My life right now is kind of schizo. I’m tyring to record it, partly to vent, partly so I can look back and laugh.
1) Another playdate happened. Each of these is like an event that I come out of with nerves frazzled. This time at Indian girl’s house. She is not a great friend of the two boys and I wondered if forcing these friendships works. Well, from this experience it seems like maybe it does. She seems to be growing on my boy, so maybe they will be closer in school too having now had some common experiences out of school. In fact, at some point the other boy was left out and he had a mini meltdown.
Their house is ginormous. Why can some people with normal apartment houses not invite us over? These people, in addition to garden with trampoline, have entire room with toys for their kids. I on the other hand have a husband who thinks two baskets of toys is too much. The thing with these large houses is that the living rooms are beautiful etc (whereas mine functions as an extended playroom, dining room, TV room, and closet) and there are designated areas where the kids can play, which the kids don’t always want to abide by so one has to rush over shooing them into preferred area.
Also, I feel like I was on edge, constantly correcting my child even when he was doing normal kid things like talking loudly (one mother kept saying ‘inside voices’) or playing with a noisy toy. And Benji was pretty well behaved. He ate himself beautifully.
After the disaster playdate at our place, we have been insisting the kids sit in one place and eat, and that Benji eat by himself. It’s been a week and it’s been going ok. I made the mistake of mentioning this to one of the mums at the playdate and she was like “they’ll do what they can get away with” semi-sanctimoniously and I was like arrgh, can’t people just commiserate instead of getting know-it-all in these matters.
I think I feel the judginess of modern parenting too keenly and need to find a balance whereby I let some things go with my kid even if it’s not the other parent’s preferred style. It’s looking like this is going to be a once a week thing. The mothers seem to talk a lot about their kids and school stuff. A tad excessively. I like getting this kind of information, but not for two hours. At one point, I escaped the mothers and started hanging out with the kids, and realised I was happier there. Imagine! Me! Choosing the kids over the adults. For me the final straw was when one kid was talking in a baby voice and the mother kept trying to ask us if our kids were, and she ends up blaming this on another kid in the school, and I’m like whaaa?
I am aware that more than half of this is my own insecurity and feeling like a fish out of water, so bear with me.
2) Had a bad day on Facebook. A family member put up one of those ‘omg this food will kill you’ type posts. I pointed out that if one avoided a food on those grounds, one would have to avoid almost anything off a shelf. Apparently, a comment, a response and a comment again is too much for some people to handle and I was summarily dismissed.
It suddenly occurred to me that some people like to share stuff and expect people to comment positively or ‘like’ otherwise STFU. This had seriously not occurred to me, and definitely not with this person. I was like oookay. My rule of the thumb hereafter is follow this guideline of ‘liking’ except for select few who almost always can be identified by having a Humanities degree.
On the other hand, I was also quite rude to someone who commented on something I posted. The article was this ( a gripping read if you like birth stories, though maybe a tad slow going at the beginning. The person, who was actually a friend of friend (so my first thought was “who are you?”) said something along the lines of “hypnobirthing tells you that pain is not pain” and I just saw red. It’s all very well to tell women not to overdo the fear factor of the whole experience, but this idea that ‘now now ladies, it’s not pain, it’s actually just nature” makes me want to stab someone with a spoon and tell them that’s nature. Ouff. Anyway, the person who commented was most offended and left me a huffy comment and blocked me (which is fine because I don’t even know her) but I do wish I could have apologised because the tone of my response was a bit aggressive (although that was my calmed down version).
So much FB drama in one day. (Note: This is not the time to tell me you’re not on FB. If you’re not, congratulations. I happen to think the Internet is part of real life, and enjoy FB quite a bit, including the involved discussions that happen among those that are open to them.)
3) PhD life is chugging along. I have thing after thing after thing. I’m trying to tick them off one by one instead of getting into a panic about going arrrrgh (at least visibly).
Last week, I had a presentation that went spectacularly. The reading was tough, but I have fallen in love with Irigary even I don’t agree with her final position on the question of difference. When I got to class, which happened after a break of two weeks, everyone was saying how they didn’t understand a thing and I had a mini panic attack because I felt pretty confident I had understood it but what if that was all an illusion and I had completely missed the point? Turned out I am a genius and had cracked it, and the professor actually gasped when she saw my chart. Yes, I did a chart. V helped me. The second essay I presented wasn’t awesome, but I think everyone was sufficiently wowed by the first one. You know you’ve done well when someone asks for a copy of your presentation.
In our department, we have to attend these periodic sessions where other student present their work. At some point, it was decided that it was compulsory to attend (fine. I like attending anyway) and that every PhD student had to ask questions. One question per semester it seems. Okay then. I asked a lot of questions in the last session so didn’t feel burning need to come up with something this time. In fact, I did think of a question but felt that since I had overdone it last time and there is a time limit on the sessions, I should shut up.
Bad call. One faculty member turned to us after the session and was like: “You’re supposed to ask questions.” I pointed out I had in the previous sessions and he’s like: ‘At every session.’ My god. I just stared at him like he was nuts.
Which I’m convinced he is. He’s new, so new that embarrassingly at the first session I thought he was a student. At that session, he asked us if we’d been to our office yet – it was two days after the semester started – and when we said no, he looked very upset. What a weirdo.