I don’t know about all you other football fans out there but, at my house, Daddy doesn’t miss his games. Of course, for day games this is fairly easy to manage because the kids can be sent out to detail Daddy’s truck, or simply locked in a closet while Daddy straps on his football rig and lets the sporty nectar send him into a pigskin-induced coma. However, evening games have proven more difficult for Daddy to get some “Me time” (not the me time you fellow porn addicts are thinking, but I like where your heads are)
Needless to say, after seasons of experimenting I have come up with something that gets those frisky kids to bed by kickoff so that Daddy can get his fix. I call it Emergency Football Drill. The EFD is a complex combination of skilled parenting moves that has taken a couple of years to perfect. In a show of good will towards my fellow football folks out there, I am going to share with you my secret formula.
The Emergency Football Drill
Step 1) FEED THE LIVESTOCK: Getting the kids fed, and fed quickly is essential and this single event can make or break whether you are seeing kickoff or reading Goodnight Moon . The recommended dinner for the kids on game night is fast food (easy to grab on your way in from work and no prep required) Of course, this is not the most healthy option for your livestock, so any foods that can be prepared quickly will also work (grilled cheese, mac-n-cheese,etc). The point is to get them fed quickly. This is also where you start to set the tone for the next step.
Step 2) LIE TO THEM: Let’s face it, small children literally have no sense of time. It is easy to hurry them along by telling them that it is late and that they need to get a move on. This starts with Step 1 and continues through Step 5. Always keep them rushing. If you let them get sidetracked with cartoons or toys for even a few minutes, then you are putting yourself at risk of missing that first snap!
Step 3) CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO…: Bath time with toddlers can be the ultimate time waste if you are not diligent. When possible, put them in the shower. We have trained our toddlers to shower (with our aid) and this saves many precious game night minutes. Showers are genius in that they do not offer the opportunity for kids to play. There are no bubbles and no toys…and no time is wasted…efficiency by definition…If you are really pressed for time, take a hose to them out in the yard…you can almost hear that national anthem now, my friend.
Step 4) STORY TIME: Ahh story time…yet another sand trap that is easily played into by unsuspecting parents. Do not let the squid pick the bedtime story(s). You know the short ones, don’t act like you don’t…this is the time to use those short books to your advantage. Close all curtains so that the kids time awareness remains “in the dark”. This step should not be completely rushed through as this is some good quality time with your little ones. Read the short stories, snuggle and tickle…but be mindful of the time…can you feel it? You are sniffing the goal line of kid-free game watching buddy…soak it in…
Step 5) DISCIPLINE: Game time is minutes away and your kids are calling your bluff. They are in and out of bed, crying for water, wanting extra hugs…you name it, they are gonna throw it at you. You have to maintain discipline. Be stern, be strict…hell, if it’s your favorite team, be mean, but you must get them in to stay in those beds…It’s okay to mildly beat them in this circumstance…
Good work! In addition to your Father Of The Year nomination, you have just secured yourself an evening of uninterrupted football watching. Give yourself a pat on the back, open that tall boy and kick those feet up on the coffee table. You have earned it my friend…What? What’s that? Fold laundry? Go to the grocery store? OMG…we forgot to check the wife…This is where a step 6 would come in handy…I’ll be hiding in the garage…good luck boys!
Ah yes, it’s that time of year yet again. The leaves are turning, football is in full swing, and all of our coats have been unpacked and dewinterized. For many folks, fall symbolizes the start to the best part of their year. They look forward to turkey, taking time away from the stresses of work and exchanging in pleasant fellowship with loved ones.
I can just see them wrapping up in that new “Snugg Life” Snuggie that they got for Christmas with a nice hot mug of cocoa as they settle in to watch Miracle on 34th Street for the 97th time. Doesn’t that sound lovely? It’s like a Lifetime original movie and you are the star. Too bad this pumpkin spice-scented dream simply does not exist in my world. In my world that same scene would be more like me drunkenly stumbling my way through a maze of toddler toys as I half fall-half sit into a 1/2″ layer of kid snack crumbs on the sofa in an attempt to rub one out to Sue Heck’s Hello Kitty-concealed jugs before I pass out. (I know Sue is under age, but I love me some Hello Kitty!). While that scene may not be entirely realistic, (you all know I am too cheap to buy my kids toys…or snacks) it sets the tone for the holiday season in my family.
As I sit in jail for domestic abuse, I have some time to reflect on what it is about the holiday season that sends me down the path to suicide each year. It’s the three-pronged attack of holidays that starts, and keeps the beating ball rolling. Think of it in military terms. The first wave of attack is Halloween. If you survive the attack, you find yourself staring Thanksgiving right in the face. Many do not make it through this second wave, but those that are unlucky enough to survive are rewarded with the shock and awe of Christmas. Just the string of those three words has me ordering up my autoerotic asphyxiation kit…hold the lemon.
This year, in an attempt to keep my sanity, I have decided to chronicle the holiday season with my family. I will provide a detailed account of each holiday wave of attack. Hopefully, I keep the shotgun out of my mouth long enough to finish this endeavor. Wish me luck and stay tuned…