Apr 22, 2010

Literature, kids, and toys that might be possessed

Hi readers! Please welcome the next guest blogger in my series of wanting to hear more from you. Meet Lucy, the mother of an adorable little girl, with another one on the way. She's hilarious, sweet, and I adore her blog! Take it away Lucy!  

Hi! I'm Lucy, and Becky kindly and VERY BRAVELY asked me to guest blog over here. I say bravely, because I'm guessing that you would all like to read something more coherent than my usual wild-eyed mommy drivel, which tends to be about such fascinating topics as: Things My Toddler Jammed Into The Printer Today (A barrette. And yogurt. Oh how I wish I had just made that up to be funny here), or Creepy Things That Baby Toys Are Currently Saying In My Living Room, Even Though No One Has Touched Them Or Anything. ("Peek-a-boo! I see you!" If I die a mysterious death in the middle of this post, it was the Learning Time Puppy, in the living room, with evil computer-chip powers).

(Seriously. It sees me. Someone call the police).

Aaaand, these are the things that are foremost in my mind, a lot of the time. When did I give the baby yogurt and turn her loose? How many evil toys are currently plotting my demise?

But four days a week, I teach high school English composition and literature. Contrary to the assumptions of door-to-door salesmen ("Of course, YOU'RE home all day!" he says, gesturing to the toddler on my hip and my obviously pregnant belly), it IS possible to work and mother at the same time.

Kind of. If you don't mind going a little bit insane.

Sometimes, on my long weekends at home, the house is clean and something delicious is baking. I fold the laundry and entertain my baby by flapping her daddy's toasty, clean t-shirts up and down over her head while she giggles the most delicious giggles in the world. Then we go sit on the back porch and blow bubbles, and I think to myself, "This is what it should be like all the time. I wish I didn't work. This is perfect."

Then usually, I have to jump up and dig SOMETHING out of her mouth, and pray as hard as I can that it was only dirt.

Sometimes on my school mornings, after I have dropped my chickie off at my mother-in-law's house for the day and before the students arrive, I sip hot tea while listening to classical music and putting lines of poetry on the whiteboard. "I'm so spoiled," I think to myself, "that I actually get PAID to wallow in books all day. Thank goodness for this job! I love getting out of the house and away from Dora the Explorer four days a week. I'm so glad that I work."

Then, usually, I have to spend an entire class period convincing a group of ninth grade boys that Charles Dickens does NOT refer to The Artful Dodger's sidekick as "Master Bates" on purpose as a dirty joke. (OF COURSE they took it there. I anticipated that they would, and really, who can blame them?)

And the eternal To Stay At Home Or Work debate rages on. People can get really vicious about it, which I do NOT understand, but I do understand how it is a thorny issue, because I honestly can't seem to make the decision. I kind of just stopped attempting to decide. I'm lucky to be torn between two things that are both so fulfilling (and also filled with craziness) so I eventually picked...not picking.

I used to try and keep a personal planner AND a lesson planner, but they eventually merged together so that I have English comp lesson plans cheek to jowl with midwife appointments and grocery lists. And that pretty much is how it all goes. I read classic childrens' literature to my one-year old, and I offer my senior class pacifiers when they whine and complain too much about assignments.

I prop my enormous, swollen ankles up at work, and shamelessly steal the students' contraband potato chips. And in the evening I put my baby to bed and then stay up half the night planning new units and grading papers.

When I have this baby, chances are that I will be plopping her in a sling and taking her to work, just like I did last time. And if she's anything like her sister, she will snuggle up to me all day, lulled by the sound of Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations, until she's old enough to play at her grandma's instead.

After all the turmoil and guilt (and GUILT) that I've put myself through trying to make a decision already, it's kind of nice to realize that you can have the best of both worlds after all.

You won't get to sleep EVER AGAIN for the rest of your life, but other than that, it's awfully nice to carve out a little niche of all your favorite things.

And what's a little sleep deprivation, anyway? Next, you'll be telling me that the Learning Time Puppy never had a voice chip!

Thanks for this post Lucy! What about you readers? Do you struggle with working vs. staying home? And who else cracked up over the yogurt story? Be sure to check out Lucy's awesome blog here!


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I loved the possessed toy story. Kids toys are freaky these days and appear to have minds of their own!

I obviously haven't had to make the stay at home v. work decision yet, but if I ever have to make that decision (and God I hope do because I really want kiddos), I will probably have to decide to work due to my ridiculous student loan payments from my MBA... but I am ok with it. I would ideally like to try to do a 4 day a week schedule or something like that? Or marry a stay-at-home dad. lol.

I have a sister that works full time, a sister-in-law that is a SAHM, and a sister-in-law that is a blend of the two. So I can see the pros and con, and the ups and downs of each choice. I don't think one is easier than the other, and I would NEVER judge a woman based on her decision because it is to personal. And I hate that people feel like they have a right to have an opinion about how other mom's choose to live their lives. Being a mom is tough enough without having endure criticism from other people!!

Alright, stepping on my soapbox. I know I am preaching to the choir here. :)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Toys freak me out. I think it is terrible that as soon as a woman becomes pregnant everything she does is judged. It is so wrong. Why can't we all just support each other, except for when people make reallly bad decisions haha.

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