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October 11, 2005

5 Days, Just Me and the Kids

For Mother's Day I gave Heidi a plane ticket to Arizona to visit a friend. She's been there for 5 days, and comes back today. Since last Thursday it's been just me, Jo (4yrs) and Ezra (3yrs).

It started as a daunting experience. There is no way to describe what it's like to think that for the next five days I will have to be there for everything from morning to night and the only pure break is from 8pm to 7am when they sleep.

To keep the sanity I scheduled at least one activity each day. On Thursday we did a bunch of errands, but started them with a visit to a favorite playground where we played for over an hour.

Friday was school, which goes from 8:30 to 11:30. I used that time to make progress on the Linux Magazine article. In the afternoon we went and got Ezra a new pair of shoes.

On Saturday we went and saw March of the Penguins. It was the first time either Jo or Ezra have been to a movie in a theater. I thought it would be cool and fun and exciting but the movie wasn't as interesting to the kids as I had hoped so had to run out and get some popcorn and candy to keep them occupied. Afterward it was clear that although they acted bored, they did pick up a lot of details from the movie.

Sunday was church and then we went and visited some friends in the late afternoon and let the kids have free reign over the living room and toys.

Monday we went up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and spend several hours in the children's museum, which is an old three-story school that's been converted. We left after breakfast, and didn't get home until almost dinner time.

In all, the experience was really good. I know a lot of dad's shy away from these kinds of opportunities. If you are interested in getting to know your kids, and getting to know yourself, I highly recommend doing something of this nature. It's not easy, but a rewarding experience. I felt pretty good when Heidi came back and everyone had "made it through" having had a pretty good time.

Update: In the days following Heidi's return I got more than one request from the kids to have another time where the kids get to spend all day with just dad. That's a good feeling.

Posted by mike at October 11, 2005 8:57 AM