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My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
World's Most Patient Father

This past Wednesday—the day we drove from Georgia back to Kansas—was probably the longest day I have experienced since I labored 22 hours with JJ. Except for the day three weeks ago when we went from Kansas to Georgia. Both of those road trips were much like giving birth. Long, laborious, loud, and painful.

Only without the aid of powerful drugs.

(Note:  I will post a video on Monday entitled “1 Minute in the Car with 2 Toddlers.” I dare you to come back and watch the whole thing.)

One of our favorite places for respite on road trips is at Chick-fil-A, and I could give you so many reasons why:

  • The bathrooms are spotless (priorities, people).
  • The customer service is unmatched.
  • They have plenty of sanitizing gel, wet wipes and plastic, disposable placemats for the kids (OCD much?).
  • Two words:  Waffle. Fries.
  • The kid’s meals are actually healthy.
  • And they have indoor playgrounds where the kiddos can run out some energy.
Chick-fil-A Playground

For those reasons (and more), we plan our 16-hour trips around various Chick-fil-A locations.

Wednesday was no different. The kids began to melt down in the car around the 10th hour. I could tell that Averi had wet through her diaper, and JJ was screaming just to match her screams.

It was like we were trapped in a hyena den just before mealtime. 

We found the nearest Chick-fil-A and let the kids spend a good half hour in the play area. There was only one other adult in the room—a man close to our age who sat patiently on the bench across from us. He didn’t have much to say except he chuckled from time to time as children squealed with delight.

Nearly a dozen kids ran in and out of that room throughout the 30 minutes we were there, and I began to notice that none of them actually belonged to this patient man. He just sat there. With that same patient smile on his face. I did notice that he held a pair of princess shoes, so my mind didn’t immediately go to an episode of Law & Order SVU as it normally would.

It came close to our time to leave, and we told JJ he could take one more turn down the slide. (Averi had already lost interest and started eating pieces of the playground equipment—hence the importance of the sanitizing wipes.) As JJ descended we heard screams of laughter from half a dozen children who all decided to come down the slide together. Mixed into the group was a precious, 2 1/2-year-old girl who we hadn’t seen the entire time we were there.

The patient man caught a glimpse of her amongst the group and quietly said, “Finally.”

And then he proceeded to put on her princess shoes as he explained, “I told her one last time about 45 minutes ago, and she’d been up there ever since.”

Wait…seriously?!?!?

That patient father waited there for nearly AN HOUR. Patiently. Just waited there. Without a word.

The two smiled as they left the playground area hand-in-hand. He must have smiled because he was about to starve half to death, and he was now mere moments away from a fresh pile of Waffle fries. She must have smiled because she successfully milked that “one last time” into a 45-minute hostage situation.

Well played, Little Princess Shoes. Well. Played. 

Would you have waited patiently and quietly like this father? Or climbed up the enclosed slide declaring, “If you don’t get down her RIGHT NOW, you will NOT get to watch Elmo in the car,” like I would do?

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Comments to "The World’s Most Patient Father"

  1. Judy Mitchell

    August 9, 2013

    That man deserves an award! After 5 minutes I’d have been all like let’s go NOW in my mom voice.

    • katyinacorner

      August 9, 2013

      @Judy Mitchell You and me both, Judy!

  2. KellieLeasTurner

    August 9, 2013

    Wow! That’s some patience and one smart princess. My kids have no concept of time….so I tell them two more minutes and that lasts as long as I want. If they come down the slide right after I say it…I call them over before they can run back up. It’s going to suck when they learn that pesky time telling.

  3. GMan

    August 9, 2013

    Katy,
    I probably was not that patient as a father. (You don’t need to comment here.) However, as G-Man, absolutely. I know three children right now that can have my attention for as long as they need it! And that includes forgoing my acrophobia, standing at the top of a three story slide, and watching them climb up and slide down for hours. Okay maybe the “for hours” is a bit embellished. Just saying that my patience has significantly increased with grandchildren. Don’t you agree? WELL, DON’T YOU?

    • katyinacorner

      August 9, 2013

      @GMan I agree, daddy. You’re incredibly patient both as a father and a grandfather. Just as long as no one eats corn on the cob within earshot. Or scares you. Or loses a piece of a puzzle. Or puts pennies in your coin bank without prior approval. Other than that, you’re THE most patient man I know.

  4. Bethany Simons Corvos

    August 9, 2013

    I thought that was going to be about your husband…putting up with you in the car. hahahaha.

  5. imklvr

    August 9, 2013

    Nah….patience is over-rated.  Isn’t it?  What did the little darling learn?  Gimme a good scream any day!  Unless that was her grandpa.  Then patience is a virtue.  Right GMan?

    • GMan

      August 9, 2013

      imklvr Agreed!

  6. Katy in a Corner

    August 9, 2013

    Easy, Betny. Don’t you start sharing stories…

  7. Bethany Simons Corvos

    August 9, 2013

    Ya know…that’s a good idea. Let me guest blog for you one day. 🙂

  8. Katy in a Corner

    August 9, 2013

    NEVER!!!

  9. Beth

    August 9, 2013

    Patience is NOT one of my strong points. Bravo to this daddy! And I’ll have you know that we’re also all two familiar with roadtrips with two toddlers… #nothanks. You better believe I’m not threatening to take away Elmo Episodes in the car, because that tiny screen is a lifesaver!!!

  10. Rachel Seaton Fish

    August 9, 2013

    Um, how did he know she wasn’t experiencing something off of SVU? That is a neglectful, patient father! He should’ve checked on her!

    • Lisasp

      August 10, 2013

      I am guessing you don’t live in Chick-fil-A country? Or don’t frequent them, anyway, or you’d know that no one capable of performing SVU stuff FITS in those tiny things. It’s basically a Habitrail for kids instead of gerbils. He can see who goes in, and NO ONE over50ish lbs would make it without a liberal coat of waffle fry grease.

    • Lisasp

      August 10, 2013

      🙂

  11. Rachel Seaton Fish

    August 9, 2013

    Sorry, social worker in me 🙂

  12. katyinacorner

    August 10, 2013

    Lisasp Haha! The waffle fry grease made me laugh out loud!

  13. katyinacorner

    August 10, 2013

    @Beth  I don’t threaten to take away TV shows altogether. Just the ones that annoy me. I actually look forward to times when they disobey so I can say, “Oh well! No more Dora!”

  14. katyinacorner

    August 10, 2013

    KellieLeasTurner I though the same thing Kellie! It’s all over when they can tell time.

  15. Pingback: 1 Minute in the Car with 2 Toddlers | (Nobody Puts) Katy in a Corner

  16. Adrienn

    August 12, 2013

    I would’ve been all up in the tubes talking through my teeth by the 10th minute.

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