Nubletwatch, the Weekend

The weekend was the part of taking care of Nublet that I really was scared of.  No daycare, no backup, no nothing.  Just me, a chatty two-year-old, and two days to try and keep her occupied and happy.

In the end, that really wasn’t that hard.

Both days began the same way.  Get up, then feed her breakfast–one of Wife Unit’s homemade chocolate-chip cherry muffins, a banana, and juice.  Then, plant her in front of the idiot box watching some Disney pap (My Friends Tigger and Pooh or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) whilst I snuck off and snagged a quick shower.

Saturday, we went to the Super Target for grocery shopping.  She’s getting too big to ride in the cart, so she walked the store with me.  STRESS.  PUPPY.  TIME.  I mean, aren’t all supermarkets and stores full of sexual predators just waiting to snatch a toddler when they get out of your sight for one second?  Fortunately, the Durham Super Target apparently wasn’t, and Nublet stayed close enough that I could keep eyes on her anyway.  She was a good girl so I shamelessly bribed her with a reward.  I took her over to the toy section and told her she could pick out either a beanie Tigger, or a beanie Pooh.  She picked Tigger.  Five seconds later, of course, as we wheeled away, she started screaming for a beanie Pooh.

Sunday morning was taken up with me trying to get a little weekend testing done from home, and then it was off to the local mall, which has one of those indoor playgrounds where, as befits modern child-rearing, everything is padded and vinyl-covered and there are no sharp edges to hurt a child.  Except that for whatever reason, the outside wall of the area is still faced in rough-edged uncovered brick.  Go figure.  (How did I survive growing up with metal slides and ladders and monkey bars set up over rocks and dirt?)  After the play session, it was time to introduce Nublet to the nectar of the child gods…mall pizza.  OM NOM NOM NOM HULK SMASH.

After both those expeditions, it was afternoon nap time.  Saturday, she refused to nap, as she often does.  This is a bad thing, because when she doesn’t nap, she starts kicking on the wall separating her sleeping area from where I sit at the computer.  This is not conducive to chilling out and getting my head screwed back on straight.  Fortunately, Sunday, all the play caused her to immediately crash out hard, and I got in a couple of hours of uninterrupted time where I sat at the computer in a daze and forgot exactly what I wanted to do.

I’ll save you the boring details of the post-nap experiences, except to say that we ordered food out far too much.  And that she’s still the most amazing little two-year-old ever.

I just don’t understand how stay-at-home moms with multiple kids do this.  My mom stayed at home to raise two of us, and I knew she had a hard job and always respected her for it.  I just never knew how hard.

I’m at work now, where I’m catching up on my rest.  And Wife Unit is home, catching up on her rest, before I deliver Nublet to her from daycare this afternoon, and see the Joyous Reunion.

Not a moment too soon, either.

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Nubletwatch, Day Two

Well, we had another pretty quiet evening last night.  I worked from home (thank God for contract sites who don’t mind the rented help like me getting VPN access) and was able to relax a bit before heading into today and tomorrow, which will be the really tough days.

I’m surprised how well she’s handling Mommy being gone.  She asks frequently, but when I explain to her that Mommy is off selling her jewelry and will be back in a few days, she usually says, “oh, OK,” and goes on about her Nubletish business.  No panic, just placid acceptance.

For all the crazy she drives me, God I do love that little girl.

Obama takes his ball and goes home

“I’ll be honest with you, we’ve now had 21,” he said. “It’s not as if we don’t know how to do these things. I could deliver Sen. Clinton’s lines; she could, I’m sure, deliver mine.”

Shockingly, I agree with Obama to a point. Most of the debates so far have been, of themselves, useless. The only new things we learn from them are more about the candidates’ moods and emotional states than any actual policy planks or opinions.

But Obama is, let’s face it, the best debater of the three left standing. He’s usually acquitted himself fairly well in debates up until this last one. But when he has one bad night (and make no mistake, he had a real bad night), and then decides that it’s time to stop debating? That shows a complete lack of spine to me. I’d give him a lot of credit if he said something like, “OK, let’s have another one, and I’ll be ready for it. Name the time, name the place. Bring it, sister.” But instead, he’s running.

And that’s not the kind of guy I want leading my country in a world full of Islamic terrorist nutburgers and shrimpy North Korean megalomaniacs.

(entire article is here)

Nubletwatch, Day One

My wife makes and sells bead jewelry as a side job. She weaves tiny seed beads and string into intricate necklaces or bracelets that are quite stunning, in my highly biased opinion. I’d show you her website but, uh, we kind of let the domain registration slip. Long story.

Anyway, she is heading off to her first craft show of the year, hammering down I-85 toward Atlanta as I type this. Which leaves me alone here in the Landfill of Love…well, alone except for Nublet.

