Was it Seven Hours or Seventy?

The following from my column “The Dad Navigates Troubled Waters” was originally seen in the October 3, 2018 issue of the East Sacramento News from Valley Community Newspapers

The Dad Navigates Troubled Waters: Seven hours

By Steve DeBenedetti-Emanuel

I am not a stay-at-home dad! I am not a stay at home dad! Rinse and repeat: I am not an SAHD!

It’s not like didn’t spend a ton of time w/ KD when he was little. He was pretty sick as a little kid, so I decreased my work hours and was a semi-SAHD. We have those stories: cumin instead of cinnamon in his applesauce, chugging “go-go Juice” (a.k.a. a large Nalgene bottle of ice coffee,) and other stuff. But those days are memories…

Life has changed a bit, and we’re moving backwards to the early days. Captain Mommy (my wife Stephanie) is way busier, and KD and I are hanging out again. And I am way out of shape.

545 this a.m. my alarm went off, and I needed to rush KD out of bed, because he had to do his physical therapy and spelling words before we were supposed to called UBER at 650, so he could go to his allergy shots. I don’t drive, so we didn’t have much time to space.

As KD always does, he dilly-dallied in his room and I had to ride him to saddle-up to get going. We busted out his spelling words. 17-20. 85%. We reviewed the ones I thought he got wrong and was done with it. Good enough.

CRAP, Captain Mommy was sick and then asked me if I’d sent in the order for the Raley’s pick-up and Whole Foods drop-off. I’d put things on the list, but I didn’t know I sending in the orders and arranging all the timing.

Whew, the Whole Foods went through, but the Raley’s was screwed-up. And then KD popped-in to ask me to go outside to do his physical therapy stuff. And he was supposed to eat. And he was supposed to do his nose sprays and sunblock. And I melted down. The clock was moving double time, and things weren’t going well. I told him to blow-off his P.T., because we had all these other things to do.

KD disappeared to talk to Captain Mommy and I melted down even more, since this wasn’t on the time clock. Fortunately, she’d coached him on how to do the Raley’s stuff on the computer, and he got it. Small victory.

But he still needed to pack his lunch and eat breakfast.  Somewhere along the line, I’d washed his thermos and heated up his food. And he threw together some food for breakfast. I don’t think he had any fruit, but he ate something, and it was time to call UBER to go get his allergy shots. Ok, we were a little behind schedule, but assuming everything went as planned, he’d be at school on-time.

Sadly, I think we had the lowest-rated UBER driver ever. Before we’d buckled-in, she burned rubber and wasn’t happy when I asked her to slow down. KD and I hung on for dear life, but we made it in decent time and he got his shots.

Problem was that there were no UBER drivers and we had a wait. We were still ok. And it gave me time to text-back the Raley’s clerk, because they didn’t have something I’d ordered. Back-and-forth we went, and she was finally clear.

Of course, our driver had a cigarette right before he picked-us up, and he didn’t provide a gas mask. Still, we made good time, and KD was at school 15 minutes early.

Crap, there were the groceries. Captain Mommy usually picks them up, but she was still down for the count. So, I hoofed it down to Raley’s, thinking I’d be able to carry it all. We only live a 10 minute walk, so it’s no big thing.  But I couldn’t dilly-dally much, because I knew I had to be home by 10 for the Whole Foods.

The clerk waddled to the front with 5 bags. There was no way I could carry it all. The parking lot has those systems that keep you from taking the carts. But I figured they had to have a cart I could use. After all we’re regular customers, No dice.

So, I sprinted home, sprinted back, and sprinted home with the rest of the groceries.  I was home by 10 and had everything put away whenever the Whole Foods came. I put it all away.

However, I couldn’t leave, because I still had to clean the kitchen up and make breakfast for Captain Mommy. The kitchen was hit by a typhoon, and by the time I unloaded, put away, rinsed, and ran the dishwasher, it was 145. Honestly, I don’t know what happened with those last couple of hours; they’re a blur.

With a deep exhale, I was finished, seven hours after starting my day. And off I went to my easier job. And then my glasses broke.  I threw them in my case and headed out the door to the train. Crap, did I put on deodorant?

Until next time.

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Steve DeBenedetti-Emanuel is a licensed marriage and family therapist for River City Counseling, located at 1501 28th St., Suite 230. He can be reached at 916-919-0218 or by email at steve@rivercitycounseling.com. His website is www.rivercitycounseling.com

One Response to Was it Seven Hours or Seventy?
  1. elizabeth
    October 12, 2018 | 8:38 am

    I hope that doesn’t happen every day…..Sounds exhausting. Hope u put up your feet at the end of the day……

    What a good husband and dad you are…..

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