Seven and a half years ago, when I gave birth to a BOY, I knew I wanted to raise a son who was smart and strong, yet sensitive. He is a strong-willed child, and I try to work on keeping my mission for him in order daily. This morning, while getting ready for school, we were styling his hair - he always has to look just a certain way (punk-ish, with a hint of Bieber) so, as we put the final touches on his coif, and as he admired himself, we hair sprayed it, and I stood back, looked at him, and said, "Wow, Niko. How DO you do it!?? Is it hard work being so cool all the time?"
He half thought for just a second and while walking away, said, "Its just in my HEART and my SPIRIT."
Looking for a replacement manservant, as my current one is packing his dusty Volkswagen and driving into the Western sunset as far as the earth will take him and never looking back.
The position serves as an assistant to me, Gerah, ruler of my home office. Qualifications include being artsy fartsy and being able to stumble your way through Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. Responsibilities include assisting me in my creative marketing business and may include graphic design and figuring out things you didn't know you knew how to do but I am confident that you can do them because I know you are smart and I'm your boss, (well kind of), creating content for e-newsletters on topics that you might not care about (but I do because my client does so you'll just do it if you want to make any money), and pretending that you are as excited about web design as I am. You should also be better than me in a few other technical/creative areas so that I can re-sell your skills to my clients and make more money.
When I run out of "fun", "colorful" things to work on, I may have you work on a marketing budget or spreadsheet and you will hate it but do it anyway and you'll probably take waaaay too long - and then my client may fire me because we charge too much. You may need to babysit my children when I have to run to a meeting. I hope you enjoy legos and pre-teen girl giggles.
This is a full-time or part-time or fraction of part-time position. Hours include showing up at the office sometime before noon and leaving the office around 2 or 3, usually. Some days you may want to push yourself to the limit and work till' 4, usually after I decided to yell at you for being a lazy man-child the previous day and have made you SOOOO ANGRY but have proven a point, and other days you might choose to show up at 7:59 am when I wasn't expecting you at all and I will come to the door in my red fuzzy robe with a towel on my head and lotion slathered all over my face. Some days I will not give you any work because I don't feel like it or I have a ton of work for you to do but you don't show up or I want you to finish the previous work that I already gave you but you are taking too long in my opinion.
I will not pay you regularly because you are not my employee although you will allow me to boss you around like you are. I pay YOU when I get paid from my clients and when my client does not pay on time and you whine about it I will get annoyed and tell you to GET A JOB and the fact that you are broke all the time and live at home with your father is not my problem, but good lawrd how are you EVER going to get a girlfriend?
When you come to "work" you will get my mail for me to see if any client checks have arrived and also make my coffee. If you forget to do these things for months at a time I will pretend to care but really I don't because because getting the mail and making coffee isn't really that hard, I just like having the company and I even sometimes make you sandwiches at lunch and, besides, I know you only make the fresh coffee for yourself, really, and get the mail because a check in the mail means you can pay your amazon.com credit card bill. It helps when you tell me how smart I am, in fact, I'll even give you an advance payment when you're broke if you compliment me on my legs! My husband will probably prefer you do not work at my home office because, well, you are a man, even though we know you are more like my gay best friend and I'd knock you out if you ever tried anything anyway. I guess I'd consider a ladyservant applicant but she might have to be homely looking to make me feel better about myself on a daily basis.
Qualified candidates will appreciate nerdy talk, funny youtube videos, inappropriate office humour and reply with "That's what SHE said" at least a dozen times a day and it doesn't really get old because we both find it hilariously funny. I will make you listen to Latin and other music that you don't like and sometimes we can listen to your angry music, too, but I hate it. Who the hell listens to Nine Inch Nails anymore, anyway? Jesus.
During the work day, you must listen to my kid and husband stories and pretend that you think my stories are adorable and funny, and then I will listen to your stories (except when I am staring at HTML or CSS, if so, no talking!) and make fun of you and give you endless unwanted life/career/relationship advice because I am a know-it-all and feel a need to act like your mother. You will get mad at me for being so bossy and you will pretend not to listen to anything I say because you are SO DAMN STUBBORN but deep down you will listen, because I am pretty much always right and you know I only do it because you remind me of myself at that age and I want to see you succeed.
Interested applicants may apply by emailing cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 27, 2013.
So, yes, I currently neglect this blog - but if anyone out there is still checking up on me, I wanted to share a bit of writing I did for our local hospital's "Spirit of Women" program's blog. It seemed to have resonated with a lot of women that read it - hopefully it will with you. I'd be honored if you'd take a few moments and give it a read!
I just wrapped up work and decided to vacuum a bit before the kids got home from school. I noticed the sofa cushions in our TV area had some crumbs on them, so I becan to suck them up with the vacuum extension hose. Then, I lifted the sofa cushions. Not only did I find crumbs under there, but I found BACON and TWO INTACT CHOCOLATE COOKIES way down in the crack.
