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Love and Hate

The ups, downs and overall delights of parenthood
Jun 10, 2011
02:18 PM

Love & Hate: I (Sometimes) Love It When Daddy is Out of Town

Nothing in life is really so black and white as love and hate. Sometimes it's terrible when Daddy's out of town on a business trip – and sometimes it's kinda cool.

Love & Hate: I (Sometimes) Love It When Daddy is Out of Town

Just in time for Father's Day, I have praise for those days when my husband Bill is nowhere to be found.

Hey, I love the guy, but let's face it: When you are the one doing most of the housework, the hubby adds to the workload. For one, the girls seldom want to eat the same thing for dinner, so I have discovered certain meals that both of them can tolerate, but maybe he doesn't like. Pleasing three different palates three meals a day seven days a week? Nearly impossible!

When Dad's out of town I only have to please two.

It's also tough to schedule around him sometimes. I'm sure many dads arrive home at the same time every night, but not ours. He's a small business owner, so his hours are sorta crazy. I never know when he's coming home. I try to have dinner at the same time each night, then get the girls settled down and ready for bed. But then Dad shows up at 8:30 and BAM – everybody is wide awake and ready to wrassle till the wee hours.

When Dad's out of town, we can keep to a schedule.

Sure, Daddy's useful by the end of some days when I have had enough of the kids' arguing and silliness: Sometimes, I just go and hide and let him put them to bed. But then again, if I sneak off, I'm not quite certain he's going to follow through. Sometimes I find him fast asleep on the sofa and the kids happily watching the Disney Channel, hoping I won't figure out what's going on.

When Dad's out of town, I have to put them to bed myself. But when I put them to bed … they stay put.

The best time to have Dad around as a helper is school morning crush time, when I need jogging shoes to run back and forth from kitchen to bedroom to get breakfast ready, my snooze-button girls out of bed, and all the lunches ready and backpacks packed in time for them to zip out the door. By the time I have done 10 laps around the house, Mommy is not happy (and when Mommy's not happy, NOBODY'S happy). But good old patient Dad will sit and prod and sweet-talk them awake for 15 minutes until they're up and happy with big smiles on their faces.

When Dad's out of town, I sometimes wish he was here.

One of the sweetest moms I ever met once told me that of course she didn't play with her kids! She didn't have time! Her husband can do it because he is away from work. She is never away from work, she told me most convincingly. And that's where daddies are the most wonderful. I have so much going on I have to pre-schedule fun. On weekends, if the attitudes in the house start going south, Dad might suddenly decide it's time to go fly a kite or take a bike ride or go bowling. Sometimes I tag along. Other times I wave cheerfully from the front door and take the opportunity to finally wash the kitchen floor without six feet tromping all over it. Or I just relax in the quiet.

Ah .....

When Dad's out of town, we all actually miss him.

Happy Father's Day!

Now come home, already!

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