Papá = problem-solver

Daddies are nothing if not problem-solvers. So it was that I faced a dilemma on Friday …

Goal: Mow the yard on Friday afternoon before work, since I won’t have another chance to do it until Tuesday.

Problem: Ludi is awake, but Yoli is at work, so I can’t leave Ludi alone.

Solution: Mow the lawn with Ludi in the baby carrier!

Keep reading to find out how it went.

First a bit of background. Our lawnmower is self-propelled. But the belt which drives the front wheels broke while I was mowing the lawn last week.

The thing with this self-propelled mower is that it is very difficult to push when it’s not doing the work. There is a lot of resistance on the front wheels; for example, it is actually necessary to physically push it when going downhill.

I thought I could fix the mower myself… how hard could it be to replace a belt?

A plastic shield protects this belt from the grass and debris that flies underneath the lawn mower. I removed the mower blade thinking that the shield would then come off. But after I removed the blade, I saw that there was a bracket (or “blade adapter”) preventing me from removing the shield. I got as far as removing the engine from the mower housing when I realized that blade adapter could not be removed without a special tool.

So, on Friday, I first had to reassemble the mower before I could use it. Before Yoli left for work, I managed to get the whole thing back together and start weed-whacking. But that’s all I had time for. Then it was back inside to watch the girls.

Ludi went off to sleep easily, but Jadzia was hungry. So I had to make her some pasta and then wait for her to eat it… it was taking forever. While she was eating I was scrubbing potatoes and making a few preparations for dinner. Finally she finished and we went through her naptime routine. At last, it was time to mow the lawn.

But then Ludi woke up. I tarried, hoping she might not really be awake. Sometimes babies cry in their sleep and quiet down again. Alas, not this time.

Off we went. I changed her diaper and fed her some apples, all the while debating in my mind what course of action to take. Take her outside and let her play in the grass away from my mowing area? It might work, but she crawls awfully fast. I decided to just strap her to my chest in the carrier and mow.

It worked well at first. But the topography of our backyard is a bit treacherous… it has lots of dips and bumps, which of course were causing her to swing wildly. So I ended up securing her more firmly with one arm and just mowing with the other arm. It’s the first time I have successfully mowed the difficult backyard using our mower in non-self-propelling mode and just one arm. It must have been the combination of caffeine from the headache medicine I took earlier and adrenaline.

Anyway, after the backyard, I figured she had enough. I had to go inside and take care of the rest of dinner. Yoli arrived after a while and we ate together quickly. I had 30 minutes… just enough time to get the front yard out of the way and still get in a quick shower.

Mission accomplished. Daddies are nothing if not problem-solvers.

P.S. Yoli reminded me a few days later that this isn’t the first time I resorted to a baby carrier as a solution to a baby problem. When Jadzia was a baby, I wanted to play disc golf with my dad and my brothers on a Saturday, but there was nobody to watch her. Thus commenced the first round of disc golf in history played with a baby strapped to the chest of the golfer. My brothers were skeptical I would really do it, but all in all it worked out all right. I had forgotten about this incident, but it’s funny to remember it now.

About Josh Renaud

I'm the Emperor of the Renaud Empire, which is to say that I'm the husband of a Boliviana and the father of three daughters and one son. When I'm not conquering lands and expanding borders, I'm a newspaper designer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Find me on Twitter (@Kirkman) or Google+.
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One Response to Papá = problem-solver

  1. Chris says:

    Hi Josh,
    I’m a cross-over from petrameans rock and also a daddy, although with a 14 year old and 9 year old, one armed lawn mowing hasn’t been a problem lately.
    However, I always used the kids as an excuse! Why problem solve when you can procrastinate!
    PS- Have you listened to JWS “The Grafting” yet?