August 30: Taking a short trip away for work


Today is the 2nd day of the new Kindergarten and pre-school; and it is also a day when I will be leaving for a business trip. So again, this is a bit of an unusual day for us – we are out of our normal routine and I think it will take a week or so to adjust to the timing, new drop off routine (three drop-offs!!!!) and have the kids settled into their new worlds.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red winds up in our room at 6:30 AM crying about something but we can’t figure out what the issue was. I ask her if she wants to come in bed with us for 10 minutes or so but she refuses. She then holds my hand, hugs my arm, and eventually lays down on the floor next to our bed with my finger in her hand.
  • Hubby jumps in shower at 6:40 AM. I get up about 10 minutes later. I did not have a good night sleep so I feel a bit wobbly.
  • The twins are up (actually they were up since 6:30 AM, busy “talking” with each other). I decide to go and get them. They are so amazingly wonderful right now – I mean the intensity of who they are is at maximum right now. We are at full fledged “toddlerdom” with both of them. They are like little people now with their wants and desires, but they just can’t communicate it just yet. So EVERYTHING we say they understand – the choices we give them, the discipline, the teachings, EVERYTHING. It is such a wonderful yet strange stage. I remember thinking when I was pregnant with twin that THIS was the stage that frightened me most. I could not imagine going through the toddler years and associated tantrums with TWO individuals. Well, we are in it now. And it is wonderful yet nerve-wracking at the same time.
  • The twins come hopping into our room along with Red, and I diaper both of them. I love this time with them. Hugging them in the morning, telling them that I missed them and that I love them, tickling their bellies, etc.
  • Big Bro walks in next so the whole family is in our (big) bathroom. The kids start to play the game of blowing “fart” sounds into the Twins bellies. Everyone is laughing. And the toddlers are also trying to do those same sounds but without the bellies against their lips. It is so cute and entertaining.
  • Hubby starts to show Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and Red pictures of them that he recently put up in our room. One is a picture of them in the bathtub. Then both Twins decide they want to take a bath NOW!!! They run over to the bathtub and demanded “in”. Then they start to cry, in unison. I hear Hubby telling them that it isn’t time for a bath yet. (refer to Toddler comment, above).
  • We head downstairs and it is chocolate Tuesday. So Red and Big Bro are at the counter loving life. Twins are walking around eating bananas and cereal. Twin Crazy is even saying “nana” over and over again. They are both getting so good with their words. We all encourage them with this.
  • Big Bro is so excited about his Kindergarten that he is completely dressed, finished eating, has his shoes on, and is trying to get in the van at 7:30 (about 30 minutes too early). What a difference a day makes. I am so happy that he is so excited and anxious about getting to his new school.
  • Red is excited about the extra clothes we need to pack for her. She picks out shirts and pants that she likes, and also A LOT of underwear since she had a minor accident yesterday. We also have to bring a blanket (the first one we picked up smelled like urine thanks to Twin Crazy so we had to put that one in the hamper) for her naptime and some sunscreen that is NOT spray. So Red and I gather all of these things along with her lunch and pack them in a bag. She is excited.
  • I make some instant coffee. I am still unshowered.
  • OK! Time to go! All kids are in the car; I bring a bag with diapers and twin shoes. And also gather all the lunchboxes and extra bags for everyone.
  • 1st drop off: Twins. They are dropped off quickly but I linger a bit since I will be flying today and away from them for several days. I give them lots of hugs and kisses. The daycare provider is used to these kinds of trips from me and used to my reactions to the kids when I am about to leave. She is patient with us as a family.
  • 2nd drop off: Big bro at Kindergarten. The only problem here is that we cannot drop him off before 8:10 AM. So I think we will need to adjust our routine once Hubby and I are BOTH commuting to the city. We park the mini-van and the four of us drop Big Bro off. In the mornings the kids play in the playground until 8:10 and then the classroom lines form. Big Bro gets in his line and seems a little anxious but he holds it together (I think). The teacher also says that he was wonderful yesterday. He was just upset the first part of the morning but once she gave him the clipboard as her “helper” he was fine. Whew!
