The Munchkins and I had a good weekend.
Actually we've had two consecutive good weekends.
And that's no small task, let me tell you.
In Laymans terms that breaks down to a full 48 hours of waking up when the first streaks of dawn stretch across the sky, and doing so in a semi-cheerful state. It helps when momma has her coffee before the Munchkins come tumbling and stumbling down the stairs, but this doesn't always happen.
It means mornings full of giggling and snuggling under quilts on the couch, Saturday Morning cartoons on in the background, 20 questions in the foreground. It means balancing two hardback books, one phone, one ipod and one universal remote while keeping at least one hand wrapped firmly around my coffee mug at all times.
It means minimal fuss at the request for the Munchkins to dress themselves for the day. At a minimum it means one child, but probably no more than one child will fall to the ground complaining of lack of socks, pants, sweater, superhero mask or twirling skirt. It requires patience and an abundance of Counting-to-Ten on my my part.
It means lunch is a buffet-affair containing three to five of the following:
Sandwiches in the shapes of dinosaurs, hearts, diamonds or giraffes
Chips, but NOT pretzels
Cheetos but NOT cheezeballs
Red or black grapes but rarely green (they're too "rubbery")
Chocolate Milk or Strawberry Milk or Orange-Pineapple-Mango Juice.
Bananas for two of them, one of which I'm not allowed to peel or even "get started"
Oranges or Clementines for the third, although pieces must be sections and "de-pulpied"
It means afternoons must be committed to out-of-the-house activities a'la:
The Children's Museum
(where we could visit every weekend and STILL find something new every time we go)
(shark tanks. duh.)
(where mom appreciates the post-afternoon exhaustion levels)
The Movie Theater
(where we absolutely want to roll around in the popcorn butter...and appear as if we've done so at least once by the time we leave)
The Dollar Store
(where everyone can pick something out without us forgoing food for the next week)
(yeah...they're my kids all right)
(which they tolerate when they are allowed to: (a)pick out one yard of their own material for new pajamas or (b) pick out one craft kit from the normally overpriced (but this week on super-duper-clearance) kid's craft aisle
The Downtown/Central Library
(where we could happily spend entire weekends locked away with books and stages and story times and elevator rides and escalator races and oversize glass display cases to press out noses against and snack bars with cheap hot chocolate and overpriced extra large cookies to split)
It means dinner must needs be crock-potted well in advance of leaving the house for the afternoon, lest dinner not be ready the very second we walk back in the door. Otherwise you have limp, exhausted, whiny Munchkins littering a path from the front door to the kitchen entry... and this provides a bumpy, unsatisfying gait to anyone [read:me] trying to get about the house.
It means post-dinner activities either need to make a mess the size of a small country (i.e. craft-time extraordinair) or take place out of doors (thank goodness the new place has a fenced-in communal play area out back!)
It means at least one bubble bath per child, because they've finally achieved the age in which they flat out refuse to bath together. At. All.
It means a minimum of eight to 10 bedtime stories.
Read in each bed.
Using all the voices.
It means me falling asleep of absolute exhaustion curled into abnormal shapes in the armchair in the living room, trying desperately to carve out a few minutes to myself, drifting off to the sound of Alton Brown's voice on dvd...
These are the good days.
These are the good days.
Some day, if you're lucky, I'll tell you about the bad ones.
But it's these good ones I'll hold close to my heart long past the point when The Munchkins' shouts and laughter echo off the walls of the apartment.