I noticed something lately…and it’s kind of strange. I have been able to pee alone for a little while now. I mean, someone may be on the other side of the door, but I can LOCK IT…and I am not worried about imminent danger for my children. Tate may rattle off his scripts from the other side of the door. Cole may call my name eleventy-billion times from the other side, but really, I don’t have anyone IN THERE with me. After 10 years of having someone sitting around as I do my business, it’s glorious to be be able to use the bathroom without an audience!!
I’ve also been able to get dinner done (when I choose to actually cook) without trying to juggle umpteen different needs and wants. If Cole or Tate need help, Jake is able to assist. If the boys want to play outside, I shove them into the backyard and keep the screen open to listen for shouts of pain, but mostly just hear shouts of boys being boys. They bicker, they are pretending to be various characters or people, but I don’t have to sit out there and watch their every.single.move.
My house is staying somewhat neater, as well. Don’t get me wrong, we still have massive clutter and there is a family of dust bunnies planning their revenge under my couch, but I don’t have nearly as many spills, goobers, or mysterious smears to clean up. Instead, I have more time to stay on top of household chores that I typically chose to ignore, like keeping closets picked up and organized, knowing where I put important papers, shredding junk mail, and keeping laundry up to date and almost putting it all away.
I had heard about this mythical life…and we’re getting so close. Next year, all three of my children will be in elementary school. It is so weird to think that my “baby” is headed to kindergarten. And that he is, really, my most independent child. He does things at 4 that my other two never did. Some of it is that I babied Jake. Some of it is that Tate couldn’t motor plan it. A lot of it is that Cole is the youngest, and he naturally wants to be older. Always. So he does much of his own self-care. I check in, mind you, but he can get dressed, brush his teeth, get himself snacks, and keep himself occupied.
This is all quite liberating. I have time to think. I have time to sit and see what people are rambling about on Facebook. I have time to READ BOOKS! And yet, as any parent can attest, there is that little piece that is shocked that time has moved so quickly. My babies are not babies any more. We are at the cusp of that “next phase”…They’re not so little…and they’re not so dependent…and I need to figure out what to do with this new phase…I’m excited about it…just need to figure out what comes next. Huh.