RBOC

  • True art is not bounded by paper.
  • In related news, DC2 has had hir marker and crayon privileges revoked.
  • Also in related news, we caught hir at DC1’s desk on hir stool grabbing for the forbidden crayon box.  Ze’d carried the stool in from the kitchen.  Suddenly it became clear how ze’d been getting all those things we’d thought we’d placed out of hir reach.
  • The (somewhat) terrifying thing is that ze knows to put the stool *back* (or at least not someplace incriminating) after ze’s used it for nefarious purposes.
  • Ze also drew on my monitor with a pencil.  Twice.  Once after we’d removed the pencils and cleaned the first drawing off.  DH caught hir the second time mid-draw.  It’s amazing how much havoc ze can wreak in (literally) less than two minutes.
  • I had a weird dream the other night that I accidentally sent a (small) can of catfood with DC2’s lunch.  They sent it back in the dream and suggested I meant to send tuna or something.
  • Dear democrats, wanting something to be true does not make it true.  If you think that, you are as bad as the republicans.  You may be better intentioned but you are going to do just as much damage to the country and to the people you care about.
  • Why is it that people set the a/c at 65 and the heat at 80?  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?  (Or just like 76 degrees all year.)
  • St. Andre is like if boursin and brie had a love child.  A very fat love child.  A delicious fat love child.
  • Is it just me, or do stories by SAHM about SAHP (in blogs or the media) always start out with how difficult and terrible their lives are, and then end up with but it’s totally worth it because I got to see my child’s first X, I need to savor every precious moment etc.  [Similar stories by WOHM seem more varied– either I’m so stressed out without a “but it’s totally worth it” punchline… I guess the punchline is generally, “and I wish I were a SAHM,” or “but I’m not actually stressed out, I love work and family.”  Sometimes with a, “but the only thing I sometimes feel guilty about is how I don’t feel guilty for not following the SAHM narrative.”]  And yet IRL, the SAHM I know don’t seem to have particularly difficult or terrible lives, other than the occasional financial worries.
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38 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. Moom Says:

    Outside the US it is normal to set the heating temperature at 20C (68F) and the cooling at 25C (77F). Our offices (in Australia) though have 23C (73F) for both. Luckily we can open the window or just turn it off.

  2. Anu Says:

    Around here (Boston) I don’t know anyone who sets the a/c at 65 and the heat at 80. It’s more likely to be the heat at 68-72 and the a/c to 72 as well. At work it’s around 73 F throughout the year.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That’s a bit optimistic with Boston. The hotels I frequent for conferences most certainly have the a/c set in the upper 60s. Every year it is freezing in the conference rooms, and every day I crank the hotel room temp up to the 70s after cleaning staff drops it.

      As for heat, my experience with Boston is that they just have the setting as “on.” Not much actual control other than windows, though that is not hotel experience.

  3. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    DC2 has had hir marker and crayon privileges revoked.

    TYRANNY!!

  4. OMDG Says:

    Pray tell, which democratic policies are you referring to? (I’m actually curious.)

    I am not fond of those scripts for SAHM-ness OR WOHM-ness. I don’t understand why it’s so taboo for women to say they love their job, they love their kids, NO they don’t feel guilty about being at work when their kids are at home or about missing “firsts” (I will never understand this preoccupation with firsts), sometimes they want to see their kids but they can’t because they have to work, but overall they are happy with their lives?

    Anyway.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I purposefully didn’t say because I was sick of having arguments (me: empirically, your proposed solution doesn’t fix the entire problem, compromise is needed or it’s going to hurt the people you want to help along with a lot of other people too. them: you’re a neocon [insert unrelated rant about tea party thugs]… same level of discourse as FOX NEWS, honest-to-God), and I sort of feel like I should be paid to educate since it’s my day job (during the summer I’m more giving of my work-related time).

      • OMDG Says:

        No prob, I only asked because I often find myself having the same sorts of conversations with people, and was happy to have found a kindred spirit.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        It’s especially hard because the policy community knows the range of feasible solutions on many of these important issues, but the media and politicians are so partisan that they can’t believe for one minute that compromise is needed. Or rather, I’m sure the politicians know that compromise is needed but they’re choosing to further their political goals rather than making difficult decisions that will help the country.

  5. Ana Says:

    Ha ha! We’ve also had to revoke crayon/marker privileges at our house. (and our DC2 is similarly sneaky with the stool…he gets it from the bathroom, pushes it wherever he needs it, and returns it to the bathroom…he gives himself away by slamming the bathroom door when he’s done).
    I also hate the SAHM/WOHM stuff in general but YES, the whole thing about “I’m miserable but its best for the family” is just begging for praise/cookies/”martyr of the year” awards.

  6. First Gen American Says:

    Best line I’ve heard this year is from a coworker. “Happiness is a choice”. It’s true for SAHM”s and the working parents. No one formula is ideal in every way but you can savor the good bits and try to be blissfully ignorant of some of the bad things. For example, work politics actually aren’t that bad when you spend 0 time gossiping about them. They may affect me on some level, but if I am doing my job, that stuff usually falls in my favor in the long run.

    I hate cold AC settings. I am always cold..even sometimes in the summer.

  7. Dana Says:

    We have marker and crayon issues as well, only one marker is uncapped at a time and a parent must be watching because of the astonishingly quick transition from drawing on paper to drawing on one’s skin. Washable markers only of course too! The stool can also be used to reach light switches and turn them on and off and on and off with endless fascination. He doesn’t think to put it away yet.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m embarrassed to say that since this is our second, we don’t worry much about the sight of a bright orange or purple DC2, it’s more the property damage than the self-decoration for us. So far the light-switches haven’t been independently discovered yet…

  8. chacha1 Says:

    your nefarious child is cracking me up. :-)

  9. Thisbe Says:

    Even worse to me than the “terrible-daily-life-but-it’s-worth-it” narrative about stay at home parenting are the stay at home parents who are clearly miserable at home with the kids but won’t say so. I am thinking not of blogs here but of a depressingly large number of my real-life friends. The common factor seems to be that these are all women who spent a decade or more of adult life working at interesting and fulfilling but not particularly lucrative jobs, meanwhile chasing the dream of a secure partnership and children. I guess I think maybe that because it’s what they said they wanted for so long, they have to pretend to like it even during the times when they don’t.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The SAHM we’ve met IRL (in a fancy city) who were miserable with the kids were all Type A ex-lawyers, and it seemed like underlying everything they were trying to find a good reason to quit their miserable high-paying jobs while still in extreme student-loan debt, so they decided to make the sacrifice “for their children”. They probably would have been happier in a different kind of job than staying at home, and their children would have been better behaved. Otherwise I don’t think we’ve met miserable SAHM IRL, or at least they don’t show that side to us. All the SAHM we know around here seem to have pretty fulfilling social lives and Type B personalities. (The SAHD, not so much, but it’s less of a choice for the SAHD we know.)

      • Thisbe Says:

        My women friends who are Type A (or, highly-paid and driven professional types, or whatever) have so far not been inspired to leave work to stay at home with children. The miserable stay-at-homers I know were mostly (entirely? but I am unwilling to make such a sweeping generalization without thinking about it for longer) working at active, idealistic, outdoor, nonprofit stuff. It doesn’t pay well, there’s no maternity leave and no health insurance (I know, because I used to do this stuff too) – but it can be really fun and rewarding to the right kind of person. However it is not very compatible with childrearing, and transitioning into a career that is compatible and also makes one solvent takes some effort. So in retrospect, it seems to me like most of the women sort of fell into an arrangement of giving up their careers (“careers”? that sounds judgmental but I don’t mean it to be) and letting their partners support them, because that was the path of least resistance. Or maybe even the only real option at the relevant time. It’s not like there are oodles of employers yearning to hire women with young children (whose only real work experience is seasonal environmental education stuff) for decently-paying and interesting work (IBTP for the hiring prejudice against women with young children, but that’s a whole nother thing).

        All that said, I also know at least several women who are super happy staying at home with their kids – I am not talking about them.

    • Rosa Says:

      It’s hard to stop SAHMing on a lot of levels, most of them practical (how to find a job without childcare lined up? But how to afford childcare without a job? How to find a job at all given the limitations of basic family life and time out of the workforce already? Plus now I’m older…).

      But on an emotional level, there’s such cultural pressure that working for money is something moms should only do if they absolutely have to. If you do it just for your own happiness and a future that’s secure even if you become single, there’s a LOT of pushback. When working, I’ve been told I’m planning for divorce, ignoring my child’s happiness (no really, at the point where I’m so bored and miserable I’m zoning him out, he’s better off in childcare), ruining the family, etc. Often by other working moms! But there’s not a lot of immediate gain for other people when I work – last time I was working, I made enough to put money into my retirement, cover the costs of working, childcare, and “extra” spending that’s just to make me happy. To make that happen my husband has to shoulder a *lot* of household and emotional work, the extended family loses instant access to our weekends, school & other voluntary organizations lose out on my free labor, and my child has to endure a lot more forced socialization and less unstructured free time. “Because it makes me happy” is an unacceptable answer for almost anyone, from women – either for working or not working, or working part time, or working full time.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Other than my crazy “aunt” (the one who disowned her wounded veteran son because he got married outside the Catholic church, which says a lot about the validity of her opinions) the one time at my grandma’s funeral, I’ve never had that kind of pressure, at least not in person.

        I wonder if that’s because I’ve never been a SAHP to begin with, or because the PhD confers me a pass to keep working, or if it’s just the kind of people that I hang around with. (Other than the crazy aunt-in-law and my DH’s brother’s wife, my extended family has women in the labor force on all sides.)

  10. Rented life Says:

    I read the DC2 parts out loud to husband so he knows what we have to look forward to. Our little overachiever is already doing things ahead of the curve.

  11. J Liedl Says:

    DC2 sounds to be devilishly clever. Good luck managing that.

    We currently have our house set at 70F for winter daytime. Colder than that and partner, whose desk is in the lower level in a room with a tile floor, freezes utterly. On the upside, we rarely have to engage air-conditioning and, when we do, we’re mostly interested in bringing down the oppressive humidity so 78F usually works fine.

    More power to the SAHPs but I really don’t feel that I missed out by having great caregivers watching our girls three days a week during their infancy and toddler years. I only wish we could have afforded full-time care but my job at a recession-era clawback plus a back-to-school partner meant not enough income!

  12. Cloud Says:

    I’m late to the party (I was relaxing on Catalina! Poor me.) But have you considered washable markers?

    We don’t have air-conditioning. The heat is generally set to 68, 70 if I’m cold and need a warm up. Since we got extra insulation blown into our walls, we don’t run it nearly as much as we used to.

    I’m totally with you on the partisan thing. I don’t care what your politics are: ignoring reality in favor of your partisan politics makes me mad.

  13. Debbie M Says:

    I want the Democrats to stop letting the Republicans be the party of families and religion.

    I think families are important, too, but that what matters is not the genders and biological relationships of the parents to the children but that all kids have someone in charge who loves them and can take care of them.

    I think values are important, too, but that rather than labeling certain people as whores or unnatural or whatever, to admit that nobody’s perfect (and that even our ideas of what’s perfect aren’t always perfect) and to give people multiple ways to handle their imperfections. That’s why there’s confession. And not throwing the first stone. And turning the other cheek.


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