Go out of town, get rewarded with angel children

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:

Playing so nice together

And this one:

Calm, collected, contemplating how much he loves life

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.

Look at these two. They are certainly plotting my destruction.

“Wait, don’t let her see us smiling,” they conspire.

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?

“Victory! She is cracking – asking strangers on the internet for help!”

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17 thoughts on “Go out of town, get rewarded with angel children

  1. Girl. It’s my house. Totally. After Blogher I grilled Jeff– wasn’t it hard? Were you dying at dinner? He swore it was all fine. Either he’s in denial or I shouldn’t have bred.

  2. Actually, they know the menfolk would implode if they acted like they always do–therefore, they’re on their best behavior around Daddy. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  3. Kenja is on the right track here…they realize they are competing with the less talented parent…and so they take it easy on us…sort of like it not being fun for me to beat up on Gavin playing basketball.

    Also, I am not sure my nutrition plan for them would hold up for more than one day…milk and granola bars for breakfast, tub of ice cream at the park for lunch.

  4. Oh my gosh, I can totally relate – too much actually. Please don’t take this the wrong way but the picture of the kids plotting your destruction is beyond adorable! They are beautiful!
    I think because my son is with me every day for many hours a day, he’s the most “comfortable” around me and therefor, does not hesitate to give me the hardest time, throw fits, be demanding, etc. Finally after almost 4 years, he is starting to act up a little for my husband but it’s nothing compared to the hurricanes of chaos and tantrums I get – haha! I admit I have sat back and giggled a few times when he’s giving dad a hard time….I know that’s bad. I tell my husband he’s just getting a small taste of what it’s like to be mom :)

    • Oh don’t even get me started about school – that’s a whole other post. The teachers at my son’s school pretty much wanted to take him home. I never hated listening to 10 minutes of praise so much in my life.

  5. Oh Carinn, this is my house EVERY WEEKEND. I’m on my own with Max a ton (Sean travels quite a bit for work), and when the boys are finally together on the weekend, Max is an ANGEL. Goes potty by himself. Eats whatever Daddy makes him. SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT when it’s Daddy’s turn to get up with him. Sure enough, Sunday night rolls around and Max is up 5 times. Totally unfair. But I like what the person above said about how kids know to go easy on the parent who’s less competent 😉

  6. It’s unanimous! It’s just you. Poor dear.

    Your kids sound exactly like my kids and I’d offer to switch but mine would figure out the game and change the rules within minutes. Thankfully, my girls do have enough tantrums around my husband to keep things interesting, but they save their best material for me, especially when I’m over-tired, over-hungry and over-being a mom.

    I hope our kids use their genius timing for good instead of evil in the near future. Otherwise, can we run away together? Please?

    • I’m so happy to hear my children are no more evil than the average tykes! And yes, I honestly pushed the stroller with my stomach. It was a disaster (I wish I had pics). Let’s just say the three of us get nowhere quickly.

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