Over the past two years, Bryan has had to go on many more business trips than he has previously. They usually aren’t very long, around 3-4 days average, and usually only about once a month. So it feels frequent, but it’s not really frequent enough to have a whole different “dad is gone” routine. Really, is a lot like being on call once a month. In any case, here are the trends that I notice happen when he’s gone.
1. Someone will get sick. It will most likely be the baby. Even if they are not truly ill, someone will randomly throw up or have other intestinal issues.
2. Business trips will always be scheduled for a time when there is some other major disturbance in the schedule. The last three trips have been scheduled during choir concert week (which involves being gone 5 out of 5 weeknights), when I had to make church dinner, and when we were hosting college students who were working at our church’s day camp.
3. You will not sleep well. You stay up later than you should reading or fiddling on the internet
4. The baby and/or toddler, usually AND, will wake up early. Not just at 6:30 if they usually get up at 7, but there will be a 4:30 am wake up.
5. Children will cry. Daddy being gone will just throw them over the loop, and they will be unable to control themselves. There will be sorrowing and pain in the embassy of Spain (sorry, Madeline and the Bad Hat just seemed to fit there).
6. The phone will ring and ring. I don’t do phone. So, just to add one more thing, the phone will ring off the hook (not that it has a hook, it’s a cellphone) for at least one of the days.
7. Something crucial to leaving the house will be lost before you need to go. Will it be keys, someone’s shoes, a necessary school book? The suspense is killing me.
8. No matter how hard you try, the children will consume every second of time that you will attempt to straighten up the house in. Just when you notice that everyone is doing fine, and you could get some dishes done, BAM, the baby will start crying or the toddler will try to put the baby in a box or someone will need help with math. It’s science.
9. The weather will prevent you from going outside to save your sanity. It might be very cold or rainy or windy, but it will be something, and you will be inside.
10. You will foolishly plan 32 projects to do in all your free time in the evenings (which you will use to exhaustedly waste time reading novels or Facebook and Twitter because you’re too tired out to make good choices) and then feel unreasonable guilt at your inability to complete them.
11. You will plan elaborate dinners that the husband doesn’t like, and then end up just running through Wendy’s because the children didn’t finish their school and they cried all afternoon and you forgot some ingredient at the store anyway and you didn’t get the bread made so you have no side dish to go with the food.
12. You will struggle with the envy that comes when your husband texts you gorgeous pictures of his walks on the beach while you are struggling to walk across the living room floor because the baby threw all the board books off the shelf. Again.
13. You will struggle with the envy that comes when the cleaning lady comes for the people across the street.
14. You will struggle with eating chips and candy instead of real food because again, tired and bad choices.
15. You will also struggle to remember that he will be tired when he gets home because it just doesn’t seem fair that he gets to be tired, too, when he hasn’t had to cook, clean, or have people ask him if they can watch a movie approximately 437 times.
But then, he’ll come home, the people will rejoice, you will go to the bathroom by yourself again, things will return to normal, and you will forget how crazy it was last time until the next time he calls you on a Friday and says he’s leaving Monday.