Saturday, June 16, 2007

A few thoughts for father's day

Father's day weekend here and lovely weather. I haven't posted any pictures in a long time and Penelope has enough hair to braid! Also many beautiful dresses (and why shouldn't she?). Above is a picture of us at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival with a little Waldorf doll that I got her there. She loves him. She shows that she loves him by crowing when she sees him and pulling his hair out with her teeth. She can't be left alone with him.

Penelope and I are recently returned from Minnesota where Penelope attended her first birth (well her 2nd I guess)--we went to be with my amazing friend Talisyn and were lucky enough to be there for the birth. It was great to catch up with Christine and Silas too. We spent 4 days cooking and cleaning for Tal and wrangling the 2 babies. Tal was totally wonderful in labor--really focused and calm and incredibly tolerant of all the chaos around her. When we arrived at the hospital Christine and I couldn't help but laughing thinking of what the staff (ourselves included) at Chestnut Hill would have done if a patient's support folks had arrived as we did: picture the actively laboring woman, her mother and husband, 2 midwife friends, 3 pillows, 2 babies, 2 diaper bags, 2 shopping bags of food, 1 stroller, 2 Ergo's, 1 sling, 1 rolling suitacase, 1 bag of baby toys and a comforter. We were a ridiculous site to see. But whatever they might have been thinking, they were too nice (Minnesota, you know) to be anything but pleasant and welcoming.
Beautiful Zibby Esme.
I said recently--as I often do--how much easier everything was before we had kids. When I think about things that used to stress me out, I want to laugh. Traffic? Exams? Spending time with my in-laws? Holidays? Ha. Take away the kids and any of those things seems like a walk in the park. Really. The person I said this to said, "and you want to have more?" Which, of course, I do. I don't think I ever appreciated a single thing in my life before the kids were born. Not a single thing. Now I appreciate everything--the time with them, and the wonderful time alone (all the more wonderful for being so rare).

Ahem. Queer much? No one has ever called Al metrosexual, so I think he must get it from his Uncle Jason.

Is it wrong to spend a moment complaining about my children's wonderful father on father's day weekend? Better that I should get it off my chest, no?

Al is great at some of the staying home stuff. He's good with the kids ( of course that's the main thing). He's easy-going which I am not (news flash!) and in my new world view, that is almost the most important characteristic a parent can have. Being patient and easy going will take you far when you spend your whole day with irrational short people. But (as is typical for men, I believe) he doesn't do any of the following things:

make dentist/doctor's appointments for the kids
plan meals
plan anything
sort and store baby clothes
hang laundry out so it smells nice
read parenting books (not even one)
sort and organize kid toys
clean the kitchen at night so it's nice in the morning when you come downstairs

Okay, so it's a pretty short list. That was pretty much the extent of my home-making when I was the stay at home parent. I didn't even do the laundry--I just hung it out when the weather was nice. But it's really hard to fit that stuff in on my schedule. When I have only one or 2 days off in a row, all I can manage is the every day house stuff--food for that very moment, clean underwear for today, taking out the trash, walking the dogs, etc. I never feel able to take on bigger projects.

I think we need another wife.

Our awesome (childless) friends are watching the kids tomorrow so we can go out for a fancy brunch. They all think it's funny that our idea of a good father's day (mother's day too) is to go out without the kids. Oh we love them an all. But it's really hard to butter good french bread and drink cup after cup of strong, piping hot coffee with a wriggly baby on your lap. And let's not even get started on reading the paper...


nkd said...

My kids decided to get up at 5:30am to wish ME a Happy Father's Day since Ron got to sleep until 9:30. I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes open. We spent the entire Father's Day "packing" and wrangling kids. T went to the park for 15 minutes with Ron and they were the only people who went outside on this beautiful day. Oh, and there is so much more to do today-- dinner, bath, bedtime and a night with a 6 week old baby. AND both kids are home tomorrow with NO PLANS. But who's complaining? (me!)

Christine said...

Penelope attended Silas's birth in utero, does that count?
I still have mixed feelings about that hospital scene with us, the kids, the stuff, the politely smiling hospital staff... quite a spectacle, but then again, Talisyn said she was happy to have us there and it was one of the best times of my life, maybe we should look into that communal living thing. Rhubarb farm perhaps?