It all started two weeks ago. My husband got a new job that came with a new commute. His old job had him working at home. I liked having him home. We had a good morning routine. We got the kids out of bed, dressed them, got them breakfast and then we’d all eat as a family. Then my husband would walk my daughter to her bus stop and I’d drive my son to preschool.
The new commute would change all of that. My husband had to leave earlier, so no more family breakfast, no more teamwork in the morning. Sort of. These days we divide and conquer. My husband wakes my three-year-old son early, gets him dressed and takes him to school. I wake my daughter, get her dressed, have breakfast with her, and get her to her bus.
It would make sense for me to handle both kids, because I’m home, but we decided on the new routine for two reasons. First, my son is potty training and he always has to poop right about bus time, and if he had to wait, either he’d poop his pants on the way to the bus or my daughter would miss the bus waiting for him to poop. Second, whenever I brought both kids to the bus stop back in Seattle, my son would drag his feet and cry and carry on all the way to the bus stop. My daughter was always lucky to catch the bus. read more
Last week we went to New York to take care of some of my dad’s business. Everything was fine until we left my birth mom’s house in Queens. On the way out, my son was a little cranky, then he completely wilted. We absolutely had to go upstate, so I scooped him up and strapped him in the car. He slept through the whole two-hour ride and when he woke, his eyes were hooded and he said he was gonna throw up. I worried that he had the flu. So we skipped picking up Italian combos for lunch and headed to my BFF’s house.
When we got there, my BFF offered to take our daughter to pick up food while we brought my son to urgent care. So that’s what we did. There was a total of two cars in the urgent care parking lot, so we figured we’d get express service. After a half-hour wait, they called us in, did an exam and a flu test. My son didn’t have the flu, but he did have strep throat. We picked up some meds and brought him back to my BFF’s house, where he fell asleep on the couch. read more
Sometimes, in a marriage, everything you do as a couple clicks. Sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t know what the hell’s going on with my husband these days. He’s usually an attentive, compassionate guy and when I have a goal for the family, he supports me, but not lately.
He was out of town for three days this week, and usually I miss him, but this time I was glad he was going. He’s been working on de-cluttering the house for more than a month now – we’re drowning in toys and kids’ old clothes, yet every single weekend, he asks me what, exactly, he should get rid of. I told him what to trash at the beginning. I was specific. And the next week when he asked, I told him again. And the next week, again. And I’ve been as clear as I possibly can, but every weekend, the question comes up again. And every weekend I say the same thing. And, adding to the strife, the project keeps us physically apart, because, as any parent knows, it’s impossible to throw stuff away with kids around. We could be trashing concrete blocks and the kids would say, “Noo, I want to play with those!” So I take the kids out of the house and he stays at home and works on the project. read more
My husband thinks he’s cornered the market on stress. Okay, he’s got a very demanding job; he works a lot of hours, he’s on call 24/7 and he does carry a lot of stress on his shoulders. But the other day I mentioned that I had more stress than usual and you’d have thought I’d said I got abducted by aliens.
“Stress?” he said. “What are YOU stressed about?” Seriously, that’s the way he said it.
I don’t know how two people who live in the same house, eat dinner together and sleep in the same bed can be so far apart in their understanding. I began to explain. read more
We begin this story in progress. Last week I started the tale of our cruise vacation, not exactly from Hell, maybe Purgatory. We were about to go ashore in Juneau, Alaska. We wanted the kids to see Alaska, but even if we hadn’t, we had no choice. Kids’ club was closed most of the day.
We’d signed up to pan for gold in the afternoon, but our morning was free, so we headed to town to check out the shops and get lunch. Shopping with the kids. I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming. I can’t even take them to FedEx/Kinko’s without hearing “I want! I want!.” read more