Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hey, Other Parent, How YOU Doin'?

Happy Father's Day! Husband, did you hear me? I said, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!! Hello? Hel...Oh, that's right. You're away for the weekend with your mates.

Actually, we've never done much beyond cards for these Hallmark holidays so he's not missing out on anything special except, of course, those precious moments of childhood that are so fleeting. EXCEPT THAT. I mean, I doubt that all that motorcycle-riding-countryside-visiting-wine-drinking-with-friends will be able to make up for it. In fact, I'm pretty sure he's pining away for our company. PINING AWAY. If he's lucky, we may still give him the cards.

Only 24 hours to go until he gets home. Not that anyone is keeping track. The kids and I have done all the requisite weekend activities: swim lessons, soccer lessons, visited parks, had friends round, gone to friends' houses, run errands, eaten pizza/sausages/cake/lollipops and not bathed. (I know. We are gross.) Sadly, our Sunday afternoon play date was cancelled (because we smell?), but it looks like rain and tomorrow we go back to the weekly routine.

I don't actually find solo parenting as difficult as I find it lonely. It's easy enough to get kids fed and wrangled onto buses to the pool and all, but I miss having someone adult to talk to in the down times. Don't get me wrong, M and O are great to be with and obviously I enjoy all the precious and fleeting childhood moments, yada yada, but by 6 p.m. I would like to talk to someone who can maintain an actual dialogue. And ideally knows how to operate a Screwpull. (THAT OPENS WINE. You guys should really get your minds out of the gutter.) When I'm on my own, once the kids are in bed the house is super quiet, and I usually end up eating something involving cheese and watching old episodes of Mediumzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...Oops, sorry, I put myself to sleep just now. But you get the picture. 

The alone time is also one of one of the hardest parts of staying home with the kids. We live in a booming metropolis and there are tons of stay-at-home-moms in my neighborhood, but while I see quite a few other adults during the day, it's often doing parallel activities alongside them as opposed to really engaging with them. Conversations happen in snippets while you pick up the kids at school or push them on the swings, and relationships are frequently based on the mutual fact that you have children. Trying to have a normal conversation (let alone develop deeper friendships) is really difficult if you have to sprint away every 45 seconds to keep your kid from death by jungle gym.

Luckily, I talk reallyreallyfast.

Hi! My name is Caroline. This is M and O and we are looking for some friends. We come from America and lived in France and love to eat fish fingers and peas and doing drawing and playing in the garden and we are on our own this weekend and are starting to get bored so you do want to come over and hang out? We promise to shower.

In all fairness, I've met some really great people since moving here, particularly via M's school. But it doesn't change the fact that when you are all home during the day, you have little kids to look after and not as nearly as much time as you'd like for leisurely coffees. It's more like sip of coffee, tell your kids to stop hitting each other, sip of coffee, please don't climb on that table, sip of coffee, why don't you guys share the ball, sip of coffee, I think I see poop coming out the top of that diaper. Not that work is this fabulous magical place with meaningful adult conversations and endless cups of coffee (ok, fine, there is a lot of coffee), but I definitely remember being able to start whole sentences and then actually finishing them. Without a single reference to poop. Mostly.

So, yes. If Husband could hurry up and get home, that would be great. I'm getting tired of cheese and running out of episodes of Medium to watch. Also, I think all the pick up lines might be starting to scare the other parents on the playground.

Side note: I just found myself shouting at O not to do "roly-polys" (somersaults) because he "might break his neck." Because that's likely, right? 

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