Monday, February 02, 2009

When Mom's Away

This past weekend, my husband and I finally sat down together to go over the nitty gritty details of my upcoming nine day college trip with Lizzy. We decided to sneak away to Starbucks in order to have some uninterrupted mom and dad time.

What I thought would've taken about a half hour ended up taking an hour and fifteen minutes, simply to go over the schedule for nine days of Dad being Mr. Mom.

What makes it rather complicated is the fact that all the kids at home are involved in different activities that require an adult to drive them to and from. We also have to figure out if there is a teenager home to watch the little kids if Dad is driving someone somewhere. And finally, we tried to figure out if there are any days during the nine days that Dad could actually go to work so he doesn't have to use up all his vacation time.

We had to schedule Edmund's advanced computer class (we decided he could ride a bike home, barring any unforeseen snowstorm), Bernadette's AmeriTowne training class (got a friend to give her a ride), four kids' drama classes, DJ's speech therapy, Joan and Bernadette's piano lesson (they can walk!), Bernadette's Outdoor Lab class, and seven people's taekwondo classes at various times every day of the week!

I also laid out the menu for the days I'll be gone. Wow! I should do that more often. It sure made grocery shopping easier...just buy what you'll need for meals! Guess that'll be my Lenten penance this year: make menus and shop more economically!

The biggest hurdle, I suspect, will be getting six kids up and out of the door for their Monday morning school which starts at 8 am sharp. The only day of the week that all the kids go to school together is Monday. We make all the sack lunches the night before and try to make sure everyone has their school backpacks loaded and clothes ready to go. This morning's fiasco included a sleepy teenager dumping the entire pot's worth of coffee grounds into the sink (sans garbage disposer), which immediately clogged up the sink (for the 3rd time since Thanksgiving); a kindergartner who couldn't find any socks; a 3rd grader who forgot his water...then his lunch...and finally, the same teenager forgot his most important binder and had to have Dad bring it to school for him. Next Monday will be the most important event of the month for the elementary kids: bringing valentines for their classmates. Let's just hope they all remember them! I'll help them prepare them this week, then we'll try to pre-pack them in the school backpacks.

Lizzy and I are pretty much set for the trip. We've got our hotels and are finalizing our college itineraries so that we can sit in on some classes. She finally got her learner's permit this past week, so that she'll have a government ID in order to board the planes. We're going to try to pack enough clothes to last us for nine days, and I'm picking out long overdue knitting projects and some books I want to read on the trip.

We're very excited for our trip, but I'm already looking forward to being home again!

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