MAY 10, 2011
It's official. Doing this non-stop hurts.
The cooking and cleaning bit is piss easy. So easy in fact that some days I don't even bother cleaning (it makes sense to those that know what I'm talking about...). Add if I can't think of anything to cook I can always decide that it's pizza night. What a hero. But the mental part of it isn't. Not having a break actually makes me angry and tired. It's not the imagination part - the playing weird games thing isn't difficult. It's the balancing act part of it. One of my kids is fifteen months old, and the other is almost four years old. So what sets them off is completely different and happens at different parts of the day. So it takes a lot of effort to keep all the plates spinning all day long.
This is particularly vital because my daughter is a cat. Meaning that she'll be curled up nice and snug on my lap very contently. I'll glance down and tell her that I love her. She'll smile and look up at me smiling. At which point she'll suddenly go absolutely fucking mental. A few days ago I handed her a Popsicle. A few moments later she tried to stab me in the eyes with it. Because it was "too cold." She also got her head stuck in the arm-part of a sweater last week but would not listen to reason when I explained it was not the head-hole. Instead she started growling like a feral-panther and screamed, "I DO NOT HAVE AN ARM ON MY HEAD." for a good thirty minutes. Stuff like that. There is nothing on this Earth more beautiful than my little girl (edit: scrub that - I forgot about sausages). I have developed a love for her that I doubted a cynical and distant person like me even had in me. So it makes it all the more painful when she loses it because in that moment she is convinced that even though I told her that I love her that actually I'm somehow being mean. By giving her a Popsicle.
Needless to say it is exhausting. And nothing - NOTHING - is more infuriating than spinning those plates for twelve hours straight each day only to have my wife come home and clumsily stomp all over them. This happens quite often. It's not really my wife's fault in any way. She get's home around 6pm now. For the two hours before that I try not to feed the kids even though they want food and ignore them a little to get cleaning and cooking done. Then we can eat dinner like a family does. So they are a tad fragile. As am I.
At least the one thing I do love and will never tire of is the imagination part of the day. Pretending to fight Dr. Bonk, or that my arm is a snake ("with a watch on it's head so it knows what time to bite me!") is probably the kind of thing I'd be doing if I stayed home by myself anyway. Pretending things is fun. And sometimes it is sweet. My daughter has started playing a game where she might freeze with a silly face unless I kiss her cheek. Cute no? And she started wanting to make a giant fake-bed on the living room floor so we could all pretend to be on a boat bed and the only way to not sink was to read books and cuddle. Very nice. That changed of course when my daughter realized a better game would be trying to sink the boat.
Daughter: Daddy - you hide under the blanket and we can play Cuddle Club!!
Me: Awww that sounds really nice.....Okay!!! I'm under!!!
Daughter: Okay.....CLUB CRUSH GO GO GO!!!11!!
Quite what I'm going to do after being a stay-at-home Dad is anyone's guess though. I am educated. And I've been excellent in all my jobs - even the one I was fired from. That sounds dumb but I was. But I'm intending to be at home with my son until he goes to pre-K. That's three years away. What applicable job skills am I learning? What things am I missing out on? All the new software all companies use will pass me by. I'll be an interview and they'll ask me if I can use the latest edition of Lotus Notes. And I'll have to say that I can't, but sometimes I lie on the floor and my daughter pours pennies all over me, she climbs on top and pretends to be a dragon.
Some things make no sense though. I've started playing real Hide and Seek with my daughter. But she gets confused. The other day we had been playing a good ten minutes all over the house. She'd just found me under the duvet in bed so it was her turn to go hide. At which point she chose......under the duvet in the bed as her awesome place to hide. She seemed genuinely surprised that I found her so quickly. As in she actually shook with surprise that when she yelled she was ready that I slightly moved my hand and touched her right next to me.
Another game we have started to play is Superheroes - where I am the Bad Guy and my kids are the Super Heroes. At the start we all get names. My daughter opted to call herself Sausage Boy, and her brother Potato Leg - the twist being that he isn't a Super Hero, but his leg is. I was dubbed The Fattest Noodle Ever. The game was doing okay until my daughter started randomly bringing up stuff that she'd learned from planting food gardens with us last year. Meaning that just when it seemed that Sausage Boy and Potato Leg were about to squash The Fattest Noodle Ever, Potato Boy was overcome with a serious case of Black Dot potato disease and she insisted on taking him to the doctor to get his foot cut off.
Outside of imagination when I do need some time to myself I can pop the TV on. I have actually taken to a few TV shows myself. Sesame Street - and this is a huge cliche - is a damn good show. Most everything else that is on is pretty dire, but that's good stuff. It's actually kind of fun to see the guests come on - people I'm aware of in wider culture, but my kids don't - and gleefully goof around with giant puppets. I genuinely think it is pretty cool to have a narrowly famous, but very talented French Canadian (and ridiculously hot, by the way) pop singer like Feist on there. My daughter also has a thing at the moment for a show called The Magic Schoolbus. Which is patently awful. The very fact that the kids are supposed to refer to their teacher as The Frizz makes me cringe to the point of queasiness. Clearly that's some guys wet dream that he is such a cool super-awesome teacher in kids eyes that they give them a good nickname, instead of the awful ones they usually get. I'm betting the kids called the teacher The Jizz or something like that in real life.
My daughter's current favorite TV show is starting to grate due to the amount of PC, overtly liberal shiny-happiness and post modernist crap it tries to cram into itself. It's called Sid The Science Kid and is on PBS. It's about a boy - half white/Jewish and half black/Latino (I'm honestly unclear as they sometimes give his mother a Latino twang, and sometimes they don't)- who attends some sort of special kindergarten Science school. The school is led by an English-isn't-my-first-language teacher, and only has four kids that attend it. One kid is Latino, one is Asian, one is Sid and the other is what can only be described as Special. He even has ginger hair. The program started off in earlier episodes with Sid asking basic questions about things he observed (why does food rot/why don't my shoes fit anymore) and the teacher showing them through Science how that happened. And by Science I mean not really - it's pretty poor in that respect, but it's heart was in the right place. But it has now morphed into a checklist of safe sanctimonious liberal feelgood things that all kids must learn (how to conserve trees/why recycling will save the world/why wind and water-power are the only altruistic ways to power the Earth) in order to be good citizens. It's a pretty good show but seems to be a vehicle to have the main voice-actress teach kids wishy-washy PC concepts by singing shit songs, and having the Special kid act like a twat for cheap laughs. I think that there are actually only two people that do all the voices. It is the cartoon version of one of those college students you knew who was into yoga/banner painting/making home-made dream-catchers and dressing it up as science.
But at least it isn't Barney. Why in God's name does he have to sound like that? He is beyond irritating. He's the Newt Gingrich of children's TV (without the arrogance and aversion to cancerous women). Someone has insisted that he is popular and important, but I haven't met anyone who actually likes him. Every single thing in the show is horrible. The kids are those over-acting twee ones you see sometimes. And they are always dressing up the creepy dinosaurs that unquestioningly wander about the town they live in. Singing shit songs as they do so as well.
Alright. I guess it's pizza night.
Daily Dump - Colonoscopy