The News – Part 1

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A few days ago, the hospital where I work made the front page of the local news. A video was leaked to the newspaper showing four of our hospital constables beating a man in their custody. The video, about 4 minutes in length, showed the four men restraining a man in an arm cast, then beating him as they tethered him to the wall like an animal.

The video was taken in February, but published in the paper about two months later. The men in question, and their two bosses, were summarily dismissed from their positions. The hospital’s reputation for serving the community, at a time when racial tensions in our country are at an all time high, has truly suffered.

It was hoped that in the coming weeks that the new hospital administration would roll out our new mission statement: to serve with love. In light of this news, though, I’m wondering if that idea (already grossly unpopular among staff) will be shelved permanently.

The mood at work has been awful. We all feel like more should have been done, sooner, and with more transparency. The public apology posted on the company’s website is a cookie cutter apology taken from the most basic textbook of media relations. It’s harder to come to work or tell people where I work, because of this incident.

Likely, the suit that will be inevitably filed will cost us our annual bonus. Four hothead cops who felt the need to flex their nuts at some random person will impact the lives of about 8,000 employees. Not to mention the permanent damage to our reputation for serving the community in general. I’m just so, so angry.

Easter

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We’re not a religious family, by any stretch of the imagination. However, living in the US has certain expectations that some holidays can’t be avoided. So, when Easter was rolling around, we were excited since my older son is finally old enough to really “get it.”

We had an extended weekend because the daycare was closed. We had every intention of driving downstate for a kite festival, but the weather was still rather chilly and very windy. I didn’t really want to be 2+ hours away from home with a cranky toddler and baby if things didn’t go down the way we’d hoped. So, we stayed in Good Friday.

Saturday we decided to go upstate to this place that has these tiny steam trains that kids can ride on. They were also hosting an Easter egg hunt, but my son could not have cared less about that. His priority is and has always been getting on that train. After the Easter egg hunt was over, the lines became unbearable so we left.

Our next stop was a nearby brewery that had opened up. The place was packed when we got there. We learned that they hadn’t intended to open until later in the day, but when one of the employees stopped by to do some lawn maintenance, she saw a line around the building and had to open early. To their credit, they handled everything beautifully, and the beer was awesome.

Easter Sunday, we hosted my in-laws for a meal at our house. They brought a ton of chocolate for the boys and had some quality time. It was a lovely day that really couldn’t have gone better. My MIL did bring up the idea of keeping the boys overnight sometime, which I am considering. The last time she had my son, it didn’t go very well, so I’m a little gunshy. However, he’s bigger now and can communicate better. The baby is relatively easy too, so I think they can probably hack it if they want to try. I know I could use the break.

Dreams and the scumbag brain

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Sleep is precious and rare these days. Because the boys share their room, if one makes too much noise, it wakes up the other and a vicious cycle is born. A few nights of that lead to an executive decision to retreat back to the living room for the sake of the rest of the household. Since waking early falls on my shift more often than not, I’ve had situations where I am unable to get the baby to go back to sleep and am simply starting my day at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m.

When I do sleep, the brainwork is frantic and fraught with chaos, fear, violence and despair. There is rest in it but not netting out as well as I had hoped. My mind goes to dark places and it wears on me in my waking hours. I’m glad to be back on my medication because it takes the sting out of whatever’s going on at the moment.
To say I’m under stress is putting it lightly, but I’m going through a pretty hectic time in my life. It feels proportionate to my scheduling decisions and is therefore tolerated, as I have no one to blame for it but me.

My mood is garbage though. I’m overwhelmed and stretched thin. I snap more than I should and I have to do a lot of apologizing. The joys of my life are my boys. Our little family, now complete, is just the happiest thing ever. I’m trying very hard to overcome the garbage brain nonsense that’s getting in the way of my happiness. To be mindful in the moment and present to enjoy it is all I want in life.

Working Ahead

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So, I just wanted to make another post to note the delay in my scheduled posts. If you’re a subscriber or regular reader, you’re getting posts from early spring in what will likely be mid summer. I’ve had a few people ask me if something’s wrong with the blog because of the timing. The short answer is no.

