This is the first guest entry in the history of this blog, although I'd say it's a stretch to be referred to as a guest - I am, after all, the dad. As Joanne has mentioned in some previous entries, August is my busiest time of year. Working in a college environment, that's to be expected I guess. So back in July, when I was supposedly thinking straight, I gave Joanne a plane ticket to Jacksonville for her birthday. It was my weak attempt to "compensate" for all of my time away from home in August. Joanne left Thursday night and will get back on Monday afternoon. So that's 96 hours of dad time with the kids...how hard can it be, right? No sooner did Joanne board the plane when I realized this was war: Man v. Toddler.
If you've ever seen the Travel Channel's Man v. Food, you know that each episode, Adam Richman battles a food challenge, with the result being either "Man Wins," or "Food Wins." I realized that my life for the next four days would be eerily similar to Adam's conquests.
There is no rest for the weary men in this house. Day 1 of my adventure brought a significant challenge - the first day of school. Seriously, this is like getting called up from the minors and to pitch a road game against Nolan Ryan (sorry all, say goodbye to the reality TV analogies, this is my post). Is this fair? I went to "meet the teacher" day a few days ago to get the lay of the land. The kids love their teacher and classroom, so I'm feeling much better after the walk-through. In our house, I take care of breakfast for the kids, so this morning, I'm pretty much in my wheelhouse. Joanne set out the kids clothes the night before (Not sure if she was really being a caring wife or if she was fearful how I would dress them). It's 8:00am, we're fed and changing diapers, putting shoes on, the whole bit. I am cruising through this thing. Then, I meet my nemesis:
The dreaded rubber band. This thing strikes fear in the hearts of men...at least on the same level as watching Oprah. At first, I panic. I've got Peyton in front of the mirror, and my hands seize up. I send her back down and bring up Sam for a confidence boost. Nothing like a classic hair part to get my head back in the game. I decide against starting with Peyton. My logic - the longer the hair, the steeper the problem. Adah's up first for the great hair bow brigade. My first attempt:
Well, 'nough said on that one. The voices of doubt are getting louder, and the clock is ticking. C'mon Clifford, you can tie a neck tie, this is like the same thing, except 1/100th the size and made of titanium-reinforced rubber. Attempt #2:
Epic fail. Time is progressing at an exponential rate. I can't call Joanne after she's been gone for 12 hours and tell her I couldn't even get them out the door for school. So I dig deep, pour through all my mental and physical faculties when it comes to me. Why didn't I think of this earlier - the barrette! This thing was made for guys...I mean, it's basically a paperclip for hair. Even I can do this. So, no bow for the girls, but they did get to school looking beautiful, as usual:
So, in this showdown of Man v. Toddler...toddler wins!