Thursday, September 11, 2008

Soccer Dad

Up until 4 years ago, I was pretty much solely responsible for any child-related duties. I fed them, clothed them, bathed them, dealt with daycare and doctors, went to playgroups, etc. It wasn't that Pat didn't want to do these things, he just couldn't. He worked rotating shift work and we often didn't see him.

When I made the decision to switch school districts and take a higher paying job, Pat was behind me 100%. unfortunately, the reporting time for staff at my new school is 7:10 AM. Pat had gained enough seniority that he was able to adjust his hours a bit and take the girls to school. It was tough, but he made it work.

Since then, Pat has been responsible for all morning duties (except for packing of lunches) and has bravely dealt with getting two very moody girls dressed and ready for school daily. During the last 3 years, we have enjoyed having him work a regular day work schedule and so the girls have really gotten used to having him around. When Sarah and Megan were babies, they often wouldn't go to him or let him put them to bed because he just wasn't around much. Things are different the third time around. He is a much more involved dad, to the point where he is the preferred bed-time parent.

Last Tuesday was my school's back to school night. A night where all staff is required to be here and parents follow their student's schedule into the wee hours of the night (9:00). It was just easier for me to stay at work than to go home and return by 6:30 (especially when parking it a bitch for a school of 2800 students). Therefore, Pat had single parent duty from 3:45 to 9:30 when I got home. Shouldn't have been that big of a deal, especially since he had the day off of work. However, it was also Sarah's first day of soccer practice.

Pat had to pick up all three girls and then start Sarah on her homework (thankfully Megan is only in Pre-K and doesn't do homework yet). By 5:00 they had to be at the soccer field in order to purchase shin-guards and a ball before the 5:15 practice. Sarah's practice lasted an hour and he had to occupy both Megan and 4.5 month old Emma. They then went home and Pat had prepared an actual dinner (meatloaf, mashed potatoes and mac & cheese). When I got home at 9:30 all three girls had been fed, bathed and two of them were in bed. I was so totally impressed! He was exhausted. I do think he now has a new found respect for what I (and other moms) do. I have to admit, I was a bit jealous that he was able to do it all and make a REAL dinner. Then I remembered, he did have the whole day off of work and no kids under foot!

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