Saturday, June 21, 2008

No Means No - Next Time!

All I have to say is I KNOW BETTER.

Somehow, my husband neglected to tell me that he’s stepping in to manage his baseball team this weekend while the normal manager is out of town. Oh, and that if the fields are at all questionable in terms of playing condition (uhhh, say from the constant rain we’ve had), the managers of the teams playing in the first game of the day have to be at the fields an hour and a half before the game.

Mister Man had a 10am birthday party this morning, and before we left we had a few tasks to complete. We had to wrap the presents for his friends and make the cards for them. Plus, we had to do the usual getting dressed, eating breakfast, showering, cleaning up and getting out the door by 9:40.

I didn’t factor in my husband not being around to help out with any of this. I finally called him around 9:10 to find out where our only roll of wrapping paper was, since he had wrapped the present for the birthday party on Wednesday. Oddly, it wasn’t back where it belonged, nor was it in the place my husband sometimes thinks it belongs. It turns out that while he had wrapped the present in the kitchen, he decided to put the roll into the playroom leaning between two bookshelves. OH! Of course! Fortunately, he called back before I panicked and wrapped the presents in newspaper. It was close though.

The good news is that the birthday party was great. We had no rain by the time the party started, and the sun even came out. The family had rented one of the huge bouncy houses that has a slide also integrated into the side of it, in addition to the huge trampoline they normally have in the backyard. Needless to say, the wee ones spent the entire two hours of the party going from one jumping activity to the other. They did take a brief break to sing happy birthday to the birthday boy, but neither of them were interested in the cupcakes, so back to jumping we went.

The neighborhood next to mine (we’re connected by a path, and our two neighborhoods make up my babysitting co-op) has a park that we’re trying to raise funds to rebuild and make it much nicer. Today, they had a fundraiser in the park where various neighbors made and were selling items – everything from stuff your own animals (ah-ha! An idea for Little Miss’s birthday party) to pancake puffs to pet rocks. I had promised we’d stop by there, so on our way home, we did the fundraising thing.

Shockingly, by the time we got home around 1, they were both exhausted. Mister Man decided he wanted to go straight to bed with no encouragement from me, which is unusual. I heard nothing from either of them – and even managed to get my own nap in, which tells you how tired I was – until I went to wake them up at 5. Even Little Miss was hard to wake up, and she usually pops right up when someone comes into her room.

At dinner, they were both still slightly out of it, but they insisted they wanted to go to the club and go swimming after dinner. I explained that we could do that, but it would mean they’d have to eat dinner, as I didn’t want them to be overwrought while swimming, as it had already been a pretty jam-packed day. Yep, they both ate a decent dinner, including a banana each for dessert.

My parents met us to go swimming, and we played in the pool until it closed at 8. Actually, the wee ones were ready to get out at 7:53, which is unusual for them. However, it was getting a bit cool, and I think they were feeling it. As I carried Little Miss into the locker room to change her back into street clothes, she laid her head against me and just hung out. When Little Miss is quiet and calm, that means she’s exhausted, and I know this. Really, I do know this.

When we all met back up in front of the club, my dad started asking if we could go to Steak ‘N Shake for some dessert. I declined, pointing out the bags under Little Miss’s eyes, Mister Man lolling around staring into space, etc. My dad kept begging and saying that it would be quick. And my husband threw in that they had $0.99 junior milkshakes right now. I kept demurring. They kept asking. My mom stayed out of it, as she’s usually with me on the “we don’t need to eat out or ingest and more junk food” kick. However, she told Little Miss that my parents would meet her at Steak ‘N Shake. So I gave in. Dumb, dumb me.

Following along with the theme of last night, service was incredibly slow, and both kids were showing how tired they were. However, I will say that Mister Man drew a very nice picture of James with his tender and a troublesome truck with coal in it. Mister Man couldn’t stay sitting in his chair, and when his milkshake came, he had no interest in drinking it but wanted to keep playing with (and breaking) the crayons. Hello, red flags! Little Miss was bouncing up and down on the booth bench.

