“You’ll be fine,” Sonya said as we sent her off to a four day training in Wisconsin. “While I’m gone, you guys can eat all the foods that I don’t like!”
This week was the first time that Owen and I were by ourselves for any real length of time. Sure, we usually do the grocery shopping together to give Mama some project and/or nap time, but that’s for a few hours, not four days. The second we dropped her off I put myself in a kind of “red alert” mode – hyper-vigilant and ready to tackle any crisis that would come our way. I sent – possibly multiple times – my daytime contact info to Owen’s day care provider, who very graciously staggered her day care schedule to match my own slightly later than usual work hours. I assumed O would break out into a raging fever again, just because, so I checked his totally regular and normal forehead constantly. I offered him food every few minutes, like he was a wayfaring stranger who had just stumbled into my house from the cold.
But there were no crises during Single Dad Week – in fact, virtually nothing happened at all while Sonya was away. With mama away, Owen seemed to step up his own game – when I came to pick him up at day care, he raced into the foyer, laughing, and handed me his shoes, as if to say, “you’re new to this, so here’s how it works.” At night he fell asleep much more quickly than usual; only once did he wake up in the night, and when he did, instead of screaming or crying to get my attention, he stood up in his crib and said “help? help?” Having such an easy charge meant I could even keep up with the household – I got all the laundry, cooking and dishes done; I washed all the cloth diapers ahead of schedule and even changed the kitty litter before Rocky the cat could take offense to it. And while Owen ate most of his dinners at day care, he did save a little room to share dessert with me, whether it was a bowl of his favorite yogurt or a buttery slice of banana bread.
It was almost too easy – I felt like I must’ve missed something, but no. By the time Sonya got on her plane home Thursday I realized Owen and I had just had the least interesting week in the history of bachelors – no wild times, no misbehavior, just clean clothes and an occasional lullaby on the ukelele. So we made up for it by watching a bunch of Black Sabbath videos on YouTube. I think Owen learned to say “Iron Man,” so that’s something.