When I knew I was going to be out of commission for maternity leave, I made a decision to write ahead so I could schedule everything to be posted and have a backlog of thoughts that weren’t 4:00 pm contingent. It was easier for me to write my thoughts and have them waiting for the schedule to go out than to stress and try to meet an arbitrary deadline.

I hope this clarifies what my writing process has become. This arrangement allows me to continue writing at my own pace, and still keep up with my family. If you’ve been reading a long time, you’ll recall the many changes my life has gone through in the years since I’ve started hajisaurus. I’m so grateful for the ability to keep putting my thoughts out there to such a supportive audience. Thank you as always for your patience and readership. It means so much!

Moving on up

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Our daycare is awesome in many ways. Overall, I’m really happy we found a great center so close to our home. One of the things that irritates me, though, is that my son is usually the last kid to be moved up to the next age group. I understand why, there’s developmental milestones to hit and there needs to be room for him there and all that. It’s hard to explain that to him though.

He’s very very tall for his age. He’s easily head and shoulders above all the other kids in his class. The doctor tells us he’s the size equivalent of an average 8 year old at 4. So people tend to treat him older than he is, and that’s another frustration altogether. Still, when we got the news that he was moving up to the 4’s class, we were elated. He’d been transitioning there for a while, and days when he couldn’t go were very frustrating for him (and his teachers).

With the move, came a lot more changes. He’d have to bring a backpack with supplies (as though he was beginning kindergarten), and we’d have to begin packing his lunches every day. His new teachers were very different as well. They had a sliding scale for grading (red light through purple), which had more room for improvement. They tended to be harder on him too, in terms of grading.

We had high hopes, that his behavior would improve, being away from that troublesome individual in his previous classroom. However, it would seem that her influence was longer lasting than we had hoped. He consistently refused to participate in circle time and struggled at nap time to remain quiet and certainly never slept. I try not to stress about it, addressing what things I think he can adjust in his behavior and letting go of the rest. Still, it’s frustrating to know he’s struggling to fit in this environment. I worry about when he has to begin kindergarten that this nonconformity will continue.

I don’t want to squash this independent spirit he’s got. I feel like it’s a critical part of who he is, and will be far more valuable down the road when he has to make his own choices and not feel compelled to do something just because that’s what everyone else is doing. Also, I want him to have a strong sense of self, so that he can meet his own needs without being reliant on others for fulfillment. It’s so hard to walk the line in order to make him into a functional human and still celebrate what makes him so awesome.

The same spirit that refuses to sit down at circle time is the one that helps out without being asked with the baby. He’s the first to jump in with a task at home, wanting to do the “big kid” stuff like push the shopping cart or stroller. He’s the kid you can count on for so much, and if we make him question that fierce independence, I’m afraid we’ll lose that special spark that makes him such an amazing person. I worry that maybe his teachers don’t see it in him, and see only the frustrating parts of his behavior, the stuff that makes him stick out. I want to guide him, tell him to be patient, tell them to be patient too, and hopefully it will work out.

Walkies

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We had a few weeks where spring came early and the weather didn’t completely suck. It was a nice change from the cold. I was still struggling to find my way back into a new schedule, and fitness was taking a back seat. I really wanted nothing more than to go home and be with my family, so even 30 minutes at the gym was hard to rationalize.

With the nice weather, a colleague and I began walking around the pedestrian trail at work. I don’t typically like to spend one extra second with my coworkers, but in this case, I didn’t mind it. I’m a fast walker, as is she, and keeping our brisk pace, I didn’t have to do much to hold up my end of the conversation. Letting her run her mouth gave me the chance to have an earful of whatever the boss is up to these days. She’s his right hand man and a bit of a blabbermouth, so I got to catch up on the gossip.

It was during these walks, that she told me (among other things), that it was looking good for me to keep my job. She said the boss was thinking he’d lose other people first before cutting me, which was a really reassuring thing. Of course, I take it all with a grain of salt, because he could change his mind or retire or something and none of it would matter anyway. Still, it was nice to know where I stood, albeit indirectly.

Beyond the reassuring discussion, there’s something nice about getting exercise during the day. I got a burst of creative energy when I got back to my desk and felt much better for having done it. If only every day was nice enough to walk…