Thursday, August 28, 2008

stay at home man

i could say a few words about how i haven't written anything in almost a year, but if i were to do that in every annual or semi-annual post i put on this blog it would read like a stuttered engine. instead, i'll just write about being a parent since that is what my energy is going into nowadays.

by the way, full time fatherhood is tiring. it never occurred to me before that being emotionally available could be so exhausting. wait, that's not true: i spent the summer after high school working as the host at joe's pizza & pasta in alexandria, and i remember greeting people with consistent cheer took more effort than i had. i quit that job and returned to my job from the previous summer, which involved washing cars alone in an otherwise empty garage and speaking no more than twice a day.

so yeah, enthusiasm is a limited resource for this old man. sometime this evening i realized it'd been a really long time since juniper laughed or smiled. like maybe an hour or two. which would be normal for me b/c i am forever exhausted and seem to be experiencing life with the perceptual alacrity of a half-gummed cheerio, but for her it can't be a good thing. i tried all the usual tricks -- tickling, surprising, exclaiming at different pitches -- but she was having none of it. also, she's never really been ticklish and will usually just laugh to be sociable. but still, not even sociable laughter.

it doesn't help that the poor kid is recovering from a fever and still has a rash all over her face and torso. the doctor thinks it is roseolovirus, which sounded like something i had when i was in high school.

okay, i just looked it up: roseolovirus usually affects people by the age of 3 but can recur later in life. i remember getting rashes all over my body and what felt like hot flashes.

that was me, menopause-stricken at 14. seeing as how i'm a stay-at-home mom, it occurs to me that i may be progressing through the life-stages of a woman in reverse order. i hope to be wearing a training bra in 15 years.

anyway, i don't think the junebug is getting hot flashes. or at least i hope not. she at least doesn't seem to be itchy. i gave her a bath with the hope that it might help the rash and cool her down, what with today's heat. also, i'd planned on making today her first trip to the community pool, but it seemed in bad form to bring a kid with a full-body rash into the water, so we were lacking for an afternoon activity. she seemed to enjoy it and was thankfully less interested in grabbing at my junx this time around, so maybe i won't have to return to wearing swimming trunks in the bathtub.

i should go to bed.