It was only after we’d dropped Dave off at the ferry to start his week-long adventure to New York to defend his dissertation that I realized I was going to be alone with Little Man for the first time in a foreign land. Canada doesn’t feel “foreign” very much any more, but for that moment driving the curvy, forested road back to our house on the farm it did.
This was going to be one of those weeks where the main goal was to make lemonade out of lemons… as fast as absolutely possible. A dissertation defense, for those who haven’t had to face this particular lion’s den, is a public presentation of your dissertation followed by a series of question and answer periods the first one open to the public and the second one only with your committee. This is where you “defend” your dissertation, the work you’ve done, what your work adds to the larger field of anthropology (no stress there), and basically why your committee should set you free. It’s a huge milestone towards the completion of your doctorate, and we weren’t going to be able to be there for Dave. Argh!
My goal for the week was to try to keep Little Man entertained and help him as he’d miss his daddy, as well as keeping myself sane as the sole caretaker of our energetic three year old. Towards that goal I hoped that writing about our adventures for the blog would both encourage me to find interesting things to do, as well as having a place to actually stop and put my thoughts together in the evenings after Little Man was asleep. This week will be a bit different for this blog since I’ll have entries for each day. So strap on in, here we go…
Day 1: A Sign for Daddy
The day was rainy, like both of our moods. We moved through our routine of breakfast and getting ready, running a few errands, but Little Man was not at his best and neither was I. After his afternoon nap things got noticeably better, partly thanks to a craft idea from my brain twin on the east coast. Jen is my doppleganger in spirit and it’s likely better for the world in general that we don’t live near each other anymore, but it’s hard to be split from someone who you share a brain with. Jen is also the mother to two adorable little girls, and she is a wealth of fun kiddo activities. When her husband was recently away for a week of training Jen helped her oldest make a sign to welcome Daddy home and each day they did something else to the sign. That’s what Little Man and I started today.
Our first day on Operation Daddy Sign consisted primarily of painting, me using my fingers and Little Man using a foam brush. His favorite part was to fly the brush-plane over the paper and drop it with a splatting noise and splatting paint on the paper. My job was to try to keep the brush splatting on the paper and not the floor or the cats, as well as keeping the cats from contributing their own paw art by running across the art work. All in all a good time was had by all, though I think the kitties would have liked a bit more artistic expression.
I also took the opportunity to make a batch of Whole Wheat Oatmeal bread, and the entire house smells of warm baking. I think that after putting Little Man down to bed my treat will be a slice of that bread with a little butter and some TV or maybe a good book. In the meantime, I have a little boy who is protesting that he isn’t tired and doesn’t want to go to bed yet, while at the same time rubbing his eyes and sighing tiredly. Time to wrap things up for Day 1.