I got her in clothes and fed her breakfast. I got her little brother, Buzz (six-months old), his bottle and fed him. I played with both kids. I gave Buzz a bath, then put him in clothes. I gave Roni her bath and put her in clothes. I got Buzz down for a quick nap. (Not as easy as it sounds.) I loaded both kids up into the mini-van. (The mini-van is actually pretty big. I don't think there's much "mini" about it. But, that's a subject for another day.) With both kids loaded up, I took them to our small-town public library for Thursday morning story time. I wrangled both kids, a diaper bag, and a pile of returning books into the library. I carried both kids up the stairs to the story-time room, and kept Buzz entertained while Roni enjoyed the stories and songs. (There were about 20 kids at Story Time. I was the only dad there.) I helped Roni make her little trick-or-treat bag, gluing the pumpkin and ghost she had colored onto the sides of it. After story-time, I helped Roni pick out a few books (while carrying Buzz), then picked out a book for The Wife and a book for me. (I got To Kill a Mockingbird. Can you believe I'm a 44 year old college graduate and have never read it? I hear that not only is it good, it's also good for you. (Kinda like Life cereal.) So, I thought I'd give it a shot.)
We left the library, went to the bank, stopped at the mailbox, then came home. I then sorted the dirty laundry in the kids room. Four piles: 1) clothes for Roni, 2) clothes for Buzz, 3) towels, and 4) clothes with poop stains. I sprayed down the poopy clothes with stain remover, then started doing the three loads of laundry. (I put the poopy stuff in with Buzz's clothes, since most of them were his, anyway.) I then made lunch. (Turkey and Swiss sammiches in the sandwich maker, Dora the Explorer soup, and bananas.) I fed Buzz another bottle.
I then had to deal with a poopy-pants accident. (It's amazing how that poop manages to get everywhere!) I did a load of dishes. I got Roni down for a "nap." ("Nap" in quotation marks means she's supposed to be napping, but isn't actually asleep.) I then fought with Buzz until he finally went down for a nap.
The Wife came home from work (she teaches school), and I got some laundry folded and put away. Grammy D (The Wife's mother) stopped by for a quick visit, ending Roni's pretend "nap." After Grammy D went home, I got Buzz down for another nap. I then picked up in the living room, with some help from Roni. (Normally, I would call it "help" from Roni, but this time she actually did help.)
After dinner, I did another load of dishes. I took care of Buzz's diaper, and changed him into pajamas. I changed Roni into her pajamas, read her scriptures, brushed her teeth, and put her to bed. Then, as I started typing this blog entry, I was handed a crying Buzz in order to get him to sleep. (He doesn't go to sleep well for The Wife, because when she is holding him he just wants to eat.) So, after a little rocking and pounding (he likes to have his back pounded), he finally went to sleep, and I took him back upstairs and put him to bed.
Seems like I did it all today, doesn't it?
Not even close.
That's the problem. I was doing a fantastic job all day long, pretty much the best that I possible can, and yet I didn't come close to doing it all by myself. I didn't mention how Kimmie helped Roni go potty (after a pee accident) and then watched her while I made lunch. (Kimmie is The Wife's sister. She lives in our basement apartment and watches the kids on the two days a week when I work the day shift.) I didn't mention that Grammy D also took Roni to the potty (after another pee accident), and she also read books to Roni and entertained Buzz. And, I also didn't mention all the things The Wife did. (I'll try to mention them now, but I'm sure I'll forget some things.) She fed Buzz in the morning. She had plenty of milk pumped and ready for the bottles I gave Buzz throughout the day. She worked hard all day to help provide for the family. She fed Buzz two or three more times after she got home from work. She made homemade pizza and cinnamon sticks for dinner. (I'd say the cinnamon sticks were "to die for," but that's not accurate. They were "to live for.") She made some baby food for Buzz. She made some cookie dough for tomorrow. She took care of yet another poopy-pants accident by Roni. (Yep, it looks we might be wise to invest in tickets for the sleeper car on that Potty Train.) She got the crying Buzz-boy almost to sleep, so it only took me a couple of minutes to get him the rest of the way. I'm sure she did a lot of other things, too, but it's late and my mind is bit addled.
So, what I'm saying is, even on a day when I was at the top of my game, I still wasn't even close to being able to do it all. I'm just a simple Dad trying to struggle through raising these two kids. It's a good thing they are such great kids; it's a good thing I have such great family support; and it's a great thing I have such a wonderful wife!
I need all the help I can get.