Friday, May 30, 2008

charles in charge

My husband was pretty wound up when I arrived home from work tonight at 6:30. I had planned to be home much earlier in the day, but was unable to leave a meeting as soon as I had anticipated. The triplets were literally bouncing off the walls when I walked in, and moments before I arrived, in the split second Charlie had taken a pizza out of the oven and turned to put it on the counter, Henry quickly crawled over and stuck his hand on a hot oven door.

The baby was crying.

The triplets were brawling.

The poor guy was frazzled.

Together, we put the children to bed and just as we finished a glass of wine to unwind from the day, we heard William call out that he had wet his pajamas, Elizabeth call out that she needed her TWO bunnies, and Carolyn call out that there was a big poop in her bed. When I went to investigate, I discovered that she had TAKEN IT OUT of her diaper and lost it somewhere under the sheets. While I searched and searched for the elusive poop, all I could think was thank heavens for wine because I might not have been able to handle that situation very well if I hadn't been a tiny bit intoxicated.

Later, I convinced my husband to sit with me tonight and tell me the details of his day. Perhaps he would find that by putting his day in to "words" it would help him see that things really aren't as bad as they might seem when you're in the thick of it.

So, he did.

These are his words.

I took the kids to the YMCA to go swimming today. The swimming part was fine, but it's the locker room that gives me trouble because men are pigs.

While trying to get Elizabeth dressed, I noticed an old, damp multi-colored pair of underwear in the corner and before anything even happened, I knew there would be trouble. Before I could stop it, Elizabeth picked them up, smelled them and yelled "EWW! PEE-PEE!" And I'm yelling "AAAARGH!!! DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!!!"

This is just what I say whenever we go in to use a public restroom because men.are.pigs.

I mean, we don't need to sit on the things, so who cares if our aim isn't perfect?

I'll tell you who cares! Fathers who have to bring their little children in to use these bathrooms. What do you do when you have a kid marching in place and saying they have to pee? You've got to put them on something. It's not like you can just hold them up. I tried it once and it didn't work.

You know, I really notice differences in people. For instance, when I have the kids women will turn and say "Oh, how cute! Can I help you?" But I don't get the same reaction from men. Old men in the locker room have NO qualms about disrobing and walking by - totally naked - mumbling under their breath "What are these kids doing in here?" while my precious daughters stare unblinking and wide-eyed and all I can think is "Oh GOD please let me just get them dressed and OUT OF HERE."

I truly feel that being a stay at home parent is the hardest job in the world. You've got to keep your head on straight. You've got to be able to roll with the ups and downs and not go completely off the deep end when your child unrolls an ENTIRE roll of toilet paper in the toilet. I mean, come on! WHY do they do that stuff?

It's the small things that add up and you find yourself pulling your hair out over something that if someone saw from the outside, they might not think it is a big deal, but it IS. When you're IN IT, it IS a big deal. Then, I've got these kids that are looking at me to be even keeled and man, that's hard. You can't just shove them outside in the back yard and lock the door.

I tried that once too and it didn't work, either.

All I can say is I'm really looking forward to going in to work tomorrow.


  1. Your husband seems to really get it- staying home IS NOT EASY!!! I wish my husband was able to be home with the kids [for the entire day] every once in a while!!

    Charlie seems like a great guy & a great dad!

  2. I'm surprised the Y doesn't have boys/girls locker rooms in addition to the mens/womens.

    I taught swim lessons at the Y in Rhode Island before we moved, and usually had to explain the system there to parents, but they ended up agreeing that it made more sense.

    Children between the ages of 2 and 14 had to use the girls/boys and NOT the womens/mens. If you have young children (as I did), you would take them into the boys/girls room of YOUR gender. For example, I took my 3 and 1 year old boys into the girls locker room to change. Make sense?

    The only grown ups in there were moms helping younger ones get dressed, so there were no naked adults walking around. I would assume the same would be true of the boys locker room -- Dad's helping younger ones (i.e. no naked old men).