  • I track down the after-care people and wrote an authorization for an alternative pick up person for Big-Bro. They close at 6 PM and it will be impossible for Hubby to make that time. We arranged for the mother of one of Big Bro’s friends (also in the same after care) to also take Big Bro with her at pick up. Hubby will pick up Big Bro at their house at the end of the working day.
  • Red and I drop off Hubby at the Ferry station. Hubby gives me a huge hug goodbye. I need that from him. I later tell him that from the plane before I take off.   Red wants to wait in the parking lot until she sees Hubby get on the ferry.
  • 3rd kid drop off: Red. We go in together and set her stuff up in her room. She talks about her clothes. We forgot her jacket from yesterday so now she has two there. We laugh about that together. I help her put her lunch on the lunch shelf. We see that they have set up “potatoe heads” and also these strange peg pieces. She gravitates to the peg pieces. She starts collecting all of the orange ones and starts to connect them. The teacher says that yesterday she was very organized about her colors and she was the only kid that started to separate the pieces into their different colors – the teacher thought that was interesting. I think it’s very aligned with her need to be “particular” about things. Her blankets need to be laid out perfectly for her to sleep, her animals/dolls need to be in the right position at the foot of her bed, her jackets need to be stacked the right way on her bedpost. She is our little perfectionist but yet so simple, so spunky, so playful, and so “off the cuff” in so many other ways. She is a very interesting child.
  • I head home, park the minivan in the parking lot for Hubby. I walk home from there. Feeling happy that the kids are happy but yet wishing that we were experiencing these “new things” in a different place. I different city. I less expensive city. I am so disappointed about this. I know in my heart that we can give more to ourselves and our family elsewhere. It is so hard to feel like you are stuck. At least the kids are happy I think to myself.
  • At home I call for a cab pickup. I drink coffee and eat breakfast. I check email. I run upstairs to shower. I pack. I do all of this in 30 minutes. I hope I didn’t forget anything.
  • I leave my house for the taxi which will take me to the airport, to a city on the east coast so I can work with colleagues there. I will be gone until Thursday night. I miss my children already.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I check email before leaving the house
  • I talk to our east coast office in-transit to the airport. There is something waiting for me that I need to address before I get on the flight
  • I go to the gate and check email. I send off materials that were requested of me.
  • I am now on the plane after having some food and a glass of wine. I’m looking forward to some time away, but also need to feel and smell my kids. I feel so different without them. I don’t know if I am a better or worse person without them. I feel more like a “normal” person, but yet I also feel so empty. I feel like I’m missing something. It’s a constant feeling like I’m missing one of my shoes, or that I forgot to pack something important. But I know that’s not the case. I want to smell Twin Husky’s hair and listen to his growl tonight. I want to see Twin Crazy’s smile and hear her cackle and reprimand her for spitting her milk down her face. I want to hear of Red’s day at school, and hear about her choices and how she explains her thought process now and says “maybe” a lot as she is thinking out loud. I want to give a high-five to Big Bro for another successful day at Kindergarten. I want to tell him how brave he is and how proud I am of him. And how I’m so happy to be his mom.
  • So this is what I’m thinking of at the moment. I’m getting farther and farther away from them with each passing minute on this airplane. And it is so wonderful to know that they are happy. That they have their own little lives and are so different from each other. I am so amazed at how we created this family. And I am so happy that I received that huge hug from Hubby before he left for his ferry.    Although I will miss the kids a break will be good.  I can sit and eat a dinner and focus on myself.  I can sleep.  I can shower and throw the towels all over the place.  I’m looking forward to that.

That’s all for today. I’ll post this once I get settled at the hotel. And then either go out to dinner or hit a hot-tub (or both).

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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