Away

Feb 8 2011

I went away last weekend for a work gig, leaving Greg home alone with 5 kids.

It was his birthday weekend.  There was a sick child.  Actually, there was a sick Greg, too.

Sure, I set him up with helpers.  But does that really make up for your wife abandoning you to cook and clean for your own birthday party?  Even if he hadn’t had the sickies to nurse?  Yeah.  Probably not.

In my own defense, this is the only weekend each year that I’m required to work.  And I had to go to sleep in an immaculate room

at a hotel on the water

with maid service and someone who cooked and not a single interruption All. Night. Long.

Working 13-16 hour days in exchange?  Worth it!

I didn’t have to see this

the entire time.

Unfortunately, Greg made a huge blunder while I was gone.

Major.

Epic.

See, the thing about Greg is that he has no guile.  Absolutely none.

And you probably think that’s a good thing.  Most of the time I do, too, especially since synonyms for guile are deceit and duplicity.

The problem with having no guile comes when craftiness and cunning are also missing.  I would postulate that the absence of any amount of guile creates a lack of self-preservation.

To prove my point, what do you think my reception was like upon my return home Sunday?

Realistically, anyone would be exhausted after parenting 5 children alone all weekend.  I mean, the guy was sick.  So sick that I sent him to the doctor’s office today for a chest x-ray due to the excessive wheezing.  That means that Sunday was the perfect time to milk the illness, right?

Some pitiful coughing coupled with passive aggressive statements, perhaps.

Something like “The kids were so sad without you, but we were fine” *cough cough*.  Or “I don’t really need to sleep anyway” *cough cough*.

Maybe he could’ve prepped the kids.  “Don’t we miss Mommy?”  Or, “Aren’t we so, SO sad without Mommy?”  Or, “Why don’t we tell Mommy that Daddy spanked us for being sick?”

Really, anything to make sure I don’t ever go away and leave him to do this again.

But no.

There was none of that.

I was greeted at the door with the birthday party in full swing.  We had guests.  We had snacks and soup.  Soup Greg made from scratch.  We had toilet paper in the bathroom… on the roll!

The kids were happily playing.  I barely got a glance, much less a “so glad you’re home, Mom.”

But none of that was Greg’s blunder.

None of that showcases how seriously, erroneously he played this one.

Because when I got home, and I moved the world’s largest skillet and my beloved double-burner griddle,

both of which reside permanently on the stove top to hide its heinous mess, I saw something I didn’t expect.

I saw this:

DID YOU SEE THAT?

Here’s a close-up:

And the heavens opened, and a beam of light shone through the darkness.  Behold, the Stove of Greg.

Now, I’m not one of those women who has to clean my own house to feel as though my husband needs me.  (Stop laughing, Everyone Who’s Ever Met Me.)  I have other activities at my disposal that gladly fill that purpose.  (Ha!  See what happens when you won’t stop laughing?)

So I’m left trying to figure out… what’s my incentive not to plan another weekend away?

Big mistake, Greg.  Huge.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

Sidenote: My friend Elsie is 13.  Elsie has a blog.  She just blogged about babysitting my kids and added one million photos.  Elsie’s mom is letting me link it here.  Elsie’s mom is also responsible for suggesting a stove top cleaner and instructions for how to clean the stove.  Which Greg USED.  Elsie’s family is awesome.  Awesome.  And awesome.  But you shouldn’t ask Elsie to babysit.  I’m afraid I can’t spare her.  Sorry.  So sad for you.