My Kids Will Hate Me One Day For This Very Reason

This video has been on my phone for days and I just now figured out that I can’t directly upload to WordPress and have to go through Youtube. Grrr. Did I ever warn you all that I am technologically retarded? Another bit of evidence: the sideways video. Note to self: just because the phone can be used horizontally or vertically, interchangeably, does not mean it will record either way. I’ll do better next time. In the meantime, you get the picture anyway.

Zach was sleepy and eating chicken tenders in the living room while John and I watched a tv show. It was 5:00 PM. He usually starts getting ready for bed at 7:30. Why he was so tired is beyond me, but nonetheless, it is stinkin’ hilarious.

Yep, We’re THAT Table

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We totally are. If you have ever been a server at any type of dining establishment, you know the type I’m talking about.

The type who focus more on keeping a small child calm more than anything, so yes, please bring more bread/ milk/crackers/ napkins, Thank you.

The type who leaves an enormous mess. This one is the problem for me. Despite the fact that I realize I am most definitely on the restaurant’s payroll, I insist on cleaning up after the baby. Or dividing our debris into trash, silverware, and plates, all neatly stacked in a way they can easily be separated without the server having to schlep through half-eaten food. I know how it is. I’ve been there. I will also be found bent over and using a napkin to try to pick up all of the mess we now leave on the floor since Zachy started eating with us. This may seem conscientious and polite of me, but it never comes without some bickering from my hubster, who is embarrassed that his wife is trying to clean the floor.
Last week, I tried to let it go. We were at Texas Roadhouse, home of the peanut shells on the floor. We had a great server who helped us to appease Zach so we could get through our meal. And Zach…..ohmigod. Zach would take a bite and throw the rest. Over and over until we decided we were finished and it was time to go. And John talked me into just leaving the mess. I hurried out of the restaurant like I had committed a crime. And I felt so badly that I felt compelled, once in the car, to fake leaving my phone on the table so I could go back in and leave an extra $20 along with the 20% John had already left. This is why we don’t eat out that often: I can’t afford to compensate for my kids.
So….
I am hereby proposing that restaurants give dropcloths for babes in highchairs. Or we could invent a highchair with a huge saucer around it to catch food. That way moms like me could not die of embarrassment. Nor would John from his wife cleaning the floor.

All Signs Point to YES

I work too fucking much. Sorry, but the f-bomb is the only word befitting that statement. Since I am a creature of science, by nature, I only believe that which can be proven, generally speaking. And so I have proof of this statement and all are completely true stories, I swear.

  • I looked at my pay stub this morning, since payroll hits my account on Wednesday evenings. MMMMHMMMMM. Bastards. My net pay was only $52 more than the amount of my deductions, of which only about $250 was by choice because I like having insurance for the fam. They took fucking half. Enjoy the food stamps, people. You’re welcome.
  • Just now, someone on a tv show yelled “OH MY GOD HE’S NOT BREATHING!” And for a split second I was just about to spring into action. Knee-jerk response.
  • I tried to shop for new scrubs yesterday since mine are getting a little worn. And old. And I haven’t bought any new ones since I was 3-months-knocked-up with the Zachmeister. Damnit. I walked in and must have looked rather haggard, and the girl struck up a convo with me about where I work. And I told her. And she said this: “Where do you work there? Housekeeping?” (DISCLAIMER: Nothing wrong with housekeepers other than they are grossly underpaid. I’m just saying that I looked like shit and she assumed I was poor, underpaid, and overworked. She got the friggin’ overworked part right.)
  • When I walked into the same store, I swear the sight of all of those scrubs–from white to neon-farking-green–made me nauseous for a minute or two.
  • Yesterday, John and I tried to leave the house for some random errand. I had on a tee and denim capris with flip-flops. I knew in my head what we were doing. But nothing more than sheer habit made me reach into the little basket on my desk where I unload my work stuff every morning, and I actually put my damned stethoscope around my neck and grabbed my badge as I headed for the door. It took John cracking up with laughter to make me realize what I had done.
  • John has ceased to ask me when I have days off. Instead, he looks at me and says, “What do you work tonight?” Because one just assumes I have to work something, whether that be a 4-, 8-, or 12-hour shift.
  • I bought a perfectly good pair of gym shoes last month with the intention of wearing them to work. They look brand new, but feel like they are worn out because they are–on the inside.
  • I have a stretch of 7 whole days off starting on the 14th. I was going to try to make plans to do something with them, like get away just for a bit. I know better. So instead, I am wondering how many of them I will actually get off. Surely someone will get sick or need a day off and I will be called at some point during that week.

