The Grandmas have played a very important and special part of the boys' and my lives over the last few months.
Fact: the grandmas have kept me sane during my maternity leave, getting us out of the house, giving me adults to talk to, helping me beat the isolation blues that creep in when I'm on my own too much.
I've loved spending so much time with these two women. They listen when I ramble on about my insecurities. They take joy in being with my children. They laugh about the stupid stuff. They wrangle my toddler when he needs wrangling and I'm trapped under a nursing baby. They give me a break from parenting two children when I need it.
And we've all had so much fun, at least I know Gus and I have. (Louie is pretty much always happy, provided he's not being offered a bottle.)
They've also provided us with a little bit of a varied routine which has been welcome. I like routine, kids need routine, but I just can't really handle the monotony of staying home in the middle of winter, day after day after day, which goes something like this:
Out of bed (nurse), breakfast, pump, Thomas episode, Louie down for a nap (nurse), play with Gus, Louie up (nurse), find a way to entertain Gus some more, lunch, nap time (nurse), dishes & tidy up, pull out meat for dinner, watch some TV and play on the internet, boys are up (nurse), entertain Gus some more, Dan home, TALK HIS EAR OFF about the minute details of our dull but nice day.
Those days are good, but I can only handle a few of them each week or I start to crack up, as does Gus.
Our weekly routine that includes The Grandmas goes something like this:
Monday: School (ECFE) at 9AM, pick up "Grandma Who" at 10:45, go off on some sort of adventure (mall, zoo, library, etc.) that usually includes lunch out, home before 2:00 PM for a late nap (or sometimes Gus goes to Grandma's to spend some time and take a nap), Dan is home before Gus is even awake.
Tuesday: Day at home, usually something like the above described, maybe with some variation like a walk down the street to the coffee shop for a treat (if the weather permits), or a trip to Target/Costco/Grocery store (somewhere where I can strap Gus down in a cart and wear Louie).
Wednesday: Grandma Who's other day off, which means either a full day adventure like the Children's Museum, or we head to toddler playtime at the neighboring community's gym and then meet my mom's friend Karen for Greek or Chinese food. Usually I get home and I'm completely exhausted and a little sweaty, but we've all had a total blast and Gus got to do something that I wouldn't attempt on my own with two children.
Thursday: "Grandma Norstrum"! We head over to my mother-in-law's home and spend the day playing with the kids, eating hummus and drinking Diet Coke, talking about mothering small children, yelling at the dogs, watching day-time television, and smooching on the babies. It's relaxing, yet crazy chaotic, all in the same day. Gus usually doesn't get a nap on these days, which means there's an hour or so (usually around the 3:00 hour) where things are a bit dicey, but then later it also means a 7:00 PM bedtime and lots of husband/wife time in the evening. Winners all around.
Friday: Another day home, just me and the boys and that's fine with me because the week has been long and exhausting. We also usually have some plans for the evening as it is, so there's something to look forward to. Gotta admit, on Fridays I'm super laid back mom and Gus probably watches more TV than on other days. And that's totally cool. I like Fridays.
So yeah, this has been life for the last ten weeks, and it's coming to a close not too long from now. No doubt, I'm feeling pretty wistful about that.
Thank you to The Grandmas. You've been such a huge part of what has made these months so wonderful, and I will forever remember this time as a happy time. Honestly, I've even been able to see what it could be like to be a stay at home mom, and that I might actually not mind it so much. Just so long as I'd have my village. My village pretty much consisting of, well, The Grandmas.