Monday, September 17, 2007

soccer mommin' the ozone / oh my back / does anyone else find not having a job somewhat terrifying?

i'm super soccer mom chauffeur now, wake up at 6am, 8 am, drive my K-gartner to school, next if I haven't had time to stretch that morning I take the the toddler with me to the chiropractor because my back has been totally fucked up after the occurrence of a really disturbing extended family matter, ie. mucho stress + bad dreams = crappy sleep, speaking of which add to that a couple of weekends in a row out of town and not on my fancy Tempur-Pedic mattress and pillow which I've become addicted to, so now every morning I wake up, my back is on lone from a 67 year-old day laborer and if I don't stretch or go to the chiropractor or get a massage it takes about seven to eight hours for my back to loosen up.
Anyway I pick my K-garter up at 2:25pm, then take the toddler to an after school program* cross town at 3pm, and also at 3pm take the big boy to taekwon-do on Monday and Wednesday & soccer on Friday, it's amazing how I can clone myself and be in two places at once, the good thing is that my house is in the middle of all of these activities so if necessary and if we don't get caught in traffic we have about 5 to 10 minutes in which to do a drinks, uniform change and bathroom drive-by. Also the after school pre-school program, the soccer bubble and the dojang are all in the same part of town though not a walkable distance from each other, god I drive a lot now, there's some public transit where I live, but not for this kind of in-town shit, plus kids on public transit = a major pain in the ass.
I stay at the big boy's activities rather than driving home for 20 minutes and then driving back, then a couple of hours later at 5:30pm I pick up the little guy from his program, so again, for someone who drove like once every 5 to 7 months for 13 years this is a lot of driving.

*do to the fact that my wife and I are too lame to check our answering machine, particularly when we are out of town, I missed a message about my toddler making it to the head of the waiting list to go to pre-school full-time, which would have given me many many more hours of "free" time to research, pick, apply and go to grad school during the daylight hours, plus more time for my household duties, but for some reason we're too important for phone messages so we missed out on that opportunity. Oh yeah, we were on the waiting list even though we could have gotten him signed up in advance due to his older brother attending the school, but at first my wife didn't think we should pay for him to go full-time pre-school if I wasn't attending full-time grad school, and my easily abandoned stick-to-it-tiveness and anemic persuasive powers didn't push the matter, so by the time my wife brought up the idea that it would be helpful if we sent our toddler to school full-time the program was full-up.
I actually think it's better for him to start part-time anyway though, being the "caregiver" I've gotten kind of use to subjugating my larger artistic and career aspirations to the needs of the family, and surprisingly after a rough year or two, I'm much more at peace not trying to accomplish anything grand outside of the home, life's ridiculously busy, and in someways less fun, or I should say less adult fun-ish, but I don't trip out on supervisor, co-worker, getting ahead bullshit, so it's a fair trade-off.

The two stressor / fears I do deal with are, sometimes it's terrifying not having career, no less a job, like what the hell would I do if my wife died? Where's all the insurance papers? I think I'd get enough in survivor benefits to pay off the house, or was that the benefits from her old job or new job, well her new job is like a year-old now. I haven't had a real job in five years, and I wasn't on the fast track even then, would I have to just take what ever job I could get to make ends meet, then I'd be a widow with two kids and a crappy job, great prospects there, I'd need to go to grad school to actually get moving on a career that I was interested in, but if I was the sole bread winner, we couldn't afford for me to go to grad school, plus therapists with MSW's don't make a whole lot of money, would I have to do something totally different? And forget trying to date with all of that shit going on ...
The other thing that I fear is since things are going pretty well for me and kids with this stay @ home dad gig, and like I said I'm pretty at peace with myself and my situation, family, wife etc., whereas the whole rest of my life I compulsively questioned every aspect of my life, "did I chose the right school, town, wife, job," no matter if things were going well or not, I'm afraid that changing everything now may lead to me being less satisfied with life, and being a worse parent because I wouldn't be able to devote the vast majority of my energies to it, plus for the foreseeable future my wife would still be working her mega-pharma-corporate job, so she'd still be working daily overtime and be totally physically and emotionally spent at the end of 3 outta 4 work days, so the kids would definitely be getting a lower quality of parenting once I started grad school and later began work. Add to that the fact that our kindergartner breaks out in hysterical tears at the mere mention of my going to school or getting a job, "I don't want you to go!" "But buddy, I want to help people who need it, I'll be helping them to have better lives," "I don't want you to help people, you're suppose to help me!" and honestly it goes on like that for a few hours after the subject is ever broached.
Lastly another less pressing fear, how we are going to see to fruition my wife's desire to down-size her stressful career to something more manageable,while pursuing her other dream of super-sizing our house while staying in our very very expensive town, all while I still have no desire to take on the stress of a high paying corporate career, if I even could at this late date?

Friday, September 14, 2007


My 5 year old son is now in kindergarten, his school is known for having a number of international students.
Apparently there is a french girl in his class, and he told my wife that he was trying to "speak french to her" which means the made up faux french babblings of a five year old, and she didn't understand him, I can just image the confused look on the face of this little girl in her first week of school in a new country while my mini Casanova kicks his best Pepé Le Pew verbiage in her direction.

He asked Mommy what he should do and she told him that Daddy speaks much more french that she does, so he asked me what he should say and I came up with "bonjour mademoiselle."
He had yesterday off, so he's been practicing that phrase for the past 36 hours and turned it into a mantra on the way to school today, so here's wishing him bonne chance in his endeavors into international preschool affection.