The Art of Farting Around (New Parents Version)

by doodaddy on April 28, 2007

Unwittingly, I’ve been ambushed by a completely free Saturday.

After weeks of social engagements, family visits, long-scheduled showers, and last-minute favors, the schedule gods finally saw fit to give me a free Saturday.

Hey, there, this is your conscience speaking.
You’re not completely free, you know. You
should be cleaning out the garage. And there
are four or five loads of laundry with your
name on them.

I’m faced with an entire Saturday and a decision: be productive or fart around? I’ve been thinking a lot about farting around since Kurt Vonnegut died. As pretty much everyone knows by now*, he famously told us that that’s why we’re put on this earth, you know. Maybe I should just fart around today.

Your conscience here, again.
The extra “office” room collects stuff
like a magpie. And the bird cage is
nearing toxic guano levels. Get on it!

I can just remember what that feels like. As a teenager, I used to fart around quite a bit on Saturdays. Just hang out on the beach, or sit and read the entire newspaper, or pull out my record collection (yes, it was still records!) and listen to random songs over and over.

And boy, oh, boy, your family blog is way
behind the times. You haven’t even posted
the Easter pictures yet!
If you could just get
the house presentable… Just in case someone
wanted to come over.

Usually, it felt pretty good. But there were times when farting around felt self-destructive. Those times when I had a paper to write or a midterm coming up — that’s when this conscience of mine started to find its voice. Now that I’m a dad, man is that voice getting loud.

You know what you should do? Sort out some of
the toys from the toybox that don’t get played
with, and put them down in the garage.
You have too many. Comes from
having seven grandparents, I think.

But as a parent and housespouse, there’s always going to be a midterm coming up, or the equivalent. There are always chores that I’m way behind on, always organizational projects, things to fix, errands to run.

Not to mention the fact that any free time
you’ve got could be spent enriching Boobaby’s
experience, taking her out to play or seeing
the ocean or meeting new friends.

Hang on a minute, though, Mr. Conscience! “Seeing the ocean” shows up in both columns! There’s a way I can fart around and get something done — by enjoying my baby! While she’s soaking up new experiences, I’m leaving all the housework and organization I for another day: ergo, farting around!

Wait a minute. I didn’t agree to that!

You sure did, and there are no take-backs! Nyaaah! You stay here and wash the dishes. Working Mom, Boobaby, and I are going to the beach!

What, are you joking? I’m going with you!
I’m sure I’ll be able to point out how messy
the car is. And I have some choice words
about sunscreen.

I can’t win with you, can I?

Nope. Better just succumb.

Fine. When tonight rolls around, though, I’m dampening you with fine wine.

Be that way. Enjoy the beach.

We will. Meanie.

*If you really don’t know the “farting around” quote, it and many others by Vonnegut are over at the Zen of Writing blog.



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in housework,stay-at-home dad ·

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one } April 28, 2007 at 6:53 pm

There will never, ever be a Saturday like those we had as a kid again. Ever. But you know what??? Saturdays on a ballfield have their charm. Better than cleaning out gutters, I promise.


Ann Marie April 29, 2007 at 3:02 pm

I hope you enjoyed your day at the beach with the family!! I forget that other people don’t have that out their back door. I farted around today too. Actually I farted around two PART days.
Yesterday morning was full of running around and errands. Yesterday afternoon full of a book.
This morning was full of fried chicken, aspargus, chocolate cake, and zuchinni casserole. After the trip to the grocery store. Then this afternoon I farted around again! 🙂

Granted having a 9 year old makes the farting a lot easier. He kinda takes off on his own and does his own farting.

I SHOULD have been registering for classes.


Elizabeth April 29, 2007 at 4:25 pm

My husband has that same problem on the weekends-even if he could just sit around catching up on the news or reading a book, he feels like he has to be DOING something. I don’t have that problem 🙂


doodaddy April 30, 2007 at 1:15 am

@Antagonist~ I can hardly wait until those ballfield days! I got to be a soccer-uncle for a while, and I really enjoyed it, and found the competitiveness of some parents always good for a laugh!

@Ann Marie~ Sounds about as good as could be expected! I just registered for a sewing class myself — it’s fun to be back learning!

@Elizabeth~ Well, I wasted a fair bit of time transferring my blog here, so I guess that counts as a “nothing” Sunday!

Thanks, all…


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