Today was not your ordinary Monday. Normally, a Monday means kicking off the week with a lot of pent up weekend email and co-workers realizing that whatever they were supposed to do last week and didn’t get done is now late. Yep, today was different. Very different.
Today my company, for some unknown reason, decided that we deserved to have the day off in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Don’t get me wrong, Marty was one cool dude. He was a truly inspiration person and leader. And, I feel his beliefs and dreams really did help change America.
But, why do we have today off? We just got through the holidays a couple weeks back. I’m not a government worker who gets all “holidays” off. My company is a tech company in the good old Silicon Valley. We do not take days off. What the heck, I wasn’t going to look a gift day away from the cube in the mouth. But, today was not an ordinary day off for CV. Therefore, I thought I’d share with you my day away from the cube.
I have long had fantasies of being a stay at home Dad. In reality, I think I’d go nuts. And, reading the trials and tribulations of The Man Wife definitely reinforces it (highly recommend reading his blog and thoughts – @TheManWife. You will laugh).
Unfortunately, for Mrs. CV she doesn’t have one of those cushy jobs that has MLK day off. The kids however did. But, as luck would have it, they were off with friends all day. So it was just good old CV trying to avoid the corporate sponsored email (still keeping those New Year’s Resolutions).
Yes, I was on my own today! Boooyah!
First off, I was going to sleep in. However, the dogs had a different idea. At 7:10am two dogs were on my bed begging to go out. If it were the kids, I’d have blown them off, but blowing off the canine wake-up call would mean cleaning up canine pee later. Dogs win.
After a leisurely breakfast of some cardboard doing its best to imitate cereal, I decided that I should attempt to scale Mount CV – aka the week plus of laundry we had piled up.
My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom. And, for her, Monday’s were laundry day. All laundry was done on Monday. So, in a tribute to Mom’s laundry anal tendencies, it was on.
The laundry basket in my room was full, but not it’s typical overflowing. Off to the kids rooms. Kid 1, also not so bad – half a basket. Kid 2 – open the closet door and somehow I survived the avalanche of clothes. Most of which was horribly stinky. Wait some is still folded?! You see Kid 2 never puts his laundry away…just stacks it – often clean on dirty, on clean, on it doesn’t matter at this point. Decision point – wash it all. Much easier than trying to determine what’s actually sorta clean.
First major learning of the day.
The cool part about laundry is you can do other things while it’s in process. So, as I’m folding laundry I decided to catch up on Mad Men. After all, nothing says stay at home Dad like checking out Betty Draper while folding laundry.
After two loads and two episodes of Don and crew I was feeling both hungry and a bit in need of some form of testosterone. So, a grilled turkey and cheese later and having donned my leather gloves and ball cap I was off to the back 40 of my ranch (ok my little suburban ranch area known as my back yard). It’s winter after all and with working all week and my busy kid filled weekend schedules I had many to-do’s in the back yard. First up, trimming some trees. So, with ladder and tree pruners in hand I was off.
Second major learning of the day.
While trimming trees is hard work, it’s nothing compared to chasing the dogs who have decided to drag the major branches all over the yard.
Dogs are hard work. They may just be harder work than kids. And, that brings me to my third major learning of the day.
Who knew two dogs could make such a mess? Holes in the garden. Bushes torn to hell. Dirt pretending to be a nice lawn. Toys all over. How much has my family been feeding them (think what comes out the other end)?
After some tree and yard maintenance (+1 for not stepping in any dog land mines) it was back to laundry…And, baking chocolate chip cookies. I am a HUGE chocolate chip cookie fan. Which brings me to learning number four.
When baking cookies, if you think they might need 2 more minutes in the oven, go with only one more minute. After all, It’s much easier to add cooking time than it is to take it away.
Slightly crispy cookies made. A couple eaten. OK fine 5 or 6 eaten. And, back to that laundry pile. Now time to put some away. Kid 1 – piece of cake…she’s organized and, well…like me. Kid 2 – it was put away and that’s 100% more than he would have done. Now on to Mrs. CV’s and mine. Which brings me to learning number five.
Despite making no sense, even while losing one sock of nearly every pair we own, somehow our closet and drawers were full before I even tried to put the laundry away.
As the family started to return to the nest it was time for a quick walk to get the dogs out of the freshly cleaned (OK, more or less respectable) yard and then time to start getting ready for dinner.
It was cold here today and I was a bit worn out. So what better way to make things easier on me than break out that good old two-pack of Costco Chicken Tortilla Soup. Bonus for easy cleanup.
After dinner as my daughter and Mrs. CV sat down to watch The Bachelor (DO NOT get me started on this show…) and I sat down with a much needed third glass of Sangiovese, I decided that there is no way I’d survive being a full-time stay-at-home Dad. How my Mom did it without going insane, I’ll never know.
And, while this day was far from a walk in the park (despite doing that with the dogs), I’m betting it will still be better than Tuesday.
Plus I had hot cookies.