Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rough Week

It's been a rough week around here. Rejections all around. Plus some additional rejection that I wasn't even looking for. I mean, I go out of my way to get rejected for the most part but sometimes, rejection seeks me out. And bureaucracy. I had some. I wanted to apply for a grant because I like rejection but it turns out the university would like to protect me from myself and prevent that from happening by inventing and installing a device called grants and contracts which makes sure absolutely nothing can happen--even rejection--which is usually so easy to come by.

But it's amazing how resilient one can be. Yes. I will pat myself and the we's in my house for our resilience. And then I will say that kids are a good source of resilience. A) Even when they reject you, you can roll your eyes and tickle them and then you are quickly returned into most-loved status and b) they want so much (not rejection) that it's hard to get mired in your own morass.

Mas is curious. Possibly dangerously so. He likes to look under the stairs, crawl to the middle stair, fling himself off the stair onto the tile because he wonders what that might feel like. That we told him it wouldn't feel good is not so interesting to him. The humans yammer. The tiny bits of Starburst wrapper on the floor speak to him in a language he understands. Mostly--eat me. You can't hold him without him trying to crawl over your shoulder to see what everyone else is doing, including himself in the mirror or how, if you're holding him while you pee, he might propel himself into the sink to see exactly how the drain might work. Perhaps best by tonguing it, he thinks. The computer is good for typing but even better for pulling the keys off the keyboard and the pencil is good for drawing on the floor and stabbing yourself in the eye and if you're not a curious creature, however will you figure out that eye stabbing and floor drawing are equally interesting although perhaps one is more fun than the other.

So the week sucked enough that I sang Paul Simon's American Tune without irony. Also, Bob Dylan's Hard Rain although I don't know all the words. Tonight, I'm resilient enough, I think, that I can sing Frog went a Courtin to Zoe although only after we read Wigger--William Goldman's kid-story about parents who die in a car crash and Susanna holds it all together until a robber steals her blanket (Wigger). Then she cries. Then she's told to stop crying so she starts to flood. On the inside. But in the end, the undertaker adopts her which means it's a happy story, similar to this one.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Trouble

I thought I'd have several hours to work on revisions. My only certain obligations were to take Max to day care and work in the advising center for two hours. But what actually happened between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. is what happens every day. First of course are the emails. The Huffington Post. The Facebook promotion. That takes an hour. Zoe wants hot lunch, thank goodness, but she also wants me to help her pick out clothes that are not too hot and not too cold. Max loves mornings and likes to two fist eat cheerios in his high chair and then, with those same two fists, pound the tray full of Cheerios until the Cheerios bounce off onto the floor. This leads to some, although not much, cleaning up of Cheerios. Then we go for a run which takes fourteen minutes to find the dog collar for, my shoes for, my sunglasses. Oh wait. My sunglasses are broken. Blind running into the sun.
Then what happens? Max goes to Taysha's at 11:30. If we get back from our run at 9:45, there's little time to sit down and write. Max needs to breastfeed. He would also like to type. He is not a horrible typist but he does have a bad habit of pulling off the keys from the keyboard which is contraindicated for future typing. He falls down one stair which requires much soothing and then he tries to pull the breastpump onto his head which requires much rethinking of cord-electronic arrangements. There is some kind of hurried cleaning up of bowls and electronics and other things that shouldn't be on the floor but are. Then more emergency emailing. Then emergency saving Max from certain doom. Then picking Max up because he does not like to be put down for more than 10 minute intervals (but those 10 minute intervals. They are productive ones! But not so good for sustained thinking about revisions). Taking a shower, getting dressed. How can these things take so long? There must be something slowing me down. Perhaps it's the 10 minute interval baby. Perhaps it's email. Perhaps it's the new eyeshadow I bought. Either way, I feel nearly Hollywoodian in how long it takes me to get ready these days.
Lunch. I just heat up stew. And yet that takes a good 20 minutes to heat and eat too. Max likes broth. Both time-consuming and messy. And yet, I have time to wonder if a baby is born and his mother dies/goes missing, could the baby survive on beef/chicken broth. I think so.
I put Max in the jumper thing and sit on the floor with the laptop to type. This totally gives me 20 full minutes of revising. Then. Finish getting ready (It's been an hour since I started). Get Max dressed (somewhat quicker but not entirely).
Then there's the driving. Or even getting to the driving. Max's everything needs to go into the diaper bag. I have things to remember (what things? I've forgotten by now). And then the car seat transfer and the finding of keys and the sunglasses. Oh wait. No sunglasses.
It only takes 20 minutes to take Max over to Taysha's. But it's sad and hard so that adds minutes and relativity that make it seem much longer than that. The drive to school. Longer than it needs to be.
Office hours are nonstop. I have students from my grad class, from classes last semester, from classes two years ago, from another advisor who gave incomplete advice, from administrative assistants, and from head-poker-inners just saying hi.
By the time I get home to work, it is 2:00. The kids will be home at 3:40. That gives me 1 and a half ish hours.
And then I remember I have to pump.
And eat dried apricots and almonds.
And check my email.
And Facebook.
Still, I get30 pages of revision done. I have 50 more to go today and tomorrow. Deadline. Friday at 5:00.
But this next section is chunky and problematic and won't go as fast as yesterday. And today I teach. And apparently blog.
In comparison to today, yesterday is beginning to look in retrospect like the freedom day it at first seemed like it was going to be and then wasn't really.
Off to prep a lesson on sonnets. And to sneak a page or two of revision in before I eat lunch.
Perhaps it's the eating that's slowing me down. But like all things these days that are slowing me down and keeping me from, I like them quite a bit. So really, I'm not complaining.