That’s right. I, Mister 41-year-old pizza-guzzling slob, have to take care of my two-year-old daughter by myself.

For five days.

I’ll be chronicling it here because, well, somebody’s going to have to have the information, right? Just think of this part of the blog as your cockpit voice recorder right after the copilot says, “Hey, did you hear that noise?”

In which Barack Obama says, “om nom nom nom foot.”

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

These are the words of Barack Obama, at a supposedly-private fundraiser out in San Francisco a few days ago. No press were supposed to be there, but a blogger from–be still my conservative heart–the Huffington Post got in there and recorded the speech. Always nice to see a little blue-on-blue damage this time of year.

Trust me, nobody was happier to see them turn up in the blogosphere than Hillary Clinton. Hillary’s shot herself in the foot this campaign, a lot. But you know she’s got to be happy to see the Obamessiah cover both feet with A-1 Steak Sauce, stick them in his mouth, chow down on some loafer tartar, then blow both the sumbitches off with a double-barreled load of #00 buckshot.

Yes, Barack, maybe your handlers forgot to tell you that Pennsylvania is basically Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and a few hundred miles of Alabama-with-snow in between. Pennsylvania is–no offense, Keystoners–just as rural and occasionally rednecky a state as anyplace you’ll find in the South. And I don’t mean that as an insult, because I’m a product of the finest redneck Caucasian recyclables Amherst County, Virginia ever had to offer. It’s just a fact. You get outside the big metro areas, and Pennsylvania small-town folks aren’t a whole lot different from Virginia small-town folks or Iowa small-town folks or Montana small-town folks. (Or even Texas small-town folks, although they might not admit it, because they’re Texans.)

They own pickup trucks with gun racks, Dale Jr. license-plate covers, and “Terrorist Hunting Permit” bumper stickers. They’re people who troop out in the woods every fall, decked out in blaze orange and smelling of synthetic deer piss, to get some venison for the family and maybe a nice trophy for the wall and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors while doing it. Folks whose idea of haute cuisine is a meat-and-three, and whose wine of choice is taken at Communion on Sundays. Men who’ve worked with their hands for years, and now suddenly realize that they can’t get a $14-an-hour job framing houses because Pedro will do it for $6.50 an hour under the table. Families with a nineteen-year-old son somewhere in Anbar Province or the Godforsaken wastes of Afghanistan, praying every night that tomorrow isn’t the day he crosses paths with an IED.

Y’know, Barack. Americans.

I already knew there was a God, but other people may be figuring it out from looking at the latest Pennsylvania polling results. One week ago, Obama and Clinton were in a dead heat in Pennsylvania, 45-45; this after Hillary’s Tuzlagate, of course. Now, Obama is down a full twenty points, 57-37. Sure looks to me like Tiger Obama just sliced the hell out of his tee shot on the 16th and put it in the creek. That four-shot lead with three holes to go doesn’t look so impregnable anymore.

Of course, far be it from an experienced politician like Hillary to miss an opportunity. So after Obama’s remarks made it to air, we got to see the unintentionally hilarious spectacle of Hillary doing a shot of Crown Royal and slamming beers with the locals at an Indiana bar. Because let me tell ya, when I think of relaxing after a hard week at the factory, I think about hitting the local establishment and trading shots with 60-year-old women in impeccably-tailored pantsuits…and their Secret Service details.

Life gave us lemons…

…right in the eye.  Ow.

After the ballbreaking year that 2007 was, 2008 hasn’t started off that much better.  The biggest problem has been that our previous babysitter, who Nublet absolutely adored, had some medical issues and has since pretty much fallen off the face of the earth, not returning our emails.  That left Wife Unit soloing Nublet all weekday, every weekday.  And that, dear reader, is Not a Good Thing when you’re dealing with the sheer amount of issues we’ve been dealing with.  A high-energy, smart, bouncy two-year-old is just draining to take care of.

So she started looking for part-time daycare, someplace where Nublet could go and let the wife recharge her batteries, which not even the Energizer Bunny could perk up otherwise.  We looked.  And looked.  And freaking looked. For almost two months we looked, at almost four dozen different places around the Durham/Chapel Hill/RTP area.  The only one we found was a place I immediately dubbed the Daycare Barn.  Nice enough, certified, professional, all that sort of thing.  And packed with about 50 kids.  Nublet hated it with the fiery passion of a thousand burning Dora the Explorer DVDs.  After two weeks, it was back home.

