Yep. For parents, the holiday season generally means that, in addition to the regular routine you've got going, you've got to do extra work, too.
Do you want to have good food on Christmas Eve, as well as Christmas? Have fun with the dishes. And the shopping among all the other people who don't want to be shopping, either, but they are, cause it's Christmas and that's what you do during Christmas. You shop among a three- or four-fold increase in the usual amount of human bodies within... any given store, anywhere. The employees are extra stressed and want to help you even less, by the way.
Yesterday I got to sleep in a little bit, but when I woke up, it was like, "Good morning, get to work." I had to start laundry, and wrap the rest of Lucy's presents cause we were too tired to do it the night before. All of this before I could have coffee. I was in a bad mood, which was putting Megan on edge.
This year, I was responsible for the doing of stuff for others. Namely, my little cute family. God, I love my girls. When I realized this, I was proud of myself for making the place all clean and smelling better on Christmas, for Megan and Lucy to enjoy and make their Xmas that much better. It's good to put in work for your family.
Of course, it's not all bad during the holiday season, but I'm really done with it at this point. It seems like there were more irritating moments than pleasant ones. However, Megan did get me exactly what I wanted for Christmas (Fallout: New Vegas), plus some (Metalocalypse ssn's 1 & 3, rounding out my collection). Awesome!
Lucy would fuss and complain when we tried to get her to open presents. The first two gifts she made it through okay, but by the end of it she was balling. It was sort of baffling, cause we were opening three seasons of The Muppet Show for her, and she likes Muppets. I dunno. At that point, it was the second round of opening presents, which we had to hurry through, so we could leave the house to go to T.J's.
This Xmas, Megan must have had a sign on her that said, "Get me useless stuff I don't want." It appears it's completely on my shoulders to get her anything that will actually make her happy. It's surprising that more of our relatives don't try to talk to her and ask her what she wants. They'd just rather guess, and since Megan's a very particular person, most of those guesses end up being bad ones.
Christmas came, and went. Goodbye.
It's the end of Megan's work week today and we've got Friday and Saturday off just like usual and that's just fine with me. We've got fun stuff planned for both days and Christmas definitely attracts me towards its rupturous cheer. I am metal, but I like to get and give presents too. No one dislikes that. And the big wrapped pile of them sitting around strung lights... ahh. Good stuff.
Reminds me of when I was a wee lad, getting up at 6 a.m. and waking my parents and going for the stockings. The sheer excitement was better than the actual unwrapping of the presents. I would say I was most happy in the days preceding Christmas morning, when we had our present-opening tradition. The morning of, when you can wake up and be a kid and know you've got a shitload of presents to open, was the height of Christmas happiness to me.
There was a gradual decline of happiness levels, but it didn't really leave completely until like three days after. Especially if there was snow on the ground. That just made it better for me. I love snow.
But not in Seattle I don't. Snow makes this city shit a brick.
This little family of mine has the smallest Christmas tree ever and it's got bracelets on it, but it couldn't seem any bigger to me. We've got our first pile of wrapped gifts, Megan's pregnant, and our family is tizzighter than the nucleus of the Big ol' Bang.
So last week I hit a peak of getting really into Louis C.K., delving in full force. Eventually I got tired of watching the short clips that YouTube has to offer, so I decided to watch a full-length standup routine on my Wii's Netflix channel (works much smoother than PS3 Netflix channel).
There were two LCK movies to choose from. One of them is just an episode of "Comedy Central Presents", and he had a tie on and it was overproduced and the swear words were bleeped and he didn't talk about his family. BORING.
"Chewed Up", the other movie Netflix has to offer, is the good one. He's wearing all black, and it's in a big hall in Boston in 2008. It's a beautiful routine, all things considered. Megan has been saying that he's the best comic we've had since George Carlin, and I can't help but agree. The guy has got a flow about him. It's natural, the way he talks during his routine. It all comes from his life, with embellishments thrown in here and there. Well, everywhere. But it's never not funny.
Except where he started talking about how he had his dog lick cottage cheese off his balls when he was a teenager.
But now that I watched "Chewed Up", I've been feeling fucked up. The negativity of it all has been sticking to me. It's been a day and a half and I can't stop thinking about it. The guy is brutal.
Maybe it's different for me because I can directly relate to him. I'm a dad with a daughter. He's got two, though, and he had them when he was older than me. I think younger people are sort of more easily able to deal with and relate to kids. And that's why his negativity toward childrearing (expressed in his act, if not in his personal life) was so surprising to me at first. It really began to grow on me, cause I was feeling frustrated lately with not only Lucy, but my as-yet-unborn.
There were possible developmental problems. We have learned today, however, that the baby is fine, and I'm really really relieved and happy. I'm going to have a healthy second child. Boy or girl, I don't care. It will be beautiful and it will be mine. So, dealing with that, and then hearing Louis C.K.'s bit, was a strange combination.
But Lucy was being naughty with naps for the last couple of days, so I was feeling some natural frustration that comes from childrearing, and LCK's message hit home for me, though it was, at first, surprising.
I then started feeling comfortable with this way of looking at your kids, by seeing them as the little monsters they can appear to be.And then it went beyond that, and I sort of manifested those feelings. It got so bad, that with mine and Lucy's stubbornness combined, we had a really big fight yesterday.
It was classic. We were both siding with ourselves. I was trying to express dominance and she was rebelling. Simple, right? It escalated from there and made us both a little insane right up until today. She didn't sleep well last night, and got up real early, and was groggy all day today.
As a dad, I feel this need sometimes to get really angry and frustrated and insane dealing with the monotony and ... I dunno, the hard times with my kid. There needs to be some sort of catharsis somewhere in there. Some release of the negative energy. And that's exactly what Louis C.K. did onstage. He bitches about his kids a lot, and his wife. It made me want to sort of follow that example, but I may have taken it too far.
Overall, I love his comedy. It was so good it fucked me up a little. I can't forget it. He's a lot like George Carlin, who he dedicated the movie to. But the message can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Like metal fathers' hands. I have to learn more restraint. But also I was afraid for my unborn and not quite right in the head.
