Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Seven Day Switch

I've been thinking about writing a script for a movie.

Sort of like a Freaky Friday meets Mr. Mom flick.  It would be loosely autobiographical, of course, but there would also be a SciFi element to it.  There would need to be a way for my husband and I to switch places for one day, or perhaps a week, so we could REALLY see who's day is harder.

Right now we're both convinced that the other is completely insane for even SUGGESTING his or her day might have been just a smidge more challenging, a tad more tiring, than the other's.  I think a Freaky Friday experience might set the record straight.

My husband truly wishes that he could stay home with the kids while I went out into the world and brought home the bacon.  I've asked my friends if their husbands have this same, sick wish, to which most of them shake their heads vigorously, saying something like, "there's no way my husband would last five minutes home with the kids."  And while I think Jeff may last a few rounds, I also believe he would wind up face down on the mat, down for the count, by the end of the day.

I say this because whenever we're all together on weekends, I catch glimpses of what a disaster it would be for Jeff to stay home.  Oh sure, the day starts off fine....we all congregate in our bed, a big people pile, laughing and giggling between the sheets, playing peek-a-boo and wrestling and tickling for upwards of 30 minutes.  It's like a freaking fabric softener commercial.  But once the whining begins (and it always begins sometime), Jeff turns into Daddy Bad Cop.

Daddy Bad Cop has no patience for whining.  Or crying.  Or lolligagging.  Or peeing on the floor.  Daddy Bad Cop's threshold of tolerance for misbehavior is laughably low.  Like, to the point of non-existent.  Daddy Bad Cop doesn't have a coddling bone in his body.  And Daddy Bad Cop will appear at a moment's minute Jeff will be trotting around the house with Rollie perched proudly atop his shoulders, but as soon as it's time to switch into a more productive mode, and Rollie begins to protest--BOOM!  Daddy Bad Cop suddenly swoops in and squashes any whimpers of dissent with a swiftness that I have to admit I'm a little jealous of.   With a tone of voice and glowering stare, Daddy Bad Cop will whisk any perpetrators into Time Out so fast all I see is a blur of blond hair and flailing legs.

I only see one chink in the armor:  Daddy Bad Cop's persona requires an incredible amount of energy to sustain itself.  Like a star going supernova, if Daddy Bad Cop stayed home with the kids, he would burn out and collapse in on himself long before Rollie tried to change his own poopy diaper, long before Elsa ate a dried ladybug carcass she found in the foyer, long before the dog dug a hole large enough to bury Jimmy Hoffa in the backyard.  Jeff has yet to learn the art of marathon parenting.  He can handle the kids in spurts, but I have my doubts that he'd make it from 6 am to 6 pm.  I have the feeling that by 9:50, right around the time when I try to leave the house but Elsa decides to take a Monster Truck Dump and Rollie decides it's much more fun to run down lizards in his tricycle than get into the car, Daddy Bad Cop would assume a fetal position and choke to death on his own tears of despair and defeat.

To be fair, I'm sure his day is harder overall.  I've no doubt it's heartbreaking to have to leave every day at the ass-crack of dawn to go make beer.  And talk about it.  And drink it.  And take it home to drink later.  What a bitch that must be.

But, until the day comes when he gets home from work with spit-up on his shirt, bite marks on his nipples, the theme song from Olivia in his head and utter exhaustion soaking deep in his bones from manhandling fifty pounds of children all day long, the only way we'll know for sure who deserves to sleep in on Saturday is to switch places for a week.

So be on the lookout for The Seven Day Switch, coming soon to a theatre near you....

disclaimer: the author would like to add that she loves her husband dearly and appreciates everything he does for her and her family.  especially when he brings home free beer.


  1. I did the Mr. Mom thing for a year and I must say, even though I have patience out the ying-yang, I got my ass kicked. Juggling three children nearly put me in the grave. Give me a 9-5 any day. I love my children, but a man can only take so much. My wife is an absolute goddess for all she does.

    I just feel a little sorry for my now four children - both Mom and Dad are stay-at-home. Finally parents have a fighting chance!

  2. The woman's job is almost always harder unless the husband is maybe a lion tamer with Tourette's Syndrome....

  3. At least he doesn't work for Smith & Wesson.