We Wanted to Eat, but the Dog wouldn’t Let us

I’m trying to figure out what to do first: Kill the dog or call the vet.

I’m a stay-at-home parent, which means I am the one responsible for the kids getting to and from school, practice, and doctor’s appointments. I shop. I prepare and cook the meals. Certain children in this house wouldn’t mind if the meals responsibility went to someone else.

Different Day, Different Duties, Different Children

Sometimes responsibilities can overlap. This is what happens when one or more of the children need to be somewhere but, for example, people need to eat. Sometimes one child needs to be somewhere, but others need to be picked up from school. Or, God forbid, a parent has an appointment, and a child needs to be picked up.

All sorts of combinations exist that can throw a curve ball to the family cook, chauffer, and health consultant. If you’re lucky, you won’t get a phone call from the school nurse about a stomachache.

Stay-at-Home Parents Juggle Responsibilities and Delegate

There can occasionally be a day or a moment where circumstances can conspire to make your life difficult. Sometimes the tumblers can click at an inopportune time. When this happens, you just have to roll with the punches and deal with it as best you can.

We had one particular afternoon where it seemed like everything was in place, but fate had other plans for our house and family. I needed to take The Boy to soccer practice one afternoon. Practice wasn’t at an opportune time. This meant I needed to have dinner cooked ahead of time for the rest of the family and still make it to practice.

A Master Plan

This is where my mad delegation skills come in. Children need to be at practice. Children need to eat. Food needs to be cooked. I have a brilliant idea. I can start to cook dinner and, when it’s time to take The Boy to practice, I hand off the chore to some children. This isn’t a problem. I’ve done the hard parts. I just talk the cherubs through the final steps of the meal preparation.

The meal for this particular night is chicken. Nothing too elaborate. Nothing that needs to be prepared, just bone-in chicken thighs. From the package to the tray and into the oven. Simple enough. I warm up the oven and lay the chicken down on the tray. As I prepare the night’s repast, I summon Slugger to the kitchen.

Slugger’s marching orders are simple enough. When the timer goes off, he is to take out the chicken and rest the tray on the stovetop. The task seems easy enough. Let’s see if he’s capable.

a man coaching his team on the field
Soccer practice while the rest of the children finish dinner. Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

The Boy and I hit the road for practice. I’m hoping he has a good practice. I’m also hoping the chicken makes it out of the oven and doesn’t get overcooked.

Soccer practice begins. I divide my time between watching practice, reading, and checking my phone for messages. I remind Slugger to take the chicken out of the oven. He’s way ahead of me and informs me the chicken is already out of the oven and resting on the stovetop.

There’s no Chicken

In the midst of my multitasking, I realize I haven’t cooked the rice with dinner. Slugger was on chicken duty, so I need to spread out the dinner delegation. I call The Oppressed.

Making the rice is a multi-step process. That’s alright. I’m going to walk her through it. First, I instruct her to move the chicken from the stove to the kitchen island.

“Dad, there is no chicken.”

What’s missing? (Hint: There’s no chicken.)

I’m not understanding this. Slugger told me the chicken was pulled out of the oven. I ask my daughter to check the oven. She checks. The oven is empty. I’m confused. Slugger told me the chicken was out.

“There’s a pan here with some foil on it,” my daughter tells me.

I start to think. Slugger took the chicken out. There was chicken on the pan when he took it out. Now there is no chicken, and we have a dog. I’m starting to put the pieces together as The Oppressed gets Slugger, who returns to the kitchen.

“Yeah,” Slugger says, “I think the dog got the chicken.”

My Dog Needs the Vet, or does she?

This is a bit of a situation since the chicken had bones. I hastily rush home with The Boy. We get home. There I see the empty pan with chewed foil. I am trying to figure out what to do first: Kill the dog or call the vet.

Doggie awaiting her fate.

I decide to call the vet. The vet explains we have two options. We can rush Doggie to the Urgent Care for pets, or we can put her on a strict diet of white rice-and-nothing-else for a few days. This strict diet also means we can’t give her treats either. By now, Wife is looped in on the situation. She and I agree it’s easier (and a lot cheaper) to go with the white rice option.

Doggie has had her dinner, but I feel I need to boil the rice and give her a little to start the process. It was a process that went on for three days. She showed no complications from helping herself to our dinner, and Wife and I were able to resist the urges to kill the dog for yet another anxiety-inducing moment. I can’t even make this stuff up.

