Though I know from our many years of marriage that he would prefer to spend next week pulling trout out of the Kootenai River, Mr. T has elected to make his sixteenth voyage to China tomorrow. His record at Old Company was five trips in one year (four of those trips occurred in four months). Fortunately, this will probably be his only trip this year now that he is at New Company, which still manufactures most of its products here. But he does have to make this one trip.
The Kid is at an age where he has affixed himself firmly to his dad, and resents any attempt at separation. This has gotten so bad recently that, when Mr. T leaves to go to work, The Kid has been known to fling himself onto the carpet, weeping. The Kid is the clownfish to Mr. T's anemone.
It's a unmistakable sign of the pettiness of my character that I am mildly pleased at this turn of the tables. When The Kid was a wee pup and reacted to my departures in the same way, Mr. T didn't really get how badly it sucked. Now he does. But this does present a problem for tomorrow's international trip, and as is customary, it's my job to deal with the fallout. So I've booked The Kid's favorite babysitter for Sunday and Monday, and then on Tuesday I am going to spend four hours on a plane so I can deposit The Kid with my mother, sit on the couch and press a cold cloth to my forehead. When I recover, I will execute my always carefully planned tour of favorite restaurants, accompanied by various home friends. The various members of my family will, each in their turn, annoy the living shit out of me. That is the routine. That is how it goes. It has been and ever will be thus.
My babysitter has agreed to superintend my ill-behaved herd of canines during my absence, which probably means she won't be speaking to me when I get back. The good news is that my mother actually got high-speed internet since my trip there in December. Which means that I might even blog.
For his part, Mr. T won't be too lonely. He and friend/commenter Tony, who has taken over Mr. T's former job, will find themselves in the same obscure south China city, in the same hotel, along with our Chinese friends O and P. It's almost enough to make me wish I could be there with them.