I have very generous in-laws. They have taken the younger two kids for a 'leapover' (as Abbie calls a sleepover) for two nights. This is nice for me because the younger kids create most of the noise and workload in our house.
It is also lovely for the older three to have some peace and quiet. They're enjoying being able to just sit and read their books in peace (we borrowed 28 library books on Monday). Or play a Wii game without having to negotiate the remote out of a younger sibling's hand. Or just go to sleep without a little voice calling out "Neave, I need to go to the toilet" and her obligingly getting up and taking her.
I'm sure we will all be ready to have them come home. Despite the enjoyment of the peace, life does not feel quite right and we need the little kids to make sure we all get up in the mornings!
But now I understand how civilised life must be for those with school age children. It also helps remember why I find it hard to get anything done on a normal day!
However, my time will come - hard to believe that in a week No 4 will be off to school. Now there's a day I thought would never come! (truly, I really never did. If you have a preschooler who is difficult to live with ... well, the day will come!)