Friday, June 15, 2012

A Stay-at-homer's Stay-cation

I don't see it in print often without a guilty "lol" behind it, so I'm going to do all my parent friends a favor and be completely honest right now.


Because I'm not joking, they really do get annoying!  It doesn't matter that I grew them inside me for 10 months and sprung them from my loins and that they are possibly the cutest little people I've ever known - they are still people and if you spend enough time with any person, you get tired of them.

I'm not talking about when they do dumb shit like shampoo their hair with their peanut butter and jelly, or when they refuse to use the potty before we leave the house then pee all over themselves when we get to our destination.  That stuff is annoying, but I'm talking about that soul-crushing annoyance, when you've been the sole caregiver for 6 straight days because your significant other is working overtime and none of your friends and family are available to watch them for a few hours, and what you want most is go to the bathroom alone without a kid complimenting the acoustics of your urine.  Or if you've been the one working a ton of hours and you really do want to spend time with your kids so you never give yourself a break between things and your kids feel like just another obligation after an hour.

This is not a good attitude to have toward your children (or anyone else really).  I went to a wedding a few weekends ago and saw an old friend.  We got to talking about life and of course I went on about popping babies out left and right and how awesome they are, but then it took a dark turn into "... but I'm kinda tired of changing diapers.  And I swear they need to eat every 2 minutes.  And I am so over the whining and fighting between the two.  And..." basically I went off on a tangent about how much they suck, and of course then I felt guilty (rightfully so).  But I hadn't had a break in a while, and sometimes a break just isn't an option unfortunately.

So the next day we did the next best thing.  A stay-at-home stay-cation!  Or a lazy day.  Or "TV&PJ Day".  Or "The Kids Can Do Whatever the Hell They Want As Long As They Stay Safe And Don't Bother Me Day".

Here's how I personally keep from killing my children with the aide of a Stay-cation Day:

Apparel - Whatever everyone woke up in.

Breakfast - For breakfast, a big bowl full of dry cereal, sitting on a blanket in the middle of the living room, with a side of Yo Gabba Gabba OnDemand.   Find your comfy spot on the couch.

Morning Activity - Pull down a toy from a high shelf or a closet and really talk up how much of a treat it is to play with it today!  When the kids get bored with it, flip on Phineas and Ferb and avoid having to get out the next elusive toy for as long as possible.  Tell the oldest that there isn't enough room on the floor for the next coolest-awesomest-toy-ever-that-only-gets-to-be-played-with-today until the old toy is picked up and handed to Mommy to put on the couch above her head so the little one doesn't try to open it up again and re-create a mess.  Enjoy as many episodes of Phineas and Ferb as you can from your comfy couch spot (I don't care how old I am, it's a legit good show).

Lunch - If you have to, clean up the toys from the living room floor.  Or just pick them up and sit them on the love seat to be cleaned later...  Slice an apple, halve some slices of cheese, throw down some crackers and lunchmeat, and lay them all down on the big living room picnic blanket.  Switch to Spongebob or SuperWhy.

Nap time - Put in a movie for the older one while the little one naps.  Leave the bathroom light on in case she needs to pee while you also nap...  Sit out some markers and paper on the kitchen table or any other "big girls only" toy to direct her to when she inevitably gets distracted from the movie and has to show you her amazing new discovery that she can stand like a flamingo.

Dinner - Have the husband order a pizza and tell him how tired you are from keeping them busy all day so he'll have to answer the door and cut up their pizza for them.  Be sure to tell him you'll take care of cleaning them up though.

Clean up  - Don't bother wiping their faces and hands after dinner.  Strip them directly in their seats and take them into the bathtub.  Fill high with bubbles and show the older one how to turn the water on if the bubbles get cold.  Sit on the toilet (unfortunately requires being vertical and semi-alert) and read your Kindle until teeth begin chattering.  Keep throwing in bath toys one by one to keep them giggling.  Do be careful not to accidentally throw anything electrical into the water.  Done correctly, you can get a good hour out of the tub before they get bored or raisin up too bad.

Bed time - After bath time, let them run around naked until it's bed time.  Keep a towel handy because the little one will pee on the floor somewhere, and she will slip on it and cry if you don't wipe it up immediately, and that would mess up the zen of your lazy day.  Other than that, you don't have to pay much attention to them!  Something about having their asses bare makes kids wild with amusement over absolutely nothing.  "LOOK I CAN JUMP ON THE SQUARES ON THE RUG!  AND MY BOOTY IS NEKKID!  BAHAHASHRHSLASIHAOSFLOLOLL!!"  Give them a few extra minutes of play time tonight before beginning your usual bed time routine as a reward for letting you neglect them all day.

Wrap up - This is the most important step even though it's the last thing you want to do on a day like today.  Take 20-30 minutes and clean up the wreck.  Only because it will feel so good when you wake up the next morning after having a TV&PJ&Internet&LotsaNothing day, and still have a clean house.

Even more important, don't feel guilty about not making an effort to engage your kids all day.  Just make sure it doesn't happen often, and the next day you'll find a new appreciation for your kids' sillies, and the screaming and incessant why's will be tolerable once again.

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