My kids go to a wonderful in-home day care (Nee Nee's) where they are treated like family. Nee's Nee's husband, Mr. Jeff, is a teacher and has his summers "off". So, during the summer, Mr. Jeff is at home most of the time while my kids are at the in-home daycare. Yesterday, Mr. Jeff took his son, Mitchell (who is my son, Liam's, best friend and simultaneously his arch rival), up to the local elementary school to practice sports and then they stopped at Frosty Boy on their way back home. What Fun! Liam told me about this excursion not in a jealous manner, but in a factual manner, although I have to wonder if Liam felt left out.
Anyway, later that evening, Liam says to me, "Mom, can dad stay at home?" Puzzled, I ask him, "What do you mean 'stay at home'? Do you mean can he 'work from home'?" - which is what I do when I'm not traveling. "No," he says, "Quit work and stay at home and do daycare." The first obvious question is, "Did you watch that movie, 'Daddy Daycare', at Nee Nee's today?" He shakes his head, "No..." So, he wants dad to stay home and not me? "So, you want dad to stay home and do daycare and not mommy?" Looking hopeful he replies, "Yeah!" To which I reply, "No, silly, dad can't stay home and do daycare." Deflated, he asks (or whines, whichever you want to call it) "Whhhyyyy?" DUH "Because then we wouldn't make enough money to pay the bills to live in this awesome new house." Honest answer, although not the only one, like because Dad can barely tolerate his own brood for a solid 10 hour stretch let alone someone else's snot-nosed kids. (OK, "barely tolerate" is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point). So, this honest answer somewhat satifies Liam, and the conversation ends.
So, now I am faced with the question of WHY? Why does Liam want dad to stay home with them and not me? (Not that either one of us is able to or wants to stay at home…especially not if we have to do a daycare to make ends meet!) Is it because Liam watched Mitchell run off with Mr. Jeff and do those fun daddy-son things? Is it because Kevin and Liam could (and sometimes do) fish together endlessly? (Although Liam's endless questions and incessant talking during their fishing 'trips' makes Kevin wish he could fish alone.) Is it because I was such a crab the other day, displacing my anger on the kids?
Whatever the reason, I'm not offended by it. I know Liam loves me (he IS a momma's boy after all). I know I'm a good mom. But, more importantly, I know that Kevin is a good dad, a fact for which I am eternally grateful every day. So, even if my ego is slightly bruised, it warms my heart to know that Liam longs for a Daddy Daycare.