Flying Solo

So I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for a little while… my volume of work travel has been pretty crazy over the last two months.  It’s been trains, planes, and automobiles for quite a while.  I’ve been to LA, Chicago, Dallas and many trips to NYC.  Every time I leave Red with the kids all to herself.  Two weeks ago Red boarded a plane on Thursday morning and flew off to Chicago for a much deserved getaway weekend with girlfriends.  For some reason she didn’t take the kids with her.  No wait, that was planned.  Up until that weekend, I had never taken on the task of parenting both girls by myself for such an extended period of time.  Sure I’d done the random day here and there, and I’m a very involved father, but this would be my first solo flight from noon on Thursday till late Sunday afternoon.  I was nervous.

Red is a wonderful mother – she sets proper boundaries, she feeds the children well, and she invests in their activities and growth.  So I can’t sit them in front of the TV and order pizza for four days.  Damn.  My basic plan was to load up on activities… keep those kiddies running until they pass out.  I took Thursday off work, Friday I had nanny coverage during the day, and Saturday/Sunday were all mine. 

The weather wasn’t great, but it did warm up enough for us to get several play ground visits, one friend play date, and a trip to a local animal farm in during that short span.  Have I ever mentioned that Little Miss Junior is obsessed with birds?  The farm had cows, goats, horses, pigs, your usual assortment of livestock… but she goes gaga over birds.  The chicken house was her own personal nirvana.  She stomped around and pointed at those chickens in delight.  She could’ve spent the whole morning there, just looking at them and smiling.  She doesn’t talk much yet, but she’d point at those birds and look back at me and her older sister as if to say, “Are you guys seeing these chickens?  Aren’t they awesome?!?” Yes LMJ, we see the chickens.  We had play sessions at home, including Little Miss’s first Easter Egg coloring.  There were a bunch of group dog walking sessions as well.  Walking the dog becomes extremely difficult when you can’t leave the children at home alone… so it’s a full on jacket, socks, shoes expedition with the wee ones just so our pooch can do her thing.  

Long story short, I survived the weekend, and the girls survived as well.  No major meltdowns, nobody bleeding profusely… no need for child protective services.  Both girls were entertained, fed, and bathed at the end of the day.  The flip side of this coin – WOW was I tired.  Like bone tired.  Like melt into the sofa for 15 minutes once they were both asleep.  This was old man, “I’m just gonna sit here for a while” tired.  I needed a porch and a rocking chair.  A tip of the cap to all you primary care-givers out there who handle kids by yourselves all the time.  I think I doubled the volume of grey in my beard with just three days of solo flight.  Thank God for Red.

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