Googling Bob Barker

by kelly

So part of having a baby (for all women and for some lucky men) is parental leave from work for some amount of time.  April 30 was my last day at the office, and I’ll return twelve weeks after that – on July 24.

Since Sarah’s birth was induced (four days before her due date due to concerns that she would be a large baby, and that labor was very near anyway), I was able to ‘schedule’ one free day off for myself before her May 2nd birth.  That May 1 was a quiet, neat day.  I just took it easy, decompressed a bit from the rush to wrap up/transition all of my projects at work, checked the hospital bags for all the necessaries, took myself out to lunch, and just tried to enjoy the last day as a mother of one child.

On May 2, well, we all know what happened that day.

And since then, I’ve been temporarily at home, caring for the special new little sweetheart in our lives. 

But another part of being on leave is getting to experience weekdays at home – a novelty for a full-time employed person like me.

One of the first things that struck me was that on the Soap Operas that I have loosely followed for years (going back to my high school and some college free days), most of the main characters turned up inexplicably married to different main characters than they were married to when I watched during the last maternity leave, about three years ago.  Not only that, but the children of the main characters, who were still tiny tots three years ago, have been rapidly aged by much more than three years and are, in various cases, now teenagers or young adults running businesses.  In the case of Victor Newman on the Young and the Restless (which is supposed to be set in Wisconsin, by the way), he has one whole new, adult son who’s turned up that I never knew about before.

Not only that, I have watched a little bit of the “new” Price is Right, with Drew Carey, instead of Bob Barker, as host.  As I first watched, I wondered how old Bob was doing.  Is he still alive?  Is he ill?  I thought about Googling him.  Then realized how ridiculous that would be.  But then realized that ‘Googling Bob Barker’ would make a spiffy blog post title.

The next thing that struck me was how bad daytime TV is.  One highlight is that a local independent station plays German-language Deutsche Welle for much of the day, so I can brush up on my German when the mood strikes.  Also, in the early days, I watched and got hooked on a few Lifetime Movie Network movies, but after the first few days, I’ve tried to stay away from the TV for the most part.

It’s more interesting, when I’m not doing dishes or laundry, and when I’m just hanging out with a sleeping baby on me, to simply pay attention to what goes on in the neighborhood, and even in our own house, during the day.

One of the greatest sources of amusements has been our cats, whose secret weekday daytime lives I am now privileged to observe.  Mostly they just sleep alot.  But Jim also makes a point of sleeping on, or in, every single baby-item in the house.  I’ve finally given up on removing him.  He just goes right back, anyway. 

The Secret Lives of Cats Darn that Jim... Darn that Jim!  I've given up on keeping him off the baby's things That Jim sits on ALL the baby's things!And the cats are enjoying having me home.  They get to go outside and come inside throughout the day now, which has led to a new hobbie for Minnie: sitting on the outside window ledges of the house and looking in.

Minnie - Inside Out Our cats Minnie's new hobby is to hang out on the outside window ledges

All this fun is going to come to an end of four weeks (minus one day).   

It’s almost a shame that a nice break of time like this isn’t built into the work year (or every other year or two or three) for every American.  It’s a healthy thing to do to just have the mental break and to refresh from the usual work routine.  Oh, well.  For me, four weeks is still a nice amount of time to enjoy, and that’s what I plan on doing.  Right along with the baby, the cats, the bad tv, the computer, and the errands and (decaf) Starbucks runs. 

With a baby who is reluctant to sleep anywhere else other than right on Mom, I know I’ll get in a lot of rest before this gig is up.

3 Responses to “Googling Bob Barker”

  1. MF Says:

    By the way, with a cat like Minnie, how do avoid having a coating of hair all over everything? I’ve got that problem here.

  2. Kelly Says:

    Having hardwood floors in part of the house helps – on hard surfaces, the little Minnie tufts can be easily swept up, instead of embedding themselves in.

    We have a cleaning service that vacuums/sweeps the whole place every two weeks, so that helps, too.

    Also, Paul learned from a Martha Stewart episode that you can groom cats with a comb (as opposed to a brush). The comb-technique works well on Minnie, and we always get a lot of fur out that way – especially the thick undercoat.

    And finally – another amazing trick I learned is that if you wear rubber gloves (such as the yellow cleaning/dishwashing gloves common in America), and you rub your fingers against the upholstery with cat hair on it, the cat hair just comes right up. It bunches easily up in a ball. It’s amazing how effective that is!

    Are you going to be brining your little kitty stateside? Or will you have to find her a new home there?

  3. MF Says:

    I’m bringing her back. She’s scared of everyone but me, which is why I was unsuccessful in adopting her out back when I (accidentally) got her. So, it would be tough to find her another home. Taking her will be costly (over $200 US in fees, etc.), but I feel like I have no other choice.