In all honesty, it always seems to take us about a week of vacation to find our groove. The kids enjoy having the extra time with me, but it's hard for them to have a disruption to their routine. Both of them are missing school terribly right now and they don't really understand the concept of summer break. Added to this is the fact that all four of us came down with a cold on Monday.
It's been a slightly grumpy few days, but at least I anticipated that based on vacations of the past.
I always find it to be a slight shock to the system to realize how many activities it takes to fill a full day spent alone with young children. On Tuesday, we made muffins, read books, colored, picked strawberries in the garden and played in the yard, I cleaned out some kitchen cabinets while the kids watched more TV than I care to admit, we dropped a bag off at Goodwill, deposited our books at the library, went to the farmers market, attended swimming class, came home and had lunch and then quiet time. And then it was 1:30 in the afternoon. As I said, it takes us awhile to get our groove.
On a happier note, I'm so excited about some of the extra mobility we'll have this summer. Four and almost-four are awesome ages and there are so many new activities that we'll be able to enjoy. Case in point: Riding bikes. We live on a busy street and this is the first summer that I've felt comfortable with the kids' ability to follow directions and heed warnings about the danger of traffic well enough to take both of them out on their tricycles by myself. They just recently learned to pedal and we had a great time riding around the neighborhood today.
For the past several months, the kids have gotten in the habit of skipping their naps on the weekends and conspiring to play together during our enforced quiet time. We've let it slide because they've always cooperated so nicely together and it seemed like great bonding time. The past couple of afternoons, however, they've both been a total mess and today's debacle was making me feel as though I was going to lose my mind. I announced that we were going to the library at which point Norah sobbed even harder, whipped off her underpants, and declared that I couldn't make her go (the underpants apparently symbolizing a necessity for entering civilized company). Luckily, I still outweigh her by quite a bit, so panties were reapplied and kids were strapped into their carseats. By the time I reached the bottom of our street, this is what I saw in the backseat:
I drove to a Starbucks in the next town, went through the drive-thru, and spent the next half hour in the sweet silence of the car before proceeding onto the library. The rest of the afternoon was a lot better and I'm sure our summer will be too!