Now that we're back from our babysitting escapades, I've had a day or two to reflect and compare and contrast some things.
A few interesting things:
- Suburbia: The kids rule. I'm not sure exactly why i feel this way but there was definitely a feeling of all things revolving around kids. It's all about school and school activities and fun things kids can do, etc whereas where I live now, there is definitely some of that (and maybe i'd see it differently if i had a school-aged kid) but it's not as noticeable. It's not in the foreground. Interesting.
- The insanity of taking care of 4 kids. Obviously this is a huge jump from just having 1. After that first day, I started to sort of get a handle on things. I'd wake up early and go downstairs and get the day started and I rarely took a rest all day. I'd imagine this is normal. With just Julian, I can be kind of lazy in the mornings (and at other times) but not so with 4. Also, even if i could have been lazy with the older 3, I couldn't be with Julian. Man he was such a crybaby.
- On that note, how did Julian do? Well, he had conflicting feelings. He liked the kids and played with them sometimes, and they were super sweet with him, but he had to deal with more separation (which i actually welcomed, though the constant crying gave me an eye twitch) and in the end, he's just kind of a loner. We'd go out and play in the grass and Things 2 & 3 would be playing together and Julian would be off by himself, far away from the rest of us. It's just how he be. And he was sick and tired of getting no attention and when we left, he was extremely happy. Pretty sure he sang songs all the way home and clicked his heels in his carseat. He was greeted by his old friends, Tour Bus and Firetruck. He just likes his peace & quiet.
- Yesterday it was rainy all day so we mostly stayed in and unpacked and took an extra long nap. However, i noticed how interesting it was that i seemed to have some extra energy left over from being "on on on" the past week. I went to the store IN the rain and made dinner!!! Let me tell you, i normally make dinner maaaybe twice a week if we're lucky, and it's never anything remotely complicated like the dinner yesterday was (but only remotely). Under current circumstances, I just really don't enjoy cooking, and we have such good delivery. Yes, it's bad. And, especially having just survived a war, at a moment when i'd think making dinner would be the last thing i'd want to do, i thought it was very interesting what being in that "mode" (the 4-kid mode) can do to a person. I can actually conceive that it might be something one could get used to almost. I guess that's why there are families out there with 4 kids. It's actually possible. Huh. I am not at ALL considering it for myself, but you could say I am beginning to understand...
- I think we can all agree that the construction was really the worst part. I feel like figuring out schedules and logistics of things and hauling kids to and fro was hard, but it's normal hard. It was expected hard. The construction was just uncontrollable and annoying, as it always is.
- Also, having just one child has its challenges. Now, even though Julian might still be super cry-y, there isn't another kid to say cute and funny things to distract me and lift my spirits. I'll really miss those kids. They were the best part. Sean said that he picked up Thing 1 from school and on the walk home she said she was looking forward to her grandparents coming (the 3rd & final babysitting shift), but she would miss us, "especially Jen. She makes good lunches." :D I do. I do make good lunches. She and I later had a heart-to-heart at the very end of the day before we left and it was magical.
And that's where i'll end. Thanks for being there for me during those days. They were pretty rough for me, I will be honest. People ask why on Earth i said yes and aside from wanting to help out people that I like, i also don't want to be someone who says no to hard things. Not that i believe people should say yes to everything, but i'm quite pleased to have done it and to still be alive, and the kids are too. Success.