When Heather told me she was going to be going to New York with Annie, part of me was stoked to hear that I was going to get a break from all of my “Dad duties.” For a few days I wouldn’t have to get up in the middle of the night for feedings, I wouldn’t have to change endless amounts of surprisingly full diapers (of both the numero uno y dos variety), and I wouldn’t have to walk around with baby spit-up on my clothes. This was a good thing.
I wasn’t just looking forward to getting a break from my “Dad duties” though. I was also looking forward to a reprieve from “wife rules.” You see, before Heather moved in I had no idea that eating cereal on the couch was wrong, that leaving my dirty laundry in a pile was unacceptable, or that watching Cops marathons wasn’t totally awesome. Luckily for me, Heather informed me of these wrongdoings and many others once she moved in. With Heather gone in New York, however, I was free to do as I pleased, and I may have even started Tivo’ing Cops episodes the week before she left in anticipation.
To my surprise, I didn’t enjoy returning to my bachelor-esque ways once I was on my own though. Sure, I ate cereal on the couch (and maybe even spilled some – Ha!), and yes, I watched all the TV I wanted (and not a second of Glee, Grey’s Anatomy, or America’s Next Top Model), but I didn’t really enjoy it. The reality – and men won’t like me admitting this – is that once we are domesticated we’re pretty useless on our own. We’re like killer whales in captivity…you can’t release us back into the wild. After three days of eating nothing but cereal and watching episodes of Cops on location in each of our fifty states, I was itching for my girls to come back and bring structure to my life once again. To my shock I found I was missing diapers and Glee.
The hardest part of Heather and Annie being gone, however, was not being near Annie. Since she was born I had only been away from her for one night, and now on this trip she was gone for four whole days. I wasn’t used to that. With Maddie, I was forced to learn early on that I wasn’t going to be able to spend all my time with her. Her first 68 days were spent in the NICU where there were specific visiting hours. I had no such restrictions with Annie though. From day one we got to pal around twenty-four hours a day, and there’s no amount of watching Dude TV in your underwear that that is worth trading for.
To my relief I found myself back on the job today, and I enjoyed it all…even the lost sleep, dirty diapers, and spit-up. Don’t tell Heather, but I might have even liked this week’s Glee that we watched when she got back. When the brown haired girl started singing Poker Face with her long lost mother? OMG. I might have got a little verklempt. Just a little though. I am still a dude, after all.