"Being a good dad starts with presence not presents"
Tilley wanders around half in her pj's as I sit on the floor holding Lucy on my lap, tears stream down her face. It's so strange, she has never been a big crier and she is breaking down completely over not being able to zip up her onesie. 'Whats wrong Lulu?' and her answer makes everything clear. 'I miss mummy' she chokes through her tears. For the last three weeks the girls and I have been going it alone. Sheena's taking some schooling in India for the month and we plan to fly out after three weeks, spend a week traveling around and meet her in Goa for her last week of school. Now for the first time in three weeks, I feel completely lost. All I can do is hug her tight, console her and reassure her that I miss mummy to and we will see her in a weeks time in India.
Before Sheena left I was nervous. Most people we told were surprised, 'you are going to look after the kids on your own?', 'aren't you going to get any help' were the common statements, but, contrary to popular belief, i'm a dad and I actually can survive pretty well with my kids for an extended period of time. To be honest even though its only three weeks, I am finding out more and more about myself as a dad and unfortunately how much I miss on a regular basis. The routine of dropping the girls off at school, packing lunches and going to bed are things that I sadly miss to often because of work. I also realizes that, even though we don't have any family where we live. We do have an amazing group of friends who, in a heart beat are there to help out, which is something I will never take for granted. The biggest thing I have learnt going solo for three weeks is that I cherish intensely the relationship I have with both my wife and kids. Lucy and Tilley are my amazing girls. They are so happy and full of life, it seem like positive energy just springs out of them and they make me want to be a better dad for them everyday. My wife Sheena is my closest friend and most avid team mate. she props me up when needed and pushes me to do things I could have easily let fall by the wayside alone. Don't get me wrong I have loved having all this time with my daughters but, like Lucy, i'm looking forward to seeing Sheena again and planning more adventures together with our two little munchkins.
Monday to Friday is school, dance parties (sometimes a playlist panic button), play center and bedtime stories. We make videos for mummy telling her what we are up to, and she sends some back to keep in touch during the week.Weekends are reserved for skyping with mum, cross country skiing and grocery shopping. Plus the odd birthday party or movie night with friends. Saturday we have a long skype chats and after both girls are a little sad but we go out a do something fun to take their mind off it. Now sitting on the floor with Lucy on a Saturday evening the gates are open and it's time to let it all out. She missed mum and she was going to give her the biggest hugs and kisses when we got to India. We sat there, Tilley came in for a hug as well while Lucy get's out her sad's. Then, scooping Matilda and Lucy up in my arm's we make our way down stairs for a snack before bed. My strong little girl wiping away her tears and looking forward to see her mum soon.