Whew. I’m beat.
I have spent the last two days taking the kids to soccer camp at various times of day, as well as piano lessons, and I have a confession to make.
I don’t know how stay-at-home moms, or, God forbid, working moms, do it.
I realize that I haven’t really even had it all that bad, either. But, that being said, here’s what my Mr. Mom schedule has looked like:
0700—Shake kids out of bed. Make tea and cereal for myself
0730—Go back and re-shake kids out of bed. Get their soccer camp gear out of their dressers, make sure everything matches/fits, and give it to them to get dressed.
0800—Feed breakfast to kids. Make sure they brush their teeth afterwards.
0815—Start shouting a lot because we should have already left the house. Deal with thirteen potty breaks. Tie soccer shoes for two kids who really should know how to tie shoes but I’ve been too busy to properly teach them.
0830—Leave the house for the soccer camp that’s fifteen minutes away that we were supposed to be at at 0830 for registration.
0845—Liberally apply sunscreen to children while standing in line for registrations as other parents stare at me.
0900—Soccer camp starts—but only for my son. My daughter’s camp doesn’t start until 1030.
0905-1030— Try to find ways to entertain 5-year-old daughter for ninety minutes in 90-plus degree heat until her camp starts. Played a lot of soccer in the heat, which I am not really conditioned to do. Didn’t seem to bother her at all. I nearly died.
1030—Finally, daughter’s camp starts. I debate whether or not to be a helicopter parent, or to entrust my children to some 19 and 20-year-old British kids who look like they start smoking weed the instant the camp is over is day. I do a hybrid approach by sitting at a park table about fifty yards away.
1200—I grab both kids for lunch, which I made the night before, and we have a picnic in the back of the Flex. This goes smashingly well until I realize that I am too old and inflexible to climb over the second row of seats to exit the vehicle. Furthermore, I have child safety locks on the backseat, so I’d have to climb into the front seat. I dispatch my eight-year-old son to do this. Other parents shake their head at me.
1300—Soccer camp is over for my daughter, but not for my son—he has something called “Golden Goal” from 1300-1500. I have to zip my daughter over to her piano lesson. Soccer cleats come off, sandals go on. This shouldn’t be hard, but it takes five minutes.
1330—Realize that I’m totally guessing at my daughter’s piano teacher’s name as I make out the check for her weekly lesson. Granted, it’s only like her fourth lesson, but did I really just drop off my daughter for 3o minutes with a woman whose name I don’t even know?
1400—Pick up daughter from piano lesson. She’s doing really well so far, and the music teacher is talking to me like I’ve never played an instrument before. I immediately take offense, but then I realize that most of the kids she teaches don’t have two professional musicians for parents. I just nod my head and smile as she explains to me what a “method book” is. We live in the middle of nowhere, so I’ll have to pick it up the next time I’m in town.
1415-1500—entertain daughter while we wait for son’s soccer camp to be over. Try to resist the urge to openly cheer during the final scrimmage as son puts a Messi-like move on a twelve-year-old before making a perfect pass for a backdoor goal. He’s got ridiculous field vision, and plays completely unselfishly. It’s not a good combo for a tryout sort of situation, though—he doesn’t like to score. He’d rather set up his teammates. He’s also an impenetrable goalkeeper. Is it weird that I put this much thought and effort into my eight-year-old’s soccer career? I think it is.
1510—drive twenty miles into Lexington to exchange my son’s Saucony running shoes, which pretty much spontaneously combusted during our trip to Disney last week. Nearly the whole sole detached. Of course, my son wants to exchange them for exactly the same shoes, which sounds like a bad idea to me. I spend fifteen minutes pleading with him to pick something else, until I finally give up and let him get the same shoes again. Thank God, they don’t have them in his size, so we go with a similar model. Hopefully these don’t explode.
1600—drive back h0me, hoping to collapse and do nothing. Nah, of course not. I have a million emails to answer, two columns to write, and, of course, my kids are endlessly bickering. I have to moderate every thirty seconds to keep them from choking each other out. As a result, I get nothing done. I’m supposed to make them dinner, because Mom won’t be home from her music camp until after 2100. Fuck it. We’re going out for dinner.
1800—We go to Giovanni’s, a local pizza buffet. My son hates pizza, but he will eat their soup and salad. Whatever. Fill up on iceberg lettuce and pink lemonade, son. My daughter eats everything, but she has to go to the bathroom four times during dinner, which means I have to either let her go by herself, or leave my son unattended at a buffet. Neither option is good, but I make sure she knows where the bathroom is, and I ask a female server to keep an eye on her. It takes a full sixty minutes to eat, even though it’s a freaking buffet.
1930—we get home from the buffet. They complain for a solid thirty minutes that I want them to take showers, but then they finally do it. We then watch an hour of The Empire Strikes Back, because they’re both into Star Wars in a big way right now (Disney trip review forthcoming).
2130—Mom gets home, looks at me like I’m an alien for letting them stay up and watch Empire. She immediately notices the two spots that I missed while slavishly applying sunscreen to the kids, and gets to work applying aloe vera gel.
2200—Everybody is finally asleep. I have to make lunches for the next day, and I finally get myself to bed at 2300.
I’ve only been doing this for two days, and I’m already ready to run back to my business commuting (which, praise God, starts again tomorrow). Mad props to you moms and stay-at-home dads out there. Whatever they’re paying you, it isn’t enough.