Have I mentioned that I like routine? Because I really, really, really like routine. I admit there would be some advantages to being more go-with-the-flow and less into routine. Some people thrive on spontaneity and change. I am not those people.
So it’s no surprise that my little world was in a bit of a tailspin last week, when both my primary (Mrs. L) and secondary (my MIL) childcare providers were on vacation. For the ENTIRE WEEK (how could they do that to me???). It felt like even longer, and, in fact, it was, as the week lasted from Friday the 27th through this past Saturday. Nine, count ’em, NINE days!
I’m used to having 8.5 hours of childcare, 4-5 days/week, including an overnight most weeks. To drop from that to almost nothing was a bit of a shock to the system. (Also, my MIL being out-of-town means we have extra garden duties, which is a double whammy.)
To be fair, the last weekend in June was a vacation, as we spent Friday through Monday in Illinois at a family reunion. That was easier, with other adults around to spend some time with Sir, plus cousins to play with (though “play” is an optimistic term at this age, as it involves plenty of adult supervision and intervention — maybe we should just let them duke it out like puppies).
For Sir, the highlight of the weekend was the “train” shuttle at our resort. If I could have strapped him into it and let him ride it on his own, we’d have been set for hours! Alas, it required adult involvement.
Though the term “vacation” is an oxymoron when you have a child, it was a nice weekend, We enjoyed time with my family, including rare time with extended family from Texas, and manged to sneak in a few short hikes at Starved Rock State Park (from which we miraculously escaped without getting poison ivy).
But the weekend ended, and the week of no childcare loomed. I made it through one-and-a half days.
Then, to help save my sanity (and give me time to actually put a few hours in on my paid job), my mom came for a short visit — 28-hours that provided two afternoons and one morning of reprieve, leading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
In my experience, having two parents home is really not that much less exhausting than having one parent home, as you are either the parent who is “on” with the child, or the parent trying to get something else done, while the child begs for your attention, even though he has the attention of the other parent (I imagine having more than one child might change this equation).
The chorus of, “You want to play with me? You want to go for ride on my tractor?” seemed never-ending.
To mix things up a bit, we planned a few outings for the weekend, starting with a parade on the 4th. We originally planned to attend the community parade with my FIL in Webster Groves, but when I read about the VP Parade (the official 4th of July parade in StL), and realized this might be the one year in my lifetime that the parade was held in Forest Park, plus the fact that the parade featured numerous marching bands, we changed plans.
We were quite the patriotic bike family, with Matthew and Gabriel on Roadrunner (AKA Big Blue) and me on fire-engine red Baby Jake. We arrived early, and were able to bike right along the staging area where the floats were lining up (in retrospect, I wish we lingered a bit longer on this part). Cars were [mostly] not allowed in the park over the weekend, so bicycles had free reign!
The parade was awesome! I’ve never seen anything like it — the intricate floats, fancy costumes, music from both marching bands and live bands playing on the floats — spectacular.
We left a bit early, but we didn’t really miss much, since we biked back toward the parade start and were able to see most of the floats that hadn’t passed us yet.
Unfortunately, we didn’t leave early enough for Pookie. He didn’t want to go, but was clearly tired, as evidenced by his nodding off in his bike seat. This made the ride home not-so-fun for me. I felt bad that he was that tired and that we hadn’t gotten him home sooner , not to mention worried that we’d blown our chance at him taking a real nap that day.
Fortunately, he was strapped in (though he looked really pitiful with his head all over the place and falling forward on the bike), and his bike nap, by some miracle, did not take the place of his regular afternoon nap that day (important because we also wanted to nap in preparation for fireworks [sans Sir] that night).
Saturday morning dawned much too early for the two family members who watched fireworks on Friday night, but we dragged ourselves out of bed and got in gear in time to both make pancakes and get out of the house on the earlier side.
Our outing involved a visit to the Botanical Garden as well as a [rare for us these days] stop at Tower Grove Farmers’ Market. We have plenty of produce from the garden, so the stop was solely to pick up some snacks for the morning. At my insistence, we managed to time this outing to avoid any bicycle napping.
I don’t know if I can express exactly how much I’m looking forward to a “normal” week. I survived the interruption to our normal routine, but it wasn’t always pretty, and it left me more than a little burnt out!