The present Mrs. Simons has wisely decided to leave the grey shores of Sweden and take some late autumn sun in Spain, leaving yours truly in charge of the two juniors (six and nine years old). Unfortunately for the good lady, I consider myself a better pappa than a husband, which at least means both children will not wither of starvation, go to school dirty or be bored through lack of entertainment. Parent’s meetings will be attended, bed times will be adhered to and breakfast will be cooked.
The only person to suffer from my wife’s absence is me. Unfortunately I focus so much on the children, it was 5 days after the good lady stepped aboard her carriage that I realized I hadn’t changed my underpants – so much have I been focused on sending the children down at the appropriate time for the bus, cleaning, buying shopping, watering plants and doing a spot of work. All this begs the question as to how single parents cope? According to some recent research there are some 300 000 single parents out there. We are lucky enough to live in a land with pre-school and after-school child care, which at least lets single parents load the washing machine, but on top of that they have to get out there and earn some money. Does this mean that there are 300 000 people walking around in 5 day old socks?
Of course while the cat is away the mice will play and standards have been dropping at Chez Simons. Dirty dishes have been left out, beds have not been made, music has been played too loud and the microwave has been pinging a little more than usual. This is great for the first couple of days, but then one misses the love of my life here and there and of course the chance to shower when needed.
We have been married for ten years now and we are at that “comfortable” stage. I know when she’s unhappy just by hearing the way coffee is made, we don’t have to endlessly impress each other and we both complement each other to the stage where the sum of our parts is greater than the two individuals.