9:40. I’m running about 10 minutes late to my doctor’s appointment – not great, but not terrible either. Adeline is with me, which always makes everything take longer, so I’m being forgiving with myself. We park, hurry up the stairs and make our way to the office. I buzz the doctor and she comes out with a surprised look on her face. Right away I know something’s wrong.
“Sara. I had you down for a nine o’clock this morning.” She looks at her watch then back at me. I glance at the clock on the wall. 9:45. It’s verging on too late for a 9:30 appointment. It’s definitely too late for a 9:00 appointment. I look in my calendar and, indeed, the appointment is down as starting at 9:00. Somehow I just messed up.
I manage to keep it together while we sort out the details and reschedule. Adeline proudly shouts “Ba Bye!” as we walk out the door. The moment the door clicks shut behind us I feel it: the self-loathing and self-criticism start to rise up.
My first instinct is, always, to blame myself. “What an idiot I am! How could I have done something so stupid! We drove all the way over here for nothing – what a waste of time. I’m such a fuck-up!”
Normally this dialogue would be internal, but since having a baby I try to speak out loud as much as possible. (You know, that whole, “narrate your day to your baby” thing.) So I start to berate myself out loud, not only in front of Adeline, but to Adeline. I start to tell her what an idiot her mama is.
And then I stop myself. Continue reading »