Marathon Dad - One Dad vs. Three Small, Small Boys
When you live in the Chicagoland area and you wake at 4:00 AM your bed, dresser and walls shaking around you, just go ahead expect the rest of the day to be a mess. The night before last night was fun, all the noise and everything, it was like being back in college. I suppose if I had thought this out a little better, I could have gone and left the house a mess and blamed the earthquake? Well, I guess that was stupid of me... and that's not the kind of mess I'm referring to anyway.
I am referring to those days when packing up the kids to leave the house takes an extra twenty minutes. And the kids aren't to blame. You have them all locked and loaded in the van, and you realize you've left your coffee in the house. You run back in, see something else you've forgotten, grab it, and head to the car. You start out the driveway and realize you've still left your coffee in the house. Forgetting your coffee once is fine, I forget mine at least twice a week. However, after your third trip back into the house and out of the driveway, still no coffee, now running twenty minutes late, you may as well just give up. I'm talking about one of those kind of days.
We had a mommy group outing yesterday. This was a good one, about twenty moms and thirty kids in a train-themed restaurant. My kids were behaving very well, which was surprising considering the state I was apparently in. (If I'm out of it, usually the kids are off-kilter as well) Chase kept leaving his seat and running over to watch the train display, which was fine... all the kids were doing the same. When the food arrived, via a really long and uber-exciting electric train, I walked over to grab Chase. He argued with me about coming to eat his food (yes, he threw in a "no, please?"), and I insisted he go to his chair immediately. To move the process along, I picked him up with my right arm and rested him on my hip. Let me repeat that part... I picked him up with my right arm and rested him on my hip.
So, I have my son in my arm, on my side, and I turn to head back to our seats. I must have had some type of extreme stupid parent moment while walking through the maze of moms to our spots on the other side of the room. I know I had just gone to grab Chase, but when I glanced over to our empty seats in front of me, he wasn't there. Much to my surprise, he had not respectfully gone over to his seat as he was sternly instructed. I was pissed. I was already tired from getting up that morning, you know... earthquake and all, and now Chase had deliberately ignored my command to immediately return to his seat. I start to look around the restaurant. He's not by the video games, he's not flirting with the four-year olds and he isn't back over by the trains. I glance again to our seats... still nothing. Just as my body temperature begins to heat up and I start to yell "CHASE!" to track the little man down I hear, "Daddy...Chase wants french fries please".
Well, you know how your thoughts move much, much faster than your body. In the time it took me to glance all of four inches to my right, to see my son smiling IN MY ARMS, I had already called myself a whole host of descriptive names. Most of which just mean dumb-ass.
While temporarily losing my son, while holding my son, may have been the high-point of the day, it certainly wasn't the end of the day. Michelle got snowed in somewhere near Boston, I decided making homemade blueberry baby food and feeding it to our "digestively explosive" twins was a good idea. Oh yeah, and then I let them crawl around on the living room floor. Our once-beige-and-boring carpeting is starting to have a lot of "character". Hmmm... Couldn't get Chase to eat dinner again, so I fixed him a plate of bananas and cheeze balls. Shortly after dinner, I got everyone to sleep. Splashed some poopy water all over me while cleaning diapers and decided to call it a night. Stupid earthquake.
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By Laurel Regan
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