Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Perimenopausal Meltdown

Have I mentioned I’m having a perimenopausal meltdown? Last night, I went off on such a tear about well… nothing… that when a friend suggested I was making a mountain out of a molehill, I almost reached through the wireless connection and smacked him.

After I calmed down, I headed up to bed only to lie there and be hot.

Not hot in a good way. Hot as in miserable, how the hell can it be so warm this late in September and why didn’t I turn on the air conditioner?

Perhaps because it was only hot for me.

Jeanine was still downstairs working when I stomped down and picked up a huge box fan sitting in the corner of the living room and took it back up with me.

I won’t mention the dialog I had, basically with myself, about the temperature. No need for that much vulgarity this early in the day.

Jeanine, who hates fans and any excess noise, didn’t say a peep. She knew better. She kept her head down.

Our house is a hormonal nightmare right now. As I walked with home Zachary and a friend of his yesterday from school, they both gleefully told me they were, in fact, tweeners.

You are only ten, I said.

Ten to twelve is the official tweener years, Zachary’s pal told me.

Then I have two tweeners in my house? I said, raising an eyebrow.

Yup. But Jake is still a boy, the kid assured me.

I can’t have two tweeners in my house. You don’t understand.

Ben will be a teenager really soon, he said. Then you’ll only have one.

I smiled. The boy is sweet and he has no idea he might as well have pounded a stake in my heart.

Ben already goes back and forth between the nicest, most helpful young man in existence and a whining, screaming fanatic. At the ripe age of almost twelve, his hormones are working overtime. This morning he asked Jake if he wanted help getting breakfast.

GET AWAY FROM ME, BEN! Was Jake’s less than calm response. Why? Because two seconds before, Ben had called Jake’s favorite game stupid, thus insinuating that Jake was stupid.

I wouldn’t have let him help me, either.

But I heard in Ben’s voice a real sincerity. He honestly wanted to help. I could see both points of view and couldn’t figure out a balanced response to help them hear each other.

Like Jeanine the night before, I kept my head down.

I think that’s why newspapers can never stop being printed- they provide perfect cover for avoiding children’s disputes you cannot reasonably address prior to finishing at least one cup of coffee.

I hope there is some force in the universe that will help us when Zachary starts hitting the hormonal stage. Not to mention Jeanine is getting old enough to start edging into perimenopause, too. We're going to need it. I look at Jake and think, well, maybe he will get to live with his dads Walter and Allan a few days a week. I mean… it doesn’t seem fair to be caught in that crossfire.

As a feminist, I have always shuddered when people define women by their hormones. It’s a bogus reason not to have women leaders in the world on any level. All the stupid jokes about pushing “the button” to end the world just because a woman having “that time of the month” are absurd. Let’s face it, after almost thirty years of bleeding monthly more than any man would ever probably bleed in his life, I am a hell of a lot tougher and far more capable of controlling my emotions.

I did not smack anyone last night. I may not have been very calm but I did not act out on my emotional state. I closed my eyes, with the fan on high, and drifted off to sleep. By morning, I could see the insanity of my response. I could see the mountain out of the molehill.

And I could see Ben trying to be helpful two seconds after being mean.

Each stage in parenting has provided a new challenge, new rules, and new lessons to be learned. This is the first time I’ve been trying to learn them with a physical handicap. I have to be able to see clearly through a perimenopausal meltdown.

It’s not easy.

But I’m trying…


Blogger Ms. Moon said...

Sara- I am so enjoying reading your blog. I'm going back and reading old ones.
If you have the spare time (haha!) and any inclination, you can read the blog I wrote about hot flashes.
It's at
And it's entitled Excuse Me While I Melt The Sky
I think you might get a laugh out of it.

8:53 PM  
Blogger sasha said...

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about women health and pregnancy

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3:16 AM  

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