Help wanted . . .

Last week, I had my wisdom teeth out. My dentist had been telling me for years they needed to come out, but they weren’t really bothering me. I knew one day I would be ready for a break from my usual routine, which is what recovering from wisdom tooth surgery requires. There were times I’d day dream about snoozing on the couch for a few days, having complete control of the TV. Not providing answers to any questions or services to any children or spouses.

But I always stopped short of scheduling the surgery. I joked that it was my fear of being videotaped saying something silly, as so many wisdom tooth removal patients are. But really, who’s gonna do what I do if I don’t? Imagine the skill set needed:

Help Wanted: Reliable, friendly, patient person needed to take care of the following (this is not a complete list of required duties).


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  1. Toilet Paper Manager. This involves knowing whether to buy strong or soft toilet paper and being willing to stick to that decision no matter the consequences. Light math required to determine both roll size (Quiz: If the package states that 9 roles equals 36 rolls, is that more or less useful than a package that states 20 rolls equals 80 rolls?*) and roll distribution over the number of bathrooms in the house, accounting for more or less frequent usage at certain locations.

  2. Dinner Czar. The Dinner Czar must plan shop for and prepare a nutritious dinner that all in the family enjoy. Pitfalls include: previously unmentioned food aversions; food sensitivities that mysteriously contradict one another (one child avoids green foods while another is sure that each meal must include green foods); the moving target that is hockey practice; dog or cat getting to the food before anyone bothers to show up for dinner. Alternatives are not limited to making a junk food dinner that no one likes and/or taco tuesday.

  3. Animal Caregiver: Feed one dog, 5 cats, 1 chicken. Replace water regularly for all. Gather daily chicken egg. Clean up cat vomit. Ability to nap while dog vomits a plus.

  4. Delegator-in-Chief. The DIG must be able to identify tasks which can be delegated, persevere through being ignored or refused and be willing to use positive ($$) or negative (phone privelidges yanked) reinforcement. The job must get done by the delegated party, even if it takes a few tries.







That’s just some of the stuff I do in one day! I was really curious how everyone would manage with so few of these skills (i figured they’d all just be stuck on various toilets yelling for toilet paper as I binge watched The Handmaid’s Tail, “oblivious.”). As it turned out, I have a secret weapon: my husband. Usually, he has work of course, and then when he’s home he’s very busy with stuff I never do like weeding, or power washing the patio or playing video games (just kidding. I play video games with hime often). I should have known he was totally up to the task (he actually got more done around the house than I ever would have!) long ago. When our youngest kids were born and we had a family of four children under 5, I remarked that I was now responsible for 100 finger and toenails, including my own. That day, he started carrying nail clippers in his pocket, and even though my oldest is 18, he still takes care of every nail!

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