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Rough waters ahead

I'm in the process of trying to plan my week next week. Mostly for myself. Mostly meals for myself. The Mama is headed out of town for business leaving me on full time daddy duty. So the groceries need to be fully stocked. And anything that requires me to leave the house it would be most helpful to do it in the morning when it's only one kid to worry about (rather than two). So no quick trips out to pick up something I forgot.

The kids eat the same breakfast pretty much every day. Lunch varies. They rarely eat dinner. But, I'll be honest, that's the meal that usually gets some degree of discussion with either The Mama or myself making an effort to prepare something. I have about 3 evenings of single--maybe "for two" if Leda likes it--dinners. Evenings are the worst. And now that Leda is sleeping through the night and putting herself to sleep in her "big girl bed," there's less in the overnight department to worry about. Fingers crossed.

Of course, it could all go south if the kids realize they get me and only me for 4 straight days. A fit of "I want Mama" could be my undoing. Leda, especially, has been playing the "want the other" game lately. I go on a bike ride and she does nothing but ask for me. Last night, while Mama was at knitting, she waited patiently for her to come home for a snuggle.

Could be rough waters ahead.

Mornings, the school routine, nap time...those are old hat and part of my wheelhouse of normal, daily SAHD stuff. Juggling bedtime can get a little difficult when Cole asks you to stay. I'm going to go with the blanket pre-departure warning that next week will be no lights-out cuddles until you fall asleep. No, I think the actual worst time to be alone as a parent has to be when the kids have gone to bed.

The Mama and I usually fix dinner after Cole's bedtime. We watch our tv programs. We talk about the day...even if it isn't the kind of intelligent, profound conversations we used to have before kids. We can still get into a pretty intense discussion of the news. Or something the kids are doing that is especially cute, annoying, or in dire need of fixing. She usually falls asleep on the couch. Sometimes we both do. We'll all miss her next week but that's probably when I'll miss her both.

Being alone in a dark living room while your kids sleep has a completely different feel to it in the night compared to afternoon naps...when I get everything I need to done. As parents, we scream for our sanity and some time alone, quiet, with our thoughts. But the irony is that usually one thing children never give you is loneliness. I can honestly say I've never been lonely since becoming a dad. Not once.

It's a weird condition to ponder. Though probably not half as hard as being a thousand miles away in an empty hotel room and missing your spouse and rugrats. It's strange to be apart as a family in that way. I'm so thankful it isn't the norm for us. Despite a busy spring of at least two business trips Mama will take alone. One we get to join her, thank goodness.

Just a few reflections...there's no larger point here. Unless it's maybe the odd way children tend to fill your life up to the point where you can't imagine not having a family surrounding you.

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