Category Archives: Is there a manual?

Give it time…We’ll figure it out

I scrambled to get out the door this morning for an audition. Isabelle was crying to nurse, Zachary was playing 52 card pick up with my sheet music, and both were slathering yellow and green mucous all over my freshly pressed dress, in their adorable need to be snuggled through their new winter colds.

Just breath, Em. You’ll figure out a rhythm. It’s been less than 2 weeks. I calmed myself with this statement as I drove to the train station.

It all went downhill from there. The place I was originally planning to park, I couldn’t get to because of construction.

Crap. 10 minutes until the train arrives. Ok. I’ll  just pay for the lot next to the station and leave myself more time to figure this out another day.

I pulled into the lot with 7 minutes to spare, noted my spot number and ran to the pay station.

We have these in LA. Easy.

I put my card in, and punched in the numbers for my space. Nothing. I tried again. INVALID ID. Huh?  Again, I insert my credit card.

Ok. I have cash. Crap. My five dollar bill slid in and was rejected.  How about a One dollar bill?  Nope.  Spit back at me.  Now, down to 3 and a half minutes.

I cannot be late!  Very unprofessional.

A man comes over to help me. Thank God!  Surely, he must know what I’m missing. He fumbles with buttons and has no success. By now, there are 3 people behind me, waiting to use this machine, which I would like to rip out of the ground.  The lovely gentleman behind me, let’s call him “Parking Lot Villain” says, “It’s really not that complicated.”.

“Really?  Why don’t you help me, then, Jackass?!”.

Ok. I didn’t actually say it in those words, but before giving up, and abandoning my vehicle in the lot with no payment, I looked him in the eye and informed him that he could have been nicer. I’m quite certain that he went through his day, burdened with a heavy, guilt ridden heart, and searched his soul for how to draw back the giant ripple of negativity he imparted on society and his fellow-man. Doesn’t everyone do that?

I made it to the platform as the train was entering the station, and boarded with no time to spare. At this point, I was shaking with anger.  Angry with myself for not leaving sooner, with the Parking Lot Villain for being condescending, for the construction that kept me from my original plan, with the pay station for being so freaking complicated, with EVERYTHING UNFAMILIAR!

And that’s what it is. I want to blame these people and things, but it’s just my own unfamiliarity with our new surroundings that is so unsettling.  That, on top of the fact that I’m about to get a 100 dollar parking ticket, making this audition cost me more than its worth.

I sat in my seat and called my husband to vent before going underground en route to Penn Station, and losing service. During the 20 minutes of radio silence, I calmed down and tried to get into a good audition headspace….whatever that means.

The escalator lifted me out of the tunnel at Penn Station, into the biting, frigid wind on 34th street, and my phone chimed with receipt of a voice mail. Steve had bundled up both children during nap time, wrapped Isabelle to his chest, fastened Zachary into the umbrella stroller, and toted them in 25 degree temperatures a mile to the train station.  He arrived just as the meter maid was about to write his ticket.  One dollar and fifty cents saved the day. God bless my husband!

I did not get called back for the show for which I auditioned today.  I don’t know why, but it might have something to do with the fact that I sort of sucked.  I blame Parking Lot Villain.  It never feels good to not get a call-back, but my recovery time would have been much longer had it cost me 100 dollars to attend it in the first place.

As for Parking Lot Villain, I think I’m going to reverse his transgression by going to that lot, and paying for every single vehicle’s space. I’ll get on that just as soon as I learn how to use the darn machine.

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Stifling or Creating Boundries?

Aside from what just happened at bedtime, today was for the most part a good day.   It seems we have triumphed over the disaster of the dreaded Thursday, as we have figured out the truck conundrum…hopefully.  A morning at the zoo, a late lunch and later nap and all of the garbage commotion is missed.   Success and a new Thursday routine! 
Speaking of routine….it is, and always has been very important to me.  Now, more so with two. But, I have this persistent worry that I am too much of a control freak to allow my children to freely discover their world.  I’m mostly speaking of Zachary who is approaching the age of two.   Isabelle is not yet at the “I do it!” stage. 
I’ve come a long way with meals, as I’ve been told it is important for them to be able to explore their food as they learn healthy eating habits, which translates into making a gigantic mess.  It makes me crazy, but I allow it.  Every day, I try to breathe through things with Zachary as not to force him into anything, and allow him to come to things in his own time.  This idea sounds lovely for a family that has only one child and no deadlines.  I suppose I could just stay in the house all day, plan no excursions and let the house be in a shambles.  But, try as I may, this is NOT OK with me.  It gives me heart palpitations to see one of the alphabet refrigerator magnets in the bedroom rather than the kitchen.  I know.  I’m working on it.    So, often my attempt to give him the time and space to do things when HE is ready, results in both of us getting upset. It starts with me being calm and patient, then edges it’s way into my wondering how long I am supposed to wait until we move on to what needs to happen next, and then rapidly becomes frustration at my lack of control of the situation.  I then I have to force him to do what I wanted him to do in the first place, 20 minutes prior.  The temper tantrum is actually larger than it would have been if I had just done this from the beginning.   
Tonight, it was about brushing teeth.  I bought him a new Thomas the Train vibrating brush because he is obsessed with our electric toothbrush and there was a meltdown over that last night.  So, he wanted to brush his teeth for a long time.  Great, right?  Don’t I want him to be excited about dental hygiene?  Awesome.  But, am I controlling because I don’t feel that toothbrushes should be carried around the house and used on the walls, the toys, the floors and the dogs? I’m sorry.  Also, I am a strong believer in getting to bed ON TIME.  Everyone suffers when I experiment with loosening my reigns on this.  So, what started out as a tooth-brushing success, ended in a power struggle.   I literally ripped the toothbrush from his hands, after trying to gently explain numerous times that we could brush again tomorrow, causing sobs and devastation.   It ended quickly…for him.   It just doesn’t feel good to play tug-of-war with my baby.   The more freedom I give him, the more he takes. Is there something I am missing?  Am I just an ignorant newbie of the “terrible two’s”? Or am I ruining my son with my desperate need for structure?  All donations for his future therapy will be graciously accepted.