Posted by: Hannah | 08/27/2012

men, unprepared

Luna’s mom had an accident last week.

She was thrown from a horse; broke her collarbone & four ribs.

She will be OK, eventually, although ribs in particular take a very long time to heal. She’s also in a lot of pain, and is confined to her bed for at least another week to try and give the bones a fighting chance to start the process of knitting together.

In the meantime, her husband is off work so he can stay home with the kids (and horses, and dogs, and cats). He’s been getting Luna to and from my house, and packing her lunch and daybag.

This has taught me a valuable lesson: if you are the primary caregiver and thus in charge of the tiny details involved in running The Corporation, write everything down lest you get hit by a bus. It will amaze and astound you how much of the stuff currently taking up hard drive space inside your head is completely unknown to your VP.

Luna’s mom had finally taken on board that I am serious about punctuality. Luna’s dad has no idea of the existence of clocks.

Luna’s mom packs her a bag with two complete changes of clothes every day, plus extra underwear for the newly-toilet-trained. Luna’s dad sent her a bag today with last week’s peed laundry still in it, one pair of underwear belonging to Molly, and a sock with no mate.

Luna’s mom always makes sure Luna wears a bucket-style hat and shoes she can put on herself, Little Miss Independent that she is. Luna’s dad sent her with no hat at all and hightop lace-up shoes, double-knotted in the Gordian style.

He doesn’t understand about the difference – in timing and price – between a full day and a half day. He doesn’t know that juice boxes from home are a no-no unless you send one for everybody; after all, one juice box + three toddlers = ARMAGEDDON.

These are all minor things, but he was downright crestfallen and apologetic as I pointed these things out, and it made me uncomfortable because I get it, I know, his wife is injured and he’s coping as best he can. I’m not being mean about it, either – but she could be out of the loop for a while, and with school starting next week the routine is going to get really important in just a few days.

I know a lot of moms (and yes, there are exceptions, blah-di-blah, 99% of the time its the mommies, go away) who are fully at the wheel in terms of organizing. Dental appointments, shoe sizes, food likes and dislikes, teacher’s first name, etc. etc. It happens. And when mom is out of commission, the kids are still a) alive; b) fed; and c) clean enough. But the other stuff? We shouldn’t expect Dad to be able to slide seamlessly into a new job without giving him the parameters first.

So I propose the Household Manual. All that stuff. ALL THE STUFF. The stuff mom has to remember. When sign-up day for swimming lessons is. Which brand of lunchbox snacks are nut-free. You know what I mean. This should all be written down, and updated frequently, and left in a safe place.

Just in case.




  1. That is a very VERY good idea. I shall implement it as soon as we’ve settled in the new place. I hope Luna’s mom recovers fast!

  2. “and yes, there are exceptions, blah-di-blah… go away…” made me laugh out loud. Because, whether it should be the case or not, it’s true.

    I think the Household Manual is a BRILLIANT idea.

  3. Ooooh, boy. This speaks to me. I’m not even sure that my husband knows start and end times of school. I should make a list; of course, my kids are old enough now that they would be able to tell their dad what door to take them to but still…I am the sole doctor/dentist/optometrist/any other appointment maker in the house – I’m not even sure if he knows who the kids’ dentist is. Good grief. Now I’m stressing out. When I had my vein surgery and I was laid up for a while, it was during spring break so essentially he just had to feed and bathe the children, which isn’t exactly hard. Of course, when he was responsible for meals he said “Oh, I can just stick some chicken fingers in the oven.” I was like, well, honey, you kind of have to cook for ME too. Heh. He made me a lot of veggie wraps. GOOD GRIEF. I need to finish this and make a list!

    • I didn’t mean to stress you out, Nicole – sorry about that. It struck me though that Michael and I share lots of things in case of emergency – computer passwords, debit card PINs, etc. – but that until he took the kids to their annual dental appointments for me last week (which was awesome, BTW, kisses to you, honey because I know you’re reading this) he didn’t know the dentist’s name or where her office is. I just think most moms – especially us SAHM moms, because let’s face it, this shit is our job right now – keep it all inside their heads, never stopping to consider that if something were to happen to us that our husbands would have ready access to the so-called important stuff, but might not have a clue which day of the week is Library Day or what food choices are OK for preschool snack day.

      If I were gods forbid in the hospital – or worse – I’d hate to think that Michael was experiencing added stress because the teacher (or the caregiver, or whoever) had to tell him a bunch of stuff that he shouldn’t necessarily need to remember like I do, but should at least be able to look up in a handy binder or something.

  4. Hmm… this now leaves me wondering what I might know that PH doesn’t. He took Owl to daycare during those two days at Corporate Care and I was actually impressed by his ability to do it successfully. The only mistake he made was not bringing bum cream, and that was partially a daycare fail because the bum cream was in the bag the whole time (unbeknownst to PH)

  5. […] rather be home all day, not facing the Big Bad World with all its “people” and “things that need remembering“. Despite my many reminders, he still cannot get it through his head that offering Luna too […]

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