I Am Excite – David Pascoe

*With apologies to number 3 son by adoption for putting this up so late.  It’s been interesting around here for over 24 hours.  As in multiple handymen, fridge-stopping working, husband injuring himself “interesting”.  Thanks for your patience. – SAH*

I Am Excite – David Pascoe

No, not really. Well, sorta-kinda. I’ve been struggling a bit (more than a bit, really) with what I think is subclinical depression, brought on by, well, a lot of factors. Wee Dave being the Prime Mover (at least for this). Caring for a child is a lot of work, and while I understand that it gets easier – again, sorta kinda – as you add more of the adorable, little, psychic vampires, that doesn’t really help when you’re not certain whether the light down there is the end of the tunnel, or a train.

I want to call this subclinical (I’m honest enough to say I’m not certain one way or the other) in part because I don’t want to deal with the consequences of my brain not working right. Acute, rather than chronic, would be a heck of a lot easier to deal with. Sufficient rest (heh), ditto exercise (extremely important for endorphin production), proper nutrition (red meat, chocolate, cigars and whisk(e)y, check) I’m at a point where I’m trying to figure out things I’ve forgotten. Like how to relax. I’m really not sure what the feels like, anymore.

One of my most useful coping mechanisms is actually writing. Specifically fiction, though writing this post (and others like it (I’m working on more of the Star Wars/space opera related ones, I promise)) are also helpful, just to a lesser degree. I suspect it has to do with how men are wired, versus women, and how I am wired, specifically. The Daily Grind is just that, but when you perform the same tasks, day in and day out, and “well, the Creature survived, and so did I,” is the best thing you’ve got at the end of the day? This is survival, and surviving is good. But I want thriving. I need more than adequate.

As an aside, I’m told I need to get over myself a bit. Writing at all is a win, when Daddy is my primary job description, (more) objectively speaking. I’m making a stitching horse so I can make some footwear that won’t make my knees hurt at the end of the day. I built a Travel Writing Rig based on a Raspberry Pi fitted into a Pelican camera case (expect the write-up at the MGC during LibertyCon, as that Friday is mine) just so I could take my mechanical keyboard anywhere, and get use out of it.

So I’m doing things. And, honestly, listing stuff out like this helps. A lot. It gets me excited, which is really the whole point. If relaxation (not sleep: that’s just unconsciousness. Ok, not just unconsciousness (sorry, Robert, Speaker), but it doesn’t lower stress levels- ok, it does, but that’s not what I’m after) seems unavailable, then boosting mood through rediscovery of the awesome parts of life seems like a solid Plan B. And that’s part of what the whole previous paragraph was about. I’m working toward remembering what excites me. And not just in a “gets the blood pressure up, and the mind focused,” manner. If that was all I wanted, I’d read about politics. (Seriously, the GOP didn’t feel the super secret trade stupidity was worth fighting? We had to rely on Pelosi?! HulkSMASH)

E3 is … well, I think it’s ongoing, actually. At least, Bethesda Softworks had a showcase last night at the Dolby Theater in LA, and revealed a bunch of stuff. There was gameplay footage of the new DOOM game, announcements about Dishonored 2 and something about the Elder Scrolls Online (which I’ve avoided, despite my love of that particular world: I just don’t have time to devote to MMOs. Or sanity, speaking of the Daily Grind), and finally, a bunch of stuff about Fallout 4, which was only announced a couple of weeks ago. It looks amazing, and I’ve been watching the videos all morning. And I am excite. A lot. There’s speculation that this one’ll be set in Boston (just looked it up: yup, in Boston) and one of the videos has footage of a flying USS Constitution (I. MUST. HAVE). The setting isn’t washed out green and gray like Fallout3, or the desert of New Vegas. This looks gorgeous, and the Fallout setting has been one I’ve greatly enjoyed since the first one in 1998.

Which, really, is precisely what I’m after, here. I’m excited. I feel energized, in a way that I haven’t for quite a while, and I’m working to figure out how to keep that up. Or at least visit that place on a more regular basis. Unfortunately, Fallout 4 won’t be available until November, but there’ll be a few things happening between now and then that I imagine could be used as leverage to enjoy life a bit more than has been the case for the last … while.

