FRIDAY NIGHT, FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT
I’m writing this on my iPhone, sitting on our lounge room floor, on a Friday afternoon. In our family, Friday afternoon means chill-out time, decompressing after a hectic week. My boys and I watch a movie, have an easy dinner and welcome my husband home from work early. And yes, I’m obviously multi-tasking today – trying to capture in words this special time in our busy household.
But with three boys, this sounds more idyllic than it is. It starts off well today. After negotiating what movie to watch, my eldest plays Lego quietly while the middle son curls up on the beanbag, watching Arlo and eating popcorn. That is until the youngest son crawls over and grabs a fistful of popcorn. All hell breaks loose.
The crawler comes for my iPhone next and lunges towards my reading glasses. He then bounces on my wobbly tummy, giggling, before making a beeline for the table. He’s seen the one dining chair not stashed away and quickly climbs onto it and the table.
I move the baby to safety, knowing he’s deciding what to conquer next. I’ve had enough. I put my iPhone and glasses away, throw frozen fish into the oven and strap the baby into his high chair. Any mess or dishes remain untouched. Today I’m lounging with the kids, doing the bare minimum. The chores will wait.
But then the front door opens and to my surprise, my husband walks in at 4.30pm – which really is like being handed the holy grail of parenthood after a long week. I run, smiling, into his arms, both pleased to see him and to have another adult to share the load. He plays with the boys, prepares dinner and I escape up the road to get us a beer.
It was only 10 minutes, but my walk was a much needed energy burst and sanity saver. I even stopped to watch the sun set over the city. Such a rarity – which Mum of young children takes a moment outside, at 5pm, to see a winter sunset?
So on returning home, when I see my eldest son shooting a Nerf gun in the kitchen, in my happy eyes he could do no wrong. I had got my fix of fresh air and space. I was elated to return home, put on my UGG boots and sit down to family movie night. Sometimes it is the small things in this parenting gig that make such a difference.