Monday, November 9, 2009

First Day of a New Job

Today was my first day at a new job, which you know if you are not blind or not currently suffering from a debilitating disease that prevents you from reading titles. I am working as a mentor/tutor to at-risk youth at a local high school. It is a pretty nice gig all in all--I work while my oldest kids are at school, so I get to use my brain and all of that, but I'm still around a lot to keep Sam in pants and to hear about the daily drama that surrounds my daughter who may or may not emit a loud squeaking sound that only draws tweens with severe personality disorders.

Being a working mom is something that I have always done, save for last year when I stayed home with Sam to get him ready for kindergarten and get us all acclimated back to the east coast after a move from California. I was miserable last year. That does not mean that I think all SAHM's are miserable or should be or anything like that--it is just not for me. To be honest, I was not a good mom when I was a SAHM. I was bored, I was constantly looking for an escape, I was grumpy because I wasn't happy with myself, I was obsessive. Not fun. When I am working, I feel more "together." I am able to accomplish more with less time, and I feel more fulfilled. I manage everything better. Most importantly, I feel better about myself, and I think that bleeds down to the kids.

However, I have a two month old. Being away from her is hard. Really hard. I am an EBF (exclusive breastfeeder for those of you who do not frequent The Bump's message boards--and God love you if you don't), and that just adds a whole new facet to the hardness of the situation. I had to walk in to my new job today (which is at a high school that is literally busting at the seams--there is no room at this school for anything) and ask for a place to pump. That was not cool. Thankfully, the guidance counselor was super awesome and by the end of the day had found me a great spot with a locking door (!) and little to no foot traffic. However, the whole issue of pumping makes me feel awful that I'm not here to do it the old-fashioned way. Alice is not a big fan of the bottle so every time I sat down to pump today I felt this wave of guilt.

But then I got home and my mother in law had picked up the kids and they were so happy and awesome and my mother in law told me that I looked pretty in my work clothes, which strangely made me feel nice. And then I lifted Alice out of her carseat and she just started cooing at me. She sat on my lap and it was just like she was telling me about her day--what she had done, who she had seen. Her eyes were really big and I just felt so thankful at that moment for her and for Gabby and Sam and for the job and for the daily chaos that I so gladly immerse myself into. So yeah, the guilt sucks, but I can deal with it for moments like those. And that's corny and sounds like the cathartic moment in a really bad movie starring Tea Leoni as an overworked mom who finds nirvana in the smile of an infant...sorry about that.

I should go to bed. I'll just be honest and say that the only reason I am typing this is because I wanted to stay up past 10:00. And why? Because I didn't want to seem like an old lady who goes to bed before 10:00. Yes, that's right. I am literally fighting sleep and I feel like absolute crap, but I will not go to sleep. I don't know what the magical thing about 10:00 is. But for some reason that's my line--I absolutely refuse to go to bed before 10 unless I a) have the ful or are b) dead. At least until I can receive some sort of health care benefits from the government. And with my generation's luck, I'll be at least 667 before that happens. Thanks, baby boomers.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Post in Which I Compare My Children to Condiments

So why the hell are you doing this? Another blog? Dude, seriously, you've had like three blogs, and you kinda just flaked on all of them, and now you're typing another one? On a really crappy laptop that may or may not eat the blog at any time and leave you sputtering and shouting and cursing the internet and life and the good people at Dell who created this monstrosity? Aren't you kinda just damning your own mental health which, at times, is fragile at best and downright debilitated at worst?

Yeah well. These are the things my husband is probably thinking, or would be thinking, if he knew what I was doing right now. Actually, in all honesty, he probably wouldn't be thinking anything, he'd just roll his eyes and immediately go back to playing a game he downloaded off the Playstation Network called Fat Princess. Yes, folks. Fat Princess. And I am the one deserving of an eye roll for starting a blog.

That sounded mean. Let me just say that I'm not a mean person, not to my husband or to anyone really. In fact, I wish I were meaner. Much meaner.

I will say, though, that if you like the game "Fat Princess" you probably will not like this blog. You should just go click on something else. I think you guys have message boards or something that you can be looking at. Anyway, yeah, you won't like this because guess what? I hate Fat Princess. Why? Because no matter where I am in my house, I hear some damn uppity sounding voice saying, "WE HAVE THE PRISONER!" all the effing time. ALL THE TIME! "THE PRINCESS HAS BEEN RESCUED!" REALLY?!? HAS SHE? Because if this were Mario, that would be the end of the fucking game and I wouldn't have to hear that shit any more. But no...Fat Princess goes on and on as long as dudes in their basements across America keep logging on to their Playstations to play it. "KEEP THE TATER TOTS COMING, MOM! I'VE GOT TO SAVE THE PRINCESS! THE FAT ONE!" Yeah. This is my life, people.

That sounded mean. Like I said, I'm not mean. At all.

So...why the blog? First off, because I need a hobby. I am one of these people who doesn't have anything. Seriously. I don't play video games (although I do own a Wii Fit which I get on every few days so that it can scold me for not logging on everyday), I don't read comic books, I don't read popular novels (I have never read either The Da Vinci Code or Harry Potter, and no, I'm not the pretentious tool bag that that makes me sound like). I don't knit, I don't play Bridge (but really...who does?), I don't own a motorcycle. Basically all I can do is bake and write and remember song lyrics, mostly, it seems, to 80's power ballads.

And also because I have three kids. And they are awesome. And I want to write some of the stuff about them so that I remember it later, like when I'm old and successful and at some cocktail party hosted by a lady named Buffy and need a good story to tell that involves a nearly nude six year old and a scythe. Because I totally have one of those.

My kids are:

1) Gabby. The oldest at 10. Gabby is wise, perhaps a bit too much for her own good. If I had to compare Gabby to a condiment, she would be vinegar. I'm serious. She is sharp and pungent; she is mostly wonderful to have around, but sometimes she can be a little...much. Again, not mean. Just truthful. I adore her more than anything. And the "much" thing arises from her being 10 years old and female. If you have (or know or have ever seen) a 10 year old girl, you know what I mean. And, yes, I know it gets worse. I was a lot worse. I was a heinous, heinous adolescent. So I have a lot to look forward to. It's a good thing that I like her or else I would be driving to New York to find Elliot Stabler so that he could raise her or at least keep her out of trouble and away from all the shady characters whose constitutional rights he routinely tramples on. And yes, if you know who Elliot Stabler is, you are going to freaking love this blog.

2) Sam. Middle child and only boy at 6. If Sam were a condiment, he would be pure unadulterated sugar. Sam is just sweet. And cuddly. And energetic. And charasmatic. I constantly want to hug him and eat him up and SIT ON HIM BECAUSE DEAR LORD ALMIGHTY THE KID HAS ENERGY. Just an example--he cannot sit down. He literally paces around the living room while watching TV. And you're thinking, "Whatever, sure, my kid moves a little too," but you have not seen this kid pace my living room. It is odd. I'll just say it. And he calls it "thinking." As in, "Mom, I'm thinking" pace pace pace. For like hours. It's disturbing. But he's really cute, so I just say, "Ok, Sam!! Great!" and move on with my life, because seriously, what else should I do? Until I find out that Jeffrey Dahmer's parents allowed him to pace around the living room ad nauseum and that is when he developed that great desire to put a human head in his freezer, I will let the kid move around.

3) Alice. Family lump at 2 months. Alice is new and lovely and fatfatfat. She weighs 15 lbs. which is fat for a two month old, which I guess I didn't really know although I have two other kids. She's just big. Alice doesn't really have a personality yet, as far as I can tell, except for the one that I give her in my mind which is that of an unemployed Scotch drinker who routinely unbuttons the top button on his trousers while he settles in for yet another episode of Matlock. What else can you think about a person whose every belch seemingly comes from her toenails and rumbles out with all the force of an 18 wheeler on a California freeway? Anyway, Alice is the kind of baby that makes you want to have 15 others. Seriously. She's that good. She sleeps a lot, and she smiles a lot, and things are just generally good with her. She just makes you feel good and warm. She is the human equivalent of booze.

And yes, I just compared my infant daughter to alcohol. If my mother in law finds this blog EVER, I guess I will not be getting the nice AmEx gift card I got last year for Christmas.

An interesting point that may give you some insight into the author of this blog: my mother would not mind that I compared her grandchild to alcohol. She has probably compared me to alcohol as well and also probably to "napalm," "bubonic plague," and "that disease where your skin is covered with running sores." Just kidding! She loves me! Right, mom?!?

Anyway, so I am starting a blog. I will hopefully have pictures on it (ooohh...and maybe then I'll get in my flying car while the family robot makes me a square meal packed into a pill!), but first I have to learn how to operate our family's digital camera, which I do not understand and allow my husband to fiddle with. I should be embarassed of that, shouldn't I? I am setting feminism back 20 years by not having the good sense required to operate a digital camera, huh? Plus, our pictures end up getting stranded on there because the hubster is playing something called Fat Princess. Yes, I'm back there again. Harumph.