To be honest, I don’t even remember what set her off, but my mom said something to her that caused her to just burst into tears. I took her outside, which is our routine when she gets overstimulated or overtired. We sit down on the curb and either sing a song or talk about a topic of her choice. Tonight, it was the three little pigs. Within about 20 seconds, she was fine again, and we went back in. Fortunately, my husband had heard me ask for a to go container for the 80% of my shake that I had yet to drink, and my mom and dad and husband drink like fiends and finished their shakes by that point.

When we got home, the wee ones told me they were too tired to put their shoes away, which again is telling. To brush Little Miss’s teeth (which I almost didn’t do at all but then remembered all the sugar in that shake!), I had to lay her one the counter and hold both her hands with one hand while I brushed her teeth with the other. You could say that she wasn’t a fan, but after pitching herself to the floor when I first presented the brush, I know her well enough to know that there aren’t many alternatives.

The poor girl has never and I do mean never, been up past 9pm before. I’m usually a stickler about sleep, both naps and bedtime, and tonight reminds me why. She was so overtired that she just didn’t know what to do with herself by this point. We sang our special song, and she was finally calm enough to try to sleep. I haven’t heard a peep from her, but I have my suspicions that she’ll be up around 5am.

Mister Man, on the other hand, went into his room as he was supposed to. Then he came out after five minutes because he had to go potty. Ten minutes later, he needed a drink. And another ten minutes later, he was out of his room in the bathroom again for something. At 10:37, he was still coming out of his room every so often. He doesn’t cry and fall apart like Little Miss does; his issue when he’s too tired is that he simply can’t sleep. He, too, will likely be up extremely early in the morning and be cranky the majority of the day. The last time he came out, I threatened him with not going to the Strawberry Festival if he came out of his room again and didn’t go straight to sleep. Knock on wood, it worked.

And yes, I would really have not gone to the festival tomorrow if he wasn’t able to sleep. While I want to go to the festival, as it’s fun to go to every year with the added bonus of tuckering out the wee ones. However, if they’re too tired when they first get there, it will just be a disaster. I’ve learned – the hard way, of course – that in situations like that, I’m best off just having a quiet day at home and praying that they take solid naps to get back on schedule.

But in the meantime, I’ve remembered how critical it is that the wee ones get their sleep. When I was buckling Mister Man into his carseat as we left Steak ‘N Shake, I mentioned that this was definitely too much for them. Mister Man even knew it, “Mommy, next time we swim until the pool closes, we need to just go straight home afterwards. We’re too little to stay out this late.”

Yeah, it’s sad when even he can figure this out. The good news is that once again I will stick to my no. The bad news is that I was sort of hoping that I’d be able to take them to see fireworks this year. And then again… maybe not!

3 comments:

Mabunny June 22, 2008 at 10:09 AM  

Wow, that sounded like a fun albeit busy day... I love Steak and Shake, but don't get to go very often.
Hope you have fun at the Strawberry Festival!

christie June 22, 2008 at 3:53 PM  

Sounds like a BUSY day!
Sweet when kids "know" it's time for bed.

Michelle June 22, 2008 at 10:30 PM  

MaBunny - It was fun, but I really need to do a better job of controlling for too many events. Today was unfortunately just as busy, and bedtime was only slightly less painful tonight than last night. Tomorrow, we're back on schedule. (Didn't I say that last night?)

Christie - Welcome! Yeah, they "know" when it's time for bed by becoming whacko. Mommy knows it's their bedtime before that point, but I ignored it, and we all paid the price. I do admire the daughter of my friend who was over tonight. When she got tired, she told her mom she was tired and that it was time to go home (granted, she's 8). And when my friend asked if she was going to fall asleep on the way home, she said "Probably" without skipping a beat. I was drooling!

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