Don't worry, my kid has no bruises. None that came from me, anyway. I can yell, and I sometimes hold her face to the floor, but I never hit. And I never will, tempting as it seems some moments.
I was depressed yesterday. Today I'm not. And Lucy took a nap like clockwork right at noon.
In regards to yesterday's complaint blog, this PSA gave me much-needed perspective.
Why is it that when I hear this guy talk, I always feel a little better? A little weight taken off my shoulders? Thank you, Louis C.K., for telling it like it is, from a father's perspective.
And thanks, CBS, I guess, for hosting it.
I lay in bed
My bed is the head
That gets me to where I'm thinking of
That leads me toward paths of green
That guides me up the river of streams
I lay in bed
My self is the shelf
On which my moonshine sits
On whom I place my vials of nine
On her I let my body slip
O god the hour is late
My cats, I don't have to worry
Where is that written piece you owe?
Mind you don't lose your job
I lay in bed
My eyes start getting heavy
It's textbook what happens next
The fingers no longer fing and my conquistadors no longer sting
Lucy and I were out on our mostly-daily morning constitutional today, and I took notice of a woman pushing two 3-or-so-yr-old boys in a stroller. With me, I always let Lucy walk by herself, and lately I've even been letting her choose the path.
I couldn't help but think that pushing your kids around in a stroller is not exactly going to get those kids a lot of exercise. It's nice to see the outside world, cause kids tend to be cooped up inside a lot, but taking them out in a stroller seems like a copout to me.
However, if you're gonna take the kid to a place where they can get exercise,or if you're going someplace far away and you can't or don't want to drive, strollers are good. They keep the kid from running out into the street to get brutally murdered, or into stray dogs to get brutally mauled, and it keeps you from having to carry your little bag of potatoes.
When I take my girl outside, she's walking. The very reason I take her out on mostly daily constitutionals is to give her some room to run and stomp and release lots of that toddler energy. It makes nap times come sooner. If she doesn't nap, we both go insane: her from lack of sleep and bitchyness, and me from frustration and lack of alone time.
Naps are very very important. We all know this. I've learned that my Lucybeans won't sleep as easily if she doesn't get to go outside first. Every kid is different, however, and some don't need outside time to sleep on schedule.
But Lucy has (mostly) always been difficult to put down, and it's been even more difficulter lately. About two or three weeks ago is when it began, and it's become a daily occurrence. Around noon, she'll tell me, in her non-verbal way, that she wants her pacifier. She likes to have it while she falls asleep. So I take that as a cue that she wants to lay down and go to bed. That cue is reinforced when I say, "Are you ready to lay down and take a nap?" and she responds by running into her room.
She'll go right to her bed and sit on it, but I always have to lay her down and put her feet under the blankets, etc. Then we wait. I have to sit there until she falls asleep, cause she won't if I don't. Usually she likes to hold my hands.
The waiting begins to drive me nuts after a while, as I'll eventually realize I'm sitting there for no reason. Her eyes will stay open, and she'll fidget with her hair and look all around and point at things. Just about every time, I'll see her eyes begin to close at some point, and then pop back open.
It's really too bad that anger and force aren't useful for getting a kid to sleep. That just makes the kid's heart rate go up, and makes for bad feelings, and those aren't easy to sleep among. So I'll get sick of sitting there for a half hour, doing nothing, trying to be quiet, and I'll take her pacifier away and let her get up. She then stays up till 2 or 2:30.
So not only am I in there once a day to get her to sleep, but twice! It's fucking aggravating. My whole day seems like a period of taking care of her for the sole purpose of waiting for her to go to sleep, so I can do something for me. There's plenty of shit I want to do, but as I now have a kid, my life doesn't belong to me anymore. Lucille takes priority. So I just go along with the motions, waiting for some me time amid all the chaos of diaper changing, dressing, feeding, cleaning, disciplining, cleaning, reading to her, cleaning.
And some people tell me these are the best days of my life. Yeah fucking right. I love my kid, and it was very worth it to have her, but parents whose kids are older and moved out tend to forget the daily routines that drive you up a fucking wall. Anyone that tells me not to complain again is getting a free lecture. Or an argument.
I feel the days of my life slipping away. I'm only getting older, and by the time my schedule frees up, I'm afraid I won't have the fire of my youth anymore. I'm also getting pretty sick of this long hair, and I need to be in a band soon to show it off before enough is enough and I chop it all off. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard.
Also Lucy has not been staying in bed for the night bedtime. For the same two or three weeks she's been faking me out during the day naps, she's also been getting up out of bed every night after Megan puts her down. We've got a good solution for this, though--shut the door. She can't open it by herself, cause it's a shitty old door and it sticks shut. So we hear her running around and doing whatever in there, in the dark, while we're breathing easy and watching some fun, adult tv and eating cake and NOT TAKING CARE OF OUR THANKLESS TODDLER. She usually gets to sleep by nine.
This blog started about strollers and turned into me bitching about Lucy not sleeping. I guess I needed to get that out. Now I feel like I should say something nice.
Okay, here's something. Ever since I tried to put her down around noon today and it didn't take, she's been entertaining herself, and I got to type this long ass complaint blog. She's let me do something that interests me. Thank you, Beans. Now I will go play with her and give her her pacifier back and try to get her to nap again. And I will swoon with my love for her as I watch her fall asleep. Seriously, it's a wonderful thing.
Nothing much to say today. Well, I'm sure I could spout a wild sprout of words, but today I'll keep it liquid.
Megan and I have two days off starting today, and I've been just sitting on the couch, drinking coffee, looking at the computer. It's been awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I now actually want to get up and do something productive.
Like drink more coffee. Maybe I'll disinterestedly start the laundry.
I'm just glad that Lucy is old enough now to entertain herself. She's been walking around the apartment pretty much all morning, but there will be times when she goes in her room to play with her toys and let Mama and I do our grownup thing. Relaxing on a day off rules.
