Thursday, October 28, 2010

Feel Free to Total my Car - I Don't have Any Kids

As I was talking to my boss tonight on the phone, or at least trying to talk over her screaming kid who couldn't seem to grasp simple concepts like he couldn't have any candy until after dinner, and he didn't really have any reason to talk with a total stranger on the phone (geeze Louise the kid's pushing 2 already, how long does it take to figure this stuff out?) I realized that having no kids has it's advantages.  No spending all my free time taking kids to sports practices, scouts, games, school.  No getting woken up in the middle of the night by a kid hurling, as happened to my buddy Jeff a couple nights ago (his dad of the year response to his wife: Why is he in our bed anyways? at which time he preceeded to roll over and go back to sleep).  No black eyes from the wife responding to a lack of caring for young violently ill children.  No being embarrassed at the airport by a screaming kid.  No being embarrassed at the mall by a screaming kid.  No being embarreassed at church by a screaming kid.  You get the point. 

On the other hand, there are disadvantages.   No bumper sticker proclaiming how well my kid is doing in school.  No sign in the window reminding people to drive carefully around my car, as it has precious cargo on board.  No excuse to wear a shirt proclaiming that I am the world's greatest dad.  (I wonder if I could get a shirt that reads "I would be the world's greatest dad, but I decided not to have kids so someone else could have that honor").  No child tax credit.  No tiny hugs or cuddling on the couch.  No getting out of work to take care of the kids.

It's this last one that has been getting to me lately.  It seems like there are constantly people skipping out on work for their kids.  Taking a kid to the doctor, going to a parent-teacher conference, attending an important event, giving birth to a kid.  Dad's even get paternity leave now, which is like a vacation where you get woken up every two hours by someone screaming. 

As shown above, having a real family is a lot of work, so I've decided I need a pretend family.  This way when work is getting stressful I can head out for a "parent-teacher conference" or my kid can be "graduating from kindergarten" or when I want to sleep in I can call my supervisor and let her know "my kid has a fever". 

Of course this would require making up some stories about how my kid got in trouble at school or is at the top of the growth charts.  Or at the bottom.  It really doesn't matter, as long as they aren't average.  Most important are the pictures to go on the desk.  I was looking at picture frames the other day and hoping to find one with some cute kids in them so I could buy it and put it on my desk and people would just assume they were mine, but all the photos had a mom and dad in them too.  I don't think my photoshop skills are good enough to replace the guy's face with my own.  Besides, the body would be an obvious mismatch, as guys with bodies like mine don't end up in picture frames. 

I was thinking I could just leave the picture as is and explain that it's my ex wife and her new husband with my kids, but I don't want a messy divorce.  And how embarrassing that the wife wouldn't even take a picture of the kids for me without her new man in the picture?  Not to mention the obvious comparisons and people thinking "wow, she took a step up".  No, I will have to live without any pictures of my imaginary family. 

Sorry, I have to go; it's time to put the kids to bed.  You know how grouchy they are if they go to bed late.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time Flies When You're Overwhelmingly Busy

Ok, this isn't an excuse, but I have been really busy.  Hence no post in a month.  My original goal was a post a day.  That quickly turned into a couple of posts per week, then one per week.  I have so much to write about, but have just been busy with other activities.  I can't slip below once per month.  This is just sad.

One of the things that has been keeping me hoppin' is a kitchen remodeling project.  I decided that the kitchen definitely needed a refresh. That was when we bought the house 3 years ago, but I have finally started turning desire into action.  I got some cabinets and a counter relocated, and ordered some new countertops from Home Depot.  I even manned up and took out the old tile-topped countertops myself.  Word to the wise - when you order Corian countertops you have to remove the old countertops, then wait for a couple of weeks for the new ones to get made and installed.  I suggest doing this prior to going on vacation, so you don't have to live with gaping holes where you used to keep the blender and sit your cup of coffee down in the morning.  I also suggest getting a friend or large acquantance to help with carrying out the old countertops.  Two sheets of plywood 7 foot long covered in tiles is a lot to handle by yourself.  Especially when you're smaller than many junior highers.

I also had to do some drywall repair when the old tile backsplash took some plaster hostage with it upon removal.  I have to say that I am pretty impressed with how good that came out, considering my overall lack of man-skills.  I also have to throw out a "whoop-whoop" to my friend Eric, who has enough man-skills for both of us for helping me install Corbels (I think that's what they're called.  I would just call them braces) to hold my new bar.  He also helped me install a ceiling fan, but since we're not done with that project (it still hasn't been hung from the ceiling mount we installed and there's some final connects to make with the wiring) he doesn't get any "whoop-whoops" for that one.  Ok, maybe one "whoop", but not two.

I still have to paint my kitchen, and get new flooring installed, as well as buy a new fridge and stove.  Then my kitchen remodel will finally be complete.  It's sad how much of this I will be hiring other laborers to do, and yet I find it overwhelming.  I did install my own sink and garbage disposal, which made me feel pretty good.  I had to hire a plumber to do the drainage pipes however.  I apparently don't have enough of a crack to pull off that level of plumbing.