I went away for the weekend…just me (well, the hubbie joined me for part of the trip), few close friends, but most importantly no kids, or at least none of mine :).
As the hubbie and I and one of my friends who was flying out with us, boarded the plane, I asked my friend if she cared to sit by the window. “I want to sit by the window, me…” I heard my hubbie behind her say. And I thought I had left my kids at home…my bad…
As much as I love my kids, and obviously I missed them and was constantly wondering what they were doing, it was nice to be away and have time all to myself without having to worry about the little ones: have they eaten something decent before emptying the cookie jar? Can I have them watch tv just a little longer without feeling guilty? Why are they so quiet? Being able to sit down and enjoy good food and (preferably alcoholic) drinks. Spending time with friends (other grown-ups!). Having a conversation (about kids, no doubt 🙂 ) without having to yell or constantly being interrupted. Sleeping through the night (though I slept less than I’d hoped…). Shopping (for…the kids 🙂 ).
The weather was exceptionally bad for the time of year and the location I was at, while the weather back home was exceptionally good. Sweater and umbrella versus swimsuit and sunscreen: the universe punishing me for taking time off. Yes, I’m shameless, how dare I! 🙂 But I enjoyed it nonetheless.
There were two little ones with us on the trip. An 18-month old adorable, yet challenging, toddler girl and a sweet 3-year old boy. Different ages but also different temperaments. I’m glad I hadn’t brought my kids, the contrast with the little boy (more suitable for comparison given my kids’ ages) would have been tremendous. Or is it because he had no siblings to rival with? No need to claim his territory, or cry for attention (literally and metaphorically)? Sometimes when I see other parents with their kids I’m truly inspired. They make me want to slow down, relax, and let go, something my inner control freak has serious issues with… Their kids seem better behaved though and calmer than mine, but are they better behaved because they are taught and raised that way or is it just in their nature? I’m hoping and guessing both so the way my kids turn out is not entirely on me (what a huge responsibility nonetheless!). I do believe I could pull it off if I took just one of my kids. The baby’s just a dream (touching wood, wouldn’t want to jinx it). The toddlers, just one at a time, are easy enough to handle (touching wood again), especially since I’m used to having all three at the same time. But when they’re together, they’re simply impossible. They don’t listen at all. I’m sure people think we should be tougher with them, that we’re spoiling them and letting them run free (which is partly the case but they’re so cute when they’re ganging up against us). Also, yelling at them and punishing them doesn’t seem to work very well, and makes me a cranky parent (see my previous post about me being a nag). I think they’re old enough for dialogue, especially my son, but conversation isn’t going to make them do something they simply refuse to do. Kids are honest like that. They don’t feel like cleaning up their toys so they don’t. They don’t feel like walking anymore so they stop or even throw themselves on the ground for emphasis. They do what they want when they want to and I actually admire them for it.
This has taken me far from the topic at hand though. We’ll be traveling with the three kids soon…I’m anxious and nervous at the same time, a little sorry we didn’t ask a sitter to join us, and hoping and praying they’ll behave for 12 days straight (which is ambitious, I know, but also leaves room for negotiation).