I've been away for a few days now, living out my own "Lucky One" adventure while my dear husband has been manning the fort -- quite literally, I suppose -- since I left on Friday afternoon, artfully juggling five kids, their weekend activities and his responsibilities at work. Here's what I've learned as I've kept in touch from afar: sometimes, Daddy knows best. And oftentimes, Mommy makes things more complicated than they need to be. Here are three great examples:
- Let them wear what they want. The weather in the Northeast has hit unseasonable, record highs in the days I've been gone. And from the photos I've seen, the kids have been thrilled to wear shorts and flip-flops. And pajamas without tops. Knowing myself as I do, I suspect I would have started a battle about the flip-flops, making the rational argument that it's hard to run/play soccer/get from Point A to Point B when you're a three-year old in flip flops. And, I would have urged them to wear shirts with their pajamas, for fear they'd catch a chill in the middle of the night. As it turns out, in both cases, I would have been wrong, causing yet another unnecessary fuss. As it turns out, they wore their flip-flops and lived to tell about it and slept as snug as bugs in a rug, with or without shirts. Score one for Dad.
- Leave the luggage at home. Here's what I usually take a for a typical Saturday involving soccer, baseball and birthday parties: 5 juice boxes, 5 water bottles, about 25 snacks, a change of clothes in case a three-year old triplet piddles in his pants, sunblock, wipes, tissues, Purell and a few BandAids, just in case. Here's what the Dad packed for his weekend adventures with our tykes: nothing. Nothing! Ok, maybe a water bottle for the kid playing soccer but that's pretty much it. And you know what? They all survived! Score two for Dad.
- Roll with it. Before the breakfast is cleared away, I start to fret about what we'll have for lunch and dinner. Before my coffee is consumed, my mind has planned the minutes of our day -- every day. The Dad does not work this way. This can sometimes infuriate this Mom. But, with some distance between us, I see once again the magic of his ways, the delight of a few unscripted days. There was impromptu pizza for lunch and a late nap at 4:00. There was no dinner plan but somehow it all came together. The kids were happy, clean and fed. Perhaps not on "my" schedule or in "my" way but, at the end of the day, well, they had a great day. Several of them in fact. Score three for Dad!