Click here for information on what to do if your dog swallows a foreign object.

A Look Inside an Exciting, Fun-Filled Week for Daddy

I continue on my way to the dentist. That’s right. I have a dentist appointment. It’s important that I keep my teeth healthy so I can keep eating steak and burgers.

It’s always an exciting time at our house. That happens with four kids in the house and one at college. Sometimes, it’s a little more exciting than Wife and I would like.

Lady resting on sofa and watching tv at home
Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

Brave daddies and mommies everywhere have rejoiced and thanked the school gods for delivering their children to the Land of Learning for a few hours. This too-brief respite provides pestered parents everywhere a chance to get things done, even if those things include streaming an episode they’ve been wanting to watch for days.

Our domestic roster has children in college, high school, middle school, and elementary school. It’s the educational perfecta of parenting.

I want to give a little insight to the fun we had on one particular week. This was a time of obligations and responsibilities that involved my children. It was days of driving and hustling that made me glad for my CD collection (Yes, I still have CDs).

Monday

We begin our fun-filled week the same way we start every morning. The Oppressed and I walk to the bus stop. This gives us a chance to catch up on things. She asks me what my day has in store for me and what I’m going to do while she is tortured – I mean – in school. She also fills me in on all the drama on the bus and in school. Middle school has opened her eyes to how petty people can be and how they need to share every last detail of something with the people of homeroom and the lunch table. My daughter makes sure she doesn’t miss any details when she’s sharing with me.

Slugger has a doctor’s appointment. It’s a follow-up to a follow-up. I think his doctor is eyeing some investment property up Lake Winnipesaukee. This calls for a little shuffle in the afternoon chores and responsibilities. The appointment means Slugger won’t be taking the bus home. He’s getting out of school early. He doesn’t mind this at all, so he’s willing to suck it up and deal with the small inconvenience in his schedule.

The doctor’s appointment means I won’t be able to pick up The Boy from school. This will cut into our two-minute conversation when we drive home. (The Boy doesn’t allow me to walk). This means The Gaggle steps in and walks him home. They don’t drive. The Boy needs to put on his big-boy pants and hoof it to the house. I’m sure to hear about it when I return home.

Tuesday

Tuesday morning begins with the usual hustle and bustle of getting children up and getting them to the bus stop. After the bus leaves with two of the cherubs, I head back to the house for a few precious minutes of quiet time with the dog before The Boy makes his presence known.

Breakfast. Back upstairs to get dressed. I look a few things over while the child gets ready for his day at school. We arrive at school; the boy departs the car. I continue on my way to the dentist. That’s right. I have a dentist appointment. It’s important that I keep my teeth healthy so I can keep eating steak and burgers.

A little something from Widowmaker Brewery because I was a good boy at the dentist.

The weather’s a little iffy. I’m wondering if soccer practice is going to happen for The Boy, but that’s in the afternoon. Right now, I’m focused on making it to the dentist. It’s a successful visit. God bless the hygienist for having Bob Seger playing in the room.

If you’ll just come with me, you’ll see the beauty of Tuesday afternoon.

The Moody Blues

The Boy’s soccer practice was originally scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, but Mother Nature had other plans. We underwent a deluge of rain. It was nice to see the rain given the dry summer we had, but after the game they had on the previous weekend, a practice soon after the game wouldn’t hurt.

Our coach can’t control the weather, though, and the practice is moved to Friday.

Wednesday

girl in white crew neck t shirt writing on white paper
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Wife and I had some quality time together on Wednesday. Our day began at school where we had a meeting for one of our students. Nothing was wrong. They were transferring and everyone wanted to make sure the transition had been a smooth one so far.

Wednesday night meant an Open House at the High School, where I got to meet Slugger’s teachers. Everyone raved about my boy and how much they enjoy having him in their classed. I went home and passed the glad tidings on to Slugger, who responded to the compliments with grunts and shrugs.

Thursday

Thursday was a day of trying to catch up with things around the house. I did the best I could. There were some things to get at the grocery store. People need to eat.

Four kids at four different schools. It’s fun.

It was an interesting day for me. I needed to shop and catch up on things around the house. There always seems to be things that pop up on you when the kids get out of school early. This was one of those times. Luckily, I was able to be back in time to collect the children. They, of course, enjoyed the free afternoon.

