This post is not even going to be in the category of parental drivel, just general drivel. I have been single parenting for 16 days. There are three more to go and I am at a loss for coherent words or thoughts. I know I have something to say to those who rant about the sanctity of the moment, Carpe Diem may happen later but what I am living is Fish Stick Diem and I dont want to sieze it all.
All I want to do is give up on blobbing and watch Donald Draper. I am just hoping it is one of his ‘good looking’ episodes as it is disturbing how he can disintegrate from one to another. The other disturbing thing is when he lobs his beer can into the perfect meadow at the end of a perfect 50s picnic. Lovely Betsy then tips the picnic rug all over the perfect grass and is told to mop the kiddies paws before they climb inside their iconic car and head home for marital disaster. I can actually deal far better with the rampant sexism (which is a relief in todays climes – see French Kissing in the DIY store), the smoke and drink than with the littering which curiously grates against my every nerve.
I am not sure I should go on with this blobbing lark. I find myself spinning every miniscule episode of my life into a potentially entertaining blog-bit and then never quite getting it down because I am too disintegrated or just trying to find Alexander’s shoes.
Alexander losing his shoes actually led me to a one of my most buoyant moments of the week. They had disappeared for several hours and despite an exhaustive search of our completely leaf covered back yard I could not find them. We had to go to the H Mart (which is an amazing Korean supermarket in the armpit of beyond, on Georgia Avenue). He was wearing fireman boots too large for him and spooning up large blue crabs from a vat with pincers. Almost everything is in Korean so it is a little tricky to know what you are buying, unless it is a live blue crab. As I gazed at an entire aisle of soya sauce I commented to a moustached older bloke next to me that it was a hard choice. He disagreed entirely and would not relinquish me, Puffy or his falling boots. We proceeded round the supermarket in company. I learned that he had $60,000 dollar kitchen. That he had cooked fried oysters the night before and that, consequently, his wife was worried about their finances. He told me never to buy anything other than sushi quality salmon. We scrutinised and admired its striations of white omega 3 fat. Clutching Puffy’s boots we headed for the exit with several pounds of pork belly to make a Rillettes, my only serious contribution to our more than wonderful Thanksgiving hosts. The shoes had to be found. I had bought a ton of food I never meant to buy and it was all the fault of mr 60K kitchen and Puffy’s boots.
Back at the ranch – ‘They are hiding” Puffy told me seriously. “Where?” I demanded. After much coaxing he pointed enigmatically and all encompassingly at the trees and our garage roof. Given that I can hear him coming down the stairs (damn), given that I know he can make up non-existent hampsters – I was not falling for that. For both shoes and two socks to be on the garage roof was just plain rot. Cooingly I knelt down and in my best PEP (parent encouragement program) voice said “Your shoes are hungry. They want Cheerios. Where are they?” He led me straight to them. In the neighbour’s garden, in the flower bed, amongst some old grasses. I am a genius.
I only wish I truly felt that way. I had to sit at the park for two hours watching little Nelson (4) crashing every piece of Little Tikes plastic he could find, into every fence or railing whilst Wang (3) stood rooted to the spot counting how many seconds it took for the green traffic light to stay green. Then there was a Courtney (well when isn’t there a Courtney?) who did not like wet leaves and threw a fit if they got stuck on her shoes and then Sydney who was coating her pink fleeced body in them.
This was a foreign playground. Can a playground be foreign? Well apparently it can. It was full of coaxing, crowing parents but they were not ‘my’ parents. Playground Politics are exhausting. You spend your time admonishing your own child and admiring others whilst you are really thinking the antithesis. We keep this covert behind stretched smiles and perfect teeth. This is why you have to have good teeth in America – in England we can just stare glummly at each other and no one knows if our canines are crowded.
All I can say to you guys is that a blog is apparently meant to be an interactive forum (I checked wiki). I could really do with some interaction as it is fairly lonely like this. I don’t have to publish your comments unless you give me approval but… otherwise I think I will give up. That was certainly the decision I took in the foreign DC playground. I need to get prototyping and into China to make something of my life not live in a twilight zone where people steal about in the night snitching carrots from some poor bastard in Farmersville or living a second life because their first one comes complete with never disappearing shoes and a retinue of nannies. Over to you as I am all but burnt out. Donald Draper, Thai Green Curry…. finally.
PS. Alexander has been replaced in his bed. He calls the sticky tape “his tape measure’ and has been putting it to use as such. I want to remember this… posterity and all that.. I literally buy 5 rolls of sticky tape a week to quench both Puffy’s and Eleanors sticky fixations.