At 5:00 PM, I lumbered into a Wells Fargo lobby. In tow were my four children–my seven, three, and one-year-old biological kids and our one-year-old foster daughter. Just before closing time, we made a noisy entrance and I apologized to the teller that we needed a few documents notarized.
My wife was out of town and I had no other options: I needed to conquer this task that night. And I trusted the small children would respect the serenity of the bank branch.
We sat down in a banker’s office and I opened up a family platter of Chick-fil-A nuggets for the kids. I breached those bank doors fully-loaded. We were ready.
Five minutes later, though, we were just beginning the notarization and the nuggets had been dumped on the bank floor, one toddler was pushing her stroller through the bank, and the other was working on a massive poop. With no way of changing the soiled diaper while still containing the other three small children, I chose my only option. Over the next 20 minutes, I signed and the banker stamped and we all smelled the aromas wafting up and out from my daughter’s soiled diaper.
We eventually made it to out of there. It wasn’t pretty. Ketchup residue lined my kids’ faces and hands. I barely kept my cool. But we had our documents and were in business again.
For four days, I was a solo parent. But survival felt like success. Tender moments and creativity were exchanged for fast food and early, perfunctory bedtimes.
Single dads: My hat is off to you. I do not know how you do it. I do not know how you maintain your sanity. I do not know how you survive. But I have never been more impressed by you than I am today.
Postscript: Need a good starter on the key ways you can help your kids thrive? Start with these five ideas.
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Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash