Some of you who know me or follow me on Twitter might have heard me complaining about Ian being out-of-town on business last week. I complained a lot. The kids seemed to sense that something was up and they acted accordingly — you know by treating me like a wounded wildebeest surrounded by a pride of lions.
Thoroughly prompted and prepared, Ian “graciously” “agreed” to take the family reigns for the day yesterday. I needed a freaking break like it was nobody’s business. So he woke up with the kids, fed them something that I assume could pass as breakfast, got them dressed and took them out to the park. They giggled as they put on their shoes in assembly line fashion. They happily waved goodbye to me as they headed to the playground.
Twenty minutes later I received a text with this photo:
And then this one:
And this one:
When they returned nearly three hours later everyone was all smiles. What the what?
Five hours and they seemed to be more jolly and bonded than ever before. Yet every day during the week, the moments were all about survival. Each 24-hour cycle was a medley of meltdowns, mutinies and maladies.
Let me give you a rundown of a typical day:
1. Bouncing on my bed as I cook those little ingrates homemade pancakes and anticipate who will draw first blood.
2. A seven minute wordless meltdown over the shirt I picked out for Gavin. I used the time to put together extra snacks.
3. Throwing shoes and socks as I try to get them ready to go outside.
4. Chloe attempting to run away from me on the street anytime I let go of her hand.
5. Gavin insisting I hold his hand anytime I hold Chloe’s hand, which means I have to push the double stroller with my torso.
6. After a perfectly lovely playdate and appropriate warnings that we would need to leave in X amount of time, Gavin running away from me and hiding under his playmate’s bed.
7. Standing on the backseat of the cab on the entire ride home from said playdate.
8. Jumping up and down in the bathtub.
9. Declaring they are starving (grunts from the baby, high drama from the boy) exactly 8 minutes before bedtime.
10. Further delays of bedtime by Chloe asking for another book and Gavin needing his covers and some water. I wanted to scream “Hey, maybe you wouldn’t be so dehydrated if you didn’t demand a full blanket when it’s August and 82 degrees in your bedroom!” but instead I just fetched the requested provisions.
By 9pm I was in a pile of my own mess – food, toys, tears, sweat and probably some urine. There were a lot of tears.
But then after their ideal Sunday I thought, “maybe the kids have turned a corner?” Maybe they are learning to enjoy the routine we’ve discovered in our new neighborhood? I woke up this Monday morning full of hope.
Maybe I’m a naive dope of a mother.
Does this happen in your house too? Do your kids save the really evil stuff for mommy and act like perfect angels with another family member?