We have two kids in diapers including a 2-year-old who doesn’t really display any interest in learning to use the toilet. That means we’ve got to buy diapers—sizes 1 and 4—every month. Graham goes through about four or five a day, Austin almost 10. Nolan has been out of them for a while, but I still wake him in the middle of the night to ensure he doesn’t pee in the top bunk because, as I’ve said before, changing the sheets in the top bunk is an agility and cardio workout rolled into one.
Cooking dinner every night is always on the to-do list. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, I try to cook things (even if it is more than one meal) so that everyone will eat. Graham doesn’t eat waffles, which blows my mind, but loves him some pizza or grilled cheese sandwiches. This is a kid who uses tater tots as a vessel for transporting ketchup into his mouth, not for eating. What a weirdo, right? Same goes for hot dogs. N has begun eating hamburgers again and pretty much tries most dinner items that aren’t vegetables. They both love fruit, so we can always bank on them eating any berry, apples and watermelon—so at least they’re eating something. Austin, he’s easy as the only thing he eats is boob milk.
Morning routine has to be a tall task, and I give my wife all the credit in the world for kicking butt the past few weeks in getting three kids outta the house by herself. In just a few days, however, I’m back in the fold for morning routines as my job comes to an end and I’ll be home during the day. Nolan gets himself dressed even though he tries to convince his mom to help. He can also feed himself, while Graham still needs help getting a spoonful of cereal into his mouth without wearing it. The dog goes out, pees, comes back in to sleep. For Nolan’s school drop-off, Austin is strapped into his car seat a minute or so prior to departure. Graham and Nolan get their shoes on. Dog is closed in his crate. Out the door. Ironically enough, L has been dropping him off earlier than when there were just two kids.
The bedtime to-do list remains a bit of a challenge, but it’s getting easier as neither require us to sit in their rooms coaxing them to sleep. It typically goes like this: a shower or bath, an episode of Wheel of Fortune, a few books we read to them, then bed. Graham usually is the first to go, with Nolan soon to follow. Austin is either asleep in the living room or being coddled by L while said routines are going on.
Then there’s Nolan and his little league practices/games. I’m an assistant coach, per his request, and let me tell you, coaching college baseball is a breeze compared to trying to explain to six 5-year-olds what they’re supposed to be doing on a baseball field. Austin is usually in the stroller (or car seat if he’s still asleep) while Graham screeches and walks towards the field every 90 seconds. Snacks are imperative, and fortunately, each practice/game lasts only an hour. And there’s usually a playground nearby.
There are so many other things on our parenting to-do list, but these are some of the most challenging. It’s a juggling act really. There will be highs and lows, hits and misses, but at the end of the day if everyone is happy, the day was a success.