Search This Blog

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Deep Thoughts

I started this blog for a couple of reasons.

One is that I'm a documentarian at heart; an archivalist like my friend Mike Daily would say.

There's an old adage passed around amongst writer types and that is this:if you write a page a day, you'll have a 365 page book by the end of the year.

It seems so simple, I know. I remember talking to a band I managed back in the mid-90s and having a conversation about how often they practiced. Once a month was good for them. So I broke it down in the same manner: if you only practice once a month, that's only 12 times a year. Surely, I asked them, that if this was something they wanted to keep them from getting day jobs, they'd have to practice more. Do you jerk off more than once a month I asked? Do you go to the bar more than once a month I asked? Is that paying the bills I'd asked.

Apparently, my philosphy didn't sink in as the band broke up a short time later. But the notion stayed with me. It's one reason why I chose to stay at home and raise my kids. I mean, why pay someone else money to do something I feel I can - and should - do better?

So that's another reason why I chose to do the blog. To put down in words my own experience. I've been writing about being punk rock rock dad on and off for two years now.

Is there a book in here? Maybe so.
A screenplay? Possibly.
A rock opera? Most defintely.

But the last thing I want to do is let the experience wash over me; I'm breaking down the fourth wall like kids singing the chorus at a Strike Anywhere show.

It's not only my choice (possible Warzone refence?), but it's my duty.

So step up or step back.

And always bring the noise.

Sleepytime Trio

It's 7 pm and my two boys have fallen asleep. Earlier than usual i might add. But the whole day was an off schedule-wise anyway. I guess starting school two hours late threw the kids off their internal time clock as much as it did me.

It was a wild ride.
Once my 4-yr.-old Spencer got dropped off at his playschool shortly after 10am, all hell seem to break loose w/ his younger brother Cole. First there was the the coffee incident.
I turned my head for what seemed like two seconds in the kitchen only to find that he had dug his hand into the trashcan and pulled out the spent bag of coffee grounds (Millstone's medium roasted Foglifter) and spilled the tablespoon unconsciously left in the bag all over the floor. Then he managed to open the drawer that houses most of the kid videos and sprawled them across the family room floor. As I was cleaning up that mess, he stood in front of the cabinet full of snacks and pulled and pulled and pulled until the child-proof lock gave in like a Kryptonite lock on a bicycle messenger in Brooklyn: they promised me safety but I didn't get it. Then, my little monster did his best Denise The Menace impression when he stormed into his older brother's room and took his recently-made-out-of-an-old-baby-formula-can hand drum and preceeded to try and eat the rubber band that held the decorative cover slash drum skin over the plastic cap and tried to eat it. "Eat, Eat!" he said with a big smile on his face and slobber in the corner's of his mouth.

The crash & burn was coming and I could see it. Parents call this "the meltdown." So I dressed Cole up nice and warm and a little after noon we set off to pick up his bro from school at 1pm.
I knew he needed a nap and I needed some fresh air. Homie was crashed by the time I got to the end of the driveway. So I bought a daily paper to catch up on stats from the UNC basketball game I missed while at band practice the night before. I drove down the street to Spencer's school and picked him up.

"They had cupcakes for Edward's birthday," said his teacher. "So he may be a little jeeped up." This is good I thought as I had to make a quick run to the grocery store and didn't want Spencer to fall asleep on the way; but I needed to drive far enough that Cole got a good nap in. When I got to the Harris Teeter a short time later, the parking lot was mobbed with SWACOSS types. That's Southerners With A Chance Of Snow Syndrome folks. You know, the people who panic at the first sign of flurries and run out and buy milk, eggs and bottled water. Beer? Don't forget the beer.
These people do the same thing when hurricanes roll through.
So I end up holding sleepyhead Cole while I push Spencer around in a cart trying to get a few meager essentials. By the time I'm in the checkout line, both are crashed out. Spencer in the shopping cart and Cole on my shoulder. All I'm thinking is goddamn I wish they had one of those lil Starbucks coffee bars in the joint because I sure could use a lift. I want a shoulder to nap on myself.

Wake Up

The kids woke up early today. Too early - 5:30am to be exact.
That's actually typical but last night I had band practice
and then when I got home decided to try the whole blog thing
so I didn't get to bed til after 1am. I feel pretty good for having less than five hours of sleep.

It's such a drag to have them be early risers because there's not much to do at that time of day except plant them in front of the television. It's just that I'm barely functional until 7:30am at least. Then I make them breakfast by 8am (today it was mini pancakes with butter and maple syrup) and usually have them both dressed by 9am when it is time to take my oldest son Spencer to preschool. Today he doesn't have to go to school until after 10am because of a delayed start time due to the bad weather. I often wonder how working parents deal with snow days. I mean when there's no school you better have a babysitter on hand or a very understandable employer who let's you take the day off. It's the two words no parent wants to hear: no school.

Spencer broke his collarbone in Decemeber (that's a whole 'another story right there) and didn't go to school for a week and then was off for winter break for two more weeks. So I had three weeks of a 4-and-a-half-year-old and an almost-2-year-old. Punch in at 5:30am and hopefully clock out around 8pm when the little ones finally go to sleep. Then I spend the next couple of hours trying to carve out some personal time be it watching bad reality TV with the wife, listening to music and try do some writing or - as was the case last night - have band practice. Wednesday nights have been officialy declared band night so it's one thing I can always look forward to: it gives me a sense of balance, allows me to hang with some adult men (there's not a dirth of stay-at-home-dads in this neck of the woods so kid playdates are usually spent with women - which has proved to be very insightful in many ways), and release some stress via the loud punk rock action.

They say we might get two inches of snow here tomorrow so I better go browse the internet for some decent indoor art/science projects to keep the boys entertained come Friday.

Tomorrow is also the day I'm scheduled for my vasectomy.
No more kiddies for me. No sir. Two is plenty and almost more than I can handle. My heart goes out to the single mothers/fathers out there - you are the true heroes.