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"You Just Wait Until Your Father Gets a Few Days"


When I was young, I was lucky enough to have a dad who typically worked 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Sometimes I wonder if my own kids think of me as that vaguely familiar-looking guy who hangs around the house sometimes.

Here's my typical summer schedule.

I work a 16-hour shift on Sundays and Mondays, which means I leave the house before they wake up in the morning and return long after they've gone to bed. This past Tuesday unexpectedly turned into a marathon session as well, and I didn't get home until about 7:30 P.M., only to find them both with PJ's on, and Grace in bed with a 101.2 degree fever. So, I gave her some syrup (which was a pleasure in itself), read her three stories and she was off to sleep.

On Wednesdays I get home around 4:00, and Grace goes swimming at the YMCA with mom at 4:30. They'll get home around 6:30 or 7:00, and then Grace and Willam both go to bed at 8:00. It's nice to get that "father/son" time with William (wow, four whole hours!), but I miss my Grace (or "Beets" as I call her). Above is a photo of me and Beets when she was just five days old. Sometimes I feel like I haven't seen her since then.

Things will improve once September rolls around, however. My wife goes back to work (she's a teacher) and I get to stay home with the darlings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Occasionally, during the school year, when William is screaming and pooping and Beets is, well, being a 3-year-old, I think, "So, when does work start again?" But those are rare, noise-fueled moments. I know that I'm in a rather unique position, as I get to be a stay-at-home dad for part of the year, and a full-time working dad for the other part. Guess which one I prefer?