hide and seek

Having children, taking care of children, is hard.  And tiring.  I think everyone knows that and accepts it on different levels depending how much sleep or free time has been had so often we just skip to the other side of it all: how amazing and fun and intoxicating it can all be.  But for posterity's sake I want to write a bit on the parts that sometimes get forgotten as the years go by and time rounds out any sharp edges.

Zachary was a hard baby.  He cried a lot.  And every time he cried I felt like it was an indication that I was doing something wrong.  Now I know on both an intellectual and felt level that it wasn't the case, but as a first time mom...well, I was just beginning to figure it all out.  At one point, probably after a long day and night and probably another day and night of trying to continually soothe him I called my Mom close to tears and asked

This is really really hard.  Was it this hard for you?

And my Mom replied

Ummm sure, maybe.

Which wasn't the most reassuring to a postpartum sleep deprived first timer.  And I know my Mom wasn't trying to be unsympathetic, thirty plus years smoothed out the hard and what was left was the memory of a sweet new baby.  So here is an outtake of our family life.  Because one day someone will want to remember.

Hide and Seek
Lately Zachary loves to play hide and seek.  Except he is missing some of the key elements.

Mommy, I want to hide and you find me!!

Ok, where are you going to hide?

In the closet! Come find me!

Every time that kid tells me.  Which is really a plus for me because I am usually tired and don't want to get up, and so I sit on the couch or chair and verbally look for him in a couple of places and then ask:

Wait, are you in the closet???

Yes!!! You found me!

Clint and I also have our own version of this game.  We usually end up playing it on the weekends.  Weekends can be challenging.  Before children weekends meant a stretch of time to rest, recuperate and recreate.  And not that those things never happen anymore, but lets just say that on weekends we often both look up to the heavens and plead Where is a grandma??!!!
And the answer to that question is California, the state that we both willingly moved away from seven years ago, before our children were on the scene.
Anyways, our version of hide and seek is played in a couple of different ways.  Sometimes we are on the same team.  We see a moment of opportunity; maybe the kids are playing nicely with some toys or having a snack or show, and we quickly and quietly remove ourselves from the situation and crawl into bed.  Then:

How long before you think they find us?

Last weekend I guessed three minutes which was a huge err of optimism.  Clint gave us a minute, which was more accurate.  This version of the game always ends with the four of us in bed, which is fun and cozy until Zachary steps or jumps on a head, groin or baby in utero and Baby Kate finds one of our phones and starts pushing buttons and discovering screens and settings that we didn't know existed.

The other version of this game is the every-man-for-himself.  Clint is really the one that excels at this, maybe it has to do with his maleness or upbringing in a large family, however over the years I have been taking notes and can sometimes pull off the looking after number one with surprisingly skill and presicion.

One memorable go at this game was Christmas 2013.  Zachary had just turned three, Kate had just turned one, and I was four months pregnant.  We were both tired and both looking for a break.  I hunted down Clint room by room, Zachary and I yelling his name at the top of our lungs (it really wasn't his turn at a break) and found him wedged half-way under a bed with a pillow awkwardly placed under his head and a frilly bed-skirt sort-of covering his body.  It was so ridiculous and so desperate that all we could do was laugh----and then negotiate who really deserved the nap.