I love the weekends.
Saturday and Sunday are the only days when I can spend uninterrupted time with my wife and daughters, and I cherish it. I'm also a homebody. I'd prefer to spend any off time that I have from work in my own house as opposed to driving to someone else's home or finding excuses to go out. The weekend is also the only time my wife can get out of the house without the girls in tow or going to work, so I never have a problem with her running errands on Saturday or Sunday. I gladly take on the mantel of stay-at-home dad for those stretches because it really is the least I can do to save my wife's sanity. It fulfills her need to avoid cabin fever and my need to stay home. Win-win, right?
This past Saturday Erin had a hair appointment in the morning that she forgot about until the day before.
Do you mind staying home with the girls? No problem at all.
Sorry it isn't more notice? It isn't like I had any plans.
Are you sure you'll be okay? I'm pretty sure I can handle it.
We played on the floor. I made funny faces and blew raspberries. We played with a stuffed monkey and toys. Ana passed out for a little bit because the sheer excitement of me shaking a rattle was just too much for her to bear. Grace refused to do the same. She is going to be a sleep-over wunderkind by the way. I'm convinced that she could stay up for 48 hours straight if given the proper motivation i.e. someone paying attention to her. Erin was gone just long enough for them to get upset. It is a little bit overwhelming when you're not sure when their mom will be home, and you know feeding time is coming up on you like a car going 90 mph. It always comes more suddenly than you'd ever anticipate. I hate when they cry or are upset. It bores a hole in my heart knowing that they both need me, and I can only help one at a time. In fact at this point in my life as a father of twins, having to choose to tend to one or the other is the hardest thing for me. Erin came home just in time to be Grace's hero.
After they ate and settled down, Erin planned on going to my sister's house to check out one of the bridesmaid's dresses for her wedding and then possibly to the mall. She tried to talk me into going with her and taking the girls along. She doesn't want to put the burden 100% on me if she can avoid it, and I appreciate that about her. My wife is always concerned with my well being too. But in truth I didn't want to get out of the house for a few reasons. First of all it was just about nap time for the girls, and Ana was already starting to doze. I didn't want to disturb that for the sake of getting out of the house and not being left alone. Secondly I still hate leaving the house unless I absolutely have to do it. And most importantly, the Giants were playing an afternoon game, and I really didn't want to miss it. I love listening on the radio, but I certainly prefer watching the game.
Easy decision as far as I was concerned, so I stayed with the girls. They napped for a little bit, but the amount of time they slept was nothing that would interest Guinness World Records. They once again got fussy at the exact time when Erin was on her way home. Let me tell you what causes a stressful situation to ratchet up a bit: Someone calling and trying to talk to you while you're dealing with crying babies. Not fond of that. Should I just ignore the call? What if she thinks something is wrong and that is why I'm not answering? I'm not going to hear over the crying anyways? I swear I'm just torturing myself when I answer those calls, but I can't tell you why I don't just avoid them. It sure beats the stress and dealing with a stunted conversation.
The thing is that even though it was a little stressful in the actual moment, I still wouldn't hesitate doing the exact same thing next weekend or the weekend after that. You have a short memory for the manic or frustrating things as a parent. You have to or you wouldn't keep doing it. It also helps that you can't forget the good stuff. I can't tell you what Grace and Ana sound like when they're crying, but their laughs and squeals of joy play back in my head constantly. I couldn't describe the look on their faces when they're upset (although they do have some epic pouty faces), but I could probably draw their smiles from memory. This is why I love the weekend. I get to multiply those great times by a thousand percent in exchange for a little bit stress that I'll forget within a few hours anyway.
If it was up to me, that is how I'd spend every Saturday.