When it was told to us that my son’s football practice would be at 6:15am BEFORE SCHOOL, I panicked. Six kids would be sleeping, to include a fussy infant. What would I do? How would I work this? How COULD I do it? He didn’t know anyone else in our neighborhood on the team, and there was no bus for this early in the morning. This left my husband and I in a unique position to try to find a solution. We went to his commander with a plea for help.

And it was granted. Hallelujah!

He had special permission granted to him by his commander to not have to go to company PT (physical training) every morning, allowing him to do his own PT from the house for the duration of football season. This didn’t give my husband a pass at not participating in PT, mind you; upon returning from dropping our son off at o-dark-fifteen, my husband would go for a run, do his push-ups and sit-ups, shower, and then get ready for work as normal. While he would be missing PT with his unit, he’d be doing it from home AND helping us simultaneously. This plan was working seamlessly well.

Until last week.

Until some douchey soldiers slept in, blew off PT, and didn’t show up when they were supposed to.

These lazy tools from my husband’s unit, after continually blowing of PT, left their commander standing alone in the middle of a field while he waited on SOMEONE, ANYONE to show up to run with him as planned.

As you can imagine, this did not go over well (mega-understatement). I have NO DOUBT there were @$$es chewed for this mess, and these soldiers went deaf after being screamed at in many four-letter obscenities.

AND I GET IT. You don’t want to go work out, decide to blow it off like a child with no notification to anyone, that’s fine. You’ll get what’s coming to you on that one, buddy.

But what they did next was inexcusable. In order to get out of trouble, they threw my husband under the bus – my rule-abiding, permission-granted soldier – and said, “Well DOUGLAS doesn’t have to show, why do WE have to?”

Forget the fact that he ASKED PERMISSION.

Forget the fact that he DID THE RIGHT THING.

Forget the fact that he has a FAMILY, and COMMITMENTS, and is HONORABLE, and doing what he told the commander he’d do (work out at home).

Forget the fact the was WHERE HE SAID HE’D BE (driving his son), and these soldiers, who are SINGLE, and YOUNG, and FULL OF THEMSELVES, were NOT WHERE THEY SAID THEY’D BE.

But no! They call out my husband without provocation while he wasn’t present and able to defend himself.

And with that ‘call to the mat,’ the commander’s sweeping (and ill-advised) decision was made (or should I say, original decision revoked): ALL would be punished. ALL would have to attend PT now. ALL now have to feel the commander’s wrath, even though my husband had absofrigginlutely N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do with this mess.

Thus began the new Era of Suck™ in the Douglas household – the era where almost everyone in my household is paying the price, and now has to sacrifice for what these foolish soldiers did.

An era where my oldest now wakes a half-hour early to stay with the younger ones, who are still sleeping.

An era where my twelve-year-old daughter also now wakes a half-hour early to drive with me in the car, so she can accompany my infant in the back seat.

An era where I have no choice but to take my infant with me, because she wakes with all the morning commotion, and then s-c-r-e-a-m-s almost the entire ride to and from school to get him to practice on time.

An era where, by the time I get home to start getting the rest of the kids ready for school, I’m in almost (or already) in tears, and it isn’t even 7am yet. Yesterday, my infant cried so hard, she vomited all over herself in her car seat.

I have never, ever agreed with the “punish all for the acts of a few” theory that the Army is so.very.dedicated. to abiding by, particularly when it not only affects soldiers, but their families as well. I don’t get it, I never will get it, and I want to punch one of these guys in the mouth for doing this to our family.

If one of my children decides to not eat the dinner I serve, I’m most certainly NOT withholding dessert from all of my kids, y’know? The same goes for school – I would be complaining to the principal if I had heard that one or two students acting up caused the entire class to miss recess (and I think most parents would be upset about that, too). So why the hell is okay that the Army enact this on GROWN MEN AND WOMEN?

My son is so upset about this. He has early football practice Monday to Wednesdays, from now ’til the end of October. He is so proud of his position on the starting defense (he’s moved from Linebacker to the Safety position), but he feels awful that it’s “his fault” that we ALL have to work around this situation. My son is troubling himself over this, his guilt, calling it his fault, and yet, THIS IS NOT HIS FAULT. And while he could do his best to get his things ready and not make me anymore of a raving lunatic than I already am (ahem), this is in NO WAY HIS FAULT.

So if you see me looking like a white-haired zombie with a half-full coffee cup in hand around town, it’s not because I’m dressed up early (and horribly) for Halloween, it’s because of this MOST RIDICULOUS SITUATION.

If anyone has any recommendations on how to work this out, so that I may spare my soul and save my family the trauma of being sent to an early grave in the next month or so, comments, suggestions, recommendations and babysitters are welcome in the comments below.

(P.S. Don’t forget to read this post about the subscription changes to this blog, or resubscribe here.)

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