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Mr. Mom...No, I'm a Dad!
At 7:00 a.m. any day Monday thru Friday (when Dad isn’t at the Fire Station), the alarm clock rings. Mom and Dad wake to start the day. In the two bedrooms across the hall three children lay fast asleep. As Mom heads for the shower Dad gets the extra 15 minutes of sleep he’ll need in order to make it through the day. Kids are now awakening, Mom is exiting the shower, and Dad is forced to get up. Mom, Dad, and children all have a tight schedule. Breakfast needs to be served, the children need to be bathed and dressed, and Mom just left for the office. That’s right, it’s 8:00 a.m. and Mom has left for the office, which leaves Dad at home to manage the household.
It is now 8:40 a.m. The oldest child (age 6) leaves for the bus stop. As Dad watches him from the kitchen window, he thinks about the plans he made yesterday for today. At 8:45 a.m. bus picks up son, and Dad is seeing that the youngest son (age 4) and even younger daughter (age 2) finish up their breakfast.
For the next hour the two children have rein on toys or television. Dad cleans the kitchen, makes the beds and picks up the rooms. By 10:00 a.m. the superficial cleaning is done and the kids are being dressed. At 10:30 a.m. dad goes to the game closet and pulls out two coloring books and some crayons. The children begin coloring and Dad makes the phone calls that Mom asked him to make. If there aren’t calls to be made, Dad squeezes in a few minutes with the newspaper or watches Sports Center. Between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. the children are no longer interested in coloring. The children want to engage in some physical activity, so if the weather permits, Dad takes the children outside to play with the dog. If weather doesn’t permit, they play family room football, bedroom baseball, or stairway slip and slide. “Daddy play!” It’s now 12:00 p.m., the oldest son will be home from school soon, and he’ll be hungry. Dad begins to prepare lunch and watches out the window for son’s bus to arrive. Dad gathers the children to the kitchen for lunch. After the children finish their lunch, Dad’s day really begins.
Dad puts “Baby Girl” down for a nap, helps oldest son do homework, and gives youngest son his “pretend” homework. Dad and the boys work on writing, numbers, ABC’s, and Dad manages to get in a little bit of reading from his two favorite books, “Jerry Rice” and “Michael Jordan.” It’s now 2:00 p.m. The kid’s homework is done and the kitchen is cleaned….again.
Dad gives the children an hour of free time so he can get the house cleaned up before Mom arrives. Dad begins to mop the floor, puts in a batch of laundry and lifts the house from the ground to dust the foundation. The clock in the children’s play room reads 3:00 p.m. They know Dad will be coming to help them clean the room that they have just destroyed in one hour’s time….Dad proceeds to clean, but ends up playing Rescue Heroes meet Bionicles.
When baby awakes Dad gets the children loaded into the SUV to run errands. While riding in the car, Dad believes it is important that each child have an activity, preferably a quiet one; a magna doodle or a coloring book works great. Errands include a grocery store run. Yes, a grocery store run with three children….and just one Dad! Amidst the “I want this,” “I want that,” Dad has a grocery list and buys only the items on the list.
Upon exiting the grocery store, Dad makes sure all kids are accounted for and reloads them into the SUV. They arrive home between 5:15 and 5:30 p.m…..Mom has yet to arrive from work. Dad encourages the children to sit quietly on the couch and watch cartoons while he prepares dinner.
Dinner is done. Mom is finally home. The family eats dinner. It’s 7:00 p.m. and Dad thinks his job is done for the day until…“Dad, will you help me get my pajamas on?”…And Dad is at it again!
Dad’s advice for organizing the day when Mom’s not home: