I don’t remember much about the Wednesdays of my childhood. I think, I always thought positive about Wednesdays. According to Poo or Eeyore or maybe Owl, “Wednesday’s are blustery days.” That’s probably why I’m thinking about Wednesday on Monday; last night was blustery. The wind was coming from the south and slamming into Oly’s side of the house. It felt like Wednesday.
One good thing about Wednesday is that it is in the middle of the week and that means the weekend is closer. I don’t care if you work weekends or have them all off, weekends are the best days: football, camping and more people enjoying life. Weekends rock.
Today, Wednesdays are when Oly’s Aunt Debbie goes in for treatment. It is the day that she does some cancer butt-kicking. This cancer butt-kicking will last another two dozen weeks or so. So, for now, Wednesdays suck. I can’t wait until I get them back and I will. In a few months, I believe Wednesdays will be the best days, because Wednesday will be the day that saved my sister’s life. Then, I’ll just hate a few days in April.
My job as a stay at home dad is to survive until Oly can see his mom again. If you know Megan, you can’t blame him. Who would want to hang with me when she is available? Not Oly and not many others. Megan works from home on Wednesday and Friday. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, it is survival. On those days, my day goes like this:
Meg leaves at 6am. (Read this as fast as you can).
Play with Oly until he sleeps around 7. At 7:30, let Oly get some exercise; beach ball, jumpy whatjamajig or some other exercise. Send Aunt Debbie a picture. Feed Oly some cereal. Clean-up cereal from every crevice of Oly and the house. Change diaper, pick out clothes for the day. Let Oly play on his mat while I start the truck. Rush back inside to roll Oly back over (falling in the snow on my way). Check Diaper dude bag; reload with diapers, wipes, toys and change of clothes. Roll Oly back over. Load diaper bag and extras in truck. Fall in snow again. Roll Oly back over. Get music, sun glasses, coffee and water. Roll Oly over. Carry Oly to the warm truck. Rush back in the house (falling on my way) to gather forgotten stuff. Rush back to truck (falling). Get Oly to stop crying. Rush back to the house to stoke the fire. Pet Henry. Rush back to truck (slipping but no fall). Slip and slide down the hill to the highway. Drive the 45 minutes to Megan’s work. Drive around Livingston, if I’m early, until Megan can meet us and feed Oly. Stop at the store and let all the ladies smile at Oly. Drive the 45 minutes back home. Unpack the truck as quiet as possible, so I don’t wake Oly. There should be at least one slip in the snow in there. Tip-toe around house until Oly wakes. More play time. Read a book. Feed Oly some banana or sweet tater. Spray down the area to clean up sweet tater. Read to Oly and walk in circles until we see that red truck come down the drive. Watch Oly smile at his beautiful mom. Breathe.
One of my big worries, when we were ready to bring Oly home from the hospital, was about how Henry was going to react. If you don’t know Henry, you are missing one of the great cats of our time. He was born in a grain silo across the street from our home in Amsterdam, Montana. He arrived at our house on Thanksgiving night 2001. He was just a few weeks old and he smelled like poop. We already had one cat; her name was G and she did not want a freind. My father had just had a stroke and my mother and him were living with us while he recovered; we were in the process of turning the house into a duplex. After Henry spent a couple of cold and snowy nights on a window seal, we decided we would shut the door between the two living spaces and let Henry live with my mother and father. I believe Henry helped my father in his recovery from his stroke. Now, years later, Henry is like my dog; he follows me around the property, he hangs in the cabin if I’m working out there and he sleeps at my feet. Now, he protects Oly. If Oly is making noise at night, Henry will sit on the bed-side table between Megan and the monitor and listen to him stir. His love of Oly started on the first night we came home from the hospital. As Oly cried and we freaked out, Henry followed us around and I think he could feel the fear in us; he knew we loved what was in those blankets. He also knew it was a baby; a baby what was what worried him. Now, 5 months later, if Oly begins to stir, Henry walks around the house and meows as if he is saying, “Get up, Oly needs you.” I think even though he is scared of Oly and his sudden movements, Oly is now his person, if only he would quit pulling his hair.
Oly is 4 months and 3 weeks old and he is nearly crawling. As we watched Louisville basketball last night, in their 5 overtime game against Notre Dame, Oly kept looking at me as if he was saying, “Put me in coach”. Louisville lost and I know we have years until he can sport a Card uniform, but we may have done better with him in the game. Oly’s grandmother GG, was calling at what was nearly midnight and wondering what was going on; she is 80 and still rooting the Cards on. After the loss last night, I think Oly is soft on his commitment to the Cards class of 2029.
Like all parents do, we wonder about Oly’s future; We wonder what he will become: a lawyer, a doctor, an astronaut? Only time will tell. I believe I know which direction he leans. I think he is going to be a farmer, if they still have farmers when he grows-up. He wakes at 4am; only farmers get up that early. As my mom says, “Paybacks are hell”. My father always told me, “you are on the wrong damn schedule.” That was because I came in at 4am. Now, at 54, I’m up at 4, as sober as a nun. Don’t Monkey with the Monkey.
Dude. Oh dude. Wow. Dude. Sorry, dirty diaper.