2 Under 2: Sick and tired of being sick and tired (#072)

I’ll be the first to admit that it goes without saying that I’ve done a lot of complaining on my brog about the rigors and tribulations of fatherhood, twice over now.  That was never my intention, but that’s just the way things have panned out because parenting is really difficult, I knew it would be, but it still didn’t change the fact that things frustrated me, and I got stressed out and fried and all sort of defeated on a regular basis, especially since having a second.

More recently, I had a chat with myself, as I often do because despite the fact that I probably could benefit from formal therapy, I have never taken any steps to explore it, so I end up talking to myself a lot, mostly when I’m feeling frustrated and down in the dumps.  I’ve accepted the reality that over the last few months, I have been irritable and constantly upset, and I told myself just how sick and tired I was feeling of constantly being upset.  

So I rebut to myself, to simply stop.  Just stop being so upset.  Stop it.

That being said, over the last few days, I’ve constantly been trying to coach myself to not give into anger too much, and even if I do get pissed about something, to let it burn as quickly as possible, and talk myself back from the ledge about how much it sucks to be upset and to cool my jets.  

And as easy as it is to say to stop, it’s kind of helped quell my constant frustrations, and much like Peter Pan, I try to think happy thoughts alternatively, and enjoy little things about my kids and parenthood, because in the blink of an eye, this will all eventually be over when my kids grow up, and all I’ll have are memories of their baby years, and I want to counteract as much of the negative ones with as much positive ones as possible. 

Once I got my head out of my ass, I took a video clip of my oldest, walking around in the yard.  Watching her progress from a frail premature baby to this boundless energy toddler marching all over our property is something I want to remember always, and it’s thinking like this that reminds me of the importance to try and capture moments so that I’ll always remember them and be able to relive these days, especially when they’re far back in the past. 

2 Under 2: My second is basically nuclear Gandhi from Civilization (#071)

As much bitching and moaning about how hard being a dad is and how much my life sometimes feels like it’s sucking because of my inability to cope with the stress of parenting, when my head is less foggy and slightly clearer, things really aren’t that bad.  I’m sure any dads who might stumble across my brog might interpret fatherhood as being the most arduous thing on the planet, but I have no regrets and I love my daughters and my family, no matter what I say or put in writing.

All that said, as difficult as I might make my second daughter seem, things really have gotten better throughout her brief passage of time on this world.  The crippling colic is still happening, but instead of happening like 3-4 times a day, we’re typically down to 1-2 really bad colic incidents, so with that in mind, I want to jump out of a window less these days than I did on the days when it was worse.

However, if there’s one thing that has remained a constant throughout, is that #2, really, really objects to the act of being put down to sleep, regardless of how much she might actually want or need it.  No matter if she’s a sweet and cooing cherub two minutes prior, shortly after setting her head down in the bassinet and putting her into her sleep sack, when she realizes that I’m trying to put her down for sleep, the fussing begins, ramps up and eventually turns to screaming, which either escalates into colic screaming, or just a whole lot of crying.  Eventually, hopefully, she tires herself out, latches onto the pacifier and then I can turn on the motion to the bassinet, where she eventually passes out.  This is where I exhale a massive sigh, and creep out of the room as quietly as possible.

Attempting to put her down for naps, I’ve begun referring to as going to war, because that’s what it feels like, nearly every single time.  I’ve basically realized that when it comes to sleepy time, #2 basically is Gandhi from the Civilization game series, where he’s nice and peaceful, but the second you deny him the technology for granaries or aqueducts, he goes completely ballistic and is declaring nuclear war on you in two seconds.  

That’s pretty much what it feels like dealing with #2 when it comes to trying to put her down.  Attempting to get her to sleep is akin to telling Gandhi that he can’t have my windmill, and therefore she declares nuclear war on me and screams her head off until I lose the game.

One day, hopefully, this will pass, and I’ll just be able to look back at a post like this and laugh and not want to cry myself from emotional scarring.

No, it wasn’t

By the graciousness of my nanny, whom I excused from being on time to check at a QT for me, was she able to procure a reprint of the November 3rd commemorative Braves World Series victory edition.  This, was the highlight of my day.

So, I’m happy that I got the one thing that I had really wanted to commemorate the joyous occasion of the Braves reaching the top of the mountain and getting to be World Series champions, a sight and notion that is still hard to digest two days later, but I’m still peeved at just how hard it was to get a small piece of history to remember it by.

I’m pretty sure there’s something in the Constitution that says something along the lines of that news shouldn’t not be available to those who seek it, and it’s a stretch, but the AJC, whether it was deliberate or stupidity, suppressing production of the one and only obviously high-demand edition of their shitty paper, I would interpret as being fucking unconstitutional. 

