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.
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.”
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.
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.