Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer of Dad

Next week, Darrick returns to work to prep for the start of another school year. We made the calls to our daycare provider to let her know what the schedules will be. We're all set for Luca to start preschool, something she is very excited over and I want to cry about. She has to have a BACKPACK. What in the hell is a 3 year old putting in a backpack anyhow? I guess we will find out.

This morning we were all in the kitchen, Luca and Rohan sitting together on the floor eating ice chips from a pink IKEA bowl, Darrick scrambling eggs, and me pouring coffee. I told Luca that Laura (our DCP) was very excited to see her next week. She smiled at me, and said, "But I'm going to SCHOOL, Mama." Like, duh Mom. Darrick replied to her, "You are, but not next week. Next week Daddy has to go back to work and you and Mo are going to play at Laura's." I noticed she looked a little sad which, frankly, was surprising. This is the kid who visited Laura once this summer so Daddy could have a day to relax, and threw such a fit when she had to leave that he refused to let her go back until summer was over. She love, love, loveS Laura and her friends there.

Suddenly, it clicked. The Summer of Dad was about to be over and bygolly she was sad about it! She confirmed that was the case when I asked. Turns out, a summer full of naps together, coloring, crafts, playing at Grammas and the Other Grammas, the ocassional MickeyD's breakfast fun....all coming to a close. I know it's not conventional. I know there are probably people who look down on us for me working all year and my husband staying home with the kids on school breaks. I know it wouldn't work for everyone and heaps upon heaps of dads would rather have a vasectomy with no anesthetic than stay home for even 1 week with their kids. But damn if my husband isn't awesome with it. My kids have fun and learn new things and get lots of quality time with their Daddy. I don't have to stress about daycare costs and transportation, he does much of the grocery shopping and cooking, and it works out so well for us that I look forward with great anticipation to the summer break and the Daddy/Kid time.

I'm not saying it's perfect. He definitely still calls me at 3 pm somedays to start pressuring me to 'sneak out early' because he Has Had Enough of the shenanigans. Some days, I leave to a baby crying and clinging to my leg and come home to a baby, crying and clinging to my leg. Other days, I get home and can't walk through the door without being assaulted by toys littering the expanse of the floor, their little plastic and wooden parts digging into my feet and almost sending me flying. And on most days, I am just plain jealous that my husband gets to sleep later, nap in the big bed with both kids if he likes, snack on raisins and apple slices, and never once maniacally search a huge pile of washed-but-never-hung clothing trying to find something that fits to wear to work while simultaneously wondering how many days in a row he can get away with sandals instead of heels before someone asks him if he needs to either go on Jenny Craig or Paxil.

But this is the first summer since Luca was born that I feel like we have this thing 'down'. We have a routine that works, we have loose expectations of each other (me: will make the coffee in the morning, put the kids to bed at night, and take off a few days here and there. him: will make an honest effort to keep the house from looking like Hiroshima and will grill several times a week) and we have a happy family. So, in honor of the Summer of Dad, a recap of all the things our little sprinkle-butts have done/learned this summer:

- Rohan learned how to jump into the kiddie pool and splash
- Luca learned how to convince her Daddy she needs donuts
- Rohan dropped his morning nap because morning naptime was cramping their 'get out of the house every day or we'll all go crazy' style
- Luca learned how to safely (ish?) jump from the third step down to the floor
- Rohan expanded his vocabulary to include the ever-vital words: "poo poo", "pee pee", "bum", and "BOOBIES!"
- Luca visited Grandpa enough times to discover that soda (!) and jelly beans (!) go well together as a snack
- Rohan found out how to climb onto the couch, then onto the back of the couch, then up the outside of the stairs while holding onto the railing
- Luca learned how to become a Scorpion Hunter, and the joy of doing so with no shirt on just like her Daddy

I laugh about these things now, thinking 'Only under Daddy's watch...' but truth be told, I am so full of pride and awe over my husband and the dad he is to our kids.

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