Now, I’m still fairly young for a- for a whatever-it-is (long story), and I’m working through all of this from a teeny-tiny, little control station deep inside my skull (more or less how an introvert moves through the world), so things are often at a bit of a remove. Real things, like people, nature, and life. I’ve been doing this long enough, though, to have it impressed upon that skull of mine that there are a few people out there with a better grasp on things than what I’ve got. Or at least more experience. (Hence the aforementioned “get over yerself, kid.”) I’m not exactly meaning to crowdsource my therapy to the Huns. Though I won’t be upset if something works better than what I’m doing these days (really, I just can’t afford to self-medicate with the Good Stuff.) What do y’all do? Or, what have you done in the past that’s worked well?

136 responses to “I Am Excite – David Pascoe

  1. When I can’t afford the Good Stuff, I settle for Bad Stuff.

  2. Ah, kept breathing until things changed?

    Barring real problems when wee ones ages can be counted on one hand’s worth of finger change is bound to happen. Really.

    It sure helped when The Daughter at three got it in her mind that North by Northwest</I: was her favorite film. That and started reading.

    • One hand’s worth of gingers — not finger…

      And hell I thought I checked the html tagging…

      • Your first try was more easily understandable… I recommend quitting while you’re ahead.

        • No, no — the digging must continue until you come out the other sideof the Earth!

          • “I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk around with their heads downwards! The Antipathies, I think –” (she was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn’t sound at all the right word) “– but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand or Australia?” (and she tried to curtsey as she spoke — fancy curtseying as you’re falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) “And what an ignorant little girl she’ll think me for asking! No, it’ll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.”

      • You’re creep and you’re kooky,
        Mysterious and ooky…

  3. “one of the videos has footage of a flying USS Constitution”

    That line right there is guaranteed to sell a copy to Obama.

    What? He’s a product of Harvard, he isn’t going to notice the extra S.

  4. I too, am EXCITED!

    Foxfier has had her baby girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is adorable!!!!

    *happydancing!!!*

  5. Personally I recommend exercising yourself into oblivion. Of course, like medicating yourself with the good stuff, it sort of requires a babysitter. It is however, considerably cheaper, and the pain you wake up with the next day is not only longer lasting, but a more pleasurable pain (if it is just sore, not damaged muscles).

    • William O. B'Livion

      What I did the year I was a stay-at-home dad was find a local YMCA that had a child care program.

      Then I would ride my bicycle up there, check the kid in for a hour and pick heavy shit up. Ride home and call it good.

      We got one of these: http://www.thule.com/en-us/us/thule-chariot for the Hellion, and she rode in it from about 1 year old until she was 6 or 7 (got too big). Yeah, it was bit of an expense up front but taking the bicycle on errands rather than the car wound up paying for itself rather quickly (this was when gas hit 4 bucks a gallon in CA).

      Oh, and the Chariot is at or near the top of the line. There’s others, but some of them just flat out f*king suck. The chariot has *good* wheels and bearings, and does the transformer thing. Don’t buy a cheap one, you’ll hate it.

      The other thing is that getting outside helps. Man wasn’t meant to hide in caves all the time. Green grass and sunshine, clouds and rain these things revive us.

  6. I got bad news fer ya boyo — eventually the excite, she no come. At some point nifty new toys are merely one more adaptation, one more “learn a new system” one more adjusting to another software revision leaving you to discover a) the new bugs and b) where they’ve hidden the old bugs.

    That might just be my innate Slavic Depressive speaking. But frankly, if MS never came out with a new OS I wouldn’t much mind. If web sites stopped improving their interfaces to fancy new ones with greater interactivity that invariably crashes my browser, it would be okay with me. If they come up with no new things to do with my cell phone (new app tells you when you’ve been out in the sun too long! new app tells you your BP is too high because you get annoyed at being told you’ve been out in the sun too long! new app tells you to wipe your butt! new app tells you when your skin is turning green and your muscle mass starts increasing!) that would be fine by me — shoot, I don’t even want to talk on my cell phone, much less read novels three words at a time, watch Cinemascope films in a 1X2 screen or read some twits who can’t express a coherent thought no matter how many characters they’re allowed.

