It’s been a while since I’ve sat in this chair, but I’ve been going slightly crazy and I guess I need to talk to somebody, even if it’s only myself.

Missus has been out of town since Sunday, on one of her Union-related activities. She’s been 100% for the last week, and I’m feeling 100% certifiable. I kid. I can’t count how many times I’ve yelled or lost my temper at the kids. They are doing their damndest to drive me insane, with what seems like constant bickering. Younger especially seems intent on testing boundaries. I vaguely remember Elder going through this and it driving me over the edge. I’m trying to handle it.

Working with them in the house has always been particularly tough, I remember COVID vividly. And work has taken a particularly serious tone lately, with some overdue airing of grievances and growth pains related to scaling. So I’m doubly stressed. I’ve turned into Eeyore.

It’s incredibly difficult to leave them (the children) to their own devices. Both of them gravitate toward the lowest common denominator of media, Elder to YouTube videos of Lord knows what idiot, and Elder tends to gravitate to sitcoms full of idiots. They’re already up half an hour or more before I wake up and they’re already at it, and there’s hell to pay when I ask them to put it down and find something else to do for a few hours. I’ve stuffed this house full of books, games, toys, musical instruments, and tons of activity books, crafts and so on.

We have had our moments though. Usually Younger gives me a very hard time at bedtime, she always reaches a point where she’s done with me reading her books and runs out of the room to get her mother, who lays with her in the dark until she falls asleep. I’ve managed to put her to sleep by reading An Incredible Journey, the classic book about two dogs and a cat, and I only need to read a page or two to her before she falls right out. It’s nice, and it feels good to be able to read the words and have my voice calm her, instead of the refereeing or mediation that I have to do.

I have not been taking good care of myself — obviously, it’s been over a week since I’ve sat here. The only exercise I’ve had the last week was cutting the grass, so I decided to go to the rock gym today. Of course the tunnel was backed up, and what should have been a twenty-five minute trip across was extended by an hour, mostly bumper to bumper as we tried to traverse the quarter mile to the on-ramp. Curse me.

We got there, eventually, and I had a somewhat middling session, since I was having to run back and forth every attempt or two to keep an eye on the girls. But I’m impressed. Elder is giving it a try, and is doing well, but she seems to be do a mostly head-on, centered approach to it, compared to her sister who seems to have picked up something of climbing’s natural hip-shifting, fluid movements.

The main source of frustration I seem to be having is the lack of flow. Now, with them in bed it’s not a problem, but every minute they’re awake that I’m trying to work I’m either getting interrupted every five minutes or feeling guilty because I’ve been letting them watch too much TV.

The good news is that they’ll be back in school in three weeks or so. The bad news is that Missus comes home late Saturday, then leaves again on Wednesday for another four days out of town. She’ll only be forty minutes away this time, and we’ll be able to visit her, but still, I may need to disappear completely when she gets back.

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