Vacation. Warm, sandy beaches, drinks with umbrellas, lazy mornings and lazier afternoons. Or maybe not. Right now I have 4 kids (who seem to need snacks every 15 minutes or so), 3 dogs and 2 contractors in my house. I also have no front door. Happy first day of April vacation!
Lots of things are different once you’ve had kids, big things and little things. I spend way more time planning meals and making sure the fridge is stocked with healthy snacks than I did when I was single. With a severe food allergy in the house, it sometimes seems like an inordinate amount of time is devoted to planning, shopping and prepping meals. I remember BC (before children) when a bowl of cereal, or ok, sometimes a bowl of ice cream was dinner. Sigh.
And while I spend more time preparing meals now, I spend way less time preparing myself for going… well, anywhere. Getting ready for work used to mean getting up early, taking time for yogurt and a bagel while watching the morning news or reading the paper…. I would have plenty of mirror time in the bathroom and virtually no competition. Now, with 3 kids and 3 dogs and 2 cats and 2 guinea pigs to feed and settle before we rush out the door, getting ready is oh, just a little different. Yesterday I actually got to work and realized I was not wearing socks. Last week I got to work and realized and I was wearing two different socks. Needless to say, I now spend more time wrangling kids and dogs and less time getting myself ready.
And yesterday, Maggie really, really wanted an audience for her singing. This is our conversation:
Maggie: Will you please, please, please watch me sing?
Me: Yes, just let me go the bathroom first and then I will be happy to watch.
Maggie: Well, I was thinking, I could just follow you in and sing at you while you’re in there.
Like I said, once you’ve had kids, things are just different.
So, we finish our baking and the 2 4 year olds go running off to play. But, I notice that it is very quiet…
“What are you guys doing?”
Maggie answers in a loud whisper. “We are playing hide and go seek. I’m hiding and Danny’s hiding.”
Oh. Excellent. I can see myself getting a lot done while you play this game.
My car desperately needed new tires. It was getting to the point where it felt unsafe to be carting around the kids. There in lies the problem – when is a good time to get new tires when I am always using the car to cart around the kids? But, last week the stars aligned and the planets tilted the right way and the scheduling gods cooperated and I made an appointment with Sullivan tire. Is it crazy to say I was actually looking forward to it? To a morning where Daddy would drop the kids at school, Auntie J would take Mags and I could take myself and my book to the tire place for TWO WHOLE HOURS ALONE!
We wave good-bye to daddy and the older kids and Maggie and I get in the car the morning of the appointment…. mmmm… where are my keys? We look, we hunt, we go back inside, we go outside… we call Daddy n the phone, and Daddy says, “How would I know where your keys are?”
Okay then… we look so more and by now I am supposed to be sitting in the waiting room of the tire place with my free coffee and free Wi-Fi. I walked Maggie to Auntie J’s and go back to looking now that she is out of ear shot and I can use a few choice words to express my +@&*@ dismay. And then Daddy, who is on his way to a job interview, calls to say, “Uh, hey, I found your car keys.” Yep, he found them. In his car. Where he had put them. Yes, indeed, sense of humor required.