Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dude, Where's My Life?

As our dedicated legions of fans well know, Christian and I are both parents. Of children. We have been for awhile now, and it looks like we will be for at least a bit longer.

Recently, I’ve noticed how those children--the ones I parent--are taking up more of the time that I had considered mine. It probably comes as no surprise to others, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little dismayed at the idea that their existence should infringe upon my life. Especially when I want to spend moments of my precious life doing, well...nothing, or not much, or very little.

Here’s where my wife would probably come in and say, “Seriously, were you not aware of that part of the deal when we made that decision?” To which I would reply with a dopey looking stare, and a sad hunch of the shoulders.

But...this blog is about nothing if not radical honesty, so I say to you, Christian, and to our friends, that I think I am that kind of dad who loves his kids, but who loves the idea of some personal time maybe a bit more.

I’m ready for the hate mail responses on this one, or maybe even the call from CPS.

What are your thoughts, blog-buddy?

Christian: Oh dear God, your children are several years older than mine, and you’re saying it doesn’t GET ANY BETTER? I hardly ever have any free time right now and you’re telling me that never changes? I’m kind of freaking out here.

**grabs two bottles of scotch and a sleeping bag**

What about that Golden Age of children you keep telling me about? Where they reach an age where they want nothing to do with you?

Are you saying that doesn’t exist?

**grabs toothbrush, kermit the frog puppet, poors one bottle of scotch into half empty can of pringles**

I’m kind of having a hard time breathing right now. This is not the kind of news I wanted to hear. I don’t get more time to myself as the kids get older? It’s already been four years, for the love of god’s free time!

**finds a nice corner of the basement to hide, climbs into sleeping bag head first, starts drinking from pringles can**

Pat:  Hmm...is your wife hating me right now? Sorry to send you into another spiral.

No, it’s not really that bad. I mean, I get to do plenty of things that I want to do. Like go to the hardware store....to get supplies to fix the things that, over the years, the kids have broken. Or to the library...to pick up books that the kids have put on hold. Or to the county fair...where I get to listen to the tweener Nickelodeon pop starlet that my daughter loves.

See, it’s not that bad. In fact, on the right day, I might even be wearing the kind of glasses that make such a life look really good.

That turn things around for you?

Christian: I don’t know.

**cuts holes in sleeping bag to fit arms and head through**

Those things you listed sound an awful lot like parenting to me.

**goes searching for supplies in basement, tells kermit the frog puppet to “Stay here and keep quiet”**

Granted right now a lot of my free time is spent wiping butts, reading mindless books, and spending hours working on four-piece puzzles, so your list actually does sound slightly better. But only slightly better.

**finds VHS copy of Red Dawn, box of butterfingers, and Christmas decorations, makes bandana out of silver tinsel, whispers to self “Wolverines”**

What about my dreams of learning a second language or learning to scuba dive? Granted I really never planned on actually doing those things but I have grown very attached to the idea of pretending I would do them some day.

If my future is going to be anything like your present then I might as well stop pretending that I will eventually have time to pretend that there is stuff I want to do with my free time.

Was the point of this post to crush my spirits?

**goes back to basement corner, thinks pringles can of scotch might be slightly less full, eyes kermit the frog puppet suspiciously**

Pat:  No! Not at all! Have you forgotten about all the time you’re going to have in your golden years to do all of those things? Provided you live that long.

I’ve just completely resigned myself to the idea that I will get my life back in a generation or so (I think President Lincoln referred to it as a “score”), when the kids get to suffer through exactly what we’re going through right now. I’m planning on being the BEST septagenarian ultimate frisbee player the world has ever seen!

Christian:  A score? I have to wait a score! You know how long a score is? (It’s several years isn’t it?)

**ties pringles can of scotch to own leg, points at kermit the frog puppet intimidatingly**

I don’t know if I can wait that long. If this kid thing continues to take up all my free time when am I going to get a chance to finally write that rock opera based off my Jared-from-Subway fan-fiction  “50 Shades of Tuna”?

**finds additional unopened package of gold tinsel**

You know how timing is everything in the music business. Right now IS THE TIME for a rock opera based on Jared-from-Subway fan-fiction to hit it big. Who knows if that will still be true a year from now.

I’m not happy about any of this.

**starts making matching sweaters for self and kermit the frog puppet out of silver and gold tinsel, repeats to self, doing Tim Gunn impression, “Make it work. Make it work. Make it work...”**

44 comments:

  1. wow. this whole post is tremendously entertaining. i particularly enjoyed the **pringles can action** bits.
    parenting eventually takes less out of you. then again, i only have one child. maybe when you've got multiple kids it never gets easier. in that case, good luck, guys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pringles is always a winner, innit?!

      Delete
  2. You two aren't really doing much to strengthen my resolve towards becoming a parent. I'd best sign up for those Japanese classes now while I have the chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yoku dekimashita! Nihongo wa totemo ii desu yo!

      Delete
    2. SIGN UP NOW! QUICK DO IT!!! WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME!!!! DO IT!!

      Delete
  3. Like Vinny said, this really isn't making me want to have kids. I barely have enough free time as it is... you mean I get even less when I have a kid? Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, you get more free time again... when you're elderly, and therefore too old to enjoy it.

    Again, why do we have kids?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Asking myself that question is how I spend the majority of the little free time I still have.

      Delete
  4. An old "doctor" of mine told me that everyone needs eight hours of alone time per week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should we be worried about the kind of person who bills themselves as a doctor "in quotations"? Did that "doctor" touch you?

      Delete
    2. Only eight hours a week?!?!? Are you sure he didn't mean a day?

      Delete
    3. She had an M.D. and more.

      Your friend,
      Loonysuse

      Delete
  5. Christian- I think it's funny that we had that conversation about you hating music today. It was very topical, but I didn't know it.

