Believe it or not, it is possible to spend too much time with your children. It was a long weekend filled with mishaps, misfortune, and aggravation, and Riley, in particular, left me with an overwhelming desire to run for the hills and never look back. Since I’m not one to surrender to cynicism (well, not usually), I searched deep within myself to find a silver lining in each and every unpleasant incident that occurred over the weekend.
Like on Saturday morning when I spent three hours on a hot-as-hell soccer field watching Riley and Dylan not play soccer. Riley clung to me for dear life the whole time, and Dylan spent the hot morning complaining that he was too tired to play. At least it didn’t rain!
Like on Saturday afternoon when Grandma Barbara and I took Dylan and Riley to see The Pirates! Band of Misfits and the air conditioner in the theater didn’t work well (and I was still sweating from soccer) and Riley insisted on sitting squirming on my lap through the whole movie. At least we weren’t at soccer!
Like on Saturday afternoon after the movie when Riley peed all over the bathroom floor (right next to the toilet) and then pooped in his pants an hour later. At least it happened at home instead of the movie theater!
Like on Sunday morning when Riley woke up soaking wet in his bed and then peed all over the bathroom floor (right next to the toilet…again) an hour later. At least the washer and dryer worked!
Like on Sunday morning when I had to bribe Riley with mini marshmallows to wear nice shorts to the theater where we were going to see a live performance of Clifford The Big Red Dog with Grandma Barbara. At least he didn’t pee in the nice shorts once we got them on!
Like later in the morning when Riley sat squirmed in my lap for over an hour during the Clifford show. At least I took this beautiful picture of the boys with their Grandma Barbara at the theater!
(Actually, it really was a lovely morning. Thank you, Barbara, for taking us to the show.)
Like on Sunday afternoon when Riley pooped in a wet bathing suit at the pool. I didn’t know he pooped until I got him to the bathroom and a big, huge, wet poop fell onto the floor when I pull down his shorts. At least he didn’t poop in the pool!
Like an hour later when, after he was bathed and dressed, Riley pooped in his pants again. At least he didn’t poop on Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Tom’s leather suede couch! At least I wasn’t there! (Thank you, Barbara and Tom, for recognizing the I-need-a-time-out-from-Riley look in my eyes and graciously offering to watch the boys for an hour so I could regain my composure over a glass of wine with my sister-in-law and her friend.)
Like on Sunday evening when the boys and I got a flat tire on our way home from Barbara and Tom’s. At least we weren’t on the highway! At least Mike was able to relieve me and wait for AAA while I took the boys home! At least I remembered to pay our annual AAA membership dues! (Seriously, AAA rocked…and so did Mike.)
Like today when I took the car to Tire Kingdom to replace the spare and the tire I needed wasn’t in stock and had to be special ordered. At least I didn’t have to hang out in the sad little Tire Kingdom waiting room for an hour!
More than anything else, Riley’s regressions and “terrible threes” behavior this weekend made Dylan look really, really good. (Note to self: Have Dylan say thank you to Riley after school.)
What I want more than anything is to have a break so I can better appreciate the time I spend with my children. Reuniting with them – seeing their beautiful smiles, feeling their warm hugs, and absorbing their unconditional love – after having some distance is a gift and something I’d like to experience a little bit more often. Unfortunately, that ain’t gonna happen any time soon. At least it’s Monday!