Running with the Herd

My neighbor, Felicia, has been watching our kids during the 3 hour gap between me leaving for work and Jason getting home.  It’s been the perfect set-up.  Felicia lives 2 houses up and has a son 7 months older than Amelia and a daughter 7 months younger (there was a lot of fertility going on in our neighborhood for a while).  She was laid off a few months ago, so she’s generally available and can always use the cash.  Best of all, she’s my friend and I know that she takes good care of my kids.  It’s almost as perfect as when we have family in town watching the kids (usually Jason’s dad).  Of course, this way nobody is sleeping in our guest room and watching their own shows on our TV.

When I drop the kids off in the afternoon, the usual routine goes like this:

1.  Ring the doorbell

2.  Kids inside squeal and Felicia opens the door

3.  Kid’s scream “Amelia!” and all three kids run away toward the playroom

4.  Chat for a few minutes

5.  Handover of the baby and diaper-bag

6.  Slip out the door as quickly as possible before Z notices

For a long time, Z would panic when I left.  On most days I’d be stepping out the door as he started screaming.  As any working mom knows, it’s not fun.  It tears you up and makes you feel guilty for leaving.  I knew that the tears would stop as soon as I was out of earshot, but it still knocked me down a notch…every…single…day.

Lately Felicia & I had noticed that Z wasn’t crying when I dropped him off anymore.  Call it adjustment.  Call it familiarity.  Still, I was still gingerly stepping out the door every day praying that Z wouldn’t cry. 

Last week, we arrived at Felicia’s house and Z started wriggling in my arms.  I put him down so I could talk and Z was swept up with the other kids.  He didn’t walk, he RAN.  He ran back to the playroom with 3 kids much older than he.  No longer the baby.  Finally able to play with “the kids”.

Arms up, screetching with glee, running with the herd.


Mother and Child Reunion

My kids are back!  My kids are back!

Of course, they arrived at 3p, which was precisely when I was going upstairs to get dressed for work.  I didn’t get a lot of quality time with them, but I got to see them and hug them and snuggle them for a few minutes. 

It’s crazy how old they seem.  I’ve noticed that with Amelia…when she goes away for the weekend (usually to her grandparents’ house) she always comes back looking and acting older.  It’s like she’s a tiny little adult.  And now it’s both of them…my little man and my little lady.  And, holy cow, Z has a head full of blond hair (yeah, I don’t know how I ended up with a blond kid…Jason thinks I look like his nanny).

I secretly suspect that Z started walking while he was in FL and Jason’s parents didn’t have the heart to tell us.  When he finally walks for us, we’ll all rejoice and my in-laws will all laugh behind our backs. 

I can’t adaquately express how freakishly happy I am that they’re here.  I’ll admit, it was really nice to have a weekend to myself (one word….mojitos).  And it’s not like I sat around weeping because my kids weren’t with me.  It was just….boring.  No, seriously, what the hell did Jason & I do before we had kids?  Did we seriously lie around watching TV and reading on the deck?  Yeah, it sounds good now,  but to do it it everyday?  No, that DOES actually sound kind of cool.  But, trust me, once you’re amped up by parenthood (and parenthood DOES amp your brain up) it’s only acceptable for a few days.  Then you climb the walls.

 I can’t wait to get up tomorrow and find something fun to do with the kiddos.  I may even offer to bring them to storytime at the library (and that’s saying A LOT).  Maybe it’ll be nice weather and we can just hang out outside.  Rock on!