Fair Trade Worries

photo courtesy of Ten Thousand VillagesFor much of my teen and young adult years I volunteered in an amazing store called first Self-Help Crafts and then Ten Thousand Villages. Before "fair trade" was the catch phrase of the day, the Mennonite Central Committee was running these stores all across Canada and each was an oasis of international culture, social justice and well . . . fair trade.

The first time I went into the store, with my brother to visit his girlfriend who volunteered there, I came across these Guatemalan Worry Dolls. I'm sure at 15 I was full of very important worries, and I found the concept comforting. Basically you whisper your worries into the dolls ear and then place it under your pillow to allow you to experience a decent sleep, worry-free. The doll takes your worries and holds them or does your worrying for you. Of course I purchased some, not sure what's happened to them since.

I've got a million thoughts racing through my mind and no idea of when I'll sleep tonight. Tried losing myself in a book, music, wine. None of it worked. So I'm going to try the worry doll method.

Poor you. Now this blog is my worry doll.
  1. We're broke. We're beyond broke actually. We're putting groceries on the credit card and the electric bill and phone bill are both overdue. I had hoped my column would be syndicated by now and I'd be contributing at least a little more to household expenses. But that hasn't happened. It's hard times to break into the newsprint world. We received a notice about swim lessons today, not too bad, $40 for 8 weeks. But we can't even afford that. Two kids would mean $80 that we don't have. I cried because we've already not enrolled them in music classes, skating and ski lessons because we can't afford it.
  2. Despite the fact that we're broke, I just don't see how I can go to full-time work outside the home. First of all, it'd be hard enough finding a job that pays well enough to allow us to afford childcare. We'd be looking at almost $400 a week. Minimum wage, which is what most places pay around here is $400/week and that's before deductions. Second of all, we have one vehicle. My husband finds it hard enough getting our eldest to school and himself to work on time. Add to that at least one, maybe two more drop-offs for children plus me getting to work - I'm just not sure how that would work. Finally, I'd lose the job in the first month for all the medical appointments. This past week alone I've been to 5. And they aren't just half hour appointments. Anytime Emerson sees a specialist or doctor it's usually a good hour and a half, calculate in wait times and it's much longer.
  3. Speaking of Emerson. I know it does no good but I worry about him. I get angry about the response of the medical professionals to my concerns. I don't know why he doesn't raise his right arm much or flops to one side when he sits. The physiotherapist sees it too but doesn't seem to care why. I don't know if he'll be behind in his speech - all signs point to yes. I don't know if he'll need intensive speech therapy or if, like his older brother and some cousins, he'll eventually just talk fine on his own.
  4. Speaking of his older brother. He's had diarrhea for 5 years now. That's excessive, isn't it? Okay, not constantly, but off and on. I've cut down juice. I've cut down sugar. I've got out additives, artificial sweeteners, food colouring, fatty foods, spices. I think it might be gluten intolerance. If it is gluten intolerance what will we eat? Where will I find the time to make even more of our food from scratch.
  5. And that's not it. He's tired a lot. He drinks and pees a lot. Does he have diabetes? He's been tested 3 times already. But is it time to ask for more thorough testing?
  6. Also, still the behavioural problems from him. Still the anger and the inability to listen and/or control impulses. Such a sweet, sweet boy torn by his emotions - it's painful to watch and hard to live with and I know there are things we aren't doing right by him.
  7. And then there's Teaghan. She's a princess. A real princess. With real princessy behaviour. The intensity of her emotions are scary. She's incredibly volatile. Hubby and I have always joked that she's bipolar; we're beginning to think it's not a joke. She's also incredibly clingy and needy and doesn't let me get the housework or much else done. Even my blogging and writing is done with her hanging off my arm or prattling away next to me demanding at least half my attention. I try to give her full on attention while the baby is napping but that's also my time to prepare lunch, clean the kitchen and get the laundry folded. I don't know how to do it all in 1 and 1/2 hours.
  8. There are things I'm not at liberty to share. Other people's issues that impact my life. Nuff said?
Yeah, well that's shite. Didn't work at all. Now I'm even more worked up. The worry dolls worked better than you lot.

Do you think you could slip on a colorful woven scarve, shrink yourself to mini-size and jump in under my pillow? I might feel better then.

What are your worries. Take mine, I'll take yours; it'll be our new version of "fair trade."