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Posts Tagged ‘solo parenting’
By Daddy Clay Friday, February 1st, 2008
This is officially Not Funny Anymore. The little punks have given me this flu crap. I’ve had it. I surrender. They can have McDonalds every night, and watch all the TV they want. They win. Honey, please come home. Things started out promising – everybody was finally healthy, so I had my first day in the office all week. Plus the internet was down (yes!), so we pretty much drank beer all day. Then the dreaded call from the daycare comes in. Coop has a temp of 103. I pick his hot little self up, and bring him home, undeterred from my goal of making a nice dinner on my last night alone. Grilled pork tenderloin in an Asian marinade, couscous, broccoli with cheese sauce and fresh strawberries. They ate the strawberries. Which was the right thing to do because the rest of it was abominable. And then this morning, I matched Coop degree for degree. A pair of 102s. I feel like coyote ate me and shit me off a cliff. A quick quiz: did Daddy Clay take off his bathrobe to go to the airport?
By Daddy Clay Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
If you have a sick child, it is very important not to turn a day off from school into a carnival atmosphere. Loads of coloring books, special movies, treats doled out to the sick child can obviously encourage malingering. So to avoid having a child that feigns illness or demands to stay home and the slightest stomach twinge, never, ever take him or her out to the mall to Build A Bear just to kill an hour.
I also think it’s fun, when I have the kids to myself, to prepare “theme meals.” These themes may involve international culinary styles, featured ingredients, or tableside preparation. The theme of last night’s meal “The Color of Obesity is Beige.”
On the Menu:
A mixed grill of corn dogs and chicken fingers
Mac and Cheese (Velveeta)
If my wife doesn’t come home soon, all the kids are going to look like Augustus Gloop.
Ri-ri took a turn for the better, so when Coop presented himself at 11 and said he didn’t feel well I almost lost it. I dosed him with Motrin and quickly put him to bed. When he woke up at 5 and wanted to talk about sharks and whales, I forgave him the moment I touched his nice cool forehead.
Ri-ri also passed the fever test so she was back at school, so, for the first time since mid-December of thereabouts, I headed into the Lab. Elated, ready for adult conversation and creative “me” time, I was greeted with the blaring sounds of Daddy Troy’s Wham Greatest Hits played at maximum volume.
By Daddy Clay Tuesday, January 29th, 2008
Day one was marked by a clear sense of unease, a nervousness just beneath the surface. I first picked up on this when I began dinner preparations. Coop, who usually busies himself with a puzzle in the living room while my wife cooks, pulled up a stool in the kitchen when I fired up the oven. Throughout the process he kept offering subtle encouragement. “That looks good, dad,” or “You’re a good cook, dad,” but I could tell he was judging me. Maybe monitoring my handling of the ground beef.
(Definitely a Dad menu: grilled cheeseburgers, curly fries, carrots/ranch, watermelon slices, and yogurt.)
Everything was going smoothly until Bubba’s ride to b-ball fell through, so I dragged the little ones out of the tub, threw on Pjs and hauled everybody into the cold. By the time we got back, Ri-ri was spiking a fever.
5:30 in the morning and Coop rolls up (usually he has to be pried out of bed) complaining of a stomach ache. Nice morning cortisol spike. He climbs into bed with me and for the next hour, says, very softly “tic,toc,tic,toc.” He survived.
Thanks goodness that by this morning Ri-ri was perky, delightful, and raring to get back to school. Too bad she has a 101 temp. Which made the school sendoff a little easier, but has cut down my productivity a bit.
So here I am for the third straight day, working from home. Is this what it feels like to be a mom – to be planning the dinner menu at 11am?
By Daddy Clay Monday, January 28th, 2008
Here’s a secret. If you want to know if an adult in our house is planning a business trip, simply walk over to one of the children and place your hand on his/or her forehead. Over 102, somebody is hitting the road. This time the traveler is my wife, and the patient is Ri-ri. My wife is going to a conference and won’t return until Friday. My daughter spiked a fever on Sunday and still has 102 this morning, so it looks like the flu.
We’re in the countdown to mom’s departure, and the anxiety among the children is growing. Though ill, Ri-ri has asked me no less than four times what we are having for dinner (cheeseburgers). Bubba asked if he’ll need to bike (across town) for basketball practice, and Coop just goes on crying jags.
I am trying not to take this as a vote of no confidence in my parenting abilities. But it’s not easy because I’m more nervous than they are. Most troubling – getting those that are well enough off to school. Backpacks and breakfast and teeth brushed and hair combed? I’m also nervous about mealtime with all the best dad shortcuts off the table because of a sick child. My wife stocked and color coded ingredients in the fridge, but I am still clearly capable of screwing it up.
All humiliations will be duly recorded right here. So if you’re the type that likes to rubberneck a good trainwreck, check back frequently.