Wednesday, October 2, 2013

We Interrupt This Column for a Dose of Reality

There is nothing funny about your wife leaving you. Mine left me on Saturday morning. She claims she’s just on vacation with her mom, and they’ll be back this coming Saturday, but I remain skeptical. The boys and I are on day four of mom-less-ness, and things are looking bleak. Actually, we were doing OK until yesterday.

Yesterday Son Number Two played chicken with a sidewalk crack on his Razor scooter, and the crack won. It managed to grab his front wheel and hold it tight, stopping his scooter instantly and sending him head-first over the handle bars. He was able to save the sidewalk from any further damage by protecting it with his left hand.

Yesterday was October 1st, which happened to be the same day that our brand new health insurance plan went into effect. I wonder what our new insurance provider will think about us using our new policy on the very first day it was active? A few x-rays later, and I’m happy to report that no bones were harmed in the making of this story. Some ligaments and tendons took a beating, though. I’m guessing I won’t have any trouble with the insurance company, since I doubt they will suspect that a sprained wrist was a preexisting condition.

I was planning to start writing this column on Monday, like I normally do, but something else came up in the morning. I would have begun Monday evening, but evening follows afternoon, and the afternoon is homework time. Homework time is the worst time in the whole wide world, ever. I think I would rather go to war naked with a stick than sit down with my three sons and try to get them to finish – or even start – their homework. It’s so bad I don’t even want to keep talking about it, because my left eye is beginning to twitch.

After the three hours it takes us to do fifteen minutes of homework, it is dinnertime. Right around dinnertime is usually when I realize that I need to make something for dinner. We eat cereal a lot. Right after dinnertime is bedtime, since homework time runs into dinnertime, and dinnertime runs into all the time we would have had to do anything else before bedtime. Someday we’ll have enough time to have bath time. I hope.

After bedtime, I had another opportunity to begin this column, but due to the existence of homework time, all I am able to do after bedtime is sit and stare at a blank wall, and whimper softly. When I am done with that, it is my bedtime, because breakfast time is coming up fast.

So I figured I would start this column on Tuesday. I would have, except I went ahead and spent most of Tuesday sitting in a waiting room with Son Number Two and his swollen left wrist, next to a lady who sounded as if she had tuberculosis, whooping cough, and pneumonia all in one.

We managed to get home – hopefully tuberculosis-free - in time for homework time, and you can imagine how my day went from there.

So here we are on Wednesday, and I was all set to get the kids off to school and bang this column out. Then, when Son Number Three woke up this morning, he came out of the bathroom and informed me that his heart hurt. When I asked him to point to it, I deduced that his stomach was really the offending internal organ, and he confirmed that for me about a half-hour later when he threw up his breakfast.

He was kind enough to throw up as he was passing through the door into the garage, so the majority of his bagel ended up halfway out of the house. As a result, the cleanup was the industrial tile and concrete hose-down type that I prefer to the more delicate indoor variety. I am happy to report that our garage doorway threshold has never been cleaner.

So, here I am, after a morning of janitorial service, writing this column in between trips to the bathroom, and laundry loads. Like I told you, there is nothing funny about your wife leaving you. I completely forgot what I was even planning to write about on Monday, so this is what you get today.

This week has been a little off to say the least, but today is really highlighting for me why the Mr. Mom job is not more widely adopted across this great country. Women are just better at this kind of thing. I truly believe that moms come with a naturally larger tolerance for listening to whining than men have. This is probably a result of years of listening to men whine about how loud the baby is whining. When the kids get older, that increased tolerance helps women deal with homework time way better than men can.

Illness is another good example. It would never occur to me to get down on the bathroom floor and hug someone when they’re throwing up, but that’s exactly what a sick five-year-old kid wants. My first instinct is to get as far away from them as possible. Moms just naturally hug them. Go figure.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go burn our garage welcome mat, and pray for my wife’s safe and willing return.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2013 Marc Schmatjen

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