Friday, June 6, 2008

Mr. Mom

I'm being my wife today, and it's a little odd. Melissa takes a trip out of state every year with my mom, my sister, and usually a couple of other female relatives from mom's family, and this year they're going to nearly-beautiful Wisconsin, land of cows and mosquitoes. Missy was up at 4:00 a.m. this morning to take her freshly-cleaned van and pick up my mom, then off to pick up my sister and the rest and head north. I'm sure wild times will follow wherever they go.
Anyway, that leaves me as a single dad until Monday. We've got a few things planned, but mostly I just want to make sure the house is still there and everyone's got all their fingers and toes when she gets back. Taking care of the kids and the house is no big deal; I do it every year, and although Missy does a lot of work around the house, it doesn't amount to much that I don't normally do--just more of it. I don't know how single parents do it, especially the people out there trying to raise large familes by themselves. If I didn't have Melissa with me . . . . well, people do it, but I'd be a much less cheerful person.
The biggest difference this time is that they're taking their trip during Melissa's summer school time, and she couldn't find a substitute, so I'm taking her place at work as well as at home. Being Melissa at work is actually a lot less work than being Melissa at home, because Melissa is compulsively organized and consistently over-prepared. Being Melissa's substitute consists of wandering in, asking her aide (and best friend) what's on the agenda, and then just making sure everything flows smoothly. The planning is done, the kids are used to a simple routine, and the day just flows by like old man river. Right now all the work is done and <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</i> is playing. I'd forgotten how quotable this movie is . . . . especially poor Charlie's teacher. Happily enough, the student who brought in the movie for "Movie Friday" is obsessed with <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</i> and also happens to share my pro-Gene Wilder bias, so we're watching the "real" version today. Soon it will be time to head out and figure out what to do with the rest of the day.