Sunday, October 21, 2007

While I'm Gone

I leave tonight for a business trip and will be gone until Friday afternoon. I haven’t had to do one of these long trips in awhile, so I can’t complain. No matter how many of these trips I go on, it never gets any easier for me. It’s hard to be away from my boys for that long. Some moms, when they hear about my business trips, ask, “Isn’t it nice and relaxing to get away for awhile?” I guess it would seem that way, but it really is not. My days are usually 12 – 14 hours of work, and I am often in some decidedly non-glamorous place in a less than stellar hotel where the only choices for dining are the gas station or the fast food joint.

Before I leave on a business trip, I find it necessary to have everything as organized as possible for those that I’m leaving behind. I tell myself that this is to make John’s life easier, but it really is to make my life easier. If I get everything lined out, I don’t worry while I’m gone about Jack not getting to go to the library because he forgot to bring his books or Luke not having food because he forgot his lunch. Being the anal freak organized person that I am, I find this organization to be a comfort to me while I’m gone.

John’s organizational style is decidedly different than mine. He is much more laid back and doesn’t worry about every minute detail the way I do. Things get done, even if they may get done a little late. And being a little late once in a while is no big deal (I am trying to make this my new mantra, repeating it over and over again until I actually believe it). It’s hard for me to let go of the control of running everyone’s life. John accepts this about me, and tries to ignore my micromanaging and over organizing. So, when I rattle off the to do list at one hundred miles a minute, he nods his head and pretends to listen, knowing full well that he doesn’t need to listen because I will write it all down for him, and then call home at least 4 times a day to make sure it is all actually getting done. He deserves a lot of credit. It’s not easy being the one staying home and running things alone for a week, especially when you know you’re going to be critiqued daily by the one who is gone. I don’t know how he can stand to be around me. It must be true love because he allows me to act this way without beating me over the head.

So, here is the list I am leaving him for this week:

  1. Make sure to bathe the children.
  2. Make sure to feed the pets.
  3. Make sure to feed the children.
  4. Make sure to let the dog out.
  5. Make sure to let the dog in.
  6. Don’t keep the kids up late playing video games.
  7. Don’t wrestle right before bed. Everyone gets wound up and someone gets hurt and then no one can sleep.
  8. Don’t watch scary movies right before bed, or Jack and Luke will hear things moaning in their closets and won’t be able to sleep.
  9. Make sure Luke wears underwear to school.
  10. If the kids are not brushing their teeth and getting their shoes on by 8:15, they will be late for school.
  11. Don’t let them out of the house without brushing their hair.
  12. Don’t let the kids eat the pumpkin innards.
  13. Don’t let the kids track the pumpkin innards through the house.
  14. Don’t let the kids carve pumpkins in their Halloween costumes.
  15. Don’t give the kids knives when carving pumpkins.
  16. Better yet, give the kids markers to draw on their pumpkins.
  17. Don’t let the kids draw on each other with markers.
  18. Make sure Luke eats more than just bread and Tootsie Rolls for dinner.
  19. Please keep all of the mail in a neat little pile on the table so I can look through it when I get home.
  20. Have fun.

This list is just a joke. Really. I don’t leave a list like this for John when I go out of town. Really. The real list is in my head so I can check things off when I call home three times a day.

By the way, while I’m gone this week it will be extremely difficult for me to post on my blog. You probably won’t hear from me again until next week. John’s mom will be staying with John and the boys for a couple of days while I’m gone. Maybe she’ll be able to guest write for me. I’m sure she will encounter some of the male-dominated household (MDH) experiences that I write about in this blog. I can’t wait to hear about them.

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