Dispelling the Mystery: A Running Diary

Because there seems to be a fair amount of confusion about what two small children and a father could possibly do all day without a mother around, I wanted to take this opportunity to offer a peak behind the curtain at our typical day. Full disclosure: In true reality TV fashion, some of the events portrayed here may have been compiled from several days to produce a smoother and more enthralling narrative, a very small portion may have been exaggerated, and an even smaller portion may have been totally made up. But, I promise, at least 87% of what follows is true and accurate.

6:52 a.m. – Let’s dive right in. 11-month-old B wakes me from a blissful slumber, in which I am dreaming about sleeping, with several savage cries and a swift chomp on his crib railing. Yes, his crib is still in our room, get over it already. Now, it’s a bit arbitrary to start the running diary here, because we were technically up at least two other times after midnight, but I’m making an executive decision. As you will see, this will likely be the last executive decision I make for the day.

6:53 a.m. – B makes his way from the living room to the dog bowls in the kitchen. I grab him just in time to thwart his Baptism and he flings himself back against me in a futile attempt to escape. (Last time I’m putting this one, but just sprinkle this sequence in about 33 more times throughout the day.)

7:43 a.m. – B and I watch Mike and Mike on ESPN2 while snacking on some Greek yogurt and green smoothie (first cliché guy thing of the day…well, at least half of it is). 

8:58 a.m. – 3-year-old J finally makes his presence known by calling for Mommy from his room upstairs. This is always a very delicate moment. Because despite the fact that I’m the one that greets him more than 50% of the time in the morning, for some reason he still expects Mommy 100% of the time. So, I gather up B, trudge up stairs, hesitantly push open the bedroom door and….I’m greeted with hugs and words of affection. LOL. J/k.

J: “Noooo!! I want Mommy!!”

Me: “Mommy’s at work. She’ll be home later.”

J: “I waaant Mommy!!”

Me: “Ok, let me know when you’re ready.”

B and I head back downstairs.

9:08 a.m. – J: “Daddy….Daddy!” B and I head back upstairs.

9:15 a.m. – Grudgingly switch the TV over to Disney Junior so we can work on getting dressed. This usually goes reasonably well, but today, not so much. I manage to corral J enough to get his pajamas off and his shorts on, dodging several flailing limbs along the way. The shirt and socks aren’t happening right now though as he collapses to the floor and sobs at the injustice of it all.

9:22 a.m. – 

Me: “Want some raisin bread toast for breakfast?”

J: (Sniffle, sniffle) “Uh-huh.”

(Prepares toast)

Me: “Here it is. Ready?”

J: “No. I need my shirt and socks.”

And there you have my first SMH of the day.

10:33 a.m. – J finds my book lying on the couch ( Flash Boys by Michael Lewis in case you are interested, and I know you are). However, J says it is a spell book and he is looking for a spell. This makes me a bit uneasy as I’m 95% sure I am the intended target of the spell. I hope it is something good. There are good spells, right? Then J notices the picture of the author on the back flap and says that’s his friend and that he went to his house this morning. What have you been up to, Lewis?

Quick (or not so quick) aside: I’m sure you’re dying to know, what do I think of the book? It’s pretty good. Lewis is always great with nonfiction character development. He’s consistently one of my favorite authors. I am quite jealous of J being such good friends with him, and btw, thanks for the invite guys. I am having a bit of trouble with this book though for two reasons. First, the subject matter is rather challenging (high frequency stock trading). Second, someone keeps taking my bookmark and using it as a treasure map. So, it’s equally likely that I’ve skipped significant chunks or read several parts multiple times. With that fact in mind, this review is turning out to be quite useless, but I’m committed to it now so there you have it.

11:14 a.m. –

Time to swing! 

11:28 a.m. – J prepares a potion in his toy bucket in the backyard. I’m growing increasingly concerned. Then he informs me it’s to help grow his beanstalk up to the sky. Whew.

Quick aside: I’m really enjoying J’s current pronunciation of beanstalk. Something like bean-stonk, with heavy emphasis on the stonk.

12:01 p.m. – Lunch time!! J agrees to have a peanut butter, jelly, and honey sandwich (the guys at Fed Up are seriously going to kill me for this one).

All is going well, J is helping because, of course, that’s how he does. Sandwich is made and I cut it in half. Idiot! J is crying on the floor. We start over. This time, no cuts; he eats at least 4 bites. I’m calling it a win.

12:24 p.m. – Jake and the Neverland Pirates just got 13 gold doubloons!! J/k….sorry for any heart attacks that may have caused.

12:27 p.m. – Wait, what has B been doing?

