Sometimes Steve's monthly schedule comes out and it seems too good to be true. I joke that he must be sleeping with someone in crew scheduling, because it's just that good. The reality is that he has taken the time to learn the scheduling system, which has really worked to his/our benefit.
He got a really decent December schedule, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off! Sure the hell beats Christmas's of the past (2011 and 2013). He also had a stretch of 10 days off. During the stretch, he did pick up a turn one evening. But, I have been able to sleep next to his handsome face every night, which is a nice change.
As much as I love and adore him, and as much as I love and adore his consistent presence for 10 days straight, sometimes it wears on me.
Take Wednesday afternoon. A flash sale came over Facebook for a local salon. Gel manicures for $20. Sweet! After a quick phone call, I was scheduled for 3:45p. It is afternoons like this where I think to myself "so, this is what normal families look like..." Typically when Steve is working, which is something like Monday - Thursday, I dedicate every minute outside of work to the kids. No fun things (ie: yoga, drinks with girlfriends, ect) for me..I leave that for the time Steve is home. A manicure is a rare treat for a Wednesday afternoon.
On my way home I picked Ben up from an after school activity. The two of us arrived home shortly after 5pm. I walked into the house to Cici watching Lab Rats, and Steve folding laundry on the kitchen table. Cici was to leave in minutes to go to dance class, and I felt I walked into a flurry of expiring time. She needed to leave, like, NOW!
I was caught up in the time flurry when I went to put something in the kitchen sink. And that is where I had to pause, close my eyes, and take a couple deep breaths. There was a mess in the kitchen sink. Amazing how a little something can set you off, isn't it.
Let me establish how things look after the kids get off the bus when it is just me running the show: Ben arrives. He places any bottles/containers from his backpack into the sink. He puts his coat and backpack away. Cici arrives. She repeats the above. I then wash all the bottles and containers, and get them onto the drying towel. This keeps the kitchen sink clear so that when it comes to make dinner I am good to go.
The mess in the sink of Wednesday had anything from a pot (mine) to glasses (not mine) to all the kids school bottles and containers. Oh, let's through in some lunch plates (not mine). All of the "not mine" stuff just set me off.
I am sure that many people will read this and think I am nuts. But, hear me out. When Steve is gone and I leave a pot in the sink, I know that pot is going to be there when I get home. My time, my space, my mess. When Steve is home, there is a strong chance that the house won't be in the same status that it is when I left it. This, folks, isn't always easy for me to deal with. Why? Two reasons. First, I think it is a control thing. Second, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we live without our pilots 50% of the week. We get used to our solo ways.
Us pilot wives are a controlling bunch. Have I always been this way? No. Actually, I am the youngest of three girls. My oldest sister is just three years older then me, so very close in age. Because of this I grew up in a world of just going with the flow. I didn't control things...I couldn't control things. I just followed along, and did with what was given to me.
I think I started this controlling thing when kids came into the picture. Steve took 8 weeks of FMLA when the kids were born, which was awesome. When he went back to work, it was all me that was dealing with the kids. For example, if the kids didn't nap on schedule, it was me dealing with their cranky ass that night. Of course I had to control the show when Steve was gone, because if things didn't go exactly as I wanted then it was me who had to deal with the consequences - while Steve was sleeping in some hotel half way across the country. And then when Steve was home, the kids and I were already into a routine and Steve just melded into it.
Take the above, times it by two kids, and by 9 years. And this equals one mama who captains our ship. What this also equals is a mama that may get a bit pissy if she can't control everything, like dishes in the sink.
As for us pilot wives getting used to our solo ways, let me try to relate this so non-aviation people can relate. Say you sit into your car, only to find your seat adjusted a different way. When you sit down you feel out of sorts, right? And then you immediately change it to how you want it, right? Same goes for the house...the house is my domain, especially the kitchen. When someone enters my domain and messes with it, I don't always receive it well. We get used to our ways, especially when it is our way 50% of the time. Adjusting doesn't always come easy to the controlling woman who is solo half the time.
After I blew out a couple breaths, I tried to sweetly tell Steve that it would be nice to not have dishes in the sink when I got home from work. I am sure it didn't come out as sweetly as I intended.
I know I can be too much when it comes to this. And Steve is a very good man for dealing with my controlling ass. But, I guess it comes with the territory. There is plenty of things I deal with when it comes to his job, so having a wife that gets pissy about a dirty sink must be one of the trade offs.