Wife On Vacation – A Dad’s Observations

My wife recently left for a 5 day trip to California for a wedding and I stayed back with the kids to “step into her place”. Yeah…

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My wife and her sister in Napa Valley enjoying a much needed break.

Here’s the story,  I work a 40 hour a week job so I’m not at home all day with the 4-year-old. In fact, every day I get to miss out on the afternoon deluge of children (we have 5 kids) going through the turnstile at our front door as they enter the house and rummage the pantry for scraps of the good stuff they inhaled yesterday. I normally walk into to the aftermath of this. This means that by the time I get home, my wife has already 1) disbursed snacks 2) reviewed tests 3) signed papers 4) listened to the “not my fault” drama of the day 5) was informed that projects are due tomorrow 6) That none of the boy’s shorts fit from last year 7) The 4-year-old needs something NOW! 8) The dog is crying somewhere in the house or on our property 9) “Oh crap, I have to pick up a kid from band/wrestling/football/detention/auditions” 10) And for the finale she has had to ask the question, “Is that poo?”.   Then I walk in and have the sense to ask, “what’s for dinner?” 🙂 This situation does not lend itself to sexy time activities.

Although the afternoons are the most stressful part of my day, there are other oddities I’ve noticed:

Washing Clothes
-I have no idea who the clothes belong to other than me, my wife and the 4-year-old.
-I repeatedly cycle past the right setting on the washing machine. It’s like I’m looking at it for the first time, every time I use it!
-Laundry sucks
-Babes, THANK YOU for doing laundry!

Finding Clothes/Shoes
-There is a shoe thief living in our attic. He watches the kids sit down, untie their shoes and place them neatly in their shoe cubby then he swoops in to remove them from our lives… sometimes forever. Shoes on a child’s feet in the morning are a big deal. Thanks, babes.
-The kids need clean clothes, but there are no dirty clothes to be found. Hmmm.

Daytime with the 4yo and “Wildcards”
This one needs an explanation: When I think of being a stay at home parent my first thought is how relaxing it would be to be able to watch ESPN for 4 hours, cook breakfast, drink coffee, get inspired to write a blog post, do a little fishing and maybe do the necessary research to have a GOOD fantasy football team.

Reality: It is easier to have a day job. Seriously, my wife needs a frickin’ parade in her honor followed by a trip to Fiji with no kids (husband optional).

My 3 (THREE) weekdays with her gone have been filled with interruptions to my plan.  I call them “Wildcards”.
-Monday: 10 yo boy bruised his sternum at PE. Picked up and went to doctor.
-Tuesday: 17 yo boy with a phantom illness. Picked up and kept an eye on him and his “condition” as he slept all day only to wake up and chase everyone around the house for the rest of the evening. Pick up 10 yo girl from variety show auditions after school.
-Wednesday: I’m in it right now. I’ve had enough time to write this. That means the 4yo doesn’t realize I’m not actively doing something for her right now. Mama is coming home today. PRAISE JESUS!

My work days are normally structured with calendars and plans. This is MAYHEM! Occasionally, I have a glimpse of what I thought it was going to be like, but just like that… poof, it’s gone!

Karen, THANK YOU for raising our kids and staying home (even though you are rarely “just” home) to maintain our lives. I always appreciated you and what you do, but this is just nuts. It’s way crazier than I thought. Please come home. I can’t watch Trolls ONE.MORE.TIME!

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