January 17, 2007

Lately, I am finding more value in the days I stay home with Riley because of this: in his father’s absence, I think the kid really likes me.

When JB is around, it is like the moon and stars have arrived, finally, jesus, and I am downgraded to something less important in a toddler’s life. Such as, for instance, the 1998 fiscal performance of Fidelity’s large-cap overseas mutual funds. Or perhaps the nutritional content in one serving of applesauce*.

(*Hey, did you know you can substitute 1/4 cup applesauce and 2 teaspoons of oil in a cookie recipe for each missing egg you do not have? Well, you do now! Sundrymourning.com: striving to provide both educational content and as many references as possible to the porn term “piledriver” since 2002.)

There are some (incredibly) boring stretches to the stay-at-home gig, for sure, but I like the fact that I can greedily demand all of Riley’s attention and get it, because unless Elmo is on the tube I’m pretty much his best source of entertainment. Well, unless the cat wanders by. Or he discovers a piece of fluff under the couch.

World’s #1 Mom! Right behind a piece of fluff! Fuck you, Dog, you’re fourth on the list!

I’m still not sure what the key is to a successful stay-at-home day. If I try and clean, I usually feel frustrated by the fact that I’m not really paying attention to the boy and also he’s freaked out by the vacuum and stands around pointing at it with great dismay and yelling “Teh? Bah?” over and over and maybe I’m causing psychological damage or something? (I mean, maybe that’s what happened to JB. I can think of no other explanation for the fact that he acts as though touching the vacuum’s handle will instantly shrink his penis.)

Of course, if I don’t clean, then I feel like a giant slob and once Mr. Moon-and-Stars comes home I rush around trying to corral the dog hair and so on, and let me tell you, performing maidlike duties while Riley practically swoons and asks for JB’s autograph is a great way to feel like…well, I was going to say Cinderella but that’s not quite it, because there are NO GLASS SLIPPERS IN SIGHT, maybe more like…Mr. Belvedere. Only with less sex appeal.

Also, I’m ready for the sun to come out and the temperatures to warm so I can take Riley outside, instead of being cooped up in our house that offers little in the way of open running spaces for an active kid. Of course, I live in Seattle, so that’ll be in abooooouuut — five months. If we’re lucky.

So I try and think of places to go, but man, indoor public spaces are kind of hard lately. Mostly because once he hits the ground he’s off, he’s like one of those little cars you rev up by rolling it a few times and then you touch it to the floor and bmmmmmmmm, it’s gone. He’s a crazy drunken frat boy, careening all over the place with no sense of direction nor any kind of understanding about glass walls (BAM!) or people’s legs (“Oh, sorry! Sorry! Excuse us!”) or inedible things on the ground (“No, no, no, we don’t eat cigarette butts! At least not until you’re 22 and you’re at a kegger drinking from a plastic beer cup and you taste something funny and discover someone else’s sodden Camel Light in your mouth!”). And woe unto all within earshot if I have to pick him up, or redirect him, or do anything whatsoever that doesn’t jive with his runty independent ass, because oh my god, the screaming.

Mostly I end up chasing him, red-faced and sweaty (MILF? I don’t think so. Try DOUCHEBAG [Dogged-Out Unkept Chick Heaving Effortfully, Bulbous And Grunting]), while he gallops at top speed and irritatedly swipes away my scrabbling grip. Engaging in our two-man show at a playground seems fine, performing outside of Old Navy while anorexic teenagers snicker and hike up their ultra low-rise cargos is less pleasurable.

I need an indoor toddler dog park, basically. Where parents can come and throw balls at for their children and just hang out. I don’t mean a “Mommy and Me” class, because…no, or Gymboree, or any group activity-based event (he gets lots of socialization at daycare and that gives me a Get Out of Jail Free card for that shit, right? …Right?), I mean a giant carpeted room with toys where kids can just go batshit and I can, I don’t know, read a book. While my invisible maid cleans my house. And then we can all ride home on my magical flying unicorn pony named, of course, PileDriver.


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