Hello! I am still a person under all of these tens of thousands of words of Marvel Comics content.
Or, at least, I think I am. It’s hard to tell, because my personhood is different than it was a few months ago.
We’re now in the eighth week of my stay-at-home parentage and life is definitely upside down from what I’m used to. I’ve done a lot of things that are totally uncharacteristic of me. I bake with EV regularly. (I hate baking.) We go grocery shopping multiple times a week (I prefer to order online.) We’ve visit the zoo every other week (I really hate zoos.) I go out for long walks and hangouts at the playground. (I wither in weather above 80) We tend to the violets in our front yard. (I think gardening is pointless.)
There’s even a rumor I might spend a day next week at the shore. (I despise beaches. And people. And that pesky heat, again.)
I’m not hating those things as we do them. Well, maybe the parts that are hot. My point is, all of those things would be miserable wastes of time to me if I wasn’t spending them with EV, but they all make her deliriously happy. So I do them.
I hope EV is having fun. I can’t tell. That’s the thing about toddlers – they’re very opinionated and they crave freedom, but they’re not really good at describing the state of their world subjectively. Last week EV took a big spill out of our rocking chair on the same day she did a ton of pull-ups on the monkey bars at the playground, and she seemed to be pretty sore all over the next day. We asked her, “Are you sore?” We got blank stares in return. EV doesn’t know what “sore” actually describes, and there’s no way to show her. We have to wait until she’s sore and squawks like a chicken about soreness, and then tell her, “That’s what it feels like to be sore.”
Despite that, usually when I ask her, “How’s it going?” she replies, “Good,” and keeps on fussing whatever she’s fussing at the moment while I explain the different between “good” and “well.”
I’m not sure how it’s going. Last month was more unbridled fun, but that was at least in part due to the weirdness of not going to work every day. Spending every day hanging out with a toddler is a pretty big shift after years of interacting with whip-smart coworkers daily and being under constant deadline pressure.
This month I’m a little more intent on getting some writing and planning done (love those deadlines) while EV is becoming more independent every day. Today was the first time I’ve been met with a chorus of “I can do that myself.” It’s thrilling, but also a little sad. I was just getting good at doing a lot of these things for her.
We won’t find a balance because she’ll keep changing. I get that. The best thing I can do is keeping challenging myself in different ways to keep my promise that staying at home doesn’t become a routine. That’s why I’m so happy to have shipped over 60,000 words of CK so far this month It was a massive undertaking, but I’m so happy I did it. I like to do big projects here at CK, whether that’s a song a day for a month (OMG, that was ten years ago), writing a book in one month, or intensely recapping and ranking a season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
The fun of it is that they’re always different. I don’t tend to enjoy doing the same challenge the same way a second time.
Luckily, being a full-time parent to a toddler is pretty similar in scope. It’s also like being a toddler. I’m not sure if I’m sore or worn out. I don’t know if it’s going well, and by the time I do “well” could be something totally different.
All I know is that I should probably start figuring out what I’m going to write tomorrow.