Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Work !

Let's get to something lighter.

One of these dreaded, but necessary decisions, going back to work, was a strategically planned option for me when my first progeny (twins) would hit the nine month mark. Fresh out of graduate school (MSW, don't know how anyone has a baby without one) knew enough to know that since the boys would have something called "object constancy" at 9 mos., that that was the magical age.

I could leave when the twins were 9 mos. old and they'd REMEMBER me. The babysitter wouldn't be a preferable surrogate. Maybe boring and unoriginal, but a source of real anxiety at the time.

But these days the 9 month theory is probably out of favor (I'd love some feedback, having been out of the psycho-dynamic loop now for many years). And there are so many parent magazines and so many women who have DONE IT and so many advice columns and now television shows and even MOMMY BLOGS, that I am sure the strategies and rationalizations are legend and the subject is beaten to fine baby powder.

Whaddaya need me for?

There are even DADDY BLOGS on how to do it.

Speaking of which, it always galled me that women had to have this angst but men were supposed to chirpily head off to work every day. Kiss the wife, pat the baby on the head and out you go. Chirpily anything, really. Chirp. Just chirp, guys.

In couple therapy it hurts me when I hear women complaining to men about not second shifting hard enough (change genders if you're gay where applicable). Both of you, don't you know, are supposed to get home from work, shoo out the baby sitter, and HIT THE FLOOR RUNNING. Get to work, d(expletive) it.

Six months ago, when Empath Daught went to work the boys were 4 and 2. It was hard leaving them, but she was pumped. And she was sick of free-lancing, having to beg people to pay her and having to redesign a perfectly wonderful web-sight because, it's great, but can't you just tweak this page right here, because I really, really think you've missed what I'm trying to do here.

She was valued by a high end store with high expectations and she fully intended to meet them and eventually make high end money.

She knew we were proud, but she called me and asked me honestly, How did I do it? How did I handle my separation anxiety? Wasn't it horrible handling their tears and their fears? Kids can make you feel so so guilty.

Flattered I was, Yoda said, that she asked.

And so happy, too. I don't like giving unsolicited advice to my kids or anyone else. Even when someone asks me straight out for advice I'll think about it and say to myself: this is an ego trap. beware. ego trap. do not step in. get more information. don't bite. trap.

That is, when I have my head on straight.

But I did have a system, and Empath Daught was interested. I'd stop the car in front of the house and brace myself for a second, hear the end of a song. Then gather my things, click that key in the door, hang up my coat, kick off the shoes and nylons (first thing), sit down on the floor with them, and play. Just play. For as long as I had until those guys tuckered out and went down for the night, I played. (I supposed there was some feeding and changing and bathing going on, too, but I can tell you for sure, there was no television.) And so many, many books. So many books.

The phone? Ignored it.

Tomorrow? Who cared.

The mess? Again. Gave it over to the sheer powerlessness of it all.

I remember this now because yesterday I heard that song on the radio by Kenny Loggins, the Christopher Robin song.

You'd be surprised
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh


It's an old song and I so love it. It got me back to thinking about those days. One of the things I remembered was that I needed to let go of the need to CLEAN. It wasn't that hard when I got into it, and of course, I was very into it, reconnecting with those kids. As I told my friend Mimi in an email the other day:

i liked it when the kids were little, giving into disorder and just watching them when i got home from work, sort of marveled. let the leggos take over.

best story

got burgled once. cop said, uh, lady, hate to ask, but was it this way before you left the house, or did the burglars do this to the bedroom?

uh, actually..


Giving into the disorder. I'd be terrified when people came over but didn't show it, or tried not to. Did say, if I recall, hold him while I clear away a place for you to sit down :)

So it's nice to know that Empath Daught is following in my footsteps. But I gotta' tell you. Somehow she gets those toys put away. I don't know how she does it.


