My husband left for Japan nearly 7 weeks ago. In that time I have been “single” parenting my nearly two-year old child, attending to the various and complex emotional needs of my two dogs, and *trying* to buy us a house so we can stop living with my mom at some point.
I’m certainly it’s not easy for him being away from us. He misses me, naturally, but he is genuinely longing for our daughter. Their bond is incredible, and I can feel the strain of the separation in both of their voices when they Skype each morning and each evening. I feel for him because while I have the stress of keeping alive her and engaged from day-to-day, he feels like he is missing out. Or I should say I felt bad for him, until he had the audacity to say:
My back is really sore from that massage I had yesterday!
Sayyyyyyyyyyy what now? Oh, pardon me! How difficult that must be for you! Equally as difficult as that time you went out for dinner and then drinks with your friends last week, paying little heed to how many beer you consumed or how late it was because your sole responsiblity the next morning was to yourself!Sad story!
To be fair, as soon as these words left his lips (and probably after he saw my eyes roll) he realized his folly. He grinned sheepishly, made a joke about ‘white people problems’ and tried to change the subject. I let him. Because I plan to bring this up again later. Because I am very mature.
If those words weren’t enough for one day, I did my daily, compulsive, check of my travel itinerary and was reminded that my 8 weeks of solo-parenting will be concluded with a glorious 48 hours of travel. Words a mother traveling with a toddler, two dogs, and a mountain of luggage never wants to read on her itinerary:
September 24th to 26th will be spent in transit. There will be various levels of discomfort. Continuous layers of sweat. A number of profanities. In a state where time is suspended and water is never in the right place at the right time.
September 27th will be spent lying in a prone position while Dave wrangles a jet-lagged toddler who, by then, will have been missing her daddy for two months. I might get upright enough to have ramen for lunch. And then I plan to lay right back down again. September 27th is my day off. On September 28th I’m only working part-time. Accept these terms or prepare to face a full-on work stoppage.