But Lucy frickin freaks out. It takes her a good 20 min. to recover from it. Here's a typical vacuum freakout detailed in easy and fun-to-read steps.
1. Initial Realization
- usually jolly facial expression goes cold
- mouth contorts into grimace
- eyes widen
2. Fear Sets In
- day just got shitty
- hands begin trembling, face gets red
- whimpers ensue
- eyes raining tears
- running around screaming
- 3/4 panic mode Defcon 4
4. Cool Down
- vacuum away
- fear mostly away
- the longest step (process takes approx. 20 min.)
There you have it. God Help Us All if the big vacuum comes out. There we have immediate Defcon 5/Code Red and it lasts for about an hour, AFTER the vacuum gets put away.
Today I had to pull the DD out to clean up some crumbs she left from a cereal bar, on the automan. She ate the whole thing in like five seconds, but that's beside the point. I knew I had to pull the thing out and put it into use, and it couldn't wait until she had her nap cause that was like 4 hours away. Preparations were in order.
So I walked over to the corner of the room where the thing's charging. I pointed to it, and told her that I had to use it. Then I suggested that she go into her room and close the door to lessen the noise. So after she processed that, through the ensuing panic that came Before I Even Turned The Thing On, she went into her room, clutching her cup of milk for some kind of comfort. I closed her door for her, turned the thing on, and proceeded to vacuum the shit out of those crumbs.
And you know what? The automan is cleaner now, and the surrounding carpet. Fantastic!
She then had her cool-down period, realizing the vacuum was put away, was not going to be brought out again, and that the world was slowly returning to its standard, working, palatable order.
Another funny thing. I needed to make a phone call, but my computer was on my lap and I was too lazy to get up and get it. I looked around the room to see where it was; saw it; said, "Oh man, I need to make a phone call, but there's my phone. It's too far away."
So what did Lucy do? She went and grabbed it for me! What a little sweetie. She's my sweetie pie.
I made a phone call. Had a marvelous time! Then, hanging up, I looked at the phone. It had food on it. Then I was wiping my head.
This morning Lucy took out her Sesame Street Animal Alphabet book, opened it, got all shy at Grover, left the book with me and hid behind the automan, and a few minutes later started crying. She was cool there for a little while, and it was amusing. It's always funny when she picks the book up, but then raises her eyes to the ceiling and puts her head back as far as she can, just to avoid the gaze of the characters she loves so much in the book she just picked up.
I can act like I don't get it, but shyness and embarrassment and bashfulness are indeed strong emotions in adults. We just learn to hide that stuff.
When she cried it was a little baffling, and a little annoying. A medium-strong cry, with some of the engine-revving sounds that I can't really reproduce in text form, but here is my attempt: aAAAaa-eehhhh-eehhhh-eehhhh-eeehhhh.
Mama took the book away from her.
Today I started laundry and took out the recycling and compost and garbage and Megan cleaned out the diaper pail (camouflage). Megan let me sleep in. I stayed in bed till 9, feeling a funny mix of guilt and relief for sleeping in. I love it when she has days off.
This is probably how stay-at-home moms feel when dad has the day off, but I've got a feeling that even on those days, mom still is the one who gets up to take care of the kid while dad sleeps in. I think I've got a really good deal going on here. Mama can't wait to see her baby in the morning, when baby's in a good mood. Cause usually, it's only after mama gets off work in the evening that she gets some baby time, when baby's crabby and tired and it's the end of the day. Megan only gets about 5 hours or so with Lucille before bed. I get her all day, and then I have to work all night (2 nights/week)!
Oh poor me. I was told that I'm lucky to have my kid a while back. A friend of mine, who lost a 6-month-old son to SIDS, said it. So I took that advice very seriously. I am darn lucky to have my kid. I will always cherish her, and I can't wait to see who she becomes when she gets older. I'm conveniently forgetting that she will have many many awkward years ahead of her, and the torture of elementary and junior and high school on top of that, but I still can't wait. I mean, that shit's unavoidable.
By the time she's my age, and able to understand how I feel about her, I'll be tired of waiting. I know I was an obnoxious teenager. Always angry. Always clinging to these ideals I knew nothing about. But I also grew up far from anything resembling advanced civilization, which I always detested. I didn't have to detest it, but I did. I still would. It's just not me. Maybe I did have to detest it. Maybe it's so inescapable that it's my duty to feel the way my... Id is telling me to feel. My natural way.
Digression is also annoying, sorry. That's something teenagers do, isn't it? I sure do see older people do it, too. Nervous people who overtalk themselves.
I digress. My daughter will grow up to be a sweet woman. She already has plenty of personality quirks that I am only beginning to understand.
No, that's not true. I get her. Her and I are on the level. We're both full of quirks. It doesn't get any better than that! Some things she does I don't quite follow, but for the most part I think I know where she's coming from.
That may change the more woman she gets, cause right now she's my little tomboy.
My mother recently said to me: After it's over you only remember the good parts. But when you're in the middle of it, it is a whirlwind, and it is hard.
Toddler also hellion
Now what she is also doing is testing boundaries. Seeing how much stuff she can get away with knocking on the floor, or throwing (Gameboy), without picking up. And also she's testing the limits of doing what I tell her. And she's also trying to make me feel sorry for her when I raise my voice in these cases by crying and making that crying face where the lips all curl together and the face gets red and the eyes tighten and the mouth goes, "eeeeeeEEEEEEEeehhhh!!!"
Here's a sample conversation. Me: "Lucy come here and pick up that toy you just threw on the floor."
"Lucy come here!"
(louder still) "Lucy come here!"
She turns around, takes two steps towards me, crying, then walks back to her window perch.
"LUCY I WILL WRING YOUR LITTLE NECK AND PADDLE YOUR, -ahem- Lucy, my dear, please clean up your mess or you will be put up on the cross like your savior for the evening."
Dada would walk to ends of Earth for this one
I've been involved in two discussions in as many days about how, in recent years, we've seen the rise in feminism, the over-compensation towards it, the androgynous result, and now a return to 'vive la difference!'
