Friday, January 6, 2012

The Chill Pill

My wife says I have rage-ahol.

I was told a while ago by a friend of the family that staying home with kids will make you insane. After reassuring him that wasn't something I was still waiting for he reiterated that one of the most important things you need is a break. And not just for yourself. Morning until night every single day without any sort of break in proceedings just makes you nuts. My wife usually tells me to bugger off for thirty minutes or so on the weekend to get some alone time. This last month I don't think that happened. Same for her too mind you - she's been exhausted with work and not having the time to actually rest on a weekend. If I can get her a lie in tomorrow morning and maybe even a nap (gasp!) at some point she'll be quite happy.

This past week though I've been quite snappy. I've been a little under the weather and evidently easy to tip over the edge. I seem to have found myself in situations that make me rage with annoyance. Not gross injustices or anything like that - just little things that piss me off to such a rageful degree that my wife feels the need to tell me that she may need to put me in idiot-mittens and a muzzle and rock me to sleep. Feel free to judge me in the harshest light that you can muster when I explain these things.

First off I've had to use plastic wrap two or three times this week. Yes - that makes me furious. And yes - you can keep laughing at me. I have no idea which fool was applauded for making this stuff but it doesn't work as intended. I try to pull it out of the box and break it neatly on the metal teeth but that doesn't happen. Instead it sort of breaks off and then automatically sticks to itself. By the time I try to stretch it over the food I'm trying to put in the refrigerator it's a total loss. It can't be unwrapped now - it's useless. So instead of chucking that bit away and trying again I will seethe with anger and may even let out a primal gorilla-whelp. After screwing up the remaining cling-film wrap into an even smaller ball I actually stomped across the room with the dish of food and threw it into the garbage. At which point I simultaneously had two intense feelings. The first being, "Up yours you twat - I didn't want to eat that again anyway you useless stupid bastard." The second being, "oh go ahead and waste all that food because precious little you can't work plastic-wrap. For shame." It's very advisable not to be around me if I have to use plastic wrap because the intense rage I will experience may lead me to lash out and kill you just for judging me. But not with cling-film though. I couldn't suffocate you with it if I even wanted to.

Secondly I was in the basement this week and was bitten by a mosquito. In January. While it was -18 Celsius outside and was snowing. I heard the little shit buzz past my ear and went into a twitching fit. I may have actually threatened it. I know that I yelled, "YOU FUCKING DARE!!" at it. It did dare - it bit me on the arm. Which made me angrier. I opened the basement door and considered just leaving it open until it was freezing down there and he and all his little bastard friends would die of exposure. Instead I went upstairs and moaned about it.

Thirdly the garbage men violated my garbage cans. I'm not even talking about them driving into them. No - they put one inside the other and now I can't get them separated. I've tried every method I can think of and got no movement at all. At which point my neighbor enjoyed his drive-by of my house watching my ragefully trying to throw the garbage cans up a tree. That's the behavior of a pillock.

The last thing is fair game in my mind. My daughter has one of those plastic outside playhouses. You have to slot it all together in a particular fashion. It's not difficult to get each individual piece together in any way, but once you bash another piece into it then it naturally wants to fall apart. Add that you need to be an octopus to hold all four walls, the two parts of the roof and the chimney together whilst bashing it all in place. I had managed to move it to just outside the back door and was keeping some winter stuff in it (rock salt and shovels and stuff like that). But my cat goes outside and it's very cold so I wanted to move the house so she could hide in it. My wife - being who she is - has obviously drawn up a construction plan of an insulated house she is going to build (complete with home-made heating pad) and bought materials to make one. Anyhoo I moved the house around the side closer to a basement window - and it started falling apart. I spent twenty minutes in the freezing cold trying to whack it back together and the roof kept splitting open. After another three or four minutes I, "got the rage" and kicked it. There's a hole in the bottom of it now. The roof is only just touching and the cat hasn't been in it yet. Ungrateful sow.

It's been a bit like that all over. I'll see my daughter sitting in my chair and thinking about spinning it (which isn't allowed because she always catches the computer cables and might pull it off the table) and will well-up with annoyance. My son will go into full-whinge when I deny him more juice. Which pisses me off because he gets told the same damn thing every day - juice in the morning and that's it. So it's an act I have no time to entertain. When my daughter chances her arm at 7am for an ice-cream sundae I'll obviously laugh right into her little face. But then she'll act like I'm being completely unreasonable and I don't have any tolerance at all for these games right now. I'm not even mentioning the spilled full bowl of popcorn, my son's proclivity to bite his sister at the moment or the helpful Brown Shame he plopped out onto my brand new floor yesterday when he whipped his pants off on the way to the bathroom. No - because if I did I'd seem like a childish fool in comparison to people dealing with real issues like poverty, cancer and the loss of loved ones. Spilled popcorn and shit ranks a little lower on the scale than they do.

So yeah - I need an hour just doing something else. Naturally this has led to some asking if I'm so irritated that I'd think about going back to work. Well no - I'm not mental. I'm missing the day-today nonsense of work. The chatting, mingling and doing stuff for someone else is always good. And measurable achievements are nice. But arseholes at work are infinitely more irritating than arseholes at home. And here I'm the boss (this is where my wife laughs). Add the fields of work I've been involved in over here haven't exactly filled my family with joy. I did three kinds of insurance work. And yes - I can confirm it is almost entirely about evil. Also the death insurance I was involved in was grim and unpleasant. My direct family saw I was unhappy doing that work and my related family thought I was doing work women normally do these days. The other work I did was just back-office stuff for a huge multi-state phone company but my in-laws still managed to make it seem less worthwhile by insinuating that even that was work that women should do. When I countered it once I was asked, "don't you work in a call center?" Well no I don't. But even if I did that doesn't make that argument okay. It greatly suggested that they thought call centers were like those black and white movies of War Women all sat in long lines operating phones so men could go out and kill foreign scum. So I don't worry about that much. Being a stay-at-home Dad doesn't emasculate me in my own mind but I've seen the look of despair my in-laws give when they have to actually acknowledge that this is what I do. They have that kind of attitude that if a mother stays home it's good for your kids, but if a father stays home their chances of contracting gayness increase tenfold.

This country seems to have a lot of fields that are very gender specific for no reason. Go into your local bank - everyone who works there is female. Same for any office work seemingly. I remember telling my family years back that I was going to apply for a job at the local AAA office and I got the, "that's the sort of thing ladies do" response. I'm sure my in laws would rather see me doing construction, police work or whatnot. Which is odd because my wife has always worked in very male-dominated fields. She was always either the only female or in a tiny minority. Oddly where she is now there are more women but it's still through a prism of maleness. So she works with men and I work with women. This last week she complained that her arms hurt (from laying flooring) so I teased her that she was probably at work lifting weights with the men trying to fit in. She joked back that they let her hang around to do the spotting. You can't make those jokes about where I worked. There was only one kind of spotting in the places I worked and I don't want to help anyone out with that thanks.

So I'll take my hour of recuperation (as will my kids from me) and then I'll get back to this job refreshed. Of course right now I have to go outside and try to separate the garbage cans.

With an axe, if I have to.

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