Matt's sister, Kirsten, and her family have been doing the impossible after the Ice Storm 08 took out the electricity and burst the pipes in her home. She and Dennis have been living in a trailer in their drive way with their kids Abbey (4) and Jack (6) while their house is repaired. This week they are both in St. Thomas (a Christmas gift from Den to Kirsten) We watched the kids Wednesday night. Here's how it went...
I arrived and Auntie Gail took off. I played with Abbey while Jack played with his DS until it was time to cook tacos. Being in a strange kitchen, I panicked a little when I couldn't find the thawed meat..which was readily available in the fridge. I thawed some hamburger and went to town making what Jack dubbed "the BEST tacos in the world" or something wonderfully flattering like that. They did great with the tasks I gave them to help me get dinner on the table faster. Fantastic stirring, Jack! Amazing soft taco placement, Abbey! We all helped Jack with his homework. Gotta love involvement. I packed him up for the next day and we watched Kung Fu panda together on the couch. Time FLEW and suddenly Jack declared he wanted Scooby Doo after the movie. I should've remembered he likes his Scooby Doo before bed, so we agreed that Scooby Doo would go on for 20 min and then bed. I was surprised how strict Matt is with Jack. I tried to stay on the same page with Matt, but I'm big on compromising and choices when possible and Matt is way more straightforward. In the end, I suggested Jack choose 2 episodes and we'd stop the movie early. But no other movie would be watched in addition (a much contested point for Jack).
Bed time was pretty easy too. The kids wanted to sleep in the same bed, but predictably discovered via elbowing that they liked their space too. We sat with the kids, Matt with Jack and me with Abbey, until they started to doze to the soft music in the hall. Jack woke up and protested sleeping without his turn with me sitting with him. Matt said no but he was busy doing the laundry so I sat with Jack for 5 min until he started his adorable 6 year old snore. Then I put a pillow in the hall and told them I was sitting there like Mommy does sometimes so they didn't need to worry and could go to sleep. I sat for about 2 min grooving to instrumental Beatles and the kids slept until Abbey needed to pee around 12:45. Easy Peesy..well almost. I got ready for bed, did some laundry, put Kung Fu Panda on the laptop since we traded it for Scooby Doo, and promptly fell asleep about by 10.
The next morning I impressed myself by waking early, showering, dressing, and packing everybody up before Matt and I gently woke the kids. Matt snuggled them in Abbey's bed, while I prepared-get ready for this folks-scrambled eggs, toast, french toast sticks, bacon (thank you Kirsten for having precooked meat!) and sliced fruit in the shape of a smiley face. If it weren't for Jack's missing boots (located neatly in his closet..or possibly Abbey's) we would've been early. As it was, Jack got to the bus slightly before it arrived and I went to work feeling pretty good about myself. I feel like my work with kids definitely helped me stay relaxed and in charge, even when drama surfaced. No meltdowns, no big tantrums, and it put a great start to the day.