Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Office, Part Deux.


After some earlier convincing on my part, my husband just entered the kitchen with a proposition:  In exchange for turning the playroom into The Office, he came up with a few conditions (which were open to negotiations).  The first two shall remain nameless and descriptionless, as they were both rated at least PG-13.  Those two conditions were easy:  yes, and yes.

Onto the third topic of negotiations:  if he says yes to turning the playroom into an office, I have to paint his office at work.

Let me stop for just a moment and revisit a topic I think I've written about in the past.  I'll title this segment, "Men, We're On to You."

Men, we're on to you.  The chores you suck at?  The things you consistently forget to do?  We're on to you.

No one likes taking out the garbage, so your claim of "forgetting" to take out the trash holds no water with us women.  And how you suck at painting?  How your "cutting in" looks like something the dog could do?  We're onto that, too.  We know that you know that if you do a crummy job, you think we're not going to ask you to do it anymore.

But we're on to you.

Two words for you:  Go get your damn paintbrush and quit painting ugly.

(end rant)

During our discussion, he proposed a new, even cooler idea:  Since I just want an office, he said, how about if we just keep the playroom as the playroom, and put up a wall in the house, making the "dining room" into "The Office"???

YES!  I nearly screamed.  Now I finally get those interior French Doors I've always wanted.

I am so in love with this man, I'm going to do all of the original conditions.



Hooray for the office!  Hooray for teamwork!  Hooray for interior French Doors!

We're starting tomorrow ... stay tuned.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Office.

(No reference to Michael Scott.)

I had some unorthodox ideas last night, and they were of the sudden, not-well-thought-out variety that always take me by surprise.  They're the ones you act on before you're even aware of it.  Like changing the living room around, even though you know the whole place works best when it's set up exactly the way it is.  You've probably even tried the furniture in the "new" configuration before, only to find it sucked because no one could see the television from the "improved" vantage point of the couch, but you did it anyway.  Those ideas.  The ones no one can talk you out of, because you just have to see it for yourself.

In a matter of three minutes, I talked myself into moving the desk from the kitchen, creating an office out of the kids' playroom.  This idea has merit--it's been done before--but we'll get back to that in a minute.  The next idea which followed in a logical sequence was then to move the dining room table into the kitchen, creating an eat-in area and freeing up the dining room.  The pinnacle of the "great idea train" then involved creating a playroom in the dining room, using some shelving and storage bins for the kids' toys.



Let me try that again:     :-D

*more crickets*

Yeah, that was my husband's reaction, too.  For the first time in our marriage, I may have found myself regretting the fact that I told him about my idea rather than just doing it like I always do.

And need I remind you of what happened the last time I had an office?  Let me walk you through it.

I had an office.  Bookshelves, desk, computer, painted walls, the whole nine yards.  It took me a while to complete it, because my now-husband and I were in the dating stages back then, but I finally got it finished.  From the window's vantage point, I took pictures of bluebirds and other assorted wildlife; things I could look at from my desk every day while writing my heart out.  I loved that office.  Bookshelves to the left of me.  Doorway to the right of me.  Window right in front of me.  Man, I was going to write my novel there.  The mojo would hit me every time I crossed the threshold.

Quite possibly as soon as 48 hours after the office was officially completed, my boyfriend swept me off my feet into the bedroom, where unbeknownst to us, the following conversation took place:

"Sperm, meet egg.  Egg, meet sperm."

The End.

Well, the end to my office, anyway.

Fast-forward a few months and look at "the office."  There's a crib, and a changing table.  A hanging mobile.  The desk has been put out to the roadside curb.  The scent of books and paper no longer meet you at the door; you now smell baby powder and a hint of tears.  (Mine.)

Fast-fast-faster-forward to today, and the 8-year-old has now moved to the enclosed garage, the baby is in the bigger of the two rooms at the end of the hall, and the ol' office has reverted back to its original form:  the playroom.

"Ka is a wheel," Roland would say.

My new/old idea about gaining an office at the end of the hall?  We've got that all worked out:  when the baby was just 8 weeks old, my husband had his vasectomy.  Maybe--just maybe--so I could have my own office someday.

I can see it now:  a couple of file cabinets, all of which have been impeccably organized.  My new kitchen desk, which I spray-painted a gorgeous shade of oil rubbed bronze.  A swivel chair, white or orange, I can take my pick.  Some artwork.  A couple of plants.  Pictures of the family.  My printer. A baby gate at the door to keep little paws off my printed stuff.

Once again, the smell of paper and ink.

Now, how to effectively incorporate a playroom into the dining area before taking over the world ...

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Let's talk daycare.

Anyone have children in daycare?  Raise your hand if you do, or if you're considering it.

Ahh, you there.  In the corner.  The one with the red-rimmed eyes.  Yes, you.  This is for you.

Daycare kids.  You know the ones.  You can't miss them.  They're the kids with the constant runny noses.  The ones who cry when their parents turn to leave.  They're the ones who come home with bags under their eyes after taking a 15-minute nap, according to their daily report, which has been filled out by a girl who looks too young to be a mother, much less a caretaker for 7 children under the age of two.

Daycare.  A place to drop the little ones off so mom can "get some shit done."  Might be work, might be school, but we are Out There, Getting Shit Done.

Daycare is really taking a toll over at our house.

I don't know any of the other daycare moms, so I've got no one with which to sit over a steaming hot coffee (there may or may not be liquor involved) and compare notes, so you, dear readers, are being asked for your help/guidance/assistance/advice.

I'm assuming every other mom out there is a great parent who loves their child unconditionally.  A parent who'd rather take a bullet through the chest than imagine ever doing anything that would hurt their child emotionally.  This is why many of us have to become "Denial Mom" when we drop off our children every morning (or twice a week, or three times a week) at the place we lovingly attempt to hype-up as "childcare."

