If you’ll remember,…

If you'll remember, Kevin's Valentine's present to me was three lovely days and nights in a hotel in downtown Oak Park, completely off child-care / household duty. I didn't get him anything, and making him do three nights in a row seemed pretty brutal, even if Jarmila would be there the first two days. So for V-day, I gave the second day and night back to him. Okay, caught up? Now summary:

Saturday morning I woke up in a leisurely manner at 6 a.m. (because that's sleeping in for me these days), lounged in bed reading for a while, and then worked through some e-mails. Around 9:30, Jarmila arrived at the house; around 10, Kevin got to the hotel. We lounged in bed for an hour, which was lovely. Then we got up and pulled out a new board game Kevin had gotten us, Dungeon Lords. It took us from 11 - 4 to play the first game, what with reading the rules, running the training scenarios, and then playing the simplified beginner version of the game. I think later games would be more in the 1.5 - 2 hour zone. It was definitely fun and worth playing again; you're the evil dungeon lord and you build up your dungeon, populating it with monsters and ghosts and setting traps for unwary adventurers. You're playing against the adventurers, but you're also playing against your opponent, to score more points. I won, which was a nice change, because Kevin almost always wins games we play. Even games that are mostly chance. I don't understand it. But anyway, we had a lot of fun.

Then at 4, I came home and took over from Jarmila. I actually had a pretty good time with the children that evening, I think because I made absolutely no effort to do anything else other than feed all three of us and play with them. No watching my tv, no internet, no reading, no schoolwork, no knitting, no cleaning. We cooked and ate dinner together. We played. Once Anand was sleep, Kavya and I took a long, long bath. We played some more. Kavi got into her jammies and went to sleep.

I think part of why I find the children so frustrating and hard to deal with is that most days, I have a little running tally in my head of things I either ought to be doing or would rather be doing, and then when the kids get in the way of that by not napping when they're supposed to (Anand), or not playing quietly by themselves (Kavya), it is deeply deeply irritating. It makes me crazy. But now I think I can understand why my mom was pretty happy being a stay-at-home mom to three small children. She did do the housework and cooking, of course -- but that's really it. She didn't have a whole separate career that she'd spent fifteen years on before having kids, and that she ached to get back to. Once we were older and in school, she took up a variety of activities and hobbies, but her family was always her priority, her main job. For me, family is one of my jobs. It makes a difference.

Anyway. Kavi went to sleep at 9, at which point Anand woke up. And then again at 11. And at 1. Then I got a nice long stretch of sleep, until 4:45. And by then I was too awake to go back to sleep, so I worked on e-mail until he got up for good at 6. And then we were just up. Cleaned the house, because there was a showing at 1. Jed sent my flowers which arrived and made the house look even better for the showing. Kevin arrived home around 2:30, and since Kavi was still napping and Anand was calm as long as Kevin was holding him, we snuck in a quick game of Agricola, the interactive version, which we hadn't tried before. (He won, by two points.) And then around 6, I took off for my second night off. Tired, but happy.

Then followed sushi, Avatar (of which I may post more anon), sleeping ten hours, waking up to read a fluffy Laurell K. Hamilton novel all morning, and then mostly finishing the revision to my superhero story, tentatively titled "Sanctuary". I came home at 1, watched the kids in the afternoon, really finished the revision, cooked dinner (v. simple curry from jar), went to knitting group, showed off my finished cowl, started a knitted toy, came home at 8:30 and took Kavi for a walk because it's one of those nights when the snow has crystallized and the whole world is sparkly.

Whew! And that was my Valentine's Day weekend. It was good. Jarmila ended up not watching the kids Sunday night because she had a big exam to study for (given that we're teachers, we can't really argue with her when she wants to study :-). The weekend would have been better if I'd realized Simone would be willing to take the kids for a night or two so Kevin and I could have been at the hotel together at night, but oh well. Maybe next year! This was still lovely.

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