Back to “Normal”

Tomorrow Abby heads back to work and I get to tackle a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old on my own. It’s a return to normal, if you can call that normal. I’m not really ready for being double-teamed, but I guess you never are. Sometimes I wonder how parents manage to stay home with multiple kids, but I guess people do it all the time. I never understand how single parents do it.

Fortunately there are only about five weeks left of school and then Abby’s off for the summer. It’s an early summer vacation this year, and for that we’re thankful.

All this handling of children seems so natural and easy, like a normal rhythm of life that just happens. At least it seems that way until you actually do it and realize there’s nothing easy about it.

There’s a great temptation to just do what’s easy with children. To take the path of least resistance. I’m great at giving in to that temptation.

What? You don’t want to wear pants? Meh, whatever—we’re not leaving the house.

What? You want to watch Sesame Street every day? OK.

What? You’re throwing a fit? Just go to your room because I don’t want to deal with you.

While sometimes there are battles that just aren’t worth fighting (like pants), often it’s worth taking that extra effort with kids. It usually means more work, more energy, more planning, and often results in dad collapsed on the couch in exhaustion, but that’s how Lexi and I wandered all the way down to the Mississippi and climbed on rocks. That’s how we’ve taken way too many pictures of sculptures. That’s how we’ve played at the park and mastered the swing and conquered the slide. That’s why the bus is so much fun.

I’m hoping to do a lot of that with Milo now, too. It will take a lot more effort than ever before, and I’m not sure where it will come from, but it can be a lot more fun than sitting on the couch.

So here’s to being a stay-at-home parent. I guess I’m ready to do it again, this time with double the fun.

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