But this past weekend I felt like I was ON television. Watching the kids (ages 6,5,2,1) for 65 hours without my wife felt like an episode of Survivor. That’s right, 65 hours. That’s like 3900 minutes. That’s like…a lot of seconds. And even more dirty diapers. And meals. And stuff she does every day without ever complaining that it makes her feel like she’s on a miserable reality show.
Here’s 7.3 reasons my own personal house felt like a foreign environment (don’t ask me about 7.3, I don’t know why that number precisely, but it did seem to work on Friday):
1) I didn’t sleep well – for some reason when mom isn’t home, everyone thinks it’s time to start waking in the middle of the night again. I went from my bed to the couch, from my couch to the floor, and from the floor to a straw mat on bare dirt wondering if someone was going to eat all the food while I was sleeping.
2) I didn’t eat all that well – fortunately Maile made lasagna and soup and chile and put it in the freezer. Unfortunately, unfreezing things sounds almost as difficult to me as actually making them from scratch, so we still relied heavily on cereal, eggs and cereal. Did I mention cereal?
3) Alliances were constantly changing – in the span of ten minutes it went from me/cade vs lucy/abra/sam to . . . me/abra vs cade/lucy (sam was asleep) to . . . me/lucy/abra/sam vs. cade to . . . me vs everyone else. And that was the only alliance that seemed to stick.
4) Immunity challenges involved making food while holding Sam, loading the dishwasher before Sam climbed in, trying to feed Sam a bottle of breast milk when all he wanted was milk straight from the tap, and changing Sam’s poopy diaper with Cade and Lucy both crawling on my back.
5) Negotiations never ceased – “Abra, stop screaming or you’re in your bed for a nap!”; “Lucy, if you want to watch the movie tonight you’d better put your sister down!”; “Somebody please entertain Samuel for FIVE MINUTES or I’m putting out your tiki torch!”
6) Seeing my mom pull up to the house reminded me of the family visits on Survivor – lots of tears, hugs and desperate pleas to take me away, responded to with knowing looks, words of encouragement and the delivery of treats.
7) In the middle of the night I combed the house, desperate to find the immunity idol. I searched: 7.1) in Cade’s box of lincoln logs 7.2) under Sam’s bed and 7.3) in the battery compartment of Abra’s Laughing Elmo
No luck. When Maile returned on Sunday afternoon, it was too late. I had just been voted off the island.