Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Job Saga Continues (Ends)

Well I'm sure I've been keeping all three of my readers in high suspense, what with no new information about leaving my job for days and days. Actually ThatGirl would likely be my only reader who's not up on the details because I've seen the other two in person this weekend.

At any rate, this week was full of the boss alternating between buttering me up and berating me. I've never been under such a heavy guilt trip before in my life. This is after I had told him a month ago that I was thinking of leaving, then gave my two weeks notice. (Most guys that leave the crew just don't show up one morning and turn their cell phones off.)

Despite his near continuous contradictions I still fell pray to his guilt trip. I tried to explain myself to him half a dozen times, but the way he talks I get the impression that he doesn't really listen to himself and I'm positive he doesn't listen to me. Yet I was still laboring under this guilt trip that all the work he's been lining up was taken on my behalf and I couldn't possibly walk away.

Enough about the boss. As it turns out, he's the only person on the face of the earth who thinks I should still be working there. All the guys on the crew have said that they wonder why I keep coming in. Every one of them had mentioned that they noticed that I haven't been myself and every one of them made an attempt to cheer me up. If not for those gestures I would have cracked for sure. My family and friends in the neighborhood were equally baffled at my continued attendance.

I finally sat down after church with my wife and the deacon who is a close friend of the family and worked over all the details. Nothing was said that hadn't been said before but somehow, in the quiet of our sanctuary it finally all sank in. We prayed for God to direct me what to do, and for me to be patient and listen.

As the day wore on it slowly started to sink in that what I want most, to not go in to work this week, can totally happen. Agreeing to stay while under all that pressure was no kind of agreement at all, it was pure manipulation. Ever so slowly the terror that's gripped me about the situation for the last few weeks started to melt away. I actually spent the entire day of work on Friday shaking from it. The last little tremor ceased when I went to talk with my Dad about it.

It's over.

I'm finally free.

I'm going to get up at the usual time on Tuesday (Monday's Labor Day for those reading this far in the future) and get in my truck and go somewhere. I'm going to turn off my phone and just go run some errands. If he wants to come to my house and scream, it'll be empty. My wife is taking the kids out and we'll meet up in town for some fun together.

He's had an electrician on staff all summer that was ready, willing and able to wire his barn for him. Instead I've spent two months killing myself with all the other bull work that was going on. Now it's the last minute and the wiring is regrettably somebody else's problem. We have no contract, he doesn't own me.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quitting

I just called my boss and left my two weeks notice on his voice mail. That should be a post all by itself, but I'm too exhausted. Tomorrow morning should be interesting. I'll keep ya posted.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Can't Make This Stuff Up

During nap time today J-Man spent an inordinate amount of time getting himself settled. First he moved into Sis' unoccupied bed, then he went back for some stuffed animals, then he went for blankets to build a nest for them.

Here's the kicker, after I had put him back in bed and gotten him re-settled a dozen or so times he invented a new tactic. He would creep out of the room, taking baby steps, with his fingers in his ears so I wouldn't hear what he was doing.

Not even kidding. My little tactical genius came up with that all by his veryownself. You can't make this stuff up.

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Sumday Morning

H-Bomb gettin his breakfast on

I got up at 6 to go to work today and got all the way to my truck before I caught on that it's Sunday. Now I've had 2 hours to myself and I'm watching my baby push eggs on to his fork while the rest of my family lolls in bed.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fun On The Run

J-Man chillin in the boothSo the five of us finally all have Saturday off and instead of breakfast and cartoons we have an odyessy planned. Breakfast out, pick up veggies at the farm, a trip to the Bouncy Playground, starting at 8 am.

Flash forward to almost 11 am, restaurant closed, veggies gotten, finally made it to another restaurant in time to still get breakfast before they stop cooking it. Miss O is under the table and only speaking in whine. H-Bomb will not stay seated for love or money (or even juice). J-Man went into scrambled communications mode and only after five minutes of piercing whining did we figure out that he wanted to chew on the lemon from The Missus' water.

Food comes, is mostly disgusting, we move on. Bouncy playground is a big hit. Everyone's on the merry-go-round which is making both parents want to puke. Then all the short people fell off. The Mister toddled off to the weeds to see if vomiting would help, it didn't. Then the whole family wound up sprawled on a picnic table and The Missus decided it would be a good time to let the crew know we're expecting.

And suddenly...

We we all talking in nice voices about the baby. Ultrasound, birthdays, Mommy's tummy, possible names, how I was never in Mommy's tummy because she's not my Mommy. For ten minutes we just sat and talked like a family on TV.

