Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It Gets Worse

I know: you're wondering, How could the purple toenail polish get worse?

What if I tell you my mother-in-law absolutely loves it, because IT'S THE EXACT SAME COLOR SHE JUST PAINTED HER FINGERNAILS?!

WTF, Sarah Palin?

Not to pass judgment unfairly, or anything. But really--and I know I'm hardly the only one asking this question--what in the hell can Sarah Palin be thinking?

Now, I know lots of people have been talking about the three-day maternity leave. That doesn't bug me so much, though I do wonder (not to be graphic) how quickly she managed to walk into the office that first time. Maybe it gets easier by Baby 5, but I remember my shuffle down the hall to the pediatrician (that also happens on Day 3), and it was none too spry.

And--no surprise here--I'm with her on the whole bring-baby-to-work thing. The Times reported today that she has a travel crib in one office and a swing in the other (I wonder, why not both in both? I mean, if you're governor and all. Probably her offices are big enough) and that she took Trig to meetings all summer in a sling and breastfeeds during phone calls. (No word on whether she has a magic nursing poncho...)

To all that, I say, you go, girl!

But still--Vice President? Like, of a whole country? As her baby (let's be generous and ignore the whole Down syndrome part of the story, not to mention the baby her teenager is about to add to the mix) is turning into a toddler?

It may be that most of the job is attending funerals (though I've done that with the W.B., and it's not the easiest thing in the world, though you do get a nice excuse to get up and walk around, which I personally find to be a nice benefit, at a funeral). Still.

It pains me to admit this, but I'm not even trying anything so ambitious--I mean, I'm proud of what I do, and all, and I like my job, but let's be honest: the stakes are pretty low at my cute little part-time, nonprofit job--and still it's kicking my ass these last couple of months.

Today, for example, on the way to work I had the bright idea that I would take some manuscripts and get a pedicure. Of course, the first place I thought of, one of those cheapy salons, had a half-hour wait, so I passed, and then thought about how nice a foot run would be, and so stopped at a place near work, where nothing is cheap, and actually made an appointment for an hour later. That's right--I played hooky to get a foot rub. That I worked the whole way through the experience mostly took away the guilt, but not as much as you would hope. (And let's not even talk about the economics of what I earned versus what I spent for that hour...)

And, I am completely embarrassed to report, I now have purple toenails. Well, not purple, exactly, but a nice lilac, not too bright or too dark or too grape-y, as I was assured by the nice woman who did the pedicure.

Why purple?

Because I panicked--there were too many choices, and red seemed too bright, and I hate pink, and I never, ever know what color to pick, and the woman told me it was one of the new colors and really pretty. And of the four weird colors I picked to try, it was the nicest.

But mostly, I ended up with purple because I'm insane: wracked with guilt over my formerly easy-going and totally mellow toddler, who, having figured out that now I abandon her for large parts of every day, clings to me, bawling, whenever I drop her off, and wakes in the night crying; fat and clumsy and uncomfortable and tired of being kicked in the ribs and sick to goddamn death of having to pee every five minutes; stressed out about the insane amount of (low-stakes, but still) work I need to get done in the next five weeks (please, please don't come early, baby!) ...

It sounded like such a good idea. Purple--why not?

Maybe that's what Sarah Palin is thinking. Vice President--why not? Life's pretty crazy anyway.

But you know what? The purple isn't actually looking so fun, now that the foot rub is over...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Number of Days of Preschool Before the Snot Began to Flow


Coincidentally, the same number of colds the kid has had so far in her entire life.

Yep. Gotta love socialization.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

And did I cry,

driving away from dropping the former Working Baby off at her first day of preschool?

Well, duh: of course I did.

And then I drove to work, parked, got out, walked down the street, stood in line at the coffee place, walked further down the street, climbed the stairs to the office ... all without stopping to look at dogs, walk on walls, use my knees to corral a squirming toddler against the milk/sugar station at the coffee shop while adding copious amounts of both to my coffee, check out the toy amusement parks in the window of the card shop, wait at the bottom of the stairs for while the Babe climbed "by! my! self!," looking back after each step to make sure I wasn't in violation of her "you stay at the bottom, mummy" edict.

Boring, yes. But I could get used to boring, I think.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen...

the baby has left the building!

That's right: at the ripe old age of 2 years, 3 months and 1 week, with a backhand wave and a "Bye-bye office, see you later!" the Working Baby has graduated to bigger and better things, leaving behind her baskets of beads and books and puzzles and bucket of pens and highlighters (such a great toy, until she learned how to open them and write all over herself and other things...) for the fun, fun world of preschool/daycare, where there's all that and more.

Like a real sliding board, not one made from a tipped-over folding chair.

I'll spare you the details about how finding her a place in a preschool/daycare occupied the better part of my spring and summer--no doubt someone out there has a whole blog devoted to that whole insanity. Let us all simply direct a few mean thoughts in the direction of the Waldorf School and acknowledge what I should have realized in the first place about it, namely that there's no such thing as "charming disorganization."

Anyway, many frantic phone calls and a few crying fits later, we finally got a spot. True, not at the Waldorf School, where "speaking beautifully" is a priority, but somewhere perfectly adequate. She'll go three days a week for 10 - 2 preschool followed by 2 - 5 daycare--all for the low, low price of just under $7 grand for the year. Or, expressed according to the Office Mom's personal economic system, a little less than half of all the money I'll make if I work for every single one of those hours. Before taxes.

Yay, Dad, Esq., for making enough money to make all this possible. Boo, hiss, Dad. Esq., for catapulting us into the highest tax bracket, which means that I'm working three days a week now basically to cover the cost of the coffee I'll buy on the way in to the office. God, how depressing is that?

Oh right: I forgot! And this whole setup lets me keep working at my job, which mostly I really do love. Not to mention that although the Baby Formerly Known as the Working Baby is a lot of fun to hang out with, I would have long ago killed her if we were spending all day every day together alone. True, we have not yet gone to see the dinosaurs at the museum, and that would probably be fun. But every day? Even once a week? Can you imagine? Or am I just sadly lacking in imagination, that I can't figure out what I would do to keep us both amused without work to fall back on?

Anyway, Day 4 of the week goes to Nana, who costs nothing. (At least, not in dollars.)

And Day 5--well, that's a good question. For now, the plan is to, um, go see the dinosaurs and other fun stuff like that--a last flurry of mother-daughter bonding in the 6 weeks (!!!) before Working Baby 2.0 makes her entrance.

Because as nice as it was to go to work alone today, truth to tell, the walk from the car was a little dull. Not to get all codependent with my toddler--because that's icky--but it does feel a little like I'm losing my best friend.

(I know: Poor, poor me.)