fire life

When the Fire Schedule Doesn’t Work

These two brothers adore their daddy. I mean, so do I. And not just FireDad but I adore my own father. They’re similar in nature that they’re both very involved, very loving and generally fun dads. You know, except when BigBrother attempts to smart mouth me (oh, preschool) and FireDad has to remind him to use his manners in his Daddy Voice. But, generally, these two boys simply adore their daddy.

Which is why BigBrother is having a hard time as of late.

The realities of fire life and the schedule firefighters keep is starting to dawn on BigBrother. FireDad works 24 hours at the fire department and then has two full days at home with the boys (and me!). He normally leaves on his shift day before either of the boys wake up for the day. However, on Thursday, he had a class (followed by the rest of his shift) and so he didn’t leave until 7:15. As BigBrother is a seven-zero-zero riser, he got to spend a few minutes with his daddy before FireDad had to leave. Well, this resulted in tears and some necessary cuddling with me to get him to calm down. FireDad promised to spend a few minutes with BigBrother when his class was over at 5:00 in the afternoon before he had to go to the fire house to finish his shift.

Except that his class ended early. At 3:00. Which is the time that I pick BigBrother up from preschool. And then we had errands to run. So, we totally missed FireDad. We did stop at the fire department for a few minutes. But BigBrother was rather upset.

So when FireDad came home this morning, BigBrother said to him, in the saddest voice ever, “Daddy, will you stay with me today?” And normally, the answer would be yes. But not today. FireDad needed to go help his grandfather with some outdoor work. This news was not received well and has resulted in a very grumpy BigBrother thus far today.

It used to be acceptable to tell BigBrother that FireDad was at work. For LittleBrother, it still is. But BigBrother wants time with daddy as of late. I think that perhaps tomorrow I will make sure that the two of them get some one-on-one time. But for today, I’ll have to offer some extra cuddles and extra patience to a little boy who misses his hero.

In fact, I kind of miss him too…

4 replies on “When the Fire Schedule Doesn’t Work”

Awwww! Break a reader’s heart, why dontcha? I’m sure you and FireDad will be able to brainstorm a special activity for them to do to catch up on some needed Dad-and-LittleDude time. I’m sure it’s little consolation right now, but you are doing a great job teaching BigBrother to verbalize his feelings!

Katie in MAs last blog post..The If Question that feels like home.

I agree with Katie in Ma that “Dad and Son” time is a good idea. My kids loved going on errands with dad. My daughter loved when she got to go without her sister.

For a while my husband was teaching high school full-time, coaching high school volleyball, and in graduate school — very busy. On nights where he had a chance to go home between assignments it was actually better for the kids when he didn’t stop by. My daughter at 3 or so had no concept of time — to her a few minutes meant hours and vice versa. She would get upset when he had to leave. It was better for all of us when I would day “you’ll see Daddy tomorrow.” She understood that.

Also, my husband would leave the kids a note each. Nothing elaborate just something that I could read to them. Often the note would be carried around like a treasured item.

You and FireDad seem very high-tech. How about a camera hooked to FD’s laptop and use skype? BB could see/talk to dad during the shift. O.K. full disclaimer from nontechie that I have no idea if this would work or not, but thought I would suggest it!

Musings from Mes last blog post..My Son Is Trouble and mumble, mumble, The Washington Post Called!

Oh poor BB. My son has been missing daddy just while he is at work all day lately. We have gone through I just want mommy time and then I just want daddy time and back again. Right now I think my little guy is just learning the realities of having daddy work outside the home. It has only been a year since we both worked at home.

Upstatemomof3s last blog post..Review of Tuttobellisimo

We’re going through a similar thing here, too. But I think BB has it rough because of FireDad’s schedule with being there 2 days, then not at all, etc. My Dad was a police officer and worked 4-midnight my whole life. So he always left for work before we got home from school and was sometimes sleeping when we got up to leave so there were days and days of not seeing him then he was around for 3 days straight. It kinda of gets confusing to a small one. What we do here is we have a big calander on the frig. Our older son “crosses the days” off every day and can see how Monday’s he goes to school and Daddy to work, etc and we kind of “check off” the days until we will be all together as a family again. Hope this help! Poor BB. {{{Hugs}}} for all of you!

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