Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Double Duty

I do my share of household duties. Really, I do. I keep the yard mowed, the dogs walked. I put away the dishes because my wife is short vertically challenged. Things of that sort. Sure, I do laundry too, and clean up toys when they block my path to the bathroom. So there.

But recently my wife had a minor surgery on her back, so my duties expanded. And by expanded I mean E-X-P-A-N-D-E-D.

She’s fine, everything went well. But I wasn’t exactly prepared for what lay ahead. Okay fine, I'll say it, I was not aware of how freaking much stuff she does around here…

Having a three-year-old is already a hands on job. Our guy runs and guns and likes to get dirty. He likes to help me out in the yard.

So surgery was Friday and I left work early to pick her up. I tried to hide the horror that found me when I saw her. Pale and greenish, she looked like she’d been under the knife. Nonetheless, I poured it on thick, telling her she was a sight, glowing really, then I drove her home, told her to take it easy, and got back to work.

Later I picked up our son to go home. We ordered pizza. Easy enough. It was raining but the dogs needed a walk. I was torn, leaving my poor wife because she couldn’t exactly do much. A quick loop around the woods and I was back in ten minutes.

The house was empty. Have I mentioned that my wife is stubborn?

I found her walking down the street, in the rain, chasing after our kid. I yelled after them, told her to get back in the house. She said she was fine. This was maybe three hours after surgery.

Once I had her safely tucked away and cuffed to the sofa, I took my son for a walk in the rain. With the dogs and the kid walked, I headed inside to sit back and eat pizza. Watch a movie. The joke was on me. There was no sitting. I fixed him dinner, I peeled his pear, I bathed him and got him dressed him for bed, I played Sheriff and Sharp Tooth with him (long story), I read books to him. Simply put, I did it all.

Saturday morning brought more of the same. Kid was up at 6:50 like it was his job. My wife was stiff but doing better, or, better as a person who just had surgery only yesterday could be rather.

Time to punch the clock.

I fixed breakfast, and by fixed I mean peeled the lid off of his yogurt. Whatever, it counts. Then I got the kid dressed and spiffy so that I could chase him around the front yard. Then we had to change because it was sopping wet outside. My dad showed up with a truck full of mulch and we mulched the yard in a half hour flat, then my Mom showed up with food for Saturday night’s dinner.

Next stop was the grocery store, a chore typically reserved for Mom—not because of gender but because I don’t do well with people. At some point we had lunch but Mom must have fixed that. Score one for her. After grocery shopping I had to go cut grass. Then I had to repeat lawn duties because my son was up and wanted to help. Then we played in the front yard. Oh yeah, I vacuumed too.

I vacuumed. Dog hair, dirt, tiny pieces to toys I’d never seen. I vacuumed the carport area, the sun room, the kitchen and the hallway. When I was done vacuuming I had to water the plants. I stripped the beds, did laundry--even used one of those dryer sheet things. 

I bathed my son. I helped my wife shower, scratching her back around the incision. I helped her dry her hair. I forewent my own personal comfort, I sacrificed, I amped up the dramatics. 

But seriously, here’s the deal. I'm glad I could pull my weight, but I need her around. Hopefully she needs me around. She does so many behind the scenes, things that go unnoticed and without thanks. I had no idea, some of this stuff. I just know that the house is growing fur. The walls are tagged with yogurt graffiti. The bathroom sink doesn't not have a self-cleaning option. My kid leaves tracks wherever he goes. 

Our house, and our son. It's a two person job.

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