My wife is a school teacher and for the summer she took our three children to spend some time with the grandparents. She was gone for 4 weeks. I slept in, came home to silence, watched whatever TV show I wanted, ate whatever I wanted, came and went as I pleased. It was wonderful. The house was clean….let me say that again THE HOUSE WAS CLEAN FOR 4 WEEKS.
For the first 2 weeks life was grand. But, I started to miss them.
I realized I wanted to prepare myself for their arrival so it wasn’t a big culture shock. I put together this handy guide to help me re-adjust to the family life.
How to prepare for the family’s return.
6 Days Before: Take all the pillows in the house and carefully put them down the center of the bed. This will re-create your wife and cats sleeping position and remind you how to contort your body in bed.
5 days before: Take 4 legos throw them into every room in the house and once a day walk through the house with your eyes closed. This will retrain the way you walked nimbly when the kids were home.
4 days before: Ask some someone to call you at 6:30am for the next 4 days and whisper, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy can I watch TV?” This will help you be less cranky on the first morning after their return.
3 days before: Play the same song over and over again, the song should have some kind of question. This will get you used to the never ending questions and reminders of what they did when they were away.
2 days before: Create a mess in every room of the house. This will help you remember the chaos and disorder that seems to spring up from nowhere.
1 day before: Hire someone to knock on the bathroom door every 30 sec every time you enter it. This will help you remember what it’s like living with children under 9 yrs old, no longer can you be in a room be yourself in silence.
The day of their return: …wait anxiously for your family. Meet them for dinner on the road just so you can see them sooner =).
Life is back to normal. I actually sleep better in those contorted positions. I think of the legos as a course for training me how to tread lightly. I realize that the day should begin before lunch. Their questions and stories are actually pretty great. The mess…still working on that.
I am glad they’re home.