Chaos Theory

Oh man. This month is from hell. It began with a tortuous move from the city to the suburbs. Our movers kept complaining about the stairs on our front stoop, as though negotiating stairs wasn’t part of the job description. You’d think we’d concealed the true location of our Manhattan apartment building, and instead led them to believe the job was in Iowa.

Then the sale of our old apartment was delayed indefinitely because our buyer neglected to wire funds from overseas. She apparently thought international wires were instantaneous, like text messages. Whoops.

After initially approving us for a mortgage, our new lenders became suddenly leery about extending credit. At the 11th hour they subjected me to a disturbingly thorough evaluation, culminating in an endoscopy.

Until our new house is habitable, we’re living in exile in an apartment complex down the road. The place is so small that our welcome mat just says Wel. And our “master” closet is so cramped there’s not room enough in there to change your mind.

Lately I’ve been crawling into bed around midnight. It seems my head barely hits the pillow before our two year-old wakes at dawn. Fox has always been on some rigid circadian schedule where he stirs at 5 a.m. I swear we’re raising him in the wrong time zone. Probably the only workable fix would be relocating to Reykjavík.

There’s more but I’ll spare you the full laundry list of administrative and logistical chaos. The result has been a debilitating exhaustion with only one precedent in my life’s experience.

It’s not the frenzied numbness one feels during exam week. At least then you can circle a date on the calendar when it’ll all be over. Nor is this the smug exhaustion you feel at work after a protracted night of seduction. Because, you know… sex.

This is the stumbling, zombified state associated with bringing a newborn home from the hospital. It’s a distinct tiredness, where life’s demands upend your priorities and force a domestic triage. Hygiene? Gone. I smell like a Caribbean baggage handler. Romance? B’bye. At least baggage handlers get laid.

Newborns pull you through a temporal wormhole and flush you out the other side, bleary and discombobulated. Like some sadistic Navy SEAL instructor, your baby rouses you with arbitrary demands at weird hours. Other new parent symptoms are consistent with acute altitude sickness; previously routine tasks suddenly require massive amounts of concentration and determination.

Those first weeks were such a fog that I’m almost grateful for the reminder. Annoyingly, we now have fewer offers of help. The stress of moving generates plenty of sympathy, but no one’s bringing us food and baby socks. And I’m having a hard time explaining why our apartment resembles downtown Mogadishu.

But things are looking up. My brother loaned me his fly-ass convertible until we line up a second car. Fox’s nanny Maria came back for four days because she missed him so much. Maria is a walking vacation. And for the past week, Fox has inexplicably slept in ‘til the ripe hour of 6:15.

We may not have to move to Reykjavík after all.

Featured image courtesy Max Jamieson.
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8 Responses to Chaos Theory

  1. Michele June 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    I hope things settle soon. Moving is a bitch no matter what, but doing it with a toddler in tow is like a realm of hell.

  2. Megan Alton June 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Haha! I feel your pain! We’ve been going thought the same thing with our 18 month old: teething and Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (yuck!) leading to crying bedtimes and waking up in the night. He had been sleeping contentedly through the night. Wtf? I was just thinking about how I’m going to have to start buying him bigger clothes, since 18 months seems to be the upper limits of gift giving size and no one is sending more clothes?! Good luck with financing and he move!!

  3. Amanda July 4, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Oh, that state of parenting is supposed to end? With the kids home for summer (and forever more because we’re now cyber schooling – what was I sniffing?), I’ve taken to keeping a spare hairbrush, toothbrush, and deodorant in my car because I can never remember if I’ve used those items before I left the house. It’s probably a miracle I remembered the kids. I guess at least if I leave them at home they have central air, the Wii, and plenty of food, right?

    • Daddy Confidential July 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      Did you say plenty of food? I’ll be over in 20.

      Yeah, you’re sort of always doing domestic triage. I don’t quite fathom how you do it – and then I remember there’s no alternative. But not all moms to SN boys also manage to lobby congress, run a blog, accompany her husband to every brewery in PA (while eschewing beer no less) and put dinner on the table. (I’ve probably left out like, five other major commitments.)

      Your decision to homeschool your boys is definitely for the best. But I’ll be interested to see how the additional workload impacts your personal theory of chaos. So much for summer “vacation.” :-J

  4. Ex-Ginger July 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    The only thing that will bring sanity and serenity back into your life is a fucking puppy.

    I mean a puppy.

    • Daddy Confidential July 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

      Wait a sec – “ex” Ginger???… did you dye your hair or did it fall out?

  5. Ex-Ginger July 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Neither. I yanked it out because I thought I’d look pretty fly as a bald guy.

  6. James July 22, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    The puppy is a trap! They are great, but give a dog a few months with your toddler and they will start to have nerves like that one chick who survived to final destination 17.

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