I spent most of the past week visiting a friend and her family up north. She had recently moved from here, and Peanut is great friends with her little boy. So yes, I got on an airplane with a one and three year old, rented a car, and got us there in one piece. It was smooth sailing, and I discovered that you can still rely on the kindness of strangers. I also discovered that rental car companies can be very accommodating (plug for Hertz inserted here). I got upgraded to a minvan, the shuttle bus driver got out and got all of our stuff in for me including Peanut in her stroller, and on the way back they waives my gas fee and drove us to the terminal in our car since we were so late we couldn't wait for the shuttle. Love them!
Once we reached our destination, we had a good time spent exploring and just hanging out, but man did I get spoiled. When two women are in a house, we can tag team a bit. Someone keeps everyone busy while someone else makes lunch. And for me, Pumpkin is so active and mobile that I really need to keep an eye on him at all times, so having another set of eyes was really wonderful. I could relax a little, play a little, and just chill. Not to mention that someone else cooked our meals all week - oh heavenly! Of course, there were still stressful moments and some difficult bedtimes and the kids needed some help negotiating play, but having another mom there helped me to be calmer and more flexible than I may ordinarily have been.
I think this may not have completely hit home until this afternoon though. We arrived home yesterday, and this morning we had our regular HMN playgroup here at the house. It was a busy day with lots of moms and kids so I had plenty of company, extra hands and eyes, and could walk inside to make lunch or go to the bathroom and know my little ones were OK. This afternoon continued to be busy, with some painting, baking, and creating a birthday party with Peanut's girls in the playroom. Pumpkin took his usual minuscule nap, while Peanut was having non of the napping, and of course, everyone continued to become more and more tired and crabby as they day went on. by 4pm, I was totally done. They were at each others throats, intermittently crying and whining, and had eaten their way through a small picnic cooler of food.
In order to keep calm, I tossed them into the stroller and went for a walk. 40 minutes later, I had a better grip even though much of the walk was spent listening to Peanut whine about her shoes or how she wanted a snack or how it was too sunny. Honestly, how many moms have thought what i was thinking - dammit just take an effing nap!!!! I'm glad to report that while I vehemently thought it, those words did not pass my lips. I did however, tell Peanut that starting tomorrow, we were re instituting "quiet time" in her room, no ifs, ands or buts.
I got home and began dinner preparations, so we could eat as soon as Honey came in. I knew the kids were exhausted and wanted to get a meal in them before they passed out. Thank goodness I did that, since they both barely made it past 6:30 before falling asleep. I can't believe that I could hardly survive three hours alone with the kids today. Makes me wish I had some kind of communal housing arrangement really. Well, tomorrow is another day - with Quiet Time.