Like a bite sized truffle, weekends are sweet and quick
Now that Dan has a certifiable, full time job (including boss, commute and health insurance), weekends are like a bite-sized chocolate truffle and everyone wants a piece. Those sweet kids don’t know Wednesday from Saturday and it’s just a farce that when Dan and I slide into bed on weekend nights we turn off the alarm clock that rouses us at 5:45 on weekday mornings. Because it’s not like the kids say to themselves “hey, it’s the weekend, let’s all meet up in the kitchen for a casual brunch at 10:00 AM.”
At 4 and 2, Col and Rose rise before the sun, eager to check the “daily events” flyer, like the one posted in the elevator of my grandparents’ assisted living home advertising “chair aerobics” and “Friday ice cream social.” It’s kind of like that here too, me shuttling semi-continent, mildly-confused people to an interpretive yoga class, then home for a bland, easily digestible meal and thank goodness, the daily nap.
It’s not a bad gig and I can usually count on meeting up with another mom at the pool or the park who needs adult socialization as badly as I do. And the kids are always thrilled to see more of their kind and instead of stoking my own madness, seeing other little people who are yanking their parents’ last modicum of patience and stomping on it helps, it really does.
But weekends are something else. We parentals want a little ownself-time, plus a date would be thrilling, and maybe some exercise that doesn’t involve slinging one child on my back while the other gives me ten mini heart attacks by simultaneously riding his bike and carrying on a conversation. “Do you know why I stopped back there Mama?” Col pauses on his bike to quiz me; these pauses occur every three minutes and each time I feel like someone’s injected coffee into my veins and then tied my feet together. “Let’s stay focused honey, please keep going.” I sing in my best preschool teacher voice, though after already stopping for the Dairy Queen straw, the muddy tennis ball, and a wind-blown receipt, I’m growing more impatient and then annoyed at myself. What’s the hurry? To get back home and watch the sun sadly disappear? Rose, perched in the backpack is squawking loudly in my ear about turkey she ate at her friend Iris’ house today. “We had tuh-kee Mama, at Iwis house.” Col hops back on. “But do you know why I stopped? Mama, do you?” Col veers towards the middle of the street, less focused on the cars swerving to miss him than on making sure I know that there was a garbage can tipped over a few houses back, which made him stop, which I may not have noticed because I’m watching those cars on the road and Rose is wondering if we could “get some tuh-kee for me and Coley, like Iwis always have.”
Dan works 4 ten-hour days (really twelve hours, with the commute), which means he leaves before the kids get up, except Rosie, who apparently hears Dan’s alarm through two closed doors and her sound-muffling humidifier. And so Rose eats oatmeal with her Daddy, she chatter-boxing about tuh-kee this and Coley that, and Dan gulping coffee and uttering the same obligatory grunts he gives me when I’m rambling on about how wonderful the kids are…but challenging, so challenging, but also, so very precious.
By the time Dan gets home, we’ve exhausted our activity list and it feels like we woke up from naps right into this frosty nighttime. And as much as we’re all happy to see Dan at 6:30 pm, everyone’s as worn and ragged as a winter coat that’s been passed down through too many children. It seems Dan and I spend much of the next hour or two checking the clock to see if it’s almost bedtime. Oh, only five minutes have passed? Hmm, feels more like a month. And then everyone gets in their footie pajamas, fights over teethbrushing, and falls asleep. And of course, I linger over their tender, snuffling bodies, awash in love and regret that I spent even one minute wishing I could speed up time.
But then the pay off for not seeing Dan much of Monday – Thursday is that our weekend starts on Friday, and by Sunday night we’re still licking chocolate truffle crumbs off our fingers.
Here is the calendar Dan drew up this Friday morning: our low-tech, weekend palm pilot, which ensures everyone gets a taste of chocolate.
And here is Col’s calendar.
Friday morning he’s going to give our cat some new water. Friday afternoon you can find him on the swingset in our backyard. Saturday there will be a hike and some fort-building inside and then Sunday he’ll be constructing a tunnel for the chickens, so they have a snow-free area in which they can scratch and peck to their hearts content.
Please note that no one included laundry or oven-scouring on their list. I love weekends.