We have once again become a two-income family. Back in 2001, when we moved to Portland, we made the decision that the Wife would stay home with the kids while I brought home various cuts of bacon. I think this was an important decision for our family. Even though it meant moving from a house I loved to a house I barely tolerate, and moving into a MORE urban environment, I think it was a good move for the children. With all the chaos and drama the Girl has put us through over the last seven years, I shudder to think of what it would have been like if she had been in daycare, or a latchkey kid.
For a variety of reasons which are not really germane to the issue, we’ve been operating with less disposable income lately. This was a nasty surprise for me. After college and grad school, I have a strong visceral reaction to worrying about money. I hate it.
The Wife seized upon this frail excuse as a reason to rejoin the workforce. She hadn’t lost all reason, however, and wanted a job that would only require a few hours a day, and only during the hours the kids would be in school. What kind of job was that? Well, working at a school, obviously.
So, after volunteering for a few weeks, she has now become an official Lunch Lady.
However, after only a few days, it’s already becoming quite clear that – despite her protestations to the contrary – this was not about money. This was about my wife slowly losing her mind, and looking for some way to gnaw her leg off and escape the house. And it seems to have worked out for her. She has come home every day this week enthusiastically relating her adventures on the frontlines of the school nutritional battlefield.
Just last night she was explaining (with hand motions) how to assemble twelve chicken sandwiches at a time. There was a gleam in her eye. She was enthusiastic about it.
My wife has a Ph.D. in chemistry. She spent some time in an industrial research laboratory, and has a patent to prove it. In a company with an international customer base, she managed a department that had its hands in every operational aspect of the business. This is the woman that is waxing rhapsodic about making chicken sandwiches.
This is what parenthood does to you.