I don’t want to screw up but I don’t know what I’m doing to screw up

I have discussed this before in previous blog, http://https://jsffour.wordpress.com/?s=apple, but once again my daughter’s academic acumen far exceeds her old man. Julia was recently accepted to the National Elementary Honor Society. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. It is probably one of those things they just didn’t tell me about since they knew I had no chance of achieving it. There were already so many things I wasn’t going to accomplish what was the use of letting me know about another one?

I want my daughter to continue to succeed and encourage her growth but the problem is, I don’t know how the hell we have being doing it so far. It is not like my wife and I played classical music for her in the womb or went all Patty Huffner on her. We of course encourage her and I believe her playing sports, playing a musical instrument and doing theater all contribute to her success. There is a reason why all those activities I listed have shown to help make smarter, rounded and more confident kids.

The key is not to screw it up. Of course I don’t know what not to screw up. I know enough not to give her sugar right before bed or if I do not to let her play with our loaded gun. Those are givens, easy stuff. I think the key might just to get out of her way. She is naturally driven and pushes herself she doesn’t need us do put pressure on her. I just have to be supportive, always show an interest and be involved. The hope is that her brains lead to riches down the road and she can take care of Mom and Daddy. Having kids to take care of you is as old as time right? And those other two aren’t going anywhere in life.


My time as a single Father……day 6

Finally I am done with this single Father business. The morning started early because Santa got Mia and Julia time at a winter soccer camp that is being held in our town’s high school gym. The girls got up with no fight and did a good job of getting out of the house on time. Being a soccer family it was appropriate that what happened next took place while my girls were at a soccer event.

Cathy had text Julia and I that she left a little before 10 from her sister’s house in Connecticut. Although she said she wanted to meet us at the camp I figured with that time frame she wouldn’t make it. Mia’s session was from 10 to 11:30 and Julia from 11:30 to 1:00. I told the girls they would see their Mom shortly after we got home. However, at 12:30ish Cathy came strolling in and Olivia and Mia almost knocked her over. When Julia got done I met her as soon as she got out and tried to shield her from Cathy to heighten the surprise. It didn’t disappoint.

It was a great reunion and officially ended my time as a single father. Did this time give me more appreciation for real single fathers? Not really, because honestly I already had a ton of respect for them before this. I always wondered how single parents could do it alone. Being in a two parent home is hard enough. The single Dad and Mom’s in the world have and always had my respect.

What do I take out of the whole experience? I cannot cook at all. If left to me my kids would starve or develop whatever are the after effects from a totally unbalanced diet. We would be like college kids, living off Ramen. And that is probably the least of the bad things that would happen.

To tell you the truth it was a fun little adventure that we had, Dad and his three girls had some quality bonding time. Julia stepped up as the oldest and was a big help. Even Mia and Olivia did their part, like when they did the dishes. I was proud about how well the girls held together, they missed their Mom greatly, but still held strong and did what they had to do.

Now I think I’m entitled to direct all bickering and whining to their Mother, for a little bit, don’t you?

My time as a single Father……Day 5

I am in the home stretch. As we speak my wife is on a plane to JFK, after catching some Z’s in Connecticut she will be home tomorrow. Only several more hours to make sure she comes home to three children. Keep in mind I’m talking any three children; if I lose one by then I’m taking someone else’s.

Today was another good day, the girls even did some room cleaning (after some cajoling from Dad), come on, you didn’t think they would voluntarily clean do you? My girls can spend two hours in their room cleaning and accomplish about five minutes worth of work. They have a future working in a union (yea I went there). We ate lunch and were on our way to Julia’s Futsal game.

Yes not only am I the Dad of three daughters but I also coach Julia’s U-11 travel team and am the assistant coach on Mia’s U-9 travel team. I am a glutton for punishment no doubt but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because of the holidays we haven’t had a game in two weeks so I missed my girls. I was excited to see them play, and Julia had a great game. Mia and Olivia also behaved on the sidelines, or at least none of my player’s parents ratted them out.

