Saturday, October 25, 2008


The wife thought it would be a good idea to send the kids to a Mother's Day Out program one day a week. This, she purported, would help our precious Ella with her detachment issues. Jack has never met a stranger, but Ella, on the other hand, is wary of everyone she doesn't see on a daily basis, including immediate family members. She latches on to us like velcro, and cries big crocodile tears if we try to separate from her.

Mother's Day Out is not inexpensive, and although I outwardly supported the idea because I love my wife and pick my battles carefully, inwardly I questioned the merits of straining our budget so that she could play online Scrabble for four uninterrupted hours a week. It was a brilliant performance, and I must give credit to the Stravinski method and Mrs. Boyle, my high school Drama teacher for making me so convincing.

The first week, after the twins were dropped off, I was awakened by a distraught wife telling me what a horrible mother she was and how my little girl cried and screamed when left with the other kids. Not having time to get into character, my reaction was to roll over to mask my inner dialogue which said, "You asked for this. You knew it was coming. Why are you waking me up to complain about it now?" There would be no second take, as this was a live performance, and I had blown it. "You don't care," replied the wife as she stormed out of the room, leaving me guilt ridden and sleepless and disappointed in my ability to improv.

After some soul searching, I decided to embrace this Mother's Day Out thing. After all, didn't my wife deserve some time off? Hadn't I been taking her for granted? Wasn't I being selfish and shallow? Couldn't I be more supportive? And wasn't it big of me to recognize my faults and take some corrective measures? I decided that the answer to all of these questions was undoubtedly "Yes."

So I surprised my wife by waking up early and helping to drop the kids off at the church around the corner. I watched as my son plodded happily into the classroom and started playing without hesitation and my daughter threw one heck of a fit. We waved goodbye and went on our way. As we left, I suggested that the wife and I have a "morning date" and hit some garage sales before going out to lunch, just the two of us.

I must admit that I was wrong about Mother's Day Out. It is well worth the money spent and will certainly be helpful to our darling daughter. She is doing better every week. And my wife deserves it, too. We had a wonderful time on our date, and it had been far too long since we had put aside some time for just the two of us. We were like a young couple in love again, without all of the distractions and headaches and stress that two toddlers can inflict upon a marriage. It was a blissful break, but by lunchtime, we were more than ready to pick the kids up, and they were very happy to see us, indeed. We all went home and had a family nap, and nobody slept better that day than me; the wonderful slumber of redemption.

1 comment:

RJA said...

My oldest cried every day for the first year of daycare. One morning I couldn't deal with it and ended up pulling out of the parking lot with him still on board and taking him to work with me.

(He's now 10 and actually looks forward to going to school.)