Saturday, March 03, 2007

Father Knows Nothing

There has been a paradigm shift in power over at Castilo Urf! Or, in any perceived power, anyway. There was a time not so long ago, though some days it seems longer than others, when I had some time to myself. Not a lot, mind you, but a couple of hours here and there. Saturday night was my night. Dadurday, it would later be called, though too late, as the free time was gone by then. Dadurday consisted of the few hours between me closing the store and my family returning from the in-laws’ house way out east. It was a time I could spend doing things that I wanted to do, but usually just sitting quietly and reading, though there was the occasional movie or dinner with people. Just a little quality time with myself so I could regroup after a long week. But then something crazy happened and the in-laws moved to Midtown, thus ending the great Dadurday experiment.

Recently, other things have started happening. Kristy now goes to the gym at least two nights a week, leaving me alone with the kids. Then last night she went out for drinks with friends, leaving me with The Quartet and the friend’s kid. When I woke up this morning, I fixed breakfast for the family and our friends and, as I was cleaning up, Kristy left to run a 5k. It was all very gradual and subtle, but I’m beginning to sense that the revolution has begun.

I’ve never really considered myself in power at home because, well, I’m not. Never have been. In fact, I’m somewhere at the bottom of the chain of command most days. Oh, sure, I huff and puff and throw things around and growl, but that’s about all I’ve got. I’m all bark. And I’ve certainly never considered myself the stereotypical 1950s father. Nor have I considered myself the stereotypical 1950s housewife, either, until lately. But here I am in my high heels and pearls, doing laundry and dishes, changing diapers, and getting the kids ready for school or feeding them TV dinners while Ward is out for an evening with the girls! The kids are running around the house like wild animals, stepping on each other and throwing our decorative accent pieces at the wall, and all I can say is, “Wait until your mother gets home!” My ironing isn’t done, JP’s trousers still need to be darned and the cake has fallen, and I don’t know when she’ll be home because Larry Tate needs her to stay late and work on a deadline or entertain clients.

Bitter? No, I’m not bitter. I’m tired. And these heels are pinching my toes. I don’t begrudge Big Mama her moments away, we all need to get away from time to time. We need to get away from our jobs and customers or bosses and, as bad as it may sound, sometimes we need time away from our family. Not a lot of time, but just enough to get our heads right, have a drink alone or shop for a new apron at Macy’s.