Friday, August 2, 2013


I have the feeling that Jack may be teething. I'm not sure, but I've got an inkling. He's not eating as much today and his naps are all over the place. His poopy diapers are... different, liquidy. And he's been drooling and shoving his fingers in his mouth for weeks. Otherwise he seems fine, in good humour albeit with some grumpy grumbles.

And admittedly, I don't wanna. Just I don't wanna. I'm tired!

Okay, yes, I want my baby to grow and thrive and teething is par for the course. I can't stop it, it's going to happen when it happens and I do feel pleased when he makes these little progressions.

But damn, it means more work for me. I'm here alone all day without a soul in sight and when things go haywire, it's all me. I know of a number of people who have their parents nearby, and a couple of whom have retired parents nearby. I can't even imagine that. Well, I can and it's glorious, but you know. It's not something that in any way resembles my reality.

I do have some people in my life who have offered to babysit, genuine offers from a good place from reliable and lovely friends. And I haven't taken them up on it. I do think there are complex reasons as to why not.

I kind of feel like a burden. I have this inner voice, this deep-seated belief. I know where it comes from. I know it's intellectually not right. But it holds me back a lot.

After my mom died when I was 16, I went to live with my dad at Grandma's house. At first I had the same expectations of him that I had of my mom. He would be responsible for making dinner, paying for the household bills and providing for my basic needs and some of my wants. I'd help around the house, do my own laundry, go to my part-time job and not screw up at school. Sounds normal, right?

He started off doing everything for my brother and I, unasked, and burnt out after about one month. I used to ask my mom for the occasional book, which she would get for me. He did this once and then claimed it was too much of an expense. We had a trust set up and he wanted these things to come out of that.

He started not coming home after work and expecting me to cook for Grandma. He didn't do housework and I was expected to pick up most of the slack. I started doing Grandma's laundry, a task he previously was responsible for.

Then he wanted child support out of my mother's estate, bullied us into suing for it and won. He also wanted our survivor benefits into his pocket, not accumulating for our future. Eventually he was garnering around $700-$800 a month for my brother and I. My mom had received a fraction of that when she had us, even though he made more money than she did. He got a raise around this time, though he spent it on himself.

We moved out of Grandma's after a year so we would be in our old neighbourhood. But things went south. He became resentful of the water bill, banging on the bathroom door when our showers took longer than 6 minutes, which he timed. I wasn't allowed to have the light on if I was watching TV because the electric bill was too high. Our cats were an ongoing irritation for him because they needed food and litter and he didn't want to pay for it. He'd kick them out at night to fend for themselves.

It got to the point where my birthday was not celebrated. I paid for my own dinner at a pub my dad frequented and I only got a present because I kept asking for one. And that made me feel bratty, but considering I was doing all the housework at this point, I felt ignoring my birthday was too much.

He stopped buying groceries. He piled the freezer with meat pies and we ate those any time we were hungry while my dad ate at restaurants and didn't come home until late. When the pies ran out, groceries were scarce and I bought a box of popcorn to subsist on between dinner at my boyfriend's house and nights working at my aunt's fast food place.

Whenever he helped me move when I was younger, he'd charged me money for it, not willing to help out his in-college or fresh-out-of-college daughter. For one move he once bought a rope he thought I'd need for a move and invoiced me.

I know why I feel like a burden deep down. It's because my own father made me feel like it was too much trouble to buy food or provide utilities for me. If your parent doesn't want to provide for your basic needs, or doesn't think your expenses should come out of his income when you're still only a minor, you get the sense that you as a person are a hassle. When you're older, in your heart it feels crazy that a friend would happily give you a hand with your child so you can go to the movies. It feels frivolous to ask. It feels like too much to ask.

I need to work on that. I don't know how, but I do.


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