Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Silence of the Naps

Just put the kids down for their afternoon nap.

I'm just past the first 24 of maybe 48 hours of single daddy duty. My wife left town on Friday morning to go visit with a friend who lives in a neighboring state. The last time they saw each other was when the friend got married in late June of 2005. My wife was the matron of honor that day, and as her dutiful husband, I got charged with writing her toast for her the night before.

According to the original plans, the kids were supposed to stay with my dad and stepmom until mid day today, when I was supposed to go pick them up. That plan changed around 10 a.m. on Friday. My wife called the dad's house to see how the girls fared overnight. Stepmom was on verge of tears because she didn't sleep well. Her recently injured shoulder was acting up and keeping her up. I wound up taking off of work before 11 and heading down there to fetch the kids.

I hold my own pretty well watching the kids. I make their meals, keep them entertained, get them dressed, and get them to bed on time. They will even get a bath tonight. The house is currently in a bit of disorder, but I will have the place looking better than what I usually come home to after a day of work. Now, if only I could tie a pony tail worth a darn...

We went bye bye for a while this afternoon, spending about an hour at the playground and then eating lunch at the Chick Fil A. They don't groove much on the chicken nuggets, but do they ever love their fruit cups.

The wife and I have exchanged some phone calls. She gave me a late evening good night call, and I gave her a good morning call around 10:30 a.m.

In moments like this, when the kids are sleeping, and I am alone, I realize just how lonely my existence is. I commute over an hour and a half total each day. Work another eight hours.

When I'm home, I'm in Daddy mode from 6 p.m. until their 9 p.m. bedtime. I really try hard to serve as a buffer for the wife during that time. Then she does her three or so hours of part time work on her laptop as she watches TV. I might work or IM chat during that time. During the weekends, I get up early with the kids so she can sleep in past 10.

I don't have a pool of friends to go out with. Being a telecommuter for five years kept me in a cocoon, and working for a startup consisting of four founders and two developer employees didn't help much, either. Once in a great while, I might meet up with my brother and his friends for a Sunday morning breakfast or an evening meal.

Then once a year, I get to spend pretty much the whole day at the race track with my wife's best friend's husband. Wife was already bemoaning how her best friend would be out of town that day, so she'd have to spend the whole day with the kids by herself. I really don't feel much sympathy for her when she whines like that.

We're down to less than a week on her deadline for a therapy appointment. If it turns out she's been stalling hoping that I would forget, she's sorely mistaken.
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