How Tough Could It Be?

The Trials and Errors of a Sportswriter Turned Stay-at-Home Dad

Austin Murphy

Henry Holt and Co.

From How Tough Could It Be?:
I am not doing this for Laura's approval. I am doing it to find out what it feels like to live in her world, to learn valuable skills and lessons such as: What Happens When Young Children Are Not Fed Dinner On Time. Answer: They undergo cataclysmic, Old Testament meltdowns such as the collapse suffered by Willa, who had been reading on the sofa in the living room until choosing this moment to cast her Lemony Snicket book on the floor and sob, "I'm hungry!" After intense negotiations-Would she like Chee-tos? Hellll no. "I like the puffy ones but you always get the skinny kind!" she accuses, bitterly-she agrees to accept buttered toast and a glass of milk.
As Laura showers and I prepare Willa's snack, a suspicious growling emanates from Spike's crate. Funny, I don't remember incarcerating the dog. Closer inspection reveals a crate occupied by Spike and a certain six-year-old. They are having a little taco-shell picnic. I reach down to open the gate, latched from the inside by Devin, then think better of it. What we are killing here, with dog and boy in self-imposed captivity, is two birds with one stone.