Four day weekends used to be so exciting. A big opportunity to go somewhere, or do something. The opportunities felt endless and we were always excited and counting down. And then you have two very small children, and you realize that as much as you love spending time with them, four days without a break is a lot. It’s tiring.
Still we tried as hard as we could. Tom was working and I was alone with the kids, so Friday I made a play date and let the tiny ones run free and play and eat snacks and have fun. We played on the floor and read stories and made it through the day. I ended the day happy and tired and sore.
Saturday and Sunday we spent the days playing and going outside and doing whatever makes them happy. We played for hours outside with the neighbors, making up new games, getting wet with the hose, and running around in the yard. It’s a tossup whether the twins next door come over to play with our babies or Tom. Either way there’s a lot of laughter and fun. We dig in the dirt and eat dinner in the grass, and toss the kids high in the air. It’s tiring but it’s awesome and everyone is happy.
And then we all wake up sick on Monday. We’re achy and hot and cold and dizzy and not feeling great. The little ones seem off too. E keeps falling over when he walks, tripping on his feet, and will go from happy to throwing himself on the floor crying. The baby won’t sleep and only wants to be held. Suddenly the long naps we rely on to feel human, even more important when we’re not feeling good, are gone. The toddler is begging to go outside, and we say no and turn on the TV instead. We search for a show that will hold his attention and settle on a 90 second clip of some animated animals singing “Happy Birthday” which is his newest favorite. And so we watch it over and over again so we can rest for a few minutes.
No one can win parenting awards every day. Not every day can be perfect. There will be days when we play in the mud until we’re exhausted and dirty, and there will be days when we beg them to watch TV and skip their baths.
Either way, when Tuesday came and it was time to go back to work and daycare? We were celebrating! It felt right that daycare was too – balloons and music blasting, people dressed up in costumes. I think they were celebrating the start of a new school year, but we were celebrating a break and a chance to sit down for a few hours.