I purposely signed my big kids up for a precious few activities this summer. I wanted to spend time with them doing fun things instead of sending them off to have fun without me and (and this is a big and) all of those activities are expensive.
So far we’ve enjoyed a trip to my mom’s in South Carolina and Camp MEOW, but we’ve also had a few days at home playing Legos, games, and the like. I’ve taken them on a few “adventure” walks, which hopefully will inspire a post soon.
We’ve also seen our fair share of FIGHTING. Ohmygoodnessgracious, the fighting. They’re at ages where anything the other does is provocative – “She’s looking at me funny!” and “He said I couldn’t sit on the couch with the blue pillow, that I had to sit with the yellow pillow and I don’t like the yellow pillow,” kinds of fights.
To preserve my mental health and to insure that I have the emotional energy to make it through our weeks together, I have scheduled some sitters here and there. I scheduled one yesterday. My plan was to go on a nice long, restorative walk. Then I was headed to the chiropractor and off to run errands to prepare for Little As SECOND birthday today.
I emailed her the night before to confirm, and she said she’d be here at 8:30 am.
I planned my entire day – no, week – around this sitter coming.
So, of course, you know what happened, right?
Eight-thirty comes and goes, and no sitter. But hey, it’s Atlanta and we have traffic. So I waited.
Nine comes and goes, and still no sitter. I called and left a voice mail.
She calls back and asks, “So, were you able to find someone else?”
“What?” I asked her. “Why would I be looking for someone else? You are scheduled to work. You aren’t on your way?”
“No. I forgot.”
Sixteen hours after we had confirmed via email.
I dragged the kids to the chiropractor. We grocery shopped together. We parked illegally on a one-way street so we could fetch the amazing locally-made popsicles we needed for Little A’s birthday.
They were troopers.
Me? Not so much.
I needed that time alone. I planned on the restoration that the solitude and productivity can provide. I had phone calls I needed to make.
I’d love to say I rose to the occasion, but honestly, I was off all day. I yelled more than I should, and I found myself trying to pull away from the kids just to get a moment to myself. (Mothers of three wee ones will probably understand that that was a failed effort.)
I’ve come to the place where I can pretty easily recognize when I’m going towards that place of stress. And, I’ve gotten decent at cutting back on expectations, activities and the like.
But what I can’t control is babysitters who forget to come to my house.
“I planned my entire day around you being here,” I told her tearfully. “I needed this time.”
And it wasn’t just about the errands.