    Don’t even open the ball on the new ways people find to be so !@#$@ing stupid their density warps Earth’s gravitational field.

    One advantage available to those with small children is you get to engage the world through new eyes, borrow some of their wonder at new marvels you’ve long taken for granted (like in-house devices for taking the poo away, yea!) and someone you can instruct in what is good in life (sadly, “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!” is not socially acceptable these days; even if it is the only useful thing public schools teach, they teach it indirectly.)

    • William O. B'Livion

      So basically you’re saying “640k should be enough for anybody”?

      Socially acceptable seems to be chemically castrating yourself.

      F*k that.

      • Randy Wilde

        So basically you’re saying “640k should be enough for anybody”?

        Well, it was fun, playing with the order in which drivers were loaded, trying to squeeze every last byte I could out of that 640K.

        One thing I never understood was why games needed to be run in DOS, while things like Word could be run in Windows (3.x). I was always of the mindset that if I was going to work I didn’t mind booting into DOS and running the software from there, but if I wanted to play I’d rather just look at the icons and say “I want to play THAT game now”.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Because DOS wasn’t really an OS, it was a interrupt servicer and file-handler. It could in large part get out of the way of games and let them use most or all of the memory and CPU available.

          Windows (through 3.11/Windows for Work Groups) was a layer on top of DOS and couldn’t get out of the way quite as easily. (Nutshell version. If you’d asked me this in 1992/3 I could have ‘splained it a lot better. Since then I’ve re-used most of those neurons for more pressing issues like how to tie a half-windsor and why canvassed is better than fused).

          • Yeah, I know… I shouldn’t have said I didn’t understand why. I get it from the technical standpoint, but from the user standpoint it just seemed counterintuitive to me. It was more work to start playing a game than it was to start working. 🙂

      • Naw, but 640K is enough for some people, especially if they would fix the bugs, instead of just coming out with a “new and improved” version with new and improved bugs. It ought to be an option, just like a cell phone built to actually talk on, rather than surf the web and stream live porn.

        Charging more for a bunch of stuff you are never going to use, may sound good, but there is a market niche for providing only what the consumer needs, for a noticeable savings.

        • Is Arachne good enough for everyday surfing nowadays?

          • Never heard of it, but I’m computer illiterate (I honestly couldn’t tell you when computers had 640K, and would have to look on the side of mine to see how much it has, although I know it is a lot more than my old computer, since I upgraded since my old one didn’t have enough memory to run a video editing program on it, when I updated the program to the new and improved version. Then couldn’t figure out how to go back to the old version which I could actually use. *grr*) Note that not everybody uses a computer to access the internet, however.

            I’m not saying the new things aren’t necessarily good (and I’m actually just clarifying my interpretation of RES’s comment, which I agree with in part) I’m just saying that they aren’t necessary to everybody.

            • Arachne is the only graphical web browser I know of for DOS. Lynx is text based, and not very useful on the modern web. Since you were talking about DOS, I thought maybe you were more up to date on this stuff than me. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    • Remember the technologist’s mantra: If it ain’t broke, fix it till it is!

  7. The one thing you can count on, if you face down a big stinky one before you get your coffee in the morning, your day isn’t going to get much worse.

  8. Some of the things I used to do that worked when I was caring for younglings, and I know you’re likely already doing most of these. Taking walks, which is both exercise and getting-out-of-the-house. I had a baby backpack, they loved going with me (later it was a double-stroller). Also, you won’t have the problem I did, that Mama’s braid is a great handle/reins and fun to yank 😉 Locking yourself in the bathroom for a long soak in the tub with a mindless book (ok, this was only for an hour, but *bliss*). Getting out without younglings to see adults and have adult-type conversations.

