Early this morning Caroline left for a two-day work trip to Los Angeles. This has been on our calendar since September and we’ve been making plans accordingly: banking milk in the freezer for the last two months and, more recently, helping Wally learn to sleep through the night without any restorative nursing sessions.
The day before Caroline’s departure I made my own preparations for 48 hours at home with the boys. I cooked a pot of pasta sauce that ended up as enough food to get us through New Year’s, and last night I shaved one day ahead of schedule because I remembered Caroline saying that she barely had time to brush her teeth when she had the boys alone two weekends ago while I was in South Caroline. Also I ran six miles this morning while the boys were with their nanny. I did it for Jay. To take the edge off. Because I know there’s going to be at least a moment when he drives me crazy.
All told, though, I’ve been looking forward to these two days. The last time I was home alone as a dad was back in April when Caroline was seven-months pregnant and flew to San Francisco for a bachelorette party. For that trip I made a pot of dal. Jay and I ate rice and lentils twice a day for three days and I, at least, enjoyed the feeling of minimalist living, just me and my son and food to get us through the day. We also took walks together, played blocks, went to bed early and woke up even earlier, and generally established a rhythm and intimacy that I find is harder to cultivate when parenting in tandem.
So far today things are going very well. Jay slept late and I used the extra time to make Irish oatmeal and mix Wally a bottle of half-formula-half-breast-milk. And right now both boys are napping downstairs in the family room. I turned up the heat to 74 degrees, hoping to stultify them into sleeping past 4pm. After that, maybe a trip to Target to buy Jay some additional pairs of training underwear (turns out that 3 pairs is not even close to enough), and then dinner, maybe a story or two, and lights out.
I love how simple life becomes during long stretches at home as a dad. For two days I wont think about achievement or bills, presidential politics, NBA trade rumors, or how well I’m using my time on earth. I’ll just take care of Jay and Wally, eat and sleep. Except for missing Caroline, I think I could go on like this for a long time.