Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jared, making waffles.

My fiance is a disaster in the kitchen. I accept this. Usually, I think it is funny. So tonight, when he came home from a study group and announced that he was going to make waffles and bacon for dinner, I said sure.

Jared making dinner means one of two things:
1. Jared will attempt to make dinner, get in over his head halfway through and yell for me to help. And by help, I mean finish whatever he is doing.
2. Jared attempts to make dinner, gets in over his head halfway through and refuses to ask for help. Food comes out not resembling food. We order pizza or have sandwiches.

Either way, I have to be on hand to field any variety of questions. Tonight, with the waffles, I expected difficulties. But, honestly, I thought he could do it. You mix the mix, pour it in the iron, wait for the light and DONE! But I've been wrong before.

Jared: Can I over mix this batter? It doesn't look right. Its lumpy.
Me: Yes. You can over mix. Its supposed to be lumpy.
Jared, 5 minutes later: Are you sure this looks right?

How do I get the bacon grease out of the pan?

How do I clean off the waffle iron? Do I have to get off these dried on bits?

Do I have to use a paper towel? What if I just used a rag? Where is a rag? Do we have any?

How do I know when the bacon is done? THIS DOESN"T LOOK LIKE BACON!

I walk into the kitchen, and it is hazy with smoke. "Do you have the flame on full power?" Yes. "Oh... You might not want to. Your bacon fat is burning." What? Why not?! (This is a man thing, I think. To use optimum  highest possible heat AT ALL TIMES.) It is a good thing our smoke alarm broke last weekend.

He asked how to do the bacon, and I told him to cut it in half with the poultry shears so it will fit in the pan better. I came out, and yes, he had cut it in half... But he was only doign two half pieces at a time. AKA, one whole strip of bacon. Good thing he cut it in half. Don't want to crowd the pan.

Five minutes later, after I told him he can add more, I came back into the kitchen at his frantic cries for help to find that he has, indeed, added more bacon to the pan. Except for some reason he felt like he had to cut it into approx 1 in. pieces. It was literally like frying up bacon bits.

Then, as soon as I walked out of the kitchen I hear him exclaim, "How do you do this all the time!?!!"

And at that point I realized I should just have him watch Doobie and try to save wahts left of dinner.

What was above the break I wrote hours ago. I saved it so I could finish it in the morning, but Doobie woke up again tonight (per usual, now) and I couldn't go back to sleep. I kept thinking about this post and I guess about what it means to me. When I started it, I meant it in a light hearted way. I think it is adorable that Jared can be such a disaster of a chef. I don't ever expect him to become adept in the kitchen, and I accept that, really I do. I know what I am getting into with marrying him.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that in some ways this post represents how I feel overall. I feel like I am doing everything. I feel like even when Jared is doing something, really I am still the one doing it behind the scenes. I feel like I can't get away sometimes because I am always needed for something. And yes, it is good to be needed but I wish I were needed a bit less.

Since Oliver woke up this morning I've been upset. I hate waking up with him, because I know that he is capable of sleeping through the night. I know that he doesn't need to get up to eat at 3AM. I ahte that this has been the story of my life for a couple of weeks now. I just don't do well without sleep.

I've been working so hard but I have nothing to show for it.  Every night I make dinner and I am sure to make a veggie and side with it. I have been making real food so that we can hopefully avoid some of the sodium and fat in the pre-made meal options. And its hard. Even with making simple foods, it is time consuming. I first have to plan the groceries and somewhat outline the meals we'll have for the week. I have to have the foresight in order to defrost things from the freezer. I need to make sure Oliver is happy doing something before I can start. I have to wash bowls and things as I go because we just don't have that many to use. It is a juggling act of timing to make every component of the meal be done at the same time.

And don't get me wrong, I am good at it. I like cooking. I am proud of serving up a square meal each night. But I feel like I do all of that work and I've got nothing to show for it. Every day I just have to get up and do it all over again. And all of the work that I do is that way. I work hard, but there is nothing concrete to show for it

I give Oliver baths, I clean the house, I pay the bills, run the dishes... But there is nothing that I can look at that makes it seems like I've done anything at all. Oliver gets dirty again. The house gets messy again. The bills are due again. The dishes need to be done again. Nothing is ever "done" for good. I don't even get the finality of cleaning the bills off of my desk or mailing off a check because I do it all online. I feel like I am constantly busy doing nothing, and I just want to get away.

Even my "free times" aren't free. After Oliver and I take a bath together, I hand him off to Jared and finish sitting in the tub by myself. But then Jared is always popping his head in to ask what to dress him in, to tell me what he is going to do, to show me what outfit he finally put him in, and when will I be done?

Sometimes Jared does me the favor of watching Oliver while I go to the grocery store, but... Still. I'm grocery shopping, and I have to hurry lest I am away too long and Oliver starves and screams. Its not like its really a vacation.

I just wish I could get away from him. I wish I could go to sleep and wake up of my own accord, not because there is a crying baby. I feel horrible because I just want everyone to go away for a while.

Somehow, I was doing all of this just fine when I had sleep. I was very proud of how well things were going, in fact. But now that I haven't been sleeping, my life is all screwed up. When I went to bed tonight, I had a hard time falling asleep. Each night I stare at the monitor and worry about how much time I'll get to sleep before the baby wakes up. I secretly believe that this, this is the night that he is going to go back to sleeping all the way through. Even though I try not to get my hopes up, I am crushed every time the monitor lights up and I hear him whining.

Without fail, I get mad at him every night. It makes me feel like the worst person in the world. I know I have no reason to be mad at Oliver. I know he's not trying to be bad. But when I get out of bed and try to put him back to sleep and he screams in my face, it is infuriating. It is infuriating that he is fine if I hold him, but screams when I set him down. It infuriates me that I can finally get him back down when 5 minutes later he starts to cry again. Most of all, it infuriates me that once I cave in and feed him at night he usually isn't that hungry. When he bites me, I yell at him and I know that must make me the worst person in the world.

Each morning I wake up and I feel guilty and I resolve myself that no matter how much he screams the next night, I will not get mad. But invariably I do. Sometimes I can keep my cool longer than others, but I always get mad. I always end up feeding him at least once a night and I always end up hating it.

Because the truth is, my dirty little secret is - I hate breastfeeding. I hate how it feels. I hate being bitten. I hate being scratched. I hate that the job always falls to me. I have always hated breastfeeding, but I've been doing it because I know it is best for him.

But at what point do the benefits of breastfeeding become outweighed by the turmoil and anger that it can sometimes cause between us? At what point would it be better for us to just coexist peacefully over a bottle of Enfamil? I don't know. I don't want to quit and rob him of all of the breastfeeding benefits, but I also don't want him to get it into his head that I am always angry at him or that I hate him or anything like that. I just don't know what to do.

I feel like I am writing in circles and not making any sense so I guess I'll leave it at that and see what things look like in the morning.



  1. Don't worry. I know it's hard to do, but things will get better. They always do.

    It sounds like you're working hard and doing a great job. Not everyone loves breastfeeding. I know I didn't, but it's worth it for Oliver.

    If you want my opinion, and you probably don't. I think you should make a list of the things you expect your boyfriend to do and ask him politely, but firmly to do them. You have to make time for you and you have to stand up for yourself.

    Good luck Andi. You'll be okay.

  2. Thank you for the encouraging words. They are nice to hear.