It was time to put my friendships firmly back on the front-burner. With Mr Magentafrog committed to a cricket tournament all weekend I decided it was time to go out and catch up with a friend. As it turned out, there were two others also catching up with the same mutual girlfriend. It was such a nice relaxing day to all hang-out together. I had baked banana bread for morning tea so we had coffee and chatted, the children all played happily and without incident. There were a total of twelve kids in the house including their visiting mates, yet there was no fighting.
My friend’s little boy is five years old and gets along very well with Master 4 and 2. They rode their bikes over jumps in the driveway, shared their food and played Mario Brothers on the Wii. My friend’s older children fussed over Master 1 and kept him entertained with games and chasing. It took the focus and pressure off me to be the constant point in their lives. As an added bonus I actually held several conversations with adults (no really!).
Late in the afternoon it was time to go. Master 5 came with us to visit Mr Magentafrog at the cricket match. Despite having to watch the boys riding their bikes through the crowd and the fact that they had missed their afternoon sleep, they behaved really well and I was proud of them. Master 5 stayed with us for dinner and when it was time to go home all the boys were exhausted in a such a good way. It was cute to watch them hug each other goodnight.
Again I see how extra effort can lead to an easier run with the children. They get so much from outings in terms of social interaction, stimulation, learning and communication. And I get a blessed break, to a degree. Let’s not forget the time and planning to actually get anywhere outside the front door with three little children, nappy bag and snack and drinks bag in tow . . . but a day out is still more enjoyable than feeling trapped at home.
So I have to make more effort to get more of a break? Any wonder this parenting gig is so freaking exhausting!