As many of you know I'm back in KC with the family for a couple weeks. It's been awesome, a bit like coming up for air after diving far too deep in the pool. But it hasn't been without its, uh,
glitches moments. To go from living totally alone to living back with the family DURING CHRISTMAS VACATION is a pleasant shock to the system. But it can feel a little like trying to run a marathon after not running a step for a few years. You see, the kids (all 4 of 'em) are on the constant Christmas-binge-and-crash-cycle.
It's really quite something to see. They happily play, even sharing at rare moments and we all have a great time. Then the tension creeps in and before you know it they're reprimanding each other, and sometimes me, for deep offenses such as accidentally putting the daddy doll in the kid's nursery room in the doll house. (of course I had no idea I was committing an actual atrocity since to my untrained-eye all the rooms look pretty similar) Then the kids play harder and harder (and consume additional sugar), which results in much more impressive yelling and statements shouted at me including, "I don't want to eat now or ever!!!" (actual quote from my 7 year old when I tried to peal him away from the new Wii for lunch)
But eventually comes the crash portion of the cycle, which is beautiful to watch, assuming you've kept a safe distance. At the peak of the super-rational-freak-out (good name for a rock band) the child suddenly falls totally asleep no matter where they are. Oh they might fight it, but it's clear the brain has shut down. For instance, instead of shouting, "I don't want to sleep on my bed" they may say, "I kicked a blue sheep on a shed." The tough part is that it's nearly impossible to predict the crash, but if you have the stamina to endure the rest of the day, observing the child falling asleep can be like a hot shower after shoveling all of the snow on your driveway with your hands while wearing shorts. (I probably overreached on that particular metaphor)
Don't get me at all wrong, my kids are great and usually marvelous to deal with - we've had some awesome moments the last few days and there is no place on the planet I'd rather be. I'm the luckiest guy you know. But the cycle is cracking me up. Anyway, I have one more week to soak up the fun before I'm back in Seattle and the kids are back to the normalcy of school schedules. Until then you can count on me to take in every minute whether or not I'm being tongue-lashed for such offenses as enforcing a strict midnight-toy-curfew on the kids.