Children got home and got through their homework. Once that was complete, it was off to the familiar refuge of YouTube and other assorted screens. I spent the afternoon cooking dinner. I needed to get this done earlier than usual as there was another Open House at another school that evening. Four kids at four different schools. It’s fun.

This time I’m at the elementary school. I get a look at The Boy’s classroom. This is always an interesting and exciting time. It allows me to find out what’s going on while he’s in school enriching his mind and preparing himself as the future of our country. I see his desk. It’s quite the sight to see. I ask him about the desk when I get back that night. He assures me it never looks that bad and it will be taken care of and righted as soon as he sets foot in school tomorrow.

Coronavirus Test

A friend needed this.

As I’ve said before, it’s been an interesting week. It gets better. There’s been a prescription that’s been waiting to be picked up at the pharmacy. On my way home, I take an opportunity to stop at the pharmacy and pick up the prescription. While I’m on my way to the store, I hear my phone buzzing. I can’t see what’s happening, after all. I’m driving, and it would be irresponsible for me to look at my phone.

Their house isn’t far from where I live, and it means I get to do a little extra driving. Everyone wins.

I get to the store and check my phone immediately upon parking. Friends who live nearby may have a Coronavirus case in the home. There is a call for help. If anyone can spare or find a test kit, these people would be most grateful. The thread soon fills with answers from people seeing what they can do. I write back, informing them I just happen to be at the pharmacy and can pick up a couple of tests for them. Their house isn’t far from where I live, and it means I get to do a little extra driving. Everyone wins.

I end the night with a beer, go to bed, and wake up to Friday. Friday was so exciting it’s getting its own post.

Getting Kids Ready for a New Soccer Season

Get Kids Ready for Soccer

More excitement in the sports section of my family. A new season means a new sport for The Boy. It’s been football for the past two autumns. This time, the child has decided to change gears and play youth soccer. We’re getting kids ready for a new soccer season.

I was never much for soccer, although I have learned to appreciate it in recent years. My children playing also gives it an added appeal. This is my son’s first soccer season. I tried to give him a little insight to the game. He wasn’t interested.

It’s a season full of “firsts” for The Boy this time. This is his first time playing soccer. He’s not playing with any of his friends. They’re either playing football or not playing a sport at all. I told him this could be a chance for him to make new friends. He wasn’t so sure when he heard that.

There are some adjustments on The Boy’s part. After two football seasons, he’s moved to soccer, and he can’t use his hands. I’ve constantly reminded him of this since it’s pretty much the only thing I know about soccer; That and the games are usually low-scoring.

The first order of business for me was to read the coach’s email and see what is needed for games and practices. I knew my son needed a water bottle. We’d figure out the rest at the first practice.

Soccer Practice

We were at the first practice of the season. The Boy needed cleats, and believe me, we looked everywhere when it came to finding cleats. The coach said not to worry about it since it was only the first practice of the season.

Soccer practice

I had a couple of days before the game to find the cleats. It became a mission for me and The Boy. We needed to get the cleats anyway, but going to one store, then two stores, then five stores and coming up empty-handed added an element of adventure and challenge that was not easy for us.

I think one problem was The Boy’s size. He was at the top of Boys’ sizes and the bottom of Youth’s. Being in between made it a little difficult to find something to fit him. We did find a pair of cleats from time to time, but what we found was too small for him. He insisted he could squeeze his feet in there because it was only a couple of hours.

“No, Joe Jackson,” I said to him. “We’ll find shoes that will fit you, and you don’t need to play in pain.”

He insisted he could squeeze his feet in there because it was only a couple of hours. I said, “No, Joe Jackson. We’ll find you shoes that will fit you, and you don’t need to play in pain.”

He wasn’t happy with my decision, but he went along with it.

Finding a Store for Soccer Cleats

In the middle of our cleat-seeking adventures, I learn of a store that’s not too far away from us. I don’t mind taking the drive, especially with one of my children. We get to the store. It’s a soccer store. Dedicated to soccer and nothing else. Only soccer.

The store isn’t too far away, but it is far enough that we won’t be able to make it there in time for cleats to wear for the first game of the season. I thought it would only be one practice without cleats, now it looks like it will only be one practice and one game (hopefully).

Driving to the First Soccer Game of the Season Together

The season-opener is on the road. We need to be in the car and on our way in time for a quick practice/refresher session before the first game of the season.

Wife isn’t home. She needs to take care of some things that day, but she will be making every attempt to be at the game. It’s late in the day, so she feels good about making it.