Maybe the sofa in the other room is the healthy one? I'm going to go check it now for spinach and tofu.
This morning I awoke at 2:30 am and decided to go downstairs to my home office and get all my business taxes in order - because I am crazy. Or, maybe it was partly because Niko had crawled into our bed sometime between when I fell asleep and 2:30 am - and was wedged between Jeremy and I, flailing around in his sleep, hitting me in the face and kicking off the covers. He'd kick them off, I'd pull them back up (it's Michigan, it's damn cold) and Niko would cycle his legs in the air while sleeping and kick them off again.
I was awake and had a busy day of meetings, logos, dishes, website plans, emails, laundry, music lessons, and unpacked lunches ahead, so I decided, what the heck. GET UP. (I've chosen productivity over sleep maybe one other time in my life during college when I had a term paper due the next day and decided I'd better start it at 11 pm the night before.)
Any way, I got up, I was productive. Very productive, and somewhat cross-eyed. At about 5:30 am I received a text alert notifying me that the children's school was delayed for the five hundred millionth time this winter due to the fact that Michigan is a frozen hell and it's too dangerous to drive anywhere during the months of November through April.
So, feeling pleased knowing I didn't have to wake my precious angels from their slumber, I tip-toed upstairs into the dark hallway and very quietly closed the bedroom doors, thinking how sweet my sleeping babies are and how lovely it is that they don't have to be awakened/(awoken) for school - rather, continue their blissful slumber (SLUMBER THAT WAS STOLEN FROM ME!), er, because it is so peaceful and wonderful to let them get their rest, the little dears.
At about 7 am the 6 year old boy genius popped out of my bed and, naturally, his older sister awoke shortly after ...because that's just what they do. Wrapped in their blankets, they plopped on the sofa in front of the cozy warm wood stove and flipped on the TV. I noted to myself how angelic they looked and how much I adore them, then, walked over to give them each their morning mommy "I love yous" and kisses on their bed-heads.
I decided to be an extra good mom and cook my overgrown babies a hot breakfast, since having an extra two hours (due to the school delay) doesn't usually happen on a normal Wednesday. Let's seize the moment, right? I whipped up cheesy scrambled eggs, buttery toast, bacon, and orange juice with cloth napkins and silverware delivered by their sweet, over-achieving mother at the coffee table in front of the sofa where they sat. A special treat for two special kids.
Within 5 minutes of finishing their celebratory school delay breakfast they were at each other's throats. Yelling. Fighting. Kicking. They've been doing this lately and I don't like it. I DON'T LIKE IT ONE BIT. Do they have cabin fever? Is this normal brother and sister behavior - maybe clashing hormones? (I only had one sister who I treated like shit, I don't know these brother/sister things.)
It might have been my lost hours of sleep, or too much coffee, or the hanging stress of work projects, or simply the slightly psycho 34 year old fed up woman in me, but I lost it.
"YOU!" I yelled, in a deep, demonic voice, looking and pointing at Niko.
"YOU!!" I yelled equally as loud and vicious, pointing at Kyra.
"STAND HERE. NO, HERE. HERE!"
"LOOK AT ME."
I think they were actually frightened. I'm usually really nice. Really. As I yelled, I heard the freezing Michigan "snow day wind" and ice whipping outside the windows. I thought of the front sidewalk that was buried in white stuff, and in desperate need of a shoveling that I had to do myself after I cleaned up the breakfast dishes.
"GET YOUR COATS! GET YOUR HATS! GET YOUR MITTENS! GET OUTSIDE, SHOVEL THE SIDEWALK,
AND (then my voice got even more evil and deep)
DOOOO NOOT COME BACK IN UNTIL IT'S FINISHED!!!!"
They ran for the coat rack.
I chased after them, ranting, "DO YOU WANT TO FIGHT MORE???!?? GREAT!!! I'LL FIND MORE CHORES. FIGHT AGAIN, I DARE YOU. YOU CAN WASH OUT ALL THE TRASH CANS NEXT. THEN YOU CAN ORGANIZE THE BASEMENT."
They shoveled that sidewalk perfectly. Kyra came in and packed school lunches. Niko went upstairs and made his own bed himself.
I drove them to school and they were happy. We all sang to the radio together in the car. We saw a huge hawk kill another bird in our driveway and stopped to look at the blood and feathers after it flew away. They even kissed me goodbye. I told them I love them and hoped they have a wonderful day.
I've been in a great mood ever since. And my taxes are in exquisite order.
This morning's Niko-ism: I was watering the poorly cared for, dry, pathetic looking plants in our dining room window, I told the children that maybe THEY should take over the plant care, show me responsibility, and if the plants start thriving, then maybe they can get a pet.
Niko says, "Yeah, I want an ANIMAL. I REAL animal pet.
I want a MONKEY PET."