Maybe it's true, maybe it's not. Research will tell, and I don't have the patience right now.
But why not celebrate the differences? Women are women and men are pigs. So what? It's always been that way. There's an infinite amount of variety in each one of us, even though we all run on the same grid. There is a difference between us that is supposed to be there. But I'm still sick of the pink-and-blue thing.
I went to Target yesterday for boots for Lucy. My choices were pink and blue. Like, bright, eye-popping PINK!, and depressed, cool, aloof blue. I thought that that had been done away with. Turns out, it's back, or so I hear.
Perhaps my situation was more a cause of my immediate environment, than something endemic to the entire population. Could it be that Target serves a lowest-common-denominator-type of shopper (the most lucrative to keep in terms of sheer #'s)? If so, they'd want to keep that demographic, right? Therefore, of course, they would have to adhere to lowest-common-denominator-type social norms, and therefore it must be PINK FOR GIRLS AND BLUE FOR BOYS!!!!
I consider myself a feminist, inasmuch as I believe that women should be treated equally to men. It's tough to define what that is, however, because we do and want different things. And that's all I've got on that one for today.
and I'm listening to her fuss and cry, amid other random sounds she makes with her mouth. She's learning to talk, so a lot of it is misprounounced stuff that I can't understand. She's probably trying to say something, like strings of sentences. I want to understand her, but she's not there yet. You should hear her try and pronounce "orange." 'owij'
She can't speak English yet, but we have our ways of communicating. Like, I say something, and she responds with an emphatic, "Seh!" or nothing.
go to sleep toddler grahhhh
We went to Target today. I bought her boots and slippers and a Sesame Street dvd. hoo fucking ray. yay. And I bought Metallica's "...and Justice for All" cd on the cheap. Nostalgia. hoo ray.
She's still too scared to get out of her bed and open the door. I guess she has to be in there for a long time to get to that point. I dunno. I'm tired. Why am I making a blog post when I have nothing to say. I dunno. Don't read this. I've got nothing.
Ok, here's something. Look at this if you care about gays in the military and the national debate raging on the subject. It's a pdf, file hosted by NPR, of the a recently published Department of Defense review about this issue.
For a summary of the report's findings by NPR, who might I say are AWESOME, click here. If I may take a crack at my own summary: NO ONE WILL CARE EXCEPT JERK MEN (if "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is repealed). A majority of women see no problem with it. Why are men so afraid of other men being gay? Is it because we've all had gay thoughts at one time or another, and we're insecure about it?
Prejudice against gays is an ancient, misinformed, hateful mindset. It should be laughable by now. And yet, half of our country's elected officials use it as a platform to run off of. Ridiculous.
When will the old generation of politicians die to make room for a new one? Please let it happen soon? Why is this country so fucked up still?
when I need to sleep
by all accounts
of all there
I make no peep
I see the stuff
it looks to me
like a purse of coin
filled with thing gravy
Do I talk about myself too much?
She is watching Fraggle Rock, the dvd she chose, and now she's whining about it. Wait, I'll start over.
This morning she woke me up by coming into my room! This is a mild milestone because, up until today, she would not get out of bed by herself. She has the power to now, as of the last three weeks or so when she graduated from the crib to a mattress on the floor.
I was very groggy when she did it. She almost immediately proceeded to bring me books in bed, to read to her. There was just no way.
Last night I worked till 12:40 or so and didn't get to sleep till almost 2. So I guess I was out of it. (Read this sentence in a Sheldon from Big Bang Theory voice:) It was about 8:10 when she opened my bedroom doors, which, combined with coos and whines, is what, I hypothesize, woke me up. We've got french doors that creak and crack when you open them.
The first thing I remember this morning is seeing her, peering thru the crack, looking timid. Probably cause she was embarking on new territory. I was not, of course, but it did clearly irk her that I took so long to get up and moving.
Megan later told me that, at 6:45 this morning, on her way out the door to go to work, Lucy got up and walked out into the kitchen, looking loopy. So Megan walked her back into bed and left with Lucy still looking at her, lying there.
She is such a funny sleeper.
So yeah, I have two rules for Toddler Tv Time.
1. No dvds before nap.
2. Whatever dvd she chooses to watch, she has to watch a whole episode before I switch dvds.
See, we don't have cable. And good riddance to it. It boggles my mind how stupid it is every time I'm at someone else's house and it's on. So Lucy watches dvds or Sesame Street on my computer. And I let her pick which one.
Could this blog entry get more exciting?
Today I broke rule 1, but stuck with rule 2, both because it suited me at the time. They're not carved in stone, after all.
I'm listening to this Withered cd. It's pretty awesome. Check their Wikipedia page here if you want. I took the cd up to Bellingham for my brother to rip. It reminds me of a black metal version of Mastodon. Lo and behold, when I look up the band's wiki, I see that the two frontmen play in another band with Mastodon's bassist. SCORE! I can identify the hell out of musical similarities.
Lucy always wants to be in the same room with me, but never wants to do what I want to do, namely, get her diaper changed. She'd rather sit in her toy box, and I don't really feel like/have the energy/drive to pull her out, so I just play in her room with her, and sit there and stuff, and after a while I'm like, well, baby, I'm gonna go in this other room till you're done sitting in your toy box. As soon as I walk out, she's right behind me, carrying two balls to bounce on the kitchen floor with a huge smile on her face and making sounds like, "Aaahh!" that she makes when happy.
I took a video of her throwing an oversized ball over the back of the couch, naked, and fresh out of the bath she had with me, with hair all curly and half wet. Her little butt is the cutest little butt. So little. I want to pinch it.
Yep, it's just me and my girl today. Hanging out and listening to Withered.
Now the Withered is off and Low is on. A nice change. Heavy metal is cool for a while, but play about seven or eight songs in a row and it's like, "STOP THE POUNDING!"
Lucy has graduated from the crib. She now has her crib mattress on the floor, with three blankets. It's tucked in a corner of the room, and we put three big pillows on the floor next to her while she sleeps. At first I would constantly find her, any time in the night after she had gone to bed, on the floor, huddled up in fetal position face down, sleeping. No blankets. She'd rolled out of bed, over the pillows, and stayed asleep. Must have been weird for her. She probably expected the crib walls to stop her from rolling too far.
