I did it. I successfully parented four kids for three days, with Chuck helping two of those afternoons/evenings. I got two children off to school (and back) each day. I made lunches. I drove a mini-van. Chuck and I put them to bed (and they stayed in bed!). We fed them. We told them to get dressed. We even did fun things. And then we were tired. Very, very tired.
The Easy Parts:
1. Breakfast. All kids were happy eating Cheerios.
2. Nap time. Ollie went down way easier than he normally does. And little S, well, she was quiet and stayed in her room. Whether or not she napped was immaterial to me.
3. Filling the early mornings and afternoons and evenings. Even though we had warm days that threatened rain, we still got out and did things. And when it actually did rain, we stayed in and watched a movie. And in the mornings, the kids just played.
4. Dinner. This is easy when you feed them spaghetti and meatballs, hot dogs, and pizza. (Please don't think this is our normal menu. We just wanted to make this easy.)
5. Putting them to bed. Surprise! All kids went to bed, and stayed in bed. I'm sure wearing them out daily helped.
The Hard Parts:
1. Filling the days. For some reason, having just two around during the day was hard.
2. Knowing whether the girls were taking advantage of the situation. Does S's mom really cut off the crusts, or did I get hoodwinked? Just a lot of little things like this. It was constant and mentally draining.
3. Getting enough sleep. I just never felt like I had enough downtime and so when it was over, I was exhausted. I went to bed early the three nights after they left.
4. Little girl hair! I totally forgot about it the first day, and M went to school with the same braid she wore the day before. But man, this is just something I know nothing about.
5. The noise. This is not to say that the girls are loud, but man, my boys definitely upped it while they were here.
6. Chuck's "surgery" Friday morning made him less-than-helpful on Friday. Solo parenting to four is NOT fun.
7. I should have known better. My "adult snacks" supply was desperately low. Some Skinny Cows could have gone a loooooong way.
But now it's done. We still like the girls and their parents, and I hope no permanent damage to the girls was done. Maybe the worst thing that happened to them was being introduced to McDonald's ice cream cones. Whoops.
P.S. My running friends are too smart. When I posed my problem to them, they had a genius solution: run the last five or so miles with my sis. Isn't that just masterful? I don't have to pay. I don't have to lose tons of sleep. I still might get some Creamies and one (or two) Maverick cones. On the downside, I don't get to run a lot of miles with my sister nor will I get a fancy medal. But it's still the perfect solution.