Despite our best attempts to get everything done and out of the way before the game, we are behind schedule. I send a message to the coach and inform him we are on our way but will not be on time for the pre-game drills.

While driving, I keep an eye on my phone in case there’s anything from the coach on our way. Sure enough there is something from the coach.

There is a notification on my phone. I need to pull over. After pulling over, I look at my phone. I rub my eyes and look at the phone again. Apparently, the game was never scheduled for Saturday as the schedule erroneously said. It’s scheduled for Sunday. On one hand, the schedule change cuts into beers and football scheduled for Sunday. On the other hand, it means we won’t be late, after all.

Finding the Right Pair of Soccer Cleats

I contact wife and tell her about the actual schedule. We get back home and hit the reset button. There is suddenly some extra time to find the cleats and take care of things around the house.

We get back into the car later that afternoon. We make it to the store. It is an enormous building dedicated to soccer and only soccer. We look at the cleats on the wall. There is a pair that look like it could pass muster. We ask to see the cleats in The Boy’s size.

The nice person working at the store retreats to the storeroom and returns with a box. The Boy tries them on. The cleats are a little big, but he likes the look and the extra room for his feet. He’ll grow as the season goes along, so that extra space will come in handy.

Soccer cleats for The Boy.

Getting Dad and Kids Ready for the Soccer Game

The Boy is getting ready for his game, and I need to do the same as a fan.

For me, watching my son’s games means I need to wear attire that matches my son’s team. I’m always looking for shirts that match the uniforms. It’s my own special way of supporting the team.

Decked out for the game.

This is soccer, though, and soccer fans are always decked out in team jerseys, scarfs, and face paint. I was able to find a shirt that matched The Boy’s, and Wife has a scarf that has our town colors. We arrive at the game. I’m in the team colors. We take our seats. I look around, and I’m disappointed there is no concession stand selling snacks. I’m hungry.

Wife and I take in the game. It’s a tough one, as they lose, 2-1. There was some excitement, and The Boy made some great plays out there. I’m looking forward to his next game. He’ll have a practice before that, and that will give the team a chance to work on their skills before that. On both days, I’ll be looking forward to watching my son.

Follow me on Twitter for more insights on parenting and how to fake it as an adult. @bravedaddy

Exciting Back to School Days for the Children and Parents

All over the neighborhood and throughout the town, parents are rejoicing as the heavens open up and the sound of angels singing fill the ears of parents who have suffered these three long months of children who sleep until the middle of the afternoon and numb their brains and eyeballs to the latest offerings of YouTube and Tik-Tok.

The summer is winding down. The weather is getting cooler, and the days are getting shorter. All over the neighborhood and throughout the town, parents are rejoicing as the heavens open up and the sound of angels singing fill the ears of parents who have suffered these three long months of children who sleep until the middle of the afternoon and numb their brains and eyeballs to the latest offerings of YouTube and Tik-Tok.

The choirs of angels accompanying the opening heavens are heralding the start of the new school year. It is a glorious time welcomed by all parents. The months of suffering the Miracles of Christ come to an end and we begin a new school year that will mold minds and give children new and exciting opportunities to learn things that will serve them well in life.

This, of course, also means Brave Daddy himself needs to adjust to a new routine. Children not needing to get up early in the morning means Daddy doesn’t have to get up early in the morning. I’ve been able to stay in bed for a little bit and contemplate what needs to be done and what excitement lays in store for me. Now I need be up and ready to go.

Riding the School Bus

There’s also another part to this school year that makes it different from any other. This year we have three children in three different schools, four if you include Lovie in college. High school, middle school, and elementary school.

Thankfully, the high school and middle school students are on the same bus in the morning and the bus comes earlier than when The Boy needs to be dropped off at school. I walk to the bus stop with the bus children. It gives me some exercise and helps to prepare me for all the moving I need to do that day. The Oppressed is glad to have the company as she waits for the bus. Slugger is too cool to interact and listens to his earbuds.

Ready for the bus… Kinda.

I was there for the bus to return twice in those first few days of school. The first time was because The Oppressed wanted to see the teachers from her old school, and the second time was because it rained, and I took pity on the children by driving them down the street. There have been new routines, but the same answers to questions. The kids did, “nothing” all day and school was, “great”.

I don’t get much else from the cherubs. Maybe that will change as the year goes on. One can only hope. Maybe something will happen that will be exciting enough to tell their dad. Maybe they’ll learn something interesting enough to share with me when I see them at the end of the day.

