Zoe's been sick with a nagging cough lately, a deep, gnarly one that wracks her with coughing fits that leave her red in the face. That's bad enough as it is, but sometimes those fits are even worse and she ends up puking...on me. Almost always on me. Like last night, when she woke up into a coughing fit that ended with milky, cheesy, mucousy vomit all over her pajamas and bedding. I picked her up, soothed her, told her it was all right...and then tried to stay calm and maintain that soothing air as she yarked up another load down my chest. I cleaned her up, cleaned me up, cleaned her bed up and put her down to sleep again. And no sooner had she made contact with the sheets than she did it all over again.
It's always been this way with her. If she tosses her cookies, nine times out of ten those cookies end up on me. Unfortunately, this dismal track record isn't limited to output from the North end. That's where it usually comes from, but I also get it from the South. I remember quite vividly the time I was taking her temperature rectally when she let loose with a load of...lets say rectal output. I was holding the thermometer in place, and by the time I knew what was going on it was really too late to...dodge the bullet, so to speak...so I just sat there holding a thermometer and a load of poop until I was done.
I had a dim inkling in my early years that fatherhood might acquaint me intimately with a baby's assorted bodily functions, but I had no idea I'd be wearing it, holding it, soaking in it. I think about that sometimes, imagining a clean, clinical life. But it's worth it in the long run. Just the other day I was doing the dishes and Zoe started driving me buggy: "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" Finally, I snapped: "What? What, Zoe, what do you want?" Big, beatific smile: "I love you, Daddy." What's a handful of crap, a shirtload of puke, in exchange for a moment like that? A bargain at twice the price.
Well, my fantastic, high-paying computer training job is over before it ever really got started. Man, what a dud that was. I quit a job to take this job on the assurances that I'd soon be busier than I could handle. That was back in August. And I waited and waited and waited for this hectic work schedule to start. The busiest I ever got was the week I taught two classes in one day; aside from that I was lucky to teach one a week. And today I got email from my boss telling me that, well, gosh, they don't need me any more after all. "Sorry it didn't work out." Uh huh. That's not much of a diss, is it, getting fired by email?
Fortunately, I saw the writing on the wall after a weird conversation with the boss last week and started doing the resume shuffle, and I'm starting a new job next week for an online medical resource. I'll still have to hustle to line something else up on top of that, but just this new job alone is going to pay more than the one I just lost did simply because I'll be working.
An odd concept, that: hire someone and then actually put them to work. I think maybe they should look into that at my ex-job.