My best friends are awesome. They are, however, tired parents of three boys aged 5, 3, and 1 whose “adult” time is mostly spent on fun things like folding laundry, doing laundry, and weeding out clothes that have been grown out of or can’t be worn anymore. Did I mention the laundry? Tonight, I watched the one year old smear 7/8 of a pear all over his body, and get maybe 1/12 of it in his mouth.
You know what’s really hard to find when you have that many kids that age? Fun time. The time to go to a movie together, to play a board game, to watch back episodes of a TV show you’ve been waiting to watch together. There’s always so much to do – lunches to make (litterless lunches are a lot of work!), dishes to do, dishes to put away, endless kid debris to keep contained. It seems to bleed into fun time.
Sure, there could be a babysitter. How many babysitters do you know that will look after three very active very small boys? (Okay, side note: I had a job doing this one year and it is fricking exhausting.) Can you imagine how much that would cost? And what if the fun activity you want to do is in your house? What babysitter takes kids out of the house? Honestly, I think Holly is looking forward to going back to work for the sick days – it’s been three years since they’ve had a sick day with no kids running around the house.
Here’s the other thing, and the thing I worry about the most: when the hell do you have, um, “fun times”? If all three kids are actually sleeping through the night, and the laundry is done and folded and maybe put away and the dishes are washed and tomorrow’s lunches are made and those cupcakes for school are baked and… and… and… but when does that actually happen? (Note: we don’t discuss this, so I’m making big assumptions based on how tired I am just hearing about their lives.)
I have a grand nefarious plan, however. My plan is to divide and conquer. Two kids are easier to manage than one. One kid is a breeze, especially if he’s sleeping. One kid is also easy to farm out to a family member. So, I am on a divide and conquer mission.
Step one: Get the five year old to come over here for a sleepover. He’s done sleepovers before with family members, and I’m practically a family member, so this should be easy. We talked about it tonight and he told me that my lack of toys was seriously troubling but did I know that there was store near my house that sells pretty much only lego and playmobil? And maybe I should get some before he comes over! (Negotiation ensued about what toys he should bring over, whether or not we should have a budget, and if he wanted to save a couple of trips of budget for one big thing instead of a few little things. I am the child of bankers, and I’m totally down with sharing that paranoia with the next generation.)
Step two: Get the three year old to come over here for an afternoon play date and nap. He’s super chill and he loves to read. This one is going to be a breeze. There will be books and cookies and snuggles and bob’s your uncle.
Step three: Get both boys over for an afternoon activity. For sure this is going to be the day that the 1 year old doesn’t nap, but I figure I can entertain two boys for four hours. I think that’s enough time for a board game and some “fun times” while the youngest sleeps, if he does. There will be lego, books, a craft, and food decoration.
Step four: Enlist Holly’s sister to seriously divide and conquer. I’ll take the two older boys for an afternoon/overnighter, and she’ll take the one year old. Can you imagine? That’s enough time for household crap, a nap, a board game, a dinner out, an alcoholic beverage, AND “fun times”. Also, Holly’s sister is breastfeeding, so that’ll take care of the one year old’s needs.
There you go. I am like a pimp for people who are married to each other. With lego, playmobil, finger paint and baked goods.