See that frazzled guy on the subway? The one with breakfast stains on his shirt and a torn orange balloon sticking out of his back pocket? The guy furiously checking to make sure he still has the kindergarten phone number stored in his cel because he's worried they'll call him to pick up daughter number two because she's dissolving into a puddle of snotty tears on this, her 8th day of school. Or maybe they'll call him to come pick up daughter number one because she's having another asthma attack? That sneezy guy, whose gaze drifts as he mentally crosses his fingers and hopes his own cold doesn't get any worse? I'm talking about the fella who's counting the minutes till his wife gets back from the USA. Yeah, that's the guy.
Okay, yes, I'm playing this for sympathy, dear reader. It's really not so bad to have the kids alone. Whenever Anette goes away, I set myself into a defensive position, a bunker mentality. It's like I squat down, one kid on each knee, and think, 'Do we really need to leave the house today? Can we eat rice and spinach again? Must I shave?'
Plus, as I have noted before in this very publication, when my wife leaves town, I am Master of all that I Survey. That means that I may leap around the ballroom to the strains of the Pixies' "Bone Machine," while I am stark naked, as my two daughters, fully clothed, gawp at me in bafflement. At least that's what I did this morning.
And I really do have a cold.
So, yeah, strange times around our place.
The girls are amazing and strong when Anette is away: Adinah starts helping out in all sorts of ways, like cooking with me, or occasionally bringing V. a clean shirt when she needs one; V. asks for Anette (and ice cream) frequently, but after I've told her that yes, Mommy will return eventually, and no, we won't be having ice cream in the next few hours, then she just calmly returns to one of her many projects and hobbies.
In short, we're fine. Really. And when Anette returns sometime next week, I'll tell her it was a walk in the park. Then I'll sleep for a week.