The moment has come. My husband has flown off to a week-long conference on the other side of the country and I am here. With both children. By myself. It’s not the days that have me anxiously awaiting his return but rather the afternoons. Specifically from 4PM to 8PM each day.
I often refer to this chunk of time as, “The Nightmare”. It’s the time of day when everyone needs to eat (often repeatedly), everyone needs to be cleaned up (often repeatedly), and everyone needs to be soothed about something (often repeatedly) and then put to bed (often repeatedly). By the time all of this takes place and bedtime finally comes into play at 8PM I have usually lived through most of the classic nightmare symptoms- the shakes, the chills, the ragged breathing, and I come out of the whole thing saying, “Oh that was so horrible. Thank God I’m awake!”
Then I settle in to washing the dishes, collecting the dirty socks scattered about (where do they all come from?), feeding the dog, and looking for some chocolate. This was not always my life but it is my life right now. So while my husband is away I have one plan of attack during the Nightmare; keep them busy.
When one of your children is a toddler (short attention span) and one of them is an infant (no attention span) this is quite challenging. Thankfully today I rediscovered the book 365 Things to Make and Do Right Now from Parragon Books. I opened it during a brief lull and found a page dedicated to making Halloween decorations. Perfect. Now they weren’t exactly difficult decorations.
All I actually needed was for somebody to say to me, “Hey dummy, why don’t you make some Halloween decorations to pass the time?” The book essentially did that for me. We now have several ghosts, a spider, and a bat hanging from our track lighting.
In order to fill up the time until dinner we also rubber-stamped some cards, used our homemade playdough (recipe here) and played Potato Heads.
I lasted another afternoon without throttling my 2 year old, and I kept the kids so busy that at least for today we sailed through on pleasant dreams.