You’re never going to hear me claiming to be the greatest mother in the world. Oh, I love my kids and I try to give them what they need (be that a hug or a metaphorical kick in the behind, as appropriate), but let’s face it: Parenting is tricky business. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but kids are always changing. Every time I think I’ve finally figured them out, they grow and change and bring home a whole host of new issues! Sheesh! The little ingrates. Don’t they realize that on the rare occasion when I’ve mastered something with them, they should stop growing for a little while? Hmph.
Anyway, my kids have had a busy few weeks. They’ve weathered it all like champs, but I as we zipped around town on various errands on Saturday, I could see that the strain was getting to them. “Can’t we just go home for a while?” begged my son. “Just stay at home and play with our stuff?” I felt a stab of guilt. Our house is on the market right now, so in addition to our usual hectic schedule, we often have to vacate for showings. When we are home, I can usually be found sniping at the children to stop making a mess because there’s another showing coming up.
So yesterday, I gave us all the day off. “Here’s what we need to do today,” I announced when I got up. This is not an unusual way for me to herald a list of to-do items, and the children eyed me warily. “Absolutely nothing!” I continued.
“Can we stay in our pajamas?” my daughter asked.
“Sure,” I said.
“Can we play Webkinz for an HOUR?” asked my son.
“Sure!” I said.
“Can we take out all our toys?” my daughter wheedled, eager to find the breaking point.
“Yup,” I said. “You can do whatever you want, all day. We just need to clean up before bed.”
And you know what? It was an awesome day for me, too. The kids played with just about every toy they own, I read an entire novel, and we played together and read together and had a blast.
Today, it’s back to the grind for all of us; work for me, school for them. But yesterday was a nice little vacation, and we didn’t even have to get dressed.