Catie goes to a year-round school, so she just finished her first term of first grade, and is now on a three-week break. (That’s how it works, more or less – 9 weeks on, 3 weeks off.) Since it’s her track-out period (that’s what they call it, I don’t know why), Dave flew out for a visit. It’s easier on everyone if he comes to visit when she isn’t in school, since it doesn’t throw her routine off as much.
So, last Thursday morning, I dropped the kids off at daycare and kissed them goodbye, and I haven’t seen them since then. Dave stopped by to pick up my extra car seats (I keep a set in my garage so he doesn’t have to deal with adding them to his rental car every time), and all of the clothes and toys and other gear that they’d need for a few days with their dad. (Which, let me tell you, is a metric crap-ton of stuff.)
Dave flies out tomorrow, so I get the kids back tonight. He has a morning flight, so it’s easier to have the kids here, rather than wake them up at 4 a.m. or whatever.
So, basically, the last six days or so have been a little glimpse of what my life would be like if I didn’t have kids. It includes things like:
* Sleeping late on the weekends.
* Sleeping without a certain little girl (cough*Lucy*cough) climbing into bed between me and Chris in the middle of the night.
* No wiping butts and/or changing diapers and/or cleaning pee out of the carpet (again: cough*Lucy*cough).
* No breaking up fights.
* No cutting up someone else’s food.
* No negotiating at mealtimes.
* In fact, mealtimes can be whenever and whatever I want. Last night, we went out for dinner at 9:30 p.m. It was fantastic.
* Getting to watch whatever I want on TV, and it doesn’t have to be either animated OR child-appropriate.
* Shopping alone.
* Being able to leave the house without the need for a sherpa or a pack mule to haul all of the kids’ stuff along with me.
* No packing lunches or rushing to get everyone dressed and out the door in the morning.
* Working out whenever I feel like it.
* Sex in the morning.
* Sex in the afternoon.
* Sex pretty much whenever and wherever because there aren’t kids in the house so WOOHOO! NAKED TIME! (Side note: sorry, neighbors.)
* I know I said it before, but seriously: sleeeeeeeeeeep.
And it’s funny, because that all sounds pretty nice, right? And I won’t lie, I have really enjoyed having a break for the last few days.
But the thing about not having the kids around, is that it also means:
* No spontaneous hugs and kisses and “I love you, Mommy”s.
* No little voices singing along with the radio from the backseat.
* No big girl who cracks me up with her stories every day.
* No tiny girl who climbs up next to me and says, “Mama snuggle.”
* No watching my girls hang out with Chris (which seriously does make me melt; when Lucy pats her hands on his cheeks and says, “you MY Tiss,” it just gets me every time).
* No hanging out at my parents’ house and seeing how my girls adore their Mimi and Pop-Pop, and how they have them both wrapped around their tiny fingers.
* No listening to my two girls play and giggle together.
So, although the break has been great, and lord knows I needed the downtime, I pretty much can’t wait to pick them up from daycare this evening and cover them with hugs and kisses.
I guess the point is: being a single mom is really hard, no doubt about it, but I can’t imagine my life any other way. Because yes, my kids can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but man, I miss those little boogers like crazy when they’re not here.