Thursday, January 10, 2008

Eeyore's Lament

My mouth, when at rest, settles into a scowl. I poke around my brain, feeling for post ideas, and come up empty. Where the posts used to live is now a general malaise, a whiny chorus of "Ouch, my throat hurts, why do I always have a cold?" and "It's so unfair, how come I always have to drop the kids off at nursery school and day-care, why is that automatically my job?" I think in comma splices, too lazy to punctuate my thoughts properly.

It's a rainy January, the thin rays of sun no longer amplified by blazing white snow. I pop Starburst candies constantly, Santa's leftovers, hoping for a lemon- or cherry-flavoured boost to my mood. Each time, it almost works.

Bub tugs on my hand excitedly, pulling me towards the Little Gym, his first class of the year. For once we're not running late - we're even in time for the new instructor to introduce herself. Bub stiffens, shrinks, pulls his shirt up over his face, too shy to do anything but lurk on the sidelines while the other children do somersaults and pullovers.

Pie wakes up at 4:45. "Hi Mama!" she chirps with an audible smile. It's not morning, I tell her. You have to go back to sleep. There's a thump as her head hits the mattress; all is silent as she obediently returns to sleep.

"What is the purpose of the Walton narrative?" I ask my first-year students. They clutch their copies of Frankenstein, avoiding my gaze. I let the silence lengthen a bit, hoping for a face-saving response that doesn't come, then sigh and answer my own question, ad nauseum, for forty more minutes.

Pie is on the potty when I arrive at the day-care, dropping off Bub after nursery school. I hear a panicked wail - she's worried she'll miss me, forgo her chance for a hug and a kiss. Carol goes to fetch her and she stumbles out of the washroom, tear-stained and heaving with suppressed sobs. The weight of her curly head on my shoulder is like a sad, pale beam of January sun.

45 comments:

Grilled Pizza said...

melancholy but lovely!

Jenifer said...

That about sums it up...I must say though that only you can make melancholy sound so good.

I think it must be a January thing as this sentiment is echoing everywhere.

kimberly-ann said...

As one who also lives in the Great White North, i share your "eeyore-ishness" (is too a word!). With the weather flip-flopping the way it is this year, i find my moods are in a similar pattern. Spring one day...WOO WOO..snow and grey the next..where is my blanky?

Hang in there, spring is only a month and a half away!

(and thanks for the starburst idea. I think it is worth a try)

wheelsonthebus said...

I love that you post about comma splices.

For what it's worth, we are having a day worthy of a Bronte sister here in London today, all wind and rain, and all I can think is: "This is why the English have always written such morbid literature."

Don Mills Diva said...

It's definitely that time of year - you articulated exactly how I'm feeling these days.

Kyla said...

Ahhh, the melancholy of January.

slouching mom said...

you nailed it. that's just how i'm feeling these days.

Beck said...

Throw in some PMS and YOU HAVE MY WEEK.
I haaaate this time of year. I always gloom around and feel like no one loves me at all anymore, which must be pretty annoying.

Kathryn said...

Awe. sigh
That last line is just lovely!

Teah said...

Hang in there - the lovely NW skies share your melancholy mood...but there are always afternoon cookies, nighttime stories and morning cuddles to look forward to!

Karen said...

ah - life eats posts. That happens to me too. Feel better.

Suz said...

It feels like winter here, too.

Janet said...

Eeyore was a Capricorn. I'm certain of it.

Pieces said...

Ah, January. It is Eeyore's month.

Julie Pippert said...

The purpose of the Walton narrative.

I miss school, but sounds like you guys all have a bad case of the Winter Slumps.

Still you can make a pretty good post. :)

Lawyer Mama said...

My sunny boy was born in January and it seems so incongruous.

Mad Hatter said...

Hey. Beck and I have PMS at the same time.

Girl, this is your mother talking. What you need is a little vitamin D and a whole lot of sleep. You could also try some simple blog posts. Seriously, you set the bar so high for yourself with post after post of polished brilliance. Not that I don't like polished brilliance. I am a sucker for it as my repeat visits here clearly indicate but you can also simply gripe or relate anecdotes or post pictures too if you want. We love those posts b/c we all love you. True. "We love you. Just as you are."

BTW, did you see Emily's (Wheels on the Bus) two posts about the Eeyore mind-set the other day? They were fabulous.

Susanne said...

You know, I felt exactly like that (minus the comma splices since I have to look them up first), and then - the sun came out and the world became bright again.

bubandpie said...

