7.3 Reasons My Weekend With The Kids Felt Like Survivor

I know we’ve turned our television off for a year, and written break up letters to it (on my old blog) and, more recently, emailed it  a stop-hanging-out-with-my-parents letter.

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.

4 Replies to “7.3 Reasons My Weekend With The Kids Felt Like Survivor”

  1. Congratulations on (just barely) making it! But I have to say, one of my big pet peeves is when men talk about watching or babysitting their own kids. You helped make them, right? Then suck it up and be a (wo)man! Of course, I have no kids of my own, so my view on this may very well change some day…just like my views on pacifiers. : )

  2. great point aymie. even though i like to think of myself as a very helpful husband, there is no better way to realize how hard my wife works everyday than to let her head out for a few days. i suppose i should have also posted about how much fun we had while she was away, with movies and popcorn every night and sleepovers in the living room. but no matter how many fun things we do, parenting four kids on my own for multiple days in a row is extremely difficult (i have no idea how single parents do it on their own, all the time), and i reserve the right to future jokes about it!

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