Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Second Shift

It's 9pm on a Thursday and I'm drinking a glass of wine while rain pitter patters on my windows...sounds lovely, doesn't it?  I can assure you it is not.  The wine is not a treat, it is a necessity.  And the rain, well...I'm pissed off at the rain.  Let's back up a few hours:

I get home from work, send my nanny home, and realize that I forgot to pick up/drop off dry cleaning on my way home...and, oh shit, my husband needs his black suit and he is working late tonight.  No problem, Plan B, I'll take Noah and we'll go pick it up together.  I get downstairs to our car and realize the car seat is upstairs in our condo and disassembled because we cleaned it.  Hmmm, ok...Plan C, I'll stick Noah in the stroller, carry the bag of clothes to drop off, and I'll just walk.  After all, it's a beautiful, strangely 70 degree October night, a 10 min walk will be nice.  About half way there, it starts raining.  Plan D:  Run.  By the time we get to the cleaners, I'm soaked and my bag of clothes is soaked.  Luckily the stroller protected most of Noah, but he is not impressed with his wet pants/socks.  Without many options, I drop off the clothes, pick up Adam's suit and wait 15 minutes for the rain to die down.  Then off we go, into a manageable drizzle.  And then, like a light switch, downpour.  As in, move-away-from your-windows downpour.  Plan E:  SPRINT.  So, there I am, sopping wet, still in the pencil skirt and flats I wore to work, carrying a man's suit, pushing a screaming toddler and literally sprinting as fast as I could through East Lakeview. (Remember the iconic ad image of the 90s supermom holding a briefcase in one hand and a baby in the other, with her perfectly blow-dried hair wisping in the wind?  Yea, I didn't look like that.)  We get home, we change, Noah is still wound up so I put on the Gangnam Style music video on for him (don't ask), and -- I take a breath.  We're home, safe, everything is fine.  I wonder what time it is and if Noah needs to eat dinner soon...I look down and realize my watch (an expensive one my husband gave me years ago) has stopped.  Frozen at 6:20, the time I was likely jumping puddles in my alley.  F'n awesome.  What's next?  I get dinner ready (thank GOD we were eating leftovers, I'm pretty sure I'd burn down our condo if I cooked tonight), get Noah washed up, go to put him in his high chair and realize our nanny had (generously) taken it apart to clean it.  I spend a few minutes trying to get it back together, as a starving, impatient child cries for me to hurry up.  Realizing I am about 30 seconds from crying along with him, I just stop.  Plan F:  both of us sit down and eat in the middle of the dining room floor.  Plan F...a big fat F it.

Some people wonder if the concept of "Second Shift" still exists (a term often used to refer to a working mom's second job of taking care of her kids/house/husband when she gets home from work.)  On a night like tonight, I have no doubt.  But tonight (thank God) isn't typical...while always busy, second shift for me involves consistently being with my favorite little person in the world (and often our whole family) in the evenings and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  And even on a night like this, I have to wonder who really drew the short straw...because while Adam is still slaving away on his First Shift, I am now on Plan Wine.

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