Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When the children are away. . .

This year, until we add a 4th child to our family (through adoption), I have 6 magical hours each week when all 3 of my children are at school -- 3 hours one morning and 3 hours on another.

So, what do I do with myself?!!!

Well, this week, I only had 1 day because the 1st day of preschool the kids only stayed for an hour and 15 minutes and during that time the parents were in a parent meeting at the school.

But in 13 snippets here's how the other morning was spent:
  • Dropped off my 3 year old at school. Patted myself on the back for actually remembering to pack and take his snack, considering the bringing a snack is a new policy since my 2 other children went through this same class.
  • Headed to the daycare center where the 2 children I volunteer as their Child Advocate (CASA) go to school, to visit them and check out their classes. While there I spent about 20 minutes on the floor with 10 toddlers, 1 of which screamed the entire time, another rattled the baby gate for 19 of the 20 minutes I was there. But the little boy I was visiting? Couldn't have been cuter and more smiley and was very obviously showing off for me with his stunts! Then I moved on to a little older class where his sister was, she is just learning to talk (slightly delayed) but very clearly told her classmates, "MINE!" whenever any of them tried to approach me. It took me a few minutes to realize she was not saying that about a toy but about me! "Yes, I'm here to visit you." I affirmed her many times.
  • Left the daycare and went to my 2nd volunteer job of the morning -- helping the kindergarteners at my 2 older kids' school while they were in the cafeteria for lunch (our school asks for volunteers for the first few weeks of school while the little kids are getting used to the routine and need help opening things from their lunchboxes).
  • Hugged my own precious kindergarten girl and loved how excited she was to see me in her cafeteria!
  • Greeted my daughter's friend, "How are you, Rachel?" Rachel replied, "Awesome!! I'm awesome!" I marveled at the enthusiasm of kindergarteners!
  • Opened a variety of drinks and food baggies/containers and instructed over and over, "Eat your lunch or you'll be hungry later!"
  • Took 3 little girls to the restroom, 1 of them twice in the 30 minute lunch -- I didn't ask what that was about, some things it's better not to know!
  • Had the following conversation with another kindergarten girl:
Me: "Oh, your name is Claire. I just met another Claire in your class. There must be two Claires."
Claire: sighs, "Yeah and I'm kind of jealous of her," and points to the other Claire.
Me: "Really? Why?"
Claire: "Well, sometimes I raise my hand in class to answer a question and the teacher says, 'Claire' but the other Claire answers the question instead. So that makes me kinda jealous of her!
Me: "Oh, I see."
Claire: "Yeah, it's just like the year there were two Olivias and that wasn't very awesome."
  • I was very sympathetic to her face, but I spent the entire rest of the day giggling about that conversation! Poor "Other Claire"!
  • Left the cafeteria job with just about 15 minutes to spare before it was time to go pick up my 3 year old from preschool. I went home to soak up 15 whole minutes in my house BY MYSELF! Oh the quiet!
  • Thought to myself (since I could actually have an entire complete thought in my head), "How is it that this one morning in months when all 3 of my kids were in school at the same time did I manage to spend nearly all of it surrounded by gobs of kids?!"
  • Smiled at the blessing of getting to be around little kids so much during this season of my life.
  • Couldn't help glancing at the calendar for next week hoping to spend one of my free days doing something leisurely like shopping all alone! But, nope, next Monday is a holiday so again only one toddler-free day for me. And on the Tuesday? A long ago scheduled dentist appointment for me. To quote an apparently popular word among the kindergarteners - Awesome!!
Find more Thankful Thursday and Thursday Thirteen.


  1. Oh, I remember those days. Busy, busy, busy! But oh, so precious. The kids are little for such a short time (i'm itching to be a grandma now).
    You must be thankful to have the family back in some sort of routine. Once they are all settled, I am sure you'll be able to squeeze time in for yourself. Happy TT!

  2. The life of Mom. Challenging, with a dose of enchanting even through the busyness. Be blessed!

  3. I marvel at the way you spend your precious time away from the kids with kids. Makes for a rich day, but I'd be hungering for adult conversation.

  4. awww....what a sweet TT post! Cherish those moments, they are grown before you know it. Happy TT!

  5. Brings back a lot of memories...

    Have a great Thursday!

  6. That is a great TT post! You really know how to be thankful! Others would have thought that was such a bad day. You have a "Awesome" life filled with love! Have a blessed day!

  7. Thank you for sharing your post..Today I also wrote about my children, they are all so special!

    God bless you!

  8. I LOVED this post. Remember those days soo well. The year my final child started KG (an all day one) I began working at the school part time as an aide who rotated between KG and the 3rd grade and did the morning recess and lunch shift as well. 3 days a week. The other 2 kid free days were spent cleaning house (soo easy with no kids, haha) and doing laundry. Think there might have been some grocery shopping too. I did this for the next 10 years. Soo like you my newly found time was surrounded by kids as well. haha...wouldn't have wanted it any other way looking back. ENJOY this time, it flys by...HUGS

  9. Too funny the conversation with the little girl about the name Claire. And sadly enough I remember that Olivia show, my kids love it.

  10. Later on you'll look back and see how rich and blessed you are! (I know you know it now, but then you'll appreciate it more.)

  11. The best job in the world. God bless you! :)


  12. You're a busy lady. Those children are very fortunate to have someone like you in their lives. Kudos to you . Happy T13!

  13. What a great, worthwhile way to spend your time!

  14. Loved your post, I so miss those days of "serious" children conversation and just being around them. It's weird when they get older, hold onto those moments now.

  15. haha...I hope that you will get a "free" day to do something leisurely one of these weeks! Although I find that by the time I have the house to myself I don't know what to do with myself...and by the time I figure it out it's time to get the kids again! You are so right is season...I keep tell myself that!

  16. Reminds me of memories gone by and future memories to be made. The life of a mom :)


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