04 December 2009

Stay at Home Faker

I'm home with Maddie and Riley today due to a preschool inservice/nanny taking the day off snafu. As an outnumbered single parent, working has always been a bit of a refuge for me, and as much as I know they will never be little again and I should savor every moment and all of that, long weekends have historically been hard for me.

The tide is slowly starting to turn for me, though. As Maddie and Riley get more independent and more able to engage in the kind of play that I find enjoyable (let's see just how selfish I can sound in this post, shall we, mmm?), I am more able to focus on the joys of spending time with them instead of the trials. Let's face it: at 3.5, we've reached a point where for the most part, the joys far outweigh the trials. We're beyond the needy, sweet sleeplessness of babyhood, we're beyond diapers, we're often beyond tantrums (well, perhaps that often should be more like sometimes, but still, there's steady improvement). We're into nonstop verbal hilarity, amazing capacity for knowledge, boundless creativity, and surprising independence. Just last night, Maddie and Riley went into the bathroom, started their own bath, took of their clothes, and climbed right in. I even heard them adjusting the water to find the perfect temperature for the two of them. Amazing. (And no, I don't leave them alone in the tub, drowning hazard and all that, but I did stay outside the door during the process to see how far they could take it.)

Frankly, we're all able to enjoy each other more as the kids get older. They understand me better, I understand them better. Grief-wise, I have less anger and more patience.

And thus today has been lovely. We did start the day off early—we're still readjusting to west coast time, and by we I mean the kids—but Maddie and Riley were in great moods, and coffee helped my outlook tremendously. We had pancakes for breakfast. I am not a pancake person, really, but holy shit, Jason Kottke is not kidding about these being the best pancakes in the world. I'm a believer.* We played, we read books, I checked e-mail, the kids entertained themselves, we ran some errands, we had lunch, now it's naptime.** After nap, there will be more play, haircuts for the kids, something random for dinner, and bed.

For now, I'm going to enjoy naptme by snuggling up on the couch with another cup of coffee and People magazine. Ahhhhh. Happy weekend, one and all.

*And, for the record, desperate times, desperate measures and all that, I did use commercially produced "fake" buttermilk, and they were still all that and a bag of chips. I actually have no idea where to get real buttermilk . . . locals, any thoughts? Full disclosure: I have not checked New Seasons. My delivery dairy does not stock it.

**Although naptime here is used in the loosest possible sense of the word. So far, we're at 45 minutes of quiet chatter, four warnings, and counting. I refuse to acknowledge that we might be headed towards The End of Nap, which is in fact going to be The Dawn of Enforced Quiet Time.

16 comments:

Amelie said...

For baking I use milk with a bit of vinegar instead of buttermilk, which I cannot find anywhere around here. Not sure if this would work for pancakes though...
Have a lovely day with M+R!

christie said...

Enforced Quiet Time just might get you all the way through kindergarten. I didn't require mine to be in bed after they were about 4.25, but they had to be in their rooms by themselves and not rocketing around. It was a GREAT blessing.

Anonymous said...

I'm not local to you. But buttermilk is usually available in major chain grocery stores like Acme or ShopRite.

Snickollet said...

Anon: I have no trouble finding buttermilk, but the recipe specifies REAL buttermilk, which evidently is not the stuff that most grocery stores carry. Who knew?

Fairlington Blade said...

Hmmm. That threw me. I hadn't heard of "real buttermilk" before. I knew that buttermilk was what was leftover from making butter from cream, just hadn't know much about the details

I suppose the hard way would be to buy some cream. Make your own butter. Use the rest.

I'll probably stick to the cultured stuff. Life being short and all.

BB

Jen said...

Ah, what a lovely day. For what it's worth, I too have the guilt-ridden desire to escape to work, or keep the nanny until 6:00 even when I get home at 5:00, but as my daughter gets more fun (she's 3 1/4), weekends are becoming easier.

amy said...

T'is true, the older they get the easier they are to enjoy. I loved them as babies but it was hard work.. Waking every 2 hours to feed, change. Not easy when you are dealing with twins I know~!

Mine are now 12 and I find myself missing their dependence. But holy smokes is their independence a GOOD THING! ;)

Anonymous said...

The end of naps isn't so bad. After she gave up naps, she was sound asleep by 7pm and started to sleep later in the mornings too.

Colleen said...

Vinegar + milk (1 T vinegar per 1 C milk) totally works for pancakes--yummy! Also, plain yogurt watered down (1/2C yogurt; 1/2C water) works equally well. Sorry to hear that naps are winding down...

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

Sounds like everything is going well. (And doesn't some quiet time with a People magazine make it THAT much better?) I wish Vivi was handling the threes as well as M&R. She's killing me!

abernier said...

I think that the suggestions describing how to make buttermilk substitutions (milk+vinegar;yogurt+water) indicate the source of the recipe's insisting upon "real" buttermilk, which is just the plain old buttermilk available in the grocery store. The recipe wanted to make sure that you don't resort to, for ex., milk and vinegar.

On another note, glad that you've had one of those totally lovely days with the twins. The older mine get, the more I realize during the" three of us " time that I am so lucky that I'm getting to spend time with my favorite people in the whole world!

Snickollet said...

@abernier:

In fact, much to my fascination, the recipe insists that real buttermilk is not at all what you buy at the regular grocery store, that it is something much more rare and special and worth finding. So far, I have yet to discover a source in Portland. Plain ol' grocery store buttermilk? No problem. Substitutions? I've used 'em in a pinch. The real thing? Can't locate.

But no matter. The pancakes were still amazing.

-snick

winecat said...

Ahhh, sounds like a lovely day for all 3 of you.

As you might have noticed I inundated you with comments tonight. Finally have time to read my favorite blogs since my husband' surgeries.

Dr. Smak said...

Snick,

I took a while in coming to realize that I'm just not "a baby person". It was a blow to my mommy self-esteem, and for a while I thought something was wrong with me. People would say "Oh, you'll miss it when they are that little anymore." Ummm, no.

Some parents love every minute. Some of us have preferences for other ages. It doesn't mean we love our kids less. Here's to 3.5! What a fun fun age.

Smak

Anonymous said...

Snick, I grew up on a dairy farm. I've had milk everywhich way. There are people who will tell you that you never fully experience milk until you've sucked it raw from the cow. Buttermilk is buttermilk, trust me.

Anonymous said...

I never use "real buttermilk" b/c according to Cooks Illustrated, you can just use a cup of regular milk mixed with 1 Tbs of vinegar. It seems to work fine in all my recipes.