During that time I took care of the kids and the house practically alone. My husband was travelling for business and he was also taking evening classes. Grandparents of both families lived within a distance of one day travelling so there were no grandmas or papas to turn to for help. Every now and then I decided to take time only for myself and left the kids and household to my husband’s hands. I enjoyed every moment of these little escapes, even though I spent the time mostly shopping and sitting in cafes.
I have to admit my husband’s babysitting skills were very creative! My everyday routines did not belong to his skill set and every time I returned home I was either horrified or laughing enormously when I heard what the trio had been up to.
My husband and the kids could start the morning by spending a few hours in our sauna. Who says the sauna is scheduled to the evening hours? (Well, in Finland this is the case 98% of the time). Time just flied, especially when also the tub was filled with water and plenty of bath foam which kids could splash all over the bathroom. A part of the routine was to get cold juice from the fridge between the sauna rounds, so usually there was a wide path of wet footmarks on the floor between sauna and kitchen which I wiped off after I came home.
One of my household routines was to burn cardboard and paper trashes in the fireplace. I remember a Saturday when I got home and the whole living room floor was covered with a car track. By the track there were houses, garages and service buildings made of empty boxes and cartons with painted walls, decorated signs and holes for doors and windows. Both kids and dad were eagerly playing and they barely realized I came home. Cardboard city was so nice we let it stay on the floor for several weeks. During that time we couldn’t vacuum the living room, but we used wet wipes to clean away the stains from the streets.
One of the most creative solutions of my husband invented was to wash kids’ rainwear from mud when they were still on them. I wasted a lot of time taking the muddy clothes off and then washing them in a small sink. My husband told kids to stand on the yard and sprayed them clean using the garden hose. Kids were screaming, but also enjoying themselves. Water was splashing all over the walls and clothes were dripping when they were taken off in the lobby but wiping the floor wasn’t a big deal instead of time spent using my method.
Instead of traditional bedtime stories my husband told kids memories from his childhood. Kids loved this and instead of falling to sleep they usually listened to him and perked up to ask questions to hear more. Storytelling and chatting could continue for hours, but I’m sure it was well worth of it.
Tarja, Mom of two kids