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A Day in the Life of a Dad as a Temporary Single Parent

I don’t know how single parents do it. They deserve some kind of major award, like a lamp in the shape of a leg. Those parents must have nerves of steel and the patience of a saint.

As a temporary single parent this week, I don’t deserve one of those awards because I’m worn out and ready for a giant nap. When are single parents supposed to get that all important relaxation time where they can sit back on the couch and let their worries and responsibilities melt away? And when do they get the free time to sit on the floor and spend some quality play time with their kids? I’m finding both goals to be nearly impossible.

My days since Casey and Addie left on their vacation have been non stop and yesterday was no different. Here’s a little excerpt of what went through my mind yesterday:

There’s screaming in the other room. Oh crap, that baby’s awake and she only slept about 3 hours all night. Why am I hearing her screaming in stereo? I’m going to kill that damn cat for opening that kid’s door, except I don’t kill things, not even spiders. Not because I’m against killing spiders, but because I’m too scared of spiders to kill spiders.

I need to jump in the shower or I won’t be able to shower, because, you know, I don’t shower in front of my kids. But I’ve got to get this shower done in under 2.3 minutes before my kid screams loud enough to pop the roof off the house.

That was a quick and cold shower–didn’t even have time to let the water warm up. Gotta get dressed for work, but I can’t get fully dressed because there’s a 93.2% chance Vivi slimes whatever clothes I put on. Don’t forget to pack your gym bag so you can make it to the gym during lunch.

Alright, time to get the kid. Have to put her in something that matches. Would anyone notice if she’s wearing a purple Halloween shirt and bright pink pants? Purple and pink go together, right? And witches can come out after Halloween? I have to change her hairstyle or everyone will think I’ve just been loading her in the car every morning all smelly. How do I do two pony tails?  I don’t really even know how to do one.

Gotta pick up the baby before she freaks out because she likes to watch you cook the eggs. Be careful as you crack those eggs with your one hand not to get shells in the eggs and make sure Vivi’s pant leg doesn’t get in the fire on the gas stove.  Okay, set the baby down and put some toast in the toaster.  Hot eggs in the freezer to cool and butter and jam on the toast, and toddler in the toddler seat.

Finish getting dressed and load the baby and your gym bag in the car. Crap, I forgot my apple for lunch.

Drop the baby off at daycare and bolt to work as quickly as possible.

Answer that email, take that phone call, visit to the jail, then to court 2 for that hearing, followed by a quick stop to probation, and off to the zoning office. Complete this research and that research and don’t forget to review that contract. Put out this fire and then wonder how in the hell that even happened. Grab a pre-mixed protein shake and head to the gym for lunch. Drink the protein shake on the way to the gym and finish the apple while walking into the gym. Complete half your gym routine, shower, drink your second protein shake and head back to the office.

Back to the jail, then to court 1, call the court staff of court 2 to check on that one problem, call this client to clarify that issue, call opposing counsel on this case, send a threatening letter to this company and one to that company, respond to that email, that email and that email. Think back on that fire that started this morning and convince yourself it isn’t a fire that will wake you up at 3 a.m. in a worry. Back to the jail and then to a meeting with this partner, a short conversation with my secretary, followed by a quick run down to the storage room to grab an archived file.

I’ve got to take off early because I have to stop at the grocery store to get more snoot snacks. If an employee asks what you’re looking for, remember not to call fruit snacks snoot snacks. Why don’t grocery stores sell bags of fortune cookies anymore? On to the Chinese restaurant next door to pick up some dinner and then to daycare to grab the toddler.

Unload the dinner, gym bag, and head into the house. Remind Vivi that you have to set everything down before you can pick her up so she can push the doorbell button. Set everything down and then pick up the sobbing toddler and help her push the doorbell button.

Toddler right into the toddler seat and place her dinner in front of her. Change into your gym clothes and give the baby seconds. Eat your own dinner, stop the one-eyed cat from eating Vivi’s General Tso’s chicken, clean the baby and load the baby, gym bag, and the bunny into the car so you can finish the second half of your gym routine. Grab some jammies and a night diaper while you’re upstairs and have them ready for the baby for when you get home.

Drop the baby off at the Jungle Club and jump on the treadmill as quickly as possible. Realize there isn’t enough time to jog the distance you needed to jog and finish having only completed 4.5 miles after suffering through a 30 minute side ache thanks to jogging after eating Chinese food. Shower, change and get the baby from the Jungle Club.

Make a mad dash home and immediately make food for babies. Change the baby into her jammies and head upstairs to put her to bed.  Rock the baby as she holds her bottle.  Use the time in the dark to close your eyes and relax.

Wait, what’s that wet sensation on my cheek and why is something being shoved into my mouth? Oh, crap. I must have dozed off and the baby is trying to feed me her food for babies.

Kiss the baby on the forehead and put her in her crib and, oh yeah, that’s why I love her so much.

Read more about my family on Moosh in Indy or follow me on Twitter!

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More on Babble Dad:

My Toddler has Learned How to be Sad

12 Gifts My Toddler Really Wants for Christmas

My 14 Favorite Family Holiday Traditions

The Art of a Dad as a Temporary Single Parent, Take 5

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