The Best Laid Plans

Sometime back in the summer, when everyone in my family (but me) and everyone in my wife’s family (but me) were all at a house on the North Carolina coast (all 40-something of them), my two boys (MLI and MLE) conspirated with their two similarly-aged girl cousins from Texas, to get together before Thanksgiving.

Wanting to foster this “cuz-luv,” my wife tried to schedule a “meet in the middle” trip to Memphis, but her brother (father of the girl cousins) wasn’t going for it.

So, my wife, bowing to peer pressure from the boys, scheduled a trip to Dallas, leaving today and returning next Tuesday evening. I would stay home with the recovering dog, and generally enjoy some quiet time.

Seeing as how we also have a daughter who is a good bit younger than the rest of them, we kept trying to convince her NOT to go since “5” is always an odd-person-out, but she had major FOMO and was insistent on going.

So, you remember that part, back when I wrote, “Best Laid Plans”?

This morning, my daughter woke up with a bit of a scratchy throat and, fearing she’d get sicker on the trip, away from the comforts of home, decided to stay home and NOT go on the trip that was scheduled to leave in less than an hour.

OK then. Needless to say, I was mentally ready (OH SO READY) for several quiet days at home, doing catch-up projects, NOT having to cook for anyone, or generally tell anyone I was leaving the house and having to worry whether or not they were safe. There was probably going to be an adult beverage or two. But not now. When you’re home alone with a kid, you can’t ever really let yourself go. You have to always be in physical and mental shape to tackle any emergency–real or imagined.

I also had a massage scheduled (the gift card I’ve been sitting on since Father’s day) and a very large, DIY project. None of that is happening now and in fact, I’m reconsidering the days I took off from work next week to accomplish these things.

I was FINALLY going to tackle this disaster area. How I HATE metal wire shelving!


I love my daughter y’all like nothing before, but I still haven’t mentally adjusted to weeks of planning to the contrary.

On the bright side, I don’t have any gray hair anymore…(cuz I pulled it all out!)

boys jumping

Thoughts from this weekend with my two sons:

  • Any softening I have had about how this third child wouldn’t be THAT much bigger a deal, was completely blown out of the water after this weekend. There will be no–let me repeat, absolutely zero–“girls weekends away” when we have three kids. And CareerMom’s traveling schedule is going to seriously have to be re-evaluated, or else the in-laws are going to need to be proactively involved!
  • Give a kid a toy, and he’ll play for five minutes. Ignore a kid for five minutes and everything’s a toy.
  • Boxes of tissues hold infinite amounts of interest for toddlers.
  • Boys only learn by one method, the rod (aka: the switch). Asking nicely doesn’t work. Asking forcefully doesn’t work. Even yelling goes in one ear and out the other and only makes you–the parent–feel like a complete a-hole. Nope, spank ’em and move on.
  • When they wanna be sweet, they can melt your heart. The other 98% of the time, you just want to smash a pile of bricks with your forehead.
  • For anyone out there who may be saying to themselves, “Uh huh, it’s not so easy is it. Now you know what CareerMom had to go through two weeks ago” I submit the following facts:
    • Fact 1: She only had them one full day. The other days were “take ’em to daycare” days.
    • Fact 2: She had nice weather and could take them outside. I had severe thunderstorms and bitter cold.
    • Fact 3: When the going gets tough, the tough take them over to their mom’s house where there is a sister with a daughter to play with
  • I’ve completely run out of junk food-groups to feed them. I’ve done pizza, spaghetti, corn dogs (actually, I grabbed the “sausage dogs” by accident“), what is left?
  • Going and getting a band-aid every 30 minutes is driving me friggin’ nutz. And I’m not even the one getting them!
  • Honestly, I can’t keep up with the messes. Oh, and while vacuuming today, the vacuum belt broke.
  • After soooo looking forward to CareerMom’s returning at 6 p.m. and giving me a break, I checked online and discovered her flight is 1.5 hours late. Guess I get to put them to bed again.
  • CareerMom had better not come home horny! I’m in a “don’t touch me” mood!

I am NOT handling this well.

The Bachelor Pad Diaries – Day 1

image Day 1: Yesterday was tough because CareerMom left at noon, and while I was at the office, I received a call from Daycare that MLE had suffered another bout of mystery “bites” whilst napping. This was twice now that while asleep, he was apparently eaten up by bugs. I had already spoken with the daycare and he was the only one on both occasions affected. They sprayed down all the cots; verified that all sheets had been washed, etc. Honestly, it looked like flea bites, but fleas are pretty obvious so I figured it wasn’t that.

Since they had done their due diligence, I figured it was my turn. So, I left work and scrambled to Daycare and got him to the Dr.’s office by 4 p.m. After giving him a complete examination (minus a body cavity search), the doctor proclaimed, “Hives. He’s got ’em and chances are you’ll never figure out why. Give him some Benadryl and that should settle it down in a couple of days.”

$35 later (deductible + some new paperwork fee????) I ran back to daycare to pick up MLI and then we headed home. My “plan” had gotten messed up though (I was s’pose to be able to go to the gym before picking them up), so I was in a “not too great mood” and I might have yelled once (or twice) that evening. I tried to do some work after putting them to bed, but good old Lotus Notes had somehow boogered up my password and it required that I get a new one.

Now check this out:

If you want a new e-mail password, you have to request one either by telephone or Web form. Then, they send it to your manager–nope, not to you–and your manager has to give it to you. It’s as if they want your manager to know how inept you are.

So anyway, rather than spending my time getting a lot of work done last night, I spent half of it trying and retrying various passwords.


Would you believe that after all that, I DID NOT have an adult beverage? Gold star for me!

Blessed are the little children…unless you warp their little minds at a young age.

do not disturb In an interesting turn of events, the aforementioned “parent of an annoying child who will not leave you alone,” and we (as in, CareerMom) came to a very acceptable compromise: We’ll drop our child off at your house and let him play and then we’ll pick him up later!

Worked for her, and worked for us. Although, as suspected, when CareerMom went to pick him up last night, she was very “Chatty Kathy” and wouldn’t let her leave. I suspected that might be the case and suggested that instead, I go pick him up, but CareerMom insisted.

Fine by me.

Anyway, what with only having one child to deal with last night, CareerMom and I felt liberated. She skipped the gym; I ordered a veggie pizza, fixed a salad and cut up a mango for desert. We ate like kings. MLE was a pretty good eater too and didn’t make much of a fuss. The house was quiet.

And…CareerMom was lookin’ H. O. T.!

And…the only other person in the house was a 17 month old whom, I suspect, is too old to really process some adult things.

Things happened, as they will when two consenting adults are alone together, and not forced to lock themselves behind closed doors lest prying, not-ready-for bed-yet eyes, see them.

So, while the adults were busy, MLE played by himself in the general vicinity; only getting too close for comfort once or twice. Generally speaking, he seemed oblivious to what was going on, and since we did it as inconspicuously as possible, if he tries to tell his other toddler buds today what mommy and daddy were doing, it’s going to sound like we were just hugging while sitting on the couch or something. Nobody’ll believe him!

Was that wrong? I tried to tell myself that surely among the billions of parents there have been in the world, we surely weren’t the first (nor the last) to do something like this around their child. I mean, never in a million years would we try this with MLI, but he’s 4 and would immediately know something was going on, but a 17-month old?

When CareerMom left, he seemed fine. He played “dive off the coffee table onto the pillows” until I turned on “Pirates of the Carribean” at which point he stopped, crawled into my lap, grabbed his binky and watched Cap’n Jack whoop some crustacean butt until I put him to bed.

But if you’re not too embarrassed, have you done anything like this?