But whilst it seems that a lot of things go wrong on a Wednesday, I guess the purpose of this post is to remind and reassure myself that it's never really that bad. That Dads might not be as utterly incompetent as they sometimes feel. In a year of 'doing Wednesdays', I've only had to dash to A&E once (I'll come onto that later), never had a visit from social services, and almost always ensured that the children are dressed, fed and watered before my wife comes home from a day's 'real work'.
My top tips for a Wednesday:
- Going out is better than staying in. The time goes quicker and there is more distraction (and dare I say it, fun) to be had
- Stick to the same childcare routine as your wife. (No I'm not under the thumb... much. It's just a case of not messing with the body clocks of people so prone to complaining!)
- The more energy you put into playing with them, the less moaning they will do
- If you go out with them whilst wearing something comfortable (e.g. tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie), be prepared for people to give you looks which say 'get a job, and stop scrounging benefits off your kids'. In this instance, just smile back. It's probably not worth mentioning that you work very hard at a job which includes weekends (hence why you are off today) and that you don't even watch Jeremy Kyle let alone intend to be on his show.
- (Linked to the above point) Don't be offended if people ask if you are a stay at home Dad - they often mean it in an admiring way
- Don't think of it as being a day off
The A&E story. It wasn't that bad, and it was actually the minor injuries unit at our GP, so not 'proper hospital'. Basically I had temporarily left the room for a few minutes. The girl had been generally very upset at my wife leaving that morning, and I had finally got her calmed down in front of Timmy Time, so I took the opportunity of nipping upstairs to brush my teeth and get properly dressed (you know, those little luxuries). I then heard a lot of crying again from the girl, so reluctantly trooped downstairs fully expecting there to be nothing really wrong, only to find her with a face full of blood, streaming out of both mouth and nose and splattered around the lounge. After cleaning her up and getting to the aforementioned minor injuries unit, the receptionist asked me 'how did she do this?' Now I felt that saying 'I don't know, I wasn't paying any attention' didn't quite sound right so I said that she fell into a glass table. Anyhow, it must've sounded plausible enough because the social have never been in touch. And the girl was fine.
I have many stories of leaving the house without the proper supplies (and on some occasions, no supplies whatsoever - getting the terrors into a car is sometimes so tricky that remembering anything else becomes impossible), but no blog post would be complete without a talking about child poo. The most challenging situations I have encountered have been during the phase where the boy takes his nappy off before he's about to do a poo and, once again, I've not been paying enough attention. On more than one occasion, by the time I've noticed, there are several surfaces to clean in addition to the boy himself - which is made more tricky by the fact that I don't seem to have a free arm to steer the girl away from the poo - and usually the result is that a lot of things go into the washing machine 'just in case'.
But if scrubbing a whole heap of poo from a fabric sofa cushion is the worst thing to do during my 'day off', bizarrely I find myself thinking 'I'll take that'.