12:42 p.m. – Found him. Nap time. After WrestleMania 32 in the rocking chair, he’s asleep. Into the bed he goes and I take a moment to do the cabbage patch in celebration.

1:07 p.m. – J and I do something, um, academic or smart. Yes, that definitely happened.

1:37 p.m. – J says a rocket ship is coming out of his mouth. Really not looking forward to how that’s going to turn out.

1:58 p.m. – Disney Junior tells us it’s nap time. J’s like, “Good luck with that.”

2:04 p.m. – Back outside after Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Oh yeah, turns out in this episode the mystery MousekaTool wasn’t at all what the group needed, so they were unable to complete their mission. J/k....sorry for any heart attacks that may have caused. While outside, J sells me some peanuts from his peanut store. They weren’t the best, feel a little ripped off.

2:30 p.m. – It’s seriously only 2:30?!?

3:04 p.m. – B is still asleep. Maybe want to try this at night, dude?

3:11 p.m. – I drop a canister of oatmeal on the floor and it spills everywhere. J says, “I need my phone. I need to call Mommy and tell her you made a mess.” Dude, shhh, be cool!

3:17 p.m. – J makes me attempt to summon a dragon with a spell then has a minor meltdown when I can’t produce. To be fair, I didn’t have the spell book.

3:19 p.m. – J screaming. J screaming. J screaming.

3:31 p.m. – All good now. Time to enjoy an ice cream cone.

3:33 p.m. – Ice cream cone breaks…

3:35 p.m. – J screaming. J screaming. J screaming.

3:45 p.m. – B’s awake. Wow, only 3 hours and multiple, loud crying jags by J later. Maybe want to try that at night, dude?

4:07 p.m. – Choo-choo! Here comes the Daddy train. First stop, living room to pick up J. Next stop, Pirate Island!

4:32 p.m. – (Heavy breathing) The train is still running, but definitely running out of steam.

4:54 p.m. – The cat seems to be on a rampage in the backyard. Tip for any squirrels reading: Might want to stay out of our backyard. Just a heads up.

5:11 p.m – Convince J to go for a walk without resorting to my favorite and most effective parenting line, “Why won’t you ever do what I want to do?” Definitely a win. Head outside; get the single stroller out of the car. J politely objects. Get the double stroller out of the house. J politely objects. Finally settle on the single stroller with J walking. This is starting to feel like less of a win already. Sally forth pushing B in the stroller with J trotting behind. J says, “Throw snowballs at me!” I oblige. J says, “You say: Go fast!” I say, “Go fast!”

5:24 p.m. – Almost made it back home, but J collapses to the sidewalk. Oh so close. This is feeling like even less of a win. Take B out of the stroller, put J in and stumble home in that fashion. Good times.

5:53 p.m. – J tells me that someone has cast a spell on us and turned us into wolves. Guess whoever it was got their hands on that spell book. And seriously, how concerned should I be getting about the magical forces active in this house? Anyway, he says we have to climb to the top of the icy mountain and get the diamond to turn us back. We set out to do that and obviously succeed because I’m here to write this.

Quick aside: That sketch was a total rip off of a Jake episode, so I’m docking J one letter grade on the creativity scale. I’ll give it a solid B though.

6:17 p.m. – Dance party!! J is playing his guitar and instructs me to stand up and dance. Definitely don’t have to tell me that twice! Then we switch, I play guitar while he dances. Sadly, he apparently did not inherit my moves.

6:xx p.m. – Oh riiiight. Dinner definitely happened somewhere in here. Yes, definitely.

7:xx p.m. – Baths for J and B definitely happened somewhere in here. Yes, definitely.

7:47 p.m. – 8: 59 p.m. – Bed time!! WrestleMania 33 in the rocking chair puts B down for the count within 35 minutes. Next up, J. This is where it gets dicey; best to tread carefully. I start to warm his milk in the microwave. “Nooo! I need to do it,” he exclaims. Silly me, I went ahead and started it because he asked me to do it for him the night before. Solid reasoning on my part because, if there is anything you can bank on with 3-year-olds, it’s that their behavior and desires are consistent and never waver from day to day or minute to minute. Bwahahahaha!

9:01 p.m. – Crisis averted. J is in bed. I come downstairs and jump around silently while Zombie Nation plays in my head.

9:57 p.m. – None of your business.

10:02 p.m. – Ok, ok. Yes, I was watching Property Brothers. I particularly like the one that looks like the Nickelback guy. Thoughts? 

10:32 p.m. – B screaming. B screaming. B screaming.

10:51 p.m. – B is sufficiently milked and back in bed. And with that, it’s a wrap. Crossing my fingers we make it past midnight. 

Well, that should clear everything up for you and ease all of your concerns. You’re welcome.