Every once in a great while there are those moments that make it all worth it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Announcement

I'm going to beat my wife to the presses this time, so stop them... there's a new headline. (!)

We're having baby number four.

There.

That's out there.

The parents know and the guys at work know, so now it's safe to tell people from church and publish on the web.

Speaking of the guys at work, boooooy was that a bomb dropped. The Missus was pretty sure I had knocked her up back in July and I let it slip at work, to much guffawing and ribbing. Then she was pretty sure she wasn't and so I had relief for a spell. Then last night on the couch she let fly that she was definantly preggers and pretty sure it was twins. Flash forward to me talking to myself at work and getting asked what I was muttering about. "What the hell am I going to do with twins!" "HOOOOOOOO!" was the response. The Queen Mum had a good zinger last night as well, "Well, at least I know you're not cheating on me." "How so?" I reply. "Because there's not a line of pregnant women outside.

I should look into sperm donation as a sideline because my swim team is apparently competing at the Michael Phelps level. Scratch that... Navy Seal level. Those guys are gettin the mission accomplished with gusto. OOOH-RAH! It makes me feel bad for people who have trouble conceiving, not that I have any ability to relate to that. Ladies, make sure you're wearing long sleeves if you plan on standing next to me. And guys, if we shake hands you better wash thouroughly before you touch your wife. (Not that I have sperm all over me, c'mon guys that's gross.)

So now not only am I quitting my job and trying to sort out a financial future for The Team, there's another mouth to feed and two more years of diapers and six more years before The Missus can easily be gainfully employed. Unless, of course, she turns out to be one of those wildly successful bloggers that just gets buckets of cash dumped on her for being witty at the keyboard. (Go Babe Go!)

I'm not even going to get started on the hardships joys of gestation at our house. Suffice it to say that the surrounding populace is being warned. I'm not kidding when I say that three counties will be walking on eggshells till the little bundle arrives. No offense Hunny, even though you (blessedly) have little or no recolection of the previous three pregnancies, you've heard the stories... we're all battening down the hatches. (Stay tuned for future posts recollecting such gems as "What She Said to Pastor Ed" and "I'm NEVER Going To Have This Baby!")

Ahh well. The sweet expectation has begun. Judging by the previous results, we do a pretty good job with the whole procreation thing. Like anything else it's a big sack o' hassle, but well worth it at the end of the day. Now all I have to do is add a room to the house and figure out how to pay for it all.

Let the text messaging begin. G'nite.

P.S. It's not twins and the date is April 7

Sunday, August 17, 2008

They Made It Too

This week I put in 102 hours on the jobs. Yeah, that's all the hours you were awake, plus a few... working. Here's a quick break-down so you can play along at home at the narrative unfolds.
  • 6:00 am - Roll off the couch (because that's where I sleep lately so my early rising doesn't disturb the peaceful slumber of my Peeps) fully clothed (because why undress when you sleep on the couch)
  • 6:45 am - Jump in the truck
  • 7:00 am - Arrive at the shop to receive orders and load trucks
  • 7:30 am - Arrive at job and begin killing self with back-breaking labor, direct sunlight, and the stress of running a crew of people who aren't good at what they do and don't care (nice fellows though, great to have a beer with)
  • 5:00 pm to ? pm - Finish work whenever The Boss says we've had enough and drive back to the shop to clock out
  • ? pm to 6:30 pm - Stop in at the house to check in with my Peeps
  • 40 milliseconds later - Leave for the show
  • 40 milliseconds later to Midnight - Mix audio for youth theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar with all the nonsense that accompanies it.
  • Midnight - Get home, eat, decompress, fall on couch snoring.
  • Repeat for six days

The biggest problem with this scenario is that despite the buckets of money that wind up in our bank account at the end of the week and the tremendous feeling of accomplishment that comes with working two difficult, full time jobs for a week, the short people really suffer.

Now ol' Dad can deal with the stress with various methods available to adults. Blasting heavy metal while chugging coffee on the way to work, chain smoking on the job, cussing, blasting heavy metal and chugging Mountain Dew on the way to the gig, wowing the children with my audio prowess and witty commentary, sobbing in the parking lot, and so on.

The short people though haven't evolved such a complex and nuanced array of coping skills (Bourbon, I forgot bourbon) to get through such a hellish time of separation. They've got whining and that's pretty much it.

We've done our best to equip them for the chaos of our lives by doing the only thing we could do: Not a single thing to protect them from the chaos of our lives. There's no regular order to anything we do. Sometimes we have bedtime, mostly not. Sometimes we do stuff after dinner, mostly not. Mostly we go to church, sometimes not. We just pack them along on everything we do, and change plans constantly.

So, after the first couple days of screaming and whining after my 40 millisecond stop-over, they started to mellow out. By Wednesday they were using their nice voices to ask me how the show was going and wishing me good luck on my way out the door.

It makes me sit back and wonder why so many parents spend so much time and effort working on routine, when all it does of them is make strife trying to accomplish it and meltdowns when they're not able to maintain it. Sure our kids fight us when we say it's time to go to bed early, but then we can remind them that we let them stay up till midnight the night before to watch fireworks. Shit, life's hard enough without imposing all kinds of artificial structure. My advice: just go with it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blogging Kicks ASS!

Holy CRAP I'm an award winning blogger! And wouldn't it just happen on a week where I'm putting in twelve hours a day swinging a hammer and another six in the theatre. Next time I do that I'm bringing the laptop with me. (I was going to write about how much I miss The Missus and the short people this time but then I found out I had received an award!)

So anyway... 'that girl' and I totally dig each other's blogs...

and each other...

and want to eat marshmellows and drink whiskey at each others' houses...

and I think she wants my wife, which is kind of hot but we're not going to get into that right here. (Oh damn! The mental immages just arrived and it's probably a good thing we don't believe in polygamy.)

So 'that girl' nominated myself and four eight other people to receive this Kick Ass Blogger award. Somebody calling herself MamaDawg started this pass-along-the-award thing and I got the nod. BTW it would seem that MamaDawg might also be the type to be into marshmellows and bourbon, I'm looking into that and you should hit her site too. The idea is to nominate five other bloggers to receive this highly coveted honor.

But 'that girl' already nominated all the other blogs I read, so I'm going to have to work on keeping this thing going. If that wasn't the case though my votes would have been for the following:
  1. Black Hockey Jesus - The Wind In Your Vagina
  2. The Dayton Time - The Missus
  3. Heyyourememberme - That Girl (sorry momma, The Queen Mum out ranks you)
  4. Bossy - Nobody talks about themselves in the third person with so much panache
  5. Huh... I only read four blogs... stay tuned...
Actually, Bossy hasn't gotten the nod yet, so mebbe I'll vote her in. I'm beat right now though and have three more days of the same schedule ahead of me. That also means that I've done enough linking for one night and you can just look for the list of blogs on the right to view the work of all the fabulous people I read.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Forgetting About Growing Up

Black Hockey Jesus mentioned on his blog that spite is the shadow of tenderness. I'm paraphrasing, so you should toddle over there and read his post because BHJ is the Mack Dad and his pimp hand is mad strong, yo. But enough about him, I'm just going to continue on before I decide that incorporating gangsta phases into my daddy-blog is a bad idea.

I took the kids for ice cream the other night and on the way down we saw some short people on the front lawn of the school having cheer leading practice. Sis was totally into this as she just got a set of pom-poms of her very own. So I took my sticky children to cheer leading practice.

As soon as we got there she wanted to run over and ask if she could play too. Since our babysitter and her mom seemed to be in charge of the whole thing I let her go. She came pounding back in tears (she was wearing puddle boots because they were the only footwear that we could find both of) saying that they wouldn't let her play. It seemed like only a short jump of logic for me that of course she couldn't play because you probably had to be in the third grade, and sign up in advance, and pay to be at cheer leader practice.

She went off on a huge crying jag and eventually they took pity on her and told her she could come sit by the girls while they worked on the verbal part of the exercise (Go Team!) She felt better and we went home as the group dispersed. Then she started in on it not being fair to be too little for everything and to have everyone call her little girl (she is five after all) and growing up taking too long.

I was starting to get ticked off at her until I recalled sticking up for a young friend of mine. He's nineteen and checking off things on the list of stupid stuff you do when your nineteen. Some of his friends that are a decade older are a fed up with him and sick of him using being nineteen as an excuse.

Except that it is.

You can't just wish people to grow up. You can't even wish it on yourself. It just has to happen.

I wracked my brain all night for a good story to tell Sis about something that took me a long time to get in to and get good at. A lot of poor examples came to mind, then I hit on the swim team. I joined in seventh grade because all my friends joined. I was terrible at it for the first five years, but all I really remember from that time was swimming with my good friends, carrying on, making friends with the other teams, trying to kiss girls on the bus, all that stuff.

