There is the total absence of 'bedtime', the imposition of unwanted gender norms on my little guys, toxins in our foods, an upcoming 4th birthday party that I have to design and host so that it will be memorable, enjoyable and socially acceptable with all kinds of unfamiliar rules and expectations, and...I could go on.
But why not have a list of things I could worry about, should I feel the need to expand my worrying horizons? I'm not one to turn away from new opportunities. These are all things I am not quite worried about, yet, but I occasionally consider that they might have some worry merit, or, in some cases, I sometimes remember that they are probably deserving of worry, but then I forget, or get too freaked out, or realize that it's futile.
Anyways, in no particular order:
1) I have to have a killer PhD proposal ready by November in order to apply for the scholarship I covet. Getting it is the only way that I will go ahead with actually doing a PhD. And I still don't have a tiny little idea for a topic.
2) The 500-page book on Latin American social and political theory that I am translating (what was I thinking?) is due in October. And yeah, things aren't exactly zooming along.
3) I need friends. Here in Macondo, if at all possible, and it's not looking very promising.
4) It might be five years before Macondo Papa and I can go out for dinner, go for a walk, read Le Monde Diplomatique to each other or make an uninterrupted comment.
5) We may never find a babysitter.
6) My wrinkles. Ack! I can't believe I even said that.
7) The Monster is almost 4 and still takes almost 2 hours to fall asleep every night. With us lying in bed with him, motionless, in the dark. Is this insomnia? Is this a sign of something bigger that he needs our help with?
8) The Monster's difficulties with adapting to change. See #9-11.
9) The Monster's occasional stutter (currently non-existent, but at times quite prominent).
10) The Monster's fingers in his mouth, all the time or not so much, depending on... I only wish I could figure out what.
11) The Monster's obsession with certain clothing items, which comes and goes, and can take on extreme proportions, depending on... I only wish I could figure out what.
The socks have to be pulled all the way up, always, or no other shirt but that specific shirt must be worn, every day, no matter what, or wearing a sweatshirt would clearly be equivalent to torturing him with unspeakable techniques. OR he's perfectly agreeable to whatever clothes you offer him, or easily makes a choice between the climate-appropriate options you present.
12) The Monkey may soon have the same size feet as the Monster, and we might actually have to buy him some shoes instead of having an abundance of hand-me-down options.
13) The Monkey may never outgrow hitting. Is all this aggression just age-appropriate testing of limits and learning how to be an acceptable human, or might I be raising a sociopath?
14) The Monkey's daycare situation is still unresolved. For three weeks now, either Macondo Papa or I have been staying with him (often just out of sight) all morning long. And now we are considering starting the adaptation phase all over again at a different daycare. We're not getting a whole lot of other things done.
And this, lest you not realize what I'm dealing with here, is in Macondo, where Every Single Bill you might want to pay means standing in line at the corresponding service provider along with the rest of the world., praying that the power won't go out, the 'system' won't go 'down', they haven't decided to stop accepting, say, money, or some other impediment won't render your entire morning wasted, again. And oh yeah, see #2
15) This. Ewwwww. Luckily, my kids just play with a few stainless steel cups in the bath, and the occasional stray plastic dinosaur that does not normally live in the bathroom. So I have just started washing the cups when I shower, and all is well.
(Re-reading this, I feel like it misrepresents me as a very clean person, which I am not. Which is why I am not including a picture of our bathtub in its natural habitat.)
16) My kids have already outgrown their bathtub, and still occasionally insist on having baths together. There is no foreseeable solution to this, other than getting used to showering. But, they don't seem to mind the squishiness, and absolutely love how easy it is to make the water overflow all over the bathroom floor.
17) My kids' swearing. I don't really worry about this, but I'm throwing it in there to maybe seem like an appropriately concerned parent.
18) The absence of school choices we can feel really good about. We'd prefer public, but that isn't even an option until next year for the Monster, and it also has its issues. And the private alternatives have most of the same issues - conservative values,
19) Dengue fever. There was an outbreak here last year, and so it is entirely possible that there will be another one this year, or next. Most certainly, there will be outbreaks eventually. I have already had Dengue, AND IT SUCKS. It is Terrible. I was hit quite hard, and I was alone, literally alone, all by myself, in a little hut on an island in Nicaragua, hallucinating with fever and pain for days and days.
The thought of my kids getting Dengue FREAKS ME OUT. And, since I have already had it, I am now vulnerable to the hemorrhagic form (did you hear that? the hemorrhagic form!), with lovely symptoms like bleeding gums and eyballs and DEATH.
I am just going to take a few deep breaths now, and continue on with my list.
20) Our exposure to DEET and other anti-mosquito necessities. We try to minimize this - repellent on the clothes instead of our skin, good ventilation, and so on - but we are definitely exposed to more of this than I would like. And my kids are still so young. But, see #19.
Okay, I think that's enough for now. I have a book to translate and a PhD proposal to wish into existence.
(By the way, I don't actually recommend writing lists like this one. I thought it was a cute, amusing little idea at first, but now it seems more like a good way to pepper your week with worry, even if you started out just fine. Lesson learned.)