After picking up our dinner we got home and Julia helped Dad make dinner, soup and grilled cheese. I know what you’re thinking…..hoagies, pasta (with sauce Cathy made), take out and now soup and grilled cheese..is this Gordon’s Ramsay’s blog? No it’s just me your mild mannered Dad with three girls. Because I was making soup for four I figured it was a good idea to instead of slowly cooking to bring that sh#t to a boil to save time. As I poured the boiling hot soup it overflowed and I gave my thumb and nice second degree burn. I use to work at a pizza place and I suffered a ton of burns that bad, but I guess since that was over 17 years ago I have grown soft because that hurt like an S.O.B.

The best part is this time Mia and Olivia stepped up and did the dishes. Is there a good chance those dishes are less than 30% clean? Yes. But I will eat off them with pride, because my girls stepped up when their Dad got hurt and pitched in. I’m also pretty sure I won’t good food poisoning if I do. Well tomorrow Cathy comes back and all will be right with the world again. For now I will continue to drink and eventually go to bed. Hey I love my girls but they do drive me to some weekend drinking.

My time as a single Father……Day 4

The day got off to a great start. As I mention in yesterday’s blog I lost my keyless entry remote. Heading to school I figured I either left it in the school gym when I signed my girls out of after care or dropped it. As I dropped them off we looked around where I parked yesterday and Mia said “Daddy is that it?” Low and behold there it was. Keep in mind the previous night it was single digits and snowed this morning, yet it still worked.

When I picked up the girls I informed them I was in a good mood and they responded with cheers. I also apologized to them that last night even though they made me mad I should have been more patient and that I was too hard on them. Mia responded “we were probably too hard on you too dad” then she followed with her hand to the side of her mouth and in a whisper said “no we weren’t,” my little smart ass.

Another plus is that with my wife gone I was free to order Chinese food. Ever since Cathy was pregnant with Julia she could no longer stand the smell of Chinese food. I love Chinese food but we rarely have it so this made me happy. Of course the night took a bad turn when I noticed it seemed cold in my house, and confirmed my fear; the heater wasn’t working because the oil was frozen in the pipes. After a quick google search I discovered you can pour hot water on the exposed pipes outside and son of a vondruke it worked.

Girls went to bed without incident and there was little bickering all night. Night was finished with a call to Cathy. Overall it was a great bounce back from last night’s debacle.  Only one way to end this night….

My time as a single Father……day 3

How would I describe day 3? Well let’s just say if Satan dropped by with a contract that would make it so I never had kids I might have impulsively signed it. Ok that might be an overstatement but I definitely would have had a lawyer look it over. Perhaps the fast pace of last night was a blessing; we were too busy moving and hurrying for any arguing and bickering. There is no doubt that having them go to bed so late last night led to the tough night tonight.

I pick up the girls at school and Jules and her friend are campaigning for Jules to sleep over her house this weekend. I have told her no every single day this week and Cathy, before she left, told them there would be no sleep overs. I was called a poo poo head (she said it in a joking manner but whiney) for not allowing her. I didn’t have a problem with the name calling but a tone was definitely set.

After getting home (side note, I lost my keyless entry remote somewhere from unlocking the door getting back in the car at school and home) we had a pecan pie controversy. Sometime last week Olivia asked Cathy if she could have the last piece after dinner. Cathy said yes but Olivia never ate it. Apparently Olivia feels that gave her unlimited claim to the pie as long as said pie existed. Julia asked me for it when we got home and I said yes…..this did not sit well with one Olivia Beth Floyd.

After telling us about her previous claims to the pecan pie

Olivia now wanted to call in that claim. Julia offered to split it but Olivia refused because “she doesn’t like her.” Turns out Olivia would have been up for some pie splitting with Mia (who doesn’t like pie) but Julia was a non-starter. There was also an argument of Olivia sitting to close to Mia while Mia did her homework. I suggested  Mia just move but she protested that she always does homework in that seat. A little later Olivia spills her drink on Mia’s homework. I’m thinking pie splitting would have been off the table at that point.

