Life With Dad

So my main goal in the three weeks I took off from work was to make my boys as comfy as possible in the knowledge that I could take care of them.  I told them up front that I was no mom, and I certainly will never replace the time and attention to detail and love that mom put in to everything she did for the kids.  I told them things would be a little different, but that we would be okay.

So that was put to the test immediately.  The day of the funeral, ½ hour before we were supposed to be there, I realized that the two suits hanging in the closet were both T’s.  Of course I didn’t realize this until Jake tried one on and his jacket sleeves ended at this elbows.  Panic time…

A mad scramble followed, with my buddy Al and sister Sarah sent to the thrift store (the closest place, and only place open) for anything they could find, while I started pounding the pavement down the street, stopping at every house that at some point had boys.  Wouldn’t you know it, a navy blue jacket materialized out of a neighbor’s back closet, a vest and shoes from the thrift store, and navy dress pants that matched perfectly borrowed from a cousin!  We were only 10 minutes late to the funeral home…

Now this is a big change for us Walko boys.  Debbie ran the household like a drill sergeant, and everything was planned and executed with military precision.  Surely she was appalled at our lack of pre-planning, but I was ecstatic that we pulled off the minor miracle.  I explained to the boys that this would probably be our new M.O. for most everything domestic going forward.  Prophetic indeed…

Well, I’m getting better at some things, but clothes still befuddle me.  How in the hell do all these shorts and shirts materialize in the dirty clothes pile every day, and why is there no underwear?  Do my kids secretly change clothes every time they wash their hands?  Wait, I’m not really sure they wash their hands, judging by the dirt under their long unclipped nails.

That’s probably also compounded by the lack of showers.  How was I to know that you have to actually TELL boys to shower everyday?  I figured it out when the smell I thought was the cat puke, which I was letting dry so that I could sweep it up with the vacuum cleaner, didn’t go away when I vacuumed?  Hmmm, turns out that was my kid that smelled, since he hadn’t showered in 5 days.  Lucky for me, they used 6 towels each, one for each major body part, another one to sop up all the water that drained onto the floor because the curtain wasn’t inside the tub.

All the towels created another load of laundry, but at least towels are something I know how to fold.  I cannot for the life of me figure out how Debbie used to fold the shirts so nice – mine all look crumpled and unkept, to the point where my dirty boys even comment on how they look like they shop at the thrift store (ignore the opening comments.)  But at least they’re clothes ARE clean and smell morning fresh (who is the marketing guru at Tide who comes up with these descriptions?  It’s just detergent, dammit!)

Dishes are a whole other matter.  Apparently I am not doing something right, because the boys refuse to drink out of some of the “clean” glasses that they unload from the dishwasher.  I tried explaining to them, a la Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, that if you can see through the lip prints, chocolate milk film and soap scum, that it really is acceptable to use, at least hygienically.  I’ve heard rumors of jet dry tablets or some other sort of chemicals that are usually used to clean pools that are supposed to be added to the dishwasher, but that’s a google search for another day, right after I learn how to clear the history and cookies from the computer that I now, for the first time ever, have access to.  Wow, who has time for dishes and wash when there is so much to catch up with on Facebook?

And how am I supposed to find out what that long lost crush from grade school is up to nowadays when the kids keep whining to be fed?  What, everyday?  Three times a day, too?!?!  Didn’t they just eat yesterday?  And then that creates more dishes, which need washed and put away, even if the crumbs are now baked on after going thru the hot dry cycle.  That won’t hurt you boys, think of it as adding spice to your chicken tenders.  It’s just like the 5 second rule, which has now been extended to the 30-second rule in the Walko house.  That noodle that just fell on the floor is perfectly capable of being added back in to the boiling pot of water, because the boiling kills all the germs, and anything chocolate can be eaten after falling on the floor as long as it’s free of cat fur and hair.

We have lots of adjustments to make, but luckily we are all boys, and we are genetically programmed to not see dirt and household filth, so none of us are really bothered by it, and obviously no females will ever want to step foot into our house again.  We certainly miss mom, not just for her unsung domestic duties (big shout out here to all you moms, you’re work is never done and you are vastly under-appreciated by your husbands and kids, but that is also genetically imprinted in all males, and there is nothing that will change that, sorry.)  And I’m sure I’ll figure most of this stuff out, eventually.

I’m still wondering, though, what those funny looking brushes with the long handles that reside in the bathroom corners near the toilets are for…


One thought on “Life With Dad

  1. OMG, Joe!! I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry at this post! I don’t know if I should call off work for a couple weeks and come over and teach all you boys the basics or stay away from the house forever! I know you guys will figure it out. I’m sure you do appreciate all those daily chores Deb did so much more now. Eventually, you are going to be amazed with your ability to work full-time and keep up with the chores. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

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