Friday, January 11, 2008

Dad Day #1

As Jessica is off visiting friends, I am now a full-time single parent for the weekend. I took the day off of work and got to see a little bit of what a normal day is like for the wife.

5:00 am. - Wake up, go swim while Jessica gets ready to head off to the airport.
5:45 am. - Wake up kids about an hour earlier than normal. Pile them and some blankets & pillows into the van. Drive the wife to the Airport. Kiss her goodbye.

7:00 am. - Arrive back home at same time we normally wake up kids. Time to start the a.m. routine. Instruct kids to avoid slushy puddles in garage and dirt covered cars as they come into the house from the van. Watch Jane slide her pillow all along van exterior as the comes into the house. Get mad. Remember resolution made only 8 hours before that I wouldn't get mad. Take 15 minutes to clean garage and find personal happy place.

8:00 am - Feed kids nutritious breakfast of German Pancakes and Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. Not what mom usually makes, but she isn't here now is she. Emma reminds Jane that they can wear whatever clothes they want today because "dad doesn't care what we wear." Cheering ensues.

8:45 am - Send older kids off to school. Dressed-"check", Jobs-"check", piano-"check", family prayer-"check", Lunches, Teeth Brushing, coats ... "check check check." So far, so good.

Change 2nd "class-2" diaper in under an hour. Wonder what the wife feeds this one? Put him in bath to get over disgust. Sit down w/ laptop to email co-workers reminding them that I won't be in the office today and do a couple of work related tasks. Vaguely note that Jane and Seth are playing upstairs together around bathtub.

9:00 am - Overhear Jane exclaim "Huwwy Sef, Huwwy ... you awe dwowning!" Run up stairs. Find Seth un-drowned in bathtub. False alarm - phew. Jane is pretty soaked ... but not enough to merit new clothes.

Dress Seth and clean up some more. See bear art/craft that has been crunched, smashed and discarded in various areas of the house. Debate over whether it is cruel to throw him away - decide it is not, proceed to trash can.

as I pick up the bear, Jane sees me and informs me that she made the bear at preschool. I nonchalantly pick up the bear and look at him. "He wooks mad" Jane informs me. I don't see why. As she runs off I trash compact the bear.

9:30 - Drop off Seth at playgroup. Take Jane to library for kiddie reading corner. Notice I am the only male over 3 in the room. Feel awkward. Wonder if I seem gay because I am here so deep into female territory. The other mothers act as if I am an invisible spirit of some sort. Jane they can see. Me they cannot. Try to blend in ... can't. Listen to lady with guitar. Color some pictures with Jane. GREAT! ... she asks me to color the rocket ship w/ rainbows. Definitely playing to the assumed gay dad suspicions.
11:30 - Pick up Seth from playgroup. Go to bank, and CostCo. Get hot dogs, and pizza for lunch for kids. During drive, Jane informs me that "if you yell at me fwee times today then I will not be you gilfwend anymore." I protest that I haven't yelled at her at all today. She reminds me of the incident this morning exiting the van. I apologize and she reassures me that I still have two more chances.
On way home from CostCo Jane begs for me to tell her "stowies from when you was a boy." I tell her a bunch. She then asks me to tell her about when mom was a girl. I tell her I didn't know mom then. So then she asks about when I first met mom. I tell her the story in great detail and begin cheering at full volume and hyperventilating when describing how beautiful she was at that fateful first instant. Jane says ... "I wish I could have seen what she wooked wike back then."

2:00 - Naps. I lay down to read. I end up falling asleep instead. I see why Jessica is so enamored with naptime.

3:40 - Older kids arrive home. Emma actually called as Jessica predicted at 3:25 to ask for ride home because "the bus doesn't leave for like 10 minutes". I have to tell her that Jane is still sleeping so she will have to take the bus.

3:55 - Plan rest of evening w/kids. We Decide on following schedule

  • 4:00 - Play outside in snow
  • 5:00 - Dinner (Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup)
  • 6:00 - Get jump on Saturday a.m. jobs (I lobbied for this one)
  • 7:00 - Play video games together (DDR & Monkeyball)
  • 8:00 - Bedtime

This is "Abbie." Jane was playing with her today. She is Emma's rabbit. Jane told me this morning that she would be "in big twouble if Abbie isn't on the bwack bench when Emma gets home." She even suggested we move Abbie so Seth wouldn't get her. After dinner I overheard Jane say "Emma ... do you know whewe Abbie is?"
"Yes" Emma said dryly (she was still on the bench as ordered).
"So I'm not punished!" Jane cheered.
I am not sure how Emma commands such obedience, but I need to learn her methods because mine aren't half as effective.
We pretty much followed the schedule. Had a nice evening and I didn't get any more tallies towards Jane breaking things off with me.


Celia Fae said...

You are a great dad. Excellent photos. Did it make your day go a little faster to take photos and blog it in your head?

Welcome to the napping dark side. Love Jane's hat and sweater.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

I used to think that Jessica was perfect and now I know that BOTH of you are. I mean seriously, what Dad goes to reading group at the library? It's impressive to say the least. Especially that you still found time to wake up at the crack of dawn and swim. Oh, and you mastered the babytalk. Nice.

My husband could use some lessons.

mandy* said...

Nice job, Mr. Mom! You even had time (and energy) to take pictures and blog!! You and Jessica amaze me. When are you going to start teaching parenting classes? I'm serious!

