Over the weekend, we brought the older two to watch "The Cat in the Hat", and my parents kindly agreed to babysit Baby J while we were out. It felt a little strange going out with only two: loading the car with kids was faster (but the hubby had to catch himself from opening the other car door where Baby J usually sits) and we could actually sit down and watch a show, without having someone clambering all over us. In fact, it was rather nice, not having to lug out my usual backpack with diapers, bibs and thermos, not having to strap a baby carrier on, not needing to wear accessories that the toddler couldn't wreck. I could actually taste my lunch, and not have to shovel it down using one hand, while feeding a squirmy toddler with the other. And there was one less person stealing my french fries.
Baby J also had a good time: He went for a bus and train ride with Kongkong, got to "sit airplane, drive car" (those kiddy rides, but my dad had the good sense not to put coins in them!), and had a yummy lunch of "porr-idge and bah-ooo and toe-tato" (porridge, pork floss and tomato).
We had a lovely time out that day. It was a reminder, that things do get somewhat easier when the kids are older. The first three to four years can be the most delightful, but the most exhausting: the initial challenges of babyhood with the many naps, seemingly endless feeds, the colic and reflux, followed by the constant need for vigilance to watch over the active toddler, the terrible twos and threes, the huge messes made by little busy hands. It can seem like there is no light at the end of this long tunnel, but there is, oh there is! There will still be challenges, just different ones, but it does get easier. It really does.
So dear exhausted parents of littles out there, hang in there, trust in God to give strength for each new day, and enjoy what you can of these little ones!