Your social life in Daddyland is all about timing, specifically the timing of when your friends have kids. Because it is an in-between time. Most people you know are working. And parental leave is temporary, so there is no set life of a stay at home parent, with people who know for years. Parents come in and out of Daddy(and Mommy)land all the time – a week here, a month there, then they switch from mom to dad and then everyone disappears when the kid starts preschool. And while parents you met on previous trips may be on the same schedule as you, likely they are just six months off or two years off in either direction.
On my first trip here, I had an American friend also on paternity leave. So we went to open preschool and parks and the library together. I made other acquaintances too, but it was nice having a base.
None of those people are on leave now. I do know parents from NK’s daycare and I recognize a few parents from the first time, but I did not know them well then, so it’s more of a smile and wave kind of thing.
This trip to Daddyland is more about social events and time with both kids.
Which brings me to the stupid volcano in Iceland.
I was supposed to work two days last week, just a few hours. I looked forward to it – the chance to talk about journalism, about communicating … about myself. Cancelled.
Then my mother was supposed to come for a week’s visit. She got as far as Newark.
I actually paid no attention to the volcano at first. Yes, I write a news column for The Faster Times, but I couldn’t think what to write about a volcano, so I left it alone. And the rest of the day, I spend with little people who know nothing of ash and lava and jet engines.
There is an episode of Dora the Explorer in which King Juan del Bobo wanders around yelling, “I want my mommy!” I would not say I am at that point, but I am wondering why Dora could not have dropped a giant rock over the volcano for me …