    As the Wee Dave grows, you will discover joys as he learns, and you learn along with him. And you know there’s always someone to talk to, since you have a global ‘extended family’

  9. I echo the ‘Keep Breathing’ bit.
    In AA, one of the things I heard was ‘Alcoholism is the only disease that tells you that you ain’t got it.’ That turns out not to be the case; it’s been my experience that the first thing ANY mood disorder or thought disorder tells you is “You ain’t got it.” Then there’s the long painful road of destruction ahead, and I DO know what I’m talking about, both as a counselor and as a person with brain chemistry that has gone astray. In the case of every single impairment, HAVING the impairment is not an ethical issue. What we DO with the information IS an ethical issue. I was born with the genes that resulted in incapacitating near-sidedness by the time I was 10 years old. No ethical issue there, right? I was given glasses, and I wore them. But what about when I turned 16 and started to drive? If I removed my glasses to impress the chicks or whatever, and got behind the wheel, I would have killed somebody, and THAT would have been an ethical issue. Okay: maybe what you have is a specific set of situations which are bringing you down. BUT, you also may be, like me, the owner of a brain that is not producing the right chemicals in the right amounts at the right time. That’s just the way the genetic dice rolled for you, and I thank God (I mean that literally) that there are chemical measures that allow me to live a productive and normal life. One of my basic life principles is: “Feeling bad doesn’t mean doing bad.” That translates into a lot of things, other than not killing myself. It also means seeing the doc and taking what is prescribed. I cannot beat this current bout of pneumonia without the levoflaxine, and I cannot beat the major depression without the duloxetine.
    And you might want to make sure you are getting a goodly amount of sexual release as well, in any format that does not contribute to your detriment or the detriment of others.

  10. Turn the internet and all other screen devices off, and the radio too (and avoid politics–inherently depressing, and it really doesn’t matter at this point who’s signed up to run for president: primaries are a long way away and it’s not like you can affect who throws their hat in by reading about it now). Go outside with the munchkin. (A Kelty Backpack is excellent for this, if a bit pricy.) Get sunshine and consider vitamin D supplements. Drink Sangria and eat dark chocolate after the munchkin is asleep. Engage in recreational marital activities with the spouse (also done after munchkin is asleep). Better yet, combine the previous two recommendations. Find a source of adult interaction, other than the spouse, who is probably interacted out by the end of the workday. (I know, I’m an introvert too. But this gets more important as the kids get bigger: spending hours explaining why light goes only so fast and why God created free will is not what I’m talking about.)

    But seriously, turn the electronics off. Get a notebook (spiral bound kind) and write in that. I swear electronics do something odd to the human brain when we stare at them for hours on end. Sit outside while you do it. Bonus: you can rip out a page for Wee Dave and give him a crayon or marker or whatever stage of scribbling device he’s up to, and he can ‘write with daddy!!!’

  11. Do what I have been doing since I saw the trailer for Fallout 4, go out and kill a bunch of things in the Mojave Wasteland to get your mind in the right place for the Boston Wasteland. After, that is, you go kill a bunch of stuff in the Capital Wasteland to get your mind in the right place for the Mojave.

  12. Speaking as a father who had kiddo duty (not to be confused with “doody” although that happened too) at one point while my now-ex wife was at work I know how this can be. Trust me. You can get through it. For my part, I got through it by walking. Lots. And Lots. And Lots.

    I walked two Breast Cancer 3 Days when my oldest was a baby. Between the events themselves and the training (which was walking) I figure I walked somewhere between eighteen- and nineteen-hundred miles. That’s not a typo. My oldest loved it, too. I used to take about five or six toys and then get her a stick I found on the ground. Guess which one she played with.

    Seriously, strollers rock and exercise helps get rid of stress. So did losing 130 lbs which I’ve since put back on. Try it. Just don’t forget the diaper bag.

  13. The Other Sean

    What has helped fro me when I’m feeling down (no guarantees it will work for anybody else):

    1. Consume fresh vegetables and some fruit and/or fruit juice daily
    2. Get a little sunshine (but wear sunscreen – no need to get skin cancer to fight depression!) every day, if possible
    3. Stay hydrated
    4. Get some exercise daily, even it is just a few loops around the block
    5. Sleep in the dark

    If I do those five things, I’ll start feeling much more upbeat within a few days, maybe a couple weeks tops. Not realizing this, during the winter semester of my first attempt at college I sank into a months-long depression.

  14. Men are not made for this job. It will kick your ass if you’re not careful.

    Three things will save you.

