Family Life

“Get Dad, he knows”

Dads working from home do a lot more than you think!

“Where’s Bella?” asked a sleepy O, pushing his blonde mop back from still-closed eyes,  when Mom came in to call him again for school.

Mom didn’t know.

 “Get Dad, he knows …”

So, where was I just then … which of my many morning jobs was I engaged in  … maybe I was putting on Mom’s egg, and the kettle was nearly boiled for her coffee.

Hah, you see, they don’t know all the stuff work-from-home Dad is doing, especially when they are just getting themselves sorted for school and my wife for her work, until things go wrong, or something ruffles the surface of the morning school day routine in our house.

Yes, like a good Maitre D’, or football referee, they just don’t notice the subtleties of my performance until there is a system malfunction — and not always of my doing.

The work/school morning chez nous goes something like this: our heating system is  dodgy, but not dodgy enough to call in a plumber for €80, so I get up around 6.30 to switch on the immersion. I may check emails and the headlines on my phone, or sneak back into duvet heaven for half-an-hour.

The alarms goes around 7.10, and it’s downstairs to sort out Bella the dog.

I have to bring Bella upstairs for a five-minute under the duvet snuggle with K, first, and then O. A second longer with either and there is trouble.

But before this, Bella has to be taken outside to clear her system

Bella, our terrier in excelsis, has her own way of doing things: not for her the obvious immediate pee and return to the house … she has to sniff and scratch in the grass patch beside our house for a while, making scents of it all, before she has her first pee — the long one. Then she has to sniff around a little more before a second, shorter pee.

Now when I say sniff, we are talking some serious, serious nose action. No connoisseur of the finest wines known to man would put more nasal know-how into their work. Given the time, Bella would go through every individual blade of grass.

I try to hurry her along, but just like with the kids, she will push my patience just to breaking point before obeying my instructions. Or even acknowledging my presence. Selective deafness, you see, again just like the kids.

I eventually get her to quit the green area, but now she may decide she needs a poo. The funny thing is she always pees in the grass but poos on solid ground, either the path or the laneway nearby

If she does need a poo, she walks faster and faster, her busy little legs a blur now, sniffing for the perfect spot, stops, completes a mimimum of three full circles before releasing her precious load. 

After I bag the poo we’re ready for home, but if Bella hasn’t had a big enough walk the previous day, she will try to run across the main road to do some further exploring. She expects to be stopped, and without breaking stride will turn for home when I raise my voice.

Any sign of weakness though, or a lack of concentration, and she gets across the road, she is gone. Around the corner, and a serious chase is on.

So, we’re in, ablutions complete, wipe Bella’s paws with kitchen towel if the grass was wet, and it’s up to K’s room … “Five minutes, and up you get K …”

Then  it’s normally downstairs to set the egg and coffee part in motion, while Mom showers. Then I grab Bella again and bring her in to O.

Down I go again, to sort out K’s cereal and prepare O’s Readybrek for the microwave.

So how did I miss my Bella cue with O this morning? … ah yes, I was doing the Christmas lights thing … Christmas tree, various illuminated Santas, elves, snowmen, candles, houses, and grottos, all battery operated, and plug in the large nodding reindeer in the hall. It’s still dark so they will go on for a half-an-four, until just after the gang have left for school and work.

O has woken up okay, so he is only slagging Mom; if the head is down and speech is at a minimum she might not get away so lightly.

Breakfast is set and the egg is done — runny, but not too runny and the coffee is poured. Mom has finished off O’s Readybrek, but it’s not right.

“Mom, it’s not the way Dad does it … it should be more powdery …”

Christmas is coming and we’re on the wind-down, so we’re laughing at the whole scenario, Mom and I. What sort of idiots are we, that we do all this, just so the lads can get themselves ready for school without much hassle … well, with as little hassle as one can expect with a young teenage girl who must get her hair just right before she will even come down the stairs, and a boy whose favourite place in the world is school … not.

“Feckin’ Goldilocks, we have here …” I say to our boy now. “Who’s been making my Readybrek, it’s not powdery enough … there’s not enough milk, there’s too much milk….”

He looks at me, as if he is about to let loose, but a beautiful smile cracks open, and he takes the ball and runs with it..

“Yeah, Dad … you just can’t get good service in this house, we’ll have to sack Mom ..”

Soon they’re all in the car, Bella has picked a lovely comfy spot on the back of the sitting room couch, and I put the kettle on for my coffee, and maybe a sneaky Wispa from the Selection Box we’re not supposed to open yet, and up to my home office.  Gosh, I so love Christmas.

A beautiful poem by American poet Robert Hayden caught my eye on Twitter the other day and it made me think of all this largely unseen Dad action, the stuff our kids take for granted … and sure why wouldn’t they, really? I did when I was a boy.

Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

 I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he’d call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house, 

Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices?

— Robert Hayden
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31 comments on ““Get Dad, he knows”

  1. Sometimes I think, largely unseen is so much of human relationships…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. True. Of course I was bigging myself up. A bit tongue in cheek!! Thanks for your comment


  3. When I was working I was always out before anyone else was up, so I missed moments like those. You should treasure them – I can never experience them now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do treasure them a lot of the time — I actually love doing all those things: it’s just a little recognition from a certain junior pair wouldn’t go amiss!! See, I am torn between altruism and narcissism! Nothing new there, Clive!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My son always had the opinion that his dad could mend or fix anything and everything! #thatfridaylinky@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

  5. love the poem, and so true. I can’t fix a thing but there is so much around here that wouldn’t get done without me doing it. Unsung heroes we are #thatfridaylinky

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As a single Dad – this rings so true! Even though my babies are 17 now!
    Hope you had a good Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It seems to be the plight of parents to give everything for their children, and only when they have their own children do they really understand the sacrifice. My dad always did and still does just quietly get on with things – you’ve reminded me to thank him 🙂 #BlogCrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true … I really appreciate how much my own dad did – and how much and so much I took for granted! Thanks for your comment


  8. RaisieBay

    You’ve got me thinking now, about the little things that my husband does that go unnoticed…. does coming in and switching on the Playstation count? or the endless hours of football on television? No, seriously, I couldn’t manage without him. (I think!) We all take other people for granted sometimes, it’s nice to reflect. I’m so glad I don’t have a dog to care for though.


    • Whatever about the humans, I could not imagine life without our Bella — she has been such a source of joy in our family. I believe our son could contemplate life without mom or dad, but life without Bella — unthinkable! My own version of Playstation is Fantasy Football — it has been a cause of tension, let us say! I admit I was being selective above, zoning in on the good bits. But check out other posts and you will see i don’t always go so easy on myself! Thanks for stopping by


  9. Yes as my hubby fixes most, my boys things it is ok if something gets broke that he will fix it. X #themmlinky

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In our house, it’s definitely, “get mum, mum knows.” Dad’s great, but largely useless at making, finding, mending, sorting, organising. A lovely insight into your mornings – Bella sounds fab! Thanks for sharing with #TheMMLinky


  11. Definitely sounds like you have a lot to do in the mornings! Thanks for linking up with #TheMMlinky

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A fair bit but I wouldn’t have it any other way really! Thanks for hosting the linky👍☺


  13. Oh my, you have so hit the nail on the head there. Whether it be Mum or Dad who is the one at home, no one ever realise the extent of the work we do. My girls invariably only appreciate things when we’ve run out of something which they used the last of, but neglected to advise me, assuming there is a fairy who provides all things magically. I really wouldn’t change it though, one day the boot will be on the other foot, and honestly, I cannot wait to jump on their furniture and eat all the food in the cupboards 😉 x


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lisa … do you think we’ll get a chance to do that? I hope I have the energy to jump off their furniture!!!


  14. Love this. It is amazing what we all contribute to the smooth running of the routine in our house. Maybe we should all remember this at times #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s funny because I’m dog sitting a dog called Bella this week and she is definitely trying my patience and pushing my limits! I always like thinking about the small parts we all play in the larger picture. #KCACOLS


  16. The organized chaos that is the morning routine. Always so much to do for everyone. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

    Liked by 1 person

  17. If dogs ever learn to talk the first thing I’m asking is WTF they are sniffing for when decided where to dump #KCACOLS


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