of them would drop the job for good the minute she got pregnant. I was already in the classroom when I got my degree, and I loved telling them stories from my workdays that made them gasp and clutch their pearls. Literally. They wore pearls.
Would I love to give it all up, be a stay-at-home mom, redecorate my bathroom to resemble a French whorehouse, and paint my toenails every day? You bet your sweet bippy I would. It isn’t a “calling” for me. It’s a job. A job that is frankly not feeling like such a good fit lately. In years past, I was teaching my students something that they were grateful for. They didn’t always enjoy it, but they knew they needed it. I cannot find my current students’ wavelength. They are a wild bunch, so they take a lot of management. Getting them to settle down and pay attention to a lesson is an exhausting daily struggle. I fail every day. Not at everything, but enough to discourage and demoralize me.
Add morning sickness and a toddler who won’t wean, and you get depression. That’s why I haven’t written. I get my babe to bed around seven-thirty or eight, and then I just stare at the television, exhausted, until about nine, when I have to go back in and settle her down again. I know that I have to write every day, even when I don’t publish, but I have not been holding myself to this. I came home early today and decided to leave Baby V at day care until 4:30 as usual. She is always on the playground if I get there too early, and she doesn’t want to leave. My workday is over at 1:50 because I’m a part-timer, but I usually stay and work until at least three. Not today! I collapsed in a heap in my chair and pulled out the computer intending to write something, ANYTHING to keep my readers coming back, only to be surprised by Odie coming home early too. His school was also getting revved up to humiliate themselves in football, so he had a shorter day.
Odie and I found ourselves in an unfamiliar situation. We were home alone. Not alone as in “the baby is asleep in the next room,” but ALONE alone. Now, I don’t want to pull this bus over to the side of too much information highway, so let’s just say everyone is feeling much happier now. We promised each other that we really need to find more ALONE alone time, because we miss each other. Lying in the crook of Odie’s arm with Norah Jones’ first CD playing and no baby monitor nearby, I felt like I’d gone back in time. Being a working mother, I often forget to be a wife. And I love being a wife.
TGIF, I say to you all. I don’t get to sleep in tomorrow, but I do get to skip gagging on Axe body spray while trying to force teenagers to learn. My depression is suddenly better.