Now she mostly stays in bed, but I find her out of the blankets a lot, and in funny positions. She really moves around when she sleeps. I can tell when it's a deep sleep if she hasn't changed position when it's time to get up. I'll find her with her feet on the floor, or her head by where her feet should be, or something. It's been about two weeks since she graduated.
Today was a milestone of sorts. Well, it began last night, really. After Megan put her down for bed at eight, she got up out of bed, walked over to her door, opened it, and came back out! It was funny to me, sitting there playing Fallout 3 GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION KICKASS, on my second cocktail, seeing this little girl pop out of her room in her jammies, and go right for the bookshelf like it's time to play.
Momma had a different take on it. She took Lucy back in her room, put her in bed, and walked out. Then Lucy walked out a couple minutes later. So Momma took her and held her to herself, face on bosom, while she sat on the couch.
"If you're gonna be up, this is what you're gonna do." *squirm "Nope! No, Lucy, it's not time to play. You get to do this if you're up." And there it went for about 10 or so minutes before Momma took her back into her room, and laid down with her. About a half hour goes by. Momma walks out looking like she just woke up!
Continuing the milestone, this morning was the first time Lucy got up out of bed by herself, without me having to open the door, see her sitting up in bed, afraid to get out or something, and say, "C'mon, girl! It's okay. Get up."
Ok, she's done with me typing in a big way. Bye.
I don't wanna be a dick about it or anything, but new parents who grew up in lives of privilege, & who also complain on Facebook about needing a vacation, can really irk me. Aww, is poor wittw Snookums, who had his or her way thru college paid by mommy and daddy, now realizing how difficult it is to raise kids?
Taking it an irritating step further, I argue they're not actually having a hard time. If you're a parent who's confused about whether or not you deserve to complain, here's a handy list of queries to help you decide whether it's acceptable to complain about how hard your life is:
1. Do you own a nice house, especially one with extra rooms, that isn't in danger of foreclosure?
2. Do you or your partner have a job that makes you at least upper-middle-class money?
3. Do you hire a nanny or house cleaner?
4. Do you employ a private Sushi or Barbecue Chef?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, folks, don't complain on Facebook about having it rough.
When I read, "I so/really/desperately need a vacation," my blood begins to boil a little bit. I have no plans for a vacation (except for one night at a relative's house for Xgiving, which I'm looking forward to), no dates with friends arranged, another child on the way, and no end in sight to the childcare responsibilities.
However, I do have a partner that makes adequate money, I have time to type with Lucy running around in the morning, and I live pretty comfortably. I even enjoy my part-time cooking job, cause the place I work is so awesome. So I try not to complain either. I do, though. Sometimes. Not that you've ever read here.
Okay, I'll throw you Richie Riches a bone: kids always find ways to make their parents pull their hair out. But all it takes is peace of mind, and a work ethic, to deal with it adequately--not money.
To those who can't always pay their bills, and don't have partners to help raise the kids, my heart goes out to you. That's gotta be tough.
Okay, Lucy's 20 months old. That means she can really throw tantrums. Stronger and longer lasting than ever before. I'm talking everything she does includes a cry, whether she wants to do said thing or not, and whether she wants to cry or not. The slightest thing will cause her to explode, especially saying something like, "Come on Lucy, it's time to brush teeth."
It's almost like a skip on a record when she's insane like that. She gets caught in a loop. She starts crying and it escalates and she wants to see how much further she can push it. It's sort of like an endurance race, I hypothesize. She's getting older and wants to push boundaries as far as her newfound strength, awareness and other results of growth will let her.
But then when the tantrum gets to be as big as it can be, she doesn't see that she should stop. Maybe it's that it's more difficult to stop than to keep going. Maybe it's like when you embarrass yourself, and part of you just wants to keep going rather than look stop and look at what you're doing, thus letting that embarrassing shame affect you.
As a kid, I threw nightly tantrums for a time, somewhere between the ages of six and eight. My whole family was probably like, "Jesus, shut up already." The thing is, they wouldn't punish me or force me stop. I think that was maybe because I was amping up the pity factor for myself. I was learning how to manipulate them somehow with crying about how hard everything was. School, life, whatever. But life wasn't hard for me back then.
I'm more likely than my parents were to put Lucy's face onto the floor and keep it there until she stops crying. I've done it once, and I almost did it last night. I'm not having anyone screaming in my place for that long without me doing whatever I can to put a stop to it.
I'm bigger, and I'm the boss. She throws fits, I make her stop. I win; I'm the dada. I am God. And holding her onto the floor, not pushing her into it, but holding her down, facedown, usually works within seconds.
Then I make sure to give her some love after it. Hugs and nice words and kisses.
I don't care if she is growing another molar. It can't be that bad. I mean, mouth pain doesn't cause you to totally lose your shit, does it? Neither does diaper rash. Maybe all that, combined with frustration of both wanting to talk, and not wanting to at the same time (which seems to be her clashing, frustrating problem), is the cause of the tantrums. Tantrums are never called for, and they will be stopped in their tracks in my house.
Just now, as I'm typing this right now, she's hollering about a diaper change. She's got a rash, and it's nap time for sure. It really really really gets under my skin when she does this. Makes me shake. Makes me worried, then angry, then angry that I was worried at all, and angry that aside from all that I'm still worried. Anger and worry. A potent emotional cocktail.
And this morning at Beth's, she was close to throwing one before we left. I eventually let her run down the aisle and up to other tables just to keep her from losing her shit, goddam baby
One simple question someone asks you can totally change your mindset and blow you out of the water, to smithereens. At least, it made me question what I had just said.
"How you gonna do that?" It totally shook me. It rocked me. I didn't answer for a second or two. I realized I had no idea. There was no road paved before me. There was no path to riches I had planned out. I'm supposed to have everything together and see a complete future visionment. I'm supposed to set goals. That's what men, especially fathers, are expected to do.
