Friday, January 11, 2013

Survival Mode

I love P.B.S. Masterpiece Theater and their miniseries. I recently lost myself in them when Dave was away on his longest work trip yet. I watched Upstairs and Downstairs (similar to Dowton Abbey
only set pre-WWII instead WWI), Call the Midwife, and other random things. And I knitted away. In other words, I went into survival mode.

The first day Dave was gone, my dinner with E. was quiet. I'd already talked to him about taking a trip in a spaceship, how he would walk on the moon, and then go back to earth. We talked about how tomorrow was brown day at preschool. And I said I was going to have to do some laundry and we were going to go to a thing at church later.
"Do you like church?" I asked.
"Yes."
 "What are you going to do there?"
"Play."
"What are you going to play with?"
"Toys."
I was really trying, even purposefully asking questions without yes or no answers. "What kind of toys?"
At this point, E. became engrossed in his food, either because he was unimpressed with my conversation skills or the leftover enchiladas were just that interesting. They were colorful-I'll give him that.
   
I really missed Dave, hearing about his day, being updated on what was going on in the world. I even missed hearing the latest about what people were saying about Tim Tebow or the Big Ten. (I can't believe I'm admitting that.)

"Are there beans in here?" E. asked.
"Yes."
"I don't like beans."
"Okay."
"Are there peppers in here?" he asked.
I knew exactly where this conversation was headed but participated anyway; I was that starved for talk."Yes."
"I don't like peppers."
"I like them," I said.
"I like them, too," E. said.
"Me, too."
"Me, too.
Then I started a new mantra: four. more. days. four. more. days. four. more. days.

I give a ton of credit to single parents, military spouses, or the person stuck at home while the other half travels for work. They should be canonized as saints. I don't know how they get anything done. During the week Dave was gone, if I miraculously got the kids to sleep at the same time, all I wanted to do was watch PBS and knit--not do dishes or laundry or even shower (who for?). I thought about taking advantage of the luxury of showering by myself, but even that seemed like work. Besides, there was no one getting close enough to smell me except E. & A. and, no offense to them, but they have produced smells way worse that I have endured (without sticking my nose in my shirt, which is more that I can say for Dave. . .).

If I was getting the death sentence, my final meal would definitely include ice cream--real ice cream not the fake light stuff or frozen yogurt (why bother?!). Ice cream is my comfort food. I ate a lot of it when E. was in my womb and he now asks me five times a day (not exaggerating): "Want to get ice cream, Mommy?" It's like a trick question. The answer is: "Yes. Always. Yes." But can we? Should we? Probably not. But thanks for bringing it up again and making me want some.

In the effort of full disclosure, I will admit that when Dave was gone, I ate ice cream in the middle of the day if I managed to get both kids to nap at the same time. That deserved a reward, right? And then I really wanted more after I got both kids "down for the night." (I use the term loosely where A. is concerned.) But I only had two-a-day once. I swear.

So I've come to realize that if Dave spent much more time away, he'd come home to a much heavier, smellier wife and a dirty house. It's probably best for both of us if we limit these work trips.

   

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