Sunday, October 9, 2011

An evening to myself

I'm not sure if I've mentioned before that John hates his job. He really does. Getting that job was a real blessing eighteen months ago, because it allowed us to move from Philadelphia to the DC area, but it certainly hasn't been roses. Northern Virginia is not a cheap place to live, and the salary that originally seemed so generous seemed like a lot less when it was getting stretched for rent and train tickets. And then we moved even further out, and John started commuting two hours each way. Couple that with a truly toxic work environment, and the fact that it's a contract set to expire at the end of the year, and let's just say he's been keeping his resume in the mail.

Well, there's good news! And bad news. The good news is that he finally has a new job. The people are nice, the work sounds interesting and enjoyable, it's in John's field, it is NOT for the government, and it's only 45 minutes away!

The bad news is that involves travel. Up to three five-day trips a month. John doesn't care particularly about this; he doesn't mind flying. But I? I admit I started freaking out from the moment I first saw the listing.

I live in fear of single-momming. I know people do it. I know other people have to raise kids without their husbands for months on end. But I have never wanted that life. I never wanted my kids to have that life. I actually told John back when we were dating that I couldn't marry him if he had plans to join the military! It's not because I don't like servicemen, because I do. (I'm related to four of them.) But I am well aware that it takes a lot of guts to suffer through a six-month deployment, and I am also aware that guts aren't really high on my list of stuff-I-got.

If I had found the right guy, and he insisted on joining the military, I probably would have waited six years (or whatever it is) for him to get back out again. That's how strongly I feel about it. I wanted my kids to grow up with their dad around, darn it! And I did not want to be deciding whether to do the dishes tonight, or put the kids to bed on time. That kind of decision making doesn't sound like fun.

I called my mom and whined about it, and I have to admit I could hear her confusion. "But it's three weeks a month tops," she was saying. What she was not saying was, "I did it for six months at a time, so what are you whining about?!" (My mom is much too nice to say that sort of thing. But she would have had the right to.)

Okay, I'm a coward. But now this is really happening, so I've been trying to work myself around to the idea. And I'm seeing the appeal. Blogging after bedtime? I admit it's pretty nice! And I wouldn't have to pack his lunch every day. And, of course, he'd be home a heck of a lot more on his "home" weeks than he is now.

Tonight, I've had a chance to try it. John went out with some friends to a debate (his favorite thing ever to do), and I stayed home because wrangling a toddler in an event that requires relative quiet is not my idea of a picnic. So I had An Evening to Myself.

It started out okay. I had pumpkin as my veggie at dinner, which John can't stand and I love. I made myself a nice spinach salad as an evening snack, too. I caught up on my Internet Stuff. I brought in the dog, who played with the baby, and all was peace.

Then the baby started pulling on his diaper and saying "Poo." So I offered to take the diaper off and let him sit on the potty, and he said yes. Then I took the diaper off and he REFUSED to get on the potty, possibly because he'd already done all he was going to do in the diaper already. I let him run around with no diaper for a bit, because he'd just gone and he has this rash, but that was a bust. I hesitate to get too graphic, but let me just say I used about six diapers for rags where I could have put just one on his wiggly little backside. It was NOT PRETTY.

Then I smelled something awful and saw the dog chewing on the dirty diaper, which I had neglected to throw away and which Marko had found and given to the dog. Uggggh.

Then I turned around and the dog had one of the few pairs of my underwear which is still in good condition. Edit: which WAS in good condition. It is now deceased.

Then I turned around and the baby was climbing on the table. So I got him down.

Then I turned around and saw the dog had the baby's shoe, which I rescued. (Though I don't suppose it matters, because I still don't know what happened to the other shoe last week.)

Then I turned around and saw the baby was pooping again. So I whisked him onto the potty.

Then I turned around and saw the dog was making a beeline for the poo on the floor, which I cleaned up.

But then the baby was getting off the potty, so I coaxed him back on with the promise of a book, and sat down to read to him. At that point the dog decided he belonged on my lap, which he does NOT. He is not lapdog-sized, but he thinks it's his sovereign right to be on my lap at any time when I am sitting on the floor. I spent the entire book shoving him off and having him sneak back on.

I forgot to mention the part when the baby dumped the dog's entire water dish on the floor and then tried to lap up the water with his tongue. I don't even remember when that happened.

I finally got the kid into bed, at his much-too-late "usual bedtime," and here I am. Excited to have a chance to blog after bedtime. Too tired to say anything particularly clever. And uncomfortably aware of the ham and the pumpkin which both need to be cut up and put away, in containers I'm pretty sure I don't have, sometime before I go to bed.

Good night, all. Let's hope the evenings aren't all like this when John starts traveling.


Fidelio said...


Hoo, that was a great story! :) Sorry. I know it wasn't fun while it was happening, but hey. You put it on the blog!

:) Don't worry. Those things won't bother you when John is gone any more than when it happens at 2pm and he's only 45 minutes away.

Tiffany said...

(((Shelia))) I totally understand. We're going through job challenges too, and it's tough. It's so stressful! Praying for you.

Sheila said...

Except the part where I can't get a shower in ... oh wait ... I have that problem now. :P

I write about the awful times so I can laugh about them later. And, of course, so you can too!

Fidelio said...

Haha...I still lol every time I see this. So funny.

Dog, diaper, baby. It's bound to be funny.

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