It wasn't until the end of my junior year that I ever won an event. After that I went on to become a pretty fair threat in my events. I was co-captain with my best bud, I set some records, I managed to kiss some girls. I barely remember any of the accomplishments. I just remember the camraderie, the enjoyment I got from just doing something with people I liked.

I'm still working out how to get the experience in to terms that a five-year-old will dig, and to get it in before her attention wavers. But anyway, the first point is to not get frustrated with people for not growing up. You were pissing someone off the whole time you were doing it, so lighten up. The second thing is to make sure you and those around you don't miss out on the ride trying to get to the destination. Adulthood is great, but I'd take a year of being five again over the year I'm having right now in the blink of an eye.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bedtime Shenanigans

I was thinking about how I spend the hours of my day as I sprawled exhausted on my couch this evening. Bedtime for the short people is third on the list behind work and sleep. If we pull it off in under two hours we consider it a raging success. Even though it's never the same trip twice, there's a few things you can count on along the way.

First, the washing. Tubby Time can run anywhere from five minutes to half an hour. The boys often tub together and Sis plays PBSKids on the computer. The boys are actually a pretty easy wash, but you have to keep a close eye on the baby, and what kind of toys go in the tub because that guy loves him some bath wather. He will sip, gulp, gurgle, dump and pour that stuff down his gullet like a college sophomore at a keg party. It doesn't seem to matter to him in the least that this is water containing the accumulated sludge from two small children, that actually seems to be a plus for him. I imagine if he had the vocabulary he could give quite the coneseur's review of the beverage. Then it's Sis' turn, which is very much like trying to put a cat in the bathtub but with more yowling and cat's don't plead their case quite as well, "But I had a bath TWO DAYS AGO!!!"

Then little H-Bomb get's pretty much unceremoniously dumped in his cribby with a bink and his most favorite Moosie. At this point he also requires at least a five minute game of Stinky Feet so he can get his laugh on real good and tumble off to dream land. Lately he likes it better if we play Sweet Feet instead, either because he enjoys the rhyming or because he appreciates the deep irony of he feet smelling good, we're not sure.

Then J-Man has to be herded in to bed, and herded into bed, and herded into bed, and herded into bed. Usually he's pretty good about the first getting-into-bed of the night though, and we say a quick prayer for him and get the heck out of there so H-Bomb can drift off to visions of sugar plums.

Then Sis get's read several thousand three short stories or War and Peace one chapter of a longer book. This used to be a rather pleasant, low impact sort of activity. Lately there's been a lot of fidgeting and flopping and sticking of toes in my sore muscles, and sweating on me. Not so much the snuggly good time it was last winter, but hey, reading is fundamental and shit so we have us our literary experience nightly.

During all this J-Man get's out of bed 3.42 x 103422039482820 times and does one of the following:

  • Visits The Missus at the computer to "tell you a question.... uuuuummmmmm..."
  • Wanders into Sis' room to break play with something that is the most precious thing in all the world to her.
  • Wanders into the bathroom to break get a glass of water.
  • Wanders somewhere else in the house to break or knock over something because he is actually asleep but refuses to admit it.
  • Stands in the hall emitting an inarticulate wail to the effect of bedtime is so unfair.
  • Wanders down the street to look for us because he forgot we were in the house because he is actually asleep and refuses to admit it.
  • Shakes the baby's crib shouting, "WAKE UP!" because he prefers to have company at bedtime.
  • Wanders into the garden and just stands there with a blanket over his head because... well... we're not sure why he does this.
Then we say a long and drawn out prayer for Sis while she either pays no attention, talks continuously, or interjects constantly. We usually finish and she indignantly reminds us that we forgot the part about nobaddreams and then we remind her that we actually said it three times and she just missed it because she was talking.

Then there's usually another half hour to forty-five minutes of people getting out of bed, people crawling in other peoples' beds, giggling, playing, breaking things, and all manner of other shennanigans, the list goes on and on. Then there's the crying, screaming, begging and pleading, but The Missus and I are trying to work on toning that down.

Then we have 4.5 seconds of grownuptime, I wash the dishes, The Missus does her blog thing, we kiss, and flop into bed.

The End

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tender Moments

I came home from a gig the other night and saw that my wife had finally gotten J-Man's B-Day present together. (Read about that on my The Missus' blog HERE) A little yellow Cat backhoe sat fully assembled in the yard... With a baby doll sleeping on a bed of leaves in the front bucket. Those kids...