texas: where single dads get their wings

When each of our children was born, as soon as the hospital released the Mrs, I dropped her off at our house and went to work.  The only time I provide exclusive childcare is in the evenings while they’re sleeping and on Sunday afternoons while she mans her store.  Any time Pretty Bride has to go out of town, I have my mother drive over from Alabama (and the infant du jour travels with PB).

But on Thursday of last week, PB needed to fly to Houston for some book signing or demonstrations or something, and said event did not permit children in the area where all the vendors and displays were.  So, I was invited to come and care for Lola.

All week, friends and colleagues who know how I enjoy traveling would say, “So, are you excited about going to Houston?  You get to be Mr Mom!”  No.  I foresaw hours and hours of sitting in a silent hotel room praying the baby would sleep while she wailed at 120 decibels and flung stinky stinky baby turds at me through her rented pack-and-play.

We arrived Thursday night, walked to the luggage carousel to pick up PB’s enormous suitcase full of wardrobe changes, samples, books, and other heavy crap.  It wasn’t there.  Didn’t make the flight.  I can now cross “have an airline lose your luggage” off my “things to NOT do before I die” list.

Had a great dinner at III Forks (after our first choice had a 45-minute wait) and went to bed, praying that our luggage would be there when we returned.

No dice.  But it was at the front desk when we got up.  Hooray for Delta!

Walked over to the convention center so PB could check in and give a class or something.  Just for fun, I tried to push the stroller through the doors of the convention space, and we were promptly blocked from access and told, No Children Allowed.  I now know how Snoopy felt.  And the Five Man Electrical Band.

It was just me and the baby and all of Texas.

Me:  So, I guess it’s just the two of us for the next several hours, huh, BL (abbreviation for “Baby Lola”)?
BL:
Me:  Want to go get a bottle of tequila and try to find a mechanical bull? 
BL:


Me:  Hmmm.  Guess not.

Instead, we walked around Discovery Green park a bunch while I begged her to fall asleep.  When she finally did, I sneaked her back into our room so I could do some work.  No music; no banter with my work wife.  Just a sleeping baby, a dark hotel room, and my gently hitting each letter on the keyboard, trying to avoid waking her. I maintained this charade for 4 hours.

When PB came back, we hit Guadalajara and returned to the room while PB went to a couple invitation-only parties.  It was JUST LIKE BLOGHER!  Only I was the one stuck with the baby instead of attending.  More working.

Saturday began with breakfast with the the Mattocks family at Ziggy‘s. It was good.  And, it allowed me to gather valuable insight into self-publishing the book I outlined 10 months ago so that when I file my travel expenses to the IRS, they’ll see how I was trying to make money.  Right, IRS?  Just ignore this post about providing childcare.

The rest of the day was filled with more walking around Houston and a few hours of naptime spent handling a stockpile of 400+ emails until, for the first time in as long as I can recall, all my inboxes were completely empty.  Until that point in my life, I’d never seen what the little envelope at the bottom of my iphone looked like without a number in the red circle.  It was beautiful.

Just before dinner at The Grove, I got this:

A happy baby!

And the tiptoeing and silent keystrokes were worth it.  BL and I were like peas and carrots the rest of the trip, even through a canceled flight home and coming seconds away from missing trick-or-treating last night when we hopped on a small plane full of the first class passengers from our canceled flight plus the three of us that landed two hours later than our anticipated arrival time (but four hours–if not more–before the rest of the canceled flight’s ticket holders’ arrival time).  I’m still not sure why we were chosen to jump on the smaller plane with the first class passengers, but I’ll take it.

And as for BL and me?  As the last infant I’ll hold until my grand kids come, we’re making up for lost time.  And we’re totally planning to find that tequila and mechanical bull.

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30 Responses to “texas: where single dads get their wings”

  1. nipsy says:

    That’s awesome and sounds like it went not only quite well, but better than you thought it would… maybe too good, you might be asked to come along and child care even more now!!

