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9:25 a.m. - July 10, 2006
A Daddy Weekend
You’d think it’d be a quiet weekend here in the Heartland. Well, on the surface it was, but deep inside the house of Smed, it was anything but quiet.

Why do you ask?

Well, both Saturday and Sunday, I was DAD!

(Ok, I’m always Dad, but let me explain…)

Liz was going to be gone the entire afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday, so I was at home with both of the kidlets.

Excitement, plus! Oh, yeah. There was never a dull moment.

It started on Saturday morning when I was in charge of keeping the kids out of the house for a while during Liz’s attempt at cleaning the floors of the entire house. So, what better way to occupy the kids but to pack them off to the grocery store for a while?

So the three of us went a-Krogering. Love and joy come to you, and to you a Kroger, too!

I got everything I was supposed to get – only got a few things ‘off list’ and ‘off coupon’, avoided a major tantrum, and made it out alive.

Ok, there was one tantrum. Kristin was holding a package of cheese and of course we had to put it on the belt to have it scanned. That didn’t go over well, but then the kindly old bagger found some stickers for Kristin to hold. Oh, if only a roll of stickers made me insanely happy.

Hey, wait, stickers do make me happy!

We all went home, and successfully allowed Liz to clean the floors upstairs. Note to Liz: notice that I’m not mentioning the part where you sucked up one of Kristin’s sock into the vacuum cleaner, thus causing you to seek out the plumber’s snake for repair. Oh…wait…

After lunch Liz put Kristin down for a nap, then took my car and went to Costco for the monthly debit card extraction. That meant I was on kid duty.

I tried to make sure the house was in one piece, and that everyone was happy.

Right away, Katie started negotiating for ‘cheesies’, which is her name for Cheez-Its or crackers of the Cheez-It motif. See that was one of the extras I bought at the store. Hey, they were on sale, and they’re the REDUCED FAT Cheez-its.

Well, in order to get those, she had to be sure to eat all of her healthy stuff that she had for lunch, and doing that successfully, she could have the ‘cheesies’.
Faced with that choice, she wolfed down her healthy stuff and earned her ‘cheesies’.

Then the TV negotiation began. Whilst I was cleaning up the kitchen, I allowed her to watch some TV. But she had already bypassed her allotment with one Dora, one Diego, and one Oswalt. I still had to get some stuff done, so I let her watch one more thing.

That became contentious.

She didn’t like the show on Noggin. She didn’t want to watch the Diego we had recorded. We had no more Doras or Oswalt. She couldn’t watch a Sesame Street, because it was too long. So she was stuck on Noggin.

Never have I seen a kid interact with a show that she ‘hated’ like she did.

Kristin didn’t nap too long, and soon I had my hands full. Now, I’m a pretty competent Dad, well, except for the hair thing, and I know my way around parenting. But Saturday Kristin and Katie were a terrible twosome. OK, not terrible, but challenging.

I was on the computer upstairs, thinking about a couple of mixes. Kristin was right next to me, but then Kristin scampered away and started to play with the toilet. Oops.

Later, Katie ‘stole’ Kristin away to play in her room a couple of times with the door shut. Now,

After that, I decided not to work on the computer the rest of the time that I was alone with the kids.

So I gave Kristin and Katie healthy snacks. OK, Kristin got some ‘cheesies’ as well after her bananas. But then Kristin started to get all fussy.

Hmmm…yep. Poopage.

For the past few days, Kristin has been on a pooping rampage. Now, she’s on all table food and whole milk right now, and really, the diet hasn’t changed that much over the past couple of weeks, but all of a sudden, she’s just poopy.

And her little butt is all red because of it, and then she gets grumpy. Well, you WOULD too, wouldn’t you?

So upstairs to change her, and Katie follows along. Now, I love Katie to death, but when you’re dealing with a wriggling one year old who is poopy, you really don’t want an assistant, do you? Especially an assistant who is now critiquing your skills and your methods. Argh.

For the majority of time downstairs I was playing referee, and trying to keep Kristin out of the kitchen.

Basically, Katie would try to ‘play’ with Kristin by either picking her up and moving her, or snatching the toy Kristin had in her hand and not letting her have it, and then flinging another toy towards her.

Time and again, I warned Katie, and it rather much escalated to where Katie was on double-secret last-chance probation if she did one more bad thing towards her sister.

Of course, she said, “It’s not fair!” which usually means that she doesn’t like what she’s hearing.

Then Liz got home, and all seemed to calm down, and I escaped back upstairs for a while.

Sunday, Liz had a meeting after church, so I was prepared for another long day. However, it didn’t turn out that way.

For one, Kristin took a 3 ½ hour nap.

For two, Katie was content to read or draw or color after her TV choices were over.

For three, Katie responded well to some conditions without playing the ‘not fair’ card. She couldn’t have any chips until she finished her lunch. OK, she took 2 hours to eat her sandwich, but eat it she did.

And when Kristin was awake, they played together quietly and peacefully.

So I was able to watch them and watch the World Cup final. Of course, when Kristin crawled over and slapped me, playfully, I was awakened out of my torpor to some giggles!

After the World Cup, I flipped over to watch some baseball. I got sucked in to the White Sox / Red Sox game, even when Liz got home.

I kept pausing the live TV because I didn’t want to miss anything.

Well, it DID go 19 innings.

But Sunday was a pretty much perfect Daddy day. The girls were well behaved, not whiny, and happy. All in all, it was a good Sunday!

And no hands in the toilet, either. We can all be thankful for that!


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