As I write this, the kids are asleep, one of them in the bed I share with my wife, the other in her crib.
Normally, we’d try to keep Lilly in her own bed, and in a little while I’ll carry her back over, but for now I’m just thrilled and a little surprised that they’re asleep and that there’s a little window of free time for me. It’s weird. It’s unusual.
My wife’s on a work trip, the first one she’s ever taken for any job. We knew about it weeks and weeks ago and have been planning for it ever since, but in the end it turns out not a lot had to be done. My parents came over last night to help and my in-laws will be here tomorrow night. (It’s a blessing, always, that they all live so close. We’re beyond lucky in that sense.) Tonight was the only night I’d be spending alone with the kids and even that turned out not to be true; my parents swung by to pick up something before a trip they’re taking out of town and got to visit with the girls again for a little while.
It’s been a lot easier than I was expecting. The girls haven’t been wailing for their Momma. Tonight, as we were reading books, Lilly said matter-of-factly, “I miss Momma.” But she didn’t whine or cry or get bent out of shape. She whines more when she wants apple juice or a snack after she’s brushed her teeth. I told her Momma would be back in two days and she asked if we could bake her some cupcakes.
And that was it.
We’ve got them on such a set routine, even if some nights (with my wife here) it can feel chaotic and unstructured, that the girls are kind of on autopilot with dinner, bath, medicine, stories, bed. Tonight, there was even time to take a walk around the neighborhood, wagon and tricycle ridden. They’re in daycare during the day and I don’t know if they’ve been wearing them out with laps or mini Hula Hoop marathons or what, but whatever they’re doing is working.
This was going to be this incredible strain; we talked about me taking days off from work or at least a sleep day since they’d surely be keeping me up all night. But, as happened when we went to Vegas, the girls have been on what passes for their best behavior. It’s almost spooky.
One friend on Facebook suggested I shut up and suck it up as I’m the dad, not a babysitter. First of all, shut up. Second, my wife would be just as freaked out if I was going on a three-day business trip. I’ve taken a two-night business trip, but that was when Lilly was still an infant and before Carolina was born. It’s a little different when they outnumber you. They’re little unpredictable monsters sometimes; even with both of us here, we sometimes get overwhelmed.
I’m going to chalk the way this week has gone so far to some major luck.
The other thing we did this week was take the girls to the San Antonio Zoo. We got rained out the week before when a freak thunderstorm (in a year when we’ve had hardly any rain at all) kept us away. This last Sunday, it was warm and sunny and the girls got to see some elephants, monkeys, sea turtles and butterflies. They only lasted about two hours before they were overheated and worn out, but that was still a good time.
I took photos with my new phone and with the trusty SLR. I got a shot of Carolina that I love because it reminds me of another lucky photo we got at a wedding. She’s tough to photograph because she never stops moving and when we pose her for photos, her tornado personality goes away. I always think of her as dancing or chattering or throwing something. She’s that kind of kid. The photos below capture her best. She’s always yelling or dancing or laughing or having a little party of her own.
The only other real new stuff this week is that I had a Digital Savant column that ran about Aunt Bertha, a website that tries to simplify finding and applying for need-based assistance. Every once in a while I get to write about people who are out there doing legitimate Good Things for other people. Maybe they’re making money at it, but their goals and their mission are pretty altruistic and it’s often clear from what they’re putting out into the world that they’re doing something that’s, for lack of a better word, right.
I also did some crude drawings on the Digital Savant blog about the iPhone 4S (yes, I bought one; I’ll be writing more about that soon).
I always feel honored when I get to be the person who tells others about it. And I drew a zombie this week, so that was noteworthy, I guess.
Things have calmed down a bit at work since my last post, but like I said last time, I can’t wait for my upcoming vacation. I have a to-do list of stories that need to be done before I go and I’m knocking them down one by one, as they’re what stands between me and that time off.