Half the battle
Last week, or maybe the week before (seriously, where has time gone? I have no idea what day it is,) Matt took Luca and Maelie up to New York for some skiing with his family.
Reasons why I didn’t go:
1. Claire was back at school on the day they went up.
2. I don’t ski.
3. While I may have hearty Norwegian blood coursing through my veins, outdoor activities when it’s sub zero temperatures sound about as fun as having a gyne appointment in the middle of Times Square during rush hour.
4. Yah, that about sums it up.
As much as I adore my in law family, it’s just not enough for me to sleep on an air mattress with six people stuffed in one room, and have questionable elbows in my face for three solid nights. There’s just not enough love in the world.
Instead, I stayed behind with Claire and Audrey and had my own vacation, if you will.
Thursday, after Mae’s dance class of course, Matt packed up the car and plunked the two in their car seats and drove off, leaving Audrey and I alone.
We sort of stared at each other for a while, then she decided she was tired, so I had 3 hours of absolute silence while she napped and Claire was at school.
After I got bored with the silence, I started watching British dramas on Netflix. (Seriously, guys! Watch the Forsythe Saga. You won’t be disappointed.)
Friday came around and Claire had a 2 hour delay, so I missed taking Body Pump, and instead opted to go to the yoga that was after. I went to the gym, dropped off only one kid at daycare, did my class and picked up one kid to take home.
It was very weird.
It was a welcomed sight to see Claire get off the school bus. I forgot how lonely it can be when all you have around is a baby who yells for no good reason at times.
Things I did because I only had 2 kids:
1. Took them to dinner on a Friday night at a busy restaurant with my friend Jen.
2. Ordered in dinner the other night.
3. Opted to go places because taking 2 is far easier than taking 4.
4. Went to IKEA. (When is that ever not a good idea?)
5. Took my time at IKEA.
6. Wasn’t stressed at IKEA, so I a.) didn’t steal anything* and b.) I spent under a 100 dollars.
7. I relaxed.
8. Handed the tablet over to Claire at 7 AM so she could watch episodes of the Justice League and I could get an extra
1 hour of sleep 2 hours of sleep.
What I learned while I only had 2 kids:
1. Four kids are a lot of work.
2. Six year olds are extremely helpful.
3. Six year olds that are used to having certain four year olds around are really annoying. Like, really annoying.
4. Claire needs to learn how to self entertain, people.
5. It’s definitely a mental thing, but I felt less stressed.
6. I really missed the other two.
I learned something incredibly invaluable while Mae and Luca were away. I learned that I subconsciously have this constant stress on my shoulders. I didn’t think I felt very stressed, but when it was just two kids, I felt … I don’t know, happier? More easy go lucky? I realized that even though the kids are very well behaved, I was always on guard for them to collapse and myself to have to deal with that. The inevitable demise. All the time prepared. And how I felt was that I had all this weight on my shoulders. I felt slumped. When it was just a six year old and a ten month old, I had a feeling of freedom. A feeling that I could do things! And go places! And see stuff!
But when Luca, after having been corrected and was tired, said to me while Face Timing, “Mama, I miss you,” I realized, I do, too.
I got a small taste of what life would have been like if I had done the prudent thing of only having two kids, and spaced them out. But life just wouldn’t be life for me without those two buggers in the middle. And while I do have that feeling of stress from them, I now realize it. That, in and of itself is invaluable. I recognize it. I see it. I relax.
So while I had a nice time getting to know Claire better and had some really well deserved quiet time, I guess I love my chaotic life.