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.

What Happens when the Stay-at-Home Parent gets Sick

I was out of commission for a couple of days last week. Not fun when the stay-at-home-parent gets sick. I’m not sure what hit me, but it wasn’t pleasant. Stomachaches, nausea, chills. A lot of things that didn’t make for pleasant mornings or pleasant days in general. I was able to put on my “big boy” pants long enough during the day to get some things done around the house, but once I finished cooking, I needed to tap out and go to bed. That was bad because the porkchops I had cooked smelled good.

My home for two days.

Sick in Bed

I proceeded to spend the following day in bed. I fell asleep, woke up, found some games to play, answered messages from adoring fans. It was nice. Wife held it down for me during my brief convalescence. She took the kids to school in the morning. If she tried to wake me, I didn’t notice. I was out of it.

That was how I spent the first day of being sick: Being in and out of sleep, trying to stay warm. Wishing I could be well enough to at least drink something. I wasn’t hungry but I was thirsty. My morning coffee didn’t agree with me, and I had to quit after a couple of sips.

I was, however, able to drink tea and, before I went down to the count, I noticed I was feeling a little off and bought a couple of bottles of iced green tea to help me fight through whatever it was that was coming on to me.

Everyone was glad to have me back. Not because they love me or my cooking, though.

It wasn’t exactly an ideal situation. I couldn’t stand. Couldn’t walk. Laundry and dishes were piling up. I wondered about the pick-ups and drop-offs and Wife’s schedule. She was able to get it done for me and I was very grateful for that.

Daddy in Recovery

I was starting to feel better the next day and was able to drink a cup of coffee. I allowed myself some toast. Daddy was hungry but was still feeling a little more delicate than usual. The kids were at school, so I allowed myself to go downstairs.

I took the time to check out some selections from my DVD library to pass the time while I was in recovery mode. It was only a short time, so I was only able to watch two movies. I watched “L.A. Confidential” and the original “Death Wish”. I’ve been wanting to watch a lot of movies that I haven’t gotten around to. (No, I hadn’t seen those two and I know how old they are). Needing to be off my feet and take it easy gave me the chance to watch them.

Watching these movies was a nice way of taking it easy for a day or two. I was soon feeling well enough to return to my father and husband duties and cook and clean. Everyone was glad to have me back. Not because they love me or my cooking, though. They were glad to have me back to doing chores.

My book, “Down on the Farm”, is available for purchase on Apple Books.