First night alone with kids in house. Success. I mean, I guess…

just feed them and don’t pressure them too much, make sure they’re happy and not rude and I’m good, right?

After bowl of cereal each, cereal I bought specially for them again just trying to keep them happy, they watch some cartoons before getting ready for 10:30 haircuts.

Starting new system on their nights over here, or when only I’m here and extending to when I get the condo or house – “Daddy tickets”.  They get one per weekend, for dinner, dessert, breakfast, and lunch.  Dessert tickets mean you get one typical dessert like ice cream or gelato, cookies, anything a kid would obviously want.  The other night with no ticket means fruit, or some sort of healthy dessert. The primary meals are are whatever they wish, that is if they use a ticket.  I’ll get them something takeout or we go to a restaurant.  Am I explaining this okay?  Anyway, so far they’ve used a dinner ticket only, deciding this morning to save their Daddy ticket for tomorrow’s breakfast, while today they voiced plan to use their lunch ticket (which I didn’t even think of yesterday when announcing this new system to them…. Jackie asking me this morning if there are lunch tickets and me saying “Of course”, trying to distract from my accidental omission) today.  Dessert has to be used tonight since I won’t have them tomorrow night.

Jack asks for another bowl of cereal I at first tell him no ‘cause the first bowl I made for him was considerable.  He tells me he’s still hungry again, and I compromise with him saying, “You can have a dry bowl of cereal, no milk.  Is that cool?” Jack accepts, and all sets tranquility.

Emma yesterday getting me with everything she said, telling me about something she made in class, taking it to the playground with her while Jack had practice, then telling me she’s going to be the superstar next week.  Not sure what that means but she’s brightly excited and proud of herself.  She then this morning tries to make a paper airplane from a paper towel.  I laugh a bit knowing it won’t work but she tries anyway and makes has it travel surprisingly far.

Last night at bedtime, each mini-Madigan relaxed in their own rooms, saying this house is better than a hotel.  Again me laughing, and laughing, and smiling as I fell asleep.

Emma leaves her morning cartoons to play with cars on my dad’s leather chair.  She’s been stationed there for much of her stay so far.  Think she misses him.  Well, I know she does.  Jack now mellow eating his Kix slow, me finishing espresso.  Everything so far melodic in this first solo parenting effort.  Melissa does it no problem, without blinking.  I’ll get there, eventually.

Looking outside, gorgeous— “Daddy, is it okay if I get more cars?” Emma says.  I tel her yes just don’t lose them in Grandpa’s chair.  “Okay Dad…” she says skipping away.  I again start laughing and smiling at screen.

Espresso.  Celebratory.