First of all, I don’t tell people what I do for a living, mostly because I don’t like talking about myself. I don’t even tell my neighbors, and I’m pretty sure a lot of them think I’m unemployed. At least one, though, thinks I’m a drug dealer because he, in a moment when his own dealer’s supply ran low, inquired if I’d be willing to sell him a dime-bag of marijuana. I declined the transaction.
My morning begins the same as most people’s. My wonderful, beautiful wife gently wakes me up at 8:15AM when she goes to work, and then my infant son ensures that I stay awake by screaming at the top of his lungs from the room next door. As I swing my legs off the bed, I look at the mirror, where, taped to the upper right corner, is a hand written sign that says, “You wanted kids, too.”
After I get up, my son and I play for a few hours in the living room. In that time, I’m usually vomited upon at least once. There’s also a fair chance that I will be kicked in the wedding vegetables as well. My friends with older children tell me that the spit up will eventually end; after seeing some videos on YouTube, I’m not so sure that the random kicks to the crotch ever do.
Then, as if a shining beacon through the bleakest of nights, I see it. It starts slowly in the center of his mouth and then spreads across his face. At approximately eleven every morning, my son yawns, harkening a joyful experience. Nap-time. A time to shower, a time to eat, a time to rest and do everything a normal human being does in an eight-hour span but compressed into a one-hour window. It’s probably my favorite time of the day.
It’s a cliché, but it’s absolutely true: nothing good lasts forever, and around noon, I know naptime will soon come to an end. With this realization comes much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Sometimes my mournful wails wake the baby up, but usually he stays asleep. When he does wake up, he and I have lunch—a process that can take anywhere from twenty minutes to two hours and usually ends with carrot puree splattered across the dining room like blood at a crime scene—and I put him in his Johnny Jumper and check my email.
At around five, to the sounds of angels singing from the rooftops, my wife comes home, allowing me to go outside to walk the dog. Occasionally, I see other adults outside on my walk. As this is the only face-to-face adult conversation I have all day, I look forward to these random encounters. Those with children oftentimes tell me that things eventually get better, easier even. I’m quite sure they haven’t met my baby.
Eventually, usually late at night, my wife will go to bed, my son will sleep and my dog will lay at my feet, giving me the only free time I’ve had all day. And that’s when I write. So, there you go. That’s my life. My neighbors think I’m a drug dealer, my son’s hobby seems to be kicking me in the crotch, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
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