Yesterday he took the boys to Aldi's, a discount supermarket, and Superman Returns, played chess with Johnny, fed J.J. bottles, and did all the other things that come with being an at-home parent.
After Aldi's he asked, "Did you know you have to put down a deposit on your cart? Did you know you have to buy your own bags?"
These are things moms around here know, but I can see how they would be surprising to first-timers.
Other lessons learned: Never change a diaper until you at least know the general viscinity of the wet wipes. If you're going to give Johnny a chocolate bar, you might as well give him a triple espresso to wash it down with because it makes him crazy hyper. Do not even make it appear that you're going to touch J.J.'s food. It's best to keep a 3-foot distance from his high chair. The distance from your parking spot to wherever you're going is "miles." At least it always seems that way. Let Johnny win in chess. Let Richie win at superheros. Let J.J. win at peekaboo. Because if they're happy, you win.
And my favorite, at the end of the day, Justin said, "I am so tired from watching the kids. I don't know how you do it."
Granted, Justin was watching the kids while injured and he doesn't have five years of on-the-job training under his belt. And I'm sure I'd say the same thing if I tried to be a carpenter for a couple weeks. Still, it was nice to hear.
After all this, I am one freelance client richer and more motivated than ever to find more. That way, I can keep doing the toughest job I'll never get paid for.