Friday, February 22, 2008

One Year Older, and Wiser Too

We're coming up on our one year anniversary here on the parenting front line, and to commemorate I'm going to, basically, do nothing.  I'd throw a party for all eight of my readers, but since only about two of you are in the same city, the logistics are just too complicated.  But let me just say for the record, thank you for listening to my incessant ramblings for the last year, for giving me an outlet for my frustrations and my amusing anecdotes, because otherwise they would just sit inside me and ferment like old apple juice or a can of peaches with botulism.  

I thought it might be fun to do another day in my life, just to see how things have changed, and how things are sadly the same since a year ago.  Naturally, we need to start in the middle of the night.

3:42 a.m. - Zack wakes me up, asking for help pouring his cup of milk.  I am at once grateful that he didn't try pouring from the full gallon and cause me to clean up his mess in the middle of the night, and also frustrated because the tv was on, and it looked like he'd been camped out downstairs for quite some time.  He threw a minor (though loud) tantrum as I turned off the tube and carried him upstairs, but it petered out after a minute or two.  I went back to bed.

6:59 - Darcey is awake and crying, but it's Ryan's turn to get up with the kids this morning, so I wake him up and he stumbles off to feed her a bottle.  I shut off the alarm and try to get some more sleep, but I stink at sleeping in.  Still, I'm not one to quit without giving it a real college try.

8:30-10:30 - I attempt to make myself a bowl of cereal and end up knocking the container of frosted mini-wheats off the counter, covering the floor with shredded goodness.  Ryan tries to convince me it's still edible, and while I am a firm believer in the 5-second rule, I refuse to eat anything that has been swept up with a broom.  I settle for the last little bit of Special K with Berries for breakfast instead, which is pretty good if you can let go of the fact that you are eating strawberry-flavored styrofoam bits.  The morning continues without much happening.

10:30 - Ryan drops something loud on the floor in the kitchen and coincidentally, Darcey wakes up and starts crying.  At the very same second.  Even I have a hard time blaming Ryan for that, I mean, she was a whole floor away with the door closed.  But since she's awake, I decide it's time to go to Costco.  

11:00 - Zack decides it's not time to go to Costco.  He is very busy playing and screams at me when I attempt to pry his fingers off the keyboard.  If he were, say, an abusive teenager with a hangover, I would expect this kind of screaming.  But I am completely out of energy for dealing with this, so I let him keep playing and I work on some homework for my Microeconomics class.

11:30 - Ryan's got a bad situation at his office, and he's called on the big guns to deal with it - me.  The office park where he rents an office has this bad habit of moving him randomly to new offices whenever someone wants the room he's in.  The owner told him last week that they'd need to move him again (this is the 4th office in two years) but didn't give him any details about when or where.  He told them about our travel plans (we were gone from Thursday until Monday night) and was very cooperative.  Allen (the owner) kept mentioning how sorry they were to have to move him again, since one time they needed to move him was while we were in Malaysia last year and I ended up bringing my dad (and several kids) with me to move all of his stuff.  I don't think I was rude or anything, but I wanted them to know that this was not convenient and I wasn't going to pretend it was.

Naturally, no one gets back to Ryan about the move, even though people keep walking in on him, surprised to find anyone still in that room, so the day before we leave he leaves messages for everyone involved, reminding them about his travel plans and taping a note to the doorknob saying "Please don't rekey the door."  When we get back on Monday, there are three or four messages from the head security guy asking Ryan to please move his stuff out, and could he have it out by Friday, or Saturday at the latest?  Circus monkeys could be trained to run this place better.

Our big mistake comes on Monday night, when Ryan moves his stuff out of his office, without having secured a new place.  Now that there's no big obstacle in their way, no one cares at all where Ryan goes.  We lost our bargaining chip, and I feel stupid for letting that happen.  Ryan spends the week calling, leaving messages, and working from home.  He gets a false start when someone directs him to a room in Building B, but before he could move in the security guy says, No, that's the wrong room.  (That was actually welcome news, because the room was a total dive, with a hole in the ceiling for the thermostat, which is dangling from wires overhead.)

So long story short (yeah right) it is now Friday and Ryan is still at home, in the craft room, when he finally decides it's time for me to call and raise Cain.  I ask him if he feels emasculated by having his wife call to get this done, and he says it's no secret that I'm the one in charge here.  I feel the need to let him know that he is wrong about this, but doubt that I'd be able to make my point, especially since in some ways it's true, and in some ways, he likes having me available to do his dirty work.  I guess it would be stupid to pretend I'm some kind of shrinking violet that would feel faint if I had to stand up for myself., although I wish I was dainty and demure like that.  

I call Allen and leave a message.  Then I call Marie, who had given Ryan the Building B room, gave her the lowdown, and she told me to talk to the security guy.  Here's where the backbone comes in handy - I tell her that he had said to talk to Allen, and Allen is not around, and then I just waited and let her be the next one to say something.  She told me she'd call Allen and get the information for me, and when I gave her my phone number I also asked her to tell Allen that we needed to be credited for this week's rent since we've been out of our office for 4 days.  

Within an hour, Allen called back - he approved the week's rent credit and the room that Ryan's going to be in is $50 cheaper a month than the current place.  So it's all good in my book.  And I was nothing but polite the entire time, I swear.

1-2:30 p.m. - I finally go to Costco with a shopping list of about 4 things, which naturally ends up costing $165.  Granted, that includes a $40 box of diapers and a $27 can of formula, but the rest was all extras.  I have a love/hate relationship with that store.

2:30-4:00 - The boys are home, and it's homework time.  This month the school is doing a reading contest so the boys are supposed to read an hour a day.  It's fine for Brad, he can read on his own, but this means that I have to read to Noah for an hour.  In the ideal world that I'd like to live in would be part of our day anyhow, right before piano lessons and after the family sing-along, but in my real life it is exacting a toll on me.

I brought home churros from Costco for the boys, and I sat at the table with Noah while he ate and watched tv and I read my textbook.  We weren't talking to each other at all, and out of nowhere here is the conversation that Noah and I had.

Noah:  It's a good thing we're safe in winter.
Me:  Safe from what?
Noah:  Bears.  Except not polar bears.  Cause they are around all the time.  Except when they're dead.
Noah:  Are there bears in heaven?
Me:  I think so, probably.
Noah:  Oh, shoot, I'm gonna die!
Me:  Well, you'd be dead already.
Noah:  Oh yeah, right.

This is the reason, folks.  It is conversational gems like this that keep me a stay-at-home mom - you can "quality time" me all you want, but you can't schedule this kind of spontaneity.

4-5:00 - The boys scatter to the four, well, three winds and Darcey contentedly eats a cracker and plays on the floor while I write this blog entry.  She can really move now, and while her form is pathetic (total army crawl, using her toes to propel her on her stomach across the floor) she can get anywhere she wants.  And some places she doesn't want, too.  I looked over right as she grabbed the fake potted plant in the corner, and tipped it over on her head, burying her in layers of dusty leaves.  She didn't cry, in fact she didn't even move, as if she was so surprised at this turn of events.  Who knew that pulling over that basket would end up landing this small tree on her head?  

5-8:00 - I leave for my Microeconomics class, which I am habitually late for, no matter how hard I try.  The topic of the class is interesting, but it's gotten very math-y and the teacher just isn't that great.  I wonder how much better my education would be if I was taught by actual professors instead of adjunct faculty who are teaching classes that they aren't even getting their advanced degrees in.  I like the small class sizes at UVSC but I think I might learn more from BYU.  I doubt that this summer, when UVSC becomes Utah Valley University, I will magically get more professors instead of adjunct teaching my classes.

8:15 - I get home, we do scriptures as a family, and Ryan thinks it's a good idea to show the kids the first 10 minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  It's not.  

9:00 - Ryan is leaving to move his stuff into his new office.  Brad is on his way to bed, and I'm going to watch some tv while I work on some digital scrapbook stuff, so I think the rest of my evening should be uneventful.  Tomorrow we're going skiing as a family (Darcey and Zack are getting a babysitter) and I've asked the kids to take pity on me and help me down the hill.  I'll be sure to report if anything interesting happens.  But in the meantime, thanks for being around this year.  It's been good for me, I hope it has been for you too.

1 comment:

Drake Steel said...

Great story as usual. The landlord thing is interesting, the best you can hope for is that they parted with a couple bucks. As a landlord, its all that you are in it for... Money. If you want my love its free if you want something added, deleted, changed in the house or the lease... That's going to cost you. Also Dave Ramsey said that all the money in the housing buisness is made when you buy the house.