Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

My Week at Home with the Boys August 15, 2012

Filed under: Childcare,Family Life,Friends and Relatives,Totally Me — leighj @ 9:38 am

A year ago, I went to work full time. Because my job is flexible, I had lots of time to spend with Seamus and Gilbert even if I was working. This week, Patrick went back to work full time, and I have a week with the boys before we start our, admittedly very complicated, childcare arrangements. It’s Wednesday, the one day I haven’t made solid plans for, so I drank my coffee this morning and played with the boys while I texted with a friend to figure out if we’d see her and her little boy today. A few observations, if you’ll permit:

  • I love watching S & G play together. They’ve learned how to take a big coffee table book off the shelf and set it up with another book and make a ramp to run their trucks down. This provides a lot of entertainment.
  • Seamus has developed a strong interest in throwing, catching, and batting a ball. It helped that his 7 year old friend was batting in our living room while Seamus threw and then running “bases” around the living room. S thinks it’s a pretty fun game. I am just grateful that we don’t keep anything very valuable in our living room.
  • Gilbert’s potty training is going really well. Spending time with him I’ve learned just how independent he is. He loves to wear big boy briefs, but because he can’t quite get them up and down on his own, it’s a real problem for potty time. He does not want help. Yet, this this the same kid who’s totally dependent on his “blank-blank” when he’s hurt, tired, or feeling vulnerable. (While I was writing this, I heard Gil saying “big pee pee” in the other room. Seamus yelled, “Gilbert’s pottying!” and I went tearing out of the office into the living room hoping it was in the potty. It was. These kids are raising themselves.)
  • The only way I survived the early days of two children (or being a part-time stay at home mom) was by having a lot of friends (with and without kids) to hang out with, go places with, maintain conversation with while kids were playing. I’ve enjoyed this week by having friends to hang out with, and while I really miss our friends in Albuquerque, it’s nice to develop some ties here.
  • I love to hear the boys talk to each other. This morning, we were having yogurt for breakfast, and S gave G a taste of his (because he really wanted a tast of G’s) and G said, “Thank you, Seamus.” They sing Happy Birthday to each other in their bedroom at night, they love singing Take me out to the Ballgame or Twinkle Twinkle. These are interestingly enough, a result of reading books–Dooby Dooby Moo!
  • Tomorrow we’re headed to Richmond for a visit with friends, and Friday, I’m going to take them to ride the water taxi in Alexandria. We went to dinner on the waterfront not too long ago, and they were completely taken with the boats and helicopters that populate the river. On Saturday, we went to the Irish Festival in Alexandria. It was a perfect last hurrah before work, because we could drink beer in the park (Harp or Guinness, of course), hang out with friends, sit on our picnic blanket, and watch boats go by with a beautiful breeze. I was particularly taken with the fact that if we walked 1oo feet from our blanket, it turned off oddly humid. Seamus was a bit alarmed by the bagpipes and said, “What’s that sound, Mama?” But then he wanted to know all about them and if he could play them someday.
  • I’m super annoyed by my latest trip to Target. I bought S some new big boy briefs, and when I got home, the pack was supposed to have seven, but someone had opened it and STOLEN one of the pairs out, so my pack only had six. I was so irritated, I was going to take them back, but I really really hate going there, and I only go about once every four months, so it would mean an hour and an extra trip, and I’m just not sure it’s worth it to get one more pair at about 1.66 a pair. For me, it means that I’ll delay my next trip there even longer, and just stop doing much business with them, because, come on, inventory control, people. Argh.
  • My triathlon’s on Sunday. We’re going to take the boys camping for the first time the night before. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Thanks for indulging me through all this. I didn’t even talk about the experience of writing during naptime. I think I’m going to work on a video of the boys today during nap time.

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2 Responses to “My Week at Home with the Boys”

  1. Bob Says:

    These are wonderful times. I’m glad you’re able to enjoy them.

  2. Maureen Bell Says:

    I hung on every word, so hungry am I for news of the boys. Seamus was too busy to talk to me when I called on Sunday, other than to tell me he had French toast at Pancake Breakfast…he is indeed a busy boy. Gilly was asleep. Aaaargh! What’s a Nana to do?…wait for Mama’s blog, of course! Just got home from NJ, spending a week with their Bell cousins. Great time. xo Nana


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