Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I could not SAH full time.

There. I said it. I have been humbled by this summer.

It would not be good for any of us, especially me. I can't even think about how fat I'd be. I mean crane-lifting-you-out-of-your-bed fat. I have eaten a bag of Keebler frosted animal cookies. TODAY. And I am going to buy another on our way to the zoo. (The zoo. I am so sick of the zoo. Remind me I said that when we are all snowed into this 1200 square feet of Fisher Price vomit we call home).

Think of all the TV Harry would watch. Even more than he does now.

Thank goodness school is starting the week after next. I need more than a fragmented nap time and a sometimes alone shower to myself because I am just selfish like that. And maybe someone will talk to me about feminism or Foucault or even the freaking sophists.

I have made an honest effort at the full time SAHM gig, and I just cannot hack it. I do not have the patience or the willpower around junkfood,and my remote control finger is too itchy.

I realize that I work in fantasy land-- two afternoons a week and one with my baby strapped to my person, and I know that the grass is always greener and that I would hate working full time, too (especially because me and the breast pump are not best--breast-- buddies), but I am actually looking forward to leaving them both behind and closing the door of my office and floating on the sweet silence. That's what I am most anticipating-- maybe a murmur of adult voices behind other closed doors, but otherwise no noise. No crying. No whining. No really annoying Word World fire truck who says, "Let's build a word later," in a really dejected tone when he's been ignored too long because he is the rare toy who actually knows how lame he is.

I feel like a total asshat admitting that I feel this way. Because I am supposed to not only love wiping asses and singing the Wheel on the Bus until my teeth go numb, I am supposed to be grateful for the opportunity.

And I AM-- because that's how much I love Harry and Jack.

Today, when I was changing Harry's pre-nap diaper, I said (without thinking-- the words just tumbled out) "Harry, you are my favorite thing about being alive."

He said, Thank you, Mommy."

And I realized I was telling him the truth, but I wished I had the distance to remember that I felt that way every second of the day, if that makes any sense.

Where is all of this coming from? I've been thinking about my dissertation and the "Good Mother," and how the gritty work of caring for the family is a vaguely defended social ideal (never backed with any real policy) and the real work of women in their homes. And we usually only notice this work and these women when they've done something wrong, but it is so hard to do this job right.

Oh the life of the mind. It crashes into my real life in very uncomfortable ways.

I actually think Jack is cuter in real life than he appears to be in pictures. You'll have to take my word for it, of course, but he really isn't fugly, I swear. See? What the heck kind of a mother calls a picture of her child fugly??

So we left the house really late on Saturday morning, and all our usual breakfast places were crowded, so we went to one of those make-your-own stir fry places and made omelets and pancakes-- very fun and really good. Very very child-friendly.

Then on a totally random and dorky whim, we delayed our trip to the zoo until after nap and traded the Matrix in for another Camry. That's Harry ringing the gong that signals a new car driving off the lot. And an angel getting his wings.

But it's way different than our other Camry. It's, um, red. See the difference?

Here Jack is zooing it up

and enjoying (barely tolerating) a bottle of Good Start-- Harry and I tarried at Target too long. Also, things have changed since I was 7 months pregnant and we headed to Babies R Us in search of a BPA-free bottle (literally A bottle-- we got 1). All the BPA-free bottles were $15 a pop (as if only middle class kids deserved poison-free feedings), but now Gerber makes some that are $2.69 for three. Rock. They don't look like breasts, though.


  1. Oh man do I know what you are talking about! Charlie and I have a blast together, but I am positive that it is because we are not sitting around staring at eachother ALL day EVERY day. I nearly crawled out of my skin during maternity leave.

    (Not to mention I don't totally love worrying about buying milk for Ryan and me because we have to stretch our grocery budget ALL THE WAY to the end of the month. And don't get me started on our cars. Totally jealous of your car upgrade, btw)

    I know I need to do SOMETHING, but I don't know what yet. I will be home alone with them from my due date until the beginning of January. I'm a little ashamed of how scared that makes me.

  2. I think some sort of adult interaction is necessary. I don't mind having it with AJU5 tagging along. But church and work keep me sane because I get to talk to adults.

    And for bottles - we use the Playtex drop-ins because they are easy! And the tri-cut nipples seem to work well for her.

  3. First of all, I love that picture of Ben feeding Jack. He looks so happy & proud. Second, I have a feeling I'm going to be chomping at the bit to return to work after maternity leave for the same exact reasons. Third, I would love to read your dissertation. Sounds very interesting!

  4. Anonymous8:45 PM

    I LOVE the wide-eyed picture of Jackie. He looks so startled! I know that you appreciate that you have the best of both worlds! But how do you maintain the energy necessary to work that hard in 2 separate and demanding venues? I think "having it all" is pretty hard.

  5. I have contemplated going back to work simply to avoid the snacks. I kid you not. If someone said, "You are what you eat!" to me right now, I'd have to punch them out b/c it would mean I am essentially a bag of goldfish and my son's left-overs. Hence the 20 extra lbs I cart around daily.

    I also miss the intelligent conversation of the academic world (does teaching high school & middle school count as the 'academic world'? I guess...in comparison to spending 24/7 with a toddler...)