I know the secret. Only four years, two children, and one very serious crush on alone time and I have figured it out. You have to pretend your children are someone else's. Like you are the babysitter. You are only borrowing your children for an hour or two until the real parents show up. This way your mind is not concerned with other things. You don't care if the toddler eats while standing up and making his finger purple with the string of a yo-yo. You don't care if the little one finds two month old Halloween candy *somewhere* and walks out of a dark room with peanutbutterchocolatemouthshirthair. In fact, if you are the babysitter, you root around the pantry a little bit until you find the rest.
See what I mean? It's revolutionary.
We had a great day. Nothing big happened. Our day started with a nice long walk. Cold, sunny, and aimless. Then we headed out for a rather uninspired Craft Show which was fine because the church it was in was beautiful so we lollipopped around that for a bit until heading home for lunch. Then the kids threw me a curve ball. They dodged every single Mommy effort to nap or rest or do story time. Lunch had given them all the caloric high they needed to push straight on through until 8pm. Lunch did not, however, do the same for me. I must remember to pack myself some speed with my turkey pepperoni next time.
So they were up. I mean so up that I just wanted to be prone somewhere, anywhere, Dear God even the dogbed where. But I rallied in my brain and we made zucchini bread. There must be six degrees of separation between me and a bakery in France because whenever I get stressed out I head right for the flour and baking soda. Abby loves to stir flour and cinnamon. I watched her as she took absolute delight in manning up to the bowl and showing that bigass wooden spoon who was boss. Then Grayson surfaced from Lord knows where. And he wasn't in the mood for France. Or anything less than hand-to-forearm contact with his already taxed out mother. He was jazzed up and wanted to engage in war. I swear, boys are just born with a need to to kick something's butt the minute they wake up in the morning. Lately mine has been the casualty and then some. Let's just say I've requested punching bags from multiple grandparents for Christmas. One for him, the rest for me.
As the day wore on so did my love for being a stay-at-home-and-rot-inside-your-brain-mom. I couldn't muster one more minute of ability to differentiate activities. Seriously you guys. I just wanted to sit in the middle of my kitchen floor and count sand. Then Grayson pulled out his Trump card.
"Mommy? Why don't you like to play with me?" and I did what we all do. I answered his question with a question.
"Whaddoyoumean? What do you want to play?" hoping like hell it would be the Simon Says Don't Move game.
"I want to play Tag. And Hide & Seek. Tag me, tag meeeee!" and he took off like he really believed I wouldn't be reaching for my coffee mug instead.
So I ran. I ran me and my loose skin around our house after him. In seconds, Abby descended from her kitchen chair and ran too yelling, "Tig me Mommy, tig me!" the whole time. Sadie came lumbering down the stairs to see if maybe Nam & Pop showed up. She joined our parade of prancing and dancing with ears and nose held high.
When everyone had their fare turn at being tagged and/or bodyslammed we decided to play Hide & Seek. Grayson "hid" in the same spot four times and Abby ratted him out with her squeals of happy every time. My Mommy brain was just about to switch gears and say, "All right you two, let's clean this place up and get ready for bath," when I remembered something. I remembered babysitting a little boy named Ben many years ago. I loved playing Hide & Seek with him and he was exactly Grayson's age now. How could I give Ben a more playful me than my own son? And just like that....game on.
I hid hard. I hid under blankets and pillows and then furniture. I didn't come out when he already checked the room I was in but whistled out instead. Grayson giggled up and down stairs. He chattered about my whereabouts to himself the entire time. Abby echoed his paces and neither of them never caught on to the fact that Sadie was not only batting at me in my hiding spot but was also barking and howling like she couldn't understand how I could've misplaced myself so wildly. It was excellent. And fun. And all because I remembered little Ben and how my kids totally deserve me to be their babysitter too.