Barney Fife On The Job
This past friday the kids had an early dismissal, my first ever. Being inexperienced as a SAHD I didn’t have any thing planned for the kids, When I was a kid an early dismissal in itself was enough of a bonus but these days just letting the kids come home and watch game shows doesn’t cut it. The night before the text message circle of SAHMs lit up about plans for tomorrow. First let me state that I’m very grateful and somewhat surprised that I made the list. My second thought was a bit of self judging.
Luckily one of the moms, J, whom I met before in passing but couldn’t quite remember, was taking a crew of kids to the Perot museum to the new body exhibit. My wife has been after me to take the kids to the Perot museum but its downtown and I hate going down there because I hate the traffic and the possibility of getting lost. I jumped at the chance to go with someone and arranged to meet at her house and follow her there.
I didn’t realize she had four boys in tow with her until we got there. She had her two and two others. Add my three for a total of seven, five of them boys. We weren’t there ten minutes and the boys were already in trouble. J left me to watch them while she validated our parking and the boys starting running around the lobby. A security guard came to me and started to get on to me but J walked up and took over while I stood by and was schooled on handling kids in public.
In my defense men are generally reluctant to get on to other peoples kids but the wife explained to me mom’s don’t have that issue if they are nominally placed in charge of them in some way. I think kids know this because the other boys were not the least bit afraid of me. they even laughed at me later when I told them there was a new sheriff in town while J and my girls were in the bathroom. It really does take a village and as the new guy on the block I’m still learning the local culture.
J was wonderful and I learned a lot observing her with the boys. She kept them directed when necessary and let them loose when appropriate. I spent most of my time in orbit around my youngest to make sure she didn’t get into a meltdown situation. At one point J let me go off with my youngest to another floor of the museum while she wrangled the other six kids. She also thought to take lots of pictures, something that i still don’t think to do.
I texted her after we got home to thank her for all her help but that simple text didn’t say enough. As a mom of two boys she has more experience with a group of boys but I was outclassed and learned a lot. I took my three straight home, she took the four she had with her to Braums. Wish I’d thought of that.