You'd think that with the kind of welcome my husband gets every time he gets home, which sounds eerily like a crowd of screaming fans at a red carpet event, my kids would want absolutely nothing to do with me.
If he's gone for any extended period of time, which is usually around 4 to 5 days, he tries to bring something home for them, which is usually a hotel-sized shampoo bottle, but hey, it's a prize and it's for them and he's the cool guy who flies planes and brings them treats! Whoopee!
Meanwhile, I just fed and clothed them for four straight days.
Dang kids and their skewed priorities.
But once the mini-sized ketchup bottles settle, it seems as though the more he's gone, the more they want me when he gets back.
Oh the irony.
That doesn't mean they don't try to work that poor man hard for a later bedtime, extra dessert, and whatever else they think they can get out of him. And for the most part, they're pretty successful. That's a whole other post (or 68).
But even then, for anything else, like bath time, bedtime, and my favorite, butt wiping, they want me.
Yep, in all my years, I've never felt so incredibly popular.
Don't get me wrong. It feels wonderful to be wanted. And I've come to truly value the time when we're a little foursome, eating cereal for dinner or splashing in the giant tub together.
But after spending most of my waking hours, and even some of my not-so-waking hours with my children, I need a little break from parenting. And really, they need one too. They need to spend time with their dad.
The only problem is that when I do pass the torch to him, they freak out.
Some days are better than others, and the longer he's home, the easier it is.
But the battles, the arduous, uphill battles for the little things that should take four seconds, are painful. So painful, in fact, that I find myself giving in just so I don't have to listen to the screaming.
I mean, why must mommy put on your underpants, well, aside from the fact that you should be able to put on your OWN UNDERPANTS LITTLE BOY? Or why must mommy fill your glass with water? Is there something about the way I fill a sippy cup that you just can't live without?
I do my best to exit the situation completely, but that's easier said than done. Leaving the house right at bath time isn't as simple as it sounds, and hiding in the basement is only moderately effective when your children can sniff you out like little bloodhounds.
That doesn't mean I give in all the time. I've done my fair share of passing off a screaming, half-naked baby to my husband without batting an eyelash. Those many days and nights alone can sometimes make you a bit hardened to those cries, particularly when you know they're not due to blood, poop, or anything that requires a hospital visit.
But I try to remind myself that the two minutes it will take me to tuck them in or pull on their underwear, even though I've done it several nights in a row already, is a very small price to pay when I know it won't always be this way. And it's that little voice, my own mom's perhaps, that reminds me that I might actually miss the frantic calls for a bottom wipe someday.
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