Monday, February 3, 2014

Well, that was awesome

Ren Man and I went out for a friend's surprise birthday party. It was 2 hours away, but I thought it was worth it. We haven't seen our friend in almost 2 years and we Ren Man and I haven't been out in months. This isn't abnormal, but I was ready to jump at a chance at 4-straight-hours with Ren Man with some much needed friend time half way through. But I would not be so inclined to make a night out happen if it wasn't for someone else. I just wouldn't be as motivated. Ren Man joked that I set the whole thing up with our friend's husband so I could justify a night out.

But seriously. There actually was a surprise birthday party. At the Ciderhouse Barbecue and Pub in Vermont.

Our friend's husband kindly said we could bring the kids. But there are five of them. And we dinner was at 6pm. 2 hours away. One way.
There was a time when I would be offended if someone did not assume we were bringing kids. But this time, I was excited about NOT bringing them.
So childcare.
For five kids.
I asked my parents first.
They said "yes, no problem!" without reservation.

I was still nervous.
There was a note on my desk the morning of, asking for a write up of the night time routine.
Good idea.

So this is what I wrote:

Night time routine

After dinner (even if it's before 7pm – they are all tired!) make Child E. a bottle – 8oz should be a safe bet, but she probably won't drink it all. Tell Child F. and Child D. it's time to brush their teeth and bring them upstairs – you can bring Child E. at this point or wait, it's up to you.

Put a tiny bit of toothpaste on their brushes (both tooth brushes are in the container on that shelf above the toilet. Child F.'s is blue and green and Child D.'s is yellow and orange – but Child D. doesn't know that because it's the first night for that toothbrush. If you'd prefer or she freaks out, her old toothbrush is still attached to the mirror – it's the pink one.). Josh gives them the trainer toothpaste – I don't. They both tend to swallow the toothpaste if they aren't reminded to spit and I think the trainer toothpaste is probably yummier so would encourage more swallowing.
After they have brushed their teeth and spit they each have a drink of water from the cup. While one is drinking the other is peeing and then they switch. Both girls need to be wiped after peeing.

In to their rooms, all pj's are on their beds. The older two don't need diapers. Child E.'s diapers are on the end of her crib.
When everyone is in pj's the older two pick a book. When reading Child F.'s book, she sits on your lap and vice-versa. I've been doing reading at the end of Child F.'s bed. Child E. started bringing a book to me too, two nights ago. So you can let her have a turn or not. Feel free to skip pages/sentences/words etc.
When done reading I say: “who wants a hug and a kiss?” and then the two older girls climb in to their beds, under covers (Del has recently been joining us for reading and then tucking the older two in to their beds – it's up to you if you want to do this or not).

Then Child E. is put in to her swaddle blankets. Lights go off. Bring the bottle and pacifier to the foot of Child D.'s bed. Sit sideways on it and give her the bottle. If she's still awake, but refusing the bottle she may take the pacifier. After she's transferred to the crib, it's up to you how long you stay in their room or to what extent (on Child D.'s bed? On the floor? Near the door? In the hall?)

Child F. will fall asleep first.

Ren Man did not write up a night time routine. If he had, it would have said this:

After dinner, brush the girls teeth, pj them, read them a book, put them to bed, feed the baby her bottle, put her in the crib. Call if you have questions.

The time with Ren Man was a bunch of belly laughing, processing our last foster placement, reveling in the joys and challenges of our current family, talking about Ren Man's new role as an adjunct at a local college, etc. Dinner was so fun - our friend was definitely surprised and we loved that we had some time to catch up with her and see how much her kids have grown - we didn't even recognize her 13 year old! Our friend's husband had this amazing violin cake made - it was stunning. And the food at the ciderhouse was awesome - I had two plates. I don't often get a whole meal around here - and definitely not an uninterrupted meal!
And the ride home, the ferry was the highlight, the large boat pushing up against huge ice chunks with a ferocious noise and the occasional impressive splash and/or ice chunk rising up above the front of the boat before crashing back down.

So it was awesome. All of it.

No comments: