We survived (sorta)! Jennie was on call this weekend and for those who don't know it, that means she was not available to us. Jennie is an OB/GYN at a burgeoning private practice and being on-call means bringing 3-4 new SS#'s into the world each day. I don't know why a weekend alone with the kids seems harder than weekdays, they just are! Perhaps it's because all my life I've been programmed to think of the weekend as free time, time to relax, maybe paint half of the porch steps, and the icing on the cake-stare at some tender morsels of marinated meats & veggies on the grill. Perhaps I should start viewing the weekend like a Thursday. Thursday has been pledging at Phi Wanna BeAWeekend, especially among college-aged folks for years now. Maybe you have a rousing good time on Thursday but it's not the end of the world if you don't. I'll get to work on that. Anyway, we're doing ok. Baxter did his best Jimmy "Superfly" Snooka impersonation off the couch Friday night and ended up a nice shiner on his left cheek. Once again, a sister came to the rescue, this time it was Ashley. Ash is leaving soon on a cross-country road trip with some friends in an attempt to stretch college into the summer (Ashley just reluctantly graduated from Siena last month). Surprisingly, she still needs help reading.
As Jennie & I considered this stay-at-home-dad gig a while back, we considered the remote possibility that Baxter might like daycare better than home life. With all the scheduled snack time, loads of trucks and other fun stuff, who could blame him, right? Thus with no educational training, we sampled some arts & crafts a few days ago. He looks happy, right? (I swear, I let him take a nap as soon as he replicated a Van Gogh).
My 1st week on the job and after a tumultuous beginning, things are going really well. Monday was Jennie's 1st day back at work and she was on call to boot. Thus, I was alone with both kids from mid-morning til roughly 8:30 without her. Luckily, I received some aid from my sister Danielle and sister-in-law Suzanne. Danielle lives with us while attending college and Suzanne makes the occasional 6pm drop-in after work which is officially titled "I'm not here to eat, but......what's that pizza taste like anyway?" Joking aside, I was in need of some help and they both came to the rescue. Baxter had fallen down some steps and received a fresh egg on his head late in the afternoon and both decided to be hungry at the same time...at any rate, each day was an improvement and we're all getting along famously. In fact I may be able to proclaim that I've finally built my uterus, or at least it's a work in progress. What? That's not a common metaphor? Sometime ago, Jennie had an amazing day while a resident on a oncology rotation. "We did the most amazing thing today! Some bad stuff happened (I won't bore or gross you out with actual medical lingo) and we had to build a new uterus out of leftover tissue, some catgut and intense will (feeling inadequate MacGyver?)." My response felt weak before it left my lips. "Well I had to put a large purchase order together for Nalgene because everyone loves those colorful plastic bottles.........nevermind, I got nothing." I relayed this story to a co-worker friend of mine during some cubicle-chat. We were both feeling bummed over the lack of impact our work lives had on societal needs. Inspired, she crafted a motto for us-"Build YOUR Uterus!" She went so far as to write this on my whiteboard. Interestingly, not one person asked what it meant and HR didn't leave any warning slips in my mailbox. Well Melissa, I think I've found my uterine building project!
Editors note-My wife tells me that it's impossible to actually build a uterus, making my recollection a little shady. Thus, I think this motto can also be used by the Gynecologic community. We all need some motivation!
Hardest job you'll ever love, eh? Let's see..... Description-Must be able to multi-task, extreme flexibility needed, irregular and sometimes, non-existent breaks, must handle bodily waste, irritable customers, must be able to lift heavy objects (and they only get heavier) Hours-all of them Salary-volunteership (who needs cash?!) Benefits-watching the fruits of labor develop into a wonderful contribution to society.
In case you're confused, this is the description for the latest job that I've taken--I'm staying home with our two young kids. Don't get me wrong, the Peace Corp is a wonderful program that allows folks to spend a few years sunning themselves in the Pacific, fishing and catching up on 20 years worth of reading. But as the title of this post says, this job has its own brand of unique challanges. Nevertheless, I'm thrilled to be here and don't have any plans currently to leave this post. The decision to do this came after we added Baby Paige to the stable that already includes Baxter (22 months). For the past 14 months, Jennie and I have run in the rat-race known by many. 6am, wake, throw some food in Baxters cage, er, I mean crib. 6:30, get Baxter dressed for daycare 7am, breakfast for the rest of us, make lunches. 7:45-drive to daycare, maybe pick up diapers on the way and a 4th cup of coffee. 8:30-5 work (blah, blah). 5:15-pick up Baxter, race home. 5:45-make nutritious dinner while fending off a ravenous Baxter. 6:45-15 minutes of play, then up to the bath. 8pm-Baxter in bed, clean up kitchen. 9pm-plans for gym are scraped, retire to couch with bowl of favorite B&J's.
You know the Jerry Greenfield saying? "If it's not fun, why do it?" I worked at Ben & Jerrys and this resonated with our situation. Anyway, you get the idea.....I'm now the chief household manager.
I'll leave you with this.....my research of stay at home dads revealed that we (the dads) don't really like the moniker "Mr Mom". While this doesn't personally offend yours truely, I feel good knowing that someone is watching my back in defense of insensitive nicknames.