    It's bad enough when my children point to MY breasts (when they barge into the bathroom without so much as a thought while I'm trying to dry off after the shower, for example) and say "WHAT ARE THOSE BIG THINGS, MOMMY?" -- I certainly don't need them doing that to a stranger's breasts at the Y.

  3. The YMCA and the local Community Centre here have "family changerooms" for remedy just such a thing. Yes, sometimes you have to wait a bit for them because you're not the only family, but it's well worth it. There's a washroom in there, too. I have actually shared the family changeroom with another mother with two small children and you know what? It was heaven sent!

    I guess there's no way you could just bundle the kids up in towels, take them home and shower/change them there?

  4. Did you find the poop????!!!!! I am NOT looking forward to that!

  5. i'd imagine that conversation was fairly therapeutic for you :) i'm so happy it gets it.

  6. HE gets it, not it. sorry!

  7. Charlie is perfect proof that the non-stay-at-home parent should be one every now and again. It is a hard and often thankless job (let me tell you though, it does get so much easier. It's still busy but a different kind of busy later on). It is never completed, you don't get to check things off, you don't get thanked or paid or often even acknowledged for what you do. The fact that he gets that is such a blessing for both of you.

    Chin up, Charlie!


  8. Man oh man that made me want to drink some wine! That is gross about the men urination issue. Did he go to work 30 minutes early today? You guys are an amazing team.

  9. I absolutely refuse to go into the bathrooms/locker rooms at our YMCA for all of the reasons you have posted about and then some. If we are going straight home, we just towel off and put on a dry shirt and head home slightly damp.

    If we are going somewhere after the pool, we just change in the car. SOOOO much easier than being in a locker room!!! I don't worry about rinsing off either...soooo not worth the trouble and I know they'll be getting a bath later that day anyway.

    I used to dread the pool/swim lessons but it is sooo much easier now that we use the car instead of the locker rooms.

    And yes, you must tell us where the poop is!!!

    Kelly (Houston)

  10. This year when I would be gone for the evening to school, almost every night when I got home my husband would say to me, "I could never be a stay-at-home dad, so don't get any ideas." He was joking - he'd relaly let me do anything I want to, but the part that wasn't a joke is that he realizes it is harder than pretty much anything he has to do on a daily basis. But I have to say, thank goodness for husbands who are willing to give it a whirl! men's locker rooms have private dressing rooms at all? My experience in the women's locker room is that women can be just as oblivious and gross - to prevent too many eye-opening experiences for my boys last summer, I used the non-locker room restroom for the toilet, and hustled them into an enclosed dressing room for dressing after.

    But I will not argue - men are pigs. :) The sad thing is that I think their moms probably TRIED to teach them to hit the water, not the rim, lid or floor...For some reason, that lesson just does NOT sink in. (Or maybe their moms were just exhausted after getting them potty trained at all?) After all, the world is their urinal. ;)

  11. Thanks Charlie for esteeming us in our is hard! I am glad for you, Jenna and the kids that you've been able to be so much a part of their lives. It speaks volumes as to what is important to you as a family and that it awesome! Thanks for joining our ranks! :)

  12. My husband would never say any of that. Why? Because he never leaves the house with them unless it's to run an important errand that can't wait until I get home. (I work part time.)

    Your husband is awesome. But I think you already know that. :)

  13. Our local JCC doesn't allow boys over the age of 3 in the women's changing room (and vice-versa). They do have family changing rooms, but they're always really crowded... I think there are 4 small family rooms total for a very busy pool. This seems ridiculously young to me... I know my 6 year old probably would be oogling some of the naked old ladies, but my 3 year old is oblivious. Anyway, I've gotten to the point of just bringing them home in their swimsuits.
    Enjoy your 'day off', Charlie ;-).

  14. I can't believe they don't have a family bathroom.

    I have never asked Greg for details of when he takes our quartet into the men's room. As far as I know, maybe he doesn't. He makes them pee in the car.

    You are brave to want to know, Jen.

    Poor Charlie. I can't believe you are making him works so hard.


  15. Thanks for visiting my blog!
    i am dying here thinking of your poor hubby at the Y.
    i bet he was glad to get home! To clean restrooms and no naked old guys!