The trouble with having a baby is that people always want to meet her. WonderWife’s™ grandparents are no exception. So plans were made for WW™ to fly back east and spend some time with them. Simultaneously, we learned that there was a big 85th birthday party being thrown for WW’s™ other grandmother and the kids’ presences were strongly requested. The end result is two back-to-back trips to the east cost for WW™ and the kids, while I stay home and work. While these trips were inauspicious for her, selfishly they were good for me. Or so I thought.
I am painfully aware of the sacrifice WW™ is making to visit her grandparents. To put it eloquently, her travel is going to suck. And while she is struggling to keep a pre-schooler and an infant occupied in a big metal tube for 5 hours straight only to land in order to deal with Florida drivers and extended family all weekend, I will have the house completely to myself.
I’ve been fantasizing about a weekend alone for long enough to worry why I’m not fantasizing about things like hot monkey sex with Eliza Dushku. I’ve dreamed about having no rules and no schedule, where I can sleep as late as I want, watch a marathon of Blu Rays with the sound turned up real loud, and not have to close the bathroom door when I’m doing some “thinking.” (I’m not sure why that last one is on the fantasy list, other than it’s something that I used to do when I was single and living alone.) So as bad as it makes me seem to admit it, the first time with the family gone is going to be paradise. It’s the second one, however, that gives me pause.
About a week after WW™ and the kids get home, they have to pack up and do it all over again. But this time they are going to be away for 10 days. 10 days all alone in the house. No kids. No wife. Just me. This is entirely too much time for me to spend with myself. I have been cohabitating with WW™ for way too long to properly subsist by myself for an extended period. I go stir crazy really easily. My friends aren’t going to be much help. Most of them have kids themselves, which means they’re locked down by the very schedule from which I’ve been temporarily set free. I’m going to lose my mind. I imagine by the end of the trip, I’ll be like a guy who’s spent too much time in a sensory deprivation tank.
To further amp up the situation, an unexpected and last minute business trip has taken me out of town for the days leading up to my family’s first trip. Later this week, I am literally going to be criss-crossing them in the air and coming home to an empty house. It doesn’t help that I had a more action-packed weekend than normal, having spent the last three nights staying out way too late and building up a nice sleep-deficit. All of this means that I didn’t get to spend enough time with WW™ before I left and wouldn’t see her, or the kids, for a week.
I know that there are worse problems to have. I know that me whining about being alone shouldn’t obscure the awful travel schedule of my wife. I know that I’m lucky to have a job at all, let alone one where I travel every once in a while. I know that WonderWife™ and I chose to move 3000 miles away from our families, therefore bringing this all on ourselves. I guess it’s a testament to our kids that our extended family actually wants to spend time with them. Most importantly, I’m glad that my family means so much to me that the thought of spending so much time away from them sends me into a catatonic state. But the plain fact is that staring down a month where I only get to spend a quarter of it with my family makes me kind of cranky—no matter how nice that first weekend alone is going to be.