[Cleaning off my desktop, I found this blog from August which I had never posted. Back in the newborn days, with a major move happening. Wacky.]
It’s a rare occasion that a mother of four under four (including a newborn) gets to spend time out of the house alone during the day. Today, a Very Good Day, was one of those days. My Hubby, off for the afternoon, agreed to stay with the kids for a few hours.
The instant my 1:30pm departure time was determined, I set the wheels in motion to allow this to happen as painlessly as possible for everyone involved (mostly so there would be a reasonable chance that my husband would agree to babysit all four boys again sometime).
You moms know what I mean: I timed lunch, reading, and naptime JUST right so that the two middle kids – my regular nappers – would be down as long as possible while I was away. I held off JUST long enough and fed the baby at 1, so that he would have (in theory) his pleasant time while I was on my way out and fade away into afternoon slumber around 2pm. And I read stories to the oldest, giving him plenty of one-on-one attention, so that he would be all ready for some quiet time on his own.
From the moment my mother and I left the house for the craft store, I worried. Will the newborn baby fuss non-stop or require a top-off to his feed? Will this be the day that Cubby takes a record short nap and cries loudly to wake up his brother? Will Tigger have a potty accident setting off a series of tantrums? Will Tadpole whine and complain about having nothing to do, or get so exhilarated with something that he runs around screaming and disrupting the other boys?
WILL THE HOUSEHOLD SURVIVE WITHOUT ME?!
I took a big sigh, said a prayer, and departed with my mom. Freedom, at last! Girl time, oh joy! Craft store, my long lost friend!
Two miles down the road I started second-guessing my decision. With all the little ones, should I have just taken the baby, who is typically the most difficult for my husband to solve problems for? Should we turn around and get him, possibly buying us more time (or at least more relaxed time) away from the house?
No, no, we decided: the Hubby could handle it; at minimum it would be good for him to experience what I do on a daily basis – kids running around wildly, waking up early from naps, needing an extra snack, baby not settling well to sleep, multiple loud announcements of “I need to poo!” at the same time, and other such realities that are part of a day in the life and often don’t allow for five minutes of quiet in the house.
I tried to relax at the craft store and soak in the joy of all things creative at this time in my life when I was just NOT. With an eight-week old, 3 tiny kids, and the pack up/buy new house/moving thing on my plate, there just (understandably) hadn’t been time for anything else.
After checking my watch and realizing we had gotten lost in the store for over 90 minutes already, I reluctantly nudged mom and suggested we head home. My phone had not rung, but I knew that 2-1/2 hours away at this stage in our game was probably pushing it, and at minimum I would have a hungry baby waiting for me.
I entered the house, admittedly, with a bit of trepidation. What would I find? Would Hubby be at wit’s end? Would there be chaos? Would I ever be allowed out again?
They must have all gone out? Wait, no, that’s not likely. But where is everyone?
I tiptoed around quietly, not wanting to disturb this rare peace, my heart racing, looking for my husband… or anyone, really.
Then I saw him. Laying sleepily on the couch, my husband looked up at me and smiled. “Did you have fun?” I didn’t bother answering, because I naturally was worried.
“Where IS everyone?” I managed.
“Sleeping. We all had a really great nap.”
“ALL?” I questioned. “You too?”
“Yeah,” he replied, like it was the most natural thing in the world.
The baby? My non-napping 4 year old? My husband who was SUPPOSED to be experiencing the CHAOS that I deal with every day? ALL of them?
Yes, all of them. All five of them had slept. At the same time. For over an hour.
And that, my readers, was an event that happens less frequently than a total lunar eclipse.