I hate it when my kids go away.
Wait. . . let me rephrase that. I love the fact that my MIL is so amazing that she not only offers, she BEGS to take Will for a weekend here and there, and that she is now taking Emma, too. She had both of them over our anniversary weekend and they (and, possibly more importantly, SHE) did awesome. We were at a hotel about 15 minutes from her house, which was comforting to all of us, in case she needed back-up, but she never did. This weekend is my birthday (3!2! How did that happen?) and M's, too, and she is taking the kiddos so we can have a day together to celebrate and relax.
Anyway, I appreciate so. very. much. the fact that she takes them. And I know that they have a great time at her house. In fact, I wish there was a place that I could go where a kindly Gramma and Nana doted on every single thing I did, made all of my very favorite foods, took me all of my very favorite places, and generally just spoiled the heck out of me.
Don't get me wrong. I really do look forward to sleeping in, taking a bath until my fingers prune, and getting miscellaneous projects done around the house that are difficult to do while the kids are here (Example: organizing their closets - HOW does anyone else DO that? When they are awake, they want to "help," which is ANYthing but "helpful" and if they are napping, then I can hardly be in there, organizing their closets!) I really am excited that I will get to out to a meal in a nice restaurant, eat that meal, while it is HOT, with both hands, and not have to stop and ask someone to "Please, eat your carrots" or "Please, do not throw your carrots". M and I are going to go see a movie! Yes, we are crazy people with all of these plans to organize closets, go to dinner, and see a movie. But to be honest, kids haven't changed us much. We've always been this lame.
But I digress.
Apart from all of the wonderful things that we will get to do over the next 48 hours, what I ultimately dislike, is that I have to be without my kids. I know that I am a better mom when I get a break. This week has been tough, what with the Great Chocolate Cow Slaughtering of 2011, but also just the fact that he has been rather obstinate and done a lot of misbehaving this week. And Emma has been teething, in what apparently is her bid to make the Guiness Book of World Records for Longest Time It Has EVER Taken For A Ten Month Old To Push Through a Molar. So it hasn't been an easy week. A break does sound rather nice.
But every time I pack them to go anywhere where I won't be for more than a few hours, I get a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. As I fold little Lightening McQueen and WALL-E underwear and put in extra pull-ups, I get paranoid that I am not putting in enough. When he gets stressed, he tends to have accidents. So for a two night stay, he has fourteen pairs of underwear. You know, just in case. I put in every type of jacket/coat that he owns because. . . what if we get a freak snowstorm in June - should I put in his winter hat? I put in three pairs of shoes and his rainboots. Oh, wait, I forgot his rain jacket!
For Emma, my paranoia manifests itself in DANGEROUS quantities of food being made. Remember, they will be gone for just two days. Emma eats a LOT of regular table food now and she is to the point where she wants to feed herself and gets impatien with purees. And my MIL is also a "feeder" and will have PLENTY of food options for her. But that seems not to really wriggle into my consciousness, because I have made three HUGE canisters of food. I mean, this girl couldn't eat this amount of food in a WEEK here at home if she tried. It's kind of ridiculous. Scratch that, it's plain ridiculous.
It takes me HOURS to pack them. It shouldn't. My MIL has made her house into a kid-wonderland. They need no toys, books, bath stuff, bedding, etc. She has it ALL. Even a potty chair for Will. And YET, I will have two large suitcases, two Castco resuable bags filled with random stuff, and I will still obsess over whether I packed enough. And I do this EVERY time. My MIL makes gentle jokes (she isn't being mean, it's just honestly rather crazy) about it and just lets it go and gives me a hug.
Each time they are about to go away, I PROMISE that I will minimize and not pack half of our house for them. And each time, I overpack despite my best intentions. Because as I pack, I keep thinking, "But what if they need something while they are gone?"
It takes no psychologist to see what is going on here, though if you are a psyschologist (or any other type of professional who might be able to help me with this issue), please weigh in. I think the problem is, I can't pack myself into their bags, and I worry that what they really might need is ME. And it really, truly, honestly doesn't bother me that they do JUST FINE without me. I love that. I just worry about if they DON'T do okay. And I somehow think if I pack Will's Buzzlightyear bandaids, the owie won't hurt as much.
Anyway, I am going back to packing now. Do you think Emma needs three sunhats or four?