Stay at Home Dad’s Vacation

I’m off this evening to southern California, a quick one-day trip to handle some extremely yucky family business. (Not gonna talk about it, just trust me. It won’t be fun.)

My wife pointed out that I’d at least get a good night’s sleep. Given the circumstances (did I mention that they’re no-good-horrible-very-bad circumstances, too?) I doubt that, but it’s true that I haven’t spent a night away from Boobaby in over a year. Somehow I didn’t notice where on my paycheck they print the vacation days and sick days. And I work weekends and holidays, too, although I did get off early the last time César ****Chavez Day rolled around.

No matter what I write under “occupation” on forms, I never quite feel like I have a real job being a stay-at-home parent, and the paradigm of “vacation time” underlines that difference yet again. On actual vacations where we all travel, my activities — preparing food, changing diapers, calming tantrums — are pretty much all normal. The extended family loves to play with Boo, of course, and they are really helpful about feeding and diapering, but even so, there’s still a fair bit of work to do. If anything, travel makes me feel more like a nanny than a dad.

Adult time is good. I love my occasional evening out but I honestly can’t imagine being away from my daughter for more than those few hours. Measuring my “away time” in days makes me very, very sad.

Tomorrow is going to suck.

See you all on the other side.