Yesterday Andy returned from a ten-day trip to Guangzhou and Hong Kong, China. While he spent his days fixing firmware problems on the factory floor, I pulled double parent duty with day care drop off/pick up, house cleaning, laundry, owie fixing, “Mommy watch me”ing, etc. I dread Andy’s solo trips to China like no other but surprisingly we held down the fort pretty well without him.
It is a total enigma to me. When the two of us are both home doing the parenting thing, our house seems to get trashed and things seem chaotic. And yet when Andy leaves, I am somehow totally on top of things, bringing clean sheets to daycare on Friday afternoon so I do not forget them on Monday, getting the house clean every single night, etc. I think I give up some play time to accomplish, for example, clean dishes before the kids go to bed, but it seems to work and the kids are apart of making it work. And I like the fact that I am totally on top of things. In fact, I think I like it so much that I get addicted to it and even obsessed to the point where I act strange towards Andy when he comes home.
He’s all, “Hi family, I’m home, did you miss me?” and I’m all, “Crap now the house is going to be a mess.”
I can abosolutely not figure out why a) the house gets messier when the person who does more cleaning comes home and b) I behave the way I do when he returns. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to see him, I just don’t exactly show it.
It was to the point that this time around, we actually talked about me being weird-o when he returned before he left AND on his last night in China, Andy literally dreamt that I was really pissed when he returned home and so apparently in the dream I punched him.
That’s a healthy relationship right?
Well, I am happy to report that his return this weekend was actually a lot better. We were ALL excited to see him and I was not obsessed with the fact that my routine with the girls was going to be disrupted.
Thinking back on the ten days solo with the girls, I think, perhaps the difference was that this time around we did a lot more fun things together. We went to the water park twice, shopping twice, the Farmers Market, dinners with friends, etc. We weren’t stuck at home picking up a toy the minute it was displaced, which apparently makes me bitter and unfriendly to my long lost husband.
Doing all of these activities with the kids was well, FUN so I also think I was happier while he was gone, which probably rubbed off on the kids too.
One final thing to note which I think made Andy’s time away go more smoothly was that Belén slept in my bed with me and she was quite the snuggle bunny. We both slept better and it was a perfect bribe to keep my relatively well-behaved three-year-old who sometimes wants to stray to her old toddler ways in line. My standard response was, “Belén, I only allow big girls to sleep in my bed with me when Daddy is gone and big girls do not do <<Insert action she was doing>>. If you want to sleep with me tonight, you need to behave.” These two sentences had amazing results on B. Now mischeaveous Weezy is another story and a whole other blog post.
The entire time Andy was gone, B and I talked about daddy being in China. You could repeatedly hear Belén say to others, “My daddy is AT China.”
Yesterday when we decided to surprise Andy by picking him up from the airport, as we walked through the automatic doors on our way to the arrival lounge, Belén’s eyes got really big and she turned to me and said, “MAMA, IS THIS CHINA?”
I couldn’t restrain my giggle, “Not exactly sweetie, but Daddy will be here soon.”
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