In order for us to successfully leave the building while our child is crying, clinging to our leg, we have to tell ourselves that we're doing this "for their own good."  That they're being "socialized."  That they're "learning new things."  That they get to "interact with other kids their own age."

What we see when we look down at our little cling-on, besides the snot they just wiped on our pants,  is a pleading representation of confusion and betrayal, coupled with the look of unconditional love from our child to us.  If full sentences were their thing, we'd probably hear something like, "Look, Mom, I promise I'll be good.  I promise I'll just sit and play blocks on my floor all day.  Please do not leave me here with these people.  Olivia here cries all day long.  James pinches me when no one is looking.  They expect me to sleep on a freaking mat on the floor.  This kid to my left smells like cheese all the time.  I try to explain to the lady-in-charge that I want that truck over there--the blue one--but she doesn't understand me.  You understand me, Mom.  Please oh please oh please don't make me stay!"

But we moms, we tough tough moms who have almost convinced ourselves that we are doing this for their own good, simply attempt to remove said child from our leg, looking helplessly at the teachers milling around the center while we wait for someone--anyone--to make eye contact with us so they can distract the child just long enough for us to squeeze out the door.

I hate daycare.

Dads don't understand this.  My husband would probably shut himself in his office all day, lock the door, and vomit into his wastebasket for the rest of the morning if he had to be the one to drop the baby at daycare.  It is a horrible, horrible, horrible thing to have to witness.  It burns the retina and scars the soul.  It goes against everything we, as parents, are supposed to feel.

Parental Rules.

Rule number one:  Do not leave your children with strangers.  Okay, we think.  We can get around this because, technically, they're no longer strangers.  I'm paying them, so they actually work for me.  Yeah.  They work for me.  It's like a nanny, really.  I like that.  A nanny.  I'll have to use that next time.

Rule number two:  Do not do anything to purposely make your child scared or sad.  Okay, double whammy here.  She said scared AND sad.  Well, how is my child going to react when they reach kindergarten if I don't start leaving them with strangers--errr, I mean with the nanny--now?  Yes, that's right.  I'm just prepping him for adulthood.  That's what I'm doing.  Just getting him ready for the ol' kindergarten.

Rule number three:  Be sure your baby gets the proper amount of rest for his/her growing body.  Wow, we marvel while reading the daily report.  The baby only took a 15 minute nap today?  Ouch.  Well, I guess he's going to sleep good tonight then, right?  Sure, he's probably tired as all get-out.  Heck yes, he's probably feeling miserable in his drunken stupor.  But they're probably doing me a favor with the whole nap thing.  Surely it can't be too loud or uncomfortable for him to rest, can it?  No, that can't be it.  It's normal.  Kids at daycare do this all the time, the whole "not-sleeping" thing.  Surely it's okay.

Rule number four:  Keep your children away from children that have green snot running down their face.  This one is tricky.  Someone told me that daycare is going to build up his immunity.  Didn't I hear that somewhere?  So again, I'm really doing him a FAVOR by having him sick a lot.  Whew.  Everything is working in my favor.  And if Advil and Tylenol become my son's favorite midnight snack?  Well, at least I'm helping the economy.

Sixteen years from now, I'm going to be sitting in the bleachers listening to the football scouts talking about my son, and I just know one of them will say, "Wow!  Look at the immune system on that one!"  I'll beam, my husband will wipe away a tear while mouthing, "That's my boy," someone will cue the music, and we'll all live happily ever after.

There.  That's daycare.  In a nutshell.

I hate it.  I hate it, and I hate pretending that I like it, I hate the fact that other parents probably hate it but pretend like they like it too so it doesn't rip their heart straight out of their chest each time they drop their child off.  I would like to see Daycare Support Groups pop up, preferably right around the corner from the daycare, where parents can meet up, sob, drink coffee, and share each other's runny noses.

We're on the cusp of switching daycare centers.  We're trying a different place.  New, state-of-the-art playground equipment.  A toddler curriculum.  Best part?  VIDEO CAMERAS IN EVERY ROOM SO THE PARENTS CAN TUNE IN AND WATCH ANYTIME THEY WANT.

Thinking of your wee one?  Just log in and see how much fun they're having!

Pretty clever, Daycare.  Pretty clever.

Til next time,


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

... on which I blog.

I finished another semester of school last night.  It was approximately 9:22pm.  Nothing happened.

No fireworks, no congratulatory knock on my door, no cards or candies, just ... finished.

To celebrate, I washed my face with my new Clarisonic Mia, put on my pajamas, and grabbed my Nook to read a bit of John Dufresne before bed.

Good old J.D. makes a couple of really sweet points in his book, The Lie that Tells a Truth, but I had only downloaded the sample.  61 pages of sample, but I'm still not sure about purchasing the whole shebang.

When one has given away more books about writing than one has written, it might be time to stop reading about writing and start writing.  Which brings me to my next conundrum:  the unfinished novel.

I started writing my first novel a few months ago.  I was on fire.  I wrote most of it by hand, doing my edits while I was typing it into Word.  I was blazing, I was smoking, I was writing,...and then I wasn't.  I don't know what happened to make me stop.  It may have been the start of the summer semester rolled around and I got busy with school, but I came to an abrupt halt, packed everything away in a nightstand drawer, and haven't looked back.

Something in me is screaming to start fresh, start over, do something different, because that's me.  To a fault.  I love starting new projects, but I am horrible at finishing.

To a fault.

Maybe, come November, I'll blow the dust off and see what I've got.  Pull out the old red pen, make some marks.  Just so I can say I finished.   :)

For now, it's off to the pool store to get some pool sand for the filter.  Ciao!