I think that yes, it does get easier.

About eight years ago, I remember Richard refusing to take all three kids out by himself anywhere.  He wouldn’t even take all of them to the grocery store.  I couldn’t really blame him actually, as I didn’t enjoy taking them out alone either.  Adam, at one, would inevitably require a diaper change the minute you got to your destination.  Andie, being three, would stand in the cart and grab things off the shelves when we weren’t looking.  We would end up at the checkouts with 47 packets of gravy, 3 boxes of bismatti rice and once we found a bottle of Geritol in the cart.  At the time Richard and I were approximately 40 years out from needing that kind of daily supplement.  8 year-old Ashley would spend the entire trip begging for some cheapass toy she’d seen on the way in or for a box of 80% sugar cereal. 

It was H-E-double hockey sticks taking those three out of the house with the two of us to supervise, let alone inflicting the bunch on one lone parent.

I was thinking this morning about how much easier life has gotten for us these past few years.  Heck, I think each year, each birthday that passes, brings us closer and closer to parental Nirvana.  Hey!  I said “closer”, I didn’t declare that we’re there yet.  Maybe we’ll never land on that doorstep, but I really do feel like we don’t have to work as hard now as we did back then.

Leaving the house for a few hours these days no longer requires a Mack truck for transport.  We don’t need a duffle bag loaded with diapers, bottles and changes of clothes.  No longer do we stow a double stroller and the pack n’play crib.  There isn’t a bag full of colouring books and crayons and teething rings and Barbie dolls.  When we decide to go somewhere now, we just issue the orders for everyone to get ready.  Everyone puts on their own coats AND shoes!  If the kids want to take a bottle of water or their video game for the trip, they get it themselves or they go without. 

I guess we still suffer a few tantrums, but those are usually before we leave the house and come from the teenager, who would rather stay home and do her own thing than be seen out in public with her younger siblings and parents.  That’s okay.  Sometimes we make her come with us and sometimes we let her stay in her pajamas and eat Kraft dinner.  I still say it’s better than carrying a rigid, screaming toddler out of a restaurant so that she doesn’t disturb the other patrons.  And then bargaining and reasoning and finally bribing her into compliancy.  “If you stop yelling and stay in your seat, I will let you live long enough to grow-up and get a good job and buy Mommy and Daddy a Lexus!”

Today, Richard and the kids are on a day trip in Victoria (it’s spring break here).  They all got up at 5:30 this morning, loaded themselves into the van and headed for breakfast and then the ferry.  They’ll be visiting the Royal BC Museum, doing some shopping and probably walking along the wharf with the intent of finding that really cool magician/busker that we were entertained by on our last trip to The Capital. And while I’m really sorry that I can’t be there to experience the day with them, I know that Richard is entirely capable of handling all three of his children at once AND actually enjoying himself in the process.

…Yes, easier.

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9 responses to this post.

  1. I so wish I was there already! My hubby won’t brave the two little ones on his own either and only JUST recently starting taking the older one (who’s four and a half) out occasionally. I HATE taking them with me for the same reasons you stated above and I find that what should be a simple trip to the grocery store ends up with me sustaining major hair loss from stress! There needs to be a shopping tranquilizer for moms to take before they go out with anyone under the age of 18! Loved this post!

    Reply

  2. What a great post! At 6 and 4, we’re in the beginning stages of that independence. We don’t need the diaper bag anymore, or the stroller, but if we’re going on looong car trips we have to pack snacks and things like that. ALTHOUGH, I have recently gotten wise enough to realize that they’re not going to read 10 books, play with 5 different toys, color in 3 different coloring books and watch 15 movies on a 6 hour drive to Memphis, so packing the car has gotten easier! In fact, we just took a 3 hour car trip and only packed several movies and the portable DVD player! No toys! That was a big step for me! *pats self on back* 😀

    Reply

  3. Congratulations! I have an occasional whiff of that future, and it makes me very, very happy. Hope you are enjoying your day of peace!

    Reply

  4. Yeah my hubby is still tense when I try to get him to take all 3 out by himself. I do it all the time (in the begining I sure didn’t!). He’s getting better though. Honestly he must think I’m super woman because he doesn’t know how I do it! It’s called practice my darling… LOL one day he’ll get it I’m sure.

    Reply

  5. Um, my husband won’t take our ONE three-year-old potty-trained child anywhere by himself.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Amy on March 22, 2007 at 10:24 am

    Too funny…..I’ll let mine live long enough to get rich too, I guess..lol

    Reply

  7. I’m with you. I’m supposed to be treasuring these days, I know, but good golly! I can’t wait until I can take a nap whenever I feel like it…

    Someday.

    Reply

  8. Hi Vicky, I am truly baffled. I opened my mail box to find you inviting me to Maya’s. Well thanks for the invite and I might just do it! I’ll check back here when I can and try to catch up on you, the great blogdini. I still think of you when I see those special tissues in a round box.
    Heather

    Reply

  9. it does get easier doesn’t it!!! we don’t get spring break till the first week of April, guess they figure since we still have several feet of snow it isn’t officially Spring here yet!!! he is going to take 2 of them down to the coast with him…yup the daddies….they grow up too!

    Reply

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