Picture a thirteen hundred square foot apartment filled to the brim with toys, furniture and inhabitants both big and small. Imagine a toddler immersed in art, imaginative play, and cartoons. Projects big and small, tutus, tiaras abound, and everything on display. Add to the chaos a fearless, almost-toddler who just discovered the freedom of walking. Nothing and no-one can stop her from independent exploration to satisfy her immense curiosity.
Throw in the mix a daddy who commuted to D.C., three days last week, which is especially aggressive since it was a four day workweek, and you have yourself a solid picture of my week with the kids. The days Evan commutes to D.C., he leaves before the kids are up and gets home long after they’ve gone to bed at 9 PM; It is not unusual for him to catch a ~5 am train. Those days, parenting falls solely and heavily on my shoulders. There is no break or recuperation time between work and parenting in the evenings.
Just a few months ago, I would have been terrified of the prospect of taking care of the kids on my own, and would have begged my parents or mother-in-law for help. This time, however, I decided to man the ship myself. Each evening the kids ate a home-cooked dinner. We played, went on walks, and laid out on the grass at Independence National Historical Park. I took the kids on a treasure hunt to spice up an otherwise typical walk and treated them to gelato.
Someone, who isn’t a parent, once asked me how-come I can’t make time to hit the gym in the morning. Everyone, myself included, would benefit from a stronger core, and a few lost pounds, so I won’t make excuses. But I do know that running after two young ones can be a bit of a workout. That’s my fitbit output from one of those days.