Last week, my husband went away on his first week-long business trip without us.  This was the longest we have been apart since the birth of our daughter two and a half years ago and the first time I had to manage being a working parent on my own.  I was very nervous about how it would go.  So, with my husband’s permission, and to illustrate what we learned about ourselves, here are some email exchanges between us while he was away.

 

To the Best Wife and Mother I Know, (ok….maybe I added that)

Whenever I travel, I see people I know….who are, almost always, just faraway look-a-likes (I have more than one good story about meeting, randomly, the real deal, but none today).  So walking around a nice park in Kansas City, I saw a woman who looked like you, who had a dog, sitting in the park.  Of course, the whole premise of this trip is that it is highly impractical for us to have travelled together, and way more unlikely that you would acquiesce to us getting a dog, even if I wanted one, and that you would surprise me here but…I thought she looked like you, ’cause she was small, wearing big sunglasses that look a little big on her small head….and of course, because I was thinking of you.

Love,
Your Husband

 

Hi Honey,

Thanks for your sweet note.  I guess I need to rethink my choice in eyewear.  Speaking of mistaken identity, Mia called one of our neighbors “daddy” today.  She saw a man with dark hair running down our street and assumed it was you.  I’m not trying to make you feel bad or anything, but your absence does have consequences.  In the mind of a two-year-old you can easily be replaced. Just sayin’.

Here’s a little recap of our day….you missed chocolate covered bananas and leftover rice noodles for dinner because I did not feel like making anything else and, well, that’s all she wanted really.  You also missed a little dance party we had before bed in my attempt to wear Mia down.  My plan backfired, however, because this was followed by an over-tired toddler throwing THREE nervous breakdowns.  One because she wanted to go on the merry-go-round at CT Golfland at 8:38 pm, another because she wanted a muffin, and the last one because she wanted to feed said muffin to Minnie Mouse.  You can imagine how that went.  Man, you owe me for leaving me alone with this girl.  I hope you are enjoying your time and we miss you lots.

Love,
Your Wifey

 

Hi,

Sorry you had to go through that. I have to admit this trip is what they would call being ‘self-absorbed’….spending my WHOLE day doing things squarely in line with my hobby (work) all day long.  None of it spent on, as you know, baths, diapers, cleaning apple sauce off the floor, or pretending to be mad about Mia’s behavior. Except for when she bit me, I’m never really mad about the inappropriate things she says or does.

I think the purpose of my trip has been nearly fulfilled…..I relaxed in the room to 11am, ordered room service and watched an HBO documentary. This has been long though. I’ve met some great people here and believe that some of the things I’ve learned while out here will be very good for us in the future. The happier I am with the work I’m doing, the better that will be for our life.  But I’m ready to come home to my two little women.

Love,
Your Husband

 

Hi Sweet Pea,

I am so glad this trip has been good for you.  Live it up while you can, for you’ll be back on diaper duty in no time.  Your absence has really forced me to be more organized as a parent because I did not have you to lean on for help.  And we survived.  Food was prepared (on most nights anyway) and dishes were washed.  Mia was bathed, dressed, and driven to and from daycare.  After the tantrums, whatever spirit possessed her body has been exorcised because she has been going to bed every night without a fuss.  Woo hoo!  This experience has made me appreciate how much fun we can now have together just us girls.  Mia has become, as you say, a little woman.  She is not our (boring) baby anymore.  Thank goodness.  We miss you though.  Our family is not complete without you.

Love,
Me

P.S.  When you get back, I fully expect a morning where I can lounge until 11 am, while you lovingly prepare a large breakfast for Mia – then watch her dump the entire meal onto the kitchen floor – all while you are running 30 minutes late to work.  Payback is a b$tch!

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