Monthly Archives: December 2013

Chomp, Chomp

Well, my kid is cutting teeth.  In a BIG way.  For the longest time, she only had two teeth.  They were on the bottom, and you’d sort of forget they were there.  I sort of thought she wasn’t going to get any more for a while, like she’d be one of those freakish kids who was born without baby teeth.  Yeah, that probably would’ve been preferable.  She’s gone from having two teeth to cutting three fresh ones, and she’s PISSED.

She’s gotten me up at 3 in the morning for the past two weeks.  Almost every night, she wakes up screaming.  And she screams.  And screams.  And screams.  I give her aspirin and cold milk – the cold helps – but she still screams.  I want to scream around 10:30 in the morning when I’m sitting at my desk at work, trying not to fall asleep on top of a stack of paperwork.

My husband NEVER gets up with the baby.  Ever.  He really never has.  When she was first born, he’d occasionally help me when I was at the stage of being ready to off myself because I was so exhausted that I could literally no longer function.  Then he’d do something.  Tonight?  He heard us up downstairs, but did he come down and offer help?  Nope.  He went to the bathroom and straight back to bed.

What the hell is it with men?  I do not know one single woman, regardless of how amazing her husband is with everything else, who has any help after the kid goes to bed.  Midnight barf?  That’s Mom’s job.  Baby screaming from teething pain?  Give’em a hug, Mommy!  Kid awake for no discernible reason other than to be perverse?  Dad ain’t getting up.  He might be the lightest sleeper in the universe, but suddenly, it’s like he’s dead to the world.  Every man I know is like this.  Well, fuck them.

I get sick of being the one who is always on night duty.  I know that he stays home with her all day right now because he can’t work yet, but guess what?  I did that for almost a year, and I didn’t get any relief from night duty.  It doesn’t matter if I’m working all day at the office or all day at home.  Either way, getting a full night’s sleep is a privilege for dads and people without kids.  Mom’s work is never fucking done.

I really don’t get it.  If there are any dads who hit this post and read it, surprise your wife and clean up the barf or comfort the baby sometimes at night.  I guaran-damn-tee she’ll probably be shocked into making you breakfast over the weekend.  I wouldn’t know what to do if my husband came down and told me to go back to bed, that he’d take care of Brett.  I’d probably die of shock, or at least past back out in grateful exhaustion.  As it is right now, I kind of want to shank him.  Also, he ate the last Christmas cookies, so that doesn’t help.

When I was in college, I took a sociology class about work.  It wasn’t that exciting, but we did a unit about “the third shift” and how women, regardless of how liberal the family is how much the husband shares in everything else, spends tons more time every week caring for the kids.  Now, I can’t claim that anymore, since my husband is home all day and I’m not, but there is a lot of truth to the fact that women never go off-duty.  I don’t.  I mean, I’m always on call.  Dads seem to check out after the kid goes to bed.

Some men might argue here that they mow the grass or clean gutters or do laundry or whatever, but they probably don’t do it at 2 a.m.  Childcare is a never-ending job.  It’s worth it, sure, but I really hate being tired.  I get to certain points with tiredness when I can no longer function, and then I get dangerously cranky and sometimes delusional.   I was frequently delusional during Brett’s first eight weeks.

The moral of the story is that if you’re a man and getting ready to have kids or already have them, get off your ass sometimes in the night and help your wife.  Seriously.  It’s not fair that women always have the graveyard shift and men seem to be able to just roll over and let someone else do the work.  Fuck that noise.

The Sow and the Acorn

My grandpa used to use this crazy expression: Every now and then, even a blind sow finds an acorn.  My response the first time I heard this was to ask him if sows liked acorns, and he shook his head yes and made a face, and he said, “Oh my, yes!  Sows dearly love acorns!”  I almost died laughing.  Maybe you had to be there.

If you missed it – I sort of did that first time – the expression basically means that even poor, dumb suckers with nothing going for them whatsoever will get lucky once in a while.  Well, friends and neighbors, I am that sow.  I found an acorn, and it is a good one.

I started my new job today.  I don’t remember if I revealed what I’ll be doing, but I might as well now.  I am underwriting crop insurance for a company called CGB (Consolidated Grain and Barge) Diversified Services, of which Diversified Crop Insurance Services is a part.  The offices are literally three blocks from the house, the managers are nice, the other employees actually seem happy to be there, and the job, while challenging, appears as though it might actually be interesting.

On top of that, the benefits are… Dwamn.  They’re baller.  I’m not going to talk about my insurance premiums or anything like that (they’re amazeballs), but I will tell you that I get to pick out four articles of company swag for free, original price be damned.  Basically, I can buy myself a new winter coat that has my company logo on it.  We’re having a holiday cookie party tomorrow because… I have no idea, actually.  I think it’s to keep the natives from getting restless.  There’s some sort of company-wide new employee orientation thing in January or March, and it’s at some big resort place, company-paid.  I mean, come on.

I never did write about what I’m thankful for this year for Thanksgiving because let’s face it, that is a bit cheesy.  But honestly, I am so thankful that I got this job.  I never thought I’d find employment in the hometown.  I was pretty well resigned to driving over to Springfield every day.  In case you were curious, I credit the lack of college-educated, reasonably intelligent people in the Jacksonville area for my getting this job.  Yes, I went into the interview well-prepared.  Yes, I hit it off with the hiring managers.  No, that doesn’t always guarantee the job.  Most of the time, especially in this economy, the most qualified person will get it.  I have no idea how that happened to be me, except for the fact that there must not have been any other qualified people.

Am I selling myself short?  Maybe.  But things would be different if I were in the big city.  Teaching English in Korea doesn’t qualify a person for much but continuing on in the ESL profession.  I can’t even imagine going back to that now: shady contracts, crappy housing, and having to live in freaking Korea.  My office has heat.  That may not sound like much, but my boss never turned the heat on in the academy until it was well below freezing.  I have a two-screen computer system, my own company laptop, a printer, reimbursement account for the day when I finally go on the road (on occasion), and no set limit on my sick days.  (Just don’t abuse them!)  I can’t remember what it’s like to not come in to work when you’re barfing.

Basically, I hit the jackpot with this job.  And some part of me feels like it’s about time.  2013 has been a rough year for me, personally.  Maybe this is the universe putting things back on an even keel.  I don’t really know about that, but I do know that I feel incredibly, inexplicably lucky to have landed such a fantastic position in less than two months on the hunt.

Yeah, I’m in the honeymoon phase, but you know, that’s okay.  I feel like it’s okay to be excited about what’s going on right now.  Because I am lucky, and I am happy that I’m going to be making enough money for my family to live comfortably, have affordable health insurance, and maybe even lay plans to buy a house.  Hell, I can support my husband for his green card now!  How amazing is that?

So I guess for this belated Thanksgiving season, I’m going to leave all of you with wishes for the same sort of good fortune that I’m enjoying right now.  I hope that those of you who have had a generally craptacular 2013 experience a turnaround.  I hope that Santa remembers your address, that he doesn’t leave you a sack full of coal, and that above all, you aren’t afraid to take a chance and try to improve your situation in the New Year.  I was scared to leave Korea, but I am so very, very glad that I did.  It was the right choice, and I don’t think it’s one that I’m ever going to regret.