Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another round of change

Remember last fall when I announced that I was not going to babysit anymore? And made the announcement that I was going back to school? And how scared shitless I was?

Well, another round of change is in the works.

I took most of last December off and just enjoyed my family. Then I started college and went with the family to Disney World, all in the matter of a week and a half. Then Queen Tammy asked if I was still available to watch Princess because her sitter situation fell through and because she's my only best friend in the world I agreed to take Princess back into my care. We needed the money and she needed the sitter.

See, we hadn't thought the whole school thing through completely. By shutting the daycare down, I therefore quit making money. Yeah, hadn't thought of that one. I guess I thought that money would come out of my butt once I became a college student because well, back when I was 18 and a college student I had money. Of course, that was because I lived with my mother. Yeah, I'm not the brightest star in the sky sometimes. I kind of don't think a lot. I'm a writer, not a thinker. Yeah, mull that over, then laugh at me. I do.

Anyway, I then found myself overly stressed from vacation/school bombarding me all at once, having no money because Paul was still at Buffalo Run making slave wages and I took Princess back and another baby to watch part-time. And it's worked out wonderfully, don't get me wrong. I've been able to stay at home, work on school during naptimes and spend my last year with Kady before she gives me a serious case of Empty Nest Syndrome traipses off to Kindergarten and breaks her mother's heart. I also like to think that I made two mommies very happy.

Now, let me digress a moment and remind y'all that my husband is not the best communicator in the world. In fact, he isn't a communicator by nature at all. Paul's the kind of guy who will literally stand up in the middle of a conversation and go start moving cars off the carport so the kids can ride their bikes, even though he hasn't warned parents that he will soon be moving large vehicles and hasn't told us to gather up the children so they don't get squished. (Like he did Saturday night. And nearly gave us all heart attacks.) He just gets a thought in his head, decides to act and then acts. He doesn't mull things over like his neurotic wife. He doesn't talk about his feelings, his dreams, his thoughts or about.....well, he doesn't talk much at all, much less talk about things.

So when he sat me down a few weeks ago and said, "We need to talk" I immediately thought he was telling me he had cancer or that he was having an affair. Then I remembered that he refused to see the doctor over the pneumonia he'd had for a month until I forcibly loaded him up one day and took him to the doctor at gunpoint - so I knew it wasn't cancer because no way would he go to the doctor of his own volition. Even if he was walking along and his foot fell off or something. Then I thought that no woman in her right mind would want to have an affair with a man who grunts in response to questions, eats burritos at 11pm just so he can fart so rancidly under the sheets that I have had to change my pajamas because they are reeking of intestine, pees off the front porch even though we have two perfectly good bathrooms and thinks Hank Jr. is a god among men. Nope, unfortunately, he's all mine, ladies. No way it was an affair.

I was mildly perplexed and more than a little afraid.

He - or his pod person, the jury's still out on that one - calmly told me that he wanted me to quit watching kids. No yelling, griping, cussing or nastiness. Just calm, adult words, calmly spoken in a calm way. He said that when most families have children, the house grows up with the children. When one phase is done, you leave it behind: When the baby outgrows the crib or begins playing Houdini and escaping in the wee hours of the morning, the crib is stored and a big kid bed is purchased. When the baby is potty trained, the changing table is stored and diapers are just a stinky memory of days gone by. When the Terrible Twos (that lasted until she was four and a half) are done, the parents can stop drinking heavily on a daily basis and start enjoying their child. He said, "Our baby starts Kindergarten in a few months, Kristin, and I'm still hauling off shitty diapers. I think it's time we outgrew diapers. I want you to quit babysitting." Stunned, I wasn't sure whether to cry because that meant I had to get a job outside of the house, a place I try not to go, or hug him because he just strung together sentences that made sense and there was only one cuss word in the lot.

I have tried for years to get him to give me input on what goes on around here. So there was no way I was going to argue with him, although I think he was prepared to fight me tooth and nail if I refused. I picked my jaw up off the floor and said, "Okay. I'll tell them next week. Just let me emotionally prepare for their reactions."

Then my usual second-guessing kicked in and I started panicking. Where was I going to find a job that would let me go to class parties, field trips and assemblies? I'm incredibly spoiled to that, ya know. When would I find time to do my homework if I had a "real" job? I nearly drowned last semester working 45 hours a week here at home. When would I find time to clean my house? Because that is SO high up on the priority list. I was doing what I always do - doubting everything.

Then just days later I was offered a work-study job on campus in a wonderful office, working for an amazing woman who said I could get my hours in any way I wanted. I told my babysitting mommas that I was turning in my notice, so to speak. I gave Baby's momma about 7 weeks to find someone else and she cried. A lot. Then I told Queen Tammy that I wasn't available in the fall and I cried. A lot. But it's done.

How do I feel about this? I'm still pretty wishy-washy on it. Some days I embrace the idea of caring for only my children and my husband and my home. Some days I think "But I've taken care of other peoples's kids for 12 years! How will I know how to do anything else?" - what if I find I'm only equipped to wipe butts and noses for the rest of life? Some days I think that getting out of the house might be good for me. Then I remember that I really don't like people all that much. Some days I look forward to writing my book and (hopefully) doing some freelance writing as well. Then there are the days where I think that I might not be cut out to write after all and that people are just being polite when they say I have talent. And Cap'n Neurotic thinks he's cornered the market on neurosis.....

Regardless of my neuroses and fears, it's done. And once again, I'm scared shitless. Will there ever be a time in my life where I'm not? Nah. What fun is that?

4 comments:

jac said...

funny i was just having a converstation with my aunt today about "change" and how scary it can be and how sometimes you feel like you're gonna land right on your bare ass in a field full of sticker grass, but then you manage to hang onto what little sanity the good lord allows you and you somehow muddle through and come out the other end a wiser (ok, not so sure about that one) and more experienced person.
you rock. just remember that.

MrsCoach2U said...

Yikes! A REAL job!! No thank you ma'am, I'll keep the one I've got, that lets me go to parties, assemblies, games, doctors, field trips, work on school, husbands job, and bake cookies all while paying me wages. Glad you found one too!!!!!!!!!!!

Stewed Hamm said...

At least now it's going to be your own shit, rather than someone else's. I've always believed that the less of other people's waste products that you have to deal with, the better your day will be.

Word Verification: slguoj - Slug You, OJ. What half of America would like to do, rather than waste time looking for "the real killers."

Marshamarshamarsha said...

You are not giving yourself enough credit. You will be great at whatever you decide to do. If you happen to not like the new work study job, you can always come to the English or Reading Lab. We love you in there!!