Friday, December 19, 2008

Blizzard-- the snow kind, not the cookie dough kind.

As I write this, I am sitting in the 6th floor seminar room in my building on campus. I haven't been in this room for a long time-- since I was pregnant with Harry and had my prelims defense, in fact. I used to spend hours and hours and hours in this room, usually at night, attending classes. Like the classical rhetorical theory seminar that convinced me I was too dumb for PhD school and almost persuaded me to get a job at the mall (because the either-or fallacy is how I think). Or the rhetorical criticism seminar my first semester here that led me to discover my dissertation topic. Or the Kenneth Burke seminar that had me mining the footnotes of his books for never quoted text with the fervor of Anne Stoler on the hunt for Foucault's lost lectures.


Today, I am just wasting time online while a group of students takes the final exam for the course I help direct, and I am staring out the window at a freaking blizzard. It took me over an hour to get to school (if you count the time I spent when I got stuck turning out of our street onto a main road and left my car at the corner and walked home, screaming hysterically on the phone to Ben, who left the kids in the house and sprinted to the corner to move my car and I cried in the kitchen for a few minutes and then gave it another go).

Every school in a 50-mile radius is closed except for my university, which has only been closed for snow once in the last quarter century. Harry's holiday party has been canceled-- which is good for my guilt at not being able to go but bad for the bag of teacher gifts, cookie decorations, and classmate Chrismukkah treat bags on our kitchen counter. Harry was really stoked about giving presents to all of his "swends" (It is such a blessing, by the way, that he says "s" instead of "f," because when we're in the car, and he screams "suck you" to those who pass us, it doesn't sound as trashy as it could).

Ben took the day off so I could proctor this exam and meet with the TAs about grading it (grading? sure don't miss it), and I told Harry that Daddy was going to be the Mommy today, and then I realized that that statement sort of goes against everything I believe in and write about. (Sort of like Obama when he asked that antichoice homophobe to pray at his inauguration). Childcare work doesn't have to be mothering, right? Fathers can do it too, right? Or, should we call the work of caring for the family mothering to reflect the fact that women have shouldered the majority of that labor for years? Dunno, but I should probably figure that out sooner rather than later, since I have started to consider men and women in Planned Parenthood literature.

Oh! Am definitely graduating in May! There's been talk of a party and a date to have my manuscript out for review (April Fool's Day-- ha-- which gives me a couple of weeks of padding, if I need it, since I want the damn thing out of my hands by Jack's birthday). But I did just find out yesterday THAT I NEED ANOTHER PERSON ON MY COMMITTEE which is the kind of MINOR DETAIL that maybe would have been good to know THREE YEARS AGO WHEN I STARTED THIS MESS perhaps.

Okay, seriously, we are so beyond bored. I took the kiddies out for Little Gym, but otherwise we stayed in ALL WEEK because it has been so cold and snowy.

We busted out Harry's easel so he cold help make holiday cards for his teachers at nursery school and Little Gym. Everyone got green except for Miss Connie, who has apparently been very good this year and scored a rainbow.

Some play-doh, which was really boring after like 3 minutes, so we combined it with some Imaginext dinosaurs to make it more fun, but that only bought like 30 more seconds of whine free time.

At least they're cute and snuggley

Even in the midst of a Lizzie Borden like rampage

I'm digging Jack's tufts of old-man-like over-the-ear hair. I also enjoy his adventuresome appetite. Here he is sampling chicken and veggies in a jar.

Not bad, despite some initial misgivings.

Meanwhile, Harry enjoyed his chicken and veggies in salad form, and he enjoyed the kind of mid-dinner snooze he used to take when he was a baby Jack's age. Recently, he has been refusing his afternoon nap (oh the horror!), but he falls apart at 5:00 and is just miserable to be around until 7 when we do bed and bath. I think I could make him take a nap if we did a sort of cry-it-out (or really a yell-annoying-things-from-the-top-of-the-stairs-it-out), but Jack is also napping during that time, and I would rather chew my arm off than spend all day with 2 kids who haven't slept, so I am forced to cut my losses. I am glad to see, though, that Harry can still sleep and eat simultaneously. Such a talent.

Ben came home mid-meal with lots of energy because he enjoyed the far away galaxy of OUTSIDE THE HOUSE where he met strange people called ADULTS and enjoyed their strange customs like TALKING WITHOUT SHRIEKING and DISCUSSING THINGS NOT RELATING TO PEE AND POOP AND SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS.

Jack thinks we're so weird. And you know what? He's totally right.

Edited to add: Ben was so the picture of a disgruntled housewife when I got home at 4 yesterday. (and let me just say, he gets home at 6 most days, and the hours between 4 and 6 are the LONGEST hours of the day) He made brownies and when I complimented them, he said, "They're no good. They're too dry," and then he asked me if he looked fat in Thursday's fleece pants that he was still wearing with Thursday's socks.


  1. Anonymous10:11 AM

    Great post!
    I just delivered Xmas cookies made by my FABULOUS co-worker to Gary's work, where they bought a few, but not as many as Gar did! Anyhoo, got to hear some of the WGN Medical Christmas show.

  2. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Brother Ben used to fall asleep ion his food too..I think all the kids (mine too) did. THe boys may be a lot of work, but they certainly are school here today, but at our age, no problem, just waiting for the snow removal man to come...Bomma

  3. Hilarious post. I would have reacted the same way to getting my car stuck. Why does screaming obsenities at your husband while crying make everything seem better?

  4. I love the sleep-eating, it's quite the talent. Congrats on the manuscript and graduation, that's such a huge deal. They should give out medals w/ the sheepskins.

  5. I love the one sock and the eating while sleeping pictures! I bet you wished you could eat and sleep at the same time too!

  6. Anonymous9:18 PM

    I actually put food by the bed in case I am hungry...sometimes it's gone in the morning, sometimes the cheese stick just goes bad...totally sleep eat. take the chance...see what happens in the morning...

    So Sarah, Super Femnnose (thats feminist and dicknose in one...did I just say that...yes...oh I did...oops)says to me when I get home from work the other day, "I told Harry you are going to be Mommy tomorrow". I am all, "Mommy, Mommy..." I can't say baby sitting but you let the kid know that only Mommies stay home...what the hell is the matter with you...grrr... Not to mention, I would('ve) give(n) me(y) left...side to stay at home (prior to actually staying ...huge pain in the way harder than the day job...didn't get dressed 'til 3:00, kids didn't get dressed 'til noon, not that I was,work,work...didn't have time). Needless to say, DADS CAN STAY HOME TOO. Not that I am super dad, but I am pretty involved, hell not to pat myself on the back, but I would argue I am more involved than lots of you can tell, I am( still a little irritated by this.

    The rhetoric of motherhood...humf...

  7. femnose? really?

  8. Anonymous12:11 PM

    I was gonna say femwad, but I thought that was a bit crass...

  9. The ability to eat and sleep at the same time is amazing! I love those pictures!!