For the first time in my 36 years of life, I think I have a clue when it comes to my wife, motherhood and our two little darlings.
This year for Mother’s Day, my dearest wife Tiffany, spent a lovely weekend on her own at Atlantis, Paradise Island; abandoning, I mean leaving me to care for our children.
My journey to motherhood discovery began Saturday afternoon when we departed PI after a little family pool time and a late lunch. Tiffany went to her room. I went home with the kids. My first goal was to ensure the three year old did not fall asleep on the way as it would disrupt her schedule for dinner, bath and bedtime (CRITICAL). The baby could sneak a few minutes because it would mean he would be more alert for his cereal feeding, no biggie.
So we’re driving, Channing is talking and singing, Chase is sleeping, COOL. About two minutes from home there is quiet. Oh no, she’s falling asleep! I reach back and shake her leg, useless. I call her name, useless. I step on the gas…home is sixty seconds. Out of the car, on your feet…oh the crying begins (I don’t care, crying means you are not sleeping. I bribe her with computer time and we’re off to the races.
Next step, make her dinner while Chase is mellow (of course she didn’t eat the late lunch) then let her chow down while I bathe Chase. Yes, cereal is going in the bottle tonight.
So now my ego starts to kick in, I am man I run this house, why these woman is be freaking out? Sniff, sniff? What is that smell and why are you grinning little boy? My son just had one of those up the back craps right before his bath. The kind where there is no way to undress him without getting butt mud all over him. Yikes. I get a scissors and cut the outfit off and use half a box of wipes in the process.
I’m still “the man” right? No, because Saturday morning Channing left the faucet in her bathroom on and flooded her bedroom carpet and now bath time for Chase is in the kitchen. He hates it and screams violently the whole time so people driving by stop and ask if everything is “ok in there.”Thanks son.
Thanks to avoiding the nap and the extra pool time I get everyone settled by 8:30PM.
Most Sundays our day begins around 5AM to get ready for the 7AM Mass. I switched it up and decide to go with my mother to 9AM Mass. That worked out well because I had the 6AM bottle ready early and thanks to Grandma, did not have to do hair! Although we were 10 minutes late we still got great seats and I did look like super Dad with two exceptionally well behaved kids. Also, super cute!
We get out of church by 12:45PM and I make a smart decision to do a drive thru lunch to make sure we eat right away and I avoid making a mess in the kitchen (suddenly messes, avoiding them and managing them is on the forefront of my mind). We get home, I make an executive decision that air conditioning is going on in the den and we are going to cool out. Chase gets some juice and shortly after Grandma comes home and rocks him is out cold. Channing is eating, I am watching Restaurant Impossible and my ego makes a comeback. What makes it worse is, Channing then complains that Chase is on her sleeping bag. I move him over, she gets in. Oh yeah, the MAN reach. Sunday afternoon, bellies full and EVERYONE about to take a nap, the KING is here!
By the time I stretched out and actually felt a little relaxed, I hear her still shifting and shuffling… “I have to peeeeeeee.” She peed 10 minutes ago. Please lie down and go to sleep. The ensuing freak out wakes up Chase and all is ruined. He is up she still pees, I get NO nap.
Time to go to Grammy and Papa’s house, I pack them up with the intention of staying all afternoon and bringing them home fed, bathed and ready for bed. My plan sounds good until almost 5PM when my mother announces they are going to my cousin’s for tea. I am on my own again.
I take Channing for ice cream as a treat and half way home realize that her eating it is keeping her awake! The King is back, I am so smart!
Folks, nothing is sweeter than a little kid eating ice cream half-asleep. FAIL.
Time to hit the gas pedal…oops, no gas, let’s go to the station as she drifts to dreamland. Great, the kid is asleep and I have the whole evening schedule ahead of me. She cries all the way inside and for 5 minutes on her sleeping bag until she is gone. Well the Brightside is now I can wash the dishes and feed Chase his cereal.
Ok, in highchair, cereal is ready let’s do this. The first five minutes goes well until he turns red and begins freaking out. I mean really freaking out. So, my fault, the damn cereal was too hot. Let’s close that chapter and skip ahead to screaming bath. Leftover cereal goes into bottle, 8oz. to be sure. Pull up a recorded episode of Team Umizoomi for the big baby and head to the back. Chow down and just like that he is belly-full-ass-glad laid out looking up in my face. A beautiful parenting moment. I leave him awake on the bed, thinking he is too full and contented to need me. However, ego is nowhere to be found.
I finish up the kitchen, get a spray bottle of cleaner and start wiping down anything in reach. I start another episode of Team Gimmeabreaky and sit on the couch to breathe. What seemed like 5 minutes later, it was 30, I get the call from Channing that Team Umizoomi is broken. I advise her that show is over and now that it is getting dark, it is time to go to take a bath. She agrees and we get to it. I’ll skip ahead to 10PM and not go into how she got in “the big bed” singing and counting and keeping me awake. At about 10PM she wakes me up and says “I am ready to go to my own bed.”
The good Lord knows how and why my response was not, “carry your ass then”. All I can remember now is breezing through the morning as I did not do hair and got to Grammy and Papa early.
What did I learn? I don’t appreciate my wife enough. I thought I did. But I don’t. We are not equals. Yes I can perform any task she can (except for hair), but I do not have the compassion and patience that she has. If she was not constantly thinking about maintaining the house we would quickly live in a pig sty or I would regularly have to take days off from work to keep up with cleaning.
She is phenomenal and I love her and learning that this weekend makes me love her more and also, appreciate my mother more as well. Happy Mothers Day.