So yeah, I work too much. It’s a combination of factors that make me do this, really. A sense of obligation to my coworkers. Money. The fact that I have worked too many nights where we are grossly understaffed and I know what it is like to work under those conditions, with a hospital full of really sick patients who have to have our care. I hate having my coworkers work under these conditions when I can help them avoid it by coming in on my day off. But it gets to you. You turn into the job. And it ends up that your whole life is wrapped up in your place of employment. And then it gets to be too much and there is a sort of breakdown where you know you simply must have some time off in order to avoid complete devastation in your life. So you take a couple of days before getting back to it.

I am at that point currently.

Missing Ev

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Evan, as the sun shines on him, going to meet up with Grandpa for his trip to Madisonville.

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Zach is going to have a hard time on rides without Bubby to occupy him for the next couple of weeks.

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...and keeping him laughing and playing...

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...or maybe not?

Today (well, technically it was yesterday if you keep a normal schedule), John’s dad came to pick Evan up for his annual summer trip. He has a ball down there in the country. John’s dad takes him flying in his plane, boating on the new-to-him 3-bedroom yacht, riding on ATVs, and more. Evan will spend the 4th of July on a lake watching a fireworks display on the water. He’ll start each and every day this week by picking where he wants to go out for breakfast. And then at the end of the week, he’ll alternate to Grandma’s house (they’re divorced) and spend some time with her.

Having never met my grandparents, I relish this opportunity for Evan. And the time he spends away always has had the same impact on me. At first we feel free. We can go to eat at restaurants where there is no kiddie menu and see movies that are not animated. And do non-kid-related things. It’s lovely. I never thought I would be the type of parent who would love this, but here you have it. Of course the remainder of the year, my kids are always home with us. I have never ever so much as though of hiring a sitter so we can go out. Not that there is anything at all wrong with doing that. Hell, it is most likely the healthier of the two for both the kids and a marriage. It just isn’t what we do. If I’m not at work, my kids are with me. But the time away is nice. Of course last year, we were adjusting to and reveling in the newness of Zach when Evan went down there. This year, we are still not kid-free because Zach is still with us, being way too small for me to even think about so much as an overnight visit, let alone weeks away. But Zach is easy-peasy. Sorry–I love you, Evan—but it’s true.

But then the same thing always happens, year after year. It gets to be nightime and Evan isn’t here. He should be here, sleeping under this roof. And I miss him so much that my heart aches. I say I need a break, and then within the first night, I can’t stand the thought that I cannot go to his room and make sure the his covers are pulled up to his chin to keep him warm in the frosty-cold a/c. I didn’t get to smell his freshly-shampooed hair in the midst of my goodnight hug. I can only hope that they made him brush and floss before bedtime because I wasn’t there.

I hate this part. It is going to be a long couple of weeks.

Life According to Plan

I am not a sci-fi type. I’m not really any type. But tonight, John and I watched The Adjustment Bureau and it has my head reeling. If you haven’t seen this film, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, I highly recommend it.

Now, how can a simple thriller have my head reeling? Well, quite simply, this film is, at its core, the physical embodiment of everything of which I have wondered my entire adult life. If you haven’t seen, I’ll offer up a quick summary so you know what the hell I am speaking of.

