Time for a couple of hours of Jeff time.
After I dropped Jay off at daycare this morning, I faced a decision. Return home? Or go over to my gallery/ office and work there? The office cuts out an hour of driving, and the roads aren’t great. But it lacks one important thing:
Mmmmmmmmm… a few hours of tempur-pedic solitude sounds awesome right now. Flannel sheets, one of mom’s quilts wrapped around me with no need to share, a warm fat cat toasting herself on my belly…
The office won. I’m too tired to drive anymore. I’ll save some gas money, get more work done, and spend some time out of the house and in the vicinity of friends.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to sell out on this "special time" of life with Jay. And no, there should be nothing out of the ordinary about spending three consecutive days more or less “home alone” with him. I’m not big on dads who consider staying at home with the kids to be “babysitting.” It’s child-rearing, as in my child, as in having the opportunity to influence who he becomes. As in being a parent, specifically being a dad, and defining what that means to this child.
Phew. Those three days presented increasing isolation each day for both of us. As the winter storm dumped, and then blew another foot and a half of snow, our cozy home got cozier and cozier. Downright small, one might say, for both of us.
But, we were well-protected. We stayed warm. We had a great view of the mountains, the horses, of the blowing and drifting snow. We spent time yesterday, in 18-degree air covered with cirrus clouds, stacking chunks of plowed snow into a snow family in the same spots where we re-arranged puddles in 56-degree sunshine 48 hours earlier. The amount of fun had was the same in both cases.
The effects of no nap yesterday spilled into this morning. I was supposed to visit Mettawee Community School over in Vermont to scope out their pre-school at 9 am. That meant leaving the house before 7:30. At 7 am Jay was still snoring away. I opened the door to his room to allow some ambient house noises creep in, and hopefully wake him gently.
If by "gently" you mean smacking mom and yelling at both of us, “NO. Don’t change me!” Then, just:
This was your non-specific, “bugger off” sort of ‘no’. Whatever you’re saying, doing, thinking, the answer is:
Sigh. Time to dodge and distract, Dad. “Go look at the mountains! They’re pink! They’re beautiful!”
I set him on the floor, and he waddled around his heavy overnight diaper and Thomas the Tank Engine sleeper into the living room.
He was impressed. “Wow, Mommy! Wow, Daddy! I see pink! I see red! I see orange!”
“Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!”By the time he was dressed, she was almost a half hour late for work and I was just as late to leave. I called Mettawee School to find out what they wanted me to do. The secretary asked, “Are you sure you’re supposed to come today? We’re on an in-service day. There’s hardly anyone here.”
Seriously? I am a big believer in “choosing my battles”, and I just fought a completely unnecessary one. We all took a deep breath and relaxed. Jay could feel the release of tension as well. He was still not too keen on me, but he let mom get his shoes and jacket on. On the plus side, I didn’t end up driving all the way from Glens Falls back out to Vermont only to find out there was no one at the school.
When we pulled into Debbie’s house, where he goes for daycare, Jay let out a big “Yay! Debbie’s!!!”
I think he was ready for a change of scenery as well.
So, today I’m here, in Glens Falls. I’ll do some writing, and plan some lessons for an upcoming photoshop class I’m teaching. I’ll catch up on correspondences, and print some images that were juried into a show that opens in a couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll shop around for some other shows, and other markets for my work. You know, “Jeff” stuff.
This week has been a good warm-up for Debbie’s vacation week at the end of this month. No daycare means lots of time for the "Js" to hang out together. Hopefully the roads will be clear that week, and we can get to some of the things we like so much- the library on Tuesday, tumbling class Wednesday, art day at the Hyde museum Thursday, and Wonderfeet children’s museum on Friday. All of these are half-day outings at best, leaving us plenty of time together for “the Jeffs”. Whatever comes, we’ll work it out.