The Great Meltdown

What did we do before internet and mobile phones?  What was life like when one had to rely on archaic ‘landlines’ and ‘snail mail’?  I really don’t know.  For as long as it has taken us to get ‘back on the grid’ I can’t even imagine how long it would have taken to reach people with a home phone – which we won’t have for a week more or longer – or by post – which, granted we could have mailed a letter exclaiming our safe arrival the moment we set foot on British soil, they might have even gotten it by now.  How did people do it back then?  I suppose there would not be the expectation of keeping in touch.  People would say things like, “Have a safe journey, send us a letter once you’ve got settled”.  I suppose they’d be quite pleased to hear something within the month.


As it is, I have friends texting me the moment we’ve said goodbye saying “miss you already” and others writing on my facebook wall chomping at the bit to hear if we’ve landed and do we absolutely love it here.  I’m realizing when I left Canada for Chicago, I was really ready to leave, ready to put the old stuff behind me and set off on my new adventure.  There were a couple friends I was sad to leave, but I wasn’t leaving behind a life, I was on my way to find one.

Well, be careful what you wish for.  I found one and now I’ve had to leave it behind.  Not that I’m not excited to be on another new adventure, but I’m feeling a bit more lost this time ’round, a bit more…out of place.  Granted, there’s a bit more in the way of culture shock with this move and there’s the having to adjust to a new and drastically different time zone as well, but still.  I took for granted how much I did/talked to/planned with/thought about all the other people in my life in Chicago.  Perhaps I just had a bit more of a selfish existence in Canada, we’d only recently been married, and with the exception of work there was not a lot of involvement in things.  So much has changed.

It’s not just the Rocket Scientist and I this time either.  That’s the biggest shocker.  When we moved to Chicago, every night after dinner, we would go wander around downtown, just walking up and down the streets, seeing what was around.  On weekends, we would pick a new part of town to go explore and find something to do out there. We got to know the city very well, very fast.  We were much more mobile then than we are now.  It might be a bit different if it were summer and warmer out.  It’s such a production to get everyone bundled up and make sure the little man has his sweater and coat and hat and boots and oh dear we’ve lost his mitts so we’ll just put socks on his hands and maybe we should bring a blanket as well cause it’s windy and what if it rains.  Ack!  What I wouldn’t give for August.  But even so, if it were just the Rocket Scientist and I we would have spent entire days already just walking all over the city and getting lost and finding our way again and sleeping like logs at night.  Not that I would trade Doodle for anything but I might go stir crazy pretty quick if we don’t find something to do outside the house.

Oh, and something to do that doesn’t cause The Great Meltdown.  I guess I just assumed that Doodle would be mostly unaffected by the change, that he would react to things here the same as in Chicago.  Ya, I’m an idiot.  Not only is he in the umpteenth strange house for the umpteenth time in what has been a very long month and a half, he also does not have his own bed and hasn’t except for a few days around Christmas for all that time.  Add to that the fact that he has been teething almost non-stop since the end of November.  Add to that he’s also learned to crawl and so has many more places he would like to go and is often thwarted in his attempts.  Add to the much more frequent falling that goes along with said mobility.  Add to that all the myriad of new people that have been passing through his life, clamouring for attention and the absence of a lot of the ones he was accustomed to.  I’m sure there’s more.  What you get is a baby who used to be hailed as “such a happy baby” by everyone who met him to a quite cranky little boy (unless he’s getting his way, then, yes, he is quite a happy baby) who gets very upset at being told he can’t do something, go somewhere, or put something in his mouth, who won’t eat much except for bananas and breastmilk, who is once again waking up every two hours (if we’re lucky), and demands to be in sight of mommy almost without exception.  I was talking to my mom about this last night and she said, “Ah, so he’s entered his terrible two’s a little early has he?”  Oh God help me.  I’m not kidding, please, if you pray, pray for me.  I suddenly have no idea how to handle my son and I can’t abide the idea of just giving him everything he wants and yet I know that he needs a lot of grace because he’s going through as big of a change as the Rocket Scientist and I are but he has no understanding of what’s going on.  I have no idea how to balance that.  Especially when I’m so tired and stressed myself.

So today, we tried to go grocery shopping and Doodle started fussing, and not even that much, but suddenly I just couldn’t think straight, couldn’t wrap my head around trying to figure out what to buy when everything around me looked so foreign, how to get what we needed without spending too much money, how to cook with things that I’d never used before, and how to do that while getting Doodle to sit in his stroller (pushcart here) quietly and not need my constant attention for once.  In the end, I couldn’t do it, I took Doodle and we went home, leaving the Rocket Scientist to try and buy what we needed but only as much as he could carry because there’s still a good 5 block walk from the bus to our house.  What a disaster of a day.  I suppose I should stop hiding in my room and go downstairs and see what groceries he managed to get home.  I’m just not sure if I’m ready to be mommy again.

Okay, so now that that depressing post is done, my next one will hopefully be about our action-comedy-adventure trip to the UK.  Full of plot twists, tears, surprises, and chuckles.  Stay tuned.
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