A week ago today, my wife flew out to Denver for a surprise visit with her sister. They have been having fun doing lots of girly things, most of which I assume involves mocking me in some way.
I find it funny, though slightly insulting, when I would tell people M is out of town and they ask me how I’m holding up with all that. There is usually a look of pity associated with it, too. I generally laugh it off with them and put on the husband dunce cap.
But with full honesty, what the hell? I am my kids’ father. I know how to play with, feed, clothe, and bathe them. I am not a weak man, the caliber of which you would see on television. They are my children, I raise them, I teach them, I love them and care for them.
It’s the same situation as when I tell someone M’s out with a friend for the day and they respond, “You’re babysitting the kids today, then?” No. I don’t babysit my kids. I don’t even babysit my niece. I just keep parenting my kids. My children are with me, that’s all. I have my niece over. I am not just watching my kids until the parents get back.
Furthermore, though this doesn’t really change the argument, my home has a slight shift in traditional family roles. I work shorter hours and so am the one taking the kids to school and picking them up afterward and making them dinner. My wife commutes, works longer hours, is allowed some overtime, and gets paid more. Also, I work in education, I have had my summers off with the kids as well. So please don’t insinuate that I am anything less than capable at rearing my offspring.
All that said, I do miss having M around. Our friend Mare came over on Wednesday evening to give me a bit of a breather and make dinner. It was very nice of her, and she noticed I looked like I had nothing to do since she was doing the cooking. But the big thing to have around was another adult to talk to.
On my own in the evenings, once the oldest is tucked into bed, my mouth is shut while I watch some shows and do chores. No actual conversation to be had, so no actual soulful energy exchange to keep me moving longer and tackle more of my project to-do list.
I am looking forward to picking M up at the airport tomorrow morning. The person I laugh with and who puts cold feet on me has been noticeably absent. After the kids are in bed, the house is eerily quiet. And I always mean to get to bed early, but I wind up staying up with some other shows on my computer. Then I fall asleep on her side of the bed (because that’s where the lamp is) and hoping to get enough sleep to get up alone with the kids again.