It snowed a few inches. Right now it's raining, and then the temperature will dip below freezing so that all the slush will ice over, and it may stay like that through the weekend or longer. I like the snow plenty, but I've felt kinda trapped at home this time... trapped with a preschooler who really, really needs to be playing with her friends at school so that mamma can go have a cup of strong coffee somewhere and chill out.
When D stays home, too (even if he's "working from home"), I feel an extra burden because he isn't available to care for E, yet needs lunch and has the freedom to come upstairs and announce how he'll be taking a break to go here or there in the truck (a truck I haven't felt confident about driving since I got t-boned in my old Honda Civic... driving is scary, and that's my problem).
This cabin fever situation is deadly for me. It makes me feel incredibly powerless and even more like the inanimate household appliance I fear D and E think I am. Mom/Wife: the one who cooks, cleans, and wipes butts (or pee off porcelain).
Of course D has the right to come and go at will. He works incredibly hard and tries to be sensitive. But when you're a stay-at-home mom, you don't get to decide much of anything for yourself -- especially after the naps end. You just bend and flow and try to fill in gaps for everyone until finally someone says, "Hey... I'll take over for awhile."
I have tried to make the best of the snow days and worked on a whole grain puff pastry from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book. I made the dough yesterday and let it rest in the fridge overnight and then made it into an apple gallette this afternoon. Interesting. I've never had a gallette made with puff pastry, but this tasted good and held the fruit nicely. I think I need to roll it out more thinly next time, but the dough -- even though it was made from whole wheat bread flour and oat flour -- tasted puffy-light and didn't compete at all with the apples.
This experiment was interesting because last week I made whole wheat chapatis from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads, and they turned out great, too. I think I'm learning something about letting dough soak, ferment, and rest. The chapati recipe called for just flour, butter, and water, but PR suggested it be left to sit out at room temperature for 24 hours if possible.
When I finally got back to making the chapatis the next day, the dough had such a spring to it that they almost rolled themselves into balls and happily bubbled on the griddle in a pleasing way.
I'm not saying that making chapatis for 70 people was easy, but it would have been soul-sucking if the dough hadn't been alive and co-operative. They also had enough flavor -- from resting overnight -- that they tasted good at room temperature, which was the big risk in choosing to make them for a school potluck.
But back to the snow and the cabin fever and the powerlessness...
Adding to my sense of unease, my father is in the hospital again. Thankfully, my mom called to tell me he was there (unusual for her to do that), but -- you know -- the roads are icy, and she hates to ask for help and so is sitting at home fearful for her husband and fearful of going to him on the icy roads. Meanwhile, she's trying to weigh how much help she can be to him there and is beginning to feel again how tired she is because she has a hospital staff up there to help keep him alive instead of doing it herself night after night. It's hard to know when to step in and insist on helping. Right now I'm focusing on the rest that both of them need, and I'll call her tomorrow again.
He's had this sort of treatment in the past, but it's not working this time. I feel a lot of different things right now, which I'll post about another time. Right now, I feel this concrete understanding: "This is how my father is dying."