Playing ball, check.
Getting dressed, check.
Independently turning on the TV, finding the kids channels, and working the video game console?
It's something I've been waiting for for some time, now. You know, the morning after a good date night or guys night out? 7 or 8:00 A.M. comes a little too early. It used to be that I would stumble out of bed, try to not fall down the stairs, put on the TV, get some water and / or VitaminWater Zero, go back to bed. Maybe I would put out some bread and water for the children.
They can not only work the media center, but they can make themselves a basic breakfast! JD can put a waffle or two in the toaster oven without sustaining 2nd degree burns (no cereal for him) and Bunny can pour herself a bowl of cereal. They have figured out how to climb the cabinet hardware to get on the counter to get dishes and glasses. They can get more milk into a glass than they spill.
Bravo! I say.
Tonight, we came home from my Mom's birthday party. Wife was already under the weather before the party, so she was pooped. I was trying to get some rest before my 11:00 P.M. hockey game, so I was happy to lay around for a while.
So, I turned the TV on to Netflix and got a movie going. I knew that it was only 75 minutes long, so I was watching the clock.
Meanwhile, Wife and I watched the end of the Miss St / Alabama game then turned on Zero Dark Thirty.
Sometime after turning on the movie, I heard the kids. They were done with the movie and were playing independently. Great! Their fights were brief and didn't require intervention. Then I heard them playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Wii. Great! Then they turned on Disney Jr and watched Mickey Mouse Club. Great!
Around 8:15, I went down with the intention of telling them to turn the TV off. Then I realized that it was the middle of the show and they'd been playing nicely and took care of themselves. So I told them that they could finish watching the show. When the show ended, they were to turn the TV off, clean up the DVDs left out, brush their teeth, get into pajamas and come to us for story time. Clockwork! They got it done.
One of the best things about being an at-home parent is that, while I sometimes fondly remember the kids as babies, I have no regrets about the time I'll never get back. I'm now watching them grow into independent, capable people. Yes, they're only 7- and 5-years-old, but their emerging confidence is a pleasure to witness.