That’s right! It’s time for another Mommy Moment at the Monster! Except this time we are gonna have a Daddy Moment!
Let’s welcome John from The Adventures of Daddy Runs a Lot! John is the daddy to two little ones, as his blog title suggests he loves to run and is a fitness nut, and a writer…a true writer. He also keeps me laughing on Twitter and has been really supportive of Mommy of a Monster.
So once again welcome John! If you’re not sure what a Mommy (or Daddy!) Moment at the Monster is, head over and read all about how Mommy Moments at the Monster came to be.
Go grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy the story!
I know stay-at-home mothers don’t have it easy. My plans weren’t to “show off” or anything like that. No, I simply wanted to take as much as possible off my wife’s plate as possible. She’d come home, and the stuff that came with parenting that didn’t involve playing with babies would be handled. Like the best laid plans, things did not go as I had hoped.
My wife works every Friday, and the first weekend of every month – those Fridays, we’re fortunate enough to have family members who actually fight for the right to babysit. That weekend, the kids are all mine. After one particularly trying week for her, I really wanted to try to “do it all”. We needed dog food, so I’d go to Petsmart. We needed milk and I needed deodorant, so we’d go to Target. I’d get as much laundry done as possible. And the kids (8 months & 15 months) would eat healthy.
I went into motion as soon as she left and put the girl in the pack & play, letting the boy “help” me with the laundry (I put stuff into the washer, he proceeds to find something to pull out of the washer). As soon as I hit the “start” button, there’s the smell that any parent knows. It wasn’t the boy, it was the girl, who was mostly asleep. I wait and start making breakfast. This was a huge mistake.
Just as I’m about to pour the pancake batter onto the griddle, she wakes up and starts screaming. Wait on the pancakes. Got it – off to change a diaper.
Only I had waited too long, and it was a full change of clothing. Not a problem – I got this, I dress her all of the time. And then I clean up the pack & play, because, um, ew. And maybe I put out a near fire where an oven mitt was touching the griddle. But, kid was changed, house was standing, and now I had pancakes cooking.
Before they were done, though, the boy started crying. As I finish cooking the pancakes, I feel wet down my shirt. Oops, I hadn’t changed his diaper since the first go. Change him, change me, salvage burned pancakes and we all ate breakfast1.
After breakfast, I threw the girl back into the pack and play, threw the wet clothes into the dryer, threw in another load of laundry (realizing, only after I hit the start button that the boy had bad been taking the dirty clothes out of the washer and into the dryer, so I stop the dryer and take anything that felt mostly dry, throwing it back into the washer) and decide we all need to go for a walk.
I get out the dual stroller, put the girl in, put the boy in, strap the dogs to my body, and off I go. Midway through, the girl starts screaming. And there’s the smell again.
Rush to the end of the walk, get the dogs inside, and change the girl. And her clothes. Wash out the stroller (if I were smart, at this stage, I would have realized that plans outside of the house might not have been a great idea).
Put the stroller in my truck, put the kids in their carseats, head out shopping.
Kids fall asleep in the truck, but I wake them getting them into the stroller. We buy dog food (and laugh when an over-excited sheltie jumps into the stroller to say hello to the kids . . . they’re too cranky to do much but cry).
Go to Target as the kids start to wake up. Actually have a great time in Target as people simply coo over the kids. Buy Goldfish crackers and milk. Decide to go to Starbucks.
Realize that Starbucks is not exactly accommodating to a double-wide stroller as I knock over a display sign trying to find a place to sit down. Fortunately, they were all very nice & set things back up, keeping an eye on me.
Feed the kids Goldfish as I enjoy my iced coffee. Realize that there are more goldfish ending up on the floor than in my kids’ mouths. Make not to apologize because I know I won’t be able to clean up all of them.
Knock over same display getting out of the store, realize that I barely cleaned up any of the stray Goldfish. Forget to apologize.
Go back home.
Change both babies because, well, I’m going to stay ahead of the curve here.
Put girl back in pack & play, take out some of the dry clothing and start to fold it. Hear a grunt from the laundry room. Realize the boy has taken out all of the clean clothes, thrown them on the floor with the dirty clothes waiting for the next load, and was jumping into the pile of clothes and rolling around them as if he were jumping into a pile of leaves.
Note that I’ve, technically, done about 1/3 of a load of laundry now.
Take boy out of laundry room, standing in a weird position to keep him from entering, put the wet clothes in the dryer, do one super-sized load of part-already clean, part-dirty clothing as the boy screams.
Note that the girl has started screaming.
Remember that they haven’t napped today, and that getting them to nap usually takes milk and/or formula.
Go to prepare two bottles and realize that all of the bottles 2 are dirty and in the sink. Go to put the non-bottle stuff in the dishwasher only to find that it’s full of clean dishes.
Put away clean dishes, wash dirty bottles, go deaf from screaming children.
Prepare bottles and note that the girl has stopped crying.
Give the boy a bottle of milk (as he reaches for the bottle of formula) and get him to fall asleep on me.
Two minutes pass and the girl starts to cry.
Try to shush the girl and end up waking the boy.
Stand, put boy down (so he cries louder) and pick up girl.
Feel the “squish” before the wave of odor hits me.
Throw off my own shirt (this was an especially bad blowout and I wasn’t sure if I had another shirt to wear that was clean because, well, couldn’t you tell the laundry situation was somewhat dire?), pick up girl, pick up boy, head upstairs.
Start changing girl. Get “it” all over me.
Realize that we’re out of wipes.
Put girl on the floor, butt-ass-naked, pick up the boy (who is still screaming), head downstairs and soak several paper towels in water.
Head back upstairs, put down boy (louder crying), put girl on changing table, go to put diaper on but pull off a tab. Lament having to waste a perfectly good diaper and put another diaper on. Realize that all of her clothes are somewhere in that mess of laundry downstairs. Pick her up.
Go to throw the exploded diaper in the bin. Miss.
Sit on the floor and cry.
At this time, the boy stopped crying.
Silence, save for tiny little sobs coming from somewhere inside me.
Then a pat on my back, and a “shhhh shhhh shhhh shhhh,” from the boy. It’s the very same plan-of-attack I’ve used on him every time he’s had a “so exhausted, I’m crying” spell.
Take both kids downstairs (girl nekkid, save for the diaper), sit in a recliner, give the kids their bottles.
My wife came home to find us all asleep.
Thank you for sharing this moment John…one all of us can absolutely relate to! And when dads step in and experience our day-to-day lives as SAHMs (or even WAHMs), the appreciation and understanding that they get to relate to helps make them better fathers and husbands. By you sharing your Daddy Moment with us, you are reminding us all that parenting is not easy, and it’s a team effort. Kids are exhausting. Trying to get things done with kids running around is nearly impossible. And all of that. Thanks John, for sharing your story with us.
There’s no manual out there for what we do, so sharing stories like this helps us all learn from each other.
Now head over to John’s place The Adventures of Daddy Runs a Lot and if you are new there, make sure to tell him that I sent you!