Archive for January, 2011

It’s Called “Business As Usual,” And You’re Not Fooling Anyone

January 31, 2011

I don’t often talk about current events here, for the simple reason that as a rule, the fall of empires and the foibles of kings simply don’t interest me unless I have some sort of personal tie to the events in question.  (And for a legion of reasons, I strictly avoid such ties with the same passion (and much the same reasons) that I avoid warzones whenever possible.)

But that doesn’t mean I don’t notice.

So Egypt . . . for the record, when you can measure your “state of emergency” in terms of decades, trust me when I say it is, by definition, not an emergency any more.

Looking Forward

January 28, 2011

To be clear, L’s mother has already returned to work, albeit with a “light” office schedule for the month of January.  This has let me get a feel for what taking care of L. alone during the day entails, without requiring me to make a full day of it.

Come Monday, however, she returns to a normal schedule.

I’m planning for an adaptation period of no less than a week for L. and me to get used to this new world order, and following that (and at this time this date is uncertain beyond sometime in February), the goal is to begin phasing in my own work back into my daily life again.  This will require its own adaptation period, as I’ll still be caring for L. during the day as well because . . .

Well . . . because I can.  I certainly don’t want to spend the money on day care (A friend of mine actually broke into tears when she found out what day care costs in this country), and there are . . . other reasons, of course.  I don’t know exactly how I’m going to make this work yet .  . . but I’ve got a pretty good idea, at least.  Honestly, I’m less perplexed by how I’m going to pull off working and caring for L. than I am by how I’m going to work around all the people who now want to traipse through my home or want me to visit their home so they can spend time with L.

I’m thinking about charging admission.

Current Status

January 27, 2011

Life is settling (at least vaguely) into the rountines of parenthood.  Despite my frequent commenting upon the effects of sleep disruption, the physical challenges are proving surmountable enough.  Most days are good, but some days are, naturally enough, more difficult, and the particularly difficult days continue to push at my more nonphysical limits.

Nothing surprising, really.

Which is a good thing, because it’s about to get a little tougher.  Come February, this dance will be going from its current Fred Astaire level of difficult, to Ginger “Doing Everything Fred Did, Except Backwards And In High Heels” Rogers level.

Parental leave from work time is about to officially come to an end.

I Knew What They Meant; I Just Wonder If They Knew What *I* Meant

January 26, 2011

Speaking of always being me . . .

Some time back I was invited to a particularly disreputable (not necessarily a drawback for me) and seedy (this, on the other hand, does run generally counter to my tastes) sort of establishment.  When I inquired what the appeal of this place was supposed to be, I was informed, “It’s the kind of place where one doesn’t have to be a ‘gentleman.’  You know, the sort of place where you don’t have to be yourself.”

“But no matter where I go,” I protested.  “I’m always myself, I can’t help it!”  (Now granted, if I’m always a “gentleman” or not seems to be a subject of some debate, but that’s another topic.)

But I Can’t Be “Him,” I’m ME! I’m ALWAYS Me!

January 25, 2011

I got quoted recently (uncredited, except as “him,” because my name wasn’t important to the tale) in someone else’s story, and the author was kind enough to give me a heads up, so I thought I’d share the story with you.

That . . . and take my due credit.  I’m trying to build up my “shameless self promotion” muscles, you know.

Looking Back

January 24, 2011

As I look over what I wrote last week, I find myself wondering if I’ll eventually decide if I overstated or understated things.

Most likely I did both, but ces’t la vie.  (Which, by the way, is about the extent of my current French vocabulary . . . that and menage a trois.)

A Touchy Subject (Part Five)

January 21, 2011

Because only in the realms of fiction do the inate powers of parenthood magically transform one into a perfect, loving parent, there was no way to be sure I wasn’t going to have a problem until I put it to the test.  Fortunately, from day one L. slid right past my barriers as if they didn’t exist, because they don’t . . . for him.  With luck this means my son will never be burdened with this particular hang up of mine.

Not that I’m relying on luck, of course.

As I’ve said before, if not here then certainly elsewhere, I never want to be one of those hovering, overprotective parents.  I can’t shield L. from everything, nor should I, otherwise he’ll never grow.  Someday he’ll have to face storms the like I can only imagine right now, and it’s part of my job to make sure he’s prepared when that day comes.

But that day isn’t today. 

Today any storms that want to touch him have to come through me, and nobody, and I mean nobody is going to be alone with my son unless I trust them without question to guard him as if their lives depended on it until the day he’s old enough to open his mouth and tell me anything I need to know, and mature enough to keep his mouth shut about the hidden knife he’ll be carrying . . . just in case.

Alright . . . I might be exaggerating a bit, particularly about the knife, but I figure if I make my point now, there’s less chance of me (or L.) having to make it later.

A Touchy Subject (Part Four)

January 20, 2011

I’m going to play the “Story for another time” card right now though, because the only important thing you need to know for the rest of what I have to say on the current subject is that it was a bad day care experience, and while it wasn’t good, it could have been a lot worse, and for now that’s how I’m going to leave it.  So long as it’s a known situation for me, I’m fine or at least know how to cope, and just about every situation is known by me at this point.

But caring for a child, something that requires a sustained level of physical contact far beyond what I’ve ever been comfortable with, was one of the unknowns.   

I guessed that I would be fine, and, as it happens, my guess was correct, as proven by the fact that L. is asleep in my lap as I type this.

But it was still only a guess.

A Touchy Subject (Part Three)

January 19, 2011

You might be asking yourself at this point, “Just how serious a reaction are we talking here?”

Well . . . fortunately, generally pretty mild these days, depending upon how good my mood is at the time, but let me put it this way:

Remember that college chum I mentioned recently?

When I first met her, she was a serious flirt (and I hope she’ll forgive me for saying so), and introduced herself by hugging everyone in the room . . . sometimes twice, and I’m pretty sure I went back for thirds.  (I was in a really good mood that day).  Nothing terribly unusual about that, and I doubt anyone looking in from the outside would have noticed anything strange.

But someone who was there, knowing something of my history, told me later she nearly fainted dead away from shock that I let a stranger touch me at all.

Notice the word “history” in that sentence?  Not “quirk.”  History.

If some ugly suspicions are starting to form in your mind about why I might be a little touchy about being touched, let me assure you it’s nothing as bad as what you’re probably thinking.

But it was bad enough.

A Touchy Subject (Part Two)

January 18, 2011

This would be a great time for me to lighten the mood by making a flippant comment like “It’s easier if it’s a girl, for instance.”

But my heart’s just not in it.  This is that serious.

Yes, I like (Ahem.) being touched by girls, but even that requires a certain level of mental preparation on my part.  It doesn’t generally take much . . . a quick recognition that a hug is imminent is all it takes 99% of the time for me to enjoy the embrace, for instance.

But anyone, male or female, touching me without warning, particularly when I don’t see it coming at all, risks being . . . unpleasantly surprised by my reaction.  The better I know you, the less likely this is to happen, but sometimes this is because the better you know me, the more you understand the importance of not doing this to me in the first place.