Benjamin has been traveling a lot lately. Thankfully travel for my job is relatively infrequent (once every two months or so, usually), and planned far in advance. So 99% of the time, I’m the one at home, holding down the fort with Owen.
I think he’s gotten used to it. I think we’ve both gotten lazy with trying to balance who does what, even when Benjamin is home. Owen and I have our groove, so even when Benjamin is home, I tend to take the lion’s share of the Owen responsibilities. Even though it’s not 50/50, it works for us. And Benjamin does 100% of the dishes and dinner clean-up, so I’m pretty sure I’m getting the better end of the deal.
However, I left Wednesday afternoon for a 4 day trip to Chicago. And it’s the first time that Owen has really put Benjamin through the ringer. He’s always been a Mama’s Boy, but usually when I’m actually gone and out of the house, he falls right in line with Benjamin and they totally love having some one-on-one time.
But this time? This time he’s not happy that I left. And he’s taking it out on Daddy.
The first night I was gone, Benjamin had a job that ran late, so Owen’s Grammy and Grampy picked him up from school and did our evening routine. We had prepped Owen about it for days, so he was totally prepared and even excited for them to pick him up, and apparently he was a total angel. The next morning went ok too (which I was a little worried about, since I always wake Owen up and he can be a little ornery to anyone other than me when he’s waking up). But last night at pickup, well, let’s just say it didn’t go so well.
Benjamin was late. Really late. His work is not nearly as predictable as mine, so while I always pick up by 5pm on the dot, Benjamin was stuck in traffic until 6pm (the latest we can pick him up from daycare). So Owen was tired. And hungry. And I bet he was expecting to see me. So he cried and yelled that he didn’t want to go home. And “I don’t like Daddy”ed so much that Benjamin felt like he was kidnapping him to take him home from school. I imagine the night continued to snowball as Benjamin reported he had a terrible time flossing, brushing, and bedtime-ing in general.
I think we’re squarely in the stage where leaving is not as easy as it used to be. This too shall pass, right? I sure hope so, because the next few weeks our calendar is so ridiculously full that I feel like we are having a babysitter more than we have all year, combined. I’m hoping Owen can change his attitude, or at least get over the fact that it won’t always be ME putting him down at night and getting him up in the morning.