Thursday, August 30, 2007

Post Vacation Stress Disorder

We got back from a week-long vacation yesterday, and I walked into potentially the busiest few days of the year.

I've come back a little sun-blessed, but other than that it doesn't feel like I've been on a break at all. Such is the joy of traveling with a 4 and 2-year old, regardless of how much support players are on line with me. I now have to finish the final, final draft of my novel by next Wednesday. In my absence I have been confirmed as the coach of a Kinder Soccer team (on which my daughter will be the star striker), which comes with all kind of responsibilities. And then there's the fundraising stuff for my daughter's school - a school which has its first days in two weeks time. I have doctor's appointments for me and the kids, laundry up the wazoo to put away...

... so I'm sitting here, typing, watching the Yankees get ready to beat Boston as the kids... I don't know... do something in the other room.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So what?

You know when I find myself saying: "I don't care!" the most often? When I really, really care and I'm trying to tell myself I don't. Sigh!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Marvin Allen R.I.P.

So, as the deadline for the final submission of the manuscript approaches, we have our first casualty.

Marvin Allen, the hero of TWIMCT, is no more. That is to say, he won't be called Marvin. In choosing such an unusual name, I wanted to make sure my hero wouldn't actually like his own name - so would outright reject the American tradition of naming the first born son after the father. My editor told me yesterday that it wasn't going to work, and another respected source at the publisher told me it needs to be a cool name to make the readers fall in love with him. The name, it would seem, is that important.

I have had a few suggestions so far, and there is a clear front-runner, but all this thought is distracting me from my kids, one of which is sick, and one of which cannot scientifically be far behind. Just as I start to feel better, naturally.

Oh, and the title will need to be amended for the UK edition. Just tweaked probably, but changed none the less.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Here's something funny. I am getting sick - nothing major, and it's been a long time (since the well-documented write-off that was mid-February) so I'm due. But the kids are starting to show signs too now, which is a bigger deal.

And here's all I can think about:

"I hope they get sick now, so they get better before they have their next doctor appointment."

That isn't as crazy as it sounds. If they are sick when they are supposed to go in for their immunisations, they won't be allowed to have them. If they don't have them, they can't get their clean health form to start school. And if they can't start school until they are better, then have their jabs, I will be stuck with them while ALL the other kids start school, making me the town pariah and Worst Parent Of The Year 2007.

For all those parents to be or new parents taking notes: Don't take your kids to the doctors when they are a little bit sick. They can't help if Junior has a cold, and it could wreck the next week or two of your scheduling.

Friday, August 10, 2007


They say every day with children is an adventure and a blessing.

This morning, as I was making the Cheerios he soon would refuse to eat, my darling son took a pair of scissors and cut a hole in the only pair of clean shorts I have.

So, the adventure of today is that I will either wear dirty clothes, clothes with a freshly cut hole in, or nothing pending my doing some laundry. Wow! I feel like Indiana Frickin' Jones!

And the blessing is... well, I guess I'll let you know.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Baby Steps

When people refer to me as "Mr. Keeble" I am still in the habit of looking over my shoulder for my dad. It is especially funny when a 4-year-old child I have known all their life does it. Clearly, some parents want their kids to grow up respecting their elders, but I much, much prefer "Penny's Daddy" to "Mr. Keeble" as a title. I am obviously better at losing my identity as an individual regarding my children as I am losing it to my parents. Hmmm...

Anyway! Taking the long process towards becoming a published author, I am happy whenever an inch advancement takes place. This morning I was confirmed a member of the Society of Authors, of which membership is limited to... well... authors. I was already a member-in-waiting since they went over my contract with a fine-toothed comb on my behalf, but now I have been approved ("just a formality in your case" wrote their membership secretary, giving me a huge swelling of ego-boost power) and now I've been voted in no less.

Yay me!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Suddenly Summer

You know, being a stay-at-home-dad in the summer used to be the shizzle.

I would wake up, cart the kids the park, hang out chatting with the SAHMs, come home, kids would nap, I would sunbathe in the back yard, they would wake up, I would throw some meat on the grill, wife comes home, snip snip, Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt.

I also swore, as is well documented, that I would never complain about the heat. I don't "do" cold well, and every February I find it hard to get motivated.

Well, this summer is the most oppressive I can remember since the infamous summer of '03 where it rained all weekend, every weekend. It might as well be February. To go outside is no fun at all. I am bug-bitten from head to toe. The house is either like a sauna, or rattling to the tune of the air-conditioner shuffle. The kids aren't napping or sleeping well, and we've grilled maybe three times this season.

All this is made worse because there is no school, and we didn't send either kid to summer camp. So, at this point, the kids are sick of the sight of me. There's also no money in the bank, as is usually the case three days before payday. So, on a budget of $4 a day, with 120% humidity outside, and with the threat of rain not actually becoming actual rain, I have a couple of hard, sweaty days ahead. I need a break from this job, and this family, so badly - for at least two reasons: 1) I have to deliver my final, final draft of the book in about four weeks. 2) I am losing my effing mind.

Friday, August 03, 2007

My vow

I swore in the dead of the snows of February that I would never complain it was too hot. Really, I would rather it was 90 than 40 degrees.

Today, I am coming very close to abandoning that stance because it's so darn hot - and it's not even 8am. My temper is on a hair trigger, my sanity about to snap. The kids aren't doing anything too crazy (refusing their third option of breakfast is hardly unusual nor the worst crime they could commit), but because I am already a sweaty mass, holding off from turning on the noisy, bloody annoying air conditioner, I am ready to consider offers from white slave traders looking for two bargains.

All that said, I managed a trip to the town's swimming lake this week and was able to sit under my umbrella and watch my kids frolic in the sand and water WITHOUT EVEN STANDING UP MYSELF for nearly two hours. It was a corner I have long waited to turn.

This afternoon sees a birthday party at one of those indoors gym places parents will be all-to-familiar with. I am actually excited about the prospect of adult interaction while the kids play unattended (by me at least.)