I could hear their excited squeals from out on the street. I couldn’t wait to get inside and cover them in cuddles and kisses. Had they missed me? Did they have fun? Had they had their dinner? Were they ready for bed? Did Dave think it was hard? These questions darted through my mind as I fumbled with the key in the door.
I opened the door expecting my almost-three-year-old, Curly-locks, to come racing toward me to give me a hug. She didn’t. I hid my disappointment and quickly surveyed the scene before me.
House: Looked like a tornado had touched down on the toy box.
Curly-locks: Wild-haired, happily squealing, jumping up and down doing her ‘ballet’. She was wearing the jeans that I could never convince her to wear.
Smiley: Even wilder-haired, in high-chair, face covered in food, squealing along with her sister.
Dave: In the kitchen cooking beef cheeks!?! for Curly-locks (He told her they were sausages. It seems he’s a compulsive liar too 🙂 ) with a stupid grin on his face and the wildest hair out of the three of them.
It was past their dinner and bath time. Curly-locks hadn’t started her dinner yet, and Smiley was only half way through hers. It didn’t matter a single bit though. They were happy.
It was a case of Daddy Daycare at our house this weekend. I worked both Saturday and Sunday at the Brisbane Pregnancy Babies & Children’s Expo leaving around 8.30am and getting home just after 6pm each day.
This was the longest time Dave had looked after the girls by himself and I was dying to know how he had coped. I knew he would do a stellar job, but I was just keen to hear what he thought. Some nights when he comes home from work, I am at my limit and he finds it a little hard to comprehend what’s so tough about ‘being at home having fun with two kids all day’.
It would seem Dave found nothing tough about this weekend. In fact, I think my three loves had the time of their lives without me.
When I walked in the door, they had just gotten back from a big adventure. Dave drove to Kangaroo Point, parked the car, and set off with the two kids in tow on his scooter. Curly-locks rode on the scooter with Dave, while Smiley sat up high in the baby carrier backpack. It would have been such a sight. I can just imagine them setting off on their adventure with the wind in their hair. He carried both girls and his scooter down the millions of extremely steep steps at Kangaroo Point and scooted all the way to South Bank where Curly-locks had a play, and then they all scooted back. The way Dave excitedly told me about that day’s adventure and hearing Curly-locks pipe in with ‘We scooted, mummy,’ ‘We saw boats, mummy’ was adorable.
When I asked Dave what else they had done that weekend, he presented me with a picture of Strawberry Shortcake he had coloured in. This was no ordinary drawing. He had shaded. Strawberry’s hair had highlights. He had put some serious effort into this one.
When I asked what else they did, he shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘We just chilled’.
As easy as that. They just chilled.
I quickly pushed the negative thoughts of ‘Why can’t I just chill with the girls?’ and ‘Why did they behave so well for him?’ out of my head and smiled. How could I not, when they were all brimming with excitement and happiness?
The relationship fathers have with their children is so different to the relationship mothers have with them. (In this family at any rate).
Dave is a little more rough and tumble with the girls, he nudges them out of their comfort zones and they just get out there and do stuff. I tend to have more structured activities. I have a routine. I stick to it. We still have fun, but there is an air of organisation about it.
It doesn’t matter that we are so different though. The girls have major fun with both of us and when it comes to serious parenting issues we manage to somehow meet in the middle.
I’m so pleased Dave had a chance to have this quality time with the girls. He feels he misses out on so much when he’s away from them every day at work. They had fun. They bonded. They were the ‘do stuff club’. Routine went out the window and fun reigned.
So, instead of feeling a wee bit jealous, I’ve decided they could all do with some more quality time together. It’s time I had some ‘me’ time!
How does the relationship you have with your children compare with that of your partner’s?