The alarm goes off at 5:30am. Hit the snooze. Again at 5:40am. Again at 5:45am. Roll outta bed, fall down the stairs, drawn to the coffee pot by the aroma of fresh brewed coffee. (My wife is up at 5:30 at the first whimper of the alarm clock, every day. The first thing she does is start the coffee. God, I love her…) Crawl back up the stairs and stumble into the bathroom so I can take a shower. The hot water, combined with the cup o’ joe I managed to drink waiting for the water to get warm serve to wake me up sufficiently to finish getting ready for work.
With two kids under six in the house, invariably, one of them needs some assistance getting ready for school or day care. Actually, they both need some assistance, but my wife handles the first one that gets up. And with two kids in high school in the same house, invariably, there is at least one of them that needs assistance as well. Verbal assistance is quite often sufficient. Something like “Get your ass out of bed and get ready for school” works well, most days.
Time to leave for work. After I make the rounds, kiss everybody goodbye, refill the coffe cup, pour the balance into the thermos for later, grab something frozen for lunch. Jeez, I hope I didn’t just grab one of those Lean Cuisine® snacks. My three year old generally insists on helping me get all the stuff to the truck. So, he makes one trip with the thermos, and one trip with my laptop, and another trip to kiss me goodbye again. He’s managed to get pretty fast… only takes him about 5 minutes now. Which is okay, because one of the rear tires on the truck is low… too low to drive on, so I’m still putting air in the tire. It’s had a nail in it for about the last six months, and needs air every couple of days, but I hate to get it fixed, because now it’s part of the morning routine.
Drive an hour or more in rush hour traffic to get into work. The next six to eight hours every day are a blur of solving email issues, hosting server issues, and operator error issues. These are usually the hardest to resolve.
I steal a glance at the clock… damn, time to get the kids picked up. Hey, I didn’t get lunch today. Or yesterday. Or any of the other days that end in ‘day’. Gotta work on changing that. Probably right after I get the tire fixed.
Okay, work day’s over. A nice relaxing hour or more drive home in traffic. Stop by the house to make sure the two highschoolers A) Went to school in the first place, and B) Got home without some of their reckless friends running them over in the parking lot. The five year old is done for the day and needs to be picked up.
This usually involves a ten to fifteen minute conversation with the teacher about behavioural problems (“Not my kid, lady!”) and lack of attention in the afternoon. He’s five; ’nuff said.
After dropping him off at the house with the two older ones, it’s time to get the younger one from day care, head back to the house, and then figure out where the two older ones have to be and when. Depending on the day of the week, it will be either band practice, music lessons, the batting cage, clothing store, or one of four other places I cannot remember, but they will remind me of. Mind you, my wife works until 6, and does not get home until almost 7, so in order to get the two older kids anywhere, it is necessary to load all of us into my truck and go. Not a problem.
A chorus of yeses.
“I gotta go potty, Daddy” from the back seat, which means everybody in the front seat has to get out first.
Okay, everybody back in, buckled in, ready to go. Drop off the two older kids, rush back to the house to find and fix something for the two younger kids to eat. Get them done eating (sometimes a chore) and get them cleaned up (sometimes a bigger chore), and then let them watch a movie (sometimes the biggest chore remembering who picked last and solving the resulting dispute over whose turn it really is).
“Hello, it’s me. On my way. What do you want to do for supper?”
‘Nothing’ is not an acceptable answer.
Supper comes home with my wife, usually in a paper bag, or a cardboard box. Easier to store in the refrigerator to be revisited tomorrow that way. Wow, is it bedtime for the boys already?
“Okay boys! Bedtime. Get your teeth brushed, get your water, get your pajamas on, pick out a book to read. AND GO POTTY!!”
Brushed teeth, filled, then emptied water glasses, pajamas, two books later, kiss ’em goodnight, and head down to the computer. Sit my butt down in the chair, turn it on, log in, open up my browser…
“Hi Dad/dy. It’s me/us. I’m/we’re done. Can you come pick me/us up?”
The ‘us’ isn’t bad, but the ‘me’ is a problem because I’m still waiting on the other phone call.
Get them both picked up, installed back at the house, check the homework, and head back to the computer to try again. Finally bed time for them, the house is quiet. Ahhhh…. the sounds of silence.
Sit back down at the computer, log in … and promptly fall asleep, banging my head on the keyboard. Guess it’s time to wander on up to bed.
I’m not saying I’m any busier than anybody else; I’m just asking what the heck happened to April? Of 2005.
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