Driving to School

As I said before, we have three (four) children in three (four) schools. For the first time in years, I am only driving one child to and from school. This makes it easier for Daddy, who only needs to make sure that one child has what they need before getting into the car and getting to school. There are no wars over who is sitting in the front seat. There is no yelling at each other over some insipid issue that (to them) is a matter of life and death.

The Oppressed checks out one of her new classrooms.

Afternoon pickups give me a chance to see the other parents and reconnect. I get to commiserate with them about the daily struggles of getting to school and making the bell. My time with the other clueless adults is usually cut short by The Boy, who wants to get home and drop his bag and go to his friend’s house to play. I try to take advantage of the quick ride home with The Boy and ask about his day. What did he learn? What did he play at recess? Who did he play with?

School was great. He did nothing. He played with his friends, but he doesn’t remember what he did or who exactly he played with. Good talk, Dad. I’m going to my friend’s house to play.

Follow me on Twitter. @Greg_the_Brave

Moving into College for the First Time with Your Child

The family has already started our school routine, as we have taken Lovie to college. This was the first time I had a hand in moving a child into their dorm.

The glorious institution
of higher learning.

Summer is winding down. Days of sitting in front of a screen all morning while downing a box of sugar-infused cereal and then complaining of no food in the house will soon be replaced with frantic wake-up calls and glorious reprisals of The Homework Wars. Moving into college has begun our transition from summer laze to school days.

The family has already started our re-entry into intellectual stimulation, as we have taken Lovie to college. She’s living away, and this was the first time I had a hand in moving into college.

“No one will notice me if I stay still.”

There were many trips to the store to buy supplies for Lovie before the big day. We bought bedding, we packed boxes of clothes. There were snacks for the dorm. Days leading up to Moving Day were spent organizing boxes and bags. On the magical day, we loaded up the car and hit the road for what would be Lovie’s home for the next three or four months, minus a few weekends here and there.

Family Outfits for the Day

When we were at Freshman Orientation, Wife stopped by the school store to purchase t-shirts for me, Lovie, and herself. People thought it would be a great idea if we wore the shirts while working on campus.

I wasn’t sure if I would find my shirt in time for our big day of having one less child to worry about – I mean, moving our precious child into college.

I had a small problem. My shirt had been commandeered by The Gaggle, and I informed Wife that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find my shirt in time for our big day of having one less child to worry about – I mean, moving our precious child into college.

The Oppressed heard me talking to Wife and sprang into action. My youngest daughter, God bless her heart, grabbed a t-shirt out of my dresser and ran downstairs. She returned moments later with a homemade college t-shirt just for me. I would not be left out of the family-themed shirt ensemble, after all thanks to The Oppressed.

My custom-made shirt for the day.

Getting to Work on the College Campus

Upon arriving at campus, we loaded up the available carts. The elevators are small and can only hold a couple of people plus the carts. I was willing to take one for the team and carried things up the stairs. Everything was taken out of the car and brought to the dormitory after a few trips. Some rearranging of the bunks and wardrobes were necessary to accommodate students and personal effects.

A special note.

Lovie saw her roommates come in. She had met them before Moving Day. Wife and I had not. We briefly chatted with the roommates and their parents as they came into the dorm. After our work was done, we went out to get something to eat. We went back to the dorm to wish Lovie well and go home. The Oppressed left a note for her to read when she got settled in.

The family got into the car. There was a lot of room for us now that all of Lovie’s things had been taken out. We enjoyed the extra room as well as the air conditioning. Lovie’s dorm didn’t have central air unlike our home, and I’m wondering how our sensitive little creature is adapting to the third-world conditions (There is a fan in the window, nothing else). We returned home and rested our weary bodies from the stair-climbing and box-lugging that filled our day.

Setting up the dorm.

Our Daughter Called from College

Our services were required less than a week after bringing our dear daughter to her home in Academia. Some of her new housewares had fallen apart and needed to be replaced. I bring some of the children and Doggie to campus, as Lovie seems to think any animal in the house is her support animal. Children, Doggie, and I see her and drop off the needed wares. We say our hellos and goodbyes and head back home. There are crises to attend to back home, and I need to prepare for the next crisis on campus.

Endeavor Advising specializes in helping families navigate their way through the college selection and admission processes. If you have a family member who is in the college application process, visit endeavoradvising.com for the next important part of their life’s journey.