Monday, September 27, 2010

Welcome Home

I think my kids saved 3 days of whining and cashed it in today. You know, to make sure I knew how much they missed me. Tonight, in the car, with the whining at a fevered pitch, I finally blurted out, "GUYS! All this whining makes me wish I was leaving for another 3 days. Do you want me to leave again?!" Silence. This would have been the point at which Joel started whining, were it not for his fear that it would send me over the edge.

"Stop whining. Stop," I said.

"Stop whining, kids," Gemma mimicked. "Stop whining. Stop whining."

"No, Gemma. I'm talking to you. YOU stop whining."

"OH!" she said, as if taken aback and a little embarrassed to discover her own guilt.

All I have to think of, though, is the look on her face when she saw me the day before when I had returned. Her eyes went huge and her jaw opened as far as it possibly could while a high-pitched squeal that seemed to originate deep inside her emanated forth. She bounced up to me and wrapped her little arms around my neck while squeezing as hard as her tiny muscles allowed and saying, "MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!" and refusing to let me put her down.

Donovan hugged whatever part of me he could get to and kept telling me how much he missed me. Later, he quietly told me, "Mommy, when I was playing Super Mario Brothers I just kept thinking about you and how good you are at it. I missed you."

I'm not sure if Ainsleigh minded my absence too much. Maybe she's just at the age where it doesn't terrify her to be away from me. And maybe it's that she couldn't wade past her younger siblings. She did give me plentiful hugs. I missed her little face, though. I missed them all.

Why is it that everyone seems to think Joel is some kind of hero for getting them all showered and dressed and to church ON TIME? I mean, that's great and all. But defies all common sense as to why, when I am home and have them dressed and then leave early for choir practice, does he still walk in 4 minutes late. But take me out of the equation entirely and suddenly he's a rock star.

All right fine. He's a rock star. I don't forget that not only was he in favor of me going, but he actually said, "I'm glad you have such good friends. Have a great time." That's pretty heroic.

So all of that helped counter the excessive amount of whining that seemed to be floating around here today. "Stop whining or I'll instate the 5-minute silence rule," I told the kids.

Surprisingly, confusingly, gratefully, they seemed to voluntarily instate their own silence. As if their only possible form of communication at that time was whining. As if they had nothing else to say.

So we sat in silence.

And it was welcome.


Tennille said...

Maybe it's an unwritten rule that all children must act like crazy whiners when their mothers come home. My kids were sweet and cute for about 10 minutes before the whining set in. But they have told me about 20 times each how much they love me, so maybe it all evens out.