David is a politician on the fast track to the presidency. Elise is a contemporary ballerina. They meet in a public restroom by complete chance. (Or is it?) David can’t get her out of his head. Cut to a park after a lost election: David is on his way to his new job when mysterious men in fedoras seem particularly interested in the fact that he is supposed to spill his coffee on his shirt no later than 7:05 AM. But the man overseeing this seemingly random event that is ultimately a part of the master plan for David dozes. David doesn’t spill his coffee. He instead catches a city bus, where he runs into Elise. And so it starts.But it was never supposed to. David was to spill the coffee, thus necessitating a change of clothing, resulting in a missed bus, not seeing Elise, and leaving their knowledge of each other limited to the chance encounter in the restroom. They were not supposed to be together. It was not a part of the plan for either of them. David is supposed to win the next election, and more to come, eventually becoming the President. Elise is planned to become a world-famous dancer and marry her choreographer. Instead, the two fall in love. To be together, there must be a deviation of the plan. And a sort of straying from the dreams they each have for their lives. They simply cannot have it both ways.

I have often thought of this very topic. I’m not insane. I never thought there was a team of men in fedoras following me around to make sure I fulfill my destiny. But like just about everyone I know, I’ve wondered if there is some sort of plan for me. Is this supposed to happen, and what are the events to follow that are a direct result? This is all compounded by the fact that I have lived through some things that would make any normal person’s skin crawl. I’ve made it through when I never dreamed I would. Catastrophic events. And the strange thing about it all is that after the dust settled and the smoke cleared from each of those personal earthquakes, I could honestly see something positive that was a direct result. While I hate the events, I can say that each has left me even more changed than the one before it. I am the person I am because of those earthquakes. If you drop a beautiful vase, you may be able to pick up the pieces and put it back together, but the vase will never be the same. Its very constitution has been changed forever. It doesn’t mean it’s any better or worse. Its justdifferent. Rougher hewn. Was it always the plan for the vase to shatter?

In the film, they refer to the small events that have the capacity to change the course of one’s plan as inflection points. These aren’t the life-altering events, but rather the small ones that can make a difference in where we go. And so I sit here pondering the inflection points of my own life. Laughter on the night of my senior prom. The first feeling of true freedom on my first night away at college. A kiss from a past love. The smell of my newborn son. The first time I got a taste of the medical world and thought it could be for me. Moments where it just could have gone differently and yet didn’t. But what was the moment? Where did the plan change forever?

Flecks of copper. That was it for me. My plan changed with the sight of them. Everything traces back to that. John’s eyes. Flecks of copper in chocolate pools. And suddenly, I can trace the events of my life in relation to that point. My ill mother and her subsequent passing. The events of my life, of which I cannot speak right now, just prior to meeting John. The lost love that broke my heart. The job that led me to a friend that introduced us. The strangest thing is that, while he lived four hours away from me, he dated a girl who grew up in the same tiny rural town of Indiana where I finished high school. And their family moved to Cincinnati at the same time my mom was passing away and I was returning home to Cincinnati by myself. Yet our parallel paths never crossed. Until I saw those flecks of copper. And suddenly the events of my life after that point are the direct result of his presence here in my life: respiratory school, Evan, Zachary.

So when I stop to ponder all of this, the next obvious question is this: what if we never met? If just one tiny thing were to be off just slightly and our paths never crossed? Would I have ever become the physician I always dreamed of becoming? I can’t even think of it. To do so would have the images of our children’s faces dissolve into a mist of the nonexistent. And so I have spent my time since then trying to have both. Two paths converged into one. And every step of the way was a disaster. Finally, Zachary and bedrest came along,nd suddenly the other path seemed to be not so important to me anymore.I could stop trying to blaze a path where there was none before. I could relax just a little. (Those of you who know what it is that I am doing these days will probably laugh at the idea of this being relaxation, but it really is compared to before.)

