Preparing for a trip whilst leaving the children and husband alone in my absence stresses me out to the inth degree. Because of the routine that Mr. Farklepants and I established long, long ago, where he goes to work and earns the bacon, kills the bugs, and performs the home improvement projects that require power tools…and I, with the luxury of getting to stay at home, do everything else. This is an arrangement that works well for us and is rarely cause for concern (sorry, Gloria Steinem) until I want to do something that requires my being away from the household for more than twenty-four hours.

Contrary to popular belief around here, this house that runs like a fine oiled machine does not happen by magic. Or maybe it does, but I’m that genie in the bottle. And it’s not until moments like these that I realize one of my major failures as a wife parent. Because of my control-freakish nature and everything having to be done. this. exact. way. my family knows how to do precious little for themselves. So now, before I leave, I have to make sure the kitchen is stocked with everything they’ll need because the thought of Mr. Farklepants running out to the store to pick up milk for cereal makes me giggle. There needs to be enough toilet paper. All of the laundry needs to be done, folded, and easy to find in their drawers and closets. Because with out me around for a few days they will run out of clean clothes [pauses to consider the vast amount of laundry to be done upon her return].

Then there is the school morning routine to worry about and whether or not they’ll manage their time wisely to leave the house at that magic hour. With their backpacks. And jackets. And lunch money. I know I’m not a single parent and there is another parent in this family equation that is quite capable and it’s not like he’s going to misplace one of our children.

Except for that one time when I was in Seattle. Well, he didn’t exactly misplace a child so much as he was operating under the assumption that said child was in one place when said child was actually in another. See, Boy-Child#2 has two friends by the same name and we’ll call him Joe. And in my absence asked permission from Mr. Farklepants if he could go to Joe’s house. One of the Joes’ lives on our street. The other lives in the same zip code but far enough away that I would never let our son walk to this Joe’s house. But our clever son, knowing full well that Mr. Farklepants was none the wiser, did not distinguish between the Joes, and was granted permission. It wasn’t until later that afternoon, when our oldest son was sent across the street to retrieve Boy-Child#2, that the jig was up. Add to that, Mr. Farkelpants has no idea where other Joe lives. No matter. EVERYONE SURVIVED.

Someday we’ll look back on this and laaaaaugh. Hey! Remember that one time when I lost our kid for half a day? Good times. Goooood tiiiiimes.

So you understand my concern.

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