Maybe it’s because we homeschool and the 6 of us are all together A LOT, but I actually enjoy when our family gets split up for small amounts of time, such as when a few of us take a trip and a few of us stay home. The dynamics of the mini-groups are fascinating to me, and I feel like I learn and see all new things as we interact.
This time Pete took the two older boys and I stayed home with Rayna and Miles, and while the time period is longer than I would liked (2 weeks), due to a series of decisions we had to make, overall it’s been a good time for all involved.
Well, I should say it’s been “good” for us here – except for the toilet that broke the first day after they left, and though I work on it literally every day (which is a real treat, let me tell you), it’s still broken. And except for the overhead kitchen light breaking…. And the ant infestation…. And the freezer I thought was broken… And the large amounts of coconut oil that was spilled on the floor (another treat trying to clean that up!)…. (UPDATE: And the air conditioner breaking and the indoor temps hovering around 85-90 for 2 days) And the alarm clock downstairs that woke me up at 6 am the first day.
(I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the alarm, so the next night I put it in the farthest corner of our house, under pillows. Then finally the third day I realized that although I couldn’t turn the darn thing off, I could at least re-set the alarm time… so I changed it to 9:00 am and all is better.)
At least I certainly got the two easiest kids to be with. They are relatively easy-going and they like playing games together. Neither of them are picky eaters so making meals has been easy. Of course one of them is NOT the best sleeper, and the other one has been keeping me on my toes because of a new medical condition... so really Pete got the easiest two kids to be with.
Pete and the two easy ones are being adventurous and staying up late and eating all kinds of exciting foods. Since they’re getting older, they’re less maintenance. Of course one of them hurt his back and complains about that a lot, and the other one pushes himself beyond his limits sometimes... so really I got the easier two kids.
The two easy ones and I have been doing a bunch of things out of our normal routines, since they’re flexible and all. We’ve eaten dinner at our neighbors’ and at my brother’s. We’ve had several occasions to play with friends and cousins. We spent a couple days with my parents. We visited with Mor-Mor a couple times. And yesterday, thanks to some very kind friends who kept them at their house, I was able to get out for the first two non-kid hours I’ve had in weeks!
So we’ve had a lot of fun…. Although sometimes the fun lasted a little too long and ended in a meltdown or two (such as when Miles yelled all the way home from Monkey Joe’s, “You want me to die! I KNOW you want me to die!” since I wouldn’t produce a bottle of water for him out of thin air.) And these two are probably the least fun on playdates… being used to having their older brothers orchestrate all the fun.... So Pete clearly is spending the time with the easier two kids.
I mean, look at these guys! They’re getting to do all kinds of cool things! Plus they’re so easy to please. When Colsen got his first glimpse of bighorn sheep, he got back in the car and announced, “This was the best day of my life!” Well, at least one of them is easy to please. The other one occasionally thinks that he can’t have fun in the grand, majestic land that God has created without the use of his iPod. And there’s been some whining involved on long hikes, cold temperatures, etc.... So, really, I got to spend the last couple of weeks with the 2 easier kids.
Yes, my two are easier… except when they can’t find anything to do and they’re soooo bored. So Pete definitely has the easier two.
Regardless, the time of separation is rapidly nearing the end and we will be reunited. And it will be good to have all 6 of us together again – Pete and I, and the two easy kids and the two easy kids.