Working From Home–The Dad Edition

So, I spent quite some time working nights in a warehouse; rain or shine, freezing in the cold or choking through wildfire smoke while it’s still 80 degrees at 4 a.m.  After so long, a body gets physically worn down.  So, when Whimzy Designs and Sparrow’s Closet picked up in volume over the holidays, the time had come.

I traded my heavy equipment for a vinyl cutter, my uniforms for baby clothes, and, well, I still use the box cutter from time to time.  I figured after killing myself in that warehouse, working from home would be a piece of cake.  Never mind having to adjust to daylight, but for some reason I had blocked eighteen hours of screaming children, timeouts, complete environmental destruction, barking orders like a drill sergeant, adult dogs with baby bladders, and northern breed dogs with subtropical mindsets; from my mind.  And then, I tried to process some orders on Tuesday.

On this Tuesday, I had two outfits to cut and press, uninterrupted, or at least minimally interrupted, this usually takes about two hours.  I get the design laid out for cutting, I go through my vinyl and cut what I need.  Sometimes I have scraps large enough for my needs, other times I must cut fresh.  This can take some time.  My wife and I are working side by side, which, I’m not going to lie, I enjoy.  In the meantime, the kids are playing in the living room.  I hear the Hobby Kids on the television, and in another minute, I hear “Give it back! Give it BACK! IT’S STOLEN!!!”  This is how my oldest (who is on the autism spectrum) indicates that one of his siblings, usually his brother, has either convinced him to hand over something that the younger one wants, or the younger one has just taken whatever the elder one has.  So, I drop what I’m doing to defuse that situation.  it’s still going to degenerate into at least twenty minutes of screaming, but it’s worse if I opt to let them settle it themselves.  Then the baby needs a hug, because I’m standing up and he likes to be tall.  I pick him up, and then he needs to be carried into the kitchen for juice.  Then my daughter wants to be picked up because I’ve picked up the baby.  I must explain that I can’t pick both her and the baby up because together, they’re too heavy, unless I opt to carry the baby under my arm like a football (obviously NOT an option.)  I think my machine has stopped cutting, I can’t hear over the calls to return the “stolen” item; which at this point, I don’t even know what was taken.  Fire suppressed, now back to my orders.  I deposit the children back in the living room and get back to work.

A few minutes later, my daughter comes into the room:  “Mommy, can I have a bath?”  Mommy is laying out the vinyl to be pressed, so of course, it’s: “Sweetheart, not right now, kay?”  This sends the three-year-old away for somewhere between the blink of an eye and a heartbeat before she’s back:  Mommy, can I have a bath now?”  She repeats this line of questioning a few hundred more times.  Somewhere between “Sissy, not now.” and my six-year-old shouting “HUUUUULLLLKKK!!” as he’s joined us all in the room at this point, I’m suddenly having machine communication errors.  Can’t cut anything, and meanwhile, the decibel level is making me grind my teeth.  So now it’s bath time.

My daughter has spent ninety seconds in her pleasure soak and is now done as I’m finally back to cutting.  My wife is telling her to stay in the tub while she washes her hair, but my daughter needs a towel.  My wife has her hands full, so I’m stopping again.  I feel an urgent tug on my leg, the baby has once again discovered that I’m standing up.  So up he goes.  Stepping into the hallway, I’m greeted by my old dog.  She never gets up unless she needs to go outside, so outside she goes, along with her son. I drop the baby off for a nap in the swing on the way back.  I can hear my daughter in the bath screaming as my wife washes her hair because she doesn’t like water in her face, but she won’t hold her head back to keep it away, and then there’s my wife’s dog.  In case I’ve forgotten the dog that I hate, he also must go outside.  But he runs away, so he gets tied out in the front yard.  I make it back into the work room and then BANG! BANG!  my wife’s dog has finished his business, and he’s ready to return to the couch, signaling me by pouncing on the screen.  So, he comes back in, and then I hear my other dogs pawing at the back door. Then I’m off to the back door, I over hear my wife “Next time I tell you to hold your head back, hold your head back.”  Sissy must be done with her bath.  It’s about then I glance at the dining room table, where my sons have set up their own arts and crafts time.  So, the dining room is littered with paper, and where the heck did they get FIMO clay?

Whatever…the boys made the mess, so I tell them they must clean it up, but we know that I’ll be in there once I’m done.  Catching my breath, I happen to glance at the clock, how is it four o’clock? I swear it was 11:45 when I started this.  Did we even eat? No wait, that was before all this nonsense.  It took me four hours to finish what I assumed was going to take about two hours at the most, and I had help for most of it.

By the time I hit the road, I’m ready for a beer, and I don’t even drink.  How the heck does my wife find time to crochet in this craziness?



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