    First, don’t try to get anything done. You can’t. The baby WILL interrupt just when it gets interesting, every single time. Even reading is basically impossible. The one thing you can do that can be interrupted and not drive you nuts is building model airplanes/cars/tanks/whatever.

    Second, you need medicinal support particularly if you are an Odd. Holy Basil and L-Theanine is a combination that will make the world enough less annoying that you don’t freak out by the time your wife comes home. Booze and beer do NOT help, I’d suggest quitting altogether for the duration. If you can’t quit, cut ‘WAY back.

    Third, exercise!!! You need to exercise like a monster just to keep your head screwed on straight. Get a bicycle trailer and ride with the kids in the trailer every place you go, conditions permitting. Ride every day, hard. Kids will laugh like maniacs, you will stay sane.

    And remember, your job is making sure the kid grows. Anything else that gets accomplished is entirely beside the point.

    • Third, exercise!!! You need to exercise like a monster just to keep your head screwed on straight.

      Oh dear. Maybe it’s different for people who like to be out sweating in the heat while the bugs stick themselves to you and guzzle their fill, but that sentence just sounds incredibly disheartening all by itself.

      (My husband is one such. I know it’s actually true that I should at the very least get out and walk more… but it’s hot out and I’ve been helping put ointment on the places where things bit him last time he went to a park, and the prospect just tends to make my spirit cringe.)

      • And this would be why my dear darling husband has a treadmill desk. Writing, editing, and websurfing while walking… no dealing with Outside, but still getting exercise.

      • If biking is not your thing, pick something that you can do with a kid under one arm and a diaper bag under the other. Stationary bike in front of TV is a winner. Stairmaster at computer. Wrestle a box of bricks up and down the stairs. Shot-put large rocks in the back yard. Remove office chair from desk, replace with big exercise ball and crank off sit ups during email time. ANYTHING at all will work.

        A man who looks after babies MUST do something physical, every day, or he will become -cranky-. Cranky is double-plus ungood. The more physical the better. Climbing the basement stairs from the beer fridge six times a day isn’t sufficient.

    • Check out 5-HTP supplements. 5-HTP is a second-order precursor to your own natural seratonin production made from some West African plant. When you make enough seratonin it helps mood and quality of sleep, among other things. Not a drowsy-making thing at all for those concerned with being ready for the getting-up-for-the-lovely-offspring events – I take it midday with no troubles dropping off in the afternoon.

      I got pretty vivid dreams the first couple nights, but I definitely noticed improvements in both quality of sleep and overall mood, and it helped the Lovely Spouse as well..

      Costco has it.

      • I should add that you need to read up on any 5-HTP interactions if you are taking meds to rebalance brain chemistry – if you are already making changes to get back to an even keel you don’t want to through someting herbal into the mix.

  15. c4c

    • You, sir, are being negligent. How dare you break out the C4 when we have an infant around?

      • indeed, you know they prefer RDX

        • Sir, I am no font of child-rearing wisdom. I will, though, offer one piece of advice I’ve given to every single parent I’ve I’ve loved, cared about, or even was simply acquainted with.

          Every single day, from now on, no matter how tired, distracted, depressed, whatever, read to that child 30 minutes before you put them to sleep. I don’t mean “baby” books. Read the newspaper, history books, Grimm’s fairy tales, simple adult stuff. Do not underestimate the learning power of a child’s mind. Set them on your lap and use your finger to trace your words so they can track what you’re reading. Read to them until they’re two. By three they’ll be reading to you.

          As a related tip, keep the kid away from TV. The latest study I’ve read says kids under the age of two should not be in the same room as a TV, and should be limited to two hours daily until age six. It’s tempting, I know, to use the TV as a baby sitter, but don’t.

          Finally, I’ve found soft chamber music to be the bomb as a nursery soundtrack.

          Ok, that was three, not one, but when I get to preachin’ on this topic, I can go some. 🙂

          • I’ve found soft chamber music to be the bomb as a nursery soundtrack.

            One word of advice on children’s music: repeatability. Whether the kid digs Chopin, Raffi, Ludwig von or Sharon, Lois and Bram expect the child to want to hear the. same. bloody. @#$#@. song as many times an hour as it will fit into.

