DAD is Back
My Own Private Groundhog Day every damn day (excluding weekends and holidays)
Well if you got this far it means I did to because my column didn’t die a quick rapid fire death by me giving up on it. Hoorah, lucky you, ok now that’s done let’s get on with what we’re here for.
If you’re like me, you love Bill Murray, well you at least like him enough that you probably wouldn’t knock him down onto the street if he accidentally bumped into you. If I didn’t like him at least that much I might punch him right in the mouth for that decent movie called Groundhog Day. I know he didn’t write, direct, or produce it and he merely acted in someone else’s piece of art but it is Mr. Murray that might strangle if I ever ran into him. He acted the part so well that I don’t see the director’s face or the writers’ faces, when I wake up in my own version of that movie every single morning of my life. I see his mealy, acne pocked face. I see the alarm clocking flipping over to six am and I see that terribly decorated room in the bed and breakfast and I see…well you get the point.
Being a stay at home DAD sounded all bright and cheery when we broached the subject a little less than a year ago. My wife was offered one of those can’t-turn-down kind of jobs and positions because the money, locale, and job duties were too good to pass up, truly just the money. Also I’m a lazy bum that couldn’t get a job unless I went back to doing exactly what the military trained me to do. As you can see I wanted something much different than that so here I am stuck in that movie’s paradigm shift. I know most of the guys out there are already saying what a darn lucky guy he is and they are seeing the same visions of sugar plums dancing in their head that I saw. Well it isn’t a terrible way to spend your day but it’s one messed up way to spend your days. I do however wonder about the other men/construction workers/cable guys that I see during the day. I wonder if they’re jealous or if think I’m a ninified wet nurse pansy. I hope it’s a mixture of both and I hope they go home more confused about their own life than I am about mine.
Most of the time I truly believe that I could not even guess the correct month if I wasn’t on this computer trying to freelance write my way into a few dollars. Believe me we’ll get back to this whole freelance writing thing but let me tell you about my typical groundhog day. I’m sure you’ve got the visual but let’s go through the motions anyways so I can show you how completely wrong you are my fine feathered frenemy.
It’s usually a rough, eye-opening, wake-up call at six am and yes I said the same time as the movie. Now occasionally it’ll be as late as six thirty because my wife tries to keep the lil boy sleeping as long as possible for him and possibly me but he’s almost as good as the clock. Once we’re up I hang out with him and mom until she has to leave to go to work at about seven o’clock. While that’s taking place I usually change his diaper, clothes, and do stuff like that while trying to get the black coffee to roust me with it mandated caffeine. Then she leaves for work and he often cries his eyes out for a few minutes if not longer. It takes me all sorts of ways to get him back to being cool with hanging out with just little ole me. The last thing I want on this green Earth is mammary glands that produce milk but at times like that I wouldn’t turn the hand of God away from providing me that miracle. At times like that I also instantly realize that the mother is the real child caretaker/slim shady/contestant in the human race. Not having those crucial pieces of equipment is a huge buzz kill. So once I/we/him/lady luck get him back in a mood where he thinks I’m good enough to have around, we play. When I say that I mean we do anything we can think of to keep him in a good, fun loving mood because fussy babies are the devil laughing at you in their ear piercing cries. After that it’s a little breakfast that isn’t momma’s milk and then off for his first nap. Now I’ve never been good at taking that early of a midmorning nap or getting back to sleep after being up ready to start the day so I write, clean, or sit in a vegetative state thankful for the momentary serenity. Back when I might drink a few to wake up enough to go back to sleep I’d have easily be right there with him. Well that was a far different time and place as it seems I’m not allowed to do that anymore while taking care of a small child. I have two rules for her to her twenty for me, how fair is that, I’m the elder in this relationship.
For a moment let’s regress and talk about these mammary glands that women have and if man were the food store. I could not, would not, shall not ever be able to do that for the child (yes even when he is flipping out and I know it would probably, instantly calm him down). I couldn’t imagine having something latched onto me that much all day and all night. I don’t even like wearing a watch, jewelry, or carrying a wallet because I don’t want anything on me except comfortable clothes and not much else. I wasn’t always this way but I am now and I haven’t owned a watch in a decade or more. I’m one of those weird guys that actually uses the belt clip for the Iphone because I hate any bulk in my pockets. If I could find another way to carry that useless gadget around where it wasn’t on my person at all I’d do it (yes the pouch on the baby stroller is just great for that but that’s only for an hour or so out of the day). So for a baby to be latched onto me in that way more than he already is, because right now he’s still in a pretty clingy phase, I’d go insane like most famous people seem to do. I’m telling you right now, he would’ve been a formula baby before he was born if I was the milk store. Trust me my fellow boys/men/cowards we got a golden hall pass/parachute/ticket from God/evolution/aliens on that one.
After his first nap time we take some reflective moments for him to wake up (if he doesn’t wake up completely freaking out) and then I give him his bottle full of mother’s milk. Once that’s done we go on that hour long walk if it ain’t too hot and I’m feeling froggy. That usually brings us up to lunch and for now she comes home to eat and nurse him. After that there’s some more play time and then another nap which for awhile was going well for me too. However, lately I haven’t been able to sack out so I write, clean, or stare in a vegetative state thankful for the momentary serenity. After the nap it’s a little wake up time and then another bottle of mother’s milk followed by some play time. A snack of some sorts and then more play time until mommy comes home at five o’clock pm. Now if you’re math geniuses you’ll already know that’s ten hours of nonstop fun on Groundhog Day for DAD. I left out some stuff like changing more diapers, changing clothes like a runway model, and fits of crying for a few reasons that make sense and many others that don’t. The weekends break it up a bit but that is almost how every day for the last four to five months have been like. I can tell you that it feels like it’s been five years at least. I won’t bore you with the after she gets home part but let’s just say that there is not a lot of change up there either. The other day we walked to a very close store and since we fed him too many vegetables/fiber/fruits he explosively used his diaper so we came home. Big night out my friends, yes sir, that was a big night out for sure. We didn’t even get our mission/objective/task done.
Yes it all certainly beats the normal nine to five grind that I’ve done for most of my life but talk about being in a rut, whoa. Some days I honestly get angry with the movie because I’d never known I was living Groundhog Day over and over again without it existing. I’d only know it as tedium and boring but the movie gives it so much more depth and understanding that I’d probably punch BM right in the mouth. Now look I understand that it can afflict anyone because Bon Jovi sang about it when they were at their peak or at least their first peak but trust me Jon this is much different that a different girl and bottle every night. Yes, there are similarities like bottles (beer, milk, shampoo) and a different girl as I’m never quite sure which version of wife is going to come through the trailer door at night but its night and day buddy, night and day.
The biggest thing about my own private February 2nd days of hell on continuous loop play that’s the most annoying is that she resents me for it. I’m not talking like a true career man/woman/space alien placating his/her/its trophy stay at home spouse/significant other/better half (does a trophy stay at husband exist you’re asking, sure it must right, hey wait a minute is that what I am?). I’m talking about a special kind of resentment that’s built up from a smidgen of hey this isn’t fair to you better get your act together and get these roles reversed pronto or I might just well let's just say I think you get the picture. Now a light bulb just went off in your head, because you’re thinking oh that’s why this guy is writing a column and trying his pathetic luck at freelance writing. You know sometimes you just get me and that’s why I like my therapeutic column for me and those special people out there like you. What’s up next you ask? Hmmmm let’s see I was think about doing one on younger woman/older man crap has hit the fan, or the twenty year old father versus the forty four year old should be a grandpappy instead father.
Until next time,