New love is so much fun. And getting remarried, for me, was a chance to love being married, too. Not only loving the idea of marriage, but the ACTUAL marriage part.
I always thought I was so very busy, before I had children. Now I understand the meaning of ‘the grind’. Get up, get kids up, feed everyone, take care of pets, straighten up the house a bit, get ready for work myself, then go to work. Work all day, socialize with my work friends, then get home from work via subway. Then get kids to various unrelenting activities, make dinner, hope they eat it, clean up after dinner, make sure homework and tests and permission slips are signed, then take care of pets some more, do a few household chores, maybe pursue a hobby, and collapse into bed. Romantic, huh?
It’s no wonder there are some days when I totally slack off. We all sleep in (because I am also the alarm clock), dogs don’t get walked, I work from home, and later in the day we have pizza for dinner and I have a glass or 2 of wine.
Forget about career advancement, I’m working hard to keep my current career going.
A couple of days ago I made chicken sandwiches for the kids’ dinner. Boy midget comes downstairs to eat and comments that Daddy makes everything from scratch. Well, I made these chicken sandwiches from scratch, so there! I couldn’t help but feel slighted; after all I do cook quite a bit and I bake too, plus I keep the house reasonably organized and the kids’ faces clean, etc etc etc. So yeah, sometimes dinner is sandwiches. They’re not eating dirt and moss to stay full, nor pizza pops. (Well, not very often.) And who does he think takes him to all of his activities, play dates, school stuff? Ahem. That would be me. He knows this, he was just making an observation. Geez, take it easy.
Play dates have changed so much for some people. Not for me. I had to be driven to play dates or my friends dropped off at my house when I was growing up. There was no roaming the neighbourhood on our bikes all day, or after dinner until the street lights came on. That’s because I grew up on a farm, in what I would call isolation, especially compared to my lifestyle now.
We had neighbours, but they were a bike ride away, and they were boys. My parents did build us a pool (even though my Dad couldn’t even swim) and we had a big house with places to hang out on our own, plus a barn with a hay loft. And wagons full of soy beans every Fall, which are way more fun than a ball pit.
I loved school, partly because that’s where I would see my friends. Otherwise I had to beg my parents to stop what they were doing to drive me over to a friend’s house, after my friend had begged her parents to host a play date. The success rate of these transactions was pretty low. So you can see why school was something to look forward to.
Hot Dog Day was a thrill. The teachers probably hated them, because they were in charge of boiling all the hot dogs and working the tables. We were allowed a hot dog, a bag of chips, and a bottled pop. These days my kids have Pizza Day, where they are allowed a slice of pizza, a bag of chips or a cookie, and a juice box.
Halloween was way different for me too. Wearing a costume to school was the most exposure that costume was going to get, because on Halloween night we were driven from house to house, for a total of probably 8 or 9 houses. 50% of those houses we visited were handing out apples and gingerale or grape soda (doled out after we had sung a song or done a dance for these old farmers who were so thrilled to have children visit that they milked us for all we were worth), 25% handed out popcorn balls or some other homemade ‘treat’, and the rest would give us a mini candy bar. No pillow cases required to handle all of our loot, and the candy was gone within a week. My kids are STILL eating Halloween candy, and the holiday was over a month ago. I’m a little jealous and a little disgusted by this.
So wah wah wah about play dates requiring so much prep etc. Amirite? It’s par for the course as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have any childhood memories of complete independence from my parents. When we visited my grandparents in ‘town’ (yes that’s how it was described) we were soooooo excited to be eating hamburger helper. It came out of a box! And there were ice cream bars in the freezer! And pop! And pringles!!!! No wonder we loved going there so much. Also we could usually squeeze in a trip to a CORNER STORE. Heaven, that’s what that was.
Heaven for me today can be constructed from a few different scenarios. One is having a full weekend to myself to shop at Ikea and come home and rearrange furniture. Rearranging furniture is a hobby of mine. I do it almost every week. Not everything at once (usually), but a few items all the time. My midgets are so excited to come home from school and see what I’ve moved since they were at my house last. They ask excitedly if I have done anything to their bedrooms and are disappointed the times I say No. My husband acts horrified but I think he secretly loves it.
Another heavenly scenario is going to Vegas for a short holiday. Adult playground, that’s what that is. No whining kids. Just rest, relaxation, and entertainment. No pressure to do anything except what I really want to do. No cultural activities, no learning opportunities, nothing to figure out. Just fun. Today I drank a salted caramel mocha from Starbucks. My husband tasted it and said it’s like a vacation in a cup.
It’s the little things that keep me going on a daily basis. I’m sickenly optimistic. We have short dance parties in the mornings before school, I enjoy playing pranks on people I live with, and seeing my kids happy, clean, and fed gives me the most satisfaction of all.