Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday Night Solo

If I'm honest, I can admit that I pretty much hit the jackpot when it comes to husbands.  My hubby can repair anything like he's MacGyver, but has the domestic skills of Martha Stewart.  He's also, easily, the most hands-on Dad I know, with full capability and willingness to feed, change diapers, give baths, tuck into bed, etc.  This has proven itself in the amazing bond he shares with our son.

Which is why my husband going back to school at night has caused a period of adjustment for our family.  Every Monday, he rushes home to take a shower and eat an early dinner with us (usually around 5:00) before he has to hit the highway and attend class from 6:00 to 10:00.  This means he sees my son before work in the morning, for a very brief period thereafter, and the baby has long been in bed by the time he gets home.

So Mondays are hard.

Last night wasn't so bad.  My son didn't cry when my husband left, and I distracted him by taking him upstairs for a bath (one of his favorite things, no sarcasm).  But, though he didn't say anything direct about missing his Daddy, it was pretty obvious.

Playing with his toy boats in the bathtub, he told me that the big boat was the "daddy" and the little boat was the "baby".  Then he started talking about one of his various beloved Pixar movies, "Finding Nemo".

"Nemo's daddy go away, but he come back," he told me.  "Yes," I agreed.  "Daddies always come back."

"It's not scary," he said, which is what he always says when he is scared of something.  (For obvious reasons, he is very afraid of the scene where the divers catch Nemo.)  "My Daddy coming right back," he then told me.

"Well honey, Daddy will be back after you go to bed.  After you go to bed, when you wake up, you get to see Daddy."

"Daddy sad?" he asked.  Lately, he's gotten to the age where he internalizes everything, so he thinks everything is his fault.  Last week, he thought Daddy didn't come to LifeGroup (bible study and fellowship) with us because he had gotten in trouble earlier.  Actually, Daddy just had too much reading to catch up on.  But the whole ride home he still told me how he was going to tell Daddy he was sorry and give him a big hug, even though he hadn't gotten in trouble for hours.

Anyway, I tried to explain that Daddy wasn't sad or mad with us, but that he had to go to school.  I think that may be the part that confuses my son, the idea of grown-up school.  I guess he pictures his Daddy listening to Bible stories and making macaroni art.

Eventually, all the Daddy questions tapered off, and we got down to just having some "us" time.  On Mondays, because I am indulgent of my spoiled child, he and I just lay on our tummies on the bed and watch Pixar movies.  (Hey, we get plenty of active/creative/learning/etc. play every other night of the week.)  Last night we tried "The Incredibles", which he pretty much considered a snoozefest, so we swapped it for an old favorite, "Tangled".  We danced and jumped on the bed to "I Got a Dream", and made horsey noises along with Maximus.  Towards the end, I explained that, since it was a little past his bedtime, we would have to brush our teeth and go right to bed after the movie ended.  Giving him prior warning helped, and he went to bed without a peep.

This allowed me to devote my full attention to a little project I'd been working on with my laptop during the movie.  I can't go into too much detail, but I can provide a little backstory.  As both a cost-saving measure and an attempt to add a more personal touch during the holidays, my husband and I made gift baskets for our parents and my grandma last year.  The central gift, which was a big hit, were these custom calendars I had designed with pictures of my son and kind of cute/funny captions.  It was strongly hinted (a.k.a. "I was flat-out told") that these were expected to be a yearly tradition.

Well, I'm competetive in general, and with myself in particular.  So there was no way I was just going to do the same old calendars as last year.  The calendars had to be topped.

So I spent hours, multiple folders, applications, and websites open, working on a very intense, detailed, grueling, but, also kind of fun and creative, project last night.  When my husband got home, I didn't ask about his class like I usually would, but instead insisted he come upstairs to give the final stamp of approval to my work.  After all my effort, I was suddenly nervous (as I always am) that what I've been working so hard on sucked.

He loved it, and thought everyone else would, too.  After much assurance that it wasn't too cheesy (but just cheesy enough, in the good way), I finalized the project.  He got me to quit agonizing over it, and we went downstairs and watched the DVRed season premiere of "House", where I finally got around to asking how his class had gone.

After our brief chance to hang out, it was after 11:00 before we got to bed.  I was exhausted when I fell asleep, but pleased with myself for managing a whole night, and even achieving a degree of productivity, without my best friend and partner.

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