Copyright 2007, Therapydoc

By Kenny Loggins (© 1969,1994 MCA Music Publishing, a division of MCA Inc.c 1969,1994)
Christopher Robin and I walked along
Under branches lit up by the moon
Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore
As our days disappeared all too soon
But I've wandered much further today than I should
And I can't seem to find my way back to the Wood

So help me if you can
I've got to get back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
You'd be surprised
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh

Winnie the Pooh doesn't know what to do
Got a honey jar stuck on his nose
He came to me asking for help and advice
And from here no one knows where he goes
So I sent him to ask of the Owl if he's there
How to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear

It's hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all's said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side
So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that the old bear whispered
"Boy welcome home"

Believe me if you can
I've finally come back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
What do you know
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin
Back to the ways of Christopher Robin
Back to the days of Pooh


Alternate Version -- House at Pooh Corner- Christopher Robin and I walked along under branches lit up by the moon. Posing our questions to owl and eeyore as our days disappeared all too soon. But I've wandered much further today than I should and I can't seeem to find my way back to the wood. So, help me if you can I've got to get back to the house at Pooh corner by one. You;d be surprized there's so much to be done, count all the bees in the hive, chase all the clouds from the sky. Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh. Winnie the Pooh doesn't know what to do, got a honey jar stuck on his nose. He came to me asking help and advice and from here no one knows where he goes. So I sent him to ask of te Owl if he's there, how to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear So, help me if you can I've got to get back to the house at Pooh corner by one You'd be surprized there's so much to be done, count all the bees in the hive, chase all the clouds from the sky . Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh, back to the days of Christopher Robin, back to the ways of Pooh

10 comments:

Famous Quotations said...

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katiebird said...

Hi TherapyDoc. I saw you at my place and thought I'd stop by to say hi.

brandi said...

This is great advice -- esp. the no television part! The part I struggle with is the basic stuff -- getting dinner on the table, and then the dishes cleaned up, doing laundry, doing grocery shopping, paying bills... all the stuff that goes into the (VERY) basic keeping-the-household-running stuff (forget the mess! my house will be clean when my youngest goes to college...)

Also, you don't say anything about picking the kids up from day care... did you have a nanny? a parent who helped out?

BTW, I LOVE that song. I've got the kids singing it now too. woohoo!

TherapyDoc said...

Hi Brandi, I had a host of babysitters, from kids who drank my vodka to my mom and F.D.'s mom, who wouldn't think to drink our vodka (the one bottle), to a baby nurse from an adoption agency, Helen the First, whereever you are, thank you, thank you, to Helen the Second who came to live with me after I had my fourth and became a sister. There was no picking kids up from day care because my hours were always afternoon/evening hours and daycare people need a life, too. My kids had an afternoon nap so that when I pranced in around 7:30 or 8:00 they'd still have some life in them.

Most of it? A total blur!

Kerri said...

The police officer's question cracked me up. I'm afraid my house would prompt the same query! I'm home all day, and I've still let go of the cleaning expectations (not that they were high to begin with). Books and Play-doh with the kids seem a much better use of my time. :)

Go Illini! Big U of I fan here. :)

Here via CoFL

TherapyDoc said...

HI Kerri, Sure, play-doh is so fun, made our own.

Am worried about the White Sox, though. It's not lookin' good.

DigitalRich said...

Thank you for participating in the Carnival of the Storytellers 6th edition! The edition is up and can be found at:

http://digitalrich.blogspot.com

I sure hope my comments about thsi post upset you and require you to seek therapy. :)

Thanks again!

DigitalRich

TherapyDoc said...

Digital Rich, I really thought they were cute, actually. Thanks.

Hueina Su said...

I totally agree that cleaning & picking up the house is just not that important compared to playing with & taking care of your kids, especially if you are working outside of the home and only have a few hours a day with them. I love that saying "Trying to keep a clean house when your kids are little, is like trying to shovel when it's still snowing". Might as well accept that messiness is just part of mothering small children, and focus your energy on something more important.

The police's question cracked me up too, because he would probably ask the same question if he ever visited my house when my kids were little. LOL!

Warmly,
Hueina
Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul

via Carnival of the Storytellers

TherapyDoc said...

Thanks Huenina. They still have to ask I guess, even though for sure when they see us with a bunch of little kids scampering around they KNOW there's no way to keep up with them. SURRENDER, I say.

And you all seem to agree!