Today the older kids went back to school.
I’d like to write that I shed a few tears and wrung my hands at the quiet emptiness of a house with only two tots at home, and I half expected that I would actually do just that given my sentimentality of late just anticipating the kids going back to school. But it would be a big fat lie. The truth is, I felt a certain glee after I saw them all safely to school and returned home.
Here’s what I didn’t do for about six hours today:
I didn’t break up any fights.
I didn’t listen to any tattling.
I didn’t say, “Stop tattling.”
I didn’t say, “Stop whining.”
I didn’t fetch endless snacks.
I didn’t say, “No, you may not have another snack.”
I didn’t say, “Clean that up!”
I didn’t say, “Turn that off!”
I didn’t chase anyone outside to play.
I didn’t lock the door to keep anyone outside.
I didn’t say, “Get off the baby.”
I didn’t say, “Quiet down, the baby is asleep.”
I didn’t say, “Put that down!”
I didn’t say, “Get that out of your nose!”
I didn’t say, “Get that out of your sister’s nose!”
Here’s what I did do:
I reveled in the peace and quiet. I basked in it. If peaceandquiet were a tangible thing, I could have rolled around naked in it.
I mopped the kitchen floor. Without having to shoo anyone out of the kitchen repeatedly. (Finn was happily ensconced in front of Nick Jr. Sue me.)
I caught up on emails.
I gave Scarlett a bath.
I got dinner put together so that I would only have to throw it in the oven later (it’s only taken me ten years of stay-at-home-motherhood to figure out this trick to possibly make my life just a little less stressful in the afternoons).
I played Stack the Blocks and Knock ‘Em Down with Finn.
As you can see, nothing terribly exciting. But it was peaceful.
See, here’s the thing: it’s good to have time away from my kids. It’s good for them and good for me. I get to refuel and get a grip back on my sanity, and I get to miss them. They get to get away from Cranky Yelling Woman Who Won’t Do Our Constant Bidding.