My husband works a lot. Once a week he’s gone for 48 hours straight. Otherwise it’s 24-hour stretches. He does it for us. Our child hasn’t had to face daycare since I’ve been home from day one, and Clark working as much as he does ensures that we can continue doing that comfortably. Here’s where I admit that I’m whiny and selfish more than I should be given how blessed I am to be in this situation. It’s a struggle because I’m losing my sanity staying in a house with one small person for the majority of my time, but I’m very aware of how great the situation is for this ridiculously adorable little boy.
One positive aspect of Clark’s work is that it’s close to home and we can visit if he’s not busy and on most days join him and his crew for dinner. During those 48 hour jaunts, we usually head out the second night to grace him and his coworkers with our presence. I phrase it that way because his supervisor loooooves Pumpkin and his visits keep her from wanting to have another child. She gets her baby fix and cooks dinner. We say that I provide her therapy and she pays me with dinner.
The conversations at these dinners are pretty much guaranteed to be entertaining. Tonight involved how parents identify male and female body parts with young children. Among the monikers, these terms had me cracking up and are still in my head:
Yup. Boys have peanuts and girls have powder puffs. Am I an artist? No. That’s why you get elementary scribbles from my Doodle Buddy app of peanuts and glittery, pink flowers. I kept thinking of Blossom from the Powerpuff Girls. That show came up in conversation too, so what do you expect?
So for me, family dinner is spent around a folding table in a common living area of a government building with a random bunch of people whose common link is their vocation. Everyone talks about their day and laughs at the smallest person at the table as he scoffs at the dinner selection and attempts to flip his plate and climb out of his seat. This is my life.
In a funny way, this reprieve for me seems like a good parenting move. How much research has shown that sitting down to family dinner is beneficial for kids? Well we’ve got it covered in our own quirky way. Score one for the big people.