Mommy is gone for two weeks and it has been up to me to take over her role around here. I'm not supposed to complain about this because she has to do the Daddy thing all the time. So this isn't a complaint, just... a documentation. And she has the short lenses so it will mercifully contain way fewer pictures than usual.
I've learned that there are a few Mommy things that I'm pretty bad at [and, in some cases, an apocalyptic failure].
1. Hygiene. I'm basically a bust when it comes to kid hygiene, in particular Littler's hair. We have been in public in variously embarrassing states of unkemptness. Littler has had the same hair tie knotted at the end of her locks for, uh, longer than I care to admit. Days. The last time I remember putting something in her hair was last Monday.
2. Easter. Uggh. When Mommy's here I can just blow this off and nobody even notices. I have less than no enthusiasm for this type of thing. But this time I had to try, and the results were... abysmal. Out of 9 boiled eggs, this is what we got:
For a moment there I thought I was kind of clever for just throwing a few markers and pencils on the table. Have you ever tried to draw on an egg? With 5-year-old hands? Brilliant.
As for the egg hunt, apparently hiding an egg 5 feet up in a tree isn't fair play. The kids are still pissed.
3. Crafts. To be absolutely fair, Mommy doesn't really do crafts either. But after snapping this picture and leaving the room for a couple minutes...
...I returned to find the following things artfully painted:  the porch  the carpet  the kitchen table  the kitchen floor and  Bud's penis and anus [a performance art piece by Bud himself]. I think that constitutes a failure. If it doesn't, my apocalyptic meltdown upon discovering this scene [apparently I hadn't heard of washable paint] certainly was.
4. Dinner. This is the odd one since I'm like the king of creative cuisine normally. But these last 10 days I've been the freaking EMPEROR of cold cereal for dinner. And... I once took the family to Burger King just to avoid having to be in the kitchen. Yikes.
5. Cleaning house. I had this great, GREAT idea that I could save lots of total work by not cleaning constantly throughout the day. That way I could avoid cleaning the same thing twice; just once at the end of the day. But I had to work at night, so... um. It's not pretty.
6. Shopping. I totally kicked butt on our grocery shopping trip, but it turns out that toilet paper is not merely a luxury. I got some pretty rad horseradish mustard though. Here's hoping our last roll lasts until Manda gets home... we've always got wipes.
So, I cut my losses and finally relied on what I do best, which is... run away.
I couldn't handle my kids so I let the outdoors handle them. We went camping.
This is along the Skagit river. They just did whatever, for forever. You can always tell when Fellinators are having fun; there's water and mud involved.
In the middle of the night--all four of us in a small backpacking tent--I moved Bud off my face and he yelled, still asleep "You're messin' me up!!" That was super cute.
Little makes a pig/cow sculpture.
For three days we just hung out outside. We went on bike rides, slacklined, loafed, looked for salamanders, played hide-and-seek and three flies up, hiked, played in the mud, threw rocks into water, and searched for ruffed grouse. Ella and I found a grouse drumming site, which was super cool. I don't know what the other kids were doing or where they were, but apparently that was ok.
I'm less than proud of how I've survived--and yes, that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm just surviving, and so are the kids. No thriving going on here. At all. On the other hand, I got like a month's worth of work on my thesis done, so perhaps I can just consider this my kids' sacrifice for my education.
And last: the Mommy thing I'm the most inept at is keeping me company. Miss you Dest!