Last night, Bill very generously left work “early” (before 6 pm) and got home in time for me to attend a penance service sans children. Mary was not happy at being left behind, but she would have been more unhappy to attend a reflective service past her bedtime. And I would have been most unhappy at dealing with an unhappy baby at said reflective service and might possibly have nullified any potential grace received thereby.
As toddlers, my children are not as anti Not the Momma as they are when infants. With no other choice, they will eventually find solace on daddy’s shoulder and pass out from exhaustion. Or they might resolve to hold an all-night vigil awaiting my return. Either way, a few hours every so often without me doesn’t kill them.
Bill, though, long used to playing second fiddle to me, is now finding even that slight superiority being usurped by his oldest son. Mary spends much more time with her homeschooled big brother than with her works-out-of-the-house father, and she finds Fritz to be a fun and adequate alternative to her preferred caregiver. Fritz, to his credit, loves to dote on her, carry her around, play with her (anything, anything, to avoid doing school work, right?).
So last night, as she loudly informed everyone her opinion regarding Mom-going-out-for-the-evening, Bill would reach for her to offer his comfort, and she would swat him away while turning to Fritz. It was his chest I saw draped with her sleeping body when I returned.
Poor Bill. Not only is he Not the Momma, he’s Not Fritz either.