When he told me he was leaving for a whole week on some fancy-schmancy school/networking trip, I had visions of quiet evenings to myself, delicious meals of the sort he would never enjoy, and everything running like a well-oiled machine since I wouldn't have to be waiting around or reminding him to get to his tasks. No, they'd just be my tasks, and of course I'd get them done promptly.
The first night went like a dream. The kids were in bed promptly at 8:00 and the toddler was asleep shortly after. The boy and I had our nightly snuggle and chat. I left him with a glass of water and came out to a clean, quiet living room. I listened to music while adding the day's memories to our family journal. Everything was as peaceful as my introverted self had imagined it would be. It felt a bit strange going to bed that night - I had this odd desire to take my laptop with me for company - but I went anyway and had two boys snuggling with me by the time morning arrived.
Wednesday was a longer day. Nothing stands out as making it particularly so, but long it was. Turns out it's kinda nice to have someone around to help out with the little things, like changing diapers or wiping bottoms or taking out the trash. Who knew?
The day ended on a particularly great note when the toddler tripped and smashed his mouth into the edge of the coffee table. The poor child cut his lip on the inside, opened a gash below his lip on the outside, and shifted one of his front teeth forward. There was, of course, a lot of blood, and an initial reaction on my part of oh-my-goodness-do-we-have-to-go-back-to-the-ER-already??? The gash on the outside probably would have received a stitch or two if we'd gone in, but in the end I decided it wasn't an ER-worthy wound, if only he would stop chewing on it and reopening it every time the bleeding slowed. That problem was quickly solved with a bandage; unfortunately, the poor child was absolutely furious about this solution and proceeded to angrily sob himself to sleep in my arms. I laid him down in bed and he had a nice long nap - which sounds perfect, except that he woke up at bedtime. He was still awake when I went to bed. Naps, while a nice downtime during the day, are never worth it with him come bedtime.
Thursday started off well. His lip looked much better when I removed the bandage. We went out to play with some friends. Had a great morning and headed back shortly after lunch, stopping for a sandwich and donut at Tim Horton's. Unfortunately, the long drive back home meant - guess what? - another nap for the toddler. Oh boy.
By the time dinner arrived, I was exhausted. After a long internal debate over whether it would require more energy to cook dinner or to take the kids out for dinner, I settled on going out. We went to IHOP, where I had salt for dinner. Or at least that's what the entire meal tasted like. I'm pretty sure I actually ordered pot roast with mashed potatoes and corn, but perhaps I misspoke. At least the kids enjoyed their pancakes. Dinner was followed with a run around the mall's play center, a (purchase-free!) trip to the toy store, and a few necessary groceries. I was pretty much feeling like Supermom by that point - I'd fed my kids, let them run around, and got groceries. Whoot! Top of the world. So what if yesterday's dinner pots were still soaking in the sink? Habits, schmabits. I'd get to them the next day.
By the time I dragged myself back into the house, got the kids' teeth brushed and pajamas on, and settled us all into bed, I was pretty sure I'd never feel awake again. The exhaustion. Wow. The toddler had another nap-induced late night, but eventually he was out and I was able to drift off into what felt like the most wonderful sleep ever.
Until 1:30am, that is, when I woke up to the discovery that, oh yeah, I forgot about the diaper part of the bedtime routine. That was pretty much the low point of the week. Bedtime routine is the husband's nightly responsibility. He gets them their snack, reads their bedtime story, brushes their teeth, puts their pajamas on, and doesn't forget about the diaper. You'd think it'd be a pretty common sense part of bedtime, but heck if I can ever seem to remember on those rare nights when the bedtime routine falls to me. Well, lesson learned. Don't forget the diaper if you don't want to be giving a bath and scrubbing poo off the carpet at 1:30 in the morning. I sure didn't want to be.
Fortunately, every morning is the start of a new day, and this day was definitely better. I took mercy on myself and dozed on the couch all morning while the kids played. I almost felt human by the time I got up. We had a quiet afternoon of crafts and books before heading out to a big sale at one of out favourite toy stores. Two hundred and some-odd dollars later, the boy's birthday gifts were more than purchased. (Fortunately, the purchases were all actually gifts I intended to purchase, so it wasn't a bunch of impulse buys, and I saved a good bit of money on them too!) Then it was out for dinner again (*coughA&Wcough*) and back home for a brief rest before starting the evening tidy. The kids cleaned the living room while I finally tackled the kitchen and a few other bits of housekeeping that had been neglected over the past couple of days. The toddler went right to sleep at bedtime and the boy, after our snuggle and chat, was asleep soon after. And I remembered the diaper.
So here I am, listening to music, eating chocolate-covered cherries, and rambling on in an incredibly unimpressive blog post (my apologies, dear readers; I blame the pregnancy exhaustion and promise you something far more fabulous in the days to come). We will see what the next days hold - will I remember the diaper? will the dinner pots get washed? will I sleep all morning again? - and look forward to the husband's return early Monday morning.
He might not be perfect, but it turns out it's pretty darn nice to have a partner to walk through this life with.
I miss you, Love.