What if this was it? Maybe this was the plan all along, and all of the events led me here? Or maybe it wasn’t. Sometimes I feel like I missed my chances from pure happenstance. Other times, this is exactly where I should be. I guess the only thing that matters is that even in the times where I feel as if I missed something, I know that this was the better of the two. Because of the copper flecks.

And now I leave you with this quote from the movie as the credits started to roll. (Background note: The Chairman is the God-figure in the film who writes the plan for David.)

“Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that’s The Chairman’s real plan. And maybe, one day, we won’t write the plan. You will.”

“Hall Pass”: How a Movie Hit a Nerve

Need a break? Take a permanent one!

We rented “Hall Pass” on PPV this weekend.

Okay, I tried to watch it Sunday morning. Actually, I clicked the little button on the remote control because that was all the work I was capable of doing Sunday morning. I had every intention of watching it as I vegged and wound down to go to sleep. But, again, it was morning.  A morning when I was so tired that I was in pain from it. Yeah, that’s another story for another day.

So I rent the movie. And the beginning was really cute and I could see our lives in it–lives as parents and a couple who has been married for over a decade. And then I woke up. And it was noon. And John explained that I didn’t get more than 5 minutes into the movie before going into a coma induced by too much work.

Take Two…

The kids are asleep, pizza reheated, I have yet to be called into work, and we are going to watch this movie, dammit.  And I laughed at the cheap humor in it. It didn’t require any extra IQ points or a college degree to get it. Score! Because sometimes you just do not want to think. And then the credits rolled, the flick was over, and I stopped to think of the concept behind the movie.

The Hall Pass. A week off from marriage to do whatever it is one would like to do but cannot within a marriage. A vacation from married life. Is this ingenious or ridonkulous?

Would I ever, ever consider allowing my husband to do this? The idea is ridiculous because, well, my husband is a grown man and I don’t allow him to do anything simply because he has free will. He can come and go as he chooses. Does he have any desire to stray? Maybe. Hell, I don’t know. Does he notice other women? Most likely, simply because he isn’t dead. I don’t bother myself with it. I trust him. And I trust that if he was unhappy enough that he needed a “break” from marriage, he would just leave. This movie makes it sound as if marriage is a life sentence instead of a commitment to one another. I take vacations from work (though admittedly very rarely). To insinuate that one needs a break from marriage is to say that marriage ranks among the most back-breaking of chores. And you know what? If that is what a marriage is, then there shouldn’t be a marriage there in the first place.

This all brings up the line between commitment and obligation. I am obligated to follow the rules of society. I am obligated to my employer. I am obligated to my creditors. My marriage is more of an animal of commitment in that I choose to live my life with my husband. And because I do, fidelity is something that comes naturally. I don’t need a break from it. I wanted this life. I can assume the same from my husband and if I am incorrect in that assumption, then he can have a break. A permanent break. He can walk right out that door.

The Origin of Bedsheets?

We have this long-running problem in our house in that I often do not think before I speak. The result of this shortcoming is that I often say some of the dumbest stuff you could possible imagine. And because I am a nerd with a history of success with all things academic, I guess I am supposed to be exampt from these little blurbs. And thus when I say something ridiculous, I never, ever  live it down. Seriously, NEVER!

And then once in a while, the heavens part, the stars align, and John says something completely ridonkulous. And I  get even. Boy, do I.

Last night, it was getting pretty late and we were watching tv after the kiddos went to bed. I don’t remember the context of it, but someone or thing on the tv mentioned Egyptian cotton sheets. We may have surfed through the home shopping network–I don’t know. And this is where John dropped a gem that I immediately snatched up to carry with me always.

JOHN: “What the hell is the big deal with Egyptian cotton? What does it matter where the damned sheep comes from?”

ME: “If you get Egyptian cotton from Egyptian sheep, where does one get Egyptian wool?”

And so John hung his head a little. And we got a good laugh out of it. All at his expense.