Monday, September 05, 2005

A Hole New World

It is 3pm and I sit here at the computer, without any kids in my house running/shouting/wrestling/making each other cry/watching too much tv/eating too many cookies because Mommy's on the internet. I thought this would be sooo good. For two-plus years now I thought that. It is not entirely good. It is weird.

This new set of events is because 1) Number-One Son has started kindergarten, and the bus does not arrive until 3:43 pm (turrible accurate they are, those bus-schedule people); and 2) because I have to drive to the bus stop during what is otherwise Number-Two Son's naptime, I leave him in preschool until 4pm (which is approximately when I return from said stop with the other son.) It is only 1 and 1/2 hour longer than the previous 2:30 pm pick-up time, but that is truly long enough to get bored and eat way too many potato chips. I'm going to have to wipe down this keyboard after this entry. Just blame any typos on the slickening surface.

So what do I do with this Gift of Time? Do I get pedicures or massages? Read that list of novels I've been meaning to get through? Save all my bowel-movements (sorry, our mom is a nurse) so that I can finally have some privacy? No, I blog. You people must be spe-shul, lemme tell you, to merit such exclusive attention.

I guess this is some kind of mini-empty nest syndrome. It's practice. I'm going to have to take golf lessons, find some friends to lunch, volunteer somewhere and take those Mandarin Chinese lessons sooner than I thought. (I'm actually half-serious about the Mandarin Chinese. 'Cause didn't those people sound SO COOL in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? If you saw the subtitled version? And Chow Yun Fat is HOT; what was Michelle Yeoh THINKING resisting jumping his bones all those years? Okay I remember way to much about a movie I saw twice three-ish years ago.)

Look at these fantasies of mine. Hilarious. 1.5 extra hours and I'm talking language lessons. I sound like the Koreans who, when given a whole second weekend day off for the first time a year ago, started clogging the air routes flying to Malaysia and Tokyo, since dude, what were they gonna do staying HOME for an entire TWO-DAY WEEKEND?! (Yes, there really was a news story about the entirely real phenomenon. And yes, a two-day weekend law only went into effect for certain busnesses in 2004. Some smaller companies didn't have to abide by it until this July, I think. Kids, of course, still go to school half a day Saturday. That's how Momma and Daddy like it.)

Okay so I strayed a little from the topic. The point of which was, what is the DEAL with kids? You have this life before them and it's cool, you're hangin'. Then you and the Significant Other get tired of the dinner and a movie routine and think, babies are cute and fun, let's get us one! Ten months later (they lie about human gestation length, o you uninitiated) you start the squirming, pink Descent Into Chaos that is Baby #1 (unless you adopt, in which case it takes longer; or you have multiples, in which case you also have my sympathy) and VOILA: your life as you knew it is gone. Unrecognizable. Finished. (Though most times in a good to tolerable way.) Slowly you piece together something resembling a routine, a new reality, then just when it's getting manageable POOF, along comes the next one. Total destruction again. (Repeat this process for as many children as you have, although many lying liars out there will make claims about how going from two to three or going from three to four "isn't really that different." Pah! Lalalala I can't hear you.)

Then you send them off to preschool or whatever and, like me, they reach some age where their schedules end up leaving you alone for a whopping 6 hours a day. So you recover you old Life, right? You stretch, purr, and say "ah, back to Me Time now" right? Turn to philosophy, meditation and contemplation? Wrong, it seems. You writhe instead in some "where are my babies" state of nonexistence. Look at me: I straightened the house and made a trip to Costco (yes, thank you, God, they have those in South Korea, too). Then I read some of the newspaper, checked my favorite blogs, and am writing this. That all sounds good and useful, except that, after putting away Costco goods at approximately 1 pm, all the other activities have just been just glorified clock-watching. I am hopeless.

That's humans for you, I guess. The poop is always smellier, the puke stains more apparent, the noise louder, the silence emptier when it's your own kids.

Oh, lookee! Yay! 3:05 pm. Time to go get Big Boy, then Little Boy, then feed snacks, then video and/or fighting over toys, then playground, then Somewhat Tired Mommy cooks three dinners, most of which get thrown out, then Tired but Fun Daddy bathes, then jointly we put 'em to bed, then Revitalized Daddy makes Adult Suggestions to By-Now Probably Exhausted Mommy. (Except when Mommy catches a second wind, in which case some rule of the cosmos mandates that Daddy must be the one that night who is exhausted, fed-up, or already asleep on the couch.) Accept or refuse and repeat tomorrow. Now you know my whole entire routine and you can stalk me. I'd be the redhead in South Korea (well, there may be a few others, but mine's natural.)

Ah, I love my life. (No, seriously, I do.) Bye!


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