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True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad
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In May of 2011, I dismissed class for the last time and began a new chapter in my life, full-time dad. I taught middle school for seven years, but with two kids and a third on the way, I wasn't able to give as much time to teaching as it required, plus I wanted to spend more time with my own kids, instead of someone else's.

My wife and I have been married for nine years. She spends her days (and some nights and weekends) as an OB/GYN, or as my kids like to call it, “catching babies.”

We have three kids. First Born is eight years old, but likes to pretend she’s in college. Our son, Middle Man is five, but we’re convinced by the way he talks about things like “beautiful sunsets” that he’s an old soul, and our youngest, the Blonde Bomber is only three, but already has the attitude of a teenager.

Our kids provide us with an endless amount of stories. Writing and retelling these stories for Indy’s Child has been my part-time job for the past three years.

You can contact me on Facebook at True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad or via email at indyschildpete@gmail.com.

Best Morning Ever? Not Exactly.
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Best Morning Ever? Not Exactly.

February 20, 2014 | 05:50 AM

If you've been following my adventures for a while, you know my two-year-old is not the easiest of children to handle.

On many days, when her sister is at school and her brother is at preschool for a few hours, we have a hard time figuring out how to spend our time. Recently I saw a meme on Facebook that said, "Make today the best day ever!" At first I thought it seemed a little ambitious, but then I thought, maybe I'll try to make tomorrow the best MORNING ever. It seemed like a good place to start. My plan was to take her to the Children's Museum after we got her big bro and big sis off to school.

I was falling asleep thinking about how the next morning was going to be the "best ever."

The next morning I was woken up by our oldest daughter. Normally I set an alarm so I can be up before the kids. Many days I like to shower before the whole "shit show" of taking care of three little kids happens. Some days I just like to have some coffee before they start in with their barrage of questions. Not today. Today she got up early, almost an hour earlier than usual.

"What are you doing?" I asked her. "I'm looking for clean clothes. I don't have ANYTHING to wear!" She said.

Women. How do they learn this type of thing at such an early age? I know damn good and well that I could go downstairs to her room and find at least a week's worth of clean clothes. But, I also knew that wouldn't work. She needed to find her outfit, herself, without any suggestions from dad. She knew I'd washed about a bajillion articles of clothing (and a Lego and a baby shoe) the day before and was planning to fold and separate it that night after everyone was in bed.

She starts going through the folded piles of laundry in what can best be described as a game show contestant with only 30 seconds to find the needle in the haystack. She was flinging once-folded clothes over her head at a rate much faster than I folded them. I started yelling at her because she messed up the laundry pile, then I got so frusrated that I start flinging clothes too. Why? I have no idea. Lack of coffee? Being woken up to the sounds of a complaining eight-year-old with an attitude? I'm uncertain.

Remember, this was SUPPOSED to be my best morning ever.

Finally, I got breakfast on the table. The most important meal of the day was relatively calm. I even managed to sit down and eat for a couple of minutes. As the usual plan goes my two oldest kids finish their waffles in record time and my two-year-old stays behind, finishing everyone else's leftovers and table scraps. Why did we get a dog again?

It seemed like as safe of a time as any to venture off and brush my teeth, but on my way to the bathroom I was intercepted by my son. He was dressed, ready for school and wanted to watch Power Rangers. My wife and I made an agreement with him months before that he could watch any of the Netflix Kids shows, except Power Rangers. Have you seen it? It appears to be just fighting. Not even figting that invloves sewers, talking turtles and pizza, just fighting.

Similar to how banning a book makes people want to read it, he wanted nothing more that to watch the show his mom and I won't let him watch. Instead of brushing my teeth, I found myself in a heated argument with my son.

I ventured back downstars to the kitchen so see how my little one was doing with her (and everyone else's) breakfast. In her mind, she was doing great. Somehow she managed to get the Costco jug of maple syrup off the counter and was DRINKING it straight from the jug. This was not shaping up to being the best morning ever.

As we loaded up to take my son to preschool, I remembered that day they were going to celebrate his half-birthday (since he has a summer birthday) and I was in charge of bringing treats. Since I couldn't find 18 nut-free snacks around my house, we had to go to the store and were definitely going to be late to school.

As we walked out the door to go to the store, then preschool, then go to the museum, I looked over on the kitchen counter and saw my oldest daughter's lunchbox sitting on the counter. She forgot to pack it in her backpack before getting on the bus.

Now that we needed to go to the elementary school, in addition to the grocery store and the preschool, we would have hardly anytime at all for the museum. I guess will will have to try again some other day.

Best morning ever?

At that point I would have settled for "just above average morning."

-Pete


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