Timing is everything

Me, yesterday: I’m going to cry, I’m drowning at work, I’m so tired, everything is hard and out of reach and I’m failing at everything and I am so overwhelmed. How is it midnight already, I’ve been going non-stop since I got home.*

Spud, internally: It is time! It is time! It has been about two months, so it is time once again to prove I can do this.**
Spud: <sleeps through the night, 8 pm – 7:40 am>

Me, today: I am so productive! My to do list is totally manageable, and I’ve even done some substantive thinking.


* Aside from an extended 30 minutes of watching Olympics when I was no longer also eating dinner
** I have no better explanation for why this happens once every few months


making sense of the world

Last night, we were rushing about trying to get dinner on the table, as Spud had refused his second nap despite our nanny keeping his first nap to a brief catnap. End result was a tired baby toddler who was holding it together by a shoestring and who needed a much earlier bedtime than normal. At one point, Spud came into the kitchen from the living room, looked at Pea, waved, and then pointed at the door.

My mother was at the door, popping by to pick up some of the boxes she had stored with us during her move*.

It seems such a small thing, our kid coming in to tell us someone was at the door, but it puts together so many different pieces of information, and requires an ability to communicate on top of that. At almost exactly this time last year, Spud smiled for the first time. Lightyears apart!


* my (directionally challenged) mother: “I was at the hardware store, and you are so close, so I thought I’d come by. I know it is the worst possible time.” (My mother’s house is between my house and the hardware store, but I don’t think she knows that. I also don’t think it would have mattered if she did know, because she wanted to come by. Once she is settled, we will figure out expectations around popping in unannounced, on both sides. She had mentioned she was going to come by during the day to pick up things, so it wasn’t completely out of the blue, just much later than anticipated. Also characteristic of my mother.)

Conversations with Pea, part the next

Me: I have three things. Do you want to have a thing-type talk, or did you just want to cuddle.
Pea: drowsily We can have a thing talk, what are your things?
Me: Bacon. We forgot to thaw it.
Pea: We can just cook it from frozen, it will thaw as it goes.
Me: Oh good, I really want breakfasty breakfast today.
Pea: These are easy things! What’s the next one?
Me: Zika
Pea: Zika?
Me: Zika virus.
Pea: Oh, Zika virus, good.
Me: No.
Pea: Zika virus baaaad.
Me: I’m thinking about zika virus. And Mexico. And your work offsite. In Mexico. I don’t think I can go if we’re planning on trying to conceive in that same window.
Pea: Oh, yes, that makes sense. Can I still go?
Me: I don’t know, we will have to look at how prevalent it is, I feel like it hasn’t been in the news as much but I’m not sure if that is just because the news is bored or because it is actually resolving.

Later today
Pea: What was the third thing?
Me: ?
Pea: Your third thing type thing, to talk about?
Me: Oh, I don’t know! Hmmm.

Break point

I don’t think I can keep up what I’m currently doing.

New plans:

1 – pump once a day at work. Spud is barely drinking from sippy or straw cups these days, not sure why, but rather than work to rehab that, I’m going to use it as an opportunity to gracefully decrease my output at work. Twice or three pumping sessions has become onerous and disruptive, and I need my already fragmented days to be slightly less so.

2 – Transition students to meetings every two weeks instead of weekly. I have already done this, and it is much better, although teaching eats all gained time and defragmentation that achieved. No way I could do both weekly meetings and teach though.

3 – Somehow find a way to say no such that I don’t get re-asked nine times. I don’t know if this is something I do incorrectly, endemic to my department, or something else, but I say no until I eventually say yes. Saying no does not ever seem to make something actually go away. I am overburdened with service, so stereotypically.

4 – Break my current “no work on weekends” streak. I need 2-3 more hours in the week to be afloat. Not sure where those hours will come from on weekends, but I’m not giving myself a bye on Saturday/Sunday anymore.

Internal monologue

Leaving the house, every morning

Me: Oh shoot, I totally forgot to do that one small thing. Oh shoot, also those other two small things. Labmonkey! Why can’t you remember to do small things!

A short time elapses where I reflect on my prior evening and morning

Me: Really, you should be nicer to yourself. You didn’t remember to do those six small things, but you did do the other nineteen small things. It’ll be ok. No one is going to die because you didn’t put Spud’s swimsuit away for two weeks.


I spend a very large amount of time berating myself in my inner monologue, and, recently, a nearly equivalent amount of time trying to be nicer and not allow “you’re an idiot” or “you’re useless” as the final word when addressing myself. I’m still reactionary though – my default is very much the negative. I would like that to change, but at the same time I credit this self-flagellation for a great deal of my prior success. I’d call it “drive” if it wasn’t so unhealthy.

Microblog Mondays: challenge accepted

microblog_mondays Last night, I went to the airport to pick up a collaborator who will be a visiting scientist in my group for the next four months. Her flight got in at 10:30 pm, but she made it through customs at 11:30.

I got home, and into bed at 1 am.

Spud woke up at 1:45 am. He then also uncharacteristically woke up and did not self-settle at 5 am. Upon checking on him, I discovered he had massively overfilled his diaper and had soaked his sleeper thoroughly. Clean, dry, and nursed, he happily passed back out. Until 7:15 am.

I am “typing badly because my hands are uncoordinated” tired. I am teaching a lecture on non-parametric diversity indices in 20 minutes, which falls squarely in my “I have heard all these terms but have never used them or studied them or used these equations” wheelhouse. I have read and learned in preparation, but this will be my first try at teaching it.

Fake it til you make it – I definitely understand the equations better than my students do, and that is the best I can hope for today.


6:15 am

Spud: Waaaaah wargle waaaaah
Me: No, I am very tired. Spud, you woke up at 6 yesterday. You’ve been up three times wailing for unknown reasons. I am very tired.
shuffles to nursery. Examines sleepy squalling Spud.
Me: You are also very tired!

nursing ensues, Spud falls deeply asleep

Me: shuffles back to bed Ok good, more sleeps now.

8:15 am

Me/Pea: crap! CRAP! We are going to be late again.
Spud: toddling around Blahb blaaaaaaaaaahhhhhb, raaaawwwrrr, Map! Map! Map! Urgle gurgle. points suddenly and vigorously at one of the coloured circles on his rug
Me: Red
Spud: smiles, points vigorously at a different circle
Me: Orange. OK, let’s change your butt.
Spud: Map! Map! Map! Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!