January 6, 2015

By Your Paternity Leave, Milord

Ho. Ly. Crap. I go away for ONE week, and this is what happens to the state of newdadwriting? Writer William Giraldi gets paternity leave from Boston University and the only thing he manages to nurture is a drinking problem?

My son was born in March, and my sabbatical went from early May to mid-January, which, in a tidy coincidence, is nearly nine months. But since his care was taken care of by his mother--whose apparent willingness and capacity to do almost everything for him flooded me with awe--I spent those nine months trying not to be bored while not writing a novel that was coming due. (No novelist who recognizes the unholy hardship of writing a novel ever wants to write a novel.) Hey, the proper dose of lager seemed to slacken my body without sapping my mind, and all day long, while I was not-writing my novel and not-feeding my newborn son, I looked forward to those drinks with a religious panting.
Set aside for a moment the possibility that Giraldi's trapped deep in a demonic bottle which distorts his desperate plea for help into a muffled, multilayered satire.

Now read Mallory Ortberg's rewrite on The Toast:

I simply wasn't prepared for what all of this free time would do to me. I had planned, of course, to participate actively as a member of the household and as my wife's partner -- grease the dryer, dust the teakettle, rearrange the cat, and so on -- but then, shortly after I walked in the door, I was tragically trapped under something heavy and have been unable to move from this spot in the living room. No one can move this burden from me, save the pure-hearted seventh son of a seventh son, and I do not believe that such a person exists.

It has been a difficult adjustment, to be sure. Once my wife asked me if I could help clean the floors as long as I was going to be down there anyway.

"I'm sorry, darling," I had to tell her, "but without a job, I -- like many men, including my grandfather before me, who was turned into a cinderblock wall after he retired -- lack the psychic equilibrium to perform basic tasks. Also can you make me a michelada."

Someone needs to put Daddy in a corner. With a mop.

This Brat's For You [thebaffler]
I'd Love To Help My Wife Do The Dishes, But I'm Trapped Under Something Heavy [the-toast.net]
UPDATE from the comments LOL

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