I had said, "I want to make money. Real money," sort of both honestly, and as a way of falling in line with that notion of a successful male.
The man who asked me that question--he's one for looking into people's souls. Really getting to know you. Personally. Deeply. Weirdly. Sometimes it gets so bad that it seems fake. Like the guy's got a screw loose; a warped vision of reality; totally lost inside his own head with no window to the outer world he interacts with.
But then I think, maybe he's like heroes portrayed in so many stories. You know, like the guy who can't get along with people, who won't play by the rules, who has his many many many quirks, and who makes it out on top at the end with some wacky, whimsical device.
Trouble is, that's definitely not this guy, but he did recently come into a promotion at work. He's older than me by over 10 years, and those older people always see right through me. I felt like a little kid talking to him. There's probably a reason middle aged people don't really have younger friends--it would be like me befriending a 17-year-old and hanging out and talking romance and cars and drinking soda.
I told him he got my gears moving. Showed him my face as it was confused and startled. I let him see how he was affecting me by simply calling me out. I gave that to him. I let him talk to me. Oh, and another thing about this guy--such a talker!
Our conversation quickly turned to how raising a child is such a sacrifice, lecture-style. Ugh. Like I don't already goddamn know. In addition to his promotion, he was offered a transfer to somewhere sunny and nice, and secluded, which he accepted.
"I did it! I finally did it!" he said with a big smile and raised arms with fists on the ends. Then, pointing, "And you know why I did it? Just to spite all those motherfuckers who said I couldn't." For a minute I felt like he thought he was onstage at the Oscars, thanking the academy.
Oh, and he was pretty pissed, too. Sloshed. Terminated. Really drunk. Not falling over drunk, not even word-slurring drunk. But he does like his alcohol, and I think he has other vices too.
One time he comes in to the bar and can barely talk. He looked hopped up on something strong. All I remember him saying was, "I did a bad thing," very slowly, and he wouldn't look me in the eye, instead favoring that thing where people move their head as if to create eye contact, but keep their eyes closed. Then they open them and look away. I don't know what the fuck he could have been doing.
This guy...... a hero. A weirdo. An annoying bastard. A blabber-mouthed drunk. A hero.
And in the end, I felt better about myself. One last thing he told me: "Relax. You're going to do fine." Simple wisdom, boy I tell ya.
I use a Moka to make my coffee every morning.
Let's start over. I'm addicted to coffee. I love my coffee. I've got my way that I drink it, and my day cannot begin correctly if I don't have it that way.
The grinder scares Lucy something fierce. Well, it used to. Today, she saw it, pointed at it. Now this is not unusual. But then she ran out to go watch Sesame Street, which was playing on my computer and she had lost interest in even though she wanted it first thing after she woke up, and when I ground the coffee beans, making that awful noise, that loud, loud, grinding scary noise, Lucy didn't cry. That was new.
It was not always this loud. I set it on the fridge one day, and it fell off when I turned my back. It had a large fall and now it's a loud, noisy engine of grinding doom.
I use a Moka to make my coffee every morning. Here are a few links:
A description of how it works.
Pictures of a Moka.
The one I use is made by Bialetti. It is the second one down, I think. It may not make cafe-grade espresso, but it makes much more drinkable coffee than the fucking french press or a drip cup. I mean, the french press is a cool thing--the coffee comes fast, and it comes strong. But it makes my stomach boil and gets me all jittery with the strength of the coffee. I'd rather use a drip cup, but that tastes sub-par to the espresso I get from the Moka. It takes more time, but the taste is worth it. And three cups out of one batch! It may not be strong enough for some, but it is for me.
Apparently they call espresso 'caffe' in Italy. So there ya go. Don't you feel better now, knowing this. Hooray.
Lucy is caught in the string for the blinds and needs my help. Now she's hollering. It's pretty funny.
It's now ten minutes later. She basically helped herself out of it when I came over and said, "Now walk over this way." She's eating stuffing out of a plastic container. Megan said she was going to make a Carb Bomb yesterday. I guess she did.
I used to drink half the espresso in our Moka in one go, and then the other half later. That was getting me too hpyed up, too caffeinated. I mean, caffeine is the reason I drink coffee, but I like it kinda medium-weak. Lots of water, a bit of milk. Now I split it into three cups--it lasts longer, and I feel better.
It's now twenty minutes later. Lucy walked in with her big girl cup of orange juice and proceeded to spill it all over the carpet. Then when I go into the kitchen to get a towel I see a bunch of it on the kitchen floor too. I can tell she felt bad about it, cause I wasn't overly loud or forceful when I said, "Lucy, Lucy, Lucy.... you're spilling orange juice. No spills!" and it made her cry a lot. She's now drinking it herself, and being very careful not to spill. Lesson learned.
She even whimpers when she wants to grab it, cause she's afraid she'll spill. What a little beans. I love my daughter.
Gosh, I could talk about Lucy all day. I love documenting what happens in this household. Apartmenthold.
She's looking at a garbage truck right now, out the window. She brought me a book to read, and we were reading it, and she was even interested and engaged, but when that old familiar garbage truck sound came from the direction of the window, I knew there was magic a-brewing. She ran to the window to see the action, and I got a break in reading to her.
Stee the weeple
Manistee is feeble but strong in its poverty
Seattle is strong in its not being Manistee
shut the eyes and it all turns black
my toddler is too big for her crib
work tonight was work-y
I am sick and i hate working whilst sick it gives a bad feeling and you get tired and achy all quick like
Homeways is rightways, eh droogs?
an elbow rests on my elbow, it belongs to a sleeping Meggiwegg who is very pregnant. 4 months at least.
will it be a boy or girl?
Will it be a thing of nature?
Will it grow feet and hands?
I need water
I need everything
Sign of redemption? You know, I just had the chance to re-read it, and I still think it's good. That's relieving to me. That says to me that Hey, maybe you won't get in tons of trouble and everyone will hate you. Maybe. Just maybe. (harps fade in with chimey sounds and it's like you're lifting through clouds with angels floating about vaguely upwards) Maybe... just maybe ...