    Pat-I'm very dismayed that my picture still isn't included in the collage up top. Seriously, were you not aware of that part of the deal when you and Christian made the decision to have a blog?

    Both of you-I have a cat and a dog, but no children. Jealous? I thought so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I hate to dismay, Megiweg...but I hope you realize that I have NOOOOOOOOO idea how to alter the collage other than to smear greasy ink on my computer screen. Christian is our resident tech wizard (pssst! I think he really might be a wizard!). Talk to him and he may be able to get you right up there between Maya and Schmoo.

      Delete
    2. For the record, I love music. Megiweg doesn't know what she is talking about. I mean for God's sake she lives with a cat and a dog.

      Delete
  6. Damn, I can't even deal with having cats, let alone little people things.

    My mom's been saying I'll grow out of that for the last 30 years. Pah. I am NOT sharing my crayons with some little human larva. I'm NOT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh god what I would give to have my own special set of crayons that no one else was allowed to touch. **cries into hands**

      Delete
  7. Wolverines!!

    I can truly sympathize with your lack of free time lament. Truly. *stares deeply into your eyes* Truly. And all I have is a dog and a husband and a life sucking job. I seriously don't know how parents do it without damaging the children for life because, based on my research, you cannot lock them up in the basement.

    If you are raising children and not harming them too much, then my hat is off to you and I say drink all the scotch soaked Pringles you can get your hands on.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lol! I love you guys but it is quite typical of Dads to seek refuge in the basement with scotch and junk food .....I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think the typical age that kids leave now is
    Ilke 30...it might be like 2 scores....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two scores!!! I can barely handle it being one score. This is all Abraham Lincoln's fault.

      Delete
  9. Uhhh, yeah, I am already resentful that my job takes away all my free time! Well, ok, at least during the 4 days a week I work. Whatever. And it is true that children likely will be around longer than 1 score. ; ) Also, even when they leave they call you all the time with questions/need for food. So bascially like now except they will be bigger. And yet, I am pretty sure I want children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you. It's just all part of God's little plan. I mean joke.

      Delete
  10. The Jared potential is limitless. Why aren't people seeing this??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got me. Plus there's the untapped potential for story telling about Flo from the Geico commercials.

      Delete
  11. At first I was on their side -- I mean, it's not their fault that you and your wife can't keep your pants on, and after all -- you reap what you sow (if you will). But when I realized they are the one obstacle between me and a Jared-from-Subway rock opera? Little bastards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a tragedy of unprecedented peril and tuna on whole wheat.

      Delete
  12. Has taken me at least 5 minutes to try and type this comment while my daughter repetitively crawls under the table, tries to stand up, bangs her head and screams. During this time I have been fully enraptured with the Subway Jared rock opera concept--it's a total winner and a true loss if you can't get it out there in time b/c of the darn kids. Also, "tells kermit the frog puppet to 'Stay here and keep quiet' " makes complete sense to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I don't know why everyone thinks I'm crazy just because I talk to a kermit the frog puppet dressed in tinsel.

      Delete
  13. I know what I'm being for Halloween next year - Mental Breakdown Christian!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They key to pulling off that costume is to be carrying around a kermit the frog puppet. Otherwise no one will have a clue as to who you are.

      Delete
  14. You two crack me up! That bit was hilarious and hit straight to the heart of my current feelings. Cherished moments alone are few and far between for all parents. I believe it does get better, but I have one piece of advice to leave you with ....get your 15 & 16 year olds to drive! I've witnessed the devastation and enslavement of a dear friend because her daughter is 18 & without a driver's licence. I'll let you chew on that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good advice. I actually wish they could already drive. My son has pre-school three times a week. If he could drive himself it would save us a lot of time.

      Delete
    2. I'm with Christian on this one. Think there's any chance of using Oregon's lauded initiative and referendum system to make it so that my 10 and 8 year olds can drive? Today?

      Delete
  15. I fear that I would give the children crayons just so I could brutally critique their painstakingly drawn stick figure puppies and destroy their artistic self-worth forever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is indeed hard not to. It's very difficult to keep feigning excitement over their drawings.

      me: "Hey son that is an awesome farm! There's even cows and a barn. Great work!"
      son: "It's a picture of your face."

      Delete
  16. Just so you know, seldom do they leave for good - I mean, my brothers and sisters and I did, why don't they? My 24 year old bounces back and forth between renting his own apartment and returning to live "at home" so often you never know what to expect when you walk in the house, the 20 year old in college has decided to be a lifetime student and go for the old PhD so we can't change her room because oh yes, she comes back constantly, and my youngest is graduating from high school and will be sent off to college, whether she wants to go or not. The moment all three of them are out of the house at the SAME time my husband and I have decided to move and not tell them where we've moved to - just to be alone for a little while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taking a lot of mental notes here: "move and not tell them where you've moved to". Noted! Thanks.

      Delete
    2. This is very very distressing.

      Delete
  17. You guys are hilarious. Way to tell it like it is- there is a distinct lack of honesty when it comes to parenting. Good luck with the whole getting a life thing, and let me know if you ever figure it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah honesty is important however my wife thinks I take it too far. But I'm like, "But those drawings look nothing like ponies! They're horrible!"

      Delete
  18. If you had somehow worked Twinkies into this blog post as well, I would have called it perfection. I will wait wait for that rock opera with bated breath.
    Happy Thanksgiving and remember to pretend you are thankful for the children that suck all your free time away from you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damnit! We should have thought of Twinkies too!

      Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you too.

      Delete
  19. Useful information, many thanks to the author. It is puzzling to me now, but in general, the usefulness and importance is overwhelming. Very much thanks again and good luck! Please keep up the good articles, thanks!
    Estetik

    ReplyDelete