Saturday, April 2, 2016

Time flies when you're home alone

This past week has been Spring Break for 3 of the 4 members of the house.  (One of these things - ME - is not like the others.)  The boy decided late that what with the influx of relatively unscheduled days, he needed to take the girls somewhere.  Two days later, he had a snazzy little hotel booked and plans in place. 

When he gets a bee in his bonnet, he's on top of things.

This is in comparison with me who takes on the challenge of finding the cutest, breakfastiest, comfiest, all-you-can-drink-coffee-and-afternoon-cookies-iest place to stay and all for the affordable-iest price.  I spend a few hours (e.g. d-a-y-s) on this process in part because I like me some virtual window shopping.  The boy is kind of a get-in-and-get-out kind of person.

For about 30 seconds at the beginning of the "I think I want to go somewhere for a couple of nights over Spring Break" discussion, we flirted with the possibility of all 4 of us going somewhere.  You know, like a normal family.

And then we were both all like "diabetic cat," and that kind of quashed all chances of familial bliss in a Days Inn.  Like that was going to happen anyway.  So, like many a decision that has to be made, color me the sacrificing individual who bore the brunt of shooting the insulin twice a day and, you know, doing some amount of teaching, too.  I was committed to being here anyway, but it seems like I could blame our planning on the cat.  (By the way, I've always appreciated how easy cats are to take care of.  No one ever whispered a word of warning in my ear that sometimes, they're a bit of a bother.)  So the boy did what the boy always talks about doing, which is to call up his siblings and find out if either of them feel like being around us.  Turns out, one of them was game, so the boy found the hotel, packed up the kids (by way of me, obviously, because are we to believe that he did the packing of the sundries while I lazed about with a hot cup of tea and a scone?), and stole my car for a couple of days leaving me an empty house, a crumby kitchen floor, a dependent cat, papers to grade, and almost no gas in his car. 

Actually, he up and left, thereby leaving me with this glorious thing called s-p-a-c-e as well as a fair bit of q-u-i-e-t.

The boy is an all-around keeper.  I've no need of roses, just buy me a quiet house any day.

Admittedly, in hushed tones, I asked him "Are you sure you wanna do this?" and he replied "Yeah, I do.  I'm a dad." and far be it from me to question that. 

Not only did he take on the task of being pack mule and referee, but also he found a hotel room (singular, not a suite) with two queen beds.  This means that our children had to fall asleep in the same room.  THE SAME ROOM.  This has never (ever ever ever) gone well, though we have tried.  But he managed fairly well utilizing a 2-part plan of attack: use an extra sheet and some rope as a room divider and wear them out so they have nothing left to fight with.  Basically, it was like he had them under siege in their castles, holding out until all of their energy supplies were depleted.  'Cause that's a parent-of-the-year approach. 

He found a place with both breakfast (various carb options for the win!) and an indoor pool, and oh the glories, oh the blessings!  You know when you call to chat with your children when they're in this manna-from-Heaven situation that you need to be prepared to talk about how "The water was so warm!" and "I had a doughnut!" and even "I had juice and sausage and a waffle and the hot tub had a little shelf, so I put my feet in and then I had eggs and now my tummy hurts just a little but it's OK because Daddy took us into the deep end of the pool!!!"  And then my kid would ask me what I've been doing, and talk about letting the air out of the balloon cause "I graded!" and "I swept the floor!" and "I bought stamps!" just doesn't have the same flavor.  Her stories were like gumballs and unicorns whereas mine were like dried gum on the underside of a desk and the tired looking work horses standing around placidly chewing hay.  But props to her for showing an honest effort at caring about her out of sight, out of mind mother.  I have high hopes for how our phone conversations will go when she's in college.

But the days went by and the nights went by (in a glorious sort of I-have-the-bed-all-to-myself-and-it-is-fabulous kind of way), and my people returned.  They brought some amount of noise back with them (just for me!) and in exchange took away a good amount of the space that I had been hoarding in their absence. 

But everything was checked off of my to-do list by the time they stumbled in the door, which makes one feel both exhilarated (I was so productive; let's count how many things I checked off [smiley face]!) as well as deflated (I was so blasted productive that all I did was work [sad face].)  So I made up for that spurt of activity and read a magazine in the middle of their chaos because if I can't get around to it when they're gone, then why not when they're home?  Mindless activity also helps to ignore the shrieking. 

1 comment:

Crystal said...

This week I got home from work and J and Z were gone to a doctor's appointment. It is fully the third time since November that I've been home alone. It was luxurious. It only lasted for 30 minutes. But it was beautiful. I dream, someday, of having a whole night or day with an empty house. There's something wonderfully peaceful about it.