Just got a text from my husband.
“Vero cancelled. Matthew.”
Dangit. His work trip to Vero Beach was cancelled due to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. (Side note: who gets to take a work trip to the BEACH?! SO not fair. I think I get some kind of consolation prize. Like a new pair of shoes. Maybe two.) Stupid weather. Why did you have to mess with my plans? Unlike my friends who dread the long, hard days of parenting tiny people when her spouse is out of town (Read that perspective here.), I let out a sigh of relief when my husband has a trip planned.
I remember the days when I would look at the clock at 3 PM and wonder how I would make it until he got home from work. It just didn’t seem possible that I could get one more snack, answer one more question, wipe one more behind, without losing my ever-loving mind.
Believe it or not, there are things I miss about those days, but my people are not tiny anymore. They eat a ton, but they can get themselves a bagel or a bowl of Ramen when necessary. They still need my attention, but rarely do they need my attention in the bathroom anymore. They still ask plenty of questions, but if I need a break, they are quite capable of Googling whatever they want to know. These perks, combined with the perks of a husband being out of town, make for a pretty good week in my book. When I am the one and only parent in charge, we do things my way.
So I give you the PIC (Parent In Charge) Perk List…
- Yoga pants. All day, every day, with no Mr. McJudgey Eyes arriving home at 6:30 with accusation written all over his face—what could his wife have possibly been doing all day? Clearly, nothing important since none of it required putting on real pants.
- No shaving. Of anything. ‘Nuff said.
- Brinner. That’s breakfast for dinner, for the uninitiated. In our house, it’s chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes with real maple syrup AND whipped cream AND a side of bacon. My husband says this isn’t dinner. He’s right. It’s heaven.
- Everyone washes their own dishes, and the sink gremlin doesn’t leave anything in there while I’m sleeping. In case you aren’t familiar with the sink gremlin, it happens like this: someone named “I don’t know” or “Not me” leaves one single spoon in the sink late at night when no one is looking, which somehow suggests to everyone else in the house that dish washing is optional, leading to a sink full of smelly, gross dishes that no one claims and that I end up washing. Husband away=no sink gremlin. Funny how that works.
- Puppy snuggles. When my husband is home, the dog sleeps on the floor by our bed. When my husband is away, she sleeps on his pillow, right by my head. I’m not sure why I sleep so much better like that, but I do. Perhaps it’s because my dog doesn’t snore. Not that my husband snores, but…you know. Or maybe it’s because my dog’s cell phone doesn’t vibrate with incoming emails all hours of the night. Because, you know…my dog doesn’t have a cell phone. Or email. Or because she takes up about one-fourth of the space on the bed as my husband. Or she doesn’t steal blankets. Or….
- Dinner is a lot more casual, and therefore, easier—maybe brinner (see #3 above), maybe pita chips with humus and a side of grapes. Maybe five o’clock, maybe six o’clock, maybe 8:30 on a blanket in the living room in front of the TV.
- The kids realize all the extra effort I am putting in and make sure I get a nap.
- If there’s redecorating to be done, it almost always happens when my husband is out of town. I can paint a room, and he never even has to know. Stuff from the room being painted can be piled in the hallway or on the dining room table all week (see #6 above) with no complaints from anyone. I don’t have to play the color chip negotiation game. I don’t get cranky because he didn’t offer to help. It’s a lot easier on all of us if I just take care of decorating while he is gone.
- The TV remote is all mine. Clicking away from Dirty Dancing to check the score of some sportsball game? Not happening. Criminal Minds marathon? Yes, please. NOT fast forwarding through all the commercials so I can take my 40-something mom-of-three bladder to the bathroom? Absolutely.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The welcome home is the most fun part of being away.
Another text from the husband: Trip rescheduled for next Monday. Hope that doesn’t mess with your plans.
Yessssss! Not at all, honey. Not at all.