When my husband leaves town he stuffs a bag full of clothes I picked out for him and walks out the door after a quick kiss good-bye. I have to travel for work every so often and getting out that door just isn't quite as simple.
It usually starts out about five days ahead of time. Do laundry. Every iota of it so in the event that our 4 year old decides she needs to wear her tutu on top of her favorite pair of jeans coupled with just the right shade of pink top, it will be ready for her. Or so my 2 year old has enough clean pajamas to endure whatever it is that he does to them during breakfast. Clean the house. God forbid the person who is going to watch the children while I am gone see a dust bunny. Plan carpools. Boy, this is a rough one. Since both of my children are still in car seats it is like conducting an orchestra to try and figure out who has enough space in their car to get one or two of my children somewhere. Plan meals. I married my husband in large part because he is a fabulous cook and I am not. However, my husband works very hard and has no time to cook and he pays no attention to nutritional value whatsoever. Everyone says the kids won’t starve if they eat gummy bears and Cheez Its every meal for two days but really, am I going to take that chance? I don’t think so.
After six pages of type written instruction to their father and grandparents and explaining to my daughter that she might need to show daddy where we keep some things like toothpaste, I sulk out the door knowing doom is inevitable. About thirty minutes into the flight I start to relax and begin reading parenting magazines but all the while I am making notes of the things I completely forgot to tell my husband and will email him as soon as this plane lands. Yes, email; you have to get these things in writing.
After that email sends, I really begin to think things are going to be okay and I actually start to enjoy my time away. Although it is work, I do have a few moments here and there in my hotel room where I can watch what I want on TV, paint my nails and call a friend to chat.
Flying back home, I am a bit nervous about what is in store for me. I know my house will be a disaster, no question on that one. My husband is so sweet, he always tells me the night before I come home how he and the kids are cleaning up for me. I gotta be honest I don’t think I have ever walked in and thought wow our house looks so sparkly! I think he cleans kind of like the kids do. “Let’s put away this game, but wait let’s work on this puzzle first” and “okay all shoes go in the bin by the door, but let’s put our shoes on and run around outside for a minute”, “please bring all dishes to the sink; oh let’s have a snack” and so on.
All was going well for awhile and after several successful trips coming home to children that were still breathing, I started to comfortably slack a bit on my leaving town preparations. A trip recently made me rethink that decision. I tell you, you let your guard down for one second…
I had to leave for about five days. Each evening I spoke to the kids and blew many kisses over the phone so I knew they were still alive and accounted for. I was thrilled to see them when they picked me up at the airport. My daughter was fast asleep in her car seat when I went to kiss her but my sweet boy was wide-awake and so excited to see me. I ran around to his side of the car and he smiled that minimal tooth grin of his. Horror!
“Um Dan, what’s wrong with Zachy’s teeth?” I squealed.
“I don’t know. What’s wrong with Zachy’s teeth?” he asks me.
“Well part of them are missing.” I answered flatly.
This black space was as glaring to me as if my eyelid was being held open and a flashlight was touching my eyeball. Dan had not even noticed this major infraction on my baby in the five days I had been gone. The poor kid had two chipped teeth!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming Dan for the incident in which this occurred because he was at work all day and most likely was not there for the spill that resulted in marring my precious little guy’s perfect smile, however I am floored that he did not even notice it. Obviously I have no choice but to go back to the six pages on instructions before my next departure but with one addition, item #338, please check all body parts daily for accuracy.
1 month ago