Now that I’m back working full time, I am once again subject to mundane questions about my “weekend” on Monday mornings. I’ve never liked this empty protocol, because no one ever cares about the answer. But now that I have a toddler at home, there’s a new wrinkle that makes me even more peevish: there’s never much to say about my “weekend,” because my “week” no longer “ends.” Saturdays and Sundays are not so much an ending as an Alternate Exertion Scenario, which requires an entirely different class of stamina and patience.
A “weekend” day starts at around 7:00am (an extra half hour of sleep—how decadent!), when Robert pulls me to the bathroom and makes me watch him take a leak. Then it’s time to eat breakfast and read books and make pizza and assemble his wooden train set and disassemble his wooden train set and watch Noggin and chase him around while he resists getting dressed and shuttle off to the park and acknowledge all the different trucks he can identify and explain how stoplights work and referee a dispute over whose chalk it is and chase him around while he sprints off with his mini-football and explain the legality of the center-eligible button-hook and convince him to come home and take a nap and hope that he sleeps (so we can do a load of laundry or pay a few bills or maybe get a nap ourselves or write a blog entry) and make lunch and ask him not to throw his puzzle pieces around the room and make pizza and tell him we will go back to the park as soon as I can find my keys and shuttle off to the park and play “hike” a couple thousand times (“I want you to put your hands on my butt and I will make a hike to you!”) and chase him around in circles until the sun sets and search for all of his balls and trucks in the dark and shuttle back home and get ready for dinner. Followed by the feed-Robert, wrangle-Robert, strip-Robert, bathe-Robert, dress-Robert, toothbrush-Robert, read-to-Robert, get-Robert-to bed rigmarole that is standard nightly procedure, work or no work.
All of which means my “week” is destined to loop on in perpetuity, or at least for as long as my body can keep up.
On Wednesday, my wife and child will head to the Midwest for a wedding, leaving me alone in the Laid-Off Lair with no rooms to paint and no big projects to accomplish. Which means on Friday, my week will end, and I will spend the next 48 hours doing everything and/or nothing, at my pace. If anyone asks me about my weekend and hangs around long enough for an answer, I might actually have something interesting to say.