Hi Ho, Hi Ho….

So today was the big day. Action Girl is back at work and back on the water. After about eight months of being a “stay at home” mom, she’s put her ditty-bag back together, grabbed her charting tools and notebooks and is back piloting sea craft and transporting goods and passengers. Going back to work has loomed large on her horizon for months now and the pressure has been building. We, and everyone who knows her, understands that she’s not the “stay at home” type and though she has had a great time with the kiddos, she’s happiest when she’s hard at work, out on the water. As a bonus, deckhands follow orders better then two year olds do and conversation revolves around topics other than just toy trucks and peanut butter toast. Not always… but more often, you understand.

It was a bit of a mad house this morning as the two of us worked to get the four of us ready for the day. Short Stack was headed to a house with an ample supply of plastic dump trucks, blocks and kids his age whom he knows. Lulu Belle was off to a new place for more hands on, one on one care. Being a two months old, all she really needs are the necessities of life and someone to be attentive. In some ways, she’s the easiest though not the fun one.

I dropped Action Girl and Lulu Belle off first so the baby sitter could get the full, panicked parent rundown. I’d swing back after I dropped of The Boy. Action Girl leaned way back into the rear seats, wiped the peanut butter off one of Short Stack’s cheeks to make a clean spot and gave him a kiss along with wishes to have a great day. After the door was closed, I drove the rest of the way to where he would be spending the day. As he munched happily on his peanut butter pancake, he pointed out various objects of interest.

“Dat car is parked. It’s not going. Da rain is making the car all wet. Dis is a fast road. Cars go fast.”

I slowed down a bit.

We arrived at the house and I pulled him out along with his bag of goodies. He still happily munched away and continued the commentary about the various piles of fresh dirt, the scattered toys and the rain dripping from the trees. As we walked through the door, he immediately started to wiggle.

For half a second, I was afraid that he wanted to leave. I had been found out! He was on to me and knew that I was leaving him!… No. He had a HUGE smile on his face and wanted to get down and dive in to the cluster of kids playing on the floor. I just managed to get his shoes, hat and coat off before he blasted away like a wobbly rocket.

The last minute tips and instructions were given to the sitter and I went to leave. Short Stack was in the thick of it and laughing already. As much as it hurt to not get my last, last, LAST hug and kiss before I left him, I decided it was best to slip out unseen and avoid any tears. Just as I opened the door, his head shot up and he dashed through the scrum to jump up into my arms clamping me in a big hug. After I bent down and returned him to the floor, he was back into the pack of kids in seconds. I effected my quick escape, a much happier Dad.

The car was very quiet when I picked up Action Girl and drove us to away. It’s a very strange feeling to not have our kids with us or at least with a relative and it’s going to take getting used to. Lulu Belle won’t be able to relate her day to us later this evening, but I bet we’ll get an earful from Short Stack.

I hope Action Girl has a good first day back. It’s a little rainy, but the wind isn’t blowing. She has a good crew whom she knows and likes and the runs for her today are nice and simple. I’ll be heading back to my shop and get caught up in my own work. The real trick will be staying until I should. The temptation to come home early is already gnawing at me… and it’s only nine in the morning.

Hmmm… Maybe if I just work through lunch…

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