Autumn leaves and false domestic bliss

How much fun Dave and I have on the weekend is completely determined by whether or not the kids nap, and whether they nap at the same time. Our routine in general is about 80% there, which means when we slip it’s a dramatic mess! But for the most part, we get things under control enough for us to keep it to a dull roar and enjoy life with our little monsters.

Last weekend, nobody slept, and the few moments where they did sleep didn’t align. Our routine works when we can meal plan and grocery shop at naptime, as well as doing laundry, picking up toys, sorting out broken stuff and repairing it, etc. That way, when the kids are awake, we can be doing fun stuff. None of that happened.

This morning started out rough, as we were late for swim class and everyone had short tempers. Swim classes now means an hour and a half in the pool for one parent, and an hour and a half in the changing rooms and hallway for the other parent. This time usually does not make parents more relaxed! Tess and Remy have screamed through every single swimming lesson they’ve had. This morning was no exception. Lilou, however, swims like a fish, dunks her head under the water and comes out laughing. She kicks and splashes and grins with joy! I made a comment today to the teacher about how it was about time we ended up with a swimmer. Jim’s been teaching swimming for decades. He responded immediately that I should watch out – one week’s swimmer is next week screamer! Here’s hoping he’s wrong. 🙂

Miraculously, by this afternoon, the kids were playing nicely in front of the fire while I got the meal planning done. After lunch, Dave snuck out to grocery shop and the kids went down, all at the same time, without a peep. As I enjoy the fire with a cup of coffee in the quiet, I like to pretend my life actually looks like this. I am sure I will look back on these five minutes and remember parenting as a peaceful, reflective activity. Alas, in the here and now, I know this is a tiny reprieve from the massive energy output required of Saturdays and Sundays. The chaotic context definitely makes me more grateful for these five minutes then I would’ve been before, though.

Reading the kids fairytales and talking about playing in the park after naptime only adds to the bliss. The park is covered in golden leaves. Tess actually corrected me today and said the park is now called “autumn”. We have a little language clarification to do, but she’s not wrong!

As we gear up for Lilou’s birthday, Halloween, and colder weather, it’s exciting to acknowledge the differences from last year: our house is almost done, we’re fulfilled at work, we have wonderful Joy keeping us all sane, and our house is absolutely bursting with curious and exuberant babies. This has always been my favorite time of year, but this year fall is ridiculously fabulous.