I felt a little guilty this morning. Cheeky has been bipolar the last few days, waking up in a perky, cute mood and then, almost instantly, transforming into Mel Gibson on the PCH. She twists, she flails, she throws her face on the floor, she writes angry letters to the editor--in short, complete meltdowns. Only the medicinal glow of Sesame Street or Blues Clues seems to help, and even that requires constant monitoring so that distractions like movement, light, or the earth's atmosphere don't set her off again.
But I don't have to deal with it long. I see it for an hour in the morning, then off to work I go. And do you know what I felt as I shut the door behind me this morning?
When I left, Cheeky was cheerfully waving "bye" to me while Oodgie was holding her with the helter-skelter eyes. Now that the heat had dropped to a MUCH more comfortable 92 degrees they might go out, but the weather reports threaten rain. If trapped inside...well, let's just say that two would enter, but only one would come out.
What sort of selfish prick feels good leaving his two loved ones behind to battle it out?
Since I left the soul-consuming behemoth in Queens, I've really like my job. It's relatively quiet. I like the people I work with. We get to brainstorm and design fun ideas for internet sites, and discuss the relative importance of ForBiddeN in the context of social networking. I've got my iPod plugged in next to my computer (today's selection = The Amazing Rhythm Aces) and can head to Starbucks or Chipotle at my leisure. And occasionally I even get to write blog posts.
I feel bad for Oodgie when she has weeks like this, when the oppressive weather and repetitive readings of Who is the Beast? wears her down. It's hard to leave when you know it's going to be a rough day, even though it has to be done. Her career is on hold while she helps raise our daughter, and when I leave every morning I unintentionally reinforce a feeling of being left behind.
Oodgie doesn't begrudge me my job, and I wouldn't trade it for her day. Frankly, I do like the fact that I don't have to manage the emotional roller-coaster and tightly managed feeding schedule of an infant. It's hard! On weekends I do everything I can to give Oodgie a break, but that's much easier when I know that Monday I won't be sitting on the floor for eight hours hitting that damn Learning Drum.
I was raised Catholic...nobody knows how to absorb, compartmentalize, and live with guilt better than us (thanks, Mom!) And until the Gates Foundation adds us to their grant list I'll be trudging out the door every day anyway. I'll just need to hurry home to make sure no one needs immediate medical attention.