(Before I start talking about the tremendous change in our lives that began today, I should just mention in passing that we live in a fishbowl, surrounded by eagle-eyed neighbors, many with guns. One of them, the guy across the street, is a cop. Next to him is a retired gentleman who spends his days sitting on the front porch lovingly polishing his collection of rifles. The guy on our left is captain of the neighborhood watch. Every time I sneeze, a chorus of bless-you rings up and down the street, because these people have their ears open. Just, you know, putting that out there.)
So. Yesterday was Scott’s last day as a stay-at-home dad. I wrote a very long post about that, about how incredible it has been to have him at home full time these past eight years—a rhapsody about how he was there to rock newborn Rose while I wrote Little House by Boston Bay, there
to grind up Jane’s chemo pills and hide them in spoonfuls of (prepare
to gag) ketchup, there to haul yet another load of spitty baby clothes
to the laundromat and there for so many other things that I realized it wasn’t a post, it was a novel, and anyway he’d be reading it in a lonely hotel room several states away and that probably wasn’t a nice thing to do to him on his first night away from the family he is so crazy about.
So I bailed on that post, for now. Maybe I’ll finish it someday or maybe I’ll just write the book. Not anytime soon because now I am flying solo with five little kids and a house to keep very very clean for that buyer who is even now thinking if only I can find a house with a blue room big enough to sleep six children, and a cunning basement office with nice big windows and an attractive laminate floor, and an abundance of prolific berry plants in the backyard not to mention a nesting pair of bluebirds every spring and also many compassionate and watchful neighbors such as an officer of the law and a captain of the neighborhood watch…if only I can find a house like that, I shall be tremendously happy.
I didn’t do much in the way of keeping the house clean today for that prospective buyer who will be so tremendously happy here—but not as happy as we have been because that is simply NOT POSSIBLE—because I had to spend the first part of the day pretending I wasn’t crying because daddy was leaving and the second part of the day wiping everyone’s tears because daddy had left. We attempted to console ourselves by setting up a brand new blog—for daddy’s eyes only!—because yes, geekiness is genetic and my children have inherited it in full force.
Later I discovered that Elizabeth had written a post just for me containing that exact advice: blog to ease the pain of separation. She also recommends making a point of "sharing the minutia" of our days while we’re apart, which makes me feel much better about having already had nine or ten cellphone conversations with Scott since he left. Because, you know, how could I NOT tell him about how I was just heaving a sigh of relief over having gotten four out of five kids to bed with just the very sleepy baby to go when Rose burst into the room (catapulting baby out of sleepy into oh so very wide awake and waking up Wonderboy in the process) to announce that Beanie had just thrown up all over her bed. "Oh, and also there’s some in my hair, Mommy."
The good news: Beanie isn’t sick. Apparently she was just laughing so hard it made her lose her dinner. The whole thing struck me as so ridiculously funny—that my inauguration into flying solo should be a Yaya-Sisterhoodesque frenzy of scrubbing vomit off one kid’s mattress and out of another kid’s hair at 9:30 at night with a kitchen full of dishes waiting for me—that I was overcome with giggles, which of course set all the girls off and almost made Beanie toss her cookies again. When I left the room, icky sheets on one arm and bright-eyed baby on the other, the girls were arguing about who would get to blog about this in the morning.
Well, ha, I beat them to it.
My six-year-old’s library search queue
It’s All a Blur
Fifteen Years Yesterday
December 2014, part the first
Housecleaning and Babysqueezing