Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Load a Day

I was just thinking of something: our family generates the equivalent of a load of laundry per day.

Three to five pairs of pants. Three to five pairs of socks. Two to five pairs of underwear. Three to five t-shirts. During the summer, one to three polo, button-down, or jersey-type shirts. During the winter, add sweaters and sweatshirts, not to mention layers. And we're not necessarily considering pajamas, bath towels, sheets, or kitchen towels. That's just one day.

Of course, I can't actually do that load of laundry per day because of separations.

I've talked about laundry and I'll do it again.

Separating by color, by weight, by wash cycle type, and by whether the clothes are machine dried or hang dried. Add to that my conservation attitude toward water usage and laundry can be a big headache.

Somehow, I actually enjoy it. Perhaps it's the system that has been put in place. I think I'm good at it. Who's proud to be good at laundry?

Yet I look at the clothes and think I'm doing a great job. Our closet space is maximized. Our clothes aren't wrinkled and I minimize our dry-cleaning expenditures.

One of the ways I keep myself going is by telling myself that every dollar I save our family is my income. Although I haven't added it up, I think I'm still in poverty. But at least it's a living.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Twice the Fun

On my third day on my own with both JD and Toodles, I can safely say it's about what I expected. That is, expect the unexpected.

Expect JD to have a perfect morning yesterday, just to spoil it just before his naptime. How did he do that? After eating his lunch like such a good boy! I let him go play in the living room while I cleaned the kitchen.

Of course, just a couple minutes later, I hear Toodles, who had been sleeping, wake up with a wicked scream. I run into the living room where she is sleeping in her port-a-crib. In the crib, next to her head, is the empty can of tuna from making tuna melts for lunch. Needless to say, I was not pleased.

Then there are the awesome moments where JD is playing nicely with Toodles. Or he gets a great review from his speech therapist. Or Toodles gives me a big smile when I pick her up from her nap or while changing a big, wet diaper.

The balancing act, to me, is a matter of will power. It's the will to let the kids do their own thing with limited supervision. What do I mean?
While in the backyard, I put Toodles on a blanket and let JD do his own thing while I mowed and raked the lawn.
While we're in the basement, I let JD play with blocks while Toodles is *shock* on a blanket while I change loads of laundry.

Sometimes Toodles is crying, sometimes not. But if I want to get things done, they simply have to get done.

I've said before that one of the perks of being the at-home Dad is that I don't have the hormonal attachment to the kids so that when they cry, I don't have a chemical/hormonal reaction. I don't like hearing them cry, but I'm willing to trade five minutes of crying for lunch/dinner, laundry, or a few minutes with Oprah. Yeah, right. I am proud to say we haven't watched one minute of TV during the day.

Where do we go from here? Making sure I'm as focused on their development as I am on their nutrition. Making sure we have more fun together than doing chores. Making sure our outings are not all dedicated to shopping. I think if I can do that, to make sure I'm thinking of them and not just us, we'll be a happy family.