Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dads In Charge...Scary Isn't It?

Well it finally arrived, the long planned girl trip to Branson for the weekend. Cindy and Julie left Truck (that’s what we call Michael) and I in charge with all three cherubs (Finley, Evelyn, and Grace) from 8am Friday morning to 7pm Sunday evening. Today, I am anxiously awaiting my trip to Phoenix! Nah, just kidding, it was fun and we all survived in tact without burning down the house or visiting the emergency room. It was much more tolerable because Truck and I joined forces. Three miniature human species units vs. two adults, there is strength in numbers people, remember that in battle!

We spent the weekend painting poster boards, playing soccer, coloring, trampoline jumping, grilling, swinging, climbing, sliding, riding bikes, and even found time for some Barbie’s, Lego's and Tinker Toys. 28 hours later on Saturday afternoon, while sitting exhausted and dazed on the back porch as chaos swirled about us, it was hard for us to understand how the mom’s keep from hitting the bottle by noon. If there is one thing I have learned over the few years I have had kids, it’s that the first two days of a single parent stint are like rebirth. It takes two fully chaotic days of re-learning the ropes before some semblance of normal activity and schedule inevitably takes over. By Saturday night, we were spent and so were the kids so we divided early to conquer the last day.

A typical streaming conversation from our weekend:

THEM: I want my mommy! When’s mommy coming home? How come we have to eat that? I don’t want eggs! I need more juice! I have to go potty RIGHT NOW! I’m sleepy! Can we have cake? I need a band-aid! I want to go to Hanky’s house! THAT’S MINE!

US: But we’re more fun! Not soon enough! That’s your only choice! Fine, just eat cereal! We’re out, drink water! YOU WILL HAVE TO WAIT until we are out of the front yard! Then lay down and close your eyes! Eat your hot dog first! It’s not bleeding, shake it off! He doesn’t want you there, he’s enjoying the quiet! Really it’s MINE, I paid for it!

Then as if I had not already bitten off more than a bite’s worth, I had to sub for Cindy in Finley’s Sunday school class as a helper. Whoa, talk about over stimulation! Getting them up early, fed, dressed, and to the church on time was the easy part. There were 19 precocious 3 year olds to contend with when I arrived. I had no idea how to help and it was obvious I was in over my head. Miss Monica, the ever patient Sunday school teacher, noticed the profuse sweat rolling off my forehead as I tried like mad to keep the little buggers contained and focused. It’s like herding cats into a dog pen and it was the longest 60 minutes in recent memory. It is true, like animals, kids can smell fear and use it to their advantage!

So, now it is over. Dusk on Sunday marked the return of our female pillars of strength. The weekend of fun had regretfully come to a close. Each time I think about how exciting it would be to become a stay-at-home dad, I will quickly remind myself of the past 59 hours/23 minutes and gleefully board that usually dreaded flight out on Monday morning! Cheers to the mommies…you have our respect but also our undying gratitude that you are home! THANK YOU BABY JESUS!

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