Regina's plans were to take the kids to the Bay Area for the weekend. My plans were to stay home, cut hay, put hygiene on hold, and eat hot dogs. We'd both been planning for months. Regina packed, I Googled "hot dogs + bourbon" and found several dinner ideas. I put Red Dawn and Uncommon Valor on my Netflix queue. It was going to be a spectacular manly weekend. But sometimes life gets in the way and Regina, instead, went to Bakersfield and left me with the kids.
As she was walking toward the car, getting ready to leave, I started to panic. The stupid questions started flowing: Does Grady eat food? What if Dylan starts the chainsaw? Where are the hot dogs? "You can figure it out. You're a big boy," she told me. Exactly, I thought, the key word there being boy. Who leaves their kids with a boy?
We are fortunate to live near family, and even more fortunate to live near family members who still like our kids. So, while I worked, the monkeys spent time with their cousins, aunts, and grandparents. My only directions were to make Grady walk as much as possible and to never, ever feed Dylan after midnight.
Our first day without Regina started rough. Grady pooped his way through a pack of diapers and Dylan got in a MMA fight with a cat. I thought, "You're a big boy, you can handle it," as I changed the ump-teenth diaper and cleaned up Dylan's wounds. Luckily, it got better. Each evening, I'd hustle home from work, pick up the kids, and get them ready for dinner and bed. Grady would get his fraternity-shower (I'd rub a wet wash-cloth over him) and I'd put him down for bed. Then I'd spend the next 2 or 3 hours listening to him reflecting on the highlights of the day. Ah, hugging Nacho -- is there anything more fun? Man, those cookies Julie made are going to go straight to my hips! and, I wonder if Gramma even knows I snagged her Lego-man? He hollers, coos, sings, and yells until the party ends and he passes out.
Currently, Regina is on a train heading north, and we can't wait to see her. "I miss Mommy," Dylan keeps telling me. And, instead of asking, "Really?" (which is what Regina said to me when I told her what Dylan said) I tell her that I miss her too. Grady has some cool new walking moves that he's excited to show off, Dylan is going to recreate all the Shark Week episodes we watched together, and me -- I'm just proud that the house stayed reasonably clean, I didn't leave anyone in the truck, and there are still hot dogs in the fridge, just waiting for my next bachelor weekend.