Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Mysterious Toe

MAY 28, 2011

Before I continue I know that with a title like the above that there will be some very disappointed foot fetish fans who have come here via a Google search. All I can say to you is that this a wholesome family Journal that deals with purity and innocence. There is no filth here. And certainly nothing remotely as weird as the frankly odd obsessions you have with bunions and shoe odor. Please close your browser and take your habits elsewhere. Perhaps try the Foot Locker website.

Anyhoo - back to purity. You know, the only thing ickier than changing a fifteen month old boy covered in his own feces is changing a fifteen month old boy with a boner covered in his own feces. Actually on reflection it would be much ickier if it was someone else's feces. Anyway - just to clarify I am talking about my own child. And weirder still I don't remember him eating black mashed-bananas, curdled ricotta cheese and a cup of fish oil. And yet there it was. On the plus side it did get me thinking about a Dip recipe.

This morning my daughter wanted to lie around in bed. Which is weird because she has the same feelings about bed as I do - if you aren't asleep then get up. And if you wake up - no matter what time it is - then sleep is over. Three in the morning? Oh well - you're awake so time to get up. She didn't want to be alone though so I and my son had to go lie around as well. Normally this would mean my daughter trying to wrestle my son, and them both pummeling me for fun. Instead my daughter came up with a game called Refrigerator. In which we choose what kind of fruit we want to be, she covers us with the duvet, and then we turn into it. Except I have to put on a shirt that is the same color as it. I ran out of shirts quickly so she had to think of something more in a pink skin tone. After a few rounds of this ("wow you turned into a bacon-berry Daddy!!) she played The Daddy Head wherein I am just a head, and everything under the duvet doesn't exist at all. Which, if she did some quick Wikipedia research, would really destroy any concerns she may have actually earned through the frantic daily warnings about the pervasive threat of asbestos aired on her kids TV channel. After that Sophie The Onion Sniffer played Wake Up with The Potato Monster for awhile, and then I busted out The Mysterious Toe. It's a genius game because it involves everyone lying very still while my toes poke out from the bottom of the duvet. I then claim that if we move or make any noise my big toe might actually fall off. This lasted for a few minutes until somehow the rules changed to involve the fact that my big toes had been possessed by monsters and can only be stopped by squashing them. It didn't take long for me to decide it was time to get up after that.

At which point my daughter told me - with no build up at all - that she missed her Mommy. She tried really hard not to cry but she couldn't hold it in. She had done fantastically for the six weeks or so that I'd been home, but she'd reasoned it through. And it is hardly a surprise - for three and a half years she had spent almost every minute of her life with her mother. Her Mommy is her best friend. And, pretty obviously, her Mommy as well. And now she doesn't see her until 6pm every day. For awhile she didn't even see her twice a week at all because my wife wasn't getting home from work until after 10pm. And after trying this for 6 weeks she'd come to understand that it just plain old sucked to not see Mommy. I tried to make her feel better but she's right - it does suck. It wasn't accidental that my wife and I decided to live off one income - mine - for four years. My wife had and demonstrably has vastly more earning potential than I do. But neither of us could understand the logic of paying huge sums of money to someone else to raise our children - and therefore none of us growing up together - in the interests of us both earning money. Financially we could afford to do it our way. And I don't mean I made loads. Because I haven't ever done so. We just looked at costs and income and it worked as long as we didn't piss money away on new TVs every month and useless shin crap every pay check. It blew my mind every day when people I worked with - who earned the same salary I did and their partner also earned a salary - would comment that we were very lucky to be able to afford to have one parent stay home. It's not luck -it's a choice. Make changes, and you can make it work. Don't blow it all on shit. Make it work. Life for my kids was every bit as rich and worthwhile with less money - and even more so because it included being with their mother every minute of the day. We chose that. We chose to have very little money so that my kids would be happier. It was pretty easy.

But after getting unceremoniously canned in my last proper job my wife had looked for work and was working. At a damn good job. And quite honestly loving it. She is the smartest person I've ever met - and her brain needs to be moving at all times. She went to school forever, wowing people along the way, because she enjoyed the learning and application of knowledge. Raising kids is a whole different entity than running a research lab. Although from what I've learned it involves the same amount of tantrums, making things up, people pissing their own pants and needing someone else to clean shit off their legs. But now she's back working full time. And after four years of modesty suddenly the financial side of things is nuts. We were all used to living to a small budget. We weren't poor at all. Poor is a frame of mind. But now we earned almost three times more than we had been. We could afford a second car. And brand name foods. To take trips. Better - to pay off our house loan in two years. We'd be totally and completely debt free - no loans, no mortgage, nothing. That is a gift to my kids that we just could not say no to. And it is a huge gift - when I was a kid my parents divorced. Three months later the bank took everything we owned. Everything. Now, with my wife's salary and living pretty much the way we had been for years we could give my kids total financial security before my son even went to pre-K.

Yet we still strongly felt that one of us - at the very least - should raise our kids. In their own home. Besides - if I was still working every penny I owned would go to daycare. And that makes no sense of any kind. So this is still new. And I'm not Mommy. For one my tits are nowhere near as fantastic. The unbridled glee on my son's face when my wife comes home completely overshadows his reaction when I came home from work. But the abject misery on his face the few times we have ever dropped him off at day-care was just awful. And no we aren't those kind of parents that can't leave their kids. This isn't based on naked emotions - it's reason.

So we will all figure this out. My daughter goes to school in two months. At which point her world will be completely and totally different. She will instantly have twenty new friends in one day. The only way I could do that was if I started playing Mafia Boss on Facebook or was throwing an elaborate orgy.

Okay - time to go poke a puppy at the pet store.

Daily Dump - Dr. Thunder

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