During the school year, Sven and I have precious little time to parent. We leave the house before 7:00 a.m. (if we're on time) and the earliest I get the kids is 3:45. A more typical day has me getting there at 4:30 or even later. By the time we get them home and feed them, there's not much left. Each child has devised a way to combat this: Princess stays up all night, and Dexy only sleeps when he's in our bed. We figure it's only fair; they want to spend time with us at night since they can't during the day.
Enter summer. For 10-12 straight bewildering weeks, Sven and I are both stay at home parents. You can see the euphoria in the eyes of my children. Mommy and Daddy at our mercy 24 hours a day! Again, each has devised a particular way to take advantage of the additional Mommy/Daddy time.
Dexy is injuring himself to get kisses. I watched him yesterday slowly lower himself to the floor (picture big toddler belly and fat toddler legs), put his head on the linoleum, and gently bonk his head. He stood up, rubbing his head, and his eyes found me.
"Ouch," he moaned, sounding not at all like E.T.
"Oh, sweet baby," I crooned. "Do you need a kiss?" Eyes solemn, he nodded, presenting his golden little head for me to kiss. He has now thus "injured" himself approximately once every fifteen minutes for the past two days. I am now typing this one handed, since Dexy is in my left arm, a fistful of my hair and his own thumb providing comfort.
Princess, on the other hand, is alternating between really excellent behavior and tantrum-throwing brattiness. Sven has decided to deal with this by spending more time with her (yay!) and teaching her to be more like him (yay?). So far her innate femininity has conquered his attempt to get her to befriend the backyard junebugs (my least favorite outdoor summer flying non-biting insect) and wear t-shirts and shorts. On the other hand, she can name several different species of sharks and dinosaurs and demonstrated the correct way to throw a punch tonight.
We are so very grateful for the loves my kids have in common:
2. Backyardigans (For Kristina: The Backyardigans is a show on Nickelodeon featuring three improbably-colored, incorrectly scaled animal kids (see image below) who imagine themselves in different situations each week. They dance and sing in different styles every week, familiarizing children with genres such as rap, zydeco, and Gilbert and Sullivan. Seriously. I love this show.)
5. Inappropriate TV (The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, CNN)
The first part of every vacation is spent reasserting our dominance. Princess meets every command with "No" and Dexy just grins and runs away. I know it will be a rough couple of days, but a wonderful summer awaits us.