            This is a necessary thing, not a bad thing, and all you are required as parent to do is tolerate it. Quality, wit, inventiveness are all bonuses to be appreciated but the single truly important aspect of this musical genre is that you can hear the same flipping song over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over without going mad.

            • …expect the child to want to hear the. same. bloody. @#$#@. song as many times an hour as it will fit into.

              More!

              • You’ll never reach infinity — you’ll just go on, and on, and on, and on, and on …

                The very first song on the first episode of one of those programs I got to discover because of The Daughter — introduced at 1 min. mark.

            • My daughter was happy with my playing piano and singing to her for a bit. She liked “Under the Boardwalk.” After that I turned it over to the pros, in her case Mozart.She soon learned after her reading was bedtime,with lullabys and rarely, almost never fussed.

            • I love you
              You love me
              We’re a hap-py fam-i-ly…

              • Oh GOD don’t do it!!!!!!

                Did you know the purple dinosaur is the best selling target of all time, beating out even Ossama?

                • Not one bit surprised 🙂 When our daughter was a toddler and obsessed with the purple pestilence I’d have bought those in bulk 😉 Instead, I just had happy thoughts about Barney meeting actual T-Rexes and velociraptors (evil grin)

                • My cousin LOVES Barney. Why, her daughter would SIT DOWN and watch it without running around!

                  • One day it struck me — why Mr. Rogers worked. Locally it came on late in the afternoon. It didn’t work a kid up into a frenzy, or the adult for that matter — that man was copacetic — sooooooo calm and calming.

                    Drug free, too.

            • Try to hook ’em on the Goldberg Variations then 🙂

        • You know, classic black powder has less brisance, but kids love the smoke and the smell…

  16. My whole family has a tendency to be depressed, and I was pretty severely depressed in my youth. If the problem is that you can’t afford prescription anti-depressants, you could try ibuprofen. I take it every night for arthritis/food sensitivities and find that it also helps depression quite a bit. A study came out recently that said that it worked as well as some of the prescription anti-depressants. Apparently mental/emotional pain is affected by medications that treat physical pain. Go figure.

    I also take nutritional supplements, but it’s pretty hard to tell which ones are really helping. But I strongly recommend doing anything you can to get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can make you really depressed. If you’re having a hard time sleeping, figure out what to do to fix it. I get insomnia mostly from things that I eat. Sunlight, exercise, meditation, music, time for yourself. Vitamins. Keep trying to figure out what you need to get good sleep.

    • Vitamin B complex, Vitamin D3 and a probiotic are the basics to fight depression. Holy Basil and L-Theanine work on some people that SSRI drugs don’t work on. GABA works on some people. Plain old coffee works on some people.

      Melatonin aids sleep for most people. Valerian will PUT you to sleep, some people complain they don’t get good rest on Valarian, most don’t.

      Always remember, if you don’t notice any difference it probably isn’t working.

      • Tiredness can be anemia. This can sometimes be cured by taking Vitamin C with your iron-rich foods — you need its help in absorbing iron.

    • Ibuprofen? Hmm… My own way of dealing with bouts of “black dog” is pretty much music. Sometimes really sad, dark stuff helps you “get it out of your system” — once you reach that point, switch to uplifting. But I have close relatives that need chemical help (SSRIs) — I never got to that place (thank G-d) — but I know from experience that even a very low dose (like 10mg fluoxetin daily) can work wonders in people that are near the clinical threshold for depression.

      Mrs. NCT struggles with seasonal affective issues at REALLY Northern latitudes — but even a UV lamp in winter and/or full spectrum lighting can be helpful for that. Needless to say, this sort of thing doesn’t happen on the Mediterranean 😉

  17. Zen. No, seriously. It’s all about acceptance and perseverance. The slapping people bit is an optional extra.

  18. Just remember that depression is just a state of mind.

    Ain’t it funny how a melody
    can bring back a memory
    take you to another place in time
    completely change your state of mind

    Seriously, that song may describe a cure, but I find that listening to Goth music when depressed cheers me up. What can I say, I’m odd.

