Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Days Like This

Once again my alarm clock, aka the neighbor's dog, wakes me and the rest of my household up at 5:40 in the morning.  A full hour and a half before intended. Seeing as how I couldn't fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning I am left feeling not so refreshed.

"Momma said there'd be days like this..."

I wake up angry. Angry that once again the neighbors have left their dog outside at the butt crack of dawn to wake the entire neighborhood. I had thought the problem was solved shortly after we moved in when one morning, having finally lost my marbles, I stood outside in my bathrobe and yelled at the dog to "shut up, dog!"  The neighbors finally go the idea and for a while all was peaceful. Then, this past summer the same neighbors bought another dog. The barking began once again. All day long and most especially when people are sleeping.  The dog barks early in the morning. The dog barks during nap times. The dog barks when the kids have finally fallen asleep at night.  The dog barks every time it is outside and yet the barking does not seem to bother the owners at all.


The few hours of sleep I did manage to get last night seemed to have caused severe nerve damage to my neck and back.  I can barely move my head from side to side, up or down. Grocery shopping this morning was excruciating and the groceries are still sitting in my kitchen awaiting placement in the fridge and the cupboards.  I just can't bring myself to do it.

In less than an hour I'm expected at the kids' school where I will cut hundreds of squares from fleece for some kind of project I am not even aware of. This should make my neck and shoulders feel MUCH better.

"there'd be days like this, my momma said..."

The winter blues have hit full force around here. The bitter cold and mounds of snow have wreaked havoc on my mood. Did we even need the groundhog this year?  Clearly there will be 6 more weeks of winter (aren't there always, though?) and I'm guessing even more than that.

I guess I'm not really doing well with my meditation word for this year.  Breathe.  I just need to breathe.

Lately my breath seems to be stifled. By severe cold. By exhaustion. By stress. By melancholy.

I was leaving the YMCA and saw a gaggle of mommies and their toddlers waiting for a gymnastics class to begin. Littles were crawling and falling and fighting all over each other as the mommies were trying to collect shoes and socks and diaper bags. One of the mommies had a sweet little baby belly to go along with her toddler and I couldn't help but be envious. That used to be my life. Toddlers and pregnant bellies.

I will never be there again.

As I stepped over and around the toddlers the mommies apologized with embarrassed smiles.  I smiled and let them know I thought it was adorable. Part of me wanted to tell them that I had been there only a short while ago. I had crazy toddlers and baby bellies once too.  I rocked and soothed and watched and apologized just like they did.

I wanted to tell them how much I missed it. How much it made me ache to know I would not have that again. I wanted to tell them to cherish every moment even though I knew that was sometimes impossible to do when you are in it, and at times a little annoying to hear.

Instead I moved on down the hall with the sound of other people's children still ringing in my ears, trying to catch my breath.


I just have to breathe.

"Momma said there'd be days like this. There'd be days like this my momma said!"


Mimsie said...

Barking dogs are the worst. We had one next door, and I felt very sorry for the dog--he was only barking because he wanted to go inside rather than staying outside in the bitter cold. After months of patience, I called the town. Do you have a noise bylaw?

Kat said...

Mimsie- I always blame the owner, not the dog. Dogs bark. I had a beagle so I understand barking dogs. The way I see it the dog is young and nervous outside by itself. What I don't understand is a neighbor that has no concern for other people's lives. It is just so inconsiderate. It blows my mind. In summer I don't let my kids go and play outside until after 9 in the morning so that they don't wake any neighbors with their play and here my neighbors allow their dog to bark at 5:40 in the morning for a good 40-50 minutes solid. It irks the crap out of me.
What I really want to do is just ask the neighbor if they could keep their dog (actually it is dogS) inside a little later in the morning. Say, 7ish? I don't want to just rat them out right away and get them in trouble. Other than the dog issue they are good neighbors.
I don't know. We are all sleep deprived over here. And the thing is, my youngest can even make up the sleep deficit with an afternoon nap because the dog is usually barking then too.

Listen, I know you can't stop a dog from barking but when you HEAR your dog barking you bring it IN. BAHHHHHH!!!

Bijoux said...

The barking would drive me insane. Maybe you should start snow blowing, lawn mowing, or leaf blowing at 5:30 am.

I do not miss babies or toddlers, but I do miss the 4-9 year old range.

Wisconsin Girl said...

And more snow is coming tonight! But I think more down our way...time will tell. Yes, this winter is really unbearable and so COLD. What is a winter without playing in the snow??? Sending warm thoughts and wishes for a peaceful night of sleep for all!

Samantha MommycombatTeam said...

Oh how I do not miss the days when the neighbors had the ability to affect my day. One of the reasons I am very picky about picking the next home location. I am one of those mothers with the babies but no longer the bellies. I miss so bad the anticipation and excitement that comes with the waiting of the little ones. And yet when we are all cuddled up together and I hear the words "I love you" I then know it is okay to just breath.

betty said...

Nothing worse than a barking dog, especially that hour of the morning. I don't mind the occasional bark, but not an all day bark. Can you complain to animal control?

I remember years ago when I would have trouble sleeping and then have a stressful day ahead, I'd use to say to myself "whatever it takes to get through this day, even if it involves snacking or eating more than I want to" which oftentimes I wouldn't eat more or snack more, but giving myself permission to eat without feeling guilty or snack without feeling guilty helped me get through the day. Maybe you could think of such a motivation for those tough days that us moms of young kids always seem to have?

I get what you mean about not being there again in the stages of your children's lives. I want to go back and do it all over again, but realize I'm way past that.

Hang in there! Do whatever you need to do to survive the remaining days of this long cold brutal winter!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'd be ticked about the dog. Maybe you should let your kids tear around the yard and Todd should mow the lawn at 5:40. But that's being vindictive...Just talk to them.
I hope you get a good night's sleep SOON! It's SO HARD when you're wrung out.

Mimsie said...

The neighbors must sleep with earplugs. How else could they stand the noise? Hope you can figure out a solution, especially since they are nice in every other way.

lime said...

barking dogs are annoying as hell when they are constant. when we lived in trinidad EVERYONE had dogs but they generally only barked with good reason. at our old house, which was a duplex, we had a neighbor with a beagle. the poor dog was locked inside all day alone and bayed and bayed and bayed. annoyed the crap out of me....but when they had it pooping all over our side of the yard that was the straw that broke the camel's back. lord have mercy...

you're right though...we breathe. about dogs, and about growing up kids.

Haddock said...

I know how it is when one looses sleep. I did this morning and am still walking around with a groggy dull headache.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

I don't like barking dogs, and thankfully there are none in my vicinity!

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Cyndy @ Back in the Bush said...

What a wonderful post!
The dog thing....that would drive me insane. Thanks for the reminder that living out in the middle of nowhere has perks!
My niece has a 2 year old and a 6month old. I do miss those days in so many ways! I have to hang out with her and get my baby fix.

Cyndy @ Back in the Bush said...

PS Maybe a passive aggressive note on the neighbor's door would help with the barking dog?

Peruby said...

I hate driving when I have a sore neck like that. It is so hard to turn your head to see if traffic is coming. UGH! Feel better, soon.

I have 4 dogs and when I take them out, my butt is out there with them. If they even hint at barking, they get a strong "HUSH!" from me.

To leave a dog outside and barking is negligent and rude. Are there other neighbors that you are friends with that have the same complaint? Maybe they feel the same way and you can all say something together. Sigh. I know. I hate confrontation, too. I had to confront somebody about a dog once, and I told them "Look, I LOVE dogs but...."

Are the kids affected by the barking or is it just you? If it is just you, maybe try a sound machine? I am sorry - I am just thinking off the top of my head. I run a fan in my room every night and when I don't run it - I hear everything!

Charmaine said...

Hey Kat :) goosebumps i tell u...goosebumps...the bitter in the sweet once again...stay strong :)

Kat said...

Update: I don't know, y'all. I think maybe my neighbor reads my blog. All of a sudden they are very conscientious of letting their dogs out. They actually stand at the door with them in the morning until the dog does it's duty and then they bring it back in right away. I don't know what happened. I don't know if they got a complaint from another neighbor or what but the last few days the barking has been minimal. I heard the dog a couple times in the morning but it stops right away. Sweet!
As far as my neck goes, can you believe that it is still stiff? It is definitely not as bad as it was but it is still so sore. Crazy! I went to yoga and that helped a ton but then the next day it was crazy stiff again.
Ah well. A stiff neck I can handle. ;)

Peruby said...

Must have been all of our negative thoughts we sent your neighbor's way. LOL!

I can't live without the U-shaped pillows. They take the strain off my neck when I sit and relax. I use them in cars especially (when I am not driving, of course!)

Elaine Alguire said...

Okay, so you REALLY got me with this:

"I wanted to tell them how much I missed it. How much it made me ache to know I would not have that again. I wanted to tell them to cherish every moment even though I knew that was sometimes impossible to do when you are in it, and at times a little annoying to hear."

This is me right now. I see moms with little ones and I want to do the EXACT same thing and I bite my tongue because I remember how I didn't necessarily want to hear that when I was them. I have actually been contemplating an entire post like this... oh my it's so true.

Kat said...

Elaine- I knew you'd get it. I've just been so melancholy lately. And I think the thing that hit me most was that I felt like the other moms had no idea I was a mom. That bothered me. I almost wanted to tell them, "I have 4 kids!" Like thy would care. ?? I guess so much of my identity has been wrapped up in my 4 kids for so long that it bothered me that other moms wouldn't know that about me. It was weird. And watching the young moms with the toddlers and the baby bellies. Wow. I was so envious. Which is weird because at least I had that. I guess I'll always miss that time. :(

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson