First of all, if you haven’t seen this video, please stop reading and watch it. This is the kind of work that advertising majors like me used to dream they’d be involved in creating!
A few months ago my father in law decided he’d like to take a vacation with us and somehow Nashville was decided upon. I love traveling with my husband’s family, but I politely decided I’d sit this one out. I was low on vacation days and the idea of traveling with little kids, especially my 14 month old, didn’t seem like much of a vacation. Much to my surprise, my husband said he’d like to take our three year old with him. My first reaction was to feel a little nervous about my child traveling without me. And in the weeks leading up to the trip I also felt a little nervous. Should I buy her a restraint for the plane ride? Will she run off and get lost? I even made her a bracelet with her dad’s cell phone number on it to wear just in case. I came to the conclusion, of course, that these things were not likely to happen and certainly not any more likely to happen with me not there. I started to settle into the fact that he is her father, I trust him, I trust her, it will all be just fine and oh my goodness four nights almost alone without any whining or bickering!
I would still have the little one with me, but I would have the help of both of my parents who have recently arrived from Florida for the “warm” season. And parents of more than one kid, let’s face it, one kid is easy once you’ve had two. I would never say this to a parent of one kid. Well, I guess I just did. I’m sorry. Let me backtrack. Having one kid is super hard too. And then you have another and it’s just like when you had no kids, you realize how easy you had it before and how tired and busy you thought you were and really you had no idea. I hope that’s not offensive to anyone. That’s how it was for me, but maybe not for everyone. Anyway, one kid – what a vacation!!!! So I made big plans for all that I would accomplish around the house. I wish I’d kept my to do list and taken a photo. This thing was LONG.
During my first night home with only one child, I slept great! I slept in the center of our big bed with no one calling “MAMA!!!!” to find their Henry (duck) or report that their covers had slipped off in the middle of the night. There was no one crying out at 2am that they had FORGOTTEN TO GIVE THE DOG A TREAT AFTER DINNER. I slept all night and even slept in until after 6am. I totally had this. When morning came, I wasn’t feeling so hot. You know what they say about best laid plans. I spent the morning in the ER with a kidney stone. Distraction aside, I was back on track by 1pm and in the next several days enjoyed lots of quiet time with my younger daughter and got a ton of things done around the house. I very much enjoyed telling my 14 month old that she could play with any toy she wanted for as long as she wanted and no one would take it away from her or say they had it first!
Then there’s the other side of this. I was picturing my husband having to be the solo parent for four nights without me there to help him. I knew he had it in him, he’s a wonderful dad, but secretly I did hope it would make him appreciate me even more than he already does. I guess that’s not very nice of me. That’s just another form of my keeping score. I did feel bad for him when he reported in that the flight was delayed and they didn’t get to bed until almost midnight the first night. I missed them when he told me about them sleeping in the same bed or when I saw his photos on Facebook.
While they were gone I saw the video I posted above. This video could just as easily have been talking about a dad, a grandma or whoever takes care of kids. It doesn’t even have to refer to one person in that child’s life. Several people can fill this role. That being said, at our house when our three year old needs something in the middle of the night, 9 out of 10 times she’s yelling for Mommy. And my husband did call me from Nashville one morning to ask me what our three year old should wear that day. My title at my day job is Operations Manager and I guess at home I can now start calling myself the Director of Operations. How about that for a promotion?!