Saturday, September 13, 2008
Despite the fact that Mitch and I currently replicate the 1950's model of a family where I go to work every day and he stays at home with the girls, I like to tell myself that I am almost equal to Mitch in my parenting time. I rationalize that I spend 3.5 days a week with the girls (I have three days off every weekend and I count all the after work and bedtime time as a half) while Mitch spends 4 days a week with them. Periodically, the reality of the situation makes itself apparent.
The reality is that Mitch spends 7 days a week with the girls and I spend three days a week with the whole family. We have many friends who parse the parenting equation by splitting the time with the kids between the parents so that each parent has significant alone time but Mitch and I like to hang out together on the weekends so we don't do much of the divided family thing. Typically on the weekends we all hang out together, all four of us. We do take turns in the mornings so that one of us can sleep in but that is only a couple of hours each day. Otherwise, if we do divide up, one of us takes one of the girls and the other one takes the other.
Having two kids and one adult is a whole different universe than two adults and two kids or one adult and one kid. Maybe it is just that I am inherently a more disorganized person than most (very possible) but for sure in our family, the only one who has down the multi-kid routine is Mitch. He has developed all sorts of complex systems to support and facilitate the sole parent gig. When I go out on my own with both girls I typically mess all these systems up. Not on purpose (as he sometimes thinks) but more because I can barely make it back alive, let alone make sure that the sippy cups are in the sippy cup pocket and the socks are where they belong. When I come back from the store or the beach or the playground, I feel happy to have returned without losing one of the kids or deliberately killing them or giving one of them away. Ask me where the formula ended up or where the empty bottle is and I have no freaking idea. (much to the endless frustration of Mitch).
Mitch has been gone all weekend and I must say that I am pretty pleased with myself for all the things the girls and I have gone out and done. We went to school together. We went to the beach together. We went to the mall and played and looked for new socks for Lucy. We've been having a good old time. And I think I didn't even lose any bottles, socks, or shoes or leave any banana peels or dirty diapers in the van (Mitch will be so proud), although there was that whole incident with the seagulls eating our cookies...
As both Lucy and Josie each get a little bit older, the whole double kid gig gets just a little bit easier. I'm still looking forward to Mitch coming back tonight (both because I like him and because he can lay the smack down on Lucy when she gets out of bed for the tenth time at bedtime).
Two is definitely more than one and as much as I like to think differently, and as much as I am invested in the girls to the hilt, Mitch is still the professional around here.