The people that interact with Jenny and I on a regular basis often comment on how we managed to remain sane with all we have going on.
Most days we are so busy that we have little to no time to spend alone together.
As a parent, I’m well aware of the demands on my time that raising one child puts on a person. So when I met Jenny and she told me she had four, well, my first instinct was to run like hell.
I’m extremely grateful that I listened to my gut and not my head that day.
Jenny and I are planning a camping trip in the middle of this month. We are going to go to a campground that is several hours north of here and we’ll be going with four of our friends who are going too.
An adult only get away. No kids, no work, no pigs, no obligations. Just us, a few friends, a few drinks and a chance to be ourselves without worrying what type of example we are setting.
I’m sure I’ll be using a lot of profanity, simply because I can.
This get away is almost vital to our continued existence and survival.
If we didn’t run away from time to time, I’m sure the chaos of daily life would cause one or both of us to snap. The plus side is that we would probably end up sentenced to serve time at the same prison.
Jenny and I are the perfect example of yin and yang.
We compliment each other so well that it’s almost scary some days.
I’m the irascible, abrasive one that focuses on the “structural” part of daily life.
She’s the gentle, forgiving one that focuses on the execution.
Together we manage to make our crazy life bearable for all the kids without anyone getting lost in the shuffle.
A typical day for me usually goes like this:
I wake up at 4:30. Hit the snooze until almost 5 then finally drag my ass out of bed.
Get Louie out of bed and we head to the barn to feed the pigs until about 5:45.
Then back home where we shower and get ready for school and work.
Then I’m at work from 6:30 to 4.
I’m a supervisor at an engineering firm so my day at work is more like child care than my time at home is.
After work I head to my house to pick up Louie. We then go back to the barn to tend to the pigs for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Then to Jenny’s apartment for dinner. M/W/F are my nights to cook for everyone. So if it’s one of those days, I have had to figure out what to feed 7 of us and get it cooked and served.
On these nights, Jenny is usually busy defusing some situation in which at least one child left something at dads, needs to go to the store, has a headache or some other complaint, or is just being grumpy in general.
We eat about 7 most nights, then it’s clean up, deal with homework and whatever work related issues I have to tend to.
Then, if I’m lucky, it’s bed time about 11.
For Jenny it’s pretty much the same, with a few minor differences.
She pops right out of bed. Cheerful and ready to face the day.
I think there’s something basically wrong with that, but that’s who she is.
She fixes me a cup of coffee because I’m bitching about how early it is and am dragging in general.
When we leave, she gets in the shower and then proceeds to get the other kids ready for school and herself off to work.
Now she’s a 5th grade teacher. So she too is dealing with whining all day long.
At least her “toddlers” aren’t grown men who can’t seem to find their ass with both hands and a map, like mine are.
Then she heads home.
If it’s T/Th/Sat then she cooks. While she’s taking care of dinner I’m usually watching tv and telling whatever kid it is that’s bitching and moaning to suck it up. (I’m not exactly the nurturing type. See up there where I admitted that I’m irascible?)
Then again, it’s dinner about 7, clean up, errands that weren’t completed earlier and bed about 11.
Our “quality” time falls between 4:30 am and when I leave at 5 (and I’m sure that my winning smile and charm make that an awesome experience for her), and those precious 15 minutes we get between 11 pm and when we pass out from pure exhaustion.
So, a two day escape to live in a tent, with no real bathing or toilet facilities and four other drunken adults sounds like heaven to us right now!