Mad - Add me to the PMS chorus. (I figure I've got at least another week, though - this month might be one of those 14-day-post-ovulatory-depression months. Don't you love those?) And yes - all my posts these days are inspired by Emily.

Andrea said...

Soudsn like you have a bad case of the Two-Year Slump, my dear (which can strike at any time but which typically happens when a well that has happily and fruitfully sustained approximately two years of blogging begins to run dry). It hit me last year a few months before my blogiversary and I ended up not really doing the sort of blog I had been anymore.

Did you ever see hte nonist's pamphlet on blog depression? I probably posted it before, but here it is again:

http://thenonist.com/index.php/weblog/permalink/a_nonist_public_service_pamphlet/

cinnamon gurl said...

Ahh... Your last sentence, too, is like a sad, pale beam of January sun.

Merle said...

Melancoly does have a certain pleasure to it. But cheer up... if you can write that well when you are depressed, it can't be all that bad!
:)

KAL said...

And yet? Six beautiful paragraphs that vividly paint six memorable (though melancholy) moments.

Oh, The Joys said...

This post is RIGHT where I am.

I am right there.

Gwen said...

Cheer up on this: when you have "nothing to say" you still manage to do it beautifully. When others of us (ahem, me!) are similarly flummoxed, we post about our boobs.

letter9 said...

You can send me your pink starburst if you don't like them.

And if you want, you can try my teaching "trick" that I learned teaching seventh graders and use on my undergrads all the time:

Get all meta on them and start talking about your teaching strategies and how you've discovered that if you just wait long enough, with enough awkward silence, someone will eventually answer. The students will laugh and think you're joking and then the silence will start again and someone really will speak up with an answer. I love that.

Then all quarter when no one is eager to answer me I just stand there and smile and they know what I'm doing and it always works.

I even had two students volunteer to turn in papers three days early since I needed to volunteers and stood there long enough. : )

Becky said...

Dear January:

Enough already.

Love,
Becky

Aliki2006 said...

It's healthy to wallow in melancholia. It's healthy--repeat this over and over again...if it weren't for periods of deep melancholy, how could we ever have the other extreme again--periods of great joy and energy?

I was there not long ago, and I will no doubt be back again. Chin up!

jen said...

hey, did you see these two recent posts? http://wheelsonthebus.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/the-gloomy-place-part-2/

if someone else has directed you to them i apologize, am late for a podcast...wheee.

Haley-O said...

Oh wow! Is this ever a beautiful post.

I love comma splices.

I love how little ones "obediently" go back to sleep. ;)

Angela said...

Sometimes that is just the way it goes

Mad Hatter said...

Here's a thought. I know we might not see each other for a while (or not, I'm just not sure), but I'm wondering if a phone call might be in order. You know, two friends chatting?

MamaDrama said...

This is why I blog and read blogs -I am right there with you, and ready for spring. Or at least 15 more minutes of daylight? It's rain, rain, and more rain here in the Pacific NW. Rain outside, rain in my head.

I love the comma splices, though, and the fact that Pie went back to sleep. Only thing worse than a rainy January day is a rainy January middle of the night.

And the weight of those little heads on our shoulders can do wonders, even tear-stained and heaving. Poor sweet Pie...

painted maypole said...

"Each time, it almost works." oh... i have these kinds of "remedies," too.

nomotherearth said...

I was going to mention the
Wheels on the Bus post too, but it seems Mad beat me to it. January is always so-anticlimatic after the thrill of Christmas, isn't it? I'm usually "done" with winter by then, but it still keeps on going. We are windswept and rainy right about now - if we lived on a moor, they'd be wuthering.

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh how I love some Bub & Pie. This post smells strongly of my melancholy and my life. It was lovely, however, whereas mine will just be whiny. :)

Patois said...

Eeyore communicates beautifully. Your closing line is amazing.

The End of Motherhood? said...

They do have a way of lighting up the greyest of days...

Mimi said...

Gah. January. Rain. Etc. Sucks.

Kit said...

How do you make a bad day so poetic? I could feel Pie's suppressed sobs - the anguish of missing a kiss because of being on the potty...

Luisa Perkins said...

Still snickering over "I think in comma splices."

Hang in there.

realitytesting said...

If you switched to swedish fish, I think it would help. This is my low-serotonin candy of choice. Better than Zoloft. I promise.

the new girl said...

I must be hormonal.

I'm crying a little.

Just a little

trixie said...

I started The Shipping News this morning. Your post echoes that narrative in stunning ways. It's Pulitzerishly beautiful...

I hope you find your pink bow-wrapped tail/tale soon.

Terri said...

I so relate to Eeyore and this post.