China trips mean Skype dates over breakfast, apologies after angry outbursts (my bad), late nights flipping channels alone, and a lot of whining. Mostly, from the children.
Anyway, preparations are underway. What makes this trip unique is that Evan will be gone in the couple weeks leading up to Christmas which stinks on a number of levels. Mostly, it means that I will have to hide piles of unwrapped presents in my closet because he is the guy who does all the gift wrapping in our house. When he gets home, it will be something along the lines of, "Hey honey! Welcome home! Here's the scissors, Scotch tape, and the wrapping paper. Arrange them neatly under the tree when you're done. I'll be taking a bubble bath."
I just about died laughing when I read this post by Beth Woolsey about what happens in her house when her husband is away because it was so similar to what we go through! Get out of my head, Beth!! So, inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, I'm going to do my own list of what happens "While Dad's Away."
1. He sends me pictures like this.
My man is so thoughtful. He know that it gets stressful for me to be left back at home to care for all the kids and do all the things, so he sends me photos like this to remind me of how much his trip to China is so very much NOT a vacation. Suddenly, my pee smelling bathroom isn't sounding so bad.
Now, I obviously understand that he is not on vacation. I get that. Nobody gets on a 14 hour flight only to drive in a van for a few hours only to get on a ferry for a couple more hours only to crash into an uncomfortable bed for a restless night of sleep before touring a factory with dirt floors and calls it a vacation. Obviously.
2. The outside work goes completely to pot.
Back at our old house, I distinctly remember wanting to put a sign out in our front lawn that read "Husband in China. I promise we aren't really this lazy" because our grass was starting to resemble that field that Padme and Anakin run through in that ridiculous scene in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, but I was too scared of getting robbed. It just so happened that we got some crazy rain in the days following Evan's departure and by the time he got back, I was considering putting some busted down old cars in the yard just to complete the look.
What's really going to be fun this time around is that the Weather People are predicting about 5-6" of snow to fall on the exact. day. he. leaves.
Looks like I'm going to need to learn how to use the snowblower or try to convince the kids to help me shovel the driveway and pay 'em in hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.
3. The boys will NOT be having pancakes with Peanut Butter M&Ms for dinner.
So sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
4. My anxiety level is about to go through the roof.
If you happen to be driving by my house any time soon, just slow down a bit and toss some individually wrapped chocolates, semi-dry white wine, and a bag of whole bean coffee on my front lawn and I'll come out and pick it up at my earliest convenience. Thanks so much.
5. We will all be wearing wrinkled clothes.
As previously discussed, Evan is the laundry folder of the family. I collect, wash, and put away. He folds. While he is away, every morning before school will include a wail coming down the hallway from my oldest son as he laments, "Mommmmmyyyy!!! I don't have any clean unnnndiiiiessss!!!" I will tell him to come get some from the laundry basket and my boy will race down the hall, naked as the day he was born, and start digging through the pile to find the boxer briefs, NOT the regular briefs before prancing back to his room to finish coordinating his outfit. He will then discover he has no jeans in his drawer. Rinse and repeat.
6. I'm going to be sleeping in my warmest jammies with socks on.
Cuz it's going to be cold. And my bed warmer will be in China.
Here's to hoping this trip goes really fast. :)