For a work-at-home dad, the two most frightening words in the English language are: Summer vacation. The boys are out of school now, which means that the “work” part of “work-at-home” pretty much disappears. Here is one day in my life this week:
7:41 a.m. Kiss the wife goodbye as she leaves for her blessedly steady job with salary and benefits.
7:42-8:00 a.m. Race upstairs and take shower. Do morning stretches. Run back down to fix double-bag English tea. Transport tea back up to my office, turn on laptop.
8:01 a.m. Sit down to check my e-mail and possibly do some writing before the boys wake.
8:02 a.m. Boys wake. Both visit me in my office. Start turning things on, pulling things out of drawers, telling me their dreams. To get them to leave, I agree to fix their breakfast.
8:20 a.m. Take Hank to swim practice. Also mail a book order at the post office, which makes me feel good because at least it has something to do with making a living.
9:50 a.m. Return to pool to get Hank. On return trip home, announce to the boys that we are seeing “Up” this afternoon.
10-11:15 a.m. Boys actually play contentedly without fighting or yelling, I suspect because of the movie carrot I have dangled in front of them. This gives me a chance to check the e-mails I didn’t get to earlier.
11:30 a.m. From upstairs I hear the boys ‘ voices getting louder, a clear signal that the peaceful calm of the morning is about to turn ugly. Rush downstairs to put food in their mouths.
11:45 a.m. During lunch I do not notice that Gabe is eating peaches out of a can. But I do notice when he starts drinking the peach juice out of the can. I tell him how disgusting this is, and he stops.
11:59 a.m. I drink the rest of the juice from the can when the boys aren’t looking.
12:07 p.m. Gabe accidentally pulls the toilet roll dispenser off the wall and hands it to me asking me to do something with it.
12:24 p.m. Pack snacks for the movie. Find leftover Gummy Worms to throw into the snack bag with the Pirate’s Booty white cheddar puffs and Capri Sun juice drinks. Offer the boys a box of raisins for a “healthy treat.” Both emphatically turn it down.
12:44 p.m. Grab snacks and 3D glasses and we’re off. Nope, not quite. I ask Hank to make sure the front door is locked. He says it is. I walk back and check the door. It isn’t. I lock it.
1:12 p.m. Stop at Costco before the movie to look at bicycles. While there, we walk past the Books section and I think wistfully of all the authors who are home at this very instant working hard on their writing.
1:45-3:35 p.m. See “Up” in 3D with our 3D glasses (totally recommended, by the way, a terrific movie for kids and adults). Note with pleasure the references in the movie to snipe hunting, showing that Kevin Nelson, Writer is on top of the latest Hollywood trends. (See our recent post on snipe hunting.)
4 p.m. Return home. Gabe leaves to go ride his bike on the court, complaining that the other kids are making fun of him because his bike is too small. Hank asks if he can have some peaches. I say yes.
4:05 p.m. I notice that Hank has poured entire can of peaches into a glass, not a bowl. Gabe walks in the door and copies his brother. Oh well, at least they’re not eating from the can.
4:36 p.m. Count the seconds until 4:45 p.m. when my wife returns from work and I get to take a walk.
4:46 p.m. Oh no, she’s a minute late! Where is she? This isn’t fair. Doesn’t she know I’m home with the kids all day and…Ah, there she is. “Tag you’re it, honey.”