Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Admiral Ackbar Saves the Day

"What is a weekend?" -- Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham
"It's a trap!" -- Admiral Ackbar

I've been starting to ask the same question that the formidable Violet Crawley asked in episode two of series one of Downton Abbey. I love that show. It's so indulgent and the intrigue and costumes are so delicious. I know I'm a little late to the party on this one. But I'm always late to the party.

Still, it struck a chord when Maggie Smith's character asked "What is a weekend?" I wish that I'd had the same thought because I lived the Dowager's life of flower shows and dressing for dinner and bustles and purple hats. I wish that I similarly didn't concern myself with work and therefore had no need for weekends.

But for me, and maybe for other stay at home moms, weekdays blend into weekends because my work -- my child -- are almost always by my side. I can't not bring work home because work is home.

"What is a weekend" indeed.

But things have slowly been shifting in the past few months. As Little A turned two, I started to realize that I really did need a weekend and, fortunately, my husband did too. We've started a sort of unspoken arrangement whereby I get at least a few hours "off" to do what I want each Saturday and Sunday (and -- not to worry -- many weekday evenings as well). And it has had surprising results.

First, Little A and her dad have started to do projects together. Like this one:

Yes, that is Admiral Akbar from Star Wars. The Old Man went dressed as him for Halloween many years ago and all he said all evening was "It's a trap!"

(For the record, that's the actual clip from the movie -- not my husband on Halloween. Although, that would have been an incredibly impressive costume. And party.)

The project came from The Star Wars Craft Book. Although, my husband found the directions somewhere on-line.

That's right. Husband and daughter went to the fabric store together to buy the materials. They sat at the dining room table with scissors. They -- well, just my husband -- have the hot glue gun burn to show for it. And I have a few words written and a run at the Y to show for it.

And, well, the proof that it's paying off is that my two-year-old is less of a pill this week. Or, OK, maybe it's me who's a little less of a pill.

What is a weekend, Dowager Countess?

It's the two afternoons each week when stay at home moms get a break from their kids.

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