The kids’ daycare was closed for a week so I used up some vacation time to play Pretend-At-Home Mom or PAHM, which sounds like a name I would give my daughter only so I could yell it out obnoxiously when I’m old and decrepit, “PAAAAAHM! You have to clean my bedsores! PAAAAHM! The tv’s not working and you know I have to watch my stories!” But I have boys who will likely send me to a nursing home before I’m of sound mind enough to flash them my low-hanging breastfeeding-war-torn boobs and screech, “YOU DID THIS TO ME!”
Our mornings were mostly negotiating the day’s schedule with Nathan, the UN-Secretary General of Kid Activities. It was a contract we made every morning, to keep his energy going when all the fun from the first activity waned and he forgot that he lives in a country where his mother plans outings FOR FUN! I did not send him into the field to plow. I did not make him dive into mud and jump over fire in an obstacle course (something which I paid good money to do). I structured the days for their entertainment. FOR THEIR PLEASURE.
I gave my kids so much flexibility, way more than I recieved on a tropical island with two older parents who were tired by the time I came around (and also weren’t expecting to be parents of a newborn when they were over 40). I was never given the choice of what I wanted to do that day. I remember being Nathan’s age and my parents laughing when I asked them if they ever had school dances. So much laughing at that one! Because dating and dances and kissing in public is what happens in American movies–this is what Americans do. My father preferred shogun films where Japanese warriors battled it out with lots of yelling and swords and horses and yet I was not allowed to watch any movie with kissing because *that* was inappropriate. Which is why I know how to handle a samurai sword but men always confuse me.
And we’re back!
Maybe because I work out of the home full time made me even more determined to get them out, not one wasted minute! Even though I wanted to stay home and catch up on Judge Judy. We swam in a lake. We went to the library. We played at Gameworks downtown then we played video games at Family Fun Center. We went to parks, both with water and without. We ate ice cream and popsicles. We played football in a field.
I know this is just a sliver of time they get to play outdoors or read or explore the world, much of it with their teachers and daycare buddies, but maybe they’ll remember the few days they got to spend with their mother.
And it was nice.