You can always tell when husband D. goes to Asia because I'll post every day for about 10 days, and then will fall immediately silent for the week of his return.
As difficult as these long stints of single parenting are, the return to a happy smiling family of four has its own challenges.
Basically, we run through the seven dwarfs of emotions...
The minute he returns we are both DOPEY with joy - it's amazingly wonderful to be reunited and see each other and the kids are ecstatic. Daughter D gets a little BASHFUL. She sometimes has a bit of trouble with the transitions.
The dopey-happy stage lasts about a day. Then we move quickly into SLEEPY. He's fighting a 14 hour time difference jet lag and the fact that he just traveled for 24+ hours with little to no sleep. Me, I've been alone with kids for almost 2 weeks. I don't sleep well when he is gone, so I'm bordering on sleep deprivation lunacy when he returns.
SLEEPY quickly morphs into GRUMPY. Two sleep-deprived parents. Two attention-starved kids. You do the math.
Fast on the heels of GRUMPY comes SNEEZY. Someone gets sick in the week after he returns. Always. (leading to a repeat of both SLEEPY and GRUMPY.) Eventually, one of us will end up at a DOC for some relief.
Eventually, we catch up on rest and our sniffles go away and we are all HAPPY again.
Just keep me away from any poisoned apples, OK?