February 25, 2008

Bacon (As In, The Bringing Home Of The)

Last night, Beth, Owen and Mia sat on the couch together. Mia attempted to put the pink foam cowgirl had she had acquired at a local craft store and adorned with stickers on Owen's head all the while urging me to take pictures, mugging for the camera. I tried my best. But no camera could ever capture that full image accurately. No camera could capture the emotion or contentment I felt sitting there on the floor while my family spread out before me, laughing or, in at least one case, managing not to spit up.

I haven't left the house this morning and I already miss the three of them more than I thought possible. It's all I can do to stop myself from climbing into bed with each of them and deciding to spend my day here with them. But after two weeks it's time for me to go back to work. I'm not looking forward to it in the slightest. My focus for the past two weeks has been on my family. On dirty diapers, baths, naptimes, visits to the pediatrician, Beth's recovery. And while that time was eventful, tiring, and just downright hard at some points, I managed to spend some really wonderful quality time with my daughter. We played, went shopping, attended her storytime and music class, wrapped ourselves up in games of "California" (sometimes "Argentina" and sometimes "Toledo") in which we hid under a blue comforter we keep upstairs. We read more Backyardigans books than I care to recall - actually, we read a finite number of Backyardigans books more times than I care to recall - but acting out the stories at her behest was a hell of a lot of fun. I feel, at the end of these two weeks, like I know her better. Like I know her well.

When Beth and I first considered having kids, we made a decision - whoever earned less money would stay home. Pulling a decent salary is a mixed blessing. I was elected to keep working. Its days like today I'd love to be a stay at home dad. But instead, I'm off to reclaim my daily routine - to sit in traffic, call into conference calls and participate in half-day meetings. I know I'll be back here in ten hours or so but I've gotten so used to spending those ten hours here, with my slightly bigger, always wonderful family.

Posted by Chris at February 25, 2008 6:23 AM

Just think how excited they will be when you walk in that door this evening!

Posted by: DebbieDoesLife at February 25, 2008 7:21 AM

Just think how excited they will be when you walk in that door this evening!

Posted by: DebbieDoesLife at February 25, 2008 7:21 AM

I remember my first day back at work after The Princess was born. I had been home 8 weeks, and I spent the whole morning commute crying to "Hold On" by Sarah McLachlan (strictly for the part that said "for this is gonna hurt like hell").

What a blessing that you were able to spend 2 weeks at home with your family, though. I'm actually sorta envious of that - and think that surely it was a huge help to Beth, and an awesome treat for Mia! (My husband took off ONE day of work with each kid, the day I was in the HOSPITAL!! - lord knows, I coulda used a bit more help than that once I got home!).

Hope your day is alright and you manage to avoid clowns in any way, shape or form... particularly in the restroom.

Posted by: Sarah at February 25, 2008 7:23 AM

I took a couple weeks when my daughter was born, and like you, that first drive back to work was hell. We made a similar deal, and I too got stuck with the bigger salary.

But at least you got the last two weeks off, right? That's something. And it sounds like you got a lot of good time in with all three of your family members.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at February 25, 2008 7:32 AM

You guys are just the most adorable family! I love reading your and Beth's blogs. Makes me want to have kids right now. What do you think my boyfriend of five weeks will say to THAT? He. Maybe it would be better to finish our degrees and get some jobs first, anyway...

Hope your first day back flies by!

Posted by: Catharina at February 25, 2008 7:46 AM

The first day back is the worst. As you're aware, it does get easier, but it never seems quite right. Hang in there!

Posted by: Alissa at February 25, 2008 8:01 AM

I know it'll be hard to be away from them, but it will make every day sweeter when you come home to them, there, waiting for you...

Posted by: Maribeth at February 25, 2008 8:21 AM

You're just an incredible and incredibly blessed family, no matter how you slice it. I've said it before but it bears repeating: you guys make me think that maybe not everything in the world is rotten and horrible. Your family is a bright light in a dark room, as it were. :)

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at February 25, 2008 8:28 AM

That was a wonderful post.

Good luck today...hang in there!

Posted by: Bridget at February 25, 2008 8:30 AM

Is it okay if I send you a hug? I hope today doesn't feel 100 hours long and isn't too painful for you.

Posted by: Maria at February 25, 2008 8:31 AM

I know you know this, but I'll say it anyhow: There are going to be days when Beth would GIVE anything to trade places with you. You will come home and see that she has had One of Those Days and realize that there is a "grass is always greener" aspect even to this.

Posted by: Karen at February 25, 2008 8:31 AM

My heart aches for you...honestly...but after a long weekend of juggling my very active boys and their social lives while hubby plays Weekend Warrior I am glad to be at work sipping coffee without interruption...but when that cup is gone I'll be anxious to get home and back to my boisterous boys!!

Posted by: Steff at February 25, 2008 8:39 AM

Aw, I'm sorry you had to leave them this morning, but that's wonderful that you've gotten to know your little girl a bit better. That kid cracks me up. Argentina? Toledo? How does she come up with this stuff?

