Here is how I am getting Chris prepared for the week ahead. A large-ish paper of "notes" to map out the days I am gone. Complete with meal ideas, Logan to do lists and where in the house things are located.
I will only be gone for four days, but without the list it could be four days of "Where's the pacifier?" (Silverware drawer or under her bed). "What's does 'seees' mean?" (Please. Or keys. Depends on the context). "What should she wear?" (Clothes laid out). "Where are the zoo passes?" (Top shelf near the iron). "Why can't she go to bed at 6:00?" (Because you'll be up at 5:00). "Who is Doah and why is she picking up the remote?" (She wants to watch Dora). "Where is her other pink shoe?" (Check her dollhouse, the bathtub or the trashcan). "Why is she pushing my hands away when I put her in the high chair?" (She wants to buckle the buckles herself). "Why won't she go to sleep?" (Does she have her elephant, lamb, AND sasi (pacifier))?
You get the idea. As a mom, there are just certain little things that become part of your day. Nothing monumental and nothing that anyone could not eventually figure out. But all of a sudden you realize that you have become the keeper of all random nuances, likes and dislikes about that little one who follows you around all day. You begin to see how much you know about them in the short 19 months you have been together and how you shape them day in and day out. All those baby words that you thought you'd never understand have become your second language. You know fake cries versus real cries. You can identify when you better leave the store before s*** hits the fan, you can predict good days and challenging days from the moment they wake up, you become really good at occupying them in the car and you know when they need to rest their sweet heads.
It doesn't always come with rewards or bonuses or recognition, but getting to be this person is pretty amazing. And when you leave for a four-day work trip and get to make a list of these little things, you feel kind of important...just saying. Love you LMK.