Me & My BOYS said...

Sounds like you did pretty good. I'm glad to see a little of your quirkiness about cleanliness come out. You know you can wash a pillow case? And pooping in a diaper twice doesn't mean you have to bathe the kid. And I still don't get how you guys get a 4 year old to take a nap. I need to know the secret!

julie said...

That was the best post! I especially liked the part at reading group. So funny! Wish you and Jessica lived out here. You would be fun to hang out with!

Lauren said...

That was fantastic! You are doing a great job with the kiddos!
You are a fantastic writer! Your public wants to hear, in detail, about the moment when you first laid eyes on Jessica. We promise to cheer and hyperventilate.

Kudos on keeping your "boyfwend" status, even with the stresses of single fatherhood!

Karen said...

Wow...nice run-down of the day. In my opinion it also doubles as a tutorial to all dads everywhere of what a REAL weekend with friends should be like. Ours is usually me dropping off kids at Grandmas so dad doesn't have to take time off work and take care of them himself. He gets points for letting me go, but some are revoked when I have to arrange for the kids to go elsewhere. 3 cheers for you!

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

This had me laughing out loud. Not at the revenge of stinky diapers, cleaning, and naps, but at how well you handled it - looking gay and all. This is a lesson for all our husbands. Mine just sword fights and plays legos with the kids in the basement when I'm gone. You actually get them dressed and go places. Well done.

Erin said...

Hmmmm...sounds like you need to visit our mile-high-hippie-haven. I can guarantee you will never again be in the minority at storytime at our library. Heck, you can even bring your dog if want. Also, you can ride your bike to the library with your kids in the buggy behind you and, preferrably, some sort of prideful or environmentally conscious flag waving from your seat. Ask Spencer, he's been there done that (okay, minus the flag).

Ilene said...

Hey, I'm going to a blog party in May... you wanna watch my kids too?

Dan tends to hyperventilate and burst into song when he recounts our first meeting.

Bridget said...

Fabulous post. Why is it that ever mom loves to hear about other dad's Mr. Mom adventures. Guess it makes us feel good since usually we do it so much better. Not so in your case. Hats off to you.

steven said...

that was hilarious.

andrea said...

you are the most well-adjusted gay man in an eternal family situation. do you wear rainbow ties to church too?

before i throw away the kids' art, i take a picture of it. they feel better about it, and my motto is "digital is disposable."

zeeny said...

What a great dad. I'm impressed you took the camera to the library and actually took pictures. I am sure that is why you where ignored...not because you are a man! Ryan also takes our girls to the library and proudly sits in storytime as the lone male! Good luck for the rest of the weekend!

Abbie said...

1) the rabbit has the greatest name ever.
2) there is 1 guy that comes to out storytime - pretty sure he's gay.
3) happy to hear things are going well with your gilfwend.
4) publish stories of "when you were a boy".
5) still laughing

Grandma Cathryn said...

Justin (Melissa's hubby) was in charge of the twinnies (4 months old) for a few hours this morning while she got ready to go to the old navy sale with me. About noon he said to her, "I don't know why you haven't shot yourself." We love how you dads validate the enormous job mommies have.

J'net said...

Was this "visiting" friends on Jessica's NYResolution list? SHE'S doing really well with that list so far this year! It was great that making that list was your idea!
Was "spending more time with your kids" on your list?
You've DONE it!!! See how easy those lists are!?
It's GREAT you document it, SO when the kids grow up they can "remember" the dad times... Even at the library, almost like being a "room mom/DAD", try that
one NEXT time! Those MOM's will GO CRAZY!
Great Job, shakin' it up in 2008!

crystal said...

YOU WENT TO STORYTIME? I am in awe. Mike would've plopped them down in front of the tv to watch Sprout for 8 hrs while he dinked around on the computer.

Love him. But I'm just saying.

Lorena said...

So impressed...whenever did you find time to do it all?

bloggingchristy said...

Wow blogging and taking care of the kids (very well I might add)! Are you sure you and Greg are brothers? He watched the kids this week and it went a little differently than your day with the kids. I would've taken pictures but would be too embarassed to post pictures of my house in that condition.

Meghann said...

Ryan- you are HILARIOUS!!! I love how you called a stinky diaper a "class 2"- or whatever you wrote. You're such a great Dad. I always feel guilty throwing away arts & crafts too . . . probably more guilty than you felt. (That poor bear.) Picturing you at story time is enough to keep me laughing for the next 5 minutes. I love how Emma has to wait, "like" a whole ten minutes for the bus to leave. Oh my funniness.

Tammy said...

Ryan, you rock! Thanks for letting us have jessica this weekend, we had a total blast!

Kara Jayne said...

I'm making my husband read this!

rubberbandgirl said...

Oh you had me laughing! Thanks Ryan!

Carie said...

24 comments of communal encouragement just for you Ryan!

I guess I'll make it 25, good job.

I was out of town last weekend and Mark rivaled your good dad-ness.

TexasTwinsTwice said...

okay I *almost* left a comment on here about how impressed i was w' your hubby's fathering skills--but i didn't want him to think a stranger was coming on to him while his wife was out of town =). Let's just say he had me at "Jessica is off visiting her friends & I'm taking care of the kids". I don't know that greater words have ever been written! To think, I was thrilled my hubby took the day off to come to his own kids' b-day party. He WILL be forced to read this post & come up with a better 'action plan' as a father & husband--haha! =)