I’m having one of those days that I wondered if I would have and was so relieved I hadn’t had but now it’s here. And it’s all because of an air conditioner.
Today it’s just too much. Today I want my own rhythms. I want to be able to do the stupid shit that is meaningless but it’s my meaningless stupid shit. I want to eat when I want to eat. I want going to poop or piss to require no additional steps other than me walking into the bathroom and closing the door. I want to finish a plate of food without eating it over the boy’s sleeping or nursing back. You know what would really rock my world? To walk down the avenue to my favorite consignment shop and try on a whole pile of clothes and then buy an iced coffee and sit there with it reading a novel. I want to leave the house without my phone. I want to want to masturbate. I want to be able to make a life decision without hashing it out with B. I want to hang my own laundry to dry. I want to go to the grocery store. I want to wax my armpits.
It’s hot today. We’re waiting for the huge thunderstorms that are supposed to arrive with “damaging rains.” The air is heavy but I’m already doubting the storm’s arrival. If it could come sooner rather than later that would be extremely helpful because I am much much better at staying indoors when it’s raining outside. Even in this heat, I like being outside. But yes, it’s very hot and humid and the boy really does not sleep in this weather, which means he gets crazier and moodier as the day goes on. We’ve already learned this lesson. A few weeks ago, or maybe it was last week, the boy kept on psyching us out and falling asleep for 15 minutes only to wake with a grumpy howl. By 3, we were all a sweaty mess until I finally just slung up the crying boy and carried him with me out the door and up to the park, an exhausted, bouncing duo. B. came and met us and finally we made it to the air conditioned bliss of the Brooklyn Museum. And then the other day, it was the same again, and we managed to leave earlier, and again arrived in triumph to the museum. Turns out it’s an even better museum than I thought it was, but also not so big. Parents take note though: They have an indigenous art exhibit on the fifth floor that is literally the ideal setting to put a baby to sleep. It’s a bit warmer than the other rooms, has a hum of white noise, and quiet drum heart beat music plays. It’s like a womb lined with really cool stuff to look at. Point being, our neighbor offered us an air conditioner and we really had to accept. Today is the first day we hooked it up.
But I hate air conditioning. I hate how it makes the house hard to leave, and how I can’t hear the outside world through it’s hum. It’s become a point of pride that I live an air conditioner-free life. Less energy, not being shut up from the world, not having too many appliances, etc. But also I love to hate air conditioning. This morning, I thought this exact sentence: “Do The Right Thing could not have happened if it was air conditioned.” And maybe it’s petty and silly, but it’s still my thing. And today I compromised. For the boy’s rest, for our sanity, and we plugged it in.
It was only 10 AM, but the boy couldn’t sleep, even though he was glaze eyed in my arms and then I brought him into the newly cooled living room and within four minutes he was out. I laughed, imagining a day of emails and random task-doing and then lowered him into his rocker and went to tell B. We congratulated ourselves and swore (again) that we’d use the A.C. when we really needed it, that air conditioning wouldn’t become a way of life, and so on. And then. And then. The boy woke up. And that’s when something crashed in me. Because the deal we made (the boy and I) was that I would compromise on the air conditioning and in exchange he would sleep for a (minimum) of two hours. Did he not get that? Did he not understand what I was doing for him? I nursed him, the hum of the machine weaving a tight net of sound around me and then I passed him to B. and fled to the sweaty bathroom to hang laundry and begin to leave messages with other mamas, that began, “So, I’m having a bit of a hard moment…”
B., very wisely, sent me out for a walk. By now, I’ve talked to two mamas, which helped immensely and am typing in our very hot kitchen, only stepping back into that cool living room to nurse and then passing him to B. and leaving again. Is this where I have to say how much I adore the boy? Maybe I’m just going to skip that part. I might also skip the part where I say how grateful I am to B. It was as I said when I got home, and B. asked, “Was it a nice walk?”.
“Ummm, not so much nice, as essential.”