This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, February 28, 2001

February 28, 2001 - Trials of a House Husband

This week, my wife is in England. Suzanne and her father have relatives back there, and my father-in-law, now in his seventies, got the itch to go. When he wistfully suggested that perhaps Suzanne would like to go along, I encouraged her to go for it — an opportunity not only to get to know him better, but also for her to return, for a time, to her globe trotting youth.

So I'm spending the week looking after the kids and being a house-husband.

I have to admit that I thought, for almost a day, that this would be a kind of vacation for me. I'd have a chance to rest up. But that was before I got a close look at my wife's schedule.

For one thing, there's the home schooling of our son, Perry. He's quick, and I'm expecting to have a lot of fun with him. But it's not the same thing as lying around and watching TV.

I don't have to worry about my daughter's education. Maddy goes to the local middle school, and I'm very proud to report that she has just been accepted into the National Junior Honor Society.

On the other hand, she has an amazing number of appointments during the week: sports, music, and more. Toss Perry's extracurricular activities into the mix, and you've got a lot of tearing around the metro area.

Then we get into the other stuff. Now, I enjoy cooking. Unfortunately, the things I like to make are not the things my kids like to eat. I love soups and casseroles. I like things that simmer and stew and blend. Alas. My daughter believes that rice and peas should be set down as far from each other as possible on her plate, if not eaten in separate states entirely. My son's idea of wild commingling is a hamburger AND a bun.

So I'll be pursuing a simplicity theme this week. But that might be kind of fun, too. And I will say that my wife left me some interesting books, particularly "One Bite Won't Kill You: More than 200 Recipes to Tempt Even the Pickiest Kids on Earth," by Ann Hodgman. It's a hilarious cookbook.

I'm committed, also, to the notion that when Suzanne gets back, there won't be anything that I let pile up. She will find groceries in the fridge. The house will be straightened and vacuumed. The dishes and the clothes will be washed. The children will have practiced their instruments, attended their lessons, and fulfilled all their obligations.

And I, I suspect, will have the chance to go back to the library, seeing it for the island of calm and peace that I suspect it really is.

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