If Ken hasn’t posted in the morning, it probably means that he is up with AJ and Andy. He is making breakfast. Getting the kids dressed. Wetting and combing the boys’ bedhead, because they do not often cooperate with haircuts. Wiping Andy’s nose. Getting me a drink because I am on the couch nursing Jamie. Changing diapers.
After breakfast, he is playing with the kids and arranging for a time when I can nap. Reading stories to the boys. Making kids laugh with his crazy sense of humor. Taking the kids to the park. Blowing bubbles. Pushing on swings. Washing our clothes. Playing scrabble online while kids watch a cartoon. Changing diapers.
Afterwards, on school days, he is picking up AJ at preschool. Getting treats for the boys without spoiling their lunch. Making a mean grilled cheese (Wisconsin style—-extra extra cheese!) and whatever else AJ names as his favorite lunch of the day. Shaking his head in amazement at the wonderful lunch he provided and the full plates of food that remain. Watching our dog Lotti drool over too many leftovers. Drying our clothes. Straightening up the living room. Cleaning the bathroom. Trying not to get too annoyed at AJ’s misses.
Preparing AJ and Andy for nap. Preparing AJ and Andy for nap. Preparing AJ and Andy for nap. Changing Andy’s diaper. Sending the boys to their room for nap. Getting the boys water before nap. Tucking the boys in for nap. Listening intently for peeps from the bedroom. Folding laundry.
Finally sitting on his chair and pulling up the computer to write a blog post before Jamie interrupts and needs to burp or play or attention. He’s not sure which will console, but brings him up on his lap, hugs him close and rocks him until he is at peace.
Gently placing Jamie in one of his various infant contraptions that has somehow made it through niece Sadi, nephew Jace, and brothers AJ and Andy. Picking Jamie back up and trying a new swing. Wondering why Jamie is still crying. Trying a new setting on the swing. Trying to hum the intro to “How I Met Your Mother.” Picking Jamie back up. Bringing him up on his lap, hugging him close and rocking him until he is at peace. Double checking Jamie is asleep.
Second try. Gently placing Jamie in his bassinet. Breathing a sigh of relief. Pulling up the laptop and waiting for it to start-up. Disbelieving the sound of the pitter-patter of little feet. Then, shaking his head tirelessly as AJ runs to the front room and asks for a treat. Trying not to lose it as Andy enters the room sans clothing shouting “Wah. Wah,” in an attempt to get some water to wet his whistle. Putting on a diaper. Putting away laundry.
Taking the boys outside to play with various bikes, scooters, plasma cars, bubbles, and balls in the driveway. Protecting Lotti from the boys, especially her biggest fan Andy. Fixing the swingset. Making the outside more kid friendly—this means de-pooping the lawn. Waiting patiently for the time when AJ can depoop and also mow the lawn and countless other chores in Ken’s head. Changing diapers.
Continuing to watch the boys while I finish nursing Jamie and prepare dinner. Bathing the boys. Yelling at the boys for splashing. Warning the boys if they splash one more time, they are out. Picking up the wet, clean boys kicking and screaming. Shaking his head that AJ wants to be first at everything. Putting Jammies on the boys. Wiping Andy’s nose. Emptying the dishwasher. Wondering when I will help out more with the household chores. Loving me anyways.
Having a nice family dinner. Hoping Jamie does not fuss and interrupt. Fielding a question from AJ, “I’m done. Can I have dessert?” Telling AJ, “No, because you didn’t eat a nice dinner.” Telling AJ the same thing after he takes a tiny bite of dinner. Repeating. Repeating. Repeating with every little bite. Staying firm on his principles. Clearing the table. Washing dishes. Washing Andy. Changing diapers.
Winding the kids down before putting them down. Reading the kids a story or two or three. Tucking the kids in and performing various bedtime rituals meant to assist this difficult endeavor. Kissing and hugging. Shaking his head at AJ trying to read books in bed in the dark. Hoping the boys go down without a fuss, or maybe just a less fuss than the previous night.
Sitting down to open his laptop to begin writing his blog, but agreeing to hold and care for Jamie while I take a shower and answer some emails. Continuing to care for Jamie while I get a head start on sleep for the evening which will allow me to up with Jamie to nurse in the middle of the night without losing my mind. Telling himself, “It’s 1 am, time to lay down….what else can I say? Perhaps my blog post will have to wait another day.” Admiring his keen rhyming skills.
It’s been over a year since Ken established ncdads.org. Besides being delighted by Ken’s writing proficiency, I am selfishly reaping the benefits of him chronologically detailing the intimate moments of our kids’ early years. I am grateful that he can use his talents to illuminate special moments in the lives of our children. I’ve already sat back and reminisced about Ken’s account of Jamie’s birth. Even though it happened two months ago, I’m glad he captured so much of the details, which have already faded into the cobwebs of my memory and been replaced by Jamie’s new smiles and coos. Thank you, NCDAD, for taking such special care of our family and sharing your trials and tribulations with others in such a meaningful way. You impress me everyday. Spicy. Spicy. You are an amazing father and husband. I love you! K