The Domestic Totem Pole of Power


At varying times spent in my current domestic capacity, I envisioned the power rankings of the many members of my family as one large totem pole–the powerful residing up there at the top, the meek at the bottom, just as you would expect.

Strange.  I know.

But now that my not-too-thrilled-to-be-a-part-of-this-outside-the-womb-world son Zachary has entered the picture, I found myself reassessing the current rankings around here.

What I found wasn’t pretty.

#6:  IKE


Desperation Stinks

He poops on the floor.  He has weaponized vomit.  He scratches my bedroom door EVERY SINGLE NIGHT FIVE YEARS RUNNING AND WILL NEVER CEASE UNTIL ONE OF US IS DEEP BENEATH THE COLD COLD GROUND.

These are the acts of a desperate soul.



One Small Step from Oblivion

Me?  Here?  Yup.  And it’s not false modesty either.

Perhaps before baby Zachary’s arrival I would have ranked myself higher, but lately it’s been increasingly clear that I have no power in this house.  I can’t feed him.  I can’t put him to bed successfully.  I can’t keep him from crying.  And any time he needs a diaper change, I jump at the chance.  Why?  It’s something I can do to help.  And it’s the part that involves baby bits and bodily fluids.  Sigh.

Concerning Audrey, well…all she wants is Momma these days thanks to her jealousy toward Zachary.  I try to fill the void but, I’d just as well be a piece of unused furniture.

Mostly pointless.

#4:  MOMMA


Not Too Embarrassing, Honey!

Momma may be the center of our children’s world right now, but that doesn’t mean she holds any real power.  Her role, basically, is to serve the two little ingrates.  Mostly with boobs.  And while that makes her a more useful member of the house than, say…me, it doesn’t exactly put her atop the mountain now does it?



An Unstoppable Force and Immovable Object in One Pint-Sized Package

She’s loud.  She’s bossy.  She’s Audrey.

As much as my wife and I try to make her brush her teeth, wash her hands, sit on the potty, and not eat three-week-old dried-up cat-hair-encrusted Cheerios, the truth is we fail quite often.  I’m not proud to admit that—and we do keep things in check around here as best we can—but if she doesn’t want to pick up her toys, she won’t.

And if you double-down and push her, she throws a fit.

And if you fight that fit, you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Yup.  Sounds like power to me.



The Squeaky Wheel

On this earth for one month and he’s already in the passenger seat.  Why?  Because our entire lives revolve around his whims.

  • Is he screaming because he’s hungry?  Got to drop everything and feed him.  Sure hope you weren’t hoping to get to your friend’s house in time for kickoff.
  • Is he screaming because he pooped himself?  Unless you’ve got earplugs, drop that fork and knife, friend!  You’re not eating steak.  You’ve got poop on your hands instead.
  • Is he screaming because he’s tired?  Hope you’re close to a crib or in the mood to walk his stroller around the neighborhood for an hour because that’s your immediate future, buddy.

Powerful stuff.

#1:  MONTY


It’s best not to say “No” to him.


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