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @nipsy, It did go better than I thought, but thankfully, there are no more trips planned for 2010. January and February are a different story, though.

    [Reply]

  2. Busy Mom says:

    1. I love this.

    2. I’m now singing some warped mash-up of “No Dogs Allowed” and “Sign, Sign everywhere a sign”..
    Busy Mom´s last blog post ..An evening in the life

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @busy mom, I’m glad you “get” those 2 songs references…it must be all that book learnin’ from Vandy.

    [Reply]

  3. Sybil Law says:

    She is so cute!!
    I think she could probably drink you under the table, though.
    Sybil Law´s last blog post ..Short and Sweet

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @sybil law, She’d better not!

    [Reply]

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Larry Agresto, themuskrat. themuskrat said: my review of houston and 2 days as a single dad: http://bit.ly/bTwPhe [...]

  5. That smile in the second photo? That’s a tequila smile.
    Didactic Pirate´s last blog post ..Movember- Grow a Stache to Kick Cancers Ass

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @didactic pirate, Oh no.

    [Reply]

  6. Dave2 says:

    Happy babies are the best!
    Dave2´s last blog post ..Sleepytime

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @dave2, They are. If only they could always be happy!

    [Reply]

  7. Countessa says:

    You couldn’t deny any of those babies, even if you wanted to. She looks just like you (as do M and O).

    Uh, sorry, PB – maybe she’ll have your fabulous hair.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @countessa, I get that a lot. So much for spending their college money on blackjack and claiming to be childless.

    [Reply]

  8. SciFi Dad says:

    Babies LOVE tequila. Trust me.
    SciFi Dad´s last blog post ..iBlog

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @scifi dad, I suspected Canadians parented “differently.” Now I know they do.

    [Reply]

  9. Who would have imagined you turning a frown upside down into a smile…and on your own child? Amazing. I must say that I am impressed. :)
    Unfinished Rambler´s last blog post ..Critiquing my blog and the tools of “the trade”

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @UR, Thanks! I know how hard you are to impress.

    [Reply]

  10. Stephen Dave says:

    It’s a good thing you made it home in time for trick or treat. My son is getting older and this year was probably the last time he’ll go. I found myself really bummed out about that. So I made sure I took a lot of pictures.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @Stephen Dave, I would hope so. The Mrs took pictures of our time in costume, but she hasn’t uploaded them yet, it appears. Slacker.

    [Reply]

  11. Chris says:

    You can’t deny that baby girl. Wow.
    Chris´s last blog post ..Spit

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @chris, I try, but she keeps following me around.

    [Reply]

  12. You’re a natural …at being a dad, not being single. Sorry for the confusion.

    (and it was great having the chance to get together. we really enjoyed it.)
    Clark Kent’s Lunchbox´s last blog post ..Clark Kent’s Lunchbox- What’s In A Name

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @CK, Thanks!

    [Reply]

  13. Keith Wilcox says:

    Doesn’t it seem like banning children from a convention hall should be a civil rights violation? Anyway, glad you made it though the day, got to see good ol’ Ron, got your luggage, and generally came out no worse for wear.
    Keith Wilcox´s last blog post ..Are you a Heretic You Should Be

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @Keith W, Sort of…except kids aren’t protected by those types of laws (1st and 14th Amendments, due process, etc.)! Sucks to be them.

    [Reply]

  14. Jack says:

    You can’t beat a happy baby.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @jack, I’m generally against beating ANY baby. But especially a happy one.

    [Reply]

  15. so would BL have ridden the bull solo? that’s what i wanna know.
    john cave osborne´s last blog post ..Indian Summer

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @JCO, No, but I would’ve! It’s been >10 years since I’ve engaged in such activity, but it’s fun for the few seconds it lasts! Kinda like your sex life.

    [Reply]

  16. [...] would be the better times:  when the children could actually interact with me.  But ever since we went to Houston last year, and I found myself spending entire days alone with Lola, I’ve enjoyed my time with this [...]

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