I should say simply, technical difficulties. Specifically, our hard drive went down last week. Went down with a vengeance it would seem. And we, being naive slackers, well, we've never backed it up. Ever. So in addition to simply having an issue with hardware, there is now the significant likelihood that we have just lost nearly 2.5 years of photos, writing, and music (I admit, only J cares about the music, but I think he's not that moved by my loss of writing drafts). Sorry Mom. No photo update of the kids for you.
I admit that I would feel totally justified in abandoning our home and camping out in my mil's home until the situation can be rectified and my computer induced depression has eased off. But truthfully, this was the week we had already agreed to move in with her so that J could work on the downstairs bathroom renovation without fear of Q giving himself a home study course on power tools. Not to mention that Noodle has no fear of climbing anything, especially if Q has ever climbed it in her presence. Ladders, insulation, power tools, if it needs to be left unguarded for more than 30 seconds, it's better to remove the kids from the house entirely.
Staying at Grandma's house has been very educational for me. I have come to realize that two kids can wreck havoc on any home, no matter how beautifully managed, organized, styled, clean. It's their persistence that really makes a difference. If they're only here for a day, the house is restored, almost magically, by the next time I visit. If they're here for a week, all the things that drive me crazy start to emerge here too. Unnecessary kitchen utensils wander into the living room. Construction vehicles, some shedding parts, trip and gouge the unsuspecting bare feet. Food emerges in the toddler's hand, and I recognize it as food, but I have no recollection of having fed her that particular food in the past 12 hours.
While I am reassured that Grandma's house isn't quite as fabulous when the children keep coming back, I am thoroughly enjoying our mini-vacation in her home. Why is it a mini-vacation? Because of Grandma. Grandma is great at distracting one child while I deal with the other. Grandma is great at lending a hand with bedtime. Grandma thinks of meals and cooks them. Most lovely of all, Grandma is excellent company for me. More and more I'm realizing how little time J and I coparent. Mostly we toss the children like batons in a relay race, checking in with each other regularly, but not often able to give support during the long stretches that are the hallmark of parenting.
I am going to have to be drug from Grandma's house.