We found an in-home sitter after another month of looking.  A nice lady with a couple of kids she kept, and a couple of her own.  Nublet fell in love with her.  But, the price was steep.  $125 a week, with no discount for part-time–it was $125 a week, whether for one day or five, half-day or full-day, take it or leave it.  Then we got informed that no, she’d misspoken on the phone, it was actually $150 a week.  Despite the financial strain, we gritted our teeth and agreed.

Today my wife was informed, when she went to pick Nublet up, that no, there’d been some confusion, and that it was actually $175 a week.  So in three weeks we’ve added $200 a month that we don’t have to the daycare cost.  And again, we’ll probably have to grit out teeth and bear it, at least in the short term, until we can find someplace else.  Because I don’t appreciate getting extorted, which is sure what it looks like right now.

Just a quickie. Wait, that’s not right…

I know, I haven’t posted in the better part of four months.  Life goes on, and occasionally it hits you in the junk like a Roger Federer serve and leaves you writhing on the ground, with nothing else to do but waterboard a few metaphors for fun.

Anyhoo.

As one of those eeeeeevil Republicans, I’ve been watching the recent parade of Democratic politicians who can’t keep it in their pants with a distinct sense of schadenfreude. 

– Eliot Spitzer, the attack-dog New York governor who never found a hedge fund he didn’t want to put a multi-million-dollar squeeze on or a john he didn’t want to send away to Sing Sing, crashes and burns over blowing $5300 on a Joisey Goil who ends up being the hottest thing on Myspace because, well, ZOMGBOOBIES.  He ends up resigning in disgrace while his wife (who, BTW, is not exactly chopped liver herself) stands there and looks at him like he’s something she just stepped in on the sidewalk.

– Cue his successor, a very inspiring story–David Paterson, New York’s first black governor, a legally-blind veteran Democratic pol.  Great story.  Until we find out that he and his wife were sleeping around “during a particularly rocky time in their marriage.”  And that he was hitting up the taxpayers for rendezvous in Albany hotels…and in a Days Inn on 94th Street in Manhattan.  Dave.  C’mon.  Dude.  A freaking Days Inn?  Damn, dawg, that’s so romantic.  He may end up having to resign because of the financial improprieties, or he may be able to hang on.  This is, after all, New York.

– Let’s not forget New Jersey ex-Governor Jim “I’m a gay American” McGreevey.  Jim’s wife Dina–pretty hot for a politician’s wife–came out and publicly sympathized with Mrs. Spitzer about how she knows how she done been done wrong by that evil man, sniff sniff.  At which point, a young studmuffin pops up and says that both McGreeveys kept him around for a couple of years for some threesomes…because it was the only way Dina could get her motor runnin’ and head out on the highway, wink wink nudge nudge say no more.  Start off at Applebees, end up in a gubernatorial menage a trois.  Bow chikka wow wow, Jimmy.

– Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of Detroit.  Multiple Federal indictments for perjury, obstruction of justice, and tampering with evidence in trying to cover up an affair with his chief of staff.

– Yeah.  I know.  The standard liberal answer to a conservative bringing up sex scandals:  Larry Craig.  Fair enough.  What I’ve got to say here applies to The Toe-Tapper as well.

Now, understand that those politicians aren’t really in trouble so much because of the marital infidelity.  Spitzer got busted, basically, on the same sort of hide-the-money-movement-from-the-Feds tricks that he so loved to go after as a prosecutor.  Paterson’s more in trouble for misappropriation of campaign funds than he is for knockin’ boots.  McGreevey didn’t just play for the other team on the side–he hired his boy toy as state director of homeland security, a non-patronage position for which he was manifestly unqualified, just so he could keep him handy.  The mainstream media loved to jump on Larry Craig for hypocrisy, being a conservative caught allegedly soliticing gay sex in a bathroom–fact is, if he’d actually tried to fight the charge early on, he’d probably have pulled it off, instead of pleading guilty, waiting six months, and saying “no, that’s not what I meant!” like some 15-year-old D&Der who realizes too late that he’s just given the DM’s most powerful NPC mortal offense.

See, I’m a little weird.  I think all four of those guys should lose their jobs because they cheated on their wives.  To me, it’s very simple, and it doesn’t even deal with infidelity as a Christian sin.  Infidelity shows me that those involved have a lack of discipline.  And if you want to be my political leader, you’d best show some discipline, and that includes in your personal life.  I don’t want somebody as a Senator or governor or mayor or whatever who can’t grok the fact that “till death do you part” frigging means something when you say it in front of witnesses.  If you’re going to slough that off and go find some nookie whenever the urge strikes you, how can I trust you to uphold the other oath you’ve taken…the oath of your office?

Or, as the infinitely smart Wife Unit once put it talking about Bill Clinton…

“If he can’t handle ‘love, honor, and cherish,’ how can I trust him with ‘preserve, protect, and defend?'”