Good as these things go

IMG_0271Young children complicate the concept of leisure time. Weekends do not look like a textbook picture of relaxation. Still, it is possible to do some fun things, even with the kids in tow.

Sunday wound up being a very full day. I woke up with the baby at 6:30, fed him, then ran 6 miles along the river with Jane. The weather was cold when we started but warmed up quickly. Indeed, the temperature peaked near 60 — it was a gorgeous spring-like day.

I drove home, ate breakfast and showered and took the 4 kids to church (while my husband went for a run). After, they played on the playground for a bit. The baby fell asleep in the car, so I transported him to his room, got kids snacks, then my husband took the 6-year-old and 4-year-old off to their various birthday parties. My 8-year-old watched a movie while I made my lunch and worked for about an hour. Then the baby was up and we went to fetch the 6-year-old. We chatted with friends and their parents and then came home and played in the driveway (and with some neighbor kids) for 90 minutes. My 6-year-old taught me how to throw a Frisbee correctly. I am embarrassed to say I have been doing it wrong for 30 years.

Then my husband came home with the 4-year-old and the bright idea that we should go ice skating.

So we did! We bought tickets for the rink on the Delaware River — the last day it was open for the season. We all drove down, and my husband took the baby while I took the 3 big kids skating. That was kind of nice, as usually the parental split is reversed. I enjoyed ice skating as the sun set and yet it was warm enough that some people were wearing T-shirts. Granted, ice skating with a 4-year-old was painfully slow. The 8-year-old had never done it either and was tentative (the 6-year-old raced off and kept falling, but did not care. This is entirely his personality). We went around the rink 3 times in an hour but oh well.

After, everyone was hungry, so we decided to go for broke and take everyone out for dinner. This may be a normal occurrence for some people, but when you walk into a restaurant with 4 small children there are definitely stares. We went to Moshulu, which is this giant boat on the river. I did not have high hopes, as the kids were cranky post skating and before being fed (Not a boat! I do not want to eat on a boat!) But we did OK. No one had any huge meltdowns. The restaurant had pasta and chicken tenders for the kids and I am happy with any meal I do not have to cook. We got home a little after 8. I put the baby to bed and then the others and fiddled around reading tweets about the Oscars until I fell asleep.

Long-time readers know I have been logging my time since April. I spent some moments this morning looking back on the past week. Life is full these days. There are good things: I spoke about revisions to third graders, and to MBA students at Wharton. There are low points: I spent an evening in the ER with the baby. There are moments of progress: I ran an 8 minute mile. I am now up to 90 seconds at 9.0 mph in my killer-treadmill routine. I went to the art museum and a cocktail party. I went ice skating and, thanks to my Friday childcare, managed to work 45 hours. Perhaps the best part, though, looking back on this week, is what is not there. Despite his illness, the baby never woke me up in the night. That is as good as things go these days.

In other news: Do you subscribe to my newsletter? The March edition will be out Wednesday. You can click here to manage your settings. You can also subscribe to my blog posts by email, or to weekly time management tips, using that same link.

Photo: More from the Pop Art exhibit. The baby was quite taken with the cheese.

6 thoughts on “Good as these things go

  1. Hey sorry to post and off-topic comment, but what happened to your post titled “Capacity”? I wanted to share it with someone.

    1. @Tami – I’m sorry about that. There was some concern that I put too much in that post that was similar to what will be in the actual study release. So I took it down and it will go back up when the study is out. I hope you didn’t spend too much time looking for it!

  2. Congrats on the baby sleeping through the night! That’s such a great milestone. It sounds like a really fun weekend, although I do agree that fun weekends with kids don’t always mean relaxing weekends. It does feel great to be spontaneous about activities like ice skating, especially when the experience itself is drama-free 🙂 I’m trying to say “yes” more often, too. I’m almost always glad when I do.

  3. The sleep is a BIG win! And I would NEVER have expected that restaurant to have kids’ food on their menu! Too bad the ice rink is done for the season, we never made it to that one (we went to the other one, though). My 4 year old just refused. Like sat down on the rink and then cried because his bottom got cold. Sigh.

    1. @Ana – Oh, I love that. Too funny. In our 4-year-old management news, I’ve been phasing in a rule where all food may have one requested alteration. More butter on the waffle OR cutting it into squares, but not both in separate requests. We shall see how this goes.

      The only reason we braved Moshulu was that I read a round-up of kid-friendly/tolerant restaurants online and it mentioned them. It turns out they have a “spoken” kids menu: chicken, pasta, grilled cheese or hamburgers. Kind of like a speakeasy — you have to know to ask…

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