Once upon a time, Bruce and I used to sleep in until almost ten. We’d enjoy each other for a little while and share a shower, then inevitably head over to the local LePeep, which changed each time we moved—four times in our first four years together. He always got a skillet or a combo of eggs, bacon, peasant potatoes, and pancakes, and I used to order the eighteen-wheeler, which had French toast, the same famous potatoes, eggs, and a side of some type of pork that I would quickly shove over to him. We also loved to order the fancy $3 drinks, hot chocolate for me and a mocha for him. By noon, we were stuffed and ready to enjoy an afternoon of going to a movie, walking around the mall, or picking up a few groceries for our mid-week, mostly “freelance” (make what you want) meals. Then we would go out for dinner—our favorites were Chili’s, Old Chicago, or Noodles and Company. We might rent a movie after dinner, stay up late, and repeat the whole process on Sunday.
How foreign it all seems now. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had three babies, because I’m old, or because I’m too set in an early-morning routine, but even if my girls sleep past 6:30, there’s no way I ever will again. Now I might drink a glass of water while I cuddle on the couch with Mythili or remind the girls relentlessly to go potty and get dressed while I sip coffee and fix up a breakfast of homemade pancakes. (A restaurant for breakfast? Paying $3 for a cup of Joe? My flaxseed whole wheat w/applesauce pancakes beat anything I’ve ever bought at LePeep, and I make my own “mocha” with a scoop of hot cocoa in my morning coffee). Then we might linger before our first activity, which could include anything from going to Target to buy yet another birthday gift for a party Isabella’s invited to, taking the girls to a swim or skating lesson, or visiting the library to pick up the books we have on order and the movies we’ll need to entertain the girls so we can have ninety minutes of peace. We’ll come home and fix sandwiches with our homemade bread and set out our grass-fed beef for a meal that we chose from a recipe and whose ingredients we put on the grocery list a week ago. The afternoon will be filled with girls playing outside in the cul-de-sac or whining about using the computer or, like today, in a line of cars around a Lowe’s waiting to pick up Girl Scout cookies, and we’ll finally settle everyone down for a pre-dinner bath and movie, a delicious home-cooked meal, and a nice early bed time. Bruce and I will stay up “late” watching our own Netflix movie, hitting the hay around ten.
Just like they always say: having a child changes everything. Having three makes you change your whole routine, your whole attitude towards what’s important, where your money goes, and how you spend your Saturdays.