Monday, July 2, 2012

there's a man in my house. maybe.

The MOG has been leading this junior high summer camp for, I don't know, like a month or something (in reality, it has probably been 2 weeks), and it has been an adjustment for us. It's complicated. He could leave for weeks and I'd know exactly what to do. No laying around singing, "How am I supposed to live with-out you?" or "All BY myseeeelf", just you know, "Hakuna Matata" and a lot of McDonald's. Because when a man is gone, he's gone. That much you know. If you cook macaroni for dinner, no one will show up looking for real food. If a chipmunk gets loose in your house, you will die alone. It's predictable. And it gets lonely, but you just do the work and get through it. Or, he's here and I know he'll be here for weeks, eating the food and sleeping in my bed. Predictable.

But this, this is different. The camp is a mile away. He's here in the morning, sometimes, and then gone, and then spontaneously back. It's like having a manager that drops in at your house at random. Because, and this might come as a shock to some work-out-of-the-home dads, but we kind of let things go to heck during the daytime. I mean, somebody spills a box of Great Value Cheese Flavored Square Crackers™ on the floor and maybe I don't run screaming for the broom, because something will clean them up fairly quickly, and maybe I don't need to ask questions. Or maybe I bring up a load of laundry, retrieve the requested lion costume, sans barf, and then let the rest of the clean clothes take a break on the couch. What's the hurry? Is the dresser lonely? Is the Queen dropping by? Maybe it's 11:00 and the baby is wandering around in just a sagging diaper while I read a novel and eat some trail mix. Whose business is this? To quote everyone on Facebook ever who is doing something they should not be doing and then getting cyber-busted, "Hey! Judge Not! It says it in the Bible you say you love so much. LOL."

So the drop in, with the cheery, "Whatcha workin on?" Do you want to know? Because I am finding out if Tom Cruise's marriage was a SHAM right now, and next I thought I might watch a video of a cat that smiles like a person... Is that what you were looking for?

And the food. I mean, I like the guy a lot. I've been married to him half my life, we have a magnificent crop of children, it's all good. Don't feel like you need to notify the prayer chain. But I basically feed my children these things when he's on the road: pizza, mac and cheese, sandwiches. Repeat. And then when they go to "quiet" time or bed, I eat mommy stuff, like a couple of shrimp and a half an avocado. And something chocolate. When he's home, like, not on the road, then I do better, with meals that need a big plate, and a fork. But this- he might be home at 2 in the morning, or at 5:30 in the evening, neither of which are designated meal times. He doesn't complain, he just stands in the kitchen, kind of whimpering, and then drinks a breakfast shake. The guilt, it would get to me, if I let it.

And then in the evening, I do baths. Well, maybe. Or I scrub wildly and randomly with Great Value Unscented Diaper Wipes™ and then send them to their rooms, smelling like spaghetti, urine and chemical baby powder. Then I clean the kitchen and pick up all the apple cores and the toys and such and then I collapse on the couch with another mommy meal, like an apple with peanut butter and a bunch of cheese squares, and I find something on Netflix that has a woman's face in the center, looking quirky, with 2 guys standing in the background, indicating an amusing love triangle, and then I watch that. But then sometimes he shows up, because this camp thing is confusing and he can come home sometimes, and there he is, snarfing my apples and making untoward suggestions.

It's just confusing, that's all. I've tried to explain it to him it's just because he is dead to me when he goes on tour, and that I just go into survival mode and do work, but that doesn't seem to reassure him. Mysterious. I think I'll figure it out by the time camp is over and everything changes again.


  1. Wow. You just aptly described my last 4 years with Zack directing camp. I suddenly feel vaguely consoled for the reason behind the many cranky retorts I dished to him when he would "pop in" at home for 20 minutes without warning. Not justified- just consoled. Vaguely.
    -Carrie H.


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