Wednesday, March 26, 2014

suck by suck west

i wanted to enter a submission for the domestic enemies series on rants from mommyland-dot-com - "the domestic enemies of a lawyer mom." but those are all numbered lists and i only got this far:

The Domestic Enemies of a Lawyer Mom 

1. The Law*

*Including, but not limited to, lawyers, and also every other part of the legal profession.

it's been a rough week. or month. or year. i've lost track. last week colby's daycare gal ended up in the hospital for three days, which required a lot of juggling and covering and testing the outer limits of our respective employers' patience. it also required the grace of my dear, wonderful sister, who saved our asses yet again (and again, and again). i am so far in the karmic hole i can't even see the light of day.

march has been a doozy so far, with birthdays (colby's, mine), holidays (persian new year, steak and BJ day), and travel (a destination birthday party last weekend in loverly sack-o-tomatoes, califor-ni-A). meanwhile the shit is hitting the proverbial fan at work for both DM and me, so we tried to hit the ground running on monday morning, in an increasingly futile attempt to keep our heads above water in this raging river called Life. naturally, Life laughed in our fat faces. about 33 minutes after DM drops colby off i get a call from daycare for the fourth time in six days. now colby is sick. possibly pink eye. she also has a fever so she has to stay out tomorrow regardless. SUPER!

while we were at my dad's house over the weekend, his girlfriend ("fiancĂ©e," ew, that word hurts my teeth) told me that kaiser (her employer) has a policy that you don't get any "unexcused absences," which includes sick days. after three absences, you get a verbal warning. three more, a written warning. three more, a suspension. three more and you are terminated. she said the policy encourages people to come to work sick, which is not ideal, seeing as it's a hospital, but on the other hand it's kind of a necessary evil because people "take advantage" of the system and ask for, like, a day off a month. gasp! ummmm, yeaaaaah. i've needed to take all or part of a day off PER DAY lately. i'm almost serious. it's INSANE. and that is with regular child care, a sister who is a saint, a husband who picks half the sick-baby short-straws, and fairly flexible employers. what's your average joe (or joe-anne) supposed to do? i just don't get it. i've said it before. being a lawyer mom sucksdealing with sick kids sucks. but you know what sucks even worse? when you CAN'T be there for your little snot rods because your lawyerness gets in the way. it seriously hurts my heart.

of course it doesn't help that most of the people i work with don't have kids, or else they have full-time supermom wives and/or live-in nannies so when their kids are sick it's really not their problem. the notion of not putting work first? not even on their radar. my old boss used to say "the law is a jealous mistress," but eff that man. The Law is a First Wife and she ain't havin' none of this shit.

also the part about how working bangladeshi sweatshop hours is par for the course. last night my supervising attorney said to me, "you don't have to stay up all night doing this or anything." ummm, the thought hadn't even crossed my mind but thanks!

then the part about how we have "regularly scheduled" meetings every week that go forward as planned approximately 13% of the time. the other ... 87(?)% of the time, they are rescheduled to literally the most inconvenient time you could possibly find on my calendar. also, all work emergencies are seven times more likely to occur at 4:59 pm than any other minute of the day.

oh, and what about the pathophysiology of the common cold:

day 1 (most likely a monday to ensure maximum career fuck-up-ery): Thing 1 is infected. slight chance of extra snuggles which makes it worth it, but moderate possibility that husband will contract the dreaded Man Cold which will ruin life for 5-7 business days.
day 2: Thing 1 feels well enough to use your stomach as a trampoline, but had a fever 23 hours ago so has to stay home again. decides to utilize the time during which you are on a conference call to practice the art of plate spinning with your grandmother's china. you can only engage in an insane display of semaphore and watch in silent horror.
day 3: Thing 1 is right as rain. (or not. 1/3 chance s/he is infected with some sort of feces-based disease that is highly contagious for 7-10 days. good luck with that.) Thing 2 seems fine at drop-off, but displays sudden-onset flu-like symptoms at the exact moment that you settle in with a hot cup of coffee 29 miles away.
day 4: repeat day 1 with Thing 2.
day 5: repeat day 2 with Thing 2.
day 6: saturday ruined by resurgence of snot faucets and/or man cold.
day 7: buying a new house seems easier than doing all that laundry and disinfecting current abode.
day 8: monday again? are you $@#%&*#$ kidding me?

okay, then there's "backup childcare." so. jack is in preschool and colby's in an in-home daycare. USUALLY, barring freak ER visits like last week or pre-arranged vacation and inservice days, the only reason the kids need to stay home is because they are sick. this occurs with little to no warning, and with alarming frequency between the months of november and ... october. so the conversation with our short-list of backups goes something like this: "are you available to sit for the kids?" "possibly, when?" "well... sort of... right now? also, i hope it's not a problem that they are sticky cesspools of contagion?" needless to say, our backups are often otherwise engaged. enter saintly sister from stage left. thank you dear lord. but she is starting nursing school in may and THEN WHAT?!

oh yeah and blogging. i had no idea. this shit takes serious WORK, man. like, you have to pimp out your blog and play the game and learn the politics and... ain't nobody got time for dat! at least, i don't. i am expected to actually work at work, and when i get home for second-shift, the little slave-drivers do NOT take kindly to their mama giving them anything other than her undivided attention. and rightly so. but it just doesn't leave a lot of time to talk at length at people who may or may not be listening. i am recalibrating my expectations to be content with two followers as opposed to instant literary fame and world domination. #firstworldproblems. seriously though. life is hard.

i was whining to a girlfriend about how one is supposed to survive and she said: "don't have kids." thanks for the pearls of wisdom, friend! just one slight snag. make that two. and make that greater than slight.

oh. THEN. last night i go to pick J up from school? LICE INFESTATION. F. M. L. seriously. if he gets lice, i am going to fake my own death and disappear to mexico. shhhhh. don't tell. i just can't. that has to be somebody else's problem.

update - march 27, 2014: drop Jack off at school and, while they were checking for lice, undergo intense scrutiny for a little scab on his face that he keeps messing with. another kid was sent home the day before for impetigo. i am admonished that if it does not look better by tomorrow morning we will have to take him to the doctor. (honestly, they should have those punch cards so you can get your tenth visit free.) then, when i pick Colby up from daycare (after her first full day in a week) i am informed that they sent another little girl home earlier with hand, foot and mouth disease. (ps what in the EFF is that?! every time i hear it i think of that foot-and-mouth disease that kills livestock.) i could not make this shit up. praying to the gods of infections disease that we will dodge these bullets.

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