Friday, September 28, 2007

Spread too thin

I really am struggling right now. I wonder if I have taken on too much in trying to write books, trying to write for the newspaper, trying to write for magazines, trying to serve on a school board, trying to serve on a board of trustees at the library, shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry-ing, and keeping two kids alive.

On top of all this, I am sleeping so badly, not helped by the recent heatwave that hit right after I put the air conditioners away.

I need a break, not just from the kids (especially "the boy" (c) Homer Simpson.

Here's an example that just happened this very second. Penny is pouring herself some milk (she can get the stuff from the fridge and do it herself.) Patrick decides he wants to put the top back on the milk carton every time Penny takes it off. The result is a little spilled milk, which I shouldn't cry over. But there's more. Patrick then hits Penny very lightly on the arm with a drum, which makes her whine, flail her arms, and knock the cup FILLED to the brim with milk on the floor. This whole incident took less than three seconds from start to finish. That's potentially 20 such incidents a minute. And it's not quite 9:30am.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Not Drowning, but "Drowning"

I've been overwhelmed by parenting before, but this week is a joke. Even supposed break-times are exhausting.

After a weekend away, we arrived back after a drive up from the Jersey Shore, on Monday morning. Both kids were a little sick - sick enough to up the whining level to an 11. Neither wanted to eat, except at the times when all they wanted to do was eat. We skipped school for them, but by Monday night I was walking around with no idea of what I was doing and all our bags from our trip sat unpacked as trip hazards between the kitchen and dining room (ie. that's where I dropped them and that's where they stayed.)

Tuesday was no better. Normally, Tuesdays and Thursdays are my days when both kids are in school and I can milk my alone time for all it's worth. But, given the co-op nature of the kids' school, I was the "working mom" in Penny's classroom - and somehow also had to attend a social coffee morning with the moms in Patrick's class at the same time. I can't say it wasn't fun to goof around with the kids, but it meant I got home at nearly noon and nothing had been done around the house. I walked in, and tripped over the same bags.

Yesterday, Penny had a field trip at a farm 20 minutes from home, and had a shortened school day because of it. So, I dropped her off at 9:30, then still had Patrick to worry about, and was a 40-minute round trip away from unpacking. All the other moms stayed in the farm's cafe and gassed over coffee. I joined them. And again, I can't say it wasn't fun, but... home, trip, curse at bags for the third day in a row.

By last night, things were getting desperate. I had no clean clothes that weren't still packed and very little money for dinner or anything else. A hastily put together meal meant I had time to tip the bags on to the couch - the first step of actually putting them away. I then had every intention of putting Patrick to bed, then coming down and working on the clothes mountain. Instead, I must have fallen asleep next to him as I woke up at 5:15am, stumbled downstairs, and found the cat nesting on the peak of Clothes Everest, shedding his fur all over my white linen shirt.

Yeah, little overwhelmed here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Abort! Abort!

Too... much... urine...

As hastily as the idea was adopted, I surrendered early this afternoon. We will try again. Some day.

Going Potty

I would write more on this topic, but I dare not become too distracted from the task at hand.

For whatever ridiculous reason, we started potty training my 2-year-old son this weekend. With two adults present. With nothing else to do.

This morning, it's just me, with plenty to do. And in the last hour, the success rate has been less than 50%.

Which means I have been mopping us piss since my son woke up.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

R-rated post follows

The following story is not for the squeamish. For at least two reasons. That's my disclaimer.

When Patrick was born, he took a liking to a small mole on my neck. I had never really noticed it before, what with it being almost flat to the skin and, while a darkish-brown, not so dark that it stood out any. When he was a few months old, he would actually suckle on it like it was a nipple, which made us all laugh and made me feel like Scaramanga (James Bond villain with... an extra one.)

Two years later, he still had a liking for it, but it had been put under great stress. It was no longer flat to the skin. Rather it dangled from an elongated thread of mole tissue. While being put down for a nap, he would touch it, squeeze it a little with his fingers (the suckling days stopped when he stopped taking a bottle), and every so often he would grab it and twist it, which is even more painful than it sounds. Imagine laying quietly with your two-year-old, quiet music playing in the dark, then feeling a stabbing - actually a pulling - pain as your son grabs a piece of your neck the size of a pencil eraser and threatens to rip it off.

So this morning, I went to the dermatologist and had it removed. It took 30 seconds, and early signs are that it wasn't any more than a harmless mole. The doctor said: "It seems to have undergone some trauma over the past months." Well, no shit, doc. Being almost twisted off nearly every day could certainly be considered traumatic.

And the second gross-out story of the day? I was shopping in a clothing store and Patrick suddenly stopped walking and told me to "Go away" meaning he was in the act of filling his diaper. No big deal. I finished my shop, carried him out to the car (where I found my portable supply of diapers exhausted) and drove him home to change him. I lay him on the couch and went to find a diaper and some wipes. When I came back having eventually located the last clean diaper in the house and last packet of wipes, there was light brown shit all over the couch, his clothes, his back and his shirt.

Nearly an hour later, I still have the windows open. It was a motherload for sure.

So, here's hoping the afternoon is better than this morning. I am about to put Pat down for his nap. I hope he doesn't absent-mindedly finger the wound where his mole-buddy used to be, because that would really, really hurt.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Buggin' Out

Bugs treat me like a prime cut of beef. When I put on bug spray, they consider it a marinade. I get bitten even if I sit with a citronella candle practically singeing my eyebrows. I am too tasty.

As a result, I spent last night scratching my ankles raw as I "discovered" the delightful bites the skeeters applied to my fair skin during Sunday night's farewell to summer cook out. The kids, who ran in the grass, threw ants at each other, and must surely have more tender flesh than my leather old cells, are lump-free.

Bastards! (the bugs, not the kids)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Dog Days

Although summer is over now Labor Day has been and gone, this weekend is pretty spectacular. Lots of sun-frolicking this morning ahead of my first taste of soccer coaching. Out for a boozy BBQ tonight, then playing soccer tomorrow before coaching more soccer, and more BBQ for dinner.

And Monday, Penny goes to school! Yay for an hour with only one kid! THEN on TUESDAY, BOTH kids are at school. Yip-yippee! They are just as excited as I am, and I have plenty of work lined on both the second book and also some suprise work that will actually earn me some money - something of a novelty of late.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Two Things

If you read the link below, you might be a little confused. The title of the book seems to have changed along with the name of the hero.

You may well have read even further below that Marvin Allen was to be no more. He is now Dean Allen.

The book's title, for now, is "I Got You, Babe" which I like more and more. The original title "The World Is My Changing Table" may live on when the book is published in the U.S. But time will tell.

Just a little clarification there.

Bring it

I believe the expression is: game on...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


In The Sun today:

"England legend Ray Parlour..."

Big Day

Regardless of the status of the manuscript (finished, submitted yesterday - one day late only because Monday was Labor Day) I have some kick-in-the-bollocks days ahead, followed by some massage-around-the-sensitive-neck-region days next week.

Today already kind of stank before my wife called me and asked me to take the kids to her parked car on the highway and collect the paperwork she needed in Manhattan today, but left on the passenger seat, and bring them home and scan them and e-mail them to her. The main reason is, today the kids have their belated two and four-year old check ups, and the result (ie. if they aren't sick, and they get their jabs thus enabling the completion of their school health forms) will determine whether they start school next week or not. The prospect of jabs looming, they have been promised a very rare and special treat if they are good at the docs - a McHappy meal - but as far as I'm concerned, the chicken and french fries will be a celebratory feast, not a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. The day rounds off with chiropractor's appointments for everyone, and a school board meeting for me.