I could just sit here on my tuffett right now and it wouldn't matter. Well, yes it would, because I'd like to think I hold standards for myself in regards to gettin' er dunn. There are also a bunch of metal riffs I want to record. And I can read a book about motherhood and see that it's clearly geared at me.
I wrote a really long, angry letter today. You ever do that? Write a long, ranting thing that you regret sending pretty much directly after you send it, and without question it gets you in trouble? Well, mine was related to WORK!God.
And that's not the worst part. See, I wrote about something that's been bothering me for a little over a year now, give or take. I didn't realize I was so passionate about it until I started putting my thoughts down on paper, and THEN I began typing! And you know me, the long-winded writer, I just had to make my handwritten short little thing into a long, convoluted tirade.
But this one feels different. This one feels like it was okay to write. I even got permission beforehand. Lately at work I've been seeing tangible results that comes from the power I have, as a long-standing, trusted employee at a small, family-like business. This 'power' I mention is weak on its surface; it is the power of suggestion, I believe we could call it. And I'm certainly not unfirable. O hell no. But I try to do my best, and I think even the servers like me now. Anyway, this all makes me feel better about the brutally honest tirade that recently left the building, and is now out of my hands.
Lucy did not like me ignoring her for so long, but she wouldn't play by herself, either, something toddlers have to learn to do. I'm not that good at disciplining her, I don't think. Not compared to another father I know and respect. I could have taken the time to stop writing, and talk to her and hang out and play with her and say, "Yeah! That's a carrot!" but I was in a really focused typing zone. She's getting bigger. She's starting to talk. Megan was right--the cavalcade of words is on its way. But with this she's also getting more rebellious. And I'm her main squeeze at home all the time, and she's shy and scared of all strangers. So I can see why she wouldn't want to play by herself. However, I don't care.
There was a funny moment when she decided to sit right behind me as I sat on the couch and typed on my laptop. She had her My First Toy Catalogue book. It's a rectangle-shaped soft cover book with lots of drawrings of toys and I hear a *rrrrrip. Then I turn around and, in the midst of my angry-work-typing-composition mindset I tell her that it's bad to rip pages out of books, and don't do that, and that's bad, and I turn around and resume typing and there again it was: *rrrrip. The page was now torn in twain. I guess the only funny part is where she chose to sit.
Oh, this is also funny. The text in the book was changed to, "Racks, dumper trucks, digging up the ground trucks," and "Rag dolls, princess dolls, walking, talking baby trucks."
Megan even came home for her lunch break and I was still typing. I don't know how long I took to do it. Too long for Lucy anyway. Her and I were both irritable by the end of it.
But then I took her outside, we had a nice walk in Cowen Park, she experimented with dangerous hills, puddles, sticks, leaves, rocks, and a river, and she almost ran right into the line of an oncoming car but I grabbed her hood and made her cry I got so mad at her for that and nudged her back towards the sidewalk, and then we came home. I gave her some bacon, and another apple, and some more Sesame Street, and read her Curious George and the Bunny five times or so along with three other books, gave her her two monkeys that she now loves as of the past week, and now she's napping and I'm typing with coffee.
I have to work tonight.
I've got metal riffs to record.
When she walked right out into the street and started running right into the line of that oncoming car, I didn't hesitate to grab her hood, but I was still more late than I think I should have been. Ever since I feel guilty about not grabbing her sooner and I keep having these visions about what might have happened. O, the guilt.
When Lucy was watching Sesame Street before the nap she's in now, I spotted this book Megan had laying on her night stand, I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids, Reinventing Modern Motherhood, and I read the first chapter and a half. Its message is that motherhood is hard, and there's all these expectations, and all the while I was reading it I was like, man women are so dumb. No, just kidding. I actually was relieved to read it myself, being not a mom, but performing the role of a mom. See, even saying that isn't fair. Parenthood is reserved for either sex. But the book made me feel better, even if it is corny and written and edited and geared toward women. It's got a big damn pink frosting cupcake with sprinkles on the cover! But see, that's an elaborate ruse; it represents the expectation of women to always look perfect and say how happy they are and how they have no problems and love everything and their kids are great.
There are some brutal truths revealed in this book. I recommend it to all parents who are having a hard time raising a kid. I mean, I recommend it to all parents.
When I'm down, when the stress is getting to me, when the dishes are piling up, when I feel claustrophobic, I only have to remember that I have a partner in this game.
Thank you, Meggiweg. I will take good care of our kids.
the head is dead
I say my bread
it speaks my lead
Work was fun tonight
It taught me to compartmentalize
And that's no shame
This has been a free verse poem by me
O but it's not done
ladies crowd my house
my luck runneth over
ladies crowd my mind
and the music industry
and writing down what happens
for other people to read, and say,
well I sure am glad
I read what was written
about what happened
it takes a certain kind of special someone
the luck of the draw
the suck of the law
we are tired and sleepy our head is full of pulsing
the computer over there is on while the one in front of me is also on
busy busy busy, until we're not busy anymore
personal, personal, personal, until we're individual
lots can be accomplished by poetry
the black is under my eyes
the lights flash and sparkle
avove my head
my hands keep typing in the morning
there willl be waking sanity
beguiled by a few hours lacking in my normal sleep cycle
what a pity
It turned out to be a poopy diaper that was keeping her up! That's a reasonable reason not to go to sleep. It was sorta my fault, too, then. There's lessons to be learned at every corner life takes you around.
So I gave her a change, let her be up for another half hour or so, let her watch a little Sesame Street, and got her to go to sleep by 3:18. YES! I RULE! A napless Thursday only narrowly avoided.
I really do like the language that's pouring out of her, though. She is always trying to say something. Today at the park, from her swing, she pointed up and said, "Sky!" I was very proud. Sentences of babble spasmodically spew from her. Well, not spasmodically. Very slowly and methodically sometimes; at other times, fast and hurried. Other times it's nonchalant. My kid shows all the emotions that I do. It's crazy. It's amazing. We all operate on very base rules, governed by our emotions. Perhaps true adults are those who let emotions affect them less and less.
