We outnumbered them for almost 24 hours!
When Lars’s BFF’s wife, who is also a friend of mine from when we were 6, started the interview process for the same company Lars works for it was a vague maybe-someday-what-if style scenario. And then it happened! Technically still happening with the minor details etc but she and her husband actually arrived yesterday and she is here to stay! He went back to finish the packing and the driving of their worldly goods and will be back shortly after we leave for NY. This was meant to be and blessed by some higher power because not only did the job actually happen but our friends in our rental town house coincidently are moving out to their own grown-up house at the exact perfect time for our transplants to move right in! There is very little that could have gone more right in this scenario right down to our planned vacation because I think it will be far easier for them to settle in and get homey if there are not 3 kids in the equation.
But – for 24 hours, there were more adults than kids and it was very nice. **so ok, I’ve been writing this off and on so I’ve had time to think about the fact that we actually often have more adults around then kids…. This scenario is different I think because I feel like we are getting the mystical ‘childless aunt and uncle’. We have plenty of friends that love our kids and visit often and play with them but up until now they fall into three categories;
1. people that don’t have kids because they are young and have full lives. They don’t know exactly what to do with kids beyond the obvious* but they are not qualified to watch kids nor would it ever occur to them to particularly volunteer <– This is the category I was in for years! I look back now and see that even if I did realize that offering to watch kids would have been welcome, I was wholly unqualified to do more than the obvious things.
2. people who already have a crew of kids therefore have limited ability to do anything major with not-their kids. This group is wonderful in tons of ways and they see when you might need help but 90% of the time can’t really do more then listen or offer decent advice. When you already have 2 or 3 kids you are quite qualified but there are limits to the amount of space in houses and cars to take on more than one extra at a time. <– This is the category I am currently in, I feel very little reservation taking on an extra kid or 2 short term and offer plenty because I know how good it feels to have just a bit of help now and then.
3. Just visiting – we have friends and family that come to town and stay with us and they are our guests. We try and absolutely maximize the time we all have together to the point it becomes crazy. Kids are in the mix but bedtimes are pushed as an exception and parenting gets less regimented and more vacation style. We are all so interested in spending our limited time together there is no opportunity for someone to whisk our kids away for a treat or an errand or anything.
The unicorn of aunts/uncles is one that is a blend of all the positives; They are qualified and confident with kids but don’t have their own (either yet, or, they are big and doing their own thing). I still would never presume upon them for the care of my kids but I would definitely trust them**. When I woke up this morning I thought maybe the kids slept in but then I saw Uncle Konny on the couch with 2 kids watching cartoons and chilling. Nobody was crying or fussing or needing me and it was awesome. I bet if I showed him where the coffee was he would have even made it! The fact that they are moving here is getting real, so real there is even a dog in the house that seems to like me (a cat person) ((she is a gateway dog… nearly a cat)). Things will shift around in our lives and settle down in a new dynamic by the end of the summer and I’m quite happy for this style shake up.
*the obvious things are – listen and talk to the kids, read them a book or play a kid game with them, share a snack if you are eating and possibly change a diaper.
** To K&J who I know reads, I also trust you guys but you are solidly in the too busy category and I don’t mind because I spent years there myself, nothing in this is supposed to be a negative. I 1000% appreciate you and all or other friends for the time and energy you spend with or around our kids and I know you MAKE time to be with us and that is gold**
PPs. There is a small subcatagory of unicorn for people who only have one kid – they often like to take a second along so it is more fun for all.