This first appeared in a newspaper in 2004
I spent last Monday at home alone with our 6-year-old daughter Emma.
Spending a day alone with a 6-year-old is like spending a day at a pharmacy with Rush Limbaugh.
There’s a lot of activity, is what I’m saying.
Emma had the day off from school and since my job consists mainly of searching the Internet for Paris Hilton jokes, my wife decided that I should take a day off from “work” to stay with Emma.
I was looking forward, at least, to the first part of our day together because Emma is sort of hard to wake up on school days. It was easier to wake up George Bush for National Guard drills then it is to wake Emma up on a school day.
So this is what I figured my day off with Emma would be.
6:00 a.m.-Giggle as my wife’s alarm goes off.
6:01 a.m.-Go back to sleep.
8:00 a.m.-Tell my wife good-bye. Or, since I’m still asleep, tell Sarah Jessica Parker “Good thighs.”
1 p.m.-Wake Emma up.
3 p.m.-Emma finally gets out of bed.
3:30 p.m.-Put “Lizzie McGuire” DVD in the machine.
6 p.m.-Welcome wife home.
But unfortunately, the little alarm clock that every 6-year-old kid carries in their heads on non-school days went off in Emma’s head and so this is how my day off with Emma actually went.
5:30 a.m.-Emma comes into our bed and asks me to fix her a chocolate Pop-Tart.
5:30:05 a.m.-Wife giggles.
6:00 a.m.-Wife’s alarm goes off. Of course I don’t hear it as I’m downstairs watching “Freaky Friday” on DVD with
7:30 a.m.-Wife comes downstairs at the same time “SpongeBob Square Pants” comes on. It’s the one where SpongeBob upsets the giant clam. A classic.
8:00 a.m.-Wife kisses Emma goodbye and then laughs at me.
8:01 a.m.-Emma utters the three words that send chills down every parent’s spine: “I’m bored.”
8:02 a.m.-Emma rejects suggestion that we watch the repeats of “SportsCenter” from the night before.
8:15 a.m.-I begin to teach Emma the card game War.
8:30 a.m.-Emma beats me in the first game of War.
9:30 a.m.-Emma beats me in War for the fifth time.
10:00 a.m.-I announce that I’m bored and begin to check for new Britney Spears video on VHI.
10:01 a.m.-Video comes on and then I remember Emma is in the same room. Decide to see what’s on the Cartoon Network.
10:30 a.m.-Emma wants to look at “Old-timey pictures”. Asks where I keep my high-school yearbook.
11:00 a.m.-Can’t find my yearbook. Instead, we find my wife’s yearbook.
Noon-Emma and I finally stop laughing and decide it’s time for lunch.
12:30 p.m.-After delicious lunch of Campbell’s Chicken & Stars and a peanut butter sandwich, Emma decides it’s time to ride her bike. I give her a map of the town and tell her to have a good time.
12:30:01-Seconds before Emma bursts into tears I tell her that I was kidding.
12:30:05: Emma kicks me in the shins. I break into tears.
1:30 p.m.-We find our dog Shadow’s leash and Shadow and I start walking while Emma rides her bike ahead of us.
2 p.m.-Emma decides she is tired of riding her bike and asks me to carry it for her. Unfortunately, we are about a mile from our house.
3 p.m.-We arrive back at our house and Emma asks if we can do some “outside activities”.
3:01 p.m.- My suggestion that daddy drinks beer while Emma runs around in circles is rejected. Instead, Emma suggests we play baseball.
4 p.m.-After 378 pitches, Emma manages to hit the ball for the second time. Declares that she just kicked my “booty” and announces it’s time to go inside to watch “Kim Possible.”
6 p.m.-Wife arrives home. Wants to know why I was dreaming about Sarah Jessica Parker and kicks me.
6:01 p.m.- I burst into tears.