I have since Saturday been home alone with my six-year-old son Colin. I’ve also been trying to do a sensible amount of work. This has required some strategic effort, which, in anticipation of Father’s Day, I thought I’d share with you all.
Saturday: the “Keep busy and let him nip at your heel” strategy worked fine, but that’s what happens on most Saturdays. In most ways, it seemed like a normal Saturday. He even went to bed okay.
Sunday: the “Forget you are responsible and then ship him off to the neighbors” strategy. This is a risky approach, and should only be tried by trained professionals. As some of you know, it was 9:45, or 15 minutes into the worship service before I realized that I had not checked on Colin to make sure he made it into the auditorium for the service. A quick glance assured me that he was where he was supposed to be. Later, he went to swim with the family of a neighborhood friend, and was there through supper. Quite relaxing.
Monday: the “Keep him with you until you crack” strategy. I decided on Monday that a six year old asks an average of 8.2 questions/minute that demand an answer. These are not simple questions. “Dad, what’s evolution?” “Dad, are scientists evil?” “Dad, can I have a snack?” “Dad…” and so forth. At 8.2 questions/minute, that amounts to close to 500 questions/hour. I think that’s about right. I was trying to do a real day’s work as well. When he wanted me to reconstruct a deconstructed transformer, and was not satisfied with my reconstruction, he whined, I cracked and sent him to his bed. That is, it took until 3:23 EDT on Monday to reduce him to crying, “I want my mommy!” (He has, for the record, uttered this twice since then.) So, at 4:30 we were on the way to the library and to Blockbuster for some videos. I was done.
Tuesday: the “Throw in the towel” strategy. Took the day off and took the kid to Adventure Island, even though Mom forgot to leave me his pass. We managed. My plan was to do whatever he wanted to do, and we did. My plan was also to not leave until he was ready. I fudged on that, suggesting subtly at about 4:15 that movement toward home might be a good idea and greasing his palms with Doritos and Coke. It worked.
I’m running out of strategies, and there is a lot of week left.
I want my mommy wife!