Diary of a SAHD: Free range chicken – a weekend of solitude

So the sickness has been strong in this house for a few weeks. We all got sick to varying degrees. AM went on nebulizer treatments, Frank had a respiratory infection, Tracy had the flu and was sent outside the camp (her mom’s house), for three days. Me, I had a little bit of everything, to include the infection. Of course as all my fellow Stay At Home Parents (SAPs – Ha! awesome. The H is silent) can attest, no rest for the Commander-In-Chief of the House, or CINC House, no matter how sick, no matter how weary. Wow, that’s a lot of acronyms in one sentence. Makes me all misty for the performance reports I had to write in the Air Force.

Of course we all recovered, although not all at the same time it was pretty close.

It’s good to be healthy, but even better to be recognized for the effort. Surprise surprise, Mrs Frank’s Place decided to reward my valor in the face of unrelenting kid snot and bringing credit upon myself, multi-children families, and Stay at Home Dads everywhere. There was a ceremony and everything. (Not really)

Instead of the dried out cake from the Wal-mart bakery we used to get for promotions, retirements, etc… I got something even better. Tracy decided to take the kids and Grammy to North Carolina to see her brother and his family. They left on Friday morning and returned Monday night around 7pm.

For those of you not getting it, I was home alone for almost four whole days. A hero’s prize indeed.

It was interesting to say the least. First off, the gang departed almost with-in an hour of their target time. That alone will baffle physicists for years.

The other peculiarity – how quickly I organized a to do list in my head. Motivation = crystallization/activation. Wednesday night a plan crystallized, get the house cleaned as much as possible before they leave on Friday. Thursday was activation as I covertly cleaned where I could. I didn’t want to seem eager to get rid of them. Jedi calm was in order. So when I saw an area I could pick up, I did. No fanfare. I didn’t sing my usual songs about how I was the greatest cleaning daddy of all time.

This required keeping an eye on the bigger picture. Four freaking days by myself in a clean house, on NFL championship Sunday no less. On to the play by play.

The kitchen is my normal haunt, so I could be open about making it spotless. Always good to have a base of operations. Start off with a clean base and branch out from there. The living room would fall next, then I would subdue the downstair’s bath. Then a special op to take out the dinning room, a staging area for crap since Christmas. SAPs, I was focused and firing on all eight. So short of a good vacuuming, the downstairs was solid by Friday morning. Laundry was already in the works so Tracy would have clothes to pack for her and the kids.

Nothing to do in the house until they left so I got the Starship Frankerprise (the van) clean and ready to depart for the six hour ride. I set up the cockpit area with Tracy’s sunglasses, box of tissues, and the folder of DVD’s to put movies on for Frank in the second row. Only thing left to do was assist in the departure Friday morning. Once they were gone it would be t-shirts, home shorts, and sports on TV four days straight. Or so I thought.

A weird thing happened on the way to my boxer shorts/no shave weekend alone. I got the urge to keep cleaning.

I knew the rest of Friday morning would be spent cleaning the upstairs. I felt like I could be done by lunch, hit the Kroger for supplies and be home to watch TV until Monday night. At that moment the plan was still in tact. AM’s room would be first because it was easiest. Not much to pick up, empty the diaper sausage maker machine thing, empty the trash and vacuum when I vacuum the entire upstairs. Boom! I’m rolling.

The bonus room was next. Picked it up empty trash, vacuum. Boom! Then Frank’s room. Same thing. Damn this kid has a lot of crumbs on his floor. Make a note to stop giving him food at bedtime. Boom. Our bedroom would be toughest, but that was relative.

We had some Christmas decorations in a bag in our bedroom. Took that to the storage closet in the bonus room. I was gonna just jam it in there and proceed but the closet was such a mess. Ah only about 1o minutes to reorg that, no problem. While on the floor moving the pieces around I noticed the carpet in there was getting a little rough. A small apple juice stain here, a mustard stain there. Gonna need to shampoo this joint.

As I’m vacuuming the upstairs to make ready for the carpet cleaning I’m having a running debate in my head.

Are you freaking crazy? Go put on some home clothes and watch a Bar Rescue marathon. What the hell are you doing? Well it would be nice to get this place cleaned up, get the carpet cleaned. Yes it sure would, but not on your hero’s vacation weekend. But if not now, when?

The carpet cleaner is not as heavy as it looks and I hefted it up the stairs with little effort. I could not believe how good I felt about that room after the carpet was clean. Well hell, now the hallway looks bad by comparison. That won’t take long. And it didn’t. I had already moved my clothes folding station to the bedroom, so the bonus room looked like the huge room it was when we moved in 10 years ago.

Getting late. Need to hit the Kroger for food, none of it healthy but none of it would cause dirty dishes. For whatever reason the deluxe grahams lasted a lot longer than I thought they would.

Polished the kitchen furniture and hardwood floor after dinner that night. Friday night TV sucks.

How was the other half fairing, being away from dear old dad for the weekend?

clearly missing his father

clearly missing his father

Distraught without daddy

Distraught without daddy


Up by 8 Saturday morning. The Tennessee/Kentucky game was on at noon so I only had time to fix the smoke alarms and the CO2 detector in the hall. Game ended in disappointment. Welcome to Tennessee college sports. Took my angst out on the laundry. Got it all washed and folded.

There was golf on but for some reason I could not bring myself to sit down and watch it. I had no idea what was going on. It went like that all weekend. I would feel like sitting down and a spot in the house would pop into my head along with the thought of how to better organize it or clean it. When I did sit down I would find myself getting weepy during emotional moments of a movie.

What in the actual hell?!?!

Now I did enjoy the time alone. But therein lies the problem. I enjoyed it because the house was getting cleaned, not because I was alone. Although that was an added benefit. Except at night. I’m deathly afraid of the dark when I’m alone.

That’s a separate story stemming from a weekend shopping trip my wife went on before we had kids, if y’all want to hear it some other time.

The house was so lit up, in coming flights at Knoxville Airport were diverting over the Sac by mistake. I set it up so I’m turing off lights behind me as I make my way upstairs. That requires almost all lights in the house to be on prior to it getting dark. I know what my father would think, I can’t imagine what the Sac thought as the entire house was lit up well past midnight. I was going to bed around 1-1:30 in the am.

Anyway, the more clean and organized the house became, the more at peace I was. I’m not at all sure how to feel about that.

So lets recap: urge to clean, whacking junk food 9000 calories at a time, getting weepy at sappy movies.

It’s possible I may be pregnant. That would explain this excess weight.

Golf weather can’t come soon enough.

Special shout out to my angel of a sister-in-law Rachel for allowing my kids to trash her house for the last four days instead of mine.



This entry was posted in Diaries.

9 comments on “Diary of a SAHD: Free range chicken – a weekend of solitude

  1. JETSR says:

    Francis….you have a skill brother and your blog is your perfect outlet for sharing it with all of us 🙂

  2. whatshupp says:

    I’m not really sure what to say. Now that I’ve read it, I can’t unread it.. Maybe I need to get the boys together for an intervention….a man-vention, but this could be beyond my expertise. We may need a professional. If you start knitting booties or taking Lamaze classes……

    • fmlinardo says:

      Well, that stuff is behind me now. But I was the star of the Le Leche breast feeding class Tracy and I went to prior to Frank. That is not an exaggeration. Ask Tracy.

  3. Mark Baldini says:

    Ummm, have you check the Man Berries lately to see if they are still there?
    I suggest you go out and buy a Gen 4 Glock 17 and a couple hundred rounds of ammo. You can do that now, unlike last year. Then head out to the woods and kill something. That should reset you.

  4. […] A couple posts back I was gloating about getting to spend four days and nights alone as the whole family went to North Carolina for the long weekend. Read it here if you so desire: Free Range Chicken […]

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