June 30, 2008

Flying Solo (Kinda)

In the history of mankind, there are certain phrases and ideas that, when uttered, strike fear into our hearts. For instance -

"Fire!" (random cavemen...and Frankenstein)
"I'd really like to pose for Playboy someday." (Amy Winehouse)
"Let's go hunting." (Dick Cheney)
"Really, I just want to meet your wife. I'm curious what she's like" (Amy Fisher)
"Throw some bats on stage. It'll be fun." (Ozzy Osbourne)
"No one's going to miss a few dollars here and there." (any Enron employee)
"I'm going out with my mom to see a show so you'll be alone with the kids for six hours." (my wife)

And that last one? That's what happened yesterday. Which is why it's oh-dark-thirty and I've finally managed to get dressed and head to work after a night spent rocking back and forth in the fetal position in the shower with a fifth of Jack Daniels, my new best friend. Okay. Okay. I exaggerate. It was only one of those little airline bottles.

In all honesty, it didn't go too badly. Not as badly as, say, a couple weekends ago when Beth was gone for three hours and Owen bitched about it for 2 hours and 58 minutes. There was even a stretch (which began at 2:49, the time at which I may or may not have sold my soul to the devil) when both kids were asleep. Well, one kid was asleep and the other was scream-singing Backyardigans songs. But she eventually fell asleep and there was a glorious Ven diagram-like overlap of sleep and peace in the house that I reveled in for the three minutes it lasted. Then Owen woke up, deigned to take a bottle from me after searching my shirt for functional breasts (finding none), Mia awoke and we all played. Beth arrived just before the whole scene threatened to topple under the weight of its own perfection. And we ate pizza and drank beer. And it was good.

Sure, other things happened this weekend - like swimming, Target runs, grocery shopping with a toddler, frog hunting and lawn mowing - but none made me feel quite as victorious as the time spent with my two kids.

There are several things I know for sure, one of which is this: What I call work is sometimes hard but nowhere near as demanding as being a stay-at-home parent. I don't know how Beth does it but a big standing ovation to her and all of you who make parenting their full time gig.

Posted by Chris at June 30, 2008 6:33 AM

Moms work all day long. And when a Mom says that she didn't do anything all day, don't believe it.

Posted by: cassie-b at June 30, 2008 8:16 AM

Yes, your wife sure is a keeper! And you did fine sweetie. I know it was tough, but you're still here, so life is good!
PS: My daughter brought home Mr. Wonderful this weekend! This Mommy is a happy girl today!

Posted by: Maribeth at June 30, 2008 8:37 AM

I once made the mistake of asking a stay-at-home dad whether he was considering home-schooling his progeny. With a very dark expression that made me feel like I'd just called his mother a dirty dirty whore, he answered very very quietly, 'No'.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at June 30, 2008 8:41 AM

i've done both - stay-at-home mom AND working mom. SAHM is by far the HARDEST thing i've ever done. no question! i'm glad you survived!!! :)

Posted by: ali at June 30, 2008 8:52 AM

Standing ovation for Beth and all the other stay at home parents.

Love the goggle photos.

Posted by: Maria at June 30, 2008 9:05 AM

P.S. I think I threw up in my mouth a little over that second one.

Posted by: Maria at June 30, 2008 9:06 AM

Whew! You made it. When one of child is under a 8 months(ish) it's a frightening thing to be outnumbered by them for any length of time (even if you do it everyday). Glad you made it.

I've also had an opportunity to be both and that whole stay at home mom gig is the hardest job I've ever done. Makes teaching look like a day at the beach. Really.

Posted by: Jen at June 30, 2008 9:14 AM

Congratulations on the weekend. I love the goggle gallery.

Posted by: Cass at June 30, 2008 10:00 AM

iTs nt eaassy to giveBeth a stnding govation and type atthe same tim,, but i'm doiingit. 3 chers forB eth.

Posted by: Marshall at June 30, 2008 10:16 AM

Congrats on surviving your solo flight! You know you did well when no one threw up in your mouth :-)

P.S. Mia is stylin'!

Posted by: GreenCanary at June 30, 2008 10:16 AM

I was a SAHM for a little over a year and it was tough! Jason worked out of town all but 4 days a month so we he got home he was ready to relax and I was ready to hand the kids to him and hop a Greyhound. I started back to work and NOW people volunteer to help me watch my kids so I can have a break???

Love the goggles. My mom has 1 pair for all of the step/grand children. I volunteered to buy more but Mel said they like fighting over them. Ok, suits me, I'll be inside, don't drown.

Posted by: Mymilabean at June 30, 2008 10:39 AM

Mia's facial expression in all of those pics is EXACTLY how I feel when I wear swim goggles... kinda sleepy-eyed, but only because the suction from the goggles makes your eyes feel like they're going to get sucked out unless you squint.

Great shots! And hooray for 4-day weeks!!!

Posted by: ironic1 at June 30, 2008 12:11 PM

My personal goal for each day I'm home with my kids (and it's been almost 2 years now) is "everybody gets out alive."

That's the secret, I think, to success: low expectations.

Posted by: julie at June 30, 2008 3:22 PM

I want to favorite Mia in Goggles...

Posted by: stinkerbell at June 30, 2008 5:14 PM

I work part-time. Thank. God. Love my children to death - more than I can even say - but those 2 days a week away from them makes me a better parent and my "kid" days are MUCH harder than my "office" days.

It sounds like you did great! Though you know what that means? She's sure to head out on her own again soon.

Posted by: Kimberly at June 30, 2008 9:44 PM

The thing about work is, you can turn off Outlook, or walk away from your desk for 10 minutes, or hide in the washroom to avoid a meeting.

If you do any of that with a toddler, your house will be destroyed.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at July 1, 2008 7:43 AM

Just had to say although a little late that not only is stay at home the most demanding but also the most important(beats Doctor, Lawyer & Indian Chief). Also glad you took the word amateur off the link to Beth's site.

Posted by: Lynn at July 1, 2008 11:43 AM

I'm watching my guy's kids for the summer- a first for me as I have no small ones myself. Unbearably difficult. Truly, do they have to eat each and every day??

Posted by: Nic at July 1, 2008 1:35 PM

I'm watching my guy's kids for the summer- a first for me as I have no small ones myself. Unbearably difficult. Truly, do they have to eat each and every day??

Posted by: Nic at July 1, 2008 1:35 PM

Im hoping this silence is because you and family are enjoying a surprise Carribean vacation paid for by someone else. At worst, I hope it is only a small cold keeping you from blogging. Sending good thoughts and luck your way until you blog again.

Posted by: That Girl at July 2, 2008 5:34 PM

hats off to you, dude.

and awesome goggle shots.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at July 7, 2008 6:01 PM