As a stay at home dad I’m used to staying home with my kid all day. So you’d think I’d be having an easy time of it, but my daughter’s Spring Break is starting to really get to me. It turns out that her three hours of preschool three days a week had made me kind of soft. Things just seem easier when you're either anticipating a little "me time" or are coming off of a little "me time".
Today is only day two of Spring Break and it’s as if I’m walking around in a pollen filled, allergy medicated haze. It doesn’t help that it’s too hot (according to my daughter) and the air too pollinated (according to my body) to play outside.
To illustrate the kind of Spring Break we’re having I offer up the following true anecdote:
This morning I fixed my daughter’s breakfast, got her all set up at the table, and then poured milk on my Cheerios back in the kitchen. She yelled out to me, “Daddy, I have a small bump on my bum cheek that itches!”
“Well, scratch it!” was my fatherly advice walking up to the table with bowl in hand.
“No, look at it” She demanded wiggling around to pull her shorts up far enough to bless me with the sight of the location of the itch. (This is my passive-aggressive way of blaming her for everything that happens next)
“No really… I don’t need to see your--“ I interrupted myself with the jolt of my hand holding my full bowl of cereal and milk hitting the back of my chair and spilling everything all over the table, the chair, the floor, and myself.
While grabbing a handful of paper towels to start cleaning, inspiration struck.
We’re talking about Cheerios here, not chocolate, and even babies can eat Cheerios. I could save a little time by inviting the dog to fulfill her greatest fantasy ever and allow her to eat my breakfast. Which she did in record time. "Good girl", I praised her.
It wasn’t until I got all of the spilled milk cleaned up and my second cereal bowl prepared that the dog started showing signs of malaise-a-la-Cheerios. Before I knew what was going on she started lurking around the room, throwing up tablespoon size piles of whole Cheerios, here, there, and everywhere.
My daughter began crying, “What’s wrong with Poodie dog?!??!!! What’s wrong with my dog?!?!?!? WAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!”
Now, I was faced with cleaning up the same Cheerios again, but this time with them spread all over the place AND with the perk of them having visited the canine food in my dog’s belly for a couple of minutes. After cleaning this up I lost all appetite for Cheerios, possibly forever.
On the plus side this incident does appear to have made my daughter's itch (I swear she started it all) go away.
And that pretty much sums up spring break thus far.** The few times inspiration strikes me with a great idea someone comes along and throws it up in little pieces. I can hardly wait for summer.
**Kind of… full disclosure: I should mention that shortly after the Cheerio incident I took my daughter a couple of blocks down to play at mommy’s office while I went to the gym. She volunteered to do this even before I called her to tell her that we were freaking out. Thanks, Dear!