September 6: Trains, planes, and automobiles (or Bikes, Scooters, and Tricycles)

We are coming from a wonderful long weekend with the kids; we went to a new playground, went out to lunch, had a beach day, a slumber party over a friends house (whole family), another park…. it was great. It makes coming back to work harder.

Today and the rest of the week is a parking pavement project at our ferry station. So that complicated things a bit this morning. We decided to divide and conquer our drop offs — one take Red, and the other take the Twins and Big Bro. From there we had to find parking on the street and then run to the ferry. Uggh.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Red changes by herself but then changes her mind about her shirt. This puts her into a foul mood. We find another shirt that she likes and I cuff the sleeves for her, extra big. This puts a smile on her face.
  • Twins are awake and they stop in to say hello – they always look so cute after a bath. They are so big now that I am amazed that at one time I had both of them together in utero. Simply amazing.
  • Red then wants a pony-tail. I get that ready for her, she wants an orange pony-tail band and then changes her mind to green.
  • I gather Big Bro’s clothes. He decides to get dressed downstairs.
  • The three of us go downstairs. They each want to be shuttled by Mommy and we laugh at this coming down the stairs together.
  • Hubby has breakfast ready for all kids.
  • I continue to pack the bag for the Twins. The booster seat for Red was prepared the night before and I stacked all relevant piles to prepare for the different drop offs.
  • Twins are eating cereal with milk and a spoon – they are doing great but this means they need to get changed into different clothes. I run upstairs to get a change of clothes for both of them. Hubby and I each change a child. I love this part. Where you get to focus on the child and look into their eyes and talk about their bodies and the clothes and they help you help them get dressed. I love this part of this stage. The blossoming of independence (but tantrums unfortunately also come along with this territory).
  • OK time to go!!! This is a different routine for us. Red is in her booster seat in the other car with her lunchbox and her sheets and big blanket. She looks so proud. I am so proud of her. I knock on the window and wave and blow kisses to her. They are off!
  • Drop off with Twins goes without a hitch.
  • Drop off with Big Bro is a bit long. Today in line we learned that today is picture day. F!! I look at Big Bro and his hair is sticking up like a porcupine and he is wearing a Phillies t-shirt. I look around me and I see frilly dresses and headbands and some boys with vests. We just can’t seem to get our act together. I then start to play a game with the kids in line about how they practice their smiles. This is really just to get Big Bro warmed up to the idea of picture day. This has always been an intimidating event for him. He asks for me to put his lunchbox away. I ask him if it’s OK for me to give him a hug and a kiss, or where I can kiss him (e.g., his hand). He whispers “at home”, so I abide by his request.
  • I run to the van; I see how the cars are lined up and parked on the street near the ferry station. I lock up and begin to run. I hear “It is 8:30 and the boat is going to leave. Please get on the boat.” I just make it. I find Hubby. I am exhausted.

We are at the dock now in the city. It is a bit foggy outside. I am not looking forward to going back to work. I was out of the office all last week so maybe I’ll change my mind once I get there. I miss my kids. I miss how Big Bro sat in my lap this morning. I miss how Twin Crazy looked at me with happiness when I remembered to put socks on her in the van. I miss the look of Red’s face when she was all buckled up in her booster seat with her lunchbox on her lap. I miss how Big Bro asked me to hold my hugs and kisses for at home – it just makes me want to hold him more, hold him closer.

I can’t think about work now. I’m still thinking in my head about the weekend and mentally saying goodbye to my children.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • Cried on the way to work; stopped at Starbucks for coffee and a danish. Hopefully food and caffeine will help.
  • Prepared for go-to-market meeting for a firm initiative; led conference call and sent out materials of next-steps.
  • Talked with the leader of our “geography” for our firm on strategic issues. He bounced ideas off of me in preparation for an internal Strategy Meeting with our team to help improve our profitability.
  • Started to think through next steps for the different groups I may be taking over; I still need to talk to the company about a reduced work week but I have not figured that out yet; I am leaning on 60 % work-week but may need to go to 80% to be acceptable to the company. I’m not sure about when to have that conversation but my hunch is earlier than later.

