Thursday, February 26, 2009

Slave Labor With A Smile

So awhile back the kids and I were in Target and The Champ begged me to buy him another Bakugan. If you have a boy between the ages of 6 & 10 you know what they are. If not, just combine Pokemon & Transformers.

Anyway, in an effort to teach him about the value of a dollar, in the case of a Bakugan, six, I asked him if he'd be willing to do some chores around the house. I told him I would start giving him an allowance if he agreed. He said o.k.

I decided he would be responsible for bringing in the empty trash cans when he gets home from school.

Here's where my decision to have him take care of the trash cans failed. The first few times went fine. We would get home, he would see the empty cans at the end of the driveway and put them away.

Then Peanut decided she wanted to help her big brother. Arguments ensued because The Champ didn't want to share his "chores" with his sister.

"Um, kid you'll still get the same allowance whether your sister helps or not." I thought to myself.

I told him he would still get the same amount and to let his sister help.

The last two weeks the kids have taken it to the next level. Not only are they fighting over my trash cans, they are going to the neighbor's and bringing their trash cans from the curb to their doors.

Fine job teaching him the value of a dollar. Don't they realize this is supposed to be a chore?

I wonder if cleaning the toilets would get this response?

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Good Thing Beer Doesn't Freeze

It's official, my separation is driving me nuts.

I determined this not by any reasons you & I might expect. Yesterday, I had the day all to myself with the kids at their mother's. I could tackle all those tasks I wanted. In the end, I spent most of it on the couch. Quality time with myself, I guess.

Around dinner time I started looking for something to eat. I didn't want to work too hard and I was getting ready to watch the NASCAR race so time was an issue. Scanning the fridge with the door wide open, I can do that now with nobody else around, something caught my eye.

A package of hamburger patties.

Right then and there I decided that's what I wanted for dinner, two nice juicy hamburgers with cheese. I picked up a 6-pack of #9's on Saturday so I had everything that was required. Too bad a few problems arose. One is you have to grill hamburgers outside, two, it's February and three, I live in Massachusetts.

It didn't matter. I soon found myself standing outside, beer in hand, flipping burgers with snow falling around me and the temperature a crisp 30 degrees.

Truth is Mrs. Joe did all the cooking when she was here. She cooked, I did the dishes. It was a fair deal. With Mrs. Joe gone, I've learned to cook a few things. I know hamburgers aren't rocket science but to want them bad enough to go outside in the middle of winter and cook them surprised even me.

Must have been all that free time on the couch. Being horizontal that long staring at the TV must have put me in a trance or something.

But I have to say those were the best hamburgers I have had in a long time.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Regarding Lint & Change

“Daddy, come here please. I have something for you”, Peanut said.

“What do you have for me?” I asked.

“Hold out you hand.”

I obliged.

As she placed a tiny ball of lint into my hand she replied, “A fuzzy from my butt”.

Thanks, kid.

Tomorrow Mrs. Joe & I have our first appointment with a marriage therapist. I am anxious to get things out in the open with someone who, I hope, can make sense of everything that has happened.

I want to say thanks for everybody who has given me encouragement through all of this. I have wavered back and forth on what to do and you all have stuck by me. I am assuming the next few weeks will help things become clearer. But then again, I have thought things were clear before only to see it blur.

Here’s to the next chapter. I hope to write something positive for a change.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Deciding To Rebuild

I mentioned Mrs. Joe asked me out to dinner. Well, we went out together this past Saturday night. We also decided that we would not discuss us but to just go out, have a few drinks, some dinner and catch up a little bit.

She came to my house after bringing Peanut & The Champ to her mom’s. She chose a restaurant we had been to many times together. I drove. We had a drink in the bar before we sat down to eat. There have been layoffs at both of our jobs so we talked about that for awhile. We talked about the kids. We were able to steer clear of us. We’ve decided to tackle that with a therapist present.

I think of it as having a building inspector assess the damage to the foundation.

Dinner was nice. We both enjoyed our meals. We cut the night short seeing the kids were at her mom’s. Instead of going directly back to my house, I drove us to her mom’s to help Mrs. Joe bring the kids home. After picking up the kids at her mom’s, I dropped her off at my house and we both drove to her apartment and brought the kids upstairs and put them to bed.

It was a good night. But us going out to dinner never was a bad night. The difficult times lay ahead with addressing what has happened. We have an appointment with a marriage therapist next Tuesday evening. I’m sure that’s when the hard work starts.

Can somebody loan me a hard hat?

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

First Step

Mrs. Joe informed me that she broke things off with her lover this past Saturday. I guess he didn’t take it too well. She seemed pretty upset about it so I assume her decision was not easy.

Come hell or high water, I have to take this really slow. I am telling myself to wait until well into spring before deciding on having her move back in.

Last night, she asked me out to dinner. We are planning to go out Saturday. She is making the plans and asking her mother to watch Peanut & The Champ.

It’s like we have to start all over again. Dating, flirting, getting to know each other. I know I have grown over the past year. How will she respond to the changes? Has she changed? I assume she has but how will I respond?

I talked with my therapist yesterday. She told me now that we are looking to reconcile we should get into marriage counseling soon. She said the simplest problems if not addressed correctly could set us back. She gave me a list of therapists she recommends. I’ll be trying to get us an appointment.

I am excited but I know I have to remain cautious. We have a huge hill to climb but parts of me want to think there is no better person to tackle it with.

Totally unrelated but this, amazingly, is my 200th post. Let's hope the next 200 are a little more positive.

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