I’m super lucky. I have a fabulous husband who loves spending time with his kids, all FIVE of them, and is utterly unafraid of solo parenting. In other words, I have a wife, who is, well, a man.
He cooks. Three dishes, true, but his three are better than my hundred.
He cleans. Usually by making very tidy piles stashed out of sight. This used to drive me insane, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate the benefit of having someone on hand who can make your entire house at least look clean in about twenty minutes. I can make a kitchen sink truly spotless in about twenty minutes, but the rest of the house looks like New Orleans post Katrina.
He does laundry. Occasionally my twelve-year-old’s underwear ends up in my drawer, but I consider this a
sign of early onset dementia compliment.
Not only does he willingly DO all of these things, he says he actually ENJOYS being a super-dad and doing everything himself. I think he’s lying or perhaps just delusional, but it’s a delusion I fully support. So, when he encourages me to get out of town for a couple days I scoot as fast as I can before he can come to his senses.
While I’m gone he takes the kids to the mall to ride the carousel. (Suck up.) He sets up movie nights on the living room floor complete with microwave popcorn and Coke. (Clearly pandering.) He plays Mario Cart for hours with the two bigs. (You can see why I lose the favorite parent contest.) And somehow he manages to keep everyone fed and happy and whole until I return. He even helps them make Welcome Home Mommy banners which must require a fair amount of bribery. After all, what they probably want to say is Please Stay Gone a Little Longer So We Can Keep Having Fun.
He seems to handle all of this effortlessly. Well, except for the last few hours. I usually get a phone call or text asking me to drive slowly so he has more time to
stash the disaster clean up the house.
I went on a writing retreat a couple weeks ago. I was gone longer than I’ve ever been gone before (four days) and still came home to a mostly tidy house and happy children.
In the days since I’ve been discovering and sorting through the piles of stashed mess. In one tidy pile of paperwork I discovered a note from the little girls’ preschool.
Ok. So just to be clear, one of our four-year-olds inadvertently ‘fessed up to eating breakfast in the car (cuz they were running so late) and wearing shoes several sizes too big (cuz underwear sizing is not the only thing that flummoxes Daddy). And yet, she soldiered through, because well, Alice.
God, I LOVE my family.
And I love the fact that I might not be so easily replaced no matter how many Welcome Home banners they must be bribed to make for me.