Reward: Lost Self-Esteem

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Following the leader

Having three kids together with three adults is about three times easier than a one-on-one parent-to-child ratio. (To say nothing of one adult to two or more kids — I don’t know how you manage.)

We went to the zoo today with Emmeline and Buddy Boy and I felt relaxed as could be. I’m confused by the paradox: I was exhausted all weekend because I didn’t get much of a “parenting break” — you know, a few hours off to weed the yard or organize the garage. (What a break!) But come Monday, getting to spend time with the kids was just rejuvenating.

When the three of us first met up, the kids were a little tentative. Have you noticed how kids perk up after breaking bread together? (Well, breaking pretzels, anyway.) After a snack, the kids cruised right into toddler-play mode, orbiting like electrons around our parent cluster. While one zipped off to briefly peer at the meerkats, the other two would hang onto the giraffe fence, and they continued to pair up and split off and regroup effortlessly, all day.

Mike and Park Buddy and I fell into this great ebb-and-flow of “you play with this one” and “now I’ll rest and chat” for which, I think, three is the perfect number. The kids all had a blast and the adults didn’t get too worn out — the best of all days.

And so naturally, I have to question my existence. What right do I have to spend my “work” day chilling out at the zoo? With the house is still a mess from our weekend of the packed social calendar, am I not ashamed to be sitting here writing? How can I complain about clutter when days like today make me feel I’ve got the best job in the world?

I think I’ll go clean out the diaper pail. That always makes me feel like I’m earning my keep.