Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Dad Visiteth

After Little One slammed the door and was lectured for her behavior but before the sixth time Dad said “I wish I was going home with Katie,” I told Mom I’d take him. She needed a break – time to decompress and sit in silence rather than being subjected to a constant stream of information – helpful comments, mean remarks, random tidbits from television and commentary on what you’re doing right or wrong with the girls.

So when Mom started lecture Dad for how he lectured Little One, I raised my voice and asked him to pack a bag. “You can help me with my driveway and we’ll take down my Christmas decorations. And it’ll give everyone a little change of scenery for a few days.” He went down the hall immediately, busily tucking clothes and medicines into his suitcase and hunting for the toiletry bag they always bring.

Having already packed the Jeep, I took the last armful of gifts – 5 gorgeous suits Mom bought for when I need to be business rather than business casual – to the garage and rearranged some of my items to make room for my father. Then I held Smallest One on my lap and played the Dora video game I bought for her older sister while said sister played with Mom in the living room.

Smallest One held up her little arms when Dad was finally ready, lips formed into an insistent pout, and demanded to come ("I go!" she says and it almost hurts it's so cute.) with us as we prepared to depart. “Not this time,” I whispered, feeling miserably guilty and ready to scoop her up and find room for a car seat next to Chienne in the back. Dad waved from the passenger seat, buckling in and gearing up for several hours of driving tips.

We arrived home to shovel and blow snow from my driveway – I appreciated (and needed) the help. Mom plans to drive up to fetch him – and spend time with me – tomorrow or Thursday. I’m doing exactly what I’d otherwise planned. I went in early today and worked on large projects (the poor ones in the “important but not urgent” category that always get shoved back “a week”) while remaining mostly undisturbed. I left a bit early, having worked a measly 8 hours.

I returned from work this afternoon to find coat hooks on the wall and three of my four toilets scrubbed clean. “Thanks,” I chirped, not feeling the need to point out that I’d scurried around to clean and change bedding and make dinner the night before. Instead, I dug through the plethora of food Mom sent with us and called out a list of options before deciding on chicken and pasta, making a mental list of soup ingredients I should collect after work tomorrow.

It’s very easy here. Having been surrounded by family – the noise and happiness and intense love of children – I’m always a little relieved to return to my quiet little life. It’s now tempered with worry over Little and Smallest – I wonder if they’re happy or sad, worried or settled. I want to be more involved. But it’s so hard for me to control – there’s no work-like ease of people having to heed my suggestions or follow my carefully drafted schedule. It’s therefore troublesome to reconcile the love I have with a sense that I’m still not ready for children.

Luckily, I’m sleepy enough not to fret too much right now.


Seeking Solace said...

Yes, I am often reminded that visiting children are great because they do go home. :)

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Enjoy your time with your dad! Happy new year!

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