Just Like Bogie and Bacall

Jake stayed at school for lunch today for the very first time – excepting, of course, Fridays when the kids have a “nutrition break” at their desks and then are dismissed at 1:10.  But today he is at a Lego Club meeting – there IS a Lego Club – and is the first of my children to voluntarily eat lunch at school.  You read that correctly: I do not share my friends’ angst about school lunches and the packing thereof; I live five minutes away from the school and so the kids come home and eat peanut butter and other contraband items.  I’m happy to have them home at lunch, they are happy to come home at lunch, but today it feels like Jake is all grown up now, in no time at all he is going to be leaving home and calling me on an infrequent basis.

It’s enough to give one just the teensiest bit of a heartache.

And yet, I do not wish my children were younger and that I could relive those years.  Sure, it was fun to be able to go to the zoo or the science centre any day of the week, and sure, it was fun to make up plans about what we could do that very day, and sure, it was fun to take the kids for a walk down the street so they could jump in puddles and become soaked and admire the neighbour’s collection of vintage cars that he was ostensibly restoring.  Actually, no, it wasn’t.  There were many long, boring days when I cleaned up paint from crafts and when I veered between each child when they went in opposite, hazardous directions at the playground, but I’m in a place now when I can think of the zoo and see the excitement from seeing elephants and getting those little Dibs ice cream things, and I can gloss over my entire, full-body exhaustion from pushing the heavy double stroller and from packing dozens of snacks and diapers and pullups and bottles and sippy cups and changes of clothing.  I can gloss over the potty-training episodes in public bathrooms, or the germophobic feeling of horror watching the kids using those little phones that tell the stories of the animals in that particular enclosure.  It’s like I’m scrapbooking in my mind: I’m remembering sunny, happy pictures of eating lunch at the picnic tables and talking about gorillas and I’m pasting over the thirty minutes it would take to get the sunscreen applied and the shoes on.  “Going To The Zoo!” is what I’m writing in bubbly stencils in my scrapbook mind, adding lots of happy stickers.

I don’t wish to go back in time.  We took the red-eye home from Maui, and this is what happened: the boys ate snacks and read books while waiting to board, they slept on the plane and woke up on landing, despite having only five hours of sleep they non-grumpily waited in line at Customs and then helped gather all the luggage at the carosel, they rode happily in the taxi home and carried their booster seats into the house, they went to bed and slept for another couple of hours, getting up cheerfully when I woke them up.  Here’s what I observed other people, people with much younger children doing: chasing their kids in the waiting area to tire them out, plying the screaming toddlers with sippy cups and soothers on the plane, walking around on the plane trying to get the babies to sleep, looking like a zombie in line for Customs, holding a sobbing, inconsolable little one.  I wouldn’t trade places with them for the world.  I love how my kids are so interesting and fun and relatively reasonable and self-sufficient and full of cool ideas.  But I came across this picture of them at age two and three:

And this one:

And then this one, from age 10 months and 27 months:

And suddenly, ANGST!

This angsty feeling was exacerbated by the fact that I’m finally reading Room, and by page 22 I had to get reassurance from everyone I know who has read it that it all will end okay, otherwise I would burn the book and spend the rest of the weekend curled up in a corner, crying.  I am not yet finished, but I haven’t burned the book yet, so I suppose that is a positive sign.  I did spend much of the weekend feeling moody and emotional, much to my husband’s puzzlement; was this moodiness due to my period?  WHAT MOODINESS????  AND GIVE ME SOME DAMN CHOCOLATE.

So that was my weekend.  On Saturday morning I saw a friend had written on Facebook that she had spent Friday night listening to her boyfriend play guitar; it sounded all blissful and romantic.  Here’s what I did Friday night: I drank half a bottle of wine on the couch in my pajamas, watching reruns of 30 Rock and then, incredibly, an informercial about love songs of the eighties, and that entire CD collection – entitled “Easy 80’s” – could be mine in only six payments of $26.99 (plus shipping and handling).  I was singing along to the informercial.

Actually, it WAS pretty awesome.  I mean, drinking wine in your pajamas is kind of the ultimate in comforting, and I’m sure my husband loved my rendition of Key Largo.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


  1. My kids are 6.5 years apart in age so right now I straddle the divide. My son is 9 and going places with him is so easy, he sleeps in in the morning, dresses and feeds himself, and reads to himself. On the other hand, my daughter is 2 and can be entertained at the park and the “woods” for hours, thinks the zoo is an incredible place full of amazing stuff, and wears feety pajamas. Both ages have lovely features, but I can’t say I’ll be sad when my daughter is old enough to read numbers on the clock and know not to wake Mommy and Daddy until at least 7:00 on weekends…

  2. Oh, man, I would pay CASH MONEY to watch 30 Rock with a bottle of wine rather than listen to some guy strum a guitar while keeping a fixed expression of awe and Meaningful Appreciation on my face.

  3. By Word of Mouth Musings says

    My husband has the best attitude … each birthday, he looks at them and looks at me, and says things like ‘this is the best age’.
    Of course, he on the other hand will never grow up so where does that leave me?

  4. Nice.

    I don’t like wine but I do enjoy drinking Diet Coke in my pajamas.

  5. While I’m devestaed that Chinky is goin to school I’m kinda looking forward to those PJ days…wait I already take part in those…meh.
    Yea I could never imagine traveling like that with a wee one. Nope. Mostly for selfish reasons.

  6. Swistle cracks me up.

    Such cute boys! And their school DOES sound so awesome. *sigh*

  7. Love the photos so cute! Drinking wine while in pajamas is the best and always reminds me of Bridget Jones.

  8. Was Swistle channeling Nan? I swear, I had to check the name on the comment twice.

    Picking them up at lunch means double the pick-ups and drop-offs, which seems like a pain in the butt to me. But it would almost be worth it to not have to pack lunch. And yes – it’s easier now, and they crack one-liners that have me on the floor, and they CAN pick up after themselves (not that they usually do). But oh, the baby squishiness….

  9. Lego Club is that a support group like AA? “My name is Jake and I have 16 sets of Star Wars Lego. It’s been six days since I had my mom take photos of my creations for submission to the Lego magazine.”

    (Good gracious your boys are cuties!)

  10. ROOM! Oh dear gawd, THAT BOOK. I don’t have anything else to add.

  11. Keep rearing Room; it’s really well done. I would have read it aaages ago if someone had told me it ended well. The narrator is fantastic.

  12. I’m on the border of those zombie parents and you. I admit that I’m kind of looking forward to being able to travel with the kids without getting all panicky about the thought.

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