Add in random clothes on the floor all around the house, messy bathroom and book bags not being put away and Daddy was doing a lot of yelling. Don’t get me started on the continuing dirty room saga (https://jsffour.wordpress.com/2014/08/), which just added fuel to an already raging fire. I have a distinct advantage over my wife when it comes to yelling. I bust out the booming voice and throw in a fist slam and they know I mean business. Girls scatter and tears flow when Dad gets going. I’m not saying they end up listening to me more but at least they are a scared and sad for those moments, so I got that going for me.

Everything calmed down before bedtime and I told me girls “lets’ have a better tomorrow.” They all agreed….here’s hoping.

My time as a single Father……day 2

The girls have no clothes, half the house is burnt down and I haven’t seen Olivia since I dropped her off from school. Ok, nothing that dramatic but I figured it was a good attention getting sentence. I have to give a shout out to Julia. She helped me prepare the lunches both tonight and last night and also got the girl’s breakfast in the morning.

It was weird to sleep in a bed alone last night. I was not use to actually having covers and not having them stolen from me (sorry Cathy couldn’t resist). Of course my dog Shadow was in there with me and in the least shocking moment sometime last night Olivia made her way to my bed. I was able to get out of bed, and get the girls to school on time and get to work on time. That was no small feat considering it snowed yesterday and was freezing cold today. I believe every street was plowed except mine but the roads weren’t the best.

Tonight was fast paced. As soon as I picked up the girls we made hoagies. Ate and shortly after went to my indoor soccer game.  It is always nice when my girls get to see my play; it is even nicer when I don’t humiliate myself; and the nicest that they got to see me score a goal tonight (shameless self-promotion). Although they always tell me I played good, which surprises me since I am Julia’s head coach and Mia’s assistant coach an am far harder on them than anyone else. I would figure when they got the chance to pick me apart and give it back to me they would. I guess that just shows my girls are better people than me.

By the time we got home and the girls showered they weren’t in bed until 10.Tomorrow morning should be very interesting. I’ll be tired and my body aching, going to be tough rolling out of bed. With the girls getting to bed two hours after their bedtime I’m probably not getting much support

My time as a single Father….day 1

Last week my wife Cathy’s Uncle Dave unfortunately passed away. He was a great guy and I enjoyed the time I was able to spend with him. He lived out in California and fortunately my wife Cathy has the opportunity to go out to California for his services. She left tonight and will not be back until sometime on Sunday. I am going to chronicle my days as a single Father.

This marks the first time my wife has ever been away from our girls. With the exception of sleepovers and on our 10th Anniversary where we treated ourselves to a hotel room for the night my girls have always gone to bed and woke up with my wife being around. In fact with the exception of a rafting trip I took six years ago and was gone for 3 nights neither of us has been away from our girls for any extended period. I have no problem admitting that my wife is WAAAAYYYY more equipped to deal with the girls by herself than I am.

My wife left shortly after dinner and every girl in the house cried, including her. Mia cried the least which was expected. Short story, when my girls were younger Julia always had a horrible time when we dropped her off anywhere. They use to stay with a sitter during work hours and just to mess with Julia I would tell her I was going to go home without her and she would throw a fit and cry. Ok, don’t judge me; you know you’ve all made your child cry for your own entertainment. One day I decided to mess with Mia. I put Julia in the car while Mia played in the front yard and actually drove away. I went around the corner and she was still playing without a care in the world.

Tonight shouldn’t really count, by the time my wife left (she made dinner) it was only a couple of hours before bedtime.  There have been times when she went out and they went to bed.  Of course it is different because they know she won’t be coming home. My youngest Olivia is already complaining she cannot fall asleep because Mommy isn’t home. Of course she complains almost every night she can’t sleep for some one reason or the other.

For the next several nights the chances of my daughters having a complete and balanced meal? Slim to none and slim left town about 3 weeks ago. Tomorrow? Hoagies, Thursday? Spaghetti (a Daddy classic, wife made the sauce of course). Friday? Take out (I’m pushing for Chinese). Saturday? I haven’t gotten that far yet. Well night one is winding down, no one is injured but the morning presents the real challenge. I’m not a morning person and my wife usually has to wake me up.  Let’s hope I can get them to school and me to work…on time.