It's been almost a week since I left Detroit with two less children. My mother-in-law offered to watch the two youngest for a few weeks, which should give me a chance to catch up with my life. Catching up — what would that feel like? And life without the "the babies" around? I had no idea. So here's how last week went. Whether I actually caught up on anything...well, you be the judge...
Day 1: This year we flew to Detroit for the holidays instead of driving (the two car accidents that almost devastated my family in October made the usual nine-hour nighttime drive from Baltimore not-so-appealing). That meant we had to fly back with all the stuff that the kids got for Christmas. Uggh. The four of us had two check-in pieces each, one carry-on each, and a backpack each, which we kind of pretended wasn't there so we wouldn't have to check it in. If you're doing your math that was 16—yes, 16—pieces of luggage. I couldn't get all the stuff onto the airport carts, let alone into our car when we arrived in Baltimore, so we had to pay for a super shuttle. We had the entire shuttle to ourselves. Day 1: A bust. The luggage stays inside the front door, untouched.
Day 2: The kids unpacked their backpacks and at least one piece of luggage while I went to the dentist for a cleaning. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to get my three-month cleaning. (Pregnancy gingivitis: I have to go every three months instead of every six. Did they tell you in Lamaze that kids will suck away your calcium, too?) I was at the dentist for over an hour and left in so much pain that I couldn't eat for the rest of the day. Day 2: A bust. Too much pain to be productive, and luggage remains unpacked in the bedrooms, away from the front door.
Day 3: It was foggy and rainy, which didn't make for good driving conditions. I shouldn't be complaining though since it was almost 50 degrees in January. I had to go to our homeschool-group meeting and teach Earth Science. Not a problem except for the fact that I didn't know I was teaching until the night before. I stayed up until 3 A.M. downloading info from the Internet, grabbing about 30 books from my personal library shelf on everything from rocks and minerals to cloud formation. Day 3: Another bust. Productive, but oh-so tired. Only four hours of sleep. Three days into 2007, and I've already failed to fulfill my resolution to take the utmost care of myself this year.
Day 4: Saturday should be a day of rest, but the guilt of not completing my to-do list really kicked in, so I rose early, started to unpack and realized that I had to register my daughter for dance class and my sons for basketball — all before 12 noon. I printed the registration forms off of the Web, then drove 20 or so miles to register everyone. While in the area, I decided to take my laptop to the Apple Store to get it repaired and return some overdue library books. As I ran through my list, my wonderful daughter, who is reaching that "my mother is pitiful and I need to help her" stage, said, "I think you should slow down because we don't want you to lock your keys in the car or leave your credit card at the store. You know it's happened before when you're rushing." Oh, thanks. And to think I looked forward to her talking when she was little. Day 4: Productive, not so tired. May be first day of actually feeling like I got a break.
Day 5: We drove to church and as we walked from the parking lot, my oldest son said, "Come on, Niara. I don't want you to get hurt." Niara wasn't with us. She's at my in-laws. We all looked at each other and thought, "Wow, we really miss them even though they drive us a little bonkers." When we got home from church, there was a phone message from Niara saying she wanted to come home because she missed us. I let the kids hear the message, and my son, YPW, said, "Mommy, I like it when our whole family is together." I didn't say anything, but I like it that way, too. Day 5: A little smoother, but nerve-racking. No catching up on life today, either.
Looks like two less kids doesn't make so much difference... Now, excuse me, while I go finish unpacking.