As relieved as I am to have my own edition, predictably, the well-publicized high demand for these editions has created the dreaded and insufferable secondary market for them, and I’ve seen them on Facebook Marketplace going for at least $10 a pop, and mythical wife, after hearing me bitch and moan about it the night prior, spied some on eBay, going for around $27 a pop.

I’m not going to be a hypocrite about it, because I’ve definitely purchased extras of things before, with the intent of trying to flip them.  But whenever I’ve done that, that makes me an asshole, and what people are doing with these fucking AJCs, are making them assholes too.  I’m just glad that I didn’t have to pay a second-hand price for this, although I would have done so in order to get one.

The irony is that, it’s not even that good of a commemorative edition.  The AJC’s aesthetics and design has always been sixth-rate as far as major market newspapers go, and this commemorative edition doesn’t do the Braves justice.

The newspaper industry took a lot of flack over the last few decades over many publications taking cost-cutting measures and eliminating photographers, and instead tasking reporters to take pictures on iPhones.  I don’t know whether or not the AJC was one of those publications, but based on the shitty photo quality of my collector’s edition, I’m inclined to believe they are.

The photos are out of focus and have been enlarged way past the original resolution, and whatever staffers they have pretending to be graphic artists apply a bunch of high-pass filters to try and sharpen them, but instead make them look all posterized and pixelated.  I’d almost be embarrassed to actually display it after I frame it, but it will eventually become artwork for lack of a better term.

Anyway, I’m just glad I got my copy regardless of all the bullshit and hoops that had to be done in order for it to happen.  I just wish what seemed like a simple thing didn’t have to become such a joy-suppressing ordeal.

Fuck the AJC.

Fuck you, AJC

The only thing I wanted to commemorate the Braves’ World Series victory was a copy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with some sort of front page cover of the Braves’ victory.  Unsurprising, so does just about every single fucking Braves fan in the Metro Atlanta area, or just people who want a slice of history.

But I guess it’s safe to say that misery loves company and that I am most definitely kept company, given the fact that the AJC printed a paltry 30,000 copies of a commemorative November 3rd edition.  Also unsurprising is that there are thousands of disappointed and upset fans who were unable to get one because there were only 30,000 copies of a fucking newspaper to a metropolitan area that has a population of nearly six million fucking people to which obviously not all of them are going to be Braves fans, but a whole fucking lot more than 30,000 are sure to be.

30,000 copies.  Only distributed at Krogers, Publixes, RaceTracs and QTs.  That probably means each location got like, 20 copies, to which they were obviously all sold out instantaneously by those who were lucky enough to be at the right fucking places at the right fucking time.  And me being handcuffed to a baby for 17 hours of every single day, I can’t even have the chance to even try to get one of these fucking surprisingly Jesus-rare newspaper editions.

Fuck you, AJC.  You’re not Nintendo withholding Switches.  You’re not Sony, artificially suppressing Piss5s.  You’re a fucking regional rag that somehow fucked up getting Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, by pulling this kind of bullshit stunt.  You could have printed 200,000 copies of this fucking paper, and they’d have almost all sold for $3 a pop, netting an absurd amount of revenue for a piece of shit publication that nobody would give two shits about on any other given day, but it just so happened to luck into the regional baseball lottery with the Braves winning a World Series.

Sure, they’re going to reprint a generous 70,000 more copies of it, but the cat is out of the bag now, and people now know the hot ticket these things are, and how many people want them.  And when that happens, if it already hasn’t, we’re going to have motherfuckers buying up multiples to try and flip them for profit, because the world is fucked up, everyone sucks, and I fucking hate everything right now.

I only had one goal, and it was a colossal failure and not for lack of trying.  In spite of my limited opportunities to leave the house, I still tried, failed, because the Publixes and Krogers I tried probably had like five copies.  Sure, there might be maybe 10 copies at each tomorrow, but I’m in the same boat of not going to have any chance to go check, and I probably won’t get them, and I’ll have to settle for the bullshit Friday edition or the Sunday reprint, that I’ll still get with hate and grudge in my soul.

The whole point of this was to get the paper on the fucking day after the World Series ended, and thanks to the AJC being a bunch of fucking fuck faces, dreams of traditionalists and Braves fans like me are all met with the same bullshit fate.

Fuck you, AJC.  I hate you more than COVID-19 right now, and I kind of hope that the Braves never win the World Series again, so that you’ll never have another opportunity to fuck up the golden ticket again.  Better yet, I retract my hopes that the Braves never win again, I hope they do win again, but when they do, the AJC is out of business and replaced by some publication that doesn’t fucking amount to toilet paper for the homeless.

