It's Christmas and my husband is on call. He was called in twice during the night and I knew he had a c-section scheduled at noon today, so I could not count on him being around. The problem was, 1 yo woke up once when he was leaving, and then got up at 6 am.
After mulling and thinking what to do with all the kids, I agreed with a friend to meet at the playground, to let the kids run around. My boys wanted to go on a hike, but I am at the point in my pregnancy where I cannot use the baby carrier any more, so no more hikes without another adult.
By the time we drove to the playground, 1 yo managed to fall asleep in the car. The kids played and ran around, with quite a bit of attendant drama. Then I was planning on taking them out to lunch to one of the few kosher places open. The problem was, I did not do my research, so we drove up to a closed restaurant. 1 yo managed to fall asleep again.
Finally, we settled for pizza place, which was booming. My husband was able to meet us there, in between the procedures. Afterwards, as the kids finished, they went outside, and were walking on the ledges surrounding the walkway. 8 yo accidentally bumped 4 yo, who fell and skinned her knees. She was crying so hard, that even band-aids were not helping.
I headed home, with faint hope that 1 yo will take a proper nap in his crib. The boys asked to play in the backyard; it has been raining for days, and today was the first sunny and dry day. 4 yo told me that she is heading straight to her bed. I tucked in 1 yo, but after his two short naps, he did not sleep, 4 yo did nap, and for two whole hours. She came out refreshed.
She does not ordinarily take naps, but she knew that she had enough, and she knew exactly what to do. I never use naps as a punishment, and it is a pleasure to have a kid who can self-regulate like that.
Meanwhile, the boys came in, muddy. Around the time that 4 yo woke up, they asked to watch a movie downstairs, and I agreed, thinking how I will finish shabbos cooking. I even pulled produce onto the counter. Then I sat down on the couch, and the house was quiet. I just briefly closed my eyes...
I woke up quite a bit later, and the house was still quiet. The produce was still on the counter, the dinner was not made, and I was hoping that 1 yo was securely watching the movie or tearing down the basement, not escaping down the street.
I groggily checked on the kids, threw some food together, and grumpily called them up, to set the table. I did not feel rested, more passed out than anything. My husband did not come home till closer to 7, and 1 yo decided that dinner is the perfect time to throw a full tantrum and refuse to eat most of the food.
I keep thinking how my daughter knew exactly what she needed, and did not push herself to stay up, to play, to watch a movie. I keep thinking how I seem to be so out of sync with what my body needs, and even obvious signs of fatigue do not get enough attention. Perhaps I know that I need a nap, but I cannot relax enough to take one without an adult available to watch the kids. So the body takes over, and I literally fall asleep.
A babysitter called me earlier today, saying that she is available over the next week. I could not think of any specific outing that I would need her for. Wouldn't it be great to call her and say: hey, I feel like I need a nap now, can you come over?
As adults, how often are we given an abundance of things we do not need or want, yet we are sorely lacking in those immaterial essentials? Is it a result of upbringing, always pushing your needs away for the sake of some greater good? Or is it just a reality of being "an adult"? How much of happiness depends on healthy boundaries? How can we set those boundaries without being selfish?