Ok, so the caveman supposedly had it soooo rough. Gotta make fire, gotta keep dragging your woman back into the cave when she keeps running off, gotta sharpen your spear and hunt the wooly mammoth. Let me tell you something. The Caveman's got nothing on me.
Wake up to the alarm at 6:15 (Caveman probably didn't wake up until well after sun-up). My dog is licking my face, she needs to go out but she wants me to go with her. Stumble to the coffeemaker (yes it's got a timer but who remembers to make their coffee the night before?) while my Cat tries to herd me over to the tuna cans he knows are in the cupboard. Get out the can opener and tuna can. Rinse utensils and empty can because they've got to be clean before you recycle them in this new-age green world. Is it just me or does being "green" mean spending more money and adding more hassle to your life? Must be worth it since the caveman was a gross polluter.
Now it's time to move on to the children. Don't get me wrong here, my wife does most of this but for all practical purposes, we're both competing with the caveman. For Tanner we need to get him dressed and pull his security blanket from his "Kung Fu" grip. Yes, it's better to get down on his level and have a mature talk with him but the clock is ticking and I still need to take care of the 3 S's: S&%$, Shower and Shave. Cavemen only had one S.
The baby is a little more complicated. Breast milk must be preserved and stored along with bottles, liners and the proper nipple. Extra clothes are a given along with bibs and his chewy Giraffe Sophie. Next is the car seat that meets federal regulations and of course must be fitted each day to fit the baby. We can't use the baby seat because it has a base-life is complicated. He also needs the bumbo, a big blue foam seat the shape of his butt that suctions to the ground. He's also got a cushiony crib, like a cross between a basket and a purse that we've got to lug over to daycare. We're among the lucky few who can walk across the street to our daycare provider. Since it's so close, it saves us from having to buckle the kids into the car along with all of their "gear". We just have to make two trips with our hands and arms full. Oh yeah, I can't forget the diaper bag with all necessities: diapers, wipies, "boogie" wipies (these have a saline solution which softens those crusty and hard to remove boogers), snacks, cereal mix, formula (even though he doesn't drink it, just in case), teething rings, homeopathic teething tablets, gum gel, medicine, diaper rash cream and of course the pacifier. Mind you if ANYTHING is ommitted here, all hell could break loose at any minute.
Next, because we have a mortgage, car payments, credit cards, utilities, cell phones, cable and wireless internet, (not to mention that we have to pay taxes) we go to work. We pack lunches that we can microwave because we don't have time to rub sticks together and blow on the tinder. We bring our gradebooks with us, serving the illusion that there will be time at night to grade papers. Once we get to class we put the lesson on the board, give instructions to our students along with praise and reprimands, we wait for our computers to boot up (leaving it on all night is definitely not green) and take role and enter assignments into the electronic gradebook, along with comments, seating chart changes and tardies, etc. I won't even get into all the acronyms that Maya is involved with: BTA, VAPA, and Site Council (I know it's not an acronym but it fits the bill). Later we'll attend an IEP or 504 conference.
I once read a study on stress in the workplace and it determined that the most stressful jobs involved the number of decisions that needed to be made throughout the day. Teaching and Policing were tops. Don't get me wrong, I love working with kids, molding the minds of tomorrow's workforce. It's just that they drain you slow and steady such that you don't realize it until you have a moment's peace. And they love to ask questions. "When's this due?" "Can I go to the bathroom?" "Mr. Nelson, were you a hippy?"
When we get home, we lug everything back to the Casa. Tanner needs snax and constant attention. I'm guilty of setting him in front of a good ole' Little Einsteins DVD, but I also feel guilty. You know you're not supposed to show your kid TV until they're three? I'll bet the cave children just lay on the cave floor and stared at the fire all day, chewing on a mammoth bone. They didn't have to worry about ADHD and autism back then. So I say, "Tanner, don't you want to go outside and play soccer?" And he says, "No, I wanna watch this." He doesn't even glance his glazed-over-eyeballs at me. I've fed the cats, taken out the garbage, put everything away and now I want him to go outside and play dammit. So we go outside and hit his soccer ball off the Tee. The dog needs to play fetch so I get Tanner engrossed in his sandbox and after playing catch with the dog and scooping up the poop and any children's toys that he's chewed to death, I notice that Tanner is soaked with water because he's learned how to use the faucet. So I scoop up some chow for Montana and drag Tanner inside to change his shirt so I don't have to answer anymore questions.
For our convenience, Maya makes prepackaged dinners at a restaurant without an oven called Dream Dinners. We store them in the freezer and then thaw them out a day in advance so as to be ready for the next day. They're great only you still need to be inconvenienced by that little task called cooking. And that leads to cleaning, wiping the counter, stacking and running the dishwasher, taking out the recycling, all the while paying complete and full attention to the children.
Now it's time for baths. Run the tub, find the proper soaps (lets see, baby tear free, lightning McQueen bubbles or Barney Shampoo?) Then we get a frog towel and play ribbit for awhile. Next it's time to change into jammy's and read some stories. Tanner loves stories. Just when I've finished the third or fourth and I think I'm done he says, "I wanna hear that one again daddy". One thing I wouldn't change with Caveman is the CD player in Tanner's room.
Do you want the pirate story, Simba, Frog and Toad or some classical?
Ummmmmmmm, frog and toad. Wait, baby needs to go potty!
Ok Tanner hurry up.
Daddy? Read me another story.
No Tanner, it's time for night night. He blows me a kiss and I spin around, "ouch! you got my chin!"
Do it again daddy!!
Oh, my elbow! My ear!!! You missed! OOOO my belly button! Good niiiiight.
I win so therefore I lose. All of the wonderful creations and devices that we've created for our own luxury have only served to separate us, like a polar bear adrift on the last iceberg, farther from the serenity of a warm fire, a cave, a nice mammoth chop to munch on and a wooly rug to go to sleep in.