A defining moment of motherhood comes when you feel as if you’re getting a “break” when you’re down to two, rather than four, kids. I still laugh when I remember that a break was Daddy coming home to watch the baby, just so I could get a shower.
My blessed break came this week when the older boys left with Dad to go back home for basketball camp. My mind is suddenly free to focus on one age group – rather than four. When the two little ones are together, they morph into their own age group– make-believe.
We are living it up. The weather is unusually cold, rainy and windy, so we’re snuggled indoors, with ITunes set to our favorite Read-Alongs, like Big Red Barn, The Lovely Present, and Green Eggs and Ham. We listened to an extended book on CD of Mercy Watson, which inspired us to call it a complete supper with hot buttered toast with Nectarines. (The nectarines were our idea, not Mercy’s.)
We warmed up the kitchen by making Monkey Bread with yeast, so we had something to wait for,
and drank hot chocolate with our big campfire marshmallows, without the campfire. When they were busy building forts out of picture books for their stuffed animals,
I cleaned out the pantry, the garage, the freezer and the bookshelves. They never seem to run short of props – they even found a use for a stack of washcloths. It’s a bed for the horse—Princess and the Pea style.
When they started to squabble,
I pulled out a picture book that they had used to make a castle for an animal,
and read them a story, an instant antidote. Then, their souls appeased, I was able to go out and work in the garden for as long as I liked, while they played contentedly beside me, catching the toads.
Life with two means that I can focus on one thing at a time – or as much as is possible for a Mom.
I realize that life with four boys is much more mentally exhausting than I had thought. The age span makes thing tricky. Meals are a challenge – no way would my 13-year old settle for hot buttered toast and nectarines. In addition, there is no way the little ones would settle for beef stew.
Then, I gather the little ones to take their baths, brush their teeth, and we snuggle into one big bed together, while they both kick me all night long.