I have to keep reminding myself that I have a 3-week old baby.
This is especially hard when you are spending your summer steps from the beach and have two very active, slightly demanding older children who aren't used to having their mother perpetually seated on a couch with a baby attached to her boob.
This is also hard when you feel like you should be starting to get more active, get out of the house and be more involved in all the activities that are going on around you.
So, when my cousin and I made plans to hit up the Nail Spa II, a fabulous little nail place where they basically give you a spa pedicure that includes paraffin and a hot stone back massage for the price of a basic pedi, I was excited to get out of the house and have a little time for myself.
Why is it that these things always turn from a relaxing little hour escape into a two-plus hour anxiety fueled stress fest?
The plan was to pick up my cousin at 3, but her husband was running late to watch her kids so at about 3:30 we left to pick her up from her place. He still wasn't home, but after waiting another 10 minutes or so he returned and we were on our way.
I had left the Ladies and QT in the capable hands of their father, who was suffering with a softball related leg injury (yes, he drove home mid-week specifically for a softball game but was thankfully back by 8:30 am the next morning, coffee in hand), that required some soaking in a bucket of ice water but did not limit his ability to parent. Besides both QT and the Little Lady were sleeping and I figured that we would be back in about an hour.
We got to Nail Spa II around ten to 4 and were surprised to find that all 12 pedicure chairs were filled and that there were 4 people in front of us on line. We were told it might be a little wait but to choose our colors and take a seat.
I decided on a dark blue called "Ski Teal You Drop" and the three of us settled in.
Have I mentioned that I had to order new pump parts for my breast pump and that instead of doing this before QT was actually born, I just did it this week? Oh, well there was no milk for the little guy and I had last fed him at around 2:30. If he was a bit older or formula fed and on any sort of a schedule I might have felt a little bit better about the minutes on the clock ticking by, but he is a strictly boob on demand kind of guy and I started to get a bit antsy.
Still, things seemed like they were moving and we were finally moved into our respective pedicure chairs. I turned up the massage function and tried to relax. More time passed and we wondered why they couldn't even put the water on for our feet to soak. (On a side note, my feet were filthy, between the bottom of the flippies I have been wearing and spending the majority of the day barefoot on wood floors that are cleaned regularly but attract so much dirt it looked like I had been living in the slums of Mumbai or some other equally dirty cityscape where people walk around barefoot and don't have regular access to running water.)
Anyway, Nail Spa II employs a lot of male nail technicians and finally one of them comes over, turns on our water and begins to give my cousin her pedicure. Another nail-male starts the pedi on my sister while I sat there, feet soaking and clock watching.
Eventually my guy comes over. My cousin is already on the paraffin wrap of her feet and the clock now says 5 o'clock. I have been sending periodic texts to my husband to make sure that all is going well at home, but the level of anxiety I am feeling is directly affecting my enjoyment of the foot rubbing I am (finally) getting.
To make matters worse, I am pretty sure while he was scrubbing my feet my guy said something about how dirty/roughly callused they were to the nail-male doing my sisters french pedi and then her guy asked her if I was her mom. Ugh.
It seems like this guy was either really taking his time or was totally Johnny Inexperienced. All the relaxation I was feeling between the massage chair and the foot rub was quickly exiting my body and I could feel my shoulders tensing up. Both my sister and my cousin had now moved to the "drying" area and has been given a nice shoulder massage by their respective nail technicians. At 5:15 my guy finally goes for the "Ski Teal You Drop."
Normally, the actual polishing takes the least amount of time during a pedicure. However, either not many people have chosen "Ski Teal You Drop" and the bottle was old or old Johnny Inexperienced wasn't well versed in the application of toenail polish. He finally put a few drops of nail polish remover in the bottle and was able to finish the second coat.
At 5:23 I get a text from my husband saying "He's awake and the Little Lady is smacking me. . . get home soon."
I am in full-on panic mode, my boobs are starting to hurt and I am worried that I will be walking into pure chaos when I finally get home.
At 5:30 I finally get out of the chair and move over to the "drying area" the guy comes over with the hot stone and I have to refuse him. I hand him my credit card and then watch him try to actually ring up the transaction. This takes entirely too long, but it does give my now very blue toes a chance to dry.
I tip him, tear off the toe separators and we all head for the door. By the time I drop my cousin off and we pull into the house it is almost 6 o'clock. I can hear QT through the open windows and I break into what constitutes me sprinting at this stage post-pregnancy.
Luckily, he had only been crying for a couple minutes, but any bit of rejuvenation or recharging that I had hoped to gain from an hour or so out of the house had completely vanished. Granted, once I start pumping it will be easier to go out without feeling such overwhelming guilt and without being so preoccupied with what is going on at home, but still can't a girl get a few minutes for some foot rubbing and a little chatting with her fam without having to stifle panic attacks?
I guess there will always be that feeling of trying to make sure that my children are taken care of while at the same time trying to make sure that I am taking care of myself. I know it will get easier as they get older and once again I will remind myself that I have a three-week old and that for now he is completely dependant on me. It all goes back to the balance I seem to be ever searching for in my life.
So now my toes are polished but my feet are once again pretty dirty. All the kids are sleeping (for now)--check that I think I just heard QT upstairs so off I go. . .