Last Updated Aug 6, 2011 6:37 PM EDT
My wife's gone for two weeks and left me to take care of our Boxer, Fletch. Fletch just had spinal surgery so his movements have to be restricted and regimented. Ever try to keep a two year-old dog from moving around too much, especially when he's used to having the run of a 10-acre property?
That's not all she left me with. There's also another hyper two-year old dog that's used to having a friend to run around and play with constantly. There there's Snick, the 17 year-old cat who's on his last leg; a 250 sq. ft. greenhouse full of veggies that need to be harvested; two dozen rose bushes to prune; chores, chores, and more chores.
And, in case you missed it, I can barely walk owing to a torn tendon I got tripping over the dog in the dark one night. After three months of an injury that refuses to heal, I just got out of the boot a week ago and I'm determined to never have to wear that thing again.
Considering that this should be party time with my wife being gone and all, this is a real drag. I feel just like Mr. Mom. And you know what? It sucks. Yeah, I know what you're going to say, stay at home parents get used to it.
Well, I've got news for you. The only thing I can get used to is doing what I want, when I want, and liking what I do. If that makes me just about the most spoiled and selfish guy on the planet, so be it.
And you know what? There is no getting used to this. Not for me. I've had all sorts of jobs over a 30-year career, but nothing's worse than this.
Sure, I like the Zen thing as much as anybody, but I get it from running 5 or 6 miles. I get it from reading and writing, which somehow manages to keep my mind engaged so I don't realize my body isn't doing anything. I get it from working.
Not only that, but I'm a klutz. Around the house, I'm just an accident waiting to happen. I wouldn't trust me with a baby in a million years. I'd be in jail for child endangerment inside of a week.
Sure, I work around the house and the property, but I'm always hurting myself. When the orthopedic surgeons haven't heard from me in a while they, just assume I've finally managed to kill myself.
An hour ago I cut my finger on a sharp knife doing the dishes. The only way I get to use chainsaws, power tools, and shaky extension ladders is because I'm so paranoid I'm going to hurt myself that I'm really, really careful.
And you know what the worst thing about it is? Working people get to bitch and moan to their coworkers when they hate what they're doing. They get to take long lunches and have beers and margaritas after work to blow off steam. They get the satisfaction of a paycheck.
Not stay-at-home parents. They can complain, but nobody's listening. There's nobody to have an adult conversation with. And no paycheck. Just an ungrateful spouse who expects dinner on the table and then plops down in front of the TV and vegges out until bedtime. Sheesh.
I don't know how stay-at-home moms and dads do it without getting really depressed and hitting the bottle, hard. I really don't. And, In case you haven't figured it out, this is my way of paying tribute to the billion or so people with what I think is the hardest job in the world. I feel you guys, I really do.
P.S. In case you've been following the PC-to-Mac saga, I just found a minor downside to the new "finger swiping" trackpad - it doesn't work so well when you've got a band-aid on your finger.
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