When was the last time I blew in the door, announced I was off for an impromptu overnight with my friend, threw a few things together, kissed John and waved goodbye? Um, 3 years, 4 months, 18 days, and roughly 23 hours ago. The day I became a mother I kissed spontaneity goodbye. Now, fatherhood, apparently, is an entirely different story. John just called from work to say there is a seminar in the Bay Area he wants to attend tomorrow and found a ride that leaves this afternoon. So, he returned home from the office, tossed a change of clothes in a bag and kissed me goodbye. Don't get me wrong, he's earned his stripes as daddy and breadwinner in this house, and by all means should attend a work related seminar for the betterment of his career. I'm just realizing the ginormous difference between my role and his role as a parent. I'm full-time, he's part-time. I can't even go to the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon alone for one hour without equal time spent in preparation: pumping a 4 oz. bottle, arranging the diapers and changes of clothes, and leaving a list of directions for naps and routines. Now, this recent daddy absence does allow for a change in attitude from my perspective. Once the girls rule the roost for a night all the routines change. I will not touch the laundry, dishes or garbage for the next 24 hours, and refuse to harbor any guilt towards my shrugged responsibilities. I will indulge in a mid afternoon cocktail and I will initiate a dance party in our living room, complete with disco lights and dress ups at the witching hour when John normally relieves me. We will not pick up our mess. I will not prepare a balanced meal as dinner will be served as a single course in one bowl that Shelby and I can eat out of simultaneously...cereal, mac n'cheese, ice cream. As you've guessed, bedtime routine has already been abandoned for a dog pile in my bedroom and a date with Shrek 3 on my laptop. Tomorrow we will sleep in, lie around in our pajamas until I can no longer hold out for coffee (making coffee is not in my job description), at which time we will drive to the local patisserie where Shelby will be allowed to choose her breakfast (which inevitably ends up being the same pink, fish-shaped cookie she picks every visit), and then we'll waste our day away on the grocery store's carousel ride, renting movies and eating junk food. All fun will cease upon John's late night return at which point order will be restored to our household.

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