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 25, 2008 9:07 AM

You're enormously lucky. Careful on the games, though...no one should willingly spend too much time in Toledo, real or imagined.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at February 25, 2008 9:20 AM

I feel for ya! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just be home during the first 5 or 10 years of our children's lives and just enjoy them?! *sighs* I guess we should just be thankful for them, that we have been blessed beyond words and get back home to them as soon as we can. Doesn't make it any easier to leave them, but we are truely blessed.

Posted by: Suzy at February 25, 2008 9:20 AM

If I could go to work for you, I would. I could be the Fish-Cactus sugarmama! (But not in the weird, gross way that it sounds. I'd just work so you guys could stay home and be the adorable family that I love so much it makes me gag a little.) :-)

Posted by: GreenCanary at February 25, 2008 9:52 AM

I'm always impressed with the dads who want to stay home.

And I hear you about that mixed blessing. IT never pays enough, but in the one circumstance where you would prefer it didn't pay well that's when it does.

And, to be Poppycryptic: Bacon is yummy, but it's not everything. Make sure to sneak in five extra minutes with the family. :)

Posted by: Poppy at February 25, 2008 10:17 AM

I haven't had time to comment, though i've lurked. I wanted to congratulate you and Beth. Owen is beautiful! I remember the feeling you are describing right now. Enjoy every minute of it... I think it's that elusive "contentment/happiness" thing that everyone is always chasing after. How wonderful when we find it in our home.

Posted by: varinia at February 25, 2008 10:30 AM

I have a hard enough time going back to work after a weekend, let alone two weeks at home, and all I'm leaving behind are my cats. I can't imagine how hard today will be, but you'll be home before you know it and ready to play with Mia and Owen and give Beth a much needed break, I'm sure...

I hope today will fly by rather than drag...

Posted by: suze at February 25, 2008 11:06 AM

I have a pink cowgirl hat, though not foam. :)

I hope the day is going well. You'll be home before you know it.

Posted by: laura at February 25, 2008 11:17 AM

Sorry to hear that you had to go back to work. They'll miss you as much as you miss them!

You guys should consider moving to Canada - we have some sweet parental leave up here! A friend of mine's husband spent 8 months home with their daughter. (But, then, she makes more, so it made financial sense...)

Posted by: Latte Mommy at February 25, 2008 11:28 AM

It's a bitch to go in on Mondays after a long day of kissing baby-soft cheeks and having your daughter think you're a king. I needed two Sundays very badly this week. Oh well. I wouldn't give up the ability to treat them to a great house and fun activities either.

Posted by: Brad at February 25, 2008 11:45 AM

It's so funny to hear the California game. My oldest son who is now 12, but at age 2 or 3 used to say all the time and pretend that we were taking the train to Cleveland...ok? And my 8ry old son at about the same age, loved the game "where are we today?" every place was California.. hmmm must be the age... too funny

Posted by: Christine at February 25, 2008 11:48 AM

You paint such a beautiful picture of your family and your time with Mia. Most men don't realize how lucky they are to be a part of their kids' lives. I wish my Ex took some time away from the computer to really get to know his kids.

Posted by: Sassy Pants at February 25, 2008 12:25 PM

just remember, for all those days that you wish you were a stay at home dad...there will be days to come that you are thankful you aren't. trust me...:)

Posted by: ali at February 25, 2008 12:26 PM

I get to stay home with the wee ones... so I work really hard to get 'the stuff' done so when my husband is home he gets to spend most of his time there with the boys.

Posted by: ewe_are_here at February 25, 2008 12:57 PM

Unfortunately, I couldn't wait to get back to work so I could get some sleep during the conference calls.

Posted by: Ed Bacchus at February 25, 2008 2:26 PM

I'm with Ed. I love my gals but I enjoy them more and am happier when I'm not on maternity leave.

Posted by: Mom On The Run at February 25, 2008 2:37 PM

just found your blog, booklayd recommended it.
love your voice, your great to read, i'll be checking back in and enjoy every minute having your family near.

Posted by: 77free at February 25, 2008 3:28 PM

I missed the birth!!! Darn it! Congratulations albeit a little after the fact!

Your kids and wife are lucky to have such a hands on daddy. My dad was never home and I vowed I wouldn't raise my kids like that.

Sigh. Their dad would trade places with me in a heartbeat if I could make the type of money he pulls in. Damn you mortgage and credit cards! Sigh. If only food was free...

Posted by: Redneck Mommy at February 25, 2008 4:08 PM

This is a nosy question - but I just discovered amalah and I have been reading all of her archives and she used to mention you a lot and then you were gone. Did anything happen?

Posted by: amybeth at February 25, 2008 8:46 PM

I met a man who said he and his wife took turns working. Her one year, him the next. He said he usually got fired because he was annoying and type A. But mostly they just took contract jobs. I thought that was a very interesting set up.

Posted by: jodi at February 25, 2008 10:42 PM

It's very tough I know but think how excited they will all be to see you at the end of the day :)

Posted by: Jules at February 26, 2008 6:04 AM

Some time ago, I needed to buy a car for my firm but I didn't have enough money and could not buy anything. Thank God my father adviced to get the loan at trustworthy bank. Therefore, I acted that and used to be happy with my college loan.

Posted by: MARKSTonia29 at August 17, 2010 11:01 AM