  19. Three things that contribute to stress–not that there aren’t a lot more, but theses seem relevant here–are lack of sleep, loss of control, and low social status.

    Well, the lack of sleep and loss of control over your life go hand in hand with full time dadding. Little Dave will grow and you will survive this. As others have said, check diet and do the best you can to sleep. Control over the whole situation is, at this age, more a matter of you figuring out how to work in snatches and how to hold the story in your head while you deal with the periodic demands and can get back to writing.

    Low social status. Nothing like people treating a housewife like a moron to turn a bad day worse! House husband? Bet you get a slightly different reaction that probably amounts to “can’t hold a job, wonder if he’s an alcoholic or just lazy?”

    But your aren’t a house husband, you are a self-employed writer, temporarily multitasking in early childhood development. And while that is a crucially important job, it is temporary, then you’ll be back to writing full time, having absorbed a great deal of information in the mean time.

    If this is getting to be a large stressor, try a few things to signal your backbrain that you are a professional, and it needs to get with the program. Start with your office. Doesn’t matter if it’s just a corner, it needs to look office-like and nothing else is allowed to encroach. The office is more important. In the morning, think about having a “getting up and going to the office” routine. Shower, shave, dress, 200 words before the first task is allowed to hit. Yeah, I know, there was a diaper change and bottle, and . . . interupting, but no doing laundry, or making a shopping lists until the first 200 words are done. Something like that, just to convince your self that you are a professional and worthy of both respect and self respect.

    200 more words and hit your favorite game. 😉

    And take vitamins. Limit carbs because they can add to brain fog.

  20. An observation from a non-parent, for what it is worth;

    In every field of endeavor, and I assume parenting is no different, there are always people who, no matter how well you are doing, no matter what sacrifices you are making, not matter what effort you are putting in, will tell you seriously that all your work is worthless because you aren’t doing it their way.

    Perhaps the most obvious common example are the people who derided McDonalds’ salads as “no healthier than a Big Mac”. Maybe they have as much fat, but the are a different balance of carbs, proteins, and fibre. It has to make SOME difference. Or the swine who will attack you for eating lots of fresh vegetables, but they aren’t ORGANIC (somebody please show me an inorganic lettuce).

    The proper response to such vermin is shooting, but the paperwork is a bitch, and there’s always the ghost of a chance that a jury would convict. But whatever you do, DON’T LISTEN.

    Whether you eject them from your house by neck and pants-seat depends, I suppose, on you, and how closely related to you they are.

    • Rob Crawford

      Ugh. Personal hot-button. Was at a Weight Watchers meeting years ago and the fill-in leader, a self-proclaimed “personal chef” went on a mini-rant about bagged salads and what horrible things they are. I swear my eyes must have bugged out — a room full of people with trouble eating well, and he’s trashing the easiest way to get fresh vegetables into their diets!

      Despite being a wall-flower’s wall-flower, I forced myself to butt in with “OK, they’re not ideal, but they are MUCH better than not getting your vegetables.” I don’t recall if “you dope” was implied or stated…

    • ” (somebody please show me an inorganic lettuce). ”

      Thank you, every time someone goes on an organic rant, I think of,

      • Or GMO foods, which is, um, ALL OF THEM.

        • I really wanted to strangle the twit behind me in line at a church potluck, when I heard him comment, “I’m glad my wife isn’t here, she couldn’t eat any of this, she is allergic to GMO foods.”

          Unfortunately my attempt to explain that GMO was an acronym (something you would think he would understand as a retired Colonel) what it stood for, and why you couldn’t be allergic to “GMO foods” fell on deaf ears. After all, he was a graduate of West Point, and I was just some dumb redneck. His wife and him had retired out of the military (one wonders how she managed to survive on military rations) and moved out west to farm organically and teach all the local poor dumb schmucks how to farm properly. To their distress the poor dumb schmucks were not only remarkably unwilling to learn from their vast expertise that they had acquired while he worked in the pentagon and she worked as a lobbyist (after getting out of the military) for organic and GMO free farming. And the locals had the temerity be able to make a living at farming the ‘wrong way’ while they did everything right and still had bad luck, so she had to go back to lobbying in DC in order to make ends meet.

