On the Challanges of Raising a Baby While Being a Cartooniston March 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm
And now for a little peek into my personal life… As I write this, my wife Alina is preparing to head off to a memorial in New Mexico with our son, Kazuo. I won’t see my baby for a week and he doesn’t even know what’s coming. When I look into his eyes, all I can think is, “Zippideedoodah! What a wonderful day!” The thought of a week without my baby fills me with such glee and euphoria it’s hard to hide the smile I have when I tell my wife how much I will miss them. There’s been so many times since the birth of my baby that I wanted to scream in frustration, gently hand Kazuo to a stranger and leap in front of a garbage truck. But I can’t even do that! I can’t even die!!! When Kazuo poos in his bath water or tries to pee on my head or starts licking band aides he find on the ground I just want to grab the little guy by his lapels and shout, “I wish the king of goblins would take you away.” But in the end, all I can do is vent on twitter (by the way, sorry twitter friends for having to put up with these tweets for the past year and a half). I realize it must be even harder for all the Mom’s out there. I feel as a woman, if you aren’t smiling and laughing as your baby vomits down the front of your shirt then society deems you a failure as a mammal.
I know so many cartoonists who just barely cling on to their lives. Living with 4 roommates in some hovel, eating warmed up cream of mushroom and spaghetti every night all so they can work some crappy job at a cafe that gives them the time to draw their comics. Then they have a kid and it’s over. I feel every comic I read from a new Mom or Dad could be their last. Lauren Weinstein wrote an amazing piece about the obstacles of being a Mom and cartoonist for “The Big Feminist But”. But most parent/cartoonists can’t even do that because they’re too busy wiping poo off the wall or more generally busy with the task of trying to keep a human life from perishing.
Sometimes I’ll meet a bachelor cartoonist who tells me they’re having writer’s block or not feeling inspired and I just want to strangle the life out of them. But really I’d be strangling myself. I was once that bachelor and it’s the cruelest joke that a sadistic god has played on humanity: to give us time when we’re stupid and waste it watching hours of The Price is Right and then snatch it away from us right when we’re wise enough to figure out exactly how we want to spend it.
Anyway, maybe it’s one of those “grass is greener lessons” I have to learn. When I imagine the bachelor life, I think of George Clooney living it up in his Italian villa. But when I think about what my own bachelor life was actually like, it’s kinda pathetic: Endless walking around Oakland and eating beans out of a can so I wouldn’t have to wash a dish. I’m pretty sure George Clooney doesn’t do that.