I have now been living in San Francisco for three days. It has been a lot of things. Here is a bit of what has happened in the last seventy-two hours:
My husband leaves for work.
My kids wake up and think it’s Christmas. They empty the contents out of as many boxes as they possibly can.
The carpet is leaving a grime on my feet and turning the kids socks black. My eight month old is chewing on it.
The cabinet doors in the kitchen have a thick sticky layer of grunge. Two knobs actually have noodles shellacked around them; it takes a knife to almost get them removed. Two of the drawers are stuck shut.
Since my daughters first course of medicine didn’t get rid of her earache, today we commence the next round of horrid tasting medicine that makes her scream coupled with eardrops in affected ear. This takes an hour.
Baby is teething, has a cold, or something. There is a large amount of mucus. He only wants to nurse and sit in my lap.
I make a paste of baking soda and vegetable oil and scrub every cabinet. This takes all day. But it works.
I take my children to the coffee shop down the street for lunch. My son is running up and down the sidewalk scaring pigeons into people. There is no high chair. I get avocado all over my shirt.
I need to do laundry, but I have no cash and no quarters.
I miss a package because I can’t figure out the door buzzer. I run all the way down to the lobby and miss the delivery man. I get locked out of the apartment. My son lets me back in.
I decide to pull up the contact paper before I cover the shelves. There is a layer of contact paper from every decade. The bottom layer is wallpaper that has been pasted down. When was contact paper invented? My cabinets are older.
James brings home dinner. The most amazing Thai fried rice I’ve ever had and this place is only two blocks away.
And then there is another round of screaming from my daughter as she takes her medicine and gets eardrops.
I tell James I’m going to Target to buy a couple things in the morning. He says I should shop online. I throw a minor temper tantrum, something about not wanting to do anything else new, before I comply. It’s actually quite fun and now I don’t have to go shop.
My teething baby wakes up every two hours to nurse.
My husband leaves for work.
I can’t find my clothes. I wear the same outfit I wore yesterday.
Round three of my daughter’s medicine, I taste it myself to see how awful it is. It’s delicious. It tastes like an orange dreamsicle. I tell her that. She gives me a look that tells me she knows the jig is up. She laughs when I give her the eardrops because they tickle.
I try to finish cleaning the kitchen; the floor is still a mess. I yell at the kids to stay out every time they get close.
We go to the little market on the corner. I buy some things. There’s no cash-back but there is an ATM. I refuse to pay the two dollar fee. I will just have to get cash for quarters somewhere else.
I make ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. Without a knife I can’t open or slice the block of cheese. I rip it open with a baby fork and scoop chunks onto the sandwiches. My kids look at me like I’m crazy. Maybe I am a little.
The carpet has a super high pile, almost shag-like. My son dumps out a box of tiny tiny legos.
We go for a walk. I accidently lead us to China Beach. We take our shoes off, dig for sand crabs, and watch for a long time as a cargo ship comes from all the way across the Pacific Ocean to go under the Golden Gate Bridge.
I start a collection of small driftwood pieces that have been rounded and smoothed until they look like stones. I feel more like myself.
My son gets upset that he’s wet and sandy after playing at the beach for an hour.
Baby’s nose is still running like crazy, but I’m out of tissues. I check and double check, then make sure no one is watching while I wipe his nose with an old baby sock from the bottom of my diaper bag.
The package I missed yesterday is delivered. This time I’m ready with the buzzer. I go down to get the package and am, this time, locked out of the building. A neighbor comes along and lets me up. I try to introduce myself, but he has none of it. We walk awkwardly up the stairs together in silence.
I successfully make macaroni and cheese for dinner. I have to cut off the butter with a baby fork and stir the macaroni with a baby spoon. But I have a pot and a colander. Success!
My miserable baby gets advil before bedtime and sleeps much better.
I scour the bathroom and take a shower.
My husband finds the blender and makes everyone smoothies. Then he leaves for work.
We are still eating on a beach towel covering a large plastic storage bin.
I find my clothes but most everything is in the dirty laundry hamper. I put on a maternity shirt.
I make scrambled eggs for breakfast. I stir the eggs with a baby fork in a mug and use the only pan, the wrong kind of pan. Eggs are stuck everywhere. I determine not to be discouraged.
We start off on a quest to locate the bank eight blocks away. The ATM fee is three dollars. But I’m wearing a maternity shirt so I get cash and sixty dollars’ worth of quarters. My diaper bag is now the weight of a small gorilla.
We have sandwiches at a coffee shop. Every table has a single person with a laptop and earbuds. There are no other children. There are no high chairs for Baby. My children spill twice. We use an irresponsible amount of napkins.
We discover an amazing little Russian bakery.
I get my first online shopping package. It contains shelf liner, I’m well on my way to getting my kitchen put together.
We get invited to a new friend’s house for dinner. My husband will meet us there. The internet says it will take me thirty-five minutes to walk there. It also tells me that there is a park halfway there. Forty minutes later we arrive at the park. The internet wasn’t aware I have children. My husband picks us up and takes us to the dinner.
It’s nice to make new friends in the city. Perhaps there’s hope?
Baby’s dry skin appears to be developing into an allergic reaction. I walk the ten blocks to the pharmacy to get some allergy medicine.
I put in the shelf liner and start putting dishes away.
I write it all down.
And I think I may have a cavity.
End of day three.