I’m on the ferry now; I need to take an earlier one so I can pick up Big Bro from after-care — he needs to be out of there by 6 PM so taking the later ferry would be impossible. I will likely pick up the car (down the street since the parking lot is under construction) and head home to think about dinner. Then I’ll go on a round of pick ups: probably 1) Red, then 2) Big Bro, then 3) Twins. I still can’t believe we went from 2 to 3 drop offs/pick ups. I thought my life was supposed to get EASIER not more complicated….

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I decide to walk to the car and get everyone first.  I’d rather have the extra time with them instead of alone time getting dinner ready.  First pick up is Big Bro. Someone mistakenly took his lunchbox which is a shame because the other back-ups we have are not “cool”.
  • I get Red next. Big Bro says hello to his old teachers. Red is smiling ear to ear. She is jumping and skipping and showing Big Bro around her classroom.
  • I next get the Twins. Each squeals as they run to the van. Each refuses to be put in the seat until AFTER they’ve had a chance to turn around and say hello to Big Bro and Red who are sitting behind them. They are getting very strong, very forceful, very aggressive lately.
  • At home, I bring all kids outside as water is boiling for pasta. An amazing thing happens… suddenly there is a parade of two and three-wheeled “vehicles” in our back yard and all kids are playing on all the toys. Scooters, tricycles, bicycles, etc. I find Twin Husky scaling Big Bro’s big bike. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky are both fighting over a princess scooter so I have to go into the garage and fish out a toddler scooter that I was saving for Christmas. It is out of control. There are kids everywhere and vehicles everywhere and they are pushing each other and helping each other get on the bikes/scooters, etc. What a scene! It was great!!!!
Bicycles, Scooters, and Tricycles
Bikes, Scooters, and Tricycles
Big Bro being a big brother to Twin Husky
Big Bro being a big brother to Twin Husky
Twin Crazy is already a princess diva

Twin Crazy is already a princess diva

  • Dinner is a hit – pasta, shrimp, chopped spinach, and toasted pine nuts. All eat well.
  • After dinner we play with trains, train tracks, etc. We all try to do this together but Twin Husky and Twin Crazy are too busy pulling the tracks apart and trying to rebuild themselves. This makes Red laugh but really pisses off Big Bro.
  • Time to go up! I get milk for everyone; Hubby takes the Twins upstairs. Red and Big Bro help to clean up all the toys.
  • Hubby has a hard time reading to the Twins. Apparently Twin Crazy isn’t listening so she is banished to her crib early.
  • Reading to Red and Big Bro is really cute tonight. Red reads us our family “picture book” which essentially is a book of photographs of our family and extended family. Big Bro picks out the book “You are all my Favorites” and he said that book reminds him of me because I’m always telling each of them how much I love them. My heart melts.

So today was an up-and-down day, but mostly up, I think. I’m glad to have had the extra hour tonight and will actually need to leave work for the 4:30 ferry going forward. I’m happy about this. That’s an extra hour each day, 5 hours for the week – so that makes a difference especially when everyone is happy and getting along together.

Til tomorrow –
– Mama K


  1. I know how you feel about picture day. With 4 kids in real school, my daily/monthly list is insane. I print out each month’s calendar and stick it right on the fridge. Ugly, yes. Always in my face, yes! As soon as I get a date, I put it on there. I hate to say it but it’s much easier when they’re little. I have to juggle 2 days of hebrew school, 4 karate classes, 2 dance classes, 2 basketball practices, gymnastics and an OT session a week. This doesn’t include the multiple doctor’s, dentist and orthodonist apts.. That’s just our fall schedule. Being part of a community does help. I know you’ve mentioned this before. Honestly, I couldn’t do it without my friends and carpooling. Must go pack backpacks-2 have library tomorrow, one has gym and 2 needed more supplies sent in. Ahhhh….parenthood 🙂

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