A Conflict of Schedules

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In case you didn’t know this…I’m married to a cop. They don’t always have the usual workdays. In fact, Sir Smiley’s schedule is pretty much the opposite of everyone else’s. For the past five years he has worked what we call second shift. So basically the early afternoon until late at night (11 to midnight or so usually). For the past two to three years he has not only worked second shift, but he has worked second shift on Fridays through Mondays. Our weekend is the middle of everyone else’s work week.
None of our kids are in school yet so there are some positives to this. First off is the fact that when we go on dates, all the places are empty. No packed movie theaters or hour long wait at a restaurant. We also have three whole days off together, in the middle of the week. We can go to the park together when it’s empty, and no dealing with rush hour either. We can have a nice leisurely morning together too.
But there are some aggravations. First of all, everyone else operates on a totally different schedule from us. Church functions, friend’s parties, and basically all social gatherings tend to happen on a Friday through Sunday rotation. Meaning if I want to go to the church potluck, I have to pack up three kids, haul them around, and then keep tabs on their actions by myself. This past Sunday it was a Super Bowl party. Even the NFL is plotting against us. It led first to Sasquatch screaming that she had to puke, only to stand over the toilet and belch loudly. While she announced, “I guess I don’t have to puke”…King Toot sneaks behind me and dumps some poor kid’s phone in the toilet. Three kids is too many for this poor mom to keep track of alone. (BTW, I think King Toot was plotting that for weeks and finally saw his chance and went for it). Also, my kids didn’t get the memo that daddy works late so they should sleep in. No matter what, they are up by 7 am. So I have a husband crawling into bed around 1 to 2 am and then kiddos getting up at 6:30 or 7. It feels like it’s been years since I have had a decent night of uninterrupted sleep. Usually it’s four to five hours at a time…tops. Finally, there is the fact that he’s gone during the worst times. Basically, Sir Smiley is home spending time with the kids in the mornings. You know, that time of day when they are all well rested and fed? The happy time where they all play so nicely together and for a brief moment you feel like you’re living in a Rockwell painting? But then comes lunchtime. The kids are screaming at each other and/or you because they are both hungry and tired. Coincidentally this is right when Sir Smiley needs to head out the door. So I get to try and get him out the door and all three kids fed and settled down for a nap. But then comes the witching hour (see my post here for more details). Six o clock rolls around and I’m trying to cook for them all, and feed them (while they pick at anything I make them…and I mean ANYTHING), give them baths, pick up the house, get kids to bed etc. He’s at work, so I’m doing all of it solo. Not to whine too much because I’m not a single parent…I do have help. But this is my blog and so I get to whine about what I want. All I can say is, if you are a single parent and your kids are still alive…you are a superhero.
All in all though, I’ve been doing this a while and eventually the odd way of life became the norm. He actually works early in the morning until the afternoon tomorrow and will be home for dinner. It’s thrown me off and I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself. But now that I think about it, we scheduled dr appointments in the morning because that was when he was usually around…so either way I seem to be doomed. Now to try and keep three kids from touching anything in the waiting room because who knows what germs are on those things and we have finally gotten over a long string of colds. Piece of cake (*long pause followed by hysterical laughter).

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