Well, my last cup of coffee for the day is done. She's veering close to a no-nap Thursday, but I'll never tell her that. I think we'll give her about two or three more chances to get up. I love to catch her in the act--I'll leave her door open enough for me to be able to peek my head in (i just sneezed and she got quiet--weird), so I can hear her getting up. Then I'll force her back down and hold her down. She of course hates this. I crave it. The power a parent yields! Delicious! Hahahahahahaaaaaaaa
She's been eating cold hot dog, cashews, and apple and drinking water. I didn't even need to put her in the chair to eat. She's certainly getting older. Easier to take care of. I had a moment when she had everything she needed--changed diaper, clothed, tv on, food and water. And I was standing there realizing I had time to myself. I even had my coffee on by that time.
And at that point, I realized that when the second kid is born, there will always be more to do. I will never have that time to myself in the mornings anymore. I mean, Megan's only in her fourth month of pregnancy, and we don't even have the names for potential boy or girl finalized. I think I like Julian or Alice.
I kind of worry more about what a boy's named rather than a girl, I think cause I'm a boy and I know how boyhood goes. It doesn't really matter what someone's name is, tho. Does it. As long as it's not Sue.
Anyway, I'm appreciating my time now while I still have some that's free. I'm looking forward to having another baby. I think we'll let the gender be a surprise this time, too. Megan said recently, "It was fun not knowing," referring to her pregnancy with Lucy. And now that we're here again, I see what she means. It's more natural that way.
A cook friend, who happens to be just as pregnant as Megan is now, said in response to this, "Fuck that. I'm finding out." Then we all laughed. It's her first kid.
I'll tell ya, I sure am less nervous now with this one than I was with the last one. You do it once and it gets easier. Still, my whole life is now a period of waiting to be in that delivery room when the baby's born.
"Somehow I know we'll meet again, not sure quite where, and I don't know just when.
You're in my heart, so until then, it's time for saying goodbye"
"Together again! Now we're here and there's no need remembering when!
Cause no feeling feels like that feeling, together again, together again"-Moss & Burns
Oh, hi there! I was just looking around on MySpace for some pretty sweet bands. And I did found a few. Namely, one called Dark Castle. They're located in Florida, and are comprised of a guitarist and a drummer, both of whom sing. And it's actual singing, too.
What first surprised me was that the sound is really full, for there being just one guitar. He's got it tuned really low, and also plays in this way that's really unique. He makes sure that guitar sounds always fill the space, and if you listen to the way he plays, you'll realize it's not like the usual metal you'll hear. This is the second thing that impressed me--it's not the usual metal you hear. It's almost never in 4/4 time--it's math doom metal! Such a thing is kinda unheard of! I'm really kinda feeling the inner geek in me rise up and want to take a pocket-protected hold.
Wait, it's Nerds who have pocket protectors, right? Aren't geeks the more D&D-types, who don't shower and eat poorly?
I watched as much of Food, Inc. as Lucy could stand. It kinda... scared me. Raw food seems to be the way to go. Sounds like a major adjustment.
I digress. In the process of requesting MySpace brand friendship from Dark Castle, I thought, hm, they're not going to know who I am, so they're going to go to my page and check me out, and what are they going to hear? Well, I haven't been to my own page in a while, let's go see... oh my god, this music sounds like shit! Not poorly-played, mind you--just mixed terribly and recorded with no pre-amp. I submitted this to a community college instructor for credit.... I'm lucky he had an artistic mind. Open to new possibilities. Hah! New possibilities of suck!
Well, here's something I recorded with my new equipment. Copy and paste this into your browser:
It's a short little diddy, and it sounds better than my other stuff. Still needs drums, tho. This is something that was just going thru my head randomly and I wanted to record really quick. It descends into madness shortly after it starts. The lead guitar is way off, too. OKAY!! I KNOW!! IT STILL SOUNDS LIKE SHIT!!
I just remembered something I didn't wrap up.
Anyway, the place was suddenly full of people wanting food at around 11 p.m. Like, two 6tops and a bunch of other smaller orders. My rail went from no tickets full of tickets in about five minutes. I had to stagger the pies going in and out of the oven, and people were having to wait for their food. And that was the second rush we had! The first was a four- or five-hour-long rush that depleted most of our reserves of prepped food. But I gotta say--it's good to make money.
The late rush went pretty well, considering. None of us were prepared for it, and none of us pleased, but that's how it goes. In these situations, there's nothing you can do but work work work. I felt that I was on my A Game all last night, too. I was rocking out those plates and the food was looking good. Except I kept burning sweet potato fries... those things go from ready to eat, to burnt in like three seconds.
Lucy's waking up at 7-7:15 a.m. these days, which means I do too. After the rush last night, it took me until close to 1 a.m. to get everything done. When I got home I had to rush to brush my teeth and get in bed, which is problematic cause I was wired from work, but I also knew Lucy would be up early, so I had no choice. And I couldn't fall asleep until probably around 2.
And she's sick! Little girl is a snot factory today.
At the park a few days ago this grandmother said me that it's going to get hectic when our next kid is born. A newborn and a two-year-old--wow. What were we thinking? That thought kinda kept me up last night. I was lying there in bed, wired and unsuccessfully trying to sleep, worrying about things I don't need to worry about. Jeez.
And I think I've been fighting off a cold for three or so weeks now. It comes out when I don't get enough sleep. I've been drinking a lot of Emergen-C. And coffee. Aah! Coffee's getting cold in the kitchen! gaaah!
I love you, microwave.
There's a meeting at work today. I keep thinking about whether I'm going to address these grievances I have or keep my mouth shut. There's a right and a wrong way to say everything, and I want to make sure I say it right or not at all. Cause if you say it wrong, your cause is lost.
The main purpose of the meeting is to meet our new General Manager. This guy (I forget his name) is going to oversee both the front and back of the house. I hope me can handle it. We P&P employees can sure dish out a lot of shit.