Working over the weekend I get a day off during the week which is like being pardoned by the governor. During the school year, when the kids are at school all day long and my wife is at work its like being pardoned from Gitmo.
Not that I don’t love my family but having a few hours to myself can be as refreshing as a three week vacation. Last Wednesday, I got my vacation…sort of.
1:30am (the wee hours of Wednesday morning). I decided to stay awake much later than I am accustomed to. Having the day off though, I wouldn’t have to wake up at my normal time and I wanted to work out how I was going to spend the day. Even though I had no problem burning the midnight oil I couldn’t help but thinking I was going to regret this decision.
6:45am I’m woken up by my wife. Not because she called my name to wake me up but because she is yelling at the kids to brush their teeth and I think I felt the furniture in our bedroom shaking (and I wanted to wipe the blood out of my ears). I knew it was a mistake going to bed so late.
7:15am I issue a quiet warning to my children (who have abandoned the idea of having minty fresh breath and are running back and forth from each other’s rooms half naked and speaking gibberish). “Your mother is going to kill you if you don’t brush your teeth and get ready for school.” They look at me like I’m kidding. I tell them both I’ll miss them terribly.
7:30am I am half asleep next to the toaster oven waiting for waffles to finish toasting. Both kids are at the kitchen island. One is going through her mother’s purse for makeup to wear the other one is free style rapping on top of the island. Neither is dressed for school or dressed at all for that matter (but their teeth are brushed).
7:35am both kids are crying because they have to wear shirts to school.
7:40am both kids are wearing shirts but are now crying because they didn’t want waffles for breakfast.
8:00am I can’t help but dream about work. I could be leaving right now and leave my family behind like I’m running from a fire. That feeling only intensifies as I am in serious negotiations with the 5yo about wearing sneakers instead of her sandals to school.
8:10am I am handed a ‘To Do List’ by my wife (which hits me like a throat punch from Chuck Liddell). I ask her as nicely as I can, “What in the hell is this?”
“Its your list. If I’m at work and you’re here, you might as well do something constructive.”
I had my own ‘To Do List’ that had nothing close to what her list had on it. Obviously my wife’s definition of constructive and mine vary immensely. I give the dog the ‘To Do List’ hoping she’ll shred it to pieces like it was a pair of my socks.
9:30am my family has been gone for an hour and I’m so idle, I’m not sure I even was breathing during the hour. I muster up enough energy to walk up the steps and get dressed (but I’m winded). I decide it would be best to work on this ‘To Do List’ now and get it over with as soon as I can gather enough energy to brush my teeth.
9:45am I am in the car and making my way to the Post Office, Walmart, the bank, and Family Dollar Grocery Store which doesn’t seem like a monumental undertaking but it is seriously cutting in to my ‘Me’ time.
10:30-Noon is sort of a blank. I didn’t see any paint missing or dents in my car so I must have made it home okay. I’m not sure what I did during that time but the front of my shirt had a drool stain on and crumbs on it. My guess? I ate something that could or could not have been nachos and fell asleep just like I did in college during Physical Geology 301.
Noon-2:00pm I am ironing a mountain of laundry that makes the Alps look like a bump. I am whittling my wife’s ‘To Do List’ down item by item. Meanwhile the dog is eating my ‘To Do List’. This day is not going according to plan.
2:15pm-4:00pm I finish up the last item on my ‘To Do List’. I pick my oldest up at school to take her to an eye doctor appointment. I talk her out of hysterics at the thought of having to have her eyes dilated. We talk about school. I listen to her go on and on about her math test, who she sat next to at lunch, and how she helped one of her classmates clean his desk, “Because Daddy, he couldn’t find any of his papers or a pencil to use so I helped him.” She keeps going on. I keep listening and hope she doesn’t stop any time soon because my day off was quickly coming to a close and I didn’t want to cross it off my list just yet.