It’s almost the weekend and for any stay-at-home-mom it means one thing: reinforcements are coming. Thursday night I actually breathe a literal sigh of relief as I realize there is only one more full day standing between me and a 1:1 adult to kid ratio. With my husband around, there is someone to roll my eyes to when another tantrum breaks out because I didn’t let my daughter poke the straw through the foil covering of her Danimal smoothie. I can sleep in until the late morning hour of 7:30am because my husband is keeping the children trapped in the basement subjecting himself to another episode of Bubble Guppies (their latest obsession) and tries not to shriek from the madness of a theme song stays in his head for the next three days. There is the glorious feeling of frolicking through the grocery store aisles sans kids, not having to push the behemoth of grocery cart / play car combo worrying about them swiping everything off the shelf with outstretched hands.
All this and more becomes mine on the weekend when the burden of parenting two toddlers solo is momentarily lifted and my sanity restored. Joe is great. He dives in an parents right alongside of me – as he should. I’m not throwing him any kudos for taking care of kids that are half his genetic material. It’s my kids, per usual, that are the problem. They seem to forget that their Dad is home. Well, not when it comes to fun things like playing baseball and all out tickle-fests. Then Dad is in high demand. I’m talking about things like refilling milk cups, fetching snacks, and wiping their butts. It’s as if Joe is invisible to them. Even if he’s sitting right next to me, it doesn’t occur to them to ask him these things. Apparently I possess some sort of weird super power that only grants me the strength to open the fridge, or leap with a single bound to the bathroom where a poop is dangling precariously from my son’s butt cheeks needing to be wiped. Wonder Woman I am not. Which is why I’ve penned this letter to my children who can’t read good, about utilizing Dad every once in awhile so I can maybe avoid hitting 20,000 steps on my FitBit for once.
I relish being the soother of all boo-boos. The one you want for you last kiss before bed. One day, I am 110% sure that my heart will shatter into a million pieces when you don’t need me for those things anymore. I want to be the center of your universe, but I don’t want you to be so obvious about it.
But will I miss being your snack bitch? Your tushie wiper extraordinaire? NEVER. I want to let you in on a little secret: YOUR DAD IS A FULLY FUNCTIONING ADULT AND KNOWS HOW TO POUR MILK INTO A SIPPY CUP. I see you, thirsty and desperate, completely bypassing your Dad, who is closer to where you’re standing by the way. Yet you deliberately cross the room in a dehydrated haze to ask me for a refill. He also has a lot of practice, approximately 35 years to be exact (if he was potty trained at 3) of wiping his own butt, so I’m pretty sure he knows how to adequately remove any and all dingleberries from yours.
Monday-Friday I understand that Dad is away making sure there’s enough money in the bank account to fund your pool day ice cream habit. That from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep, I am there responding to every need and want. But on the weekend there is two of us. Two individuals that are perfectly capable of helping you with those things that I most desperately need a break from. Ask him. For the love of God just ask him! Spare me at least five minutes of every request coming out of your mouth beginning with the dreaded “Mommy, can you….”
Also, if you’re specifically requesting that I lay in bed with you before you go to sleep for the night then I’m going to need you to say that an event involving ME was actually your favorite part of the day. Yes, I am bitter. I do not find it cute that “playing with Daddy” was your favorite part of the day when I’ve spent the last 12 hours catering to your every need. Yet Dad spends five minutes with you before you pass out and it’s the greatest thing since fruit snacks. Can’t you throw your hanging-by-a-thread mother a bone?
Children, I love you. You are my everything. But I cannot do everything for you all the time. Your father is ready and willing. Ask him. Just ask him. He loves you fiercely, just as I do. He has been counting down the days, the hours, the minutes, the seconds until he can be with you. Just give him a chance. He pours a mean cup of Goldfish.