The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...
Friday, July 30, 2010
How the Other Half Lives
Craig is in DC for work this week, so I took a week's vacation at work to play stay-at-home-mom. I figured taking off work would be the best idea because we have no way of knowing how Claire is going to react to her daddy being gone all week, and she should have as much of my time and attention as I can possibly give her.
So I get to see what it would be like to be a SAHM.
What will complicate this experiment is that I am also combining it with the experience of being a single mom. And I don't know if there is such a thing as a single, stay at home mom. Unless one came into some kind of big settlement or was somehow independently wealthy, that would be a tough one to do... So it may skew the view a bit, but we'll see.
I decided to take it a little easy today because I didn't sleep much last night. Craig had to be up at 3 a.m. to leave for the airport at 4, and so I couldn't sleep well either. So even though I tried not to work too hard, it was still pretty tough on very little sleep.
Craig and I have our days worked out to a solid system, down to the objects we get together for naps and bedtime, and the whole bedtime routine. And having that expectation already set and organized made it a little easier. However, the system only works really well if there are TWO people. Otherwise, it takes a long time to get everything prepped, and to add in things like...eating. Or showering. Etc.
I am now comfortable with peeing with the door open in front of Claire! ("Pee pees! Hooray for Mommy!") She thinks it's a riot because she's not normally allowed in the half bathroom downstairs, so it's like a forbidden wonderland to her. I have to remember to keep the blinds in the office closed though...
I got really anxious at bed time because I was afraid that was going to be the one time Claire would truly notice her daddy wasn't there tonight. When she goes up to her bath, she climbs the stairs and Craig is usually at the top encouraging her. I'm pretty sure she was looking for him tonight. On an ordinary night, before she gets out of the bath, I start rinsing her off, and say, "Let's call Daddy!" and she goes, "Da da da dd ddaaddeee!" Then Craig helps me get her into a towel. Tonight I only asked her if she was ready, but she still called out and looked for daddy. It almost made me cry.
Otherwise she went right to sleep! And then it took me an hour to clean everything up. Ugh.
But the house is weird when I'm here by myself. Every noise is amplified, and I'm just anxious about everything. I never used to feel like this in my apartment, but the house seems so big and empty and, well, scary. Having the alarm set makes me feel better though...
Okay, I totally need to quit my job and be a SAHM. My stress level is just about zero. The only thing giving me any stress at all (and it's minor) is trying to keep Claire on a schedule while getting everything done by myself. But we even managed TWO trips out of the house today: once to the vet to get Desmond's medicine (where Claire got to meet [and sign] doggies!), and then to the grocery store.
BTW, Claire LOVES going in the car. She's like an excited little dog when you say, "Want to go for a ride in the car?" She frantically signs CAR! and makes a beeline for the garage. It's pretty cute.
So we did all that, and now I'm just spending the rest of my night cleaning up. The monkey wrench this evening is that garbage has to go out to the curb for tomorrow, but I'm not marching out there in the bug-infested jungles of Charlotte at midnight to do it. So I'll get it all together and just take it out in the morning.
If Craig were home, my life would be a piece of cake. Three things I realized:
1. I bet a lot of people put their kids to bed at 6 or 7 pm just so they can get things done in the evening, and spend time together as a couple. (Also, I realize, if the kid has to get up mega-early for daycare. Slugabed Claire doesn't wake up until 8-ish.) If I were a SAHM, I might do the same. I don't like early mornings though.
2. If Claire wasn't in an inflatable tub inside the big bathtub (which we do for safety reasons) post-bath time would be an easy cleanup. (Also, she was more splashy tonight than I've ever seen her. She must've spent a good 10 minutes just splashing her hands around.)
3. I wish cats liked to eat people food off the floor. (aka, I wish we had a dog.) That would definitely save some time.
I'm desperately thinking of ways to replace my income so that I can take care of my baby full time instead of working. I'm even considering buying lottery tickets.
Claire definitely got up on the cute side of the bed today. How did people as goofy looking as me and Craig make such a beautiful, awesome kid?!
Claire and I are running out of things to say to one another at meal time because there's no Daddy to provide running chatter, but I'm improvising.
I've come to the conclusion that stay at home moms that say they're bored must just be boring people.
I will start buying weekly lottery tickets this weekend.
Not even worth typing up a whole thing about it. This week has been completely awesome, and probably the most fun, interesting week I've spent in the last year.
I am totally in the wrong line of work. Hell of a time to realize it though.