By Jesse Jost
This morning when I woke up I made the highly inadvisable decision to be a sweetie pie husband. I romantically envisioned a morning where I make my wife breakfast in bed and tell her not to get up until I have cleaned the house. Unfortunately she has left the bedroom by the time I get out of the bathroom. She is already making oatmeal for the kids and planning our menu for the week. A diet inspired by the “Trim Healthy Mama” craze. I am cool with the diet principles but have a hard time telling the guys at work that I am on a “trim healthy mama” diet. So I am rechristening this diet “Trim Healthy Beast.” Regardless of the name, my wife and I are stuck with “s-meal” foods for breakfast. And before you censors get your knickers in a knot, “s” stands for satisfying and means no digestible carbs allowed. I know, go figure! My breakfast is easy – scrambled eggs and flax bread. My wife, due to her egg allergy can have neither. So while I am commanding her to go back to bed, she is delaying by adding cinnamon and honey into the kids’ oatmeal and making some kind of coconut oil protein smoothie. I command her again to go to bed. Again delay. After 7.5 years of marriage, she is still getting used to this patriarchal home thing. She obeys and takes her food into the bedroom. She reappears again and, despite my protests, comes back for her meal planning calendar. I urge her to rest. She says this will make the rest of the week more restful. She finally submits and retires into the cozy warmth.
Now onto my tasks of breakfast and cleaning. I prepare my eggs and toast and help the kids with their oatmeal. John-Michael (6)loves this breakfast and has three bowls. Sophia (4) is in her never-ending creative phase and is too busy cutting paper into tiny triangles to be interested breakfast. I try to get Elijah (1.5) who normally loves eggs to try mine, but he resolutely shakes his head and purses his lips. I firmly believe that if he would just try them he would like them. I get a little in his mouth but it shoots back out on his little tongue and makes a journey from his finger around his high chair tray and hits the floor. He wants the grapes on the table. I exploit this bargaining chip and slip a bite of egg in before each bite of grape. The prospect of feeding himself makes the eggs look more enticing. I hand him the fork and he wobbly guides the fork-stabbed egg to his mouth. The fork is perpendicular to his mouth however, so the egg comes right back out with fork. He tries again with the other hand. I leave him to go fix Sophia a bowl of oatmeal. When I return the eggs have gone somewhere. I am assuming he ate them because there is only a small amount on the floor. But his hair is full of them. I guess at that age the mouth must seem like a small target. After I feed Elijah a bowl of oatmeal, I take off his painter’s cloak, which doubles as a bib, and try to wash the eggs from his hair. Thankfully we have a spray wand in the sink which works marvelously.
I put on another “Adventures in Odyssey“ and clean the kitchen, which after a weekend of a trip to Lethbridge, a wedding in Montana, and a full Sunday, has accumulated three days of dishes and mess. My wife has finished her breakfast and thoughtfully puts out a clean diaper, wipes, and fresh outfit so that I can later change Elijah without disturbing her sleep. While doing the dishes, I keep getting interrupted by cries from my older kids to get Elijah who is going back and forth between them wrecking their projects. Sophia wants eggs. I tell her to finish her oatmeal. I’ll fix eggs later if she is still hungry. More dishes. More running around putting stuff away. Time to change the Odyssey episode to Keith Urban music. More dishes. Sophia wants the eggs now. I scramble an egg for her. She tastes it. Says she wanted a good egg. I taste it – nothing wrong with it. She doesn’t eat it, so I track down Elijah to feed him bites while he bounces around the living room. Sophia wants her Polly Pocket dolls and houses. I get them. More cries to get Elijah. I finish the dishes and start sweeping the floor. Cries that Elijah is poopy. I lay him down on bathroom floor and discover that his bottom is a fiery red. My wife has only given me one wipe and no diaper cream, so it’s into the tub. While the bath water is running, Elijah pees all over the bathroom floor. I set him in the tub and run to get a rag. He tumbles in the tub and screams. I clean up the pee and ask John-Michael watch Elijah. More sweeping. Cries that Elijah is throwing water out of tub. I scrub the floor. More cries. I go to get Elijah and discover that the bathroom floor is flooded. This time J-M gets the scolding for allowing it. I take the rug out side and towel down the floor.
I am ready for reinforcements. Heidi gets up just in time. Sigh of relief. I get a bath towel and remove Elijah from the tub. He snuggles into me and we have a long cuddle. It is 10:15 am. My wife is very appreciative. I tell her that the mornings I go off to work, I have the easier job. My wife is the real sweetie pie, and this morning I appreciate her more than ever.