I wanted to thank you for your bad behaviour last night when I was out for the evening at a work event and your father was taking care of you solo. In the past when your dad takes care of you alone, you've behaved immaculately for him: you listen at daycare pick-up and drop off and don't run screaming into the path of moving cars on the road, you share with each other and don't fight over who got a bigger bowl of raspberries, you keep tantrums to a minimum and you refrain from drawing on the walls with pen (yeah I noticed that). You make smaller messes and behave so your father can manage to run three loads of laundry, get the kitchen cleaned and sweep the floor with ease. Usually when I return home your dad breezily comments on how easy you guys are to look after and how he doesn't understand why I find his business trips, conferences and other outings to be a struggle at times. This makes me feel like I am both insane and incapable of parenting and maintaining a house that isn't a giant garbage dump of toys, crumbs and sippy cups. Seriously why do you guys have so much stuff?
Molly and Jack are both in this picture...their faces blend together (and people think they don't look alike)
But not last night, last night you brought it. When I returned home at 11pm, I found your father sprawled out on the couch, in a sweaty heap of exhaustion watching The Green Mile on cable TV. (As an aside Chris will often watch Tom Hanks movies when he's out of sorts - I can't tell you how many times I've seen Forrest Gump. It's like his equivalent of a pint of Ben & Jerry's) The house reeked of compost and hot garbage because he was too tired to manage a tidy-up and hadn't turned on the air conditioning, laundry lay in the hall way in heaps, a casserole a friend dropped off was sitting on the kitchen table because he couldn't manage to get it into the fridge or freezer and the dishwasher had not been unloaded or re-loaded.
Turns out, when your father finally managed to get you into bed you stayed up a while and both decided to strip off all of your clothes and diapers. When you had to go to the bathroom, you didn't call dad in to tell him you had to go potty, because that would be too easy. Instead one of you decided to drop a deuce in the centre of the nursery floor (which he is almost certain you "handled") while the other thought that showering the sheets in urine was highly necessary. Dad was unthrilled to say the least.
I'll admit it would have been nice to return home to a pristine house that had been cleaned by my husband while the children acted like they were inside a Norman Rockwell painting, but there is something to be said about being able to act smug and justified while you unload and reload the dishwasher at 11PM to ensure that your army of sippy cups are clean for another day.
Thank you to both of you for giving your father a sampling of "the mommy collection" last night and making your mom feel a little less insane.
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