Single father's survivor guide to a weekend with four girls. A weekend with the satellite TV down and my car out of commission.
Planning is in order to ensure that all five of us will be breathing at the end of the weekend.
1. Stay home on a Friday night and get much needed sleep before the crew comes home at 12 p.m. May be the only sleep you get all weekend. Check.
2. Find website to make packets for each child of coloring pages, ABCs and math worksheets, and word searches. The busier they are the quieter they will be. Check.
3. Find perfect DVD that can be on a continuous loop and keep them entertained while I try and cook meals without eight hands getting in the way. Pick up High School Musical 3 Senior Year on the way home from work. Check.
4. Pray for weekend with no rain. Giving the girls an opportunity to run around outside will tire them and hopefully and have them nicely tucked in bed at 8 p.m. and ready for sleep. Check.
5. Have mental health disorder hotline number on speed dial. Things may get crazy and I want to make sure I am not the one who is going nuts. Check.
6. Establish countdown on desktop that tracks time until bedtime Sunday evening. Being able to see the light at the end tunnel will help get me to the finish line. Check.
7. Create secret hiding spot that I can go to when we play hide and go seek over and over again. Finding the perfect spot may lead to not being found for hours and able to catch a quick nap. Check.
8. Make all important phone calls before girls get here. Nothing worse than starting a conversation with another adult only to be interrupted by having to scream at the girls to stop jumping from the top of the stairs, pulling each others hair out, digging for treasure in the fireplace, or anything that will lead to a trip to the ER or hours of cleanup. Don't want a friend or loved one thinking that I don't have control of my kids. Check.
9. Hide female roommates make-up products, scissors, and permanent markers. There will be no daddy makeovers, uninvited hair cuts, or art work on walls, tables, or hardwood floor. Check.
10. Offer incentive program to roommates to leave the house for the weekend. One took the bait of free utilities for the month by heading to San Diego, while the other will most certainly leave after a few minutes of seeing the chaos the weekend will offer. Can't afford to lose a roommate because they can't handle my kids. Check.
11. Have access to extra-strength Tylenol on hand at all times. Headaches are sure to come early and often. Check.
12. Continue to remind myself that my girls are the most important thing in my life. Their happiness depends on my behavior. Won't always be easy to remember, but I am counting on those moments when one of them says or does something that is so damn cute and perfect that I will have to scoop them and up and hold them as tightly as possible. Check.
Wish me luck as I proclaim myself ready for the weekend. Who knows what will happen, but I am sure there will be something to write about Sunday after they are in bed.