Mike travels a lot for work which is good and bad. Good because I get to catch up on So You Think You Can Dance without anybody judging me, and bad because at 6am, when Mazzy wants to start her day, I have no choice but to do it myself. Ditto for negotiating dinnertime tantrums, enforcing iPad restrictions and overcoming bedtime stalling tactics.
On the rare occasion when it's ME who goes away for work, I always ask Mike how everything went in my absence.
It would be very satisfying to hear something like, "It was horrible! We can't live without you!" But instead, I usually get a shrug coupled with a flippant "It was fine." Like taking care of a two-year-old by one's self is the easiest thing on earth and anybody who complains about it is either weak or not doing right.
Great, yes. But also, INFURIATING.
Which is why, when I came home from BlogHer and asked Mike how the weekend with Mazzy went, I was excited to hear that it was "a total disaster".
"A total distaster, how?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
Upon further interrogation, I determined that there had been some incident at a community pool involving Mike's mother, other children, and a very large poop.
A poop so large, it could not be contained in Mazzy's waterproof diaper and involved a complete pool evacution.
A poop so throughly spread over Mazzy's body that Mike had to strip off her wet bathing suit and hose her down outside while she screamed for the return of her decency.
I believe there was also a healthy amount of hand to poop contact, but Mike would not elaborate.
It all sounds horrible, I know. *snicker*
Another thing that happened on Dad's watch, also at that ill-fated pool, was Mazzy burned the bottom of her feet.
I got home early Sunday morning and watched my daughter hobble on her heels over to the couch.
"Why are you walking on your heels, Mazzy?"
She told me she stepped on "a stove at the pool" so I take that to mean some sort of metal grate. I looked at the bottom of her feet and saw a small red dot on each toe.
"I know. She didn't say anything when it happened so I had no idea until last night when she started walking funny."
Mazzy was a trooper and didn't complain at all, except for some shrieking when I tried to put her shoes on. I ended up carrying her barefoot to a birthday party in the neighborhood. Along the way, we stopped at a toy store to pick up a present.
"I want to buy new feet," Mazzy said.
I shook my head at my husband.
"I know," he said defeated.
On the positive side, Sunday was AWESOME. Mazzy couldn't walk comfortably so she could not be her usual wild self. It was like a window into what it would be like to have a calm, well-behaved child that prefers to stay seated.
At the party, she played nicely in the inflatable pool and sat still while waiting for cake and left without a fuss when we said it was time to go home. That night, we went out to a restaurant, and she didn't try to get up or run away once. On the way back to our apartment, Mazzy rode on Mike's shoulders and we got back in five minutes instead of the usual half hour spent waiting for her to run up and down every set of brownstone steps we pass on the street.
Call me a horrible parent, but I almost wish we had thought to burn the bottom of her feet sooner. (I can say this now because she's totally fine.)
Anyway, the point is, under Mike's watch, there was a pool evacuation, hand to poop contact and an injury. Which is really the next best thing to my husband saying, "We can't live without you!"
Plus, next time Mike goes away, I can milk the hardship for all it's worth.