Post-traumatic sickness disorder

Sitting here trying not to let the absolute joy at the fact that I feel not the slightest inclination to hurl be overwhelmed by the whiny realization that I missed a gorgeous sunny fall week-end and we didn't finish rearranging Eve's room AGAIN and the house is a disaster and Matt's leaving tomorrow AGAIN, and...

Yeah. How about we don't go there? I realized that the reason my head is all whoosh-y and I keep almost falling down the stairs is not just that I haven't really eaten for three days, but that I haven't taken my antidepressant for three days, when one day of withdrawal is generally a quite noticeable problem. (wait, you all knew that I require medicating to be this sunny and cheerful all the time, right? I'm sure you did - if not, well, surprise, you're welcome, no and screw you - that should cover all the possible responses).

I miss my kids. Not just from the last three days of not wanting to infect them, but from the last month of craziness - I feel like we're all a tiny bit unconnected. We don't fight or yell or anything, because they're great kids at good ages, but Angus is at that age where he tends to want to hermit out a bit in the basement, and I need to reign that in a tiny bit, and Eve has forgotten or lost a couple of things this week and she's been disproportionately self-lacerating about it. So while Matt's away this week I will be re-instituting the 'everyone in Mommy's room reading a book at eight o'clock' and 'everyone eating together at the dinner table' rules. And instead of putting off having them sleep with me until later in the week when I can afford to lose the sleep, I am just going to let them sleep with me every night. I've had enough interrupted bed time in the last few days.

When I was growing up, my Dad got home at 4:45 every day and my Mom got home at 5:30. All our activities took place comfortably after the dinner hour. It seemed easier to get four people together at a table. In this family, the Dad sometimes has to go out for dinner after work and is frequently not on the continent. Eve has dance at an hour that means we have to eat early and dash on Tuesdays. If I have an assignment spread out all over the kitchen table I sometimes let the kids eat on tv tables. I never stop trying to reassert the four-people-at-the-dinner-table model, but it's harder. I do talk to my kids about how important I think it is and how studies have been done that show how families that eat dinner together tend to produce children that are more successful later in life. I'm not sure how he got this particular image, but now Angus's delightful shorthand for it is 'yeah, yeah, I know, you don't want us to grow up and start knocking over liquor stores'.

I guess that captures the point pretty well.


Anonymous said…
I was all pukey and disconnected this week too!
Nicole said…
My husband is almost NEVER home for dinner. So usually we are three people at the dinner table. It's the thought that counts, right?
Kelly Miller said…
I realized tonight that dinner is where we forgive each other for the day's insults. I never thought about it before, but tonight was so obvious that I felt the shift in energy and realized it happened every night.

I don't think it has to be dinner, though. Maybe your "forgiveness haven" is your bed at 8pm over books (which is a lovely image, by the way).
clara said…
Wow..Kelly's 'forgiveness haven' makes me feel kind of weepy. I must try to implement such an energy shift in my home as well.

I hate that treadmill feeling, where you just finished a week and another one is starting. Damn weeks. Deep breaths.
Lynn said…
I'm like Nicole - my husband is rarely home by the time I'm serving dinner. And here's a secret: on occasion when we have just had TOO MUCH of each other, I let them watch TV while eating.

At least I will be able to live comfortably off of their liquor store income.
When my husband is out of town I tend let the kids eat in front of the TV and everything pretty much falls apart from there on out. I admire your energy at keeping everyone together. I think it's a wise thing to do.
StephLove said…
I'm glad you are feeling better.

My kids are hungry before partner gets home (between 6:30 & 7) so usually I eat with them and then when she gets home, I sit with her and keep her company while she eats. Sometimes one or more of the kids hangs out at the table, too, but it's not quite a family dinner hour, except on the weekends. We usually manage to eat together then.

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