How do Dad and kids do at home when Mom’s traveling?

So, I left my family. Not permanently, but for almost a full four days. And guess what? They survived.

Not that I had any doubts when my husband and I traded hats: Traveling Businessman for Stay-At-Home-Mom.

I knew he’d handle it just fine, but he went above-and-beyond “just fine.”

While I was living it up in Atlanta, he was diligently seeing to the needs of our children, taking them to the pool and rescuing a toad from the death-chomp of a snake in the yard.

Day 1 text from my oldest son: “Mom, there is a bullfrog living in our pond! And I saw a snake try to eat a toad! The toad’s leg was bitten off.”

What? Ew! A snake in the yard with my kids (again)? Augh!

Overcome with the willies, I immediately sent a message to my husband: “A snake?? Eating a toad?! Just a toad? Are you sure?! Did you count the children?!”

The toad was rescued, so were the children; I can’t say the same for the snake.

As if the backyard Reptile and Amphibian Show wasn’t chaos enough, my husband allowed my younger son to invite his friends over for a sleep-over.

“You planned what?” I asked.

How many kids? You are crazy. Don’t tell them about the snake.”

Granted, our son had a birthday the week I was gone. (Mom Fail.) And the sleep-over was his request: a sleep-over and dinner at his favorite Mexican restaurant.

My husband accepted the challenge. Alone.

Meanwhile, I was texting frantically between conference sessions.

6:30 p.m. Me: “You doing OK? The kids behaving?” (Secret code for: Do you miss me?)

Hubby: “At restaurant with five boys now. They are spastic.”

I envisioned them all playing in the fountain, demanding quesadillas and spilling drinks while my husband hid himself under a sombrero.

9:40 p.m. Me: “How’s it going?”

Hubby: “Good. They are just running all over the house.”

“Oh-no,” I thought. “He’s transitioned into do-whatever-you-want-I’ll-clean-up-tomorrow parenting mode.”

But the house was still standing when I returned, and everyone (except the snake) was all in one piece. I’m not even sure they even realized I was gone.

In fact, my heroic, snake-slaying, kid-wrangling, toddler-chasing husband did such a wonderful job I think it is safe to tell him about my next trip.

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