Wednesday, April 6, 2011

making the grade

I am, it would seem, the kind of person who needs a lot of outward encouragment.  (Though I suspect most people are... maybe I just talk about it -and everything else- more than other folks).  Anyways.  We've had a stomach flu floating around our house and it was my turn for the fun the past two days.  Which meant that L. had to do my job.  The kids, the wrangling, the carpool, the cooking, whathaveyou.  And yesterday, my lovely wife's facebook status was: "I feel like a rookie."  Which made me almost perversely pleased. 
I have this (possibly pathological) urge to excel at everything I do.  We're talking the bigs things here, not the little detail-y things (like say housework, and returning library books on time.  Here I am apparently content to fail abyssmally, time and time again).  It is difficult to 'excel', or perhaps more specifically to have any markers of doing well, when one's occupation is stay-at-home mom-age.   At school, I did scads of research, worked diligently on papers and thinking and writing.  I nerded out.  For this I was rewarded with some A's and some +'s and a finished sparkly thesis.  (I like the letter A.  It is a good good letter.)  Parenting, it seems, cannot be nerded out.   I know.  I've tried.  The list of parenting books I've read rivals the bibliography on my masters' thesis.   Parenting is too messy, with constant permutations and many, many pitfalls and booby traps.  (Also parenting books seem to really, really suck).  Even at the end of the day, when you'd like to feel satisfied that you made it through, there is always something unfinished, a sink full of dishes, seven loads of laundry, a nightmare to soothe.   And my 'research' subjects - they are slippery little suckers.  Just when you think you have a handle on them - they go and grow and change and shift and surprise you some more.  And you begin anew the process of struggling to grow and learn and keep up with them. 

So hearing that two days of doing my job made my wifey feel like a rookie? 

I'll take that as my A. 

(Though it's probably more like an A-.)

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