Thursday, March 4, 2010

Much Deserved Rest … for someone else!

Guest Post By Noel Wilcoxson

This weekend I had the honor of taking care of our 5 children by myself. You see, Jennifer and her mom went to a women’s retreat for the weekend with our church group and I, being the good husband that I am (wink wink), pushed for her to take the time off. Those of you that keep up with this blog know how dedicated Jennifer is to our children and how she doesn’t get any time off or away from our ‘safari’. So it was definitely her turn to get away and this was an opportunity for her to gather together with other women and glorify God.

While she was off enjoying herself, I was in the midst of kids who I quickly realized were much smarter and cunning than I expected them to be. You see, the last time I was in charge of all of them for any amount of time was before Hannah was born while Elijah was the only one who knew how to walk. Sure I’ve had them for a couple hours while momma went out to shop, but a weekend is a lot different than an hour.

Jennifer left for the retreat on Friday afternoon while the kids were napping. They weren’t all asleep, but thankfully they weren’t looking out the window while Jennifer and Patricia left, otherwise I would have had to deal with five crying toddlers wailing for their mommy and nana. Joshua was the only one to see the car drive away, so I decided to go upstairs and get him up from nap time. While I was up there I heard Jacob and Elijah moving around and since they weren’t asleep I decided to go ahead and get all five of them up from nap time.

I went in and they were excited to see me, but more excited to tell me that nana was here. I had to break it to them that nana and momma had left the house and wouldn’t be back for the whole weekend. This is where they began to outsmart me. Instead of getting upset or saying “no” they are home, Elijah and Jacob ran to the window to look outside. They saw the minivan and the car Patricia had come in and told me that nana was home. I was shocked that they would have the ability to reason like that at such a young age, but allowed them to go with where their minds were taking them. We went and got Esther and Hannah up and went downstairs where they found out that nana and momma were really gone.

The rest of the day was great and we ended up watching “Cloudy with a side of Meatballs” the movie until almost 8pm that night. That’s a late night for our kids who are used to going to bed around 6 at night. I am used to our bedtime routine, but Jennifer is always the one thinking ahead to what else we need to do for the kids to get them in bed. I realized that 30 minutes after dinner when I was planning to put them to bed that Jacob had not had his nebulizer breathing treatment. He likes to sit in mine and mommy’s lap to calm him down while he wears a mask and breathes in medicine. The treatment takes about 40 minutes if you wait until it is all gone, so I decided we’d watch a movie.

The kids were more interested in bouncing on the couches and rough housing with each other, which I was ok with until Hannah fell off the front of the couch. She didn’t get hurt, but it was enough of a shock to her that she cried a little. From that point on I had to be the mean parent and separate them from one another and keep them from moving. There was only slight discipline, mostly initiated by Esther’s disobedience, but we made it all the way through the movie and on to bedtime. The kids went down without any problems and slept very well.

Saturday and Sunday mornings I spoiled them with waffles for breakfast on Saturday and blueberry muffins on Sunday. They enjoyed breakfast both days and we had a mostly uneventful time. We went to play on their play set in the backyard on Saturday and went through our normal church routine on Sunday. I did forget the diaper bags for church, but it’s no surprise that I’m forgetful!

The big event of the weekend was at the end of naptime. We had been putting all three boys together in one room for the past couple of weeks because of the nose bleeds they were having. We decided that all of them together with the humidifier was the best way to go. But when Joshua got his head wound and it became infected, we separated him from the other two for naptime. They usually don’t sleep much at “naptime” but just play and run and jump the whole time. So Joshua went in a room by himself and Jacob & Elijah stayed in their room.

I am normally a very strict parent when it comes to naptime on the weekends, but since I was both mommy and daddy this weekend, I let it go and allowed them to run and jump and play to their hearts content. I figured if anything I’d let them wear themselves out and I’d get them to bed early. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention to the time and let them stay in their room too long unattended. Elijah & Jacob moved one of the cribs into the closet for the purpose of climbing up to the closet shelf and pull down all the “goodies” they could find. This is when I discovered that our children were really midget pirates in disguise.

They managed to get all of the bags and bandages and baby toiletries and Vaseline off the shelf. They got out the lotion and baby powder that Jennifer and I had put there ages ago and long forgot about. They smeared the lotion in the floor, dumped the full bottle of powder on a pillow, and opened the Vaseline. You can tell they got into the Vaseline because it is all over the case, but I never figured out where they put it… more excitement for another day I suppose.

So Joshua was thrilled that he wasn’t in that room. He got to watch his brothers clean it up, get discipline and be subject to daddy’s rants for about an hour. I made them pick everything up, put it in bags and place them outside their room in the hallway. We threw a lot of it in the trash and transferred the three thousand coat hangers to the other room’s closet. It’s moments like that that you wish you had all girls who don’t do things like that! I vacuumed and steam vacuumed the carpet getting out the powder and some of the lotion. All in all, it was a very stressful afternoon. The kids got dinner, a bath, their medicine and went to bed. Again, I didn’t really learn my lesson and hadn’t planned on the bath, so they went to bed around 7pm.

I was really glad when momma came home on Sunday and so were the kids. I love my little ones, but they are five handfuls and I only have two hands. I respected my wife before for the difficult job she has in taking care of the kids and our home, but it’s much different to admire from a distance versus walking in her shoes. I love you Babe, and I am so glad that you enjoy your calling. The Lord has blessed us all, but I think he gave you three times the patience and love for our children so that you could maintain your sanity.

After church on Sunday I took the kids to the YMCA so that they could play and I could work out and by the time I got home, mommy and nana had returned. Everyone was so happy for their return and Jennifer and I got to discuss both of our weekends. Her weekend was much less stress than mine, but I wouldn’t have traded places with her for anything. She deserves every bit of time for herself!

1 comment:

Trish said...

Noel, I wanted to say a very big thank you for allowing Jenni-Mae and I to go to the retreat. It was such a special time together and with the Lord. I am thankful that my daughter has a wonderful husband who can manage by himself, sometimes. It is an eye opener isn't it. Jenni-Mae has such a love for her children and you. She does amazing things but she is still just a woman. I pray God continues to bless both of you as you serve Him and each other and your children. Love Mom