When it comes to parenting I’m a minor leaguer. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve earned my stripes. I’ve done the overnights, the diapers, the mess… name your fluid. No, that’s not what I mean. Little Miss Junior is passing 8 months and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to be the primary caregiver… where the situation called for me to be the ‘on’ parent for both children by myself. I’d like to consider myself a pretty supportive and interactive dad, but Red doesn’t get much time off. She’s in the majors, an all-star with veteran service time. She’s Cal Ripken, the team captain who never misses a game. She can veto trades.
You see mommies don’t get much time off. There are girls’ nights out, and weekend ‘me’ time, but not many true night’s off. Primary caregivers don’t come home from the office. Most days I’m working right up till almost bedtime for the girls, and sometimes I’m travelling, leaving Red by herself. In the world of care-giving I’m a minor leaguer who rides the bus as supporting cast. On Saturday I got the call. I was going to the show. Red was taking the night off. She had plans to hightail it out around noon and spend an evening lounging with friends and not changing diapers or battling with our three year old wonder-barterer. Little Miss just finished reading Trump’s Art of the Deal and has begun to look for opportunities to maximize profit around every corner. Anyways I was getting my call up to the big show. The majors. I was flying without a net. 2 daughters, 1 day, 1 night, next morning, no backup. No problem, I got this.
We had a full day planned. There was splashing in the vinyl tub on our little back deck… There was a very short nap for LMJ… There was lunch and a walking trip to the grocery store for some things we needed… There was an excursion to the local playground for some time on the swings and late afternoon piles of sand… There was most of Finding Nemo before dinner time, bath time, story-song time, and bed. LMJ is not much for stories and songs yet, she mostly hollers like a cranky infant right before bedtime. When I’m flying solo I do like to cram the day with activities to keep us going. It helps me manage and I don’t have the improvisational skills of Red. As an OT who works with early childhood, she’s like the MacGyver of kid activities… “What do we got? Some twine, a broken straw, and 3 red buttons? Excellent, we can make a working wind tunnel with that… “
Circa 9pm both girls were sleeping and I was poured into a chair in the living room with the lights on dim. You see I can perform in the Majors. But they throw ungodly breaking stuff in the show… exploding sliders… There’s no let up. It’s relentless. Tending multiple kids all day long is hard damn work. I can do it, but by 9pm I’m bone tired. Yeah, I’ve got some skills but I’m not an every day major leaguer. Those guys have some serious chops. A tip of my cap to all the primary care givers out there… not everybody makes it to the show.