Well that happiness didn’t last

The one thing I wanted to commemorate the Braves’ World Series victory was a copy of the November 3rd Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which I’m assuming would have the Braves’ victory on the cover.  I don’t want any hokey commemorative hats or shirts or a Dugout Mug, just a single copy of the local newspaper.

I asked my nanny to stop somewhere and pick one up, in lieu of coming on time, which she graciously did for me. However, it was the early edition that clearly started press last night while the game was in progress because it literally was a photo of Jorge Soler and text indicating that the Braves hoped to win one more game.  She didn’t know and neither did I, and I didn’t think the AJC was sophisticated enough to even do early editions.  So by no fault of anyone, mission was still not accomplished yet. 

I went out in the afternoon to a Walgreens hoping to accomplish three things: get my paper, drop off a UPS package, and pick up a prescription.  I accomplished none of them, and that’s when the wheels began falling off my day. 

This particular Walgreens is the worst on the planet.  It thrives solely on its optimal location, but the service and quality of the place is straight trash.  Prescriptions are never ready when you go there and they almost deliberately troll you to make you jump through hoops in order to procure.  Honestly, I’m past my wits end and I need to demand my wife stop sending shit there because I’m not going to go there anymore. 

So, the prescription I went to go pick up wasn’t ready.  Be like, 15 minutes.  By the way, I’m on the clock since #2’s going to wake up soon and my nanny’s going to leave.  Next

Oh, this Walgreens doesn’t collaborate with UPS. Only FedEx. Next

Oh, this Walgreens also doesn’t sell newspapers.  Fucking really?

So I go to the nearby grocery store in this 15 minute window to get a paper, and hope they have a UPS box or can accept outgoing mail.  Nope to UPS and all copies of the AJC are sold out. Next 

So I go to another grocery store, and they’re out too.  For as much as people always try and tell me print is dead, the demand for it today sure as fucking hell says it’s not.  At least there’s a nearby UPS store where I can finally drop off this fucking package I’ve been unable to drop off for the last 24 hours because UPS drop boxes appear to have vanished like voter suppression. Next

It’s been past 15 minutes, so I swing by Walgreens and mercifully, they have my prescription.  I’m on my way out and I make the call to last ditch try the gas station, since my nanny picked up her paper from one this morning.  I go inside and I see some guy wearing full Braves gear, and the cashier tells him sold out.  I storm out.

Now it’s time to get back home and relieve the nanny and put my handcuffs back on to baby duty. I will have no more opportunities to try and procure a copy of this paper today.  I am livid, I am dejected, I am just so drained, disappointed and hating the entire world at this moment. 

Going back to another topic, one of my biggest beefs is when people try and tell me print is a dying medium.  It definitely doesn’t get any respect from the working world, and it’s clear retailers aren’t bother supplying it, because on any other given day, copies of the AJC probably are thrown out.

But on days like today, when monumental things happen, there doesn’t appear to be anything people want more than a fucking physical piece of print, because something physical and tangible is the best fucking way to commemorate, fucking anything.

Fuck everyone who thinks print is dead. Fuck all the assholes who buy up multiple copies hoping to turn a profit.  And as far as I’m concerned, fuck the world right now because I just wanted one simple thing, and I can’t find it and I don’t have the time to look for it, and I’m probably going to miss out on something that really shouldn’t be this difficult to get my hands on. 

2 Under 2: How can I lose myself when I’m already lost (#067)

What I’ve been doing recently is that I have decided that between the time in which #2 goes to bed which I’m really hoping is closer to 11 pm and not 12 am, and no later than 1:00 am, that is declared me time.  Time in which I will not be job searching, not researching potential cars, and I will not be doing absolutely anything at all unless it is self-serving solely for me, which is to say that it’s become the only time in the world I’m granting myself to actually do some fucking writing.

The good news is that it is providing me some time to actually do some writing, even if it is coming at the cost of the sleep that I most certainly would benefit from getting more of as well.

However, the bad news is that so far, it’s often times the time in which I’m in not the best of head spaces when I finally sit down in my office and have two fucking seconds where I’m not handcuffed to a child or doing something that pertains to the kids.  But on the flip side, I frankly think my writing is sometimes better when there’s a little (or a lot of) anger behind it, because fewer truths come out than when raging on the keyboard.

One thing that was often suggested to me when I was becoming a new parent, was the importance of keeping hobbies and having time to unwind, so that you don’t lose yourself or your personal identity to being just a parent.

