How amaze is my new crafting room?!?!?!?
As of today, our childcare situation has shifted pretty dramatically. For the past couple of years, we’ve employed a part-time nanny to watch our daughter in the mornings (while our son is at school), and then occasionally watch both children in the afternoons, whenever my wildly inconsistent work schedule requires. But over the past couple of months we’ve realized that Goldie is clearly ready for preschool, which means that both kids are now out of the house until early afternoon – and beyond the prohibitive expense of paying for nanny + preschool (nope), I just felt like I could…make this work. Somehow. I can get most, if not all, of my work done in the morning, then pick up the kids and get to have afternoons with them.
It sounds idyllic, almost. Even enviable. Until you consider the reality of the situation, which involves two central problems:
- On most days, I will quite obviously not have all of my work done by the time I pick up my kids. On the plus side, this will probably make for extremely lively conference calls.
- …What, exactly, does one do when left alone with two very young children who don’t want to do anything, ever, and definitely not whatever that thing is you’re suggesting (unless it’s “cupcakes”)?
I’m aware that I should probably have an answer to the latter question, having been a parent for almost six years now. But the reason that I don’t is that when I spend hours and hours completely alone with both children it’s either a) a weekend (in which case Kendrick is there), b) an anomaly (in which case TV), or c) a choice (because we’re having a big special day together).
Confession: I’m one of those people who would work even if I didn’t *have* to, because honestly, I would be a terrible stay-at-home mom. I’d be all rainbows and energy until around 9:30AM, when the fifteenth round of “That’s MY Toy” would commence, and then I would give up and put Virgil and Lucy in charge and go back to bed. Also – and can I say this? – being with kids for hours and hours and hours? Is boring. Their books are sweet and all, but they’re not exactly whodunits (spoiler: it’s always the rabbit). And if I have to pretend to lose tic-tac-toe one more time I may start to develop real self-esteem issues.
Basically, being responsible for the long-term care of small children sounds to me like being the unpaid manager of a ragtag band of assholes who think the game of “drop the thing and see what happens” is the height of humor and don’t even appreciate it when you give them macaroni and cheese.
But now, the time has come: I am officially – at least partially – a WAHM for half the day, and a SAHM for the other. (I hate those acronyms, too. But so sue me: I got kind of excited to get to use both in a sentence.) And so, in keeping with my simultaneous decision to take it a little easy on myself and allow myself to be “in the moment” (or whatever; you know what I mean), I’ve decided to really, actually try to shut down the computer at 2PM every day. Or…well…okay, so I won’t shut it down, but I’ll put it in the other room. And only check it occasionally. Three times an hour, tops.
This is a clearly a sacrifice for my work (or at least my sleep; I have a feeling the overflow is going to eat significantly into my This Is Us time), but I’m also…I mean, they’re really growing up. Our daughter bounds off to preschool everyday with barely a backward glance in my direction. Our son explains things like exoskeletons and the physics of water displacement to me. There really aren’t many years left when they’ll want to hang with me at all, let alone for hours at a time, and so I’ve decided to take advantage of these afternoons to come when it’s just the three of us and a empty little house.
And so? I am Pinteresting. We’ve never done a ton of crafting together – I’ve historically left the whole glue-and-paint situation to my kids’ teachers, because the one time I permitted an “art jar” to enter my house it exploded via Boy, and an entire year after the fact I’m still finding tiny pieces of shredded paper clinging to Lucy’s fur – but my kids love it, and so I’ve decided to use part of our garage renovation to create a Crafting Corner (do I have to call it a Krafting Korner because it will involve Pinterest-sourced Krafts? I hope not). I’ve been pinning paper plate spiders and making lists of supplies to stock up on, because I know myself and if I don’t put together a schedule for after school activities I’ll end up “winging it.” And winging it with two kids who reallllllly would prefer to entertain themselves by torturing each other over and over and over and over until finally they both get sent to their rooms (whyyyyyyyy) does not feel like an especially solid plan.
So come follow my Kids’ Ideas & Activities Board and my Spooky Halloween Party boards, and if you have any especially fun (and easy, please) ideas for after school entertainment – including suggestions, resources and hugs – all are extremely, even pathetically, welcome.