    • William O. B'Livion

      >Maybe they have as much fat, but the are a different
      > balance of carbs, proteins, and fibre.

      First off, they only have “as much fat” if you get the high fat dressing, that’s under your control.

      Secondly *fat* isn’t the problem for most people, carbs–and the simple ones that that–are.

      > The proper response to such vermin is shooting,

      No, the proper response to such vermin is horsewhipping.

      > but the paperwork is a bitch,

      Yes, it is. Which is why one should say to them in the loudest voice reasonable for the environment ‘Who appointed you Ignorant Food Nazi? Do you work for the government now sticking your nose in other people’s business? Mind your own life you b*th/b*tard.

      They count on your politeness and submissiveness. Time to end that shit.

      > and there’s always the ghost of
      > a chance that a jury would convict.

      They can’t convict if there’s no body and no forensic evidence of a body. But that’s a lot of work.

      > But whatever you do, DON’T LISTEN.

      Oh, listen very carefully. It’s much easier to rebut them when you know exactly what they just said.

      Or punch them in the throat. That often shuts people up for a while.

    • cspschofield, you can also tell them that you have bad breath, B.O., stinky feet, a really bad attitude, and a fully loaded diaper that will be in their face if’n they don’t get out of your face.

  21. One thing that really helps me is walking. I try and walk along the river trail every workday. The combination of nature and exercise helps me.

  22. I know this is entirely unprecedented – a small thread detour. With the mention of Liberty Con – is there going to be a Hun Lunch (or dinner or breakfast) get-together?

    • There will be a Hun Wedding Reception. How’s that? The wedding is at 8 pm on Thursday but the Wedding Reception room party will be Friday evening from somewhere about 8 pm to about midnight, varying as people come and go… I will talk to Sarah about cake-cutting time so we can set that up, otherwise it’s show up and chew the cake and chat…

    • Should we talk about a breakfast, say, Sunday?

      • Breakfast could work. The reception not so much – I turn into a pumpkin around that time. Any restaurant in mind? And time?

      • Will be hitting the road until the middle of week, but I’ll try to follow this at random times when I’m stationary.

  23. I’ll be haunting the Diner for pics and posts about all of that, since I can’t be there physically.

  24. William O. B'Livion

    Found this today, thought it would amuse:

    http://smile.amazon.com/People-George-Martin-Bumper-Sticker/dp/B00EN34U9W/

    I would have put it in yesterday’s thread but there were 404 comments when I went to post it and didn’t’ have the heart to ruin the number.

  25. Is sub-clinical depression the equivalent of a sub-critical nuclear meltdown?

  26. paladin3001

    *furiously scribbles notes on dad/child rearing tips and stress relievers*

    If one ever needed a post this was the right one for me to stumble across.

    • This, right here, is why I wrote it. Well, and that I’m drowning in a sea of domesticity, and desperately need some kind of life preserver.

      • Only way I made it through was that my friend’s mother told me to my face I couldn’t do it. Too stubborn to let her be right. Replacing the words to kid’s songs with doggerel helps a little, just be careful not to get caught.

      • Exactly how old’s the boy?
        I’m a girl, naturally, so I go about such matters with a different hormone balance, but maybe I can point you in some useful directions.
        Someone mentioned the Y. Put him in a parent/tot swim class, take him to the daycare after (when we were near a Y, they did short term daycare excellently) and do laps.
        Nearest park to your place? How’s his balance? Foam kiddie soccer ball?
        Do you have a schedule? You can build it around the munchkin’s natural cycle, but write it down so you can glance at it. Really an excellent thing, knowing when you can expect to have a cranky toddler on your hands.

        And my youngest says she needs a diaper change, then we gotta get three big brothers from theater camp and take two to a double header and one to a single game, and . . . I’m losing my mind. But it’s all written down: if they find me gibbering on the side of the road they can find the kids.

    • Great. Just don’t try the walking-in-the-reactor one or your future kids will present all kinds of different parenting challenges like burning down Tokyo or trying to rule the world with their magnetic powers.

      • The reactor was never finished. No fissile material, whatsoever. Really cool old building, though. I especially liked the umpteen-million gallon one-piece stainless steel coolant pool.