I have no ability to comprehend how eight weeks have already gone by. On the one hand it seems like just yesterday I was writing blog posts about how I was going to be pregnant forever. And on the other hand, it seems like Baby No. 4 has always been in our lives. It’s weird how that works.
Recently I find myself dreading the weekends. And you’re all going to think I’m a terrible person when I tell you why, but seeing as most of you already think I’m a terrible person, I’m going to go ahead and tell you why anyway. You see, during the week three of the four children in this family go to school. Only one of them goes to actual school. The other two go to daycare/preschool—but whatever you call it, they’re not here all day. But on the weekends they’re all here. All of them. All four of them. At once. For more than 48 straight hours.
And for all of those hours, they demand my undivided attention. Obviously this is an exaggeration because sometimes they sleep and then they leave me alone. Unless someone has a bad dream. Or needs a hug. Or thought they heard a coyote breaking into their bedroom. Or because an owl *almost* scared them. True stories. All of them.
Anyway. I realize it makes me a terrible person, but I kind of dread Saturday and Sunday. Last weekend we woke up on Sunday without a plan. No plan for how we were going to make it to bedtime. I like to have a plan. I like for the plan to involve us leaving the house because after being in the house for more than five consecutive minutes, my kids become stir crazy, and everything immediately falls apart. There’s bickering. And yelling. And crying. And more yelling. And even more crying. And the kids are unhappy, too.
So there we were on Sunday morning without a plan. Seeing the panicked look on my face, my husband suggested that we put everyone into the car and take a drive. Usually I am opposed to such a plan because do you know what strapping four kids into a confined space leads to? Bickering. And crying. And hair pulling. And screeching. And yelling. And more crying. There’s always more crying.
But I was at a loss for another idea, so after breakfast we strapped everybody in and hit the road. We had no plan other than to drive, but here in the Wild West, there’s no shortage of drives to take and things to see. But because our children are children, they’re not interested in going anywhere or seeing anything that doesn’t involve a exorbitant entrance fee and some kind of animated character (and even then they’ll complain). And because we’re parents who didn’t want to listen to bickering, we turned on the iPad and let their brains rot while we drove in relative silence (except for the incessant question asking of the 2-year-old who only cares about inquiring as to whether or not there are “airplanes up in the sky?” on endless repeat).
So we drove. And there wasn’t (much) fighting. A couple hours later, we pulled into a state park that we had no intention of visiting but just happened to be driving by when the 2-year-old stated in a panicked voice that she needed to go potty (which means you have four seconds to sit her on a toilet before she wets herself), and the baby started loudly voicing her need to be fed. So we pulled in, and everybody hopped out.
The baby and I stayed in the car, and I nursed her while my husband and the other three kids went on a hike around the park to see an old Army fort and way station on the Pony Express. My husband read them the signs explaining what life was like there in the 1800s, and they, reportedly, were interested and even had questions. (I’m willing to bet the 2-year-old’s question was “Airplanes up in the sky?” but hey, she wasn’t screaming or trying to bite anyone.)
The hike took almost the exact amount of time that I needed to feed the baby, and then, having expended some of their energy, the older kids were happy to get back in the car and head home. Without bickering! And there was hardly any yelling (because there’s always at least a little yelling).
It wasn’t glamorous or extravagant or even really that exciting, but it was a perfect Sunday.