Thinking back to all the times I’ve heard or been told such a bullshit suggestion, I’m inclined to believe that these people either don’t have kids, or weren’t in similar circumstances in which I’m in, with two kids under the age of two, while both myself and mythical wife work full-time jobs and have no immediately available family or support system remotely close by to lend a helping hand, all while being in the middle of a fucking pandemic.

Needless to say, I’m not “losing myself,” because I’m already fucking long past the state lines of where my general life has been left behind and lost.  I have absolutely zero time for myself, every single day of the week, and the only reprieves I have are maybe an hour every weekday, where there’s a small overlap where the nanny reprieves me of duty from #1, and #2 is still sleeping, and then the late night time at the end of the day in which I should be catching up on sleep but instead I’m so pissed and resentful at my lack of personal time that I’m hate-staying up until 1:00 am.

Continue reading “2 Under 2: How can I lose myself when I’m already lost (#067)”

2 Under 2: Untitled dad ramblings (#065)

I may have accepted that life might be on hold, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t occasional bad days.

#2 is getting better in terms of us managing the colic and learning her tendencies, but one thing that hasn’t really changed is her sheer unwillingness to take naps and give us a break from time to time, and the fact that she still exists in three states: sleeping (overnight), eating, or screaming her head off, with the caveat being that the screaming is usually only remedied by having someone holding her 24/7 until she can be brought into another state, eventually

I’m on dad duty for so long that I have no time to do anything else.  And when I say anything else, I mean do more work that I’d be able to do without having to have a baby in my arms, because I’m not fucking Goro from Mortal Kombat and have another pair of arms to be productive with.  My house is a fucking disaster zone full of piles of things that adds to my general stress and anxiety because I’m typically a pretty tidy person and I prefer my home be such as well.

I hardly have time to upkeep personal hygiene and pretty much every shower that I’ve had in the last two months have typically been after midnight, where I’m sacrificing rest time in order to not feel completely unraveled.

I don’t have time to be a good dog owner, and since my dog is 16 and elderly, I have to keep him crated for the vast majority of the day solely because he will pee on everything under the sun if he’s left free to his own devices.  I get mad when if and when he soils his dog beds, but it’s primarily frustration at the fact that I don’t even have time to even be able to take care of a dog’s base needs adequately enough.

I seldom have time to eat, and eat well, and everyone knows cooking at home is typically the key to improved eating habits, but who the fuck has time to cook much less eat it, without having to be hands-on with #2, so mythical wife and I subsist on an unhealthy amount of fast food because it’s all we can tolerate to indulge on when we’re already parked on E and need to eat while we can breathe.

Throughout the last few months, I’ve actually lost weight, I’m below my license weight which was fabricated to make me feel like not a fat fuck, but I’m actually below it now.  However, I know that’s solely based on the fact that I literally haven’t lifted any weights since mid-March of 2020, and I’ve pretty much lost all muscle-mass that I’d cultivated in the decades before coronavirus, and I’m pissed at ‘Murica for not being able to do what it takes to eradicate the pandemic and how it will never end and short of me turning my garage into a gym, there’s no way I’m ever going to reclaim any muscle mass that I’ve lost at this rate, not to mention where the time would be, being a dad of 2 under 2 and all.

Let’s not even talk about hobbies and personal indulgences, and the sheer time I don’t have to be able to do any of those.  One more thing I’d add to the list of unsolicited advice for new dads, would be to think of all the things you hope to accomplish in a day, and then count at day’s end just how many of them you didn’t get to.  Hobbies, are probably at the top of the list, followed probably by anything you wanted to do that utilized arms not handcuffed to an infant.  I’ve watched a lot of television over the last weeks, which isn’t the worst thing in the world and is something that I ordinarily would like to do, but the thing is I do it because it’s something I can do while holding an infant but when the day is over I’d rather be writing because that’s my passion hobby that I always want to be doing if I were ever to have free time where I wasn’t joined at the hip to my infant.

It’s not lost on me that the time I’m taking to write this could’ve been spent writing about anything else at all instead of another frustrated rambling of an overwhelmed dad, but as I often say, I want to remember everything, including the negative, about fatherhood, because it’s always important to be able to look back and learn from the past, even if they’re not always the most positive of things.

And unlike a lot of things where I have to write from memory and retroactively try to mentally get back to places, this is something that’s written fairly live and current, and I think it’s important to chronicle these emotions and frustrations and not let them simply evaporate until they bubble back up in the near future, and the words come out completely differently. 

Weekends suck because I don’t have the free time that I have to pay for in order to do absolutely anything other than being a hands-on dad.  Funny how that works out: free time, costing a fuck ton of money.