Uh huh. So you argued (unconvincingly) over your phone, while 4,000 miles away and lying peacefully below the 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets of your plush European hotel room bed…it’s business travel…and yes, admittedly, someone’s got to keep the WiFi on around here, but let’s not entirely confuse what work trips bonus up as: all expense paid furloughs from the asylum. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can make like a skeezy Britney to my fair Timberlake and cry me a river about the burden of commercial air travel…i.e. threat of deep vein thrombosis, crap food and sticky Sky Mall pages, blah blah, blah…but I call bull shit. Mainly because you mostly fly first or business class (and while far from luxurious these days, it isn’t exactly the cattle steerage in the back of the plane) and recently sat leg to (DVT diverting) extended leg with an “attractive and surprisingly friendly and down to earth” Lucy Liu on a cross country flight (um, Babes…honesty is not always the best policy). And while you happily roll around in a big and (hopefully) empty–B actress void– 5 star bed, watch My Little Pony free TV programming (discreetly referred to “movie charge” on the checkout statement..wink..wink) and contently fall deeply into 6 uninterrupted hours of coveted REM slumber, I’m home alone AND awake–with the kids–AND a geriatric cat AND a tank full of 2010 Purim Carnival prize fish that won’t die. Driven almost exclusively indoors by bitter 20 degree F weather and back-to-back kid viral onslaughts. What’s worse than being left at home with healthy kids and the entire lower left side inventory of a pet store? I’ll tell you what: being forced inside with whiny, leaky, needy children and an 80 year old (in human years) feline whose dementia includes mixing up of the shag area rug and the litter box (Yes. That too happened this week). Dare I admit that I miss you and your (albeit generally judged to be paltry) transportation contributions during morning drop-offs? Getting two kids up, changed, fed, lunches made, teeth brushed and winter insulated before 8am is definitely not for pussies. Doing it with grace and efficiency… me? Definitely not. Sadly substantiated by our corner neighbor who casually informed me outside our door yesterday that, FYI, the building has turned the white noise feature off the ventilation system in the common hallways. Great. Another soul to validate your previously baseless claims that I’m a shrill wretch of a woman. Turns out this type of constant and focused 20+ hour a day mothering requires tremendous planning, stamina, endurance and the inevitable crisis control (like a Lance Armstrong inspired Urban Mommy–daily doping handfuls of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate raisins in the AM, an afternoon Pinkberry and a nightly Chardonnay chaser (or 3) to take the edge off) especially when back packs get forgotten mid-(hard gotten) cab ride on a frigid 12 F morning or realizing later (only because a concerned deliveryman interrupted my mindless, one-handed Face Book smart phone scrolling to tell me) that one of the littles is shoeless and freezing in the stroller on 65th and Broadway. I’ll also confess, my normal meticulous detail to hygiene has been a bit amiss as well. I’ve used so much dry shampoo this week, it’s created a dusty, 18th Century G. Washington powdered wig like ombre effect to my hair. Picture Squeaky Fromme meets American Revolutionary. My hurried attempts to adhere to basic bathing standards pathetically include propping one kid catatonic-like in front of Nick Jr. while strapping the other into her high chair and wheeling her –a la Hannibal Lecter style–into the bathroom with me, filling her tabletop high with Yogurt Bites and Cinnamon Toast Crunch and pitifully trying to placate her with an awkward game of peek a boo while manically singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star from under the shower head. Yep. It’s been a rough week. I’ve blown countless snotty noses, sherpa-ed a 100 pound double stroller full of cranky, coughing kids through arctic blast winds minimum of twice a day, hid (unsuccessfully) from progeny and animals in the bathroom 1/2 a dozen times, dutifully administered meds and meals to my aging and super-sized (turns out goldfish are related to Carp) menagerie of pets and mini humans–all on about 3 consecutive hours of sleep each night. But, at last, there is a speck of light at the end of this miserable tunnel: you, dear Daddy reinforcement, fly back in less than 24 hours. So proficient partner in child raising, enjoy the last of the wanton flushing of toilets at 2AM, sleep soundly in the center of your kid and animal free bed, savor reading a genuine newspaper in peace from your porcelain throne, laugh liberally and heartily during those airline 30 Rock reruns and revel in the sweet silence during your town-car driven ride home. Vaycay is officially OVER when your key makes contact with our front door…like a paratrooper dropped over enemy territory in the black of night, you (and our subtle neighbor) will hear a loud and decisive “GO! GO! GO!” coming shrilly and loudly from the exhausted wretch of